Spiritual Awakening

I’ve always been interested in the supernatural or metaphysical. Even when I was young and living in a conservative Christian home, not allowed to watch The Wizard of Oz or Harry Potter, I still had a strong affinity for learning about magic, ghosts, and other things many people in our church and community saw as “demonic.” As I grew up, my family became less dependent on religious doctrine and we each went our separate ways spiritually. I’m very lucky to have had so many different resources and experiences through my parents’ discoveries because I’ve been given a great spiritual foundation from varying ideologies.

With that foundation, I’m beginning to seek out spirituality for myself. After high school and college, I gave religion a wide berth, not because I felt negatively towards it as a whole, but because I needed space to come to it on my own. I don’t like labels, especially on things like religion; they’re too limiting for such an unknown and strong energy. Even describing myself as “agnostic” didn’t sit well with me. It still doesn’t.

I’m forging my own path through different means. Currently I’m focusing on mediation and healing energy. Chakras, crystals, and candles, oh my! I’ve begun teaching myself to read tarot cards and hope to take a 6-week course on it next month. To learn the cards and their many meanings, I’m updating my Facebook page and sometimes my Insta daily with a tarot card that my deck chose for me that day. I really love it so far and appreciate the clarity it adds to a situation. Tarot isn’t meant to be “fortune telling” or reading the future; tarot is a reflection of yourself.

Similarly, I bought my very first crystal this week. At a a local metaphysical shop I was browsing through the many cases for a few specific ones as gifts. My intention was to buy for others on this trip and only get the tarot cards for myself. I came to the sunstone and saw the brief description on the card and it took my breath away. While it isn’t the most beautiful or most versatile, it certainly is the most important crystal I could have chosen as my first. Instead of putting it in my “shopping cauldron” like my other purchases, I felt drawn to holding it in my hand while shopping, and continued to do so once I got into my car as well. It immediately warmed in my hand and I could feel its energy vibrating through me while I held it. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

I have a lot of things I want to learn. I want to educate myself and share my knowledge with those who want to hear it. Maybe that gets done through healing, readings, or charms; maybe my new positive energy will strengthen others to seek out a deeper spiritual awakening of their own. Nonetheless, I want to research and read and try everything to see what works best for me.

Will any of this last? I hope so. I want it to. It doesn’t feel like church revival “warm fuzzies” that fade. This feels like a transformation in my deepest soul. I don’t feel this transformation only spiritually; I feel it emotionally and physically. I feel lighter as I’ve been practicing mindfulness in the past week, taking care of myself and ridding my life of negativity. I’m focusing on the positive energy and not allowing the negative to come close to me. I’m speaking blessings and focusing on the good in myself and in others. I’m becoming mindful of the way I sit, the food I eat, and the amount of wastefulness I’m trying to reduce.

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This Our Blog Party We Can Say What We Want–Substances

*DISCLAIMER* Like my other TOBPWCSWWW post on Religion, this is ONLY meant to share MY OPINION on a certain topic. Like the Miley Cyrus-inspired title suggests, it’s my blog and I’m going to use it for my own voice. Many people I care about very much, and many strangers have inspired this post, and I just want to say that I don’t mean to hurt you in any way. But I have to say this because I have to share how I feel.

Something I never thought about having to deal with in adulthood is knowing people that drink or smoke or use other such substances. Yes, I knew cigarettes and alcohol was a thing, and it didn’t bother me that much. But in going to college and now about to move to Orlando, I’m becoming more and more aware of choices people make in regards to these things.

Alcohol has never been an issue in my home. My parents drink, but have never abused it, and I have never looked at legal drinking as a bad thing. For myself, I do not see any kind of alcohol in my future. I don’t like the smell, don’t like the affects it can have on people who choose to abuse it, and definitely don’t like the calories. But I’ve never been around people who I know drink while underage. Not until recently.

In high school, there were a few people I knew that drank, but I didn’t care much for them so it didn’t upset me quite as much when it came to them. But in college, when some of my very best friends began telling me about getting drunk on holidays or weekends, I began to get upset about it. I was aware of the partying people at HSU, but I wasn’t friends with them, and, like the guys in high school, didn’t really care. It was when it was people I considered myself very close to that caused me to worry about the friends I had chosen. In seeing the kinds of people taking part in the DCP who will be partying and making terrible decisions, I don’t want to waste my time making friends with them only to find out their habits later.

What bothers me the very most about these people drinking is that they are underage. When you are at home with a parent or other responsible, legal adult, I’m not so upset and judgey. Still maybe a little, but not near to the extreme as when people are sneaky about it. Age limits are put on certain things for a reason. Because there are those who NEED age limitations, even if there are others who do not. American teenagers and young adults are a majority of idiots, and putting an age on alcohol consumption/purchasing is a great thing, though it is not enforced very well. Go to another country where the age is lower and drink legally. But nothing bothers me more than those who abuse alcohol under the legal age.

Alcohol isn’t the worst. Yes it is fattening and not great in excess, but there have been studies that show it has some benefits. Here and here are two articles I found discussing the risks and benefits together. Find your own articles, as well. Still, for me, I don’t like it and would much rather be fully aware of my surroundings and actions.

I’d rather be around people who are drinking in moderation than smoking. I DO NOT tolerate smoking of any kind, whether it’s cigarettes or hookah, or whatever. I don’t even have proper thoughts or reasons, because I shouldn’t have to. Smoking is SO terrible for you, and please browse the CDC website on this. I can’t even read all the facts on this without crying. I can’t imagine why someone would choose to kill themselves with cigarettes.

Not only is smoking one of the worst things you could possibly do for your health, you smell GOD-AWFUL, and why would you want to smell that bad? Why would you want the added wrinkles when you’re older? Why would you want your nails to look like that? Why would you want to sound like that?

There are so many wonderful people who do smoke. Smoking doesn’t make you a bad person, so please don’t think I’m saying that. I found a list on IMDB of people who smoke, and I love so many of them. Hell, Walt Disney died of lung cancer because he smoked so much. Classic films are full of smoking, because that was just the norm. These days, though it isn’t uncommon, smoking doesn’t have the same attractiveness that it may have in Audrey Hepburn and Clark Gable days. Cigarettes aren’t cute. Think of the secondhand smoke and the people who you are affected because of your actions.

Drugs are another VERY OBVIOUS thing that I am against. No explanation necessary. Don’t do it.

YES. These are CHOICES you and only you can make. I understand that. But it’s a choice that affects other people. If you say or do something that hurts someone else in the process of YOUR habit, it is no longer just about you.

I just think, why not do something better with your time? Paint your nails, learn to knit, read a book, drink some coffee. Why do something that can potentially END your life because you created a bad habit? I also consider overeating just as harmful to your life, and that’s something *I* struggle with. It’s a habit that is just as hard to break as smoking and drinking. No one is perfect, but I definitely do not condone any actions that involve alcohol, smoking, and drugs.

MILEY CYRUS

And now, the moment I know you’ve all been waiting for….my Miley Cyrus post.

For months, I’ve been obsessed with Miley for whatever reason. I’ve wanted to write a blog post about her, but haven’t been able to form coherent words because I’m in such a state of confusion about her. I love her, but I don’t, but I REALLY really do love her. So yesterday, I decided while I was at work to write about some thoughts and try and pull them all together and analyze why I love her, and hate JBiebs, and compare some parts of Miley’s career and just gush about her.

Firstly, before I talk about my reasons for loving/hating MC, let’s just talk about her. Remember when it “Can’t Be Tamed” was SO crazy? What about her “rap” about deleting her Twitter? I remember everyone freaking out about that. Or when she was filmed smoking Salvia? Okay, that one was a big thing. But the others weren’t. Also, her hair. I have loved her haircut since the day she did it. Everyone thought she was going Britney and shaving her head, but I loved it. I’m all for girls cutting all their hair off. Obviously. I don’t think you can do anything better to show you’re transitioning to something than drastically changing your hair. Whether it’s just discovering who you are, or trying to get away from a certain perceived role, cutting/dyeing your hair is the best way to do it. Just look at Emma Watson or JLaw or even women who cut/shaved their hair for movie roles: they committed to breaking away for “traditional” styles that women have. So for that, I commend Miley for getting away from the Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana look.

Miley Cyrus is beautiful. I loved Hannah Montana when it was on, but never really was a fan of her. 11-year-old Miley was annoying and goofy-looking (as most 11-year-olds are anyway), and I was more of a Lily fan anyway. But right up before she cut her hair and currently, I think Miley is gorgeous. Except when she does the weird knots on her head. That looks dumb. Even her style (when she is actually wearing clothes, mind you,) –sometimes– is pretty cute.

I’ve been Googling her photoshoot for Cosmo, and I’m just in awe at how pretty she is. 
Let me get into my specific reason for loving her. While I do NOT condone her behavior, she still owns it. I like her for her confidence in what she is doing, and not being ashamed for who she is. In looking at her various Cosmo interviews, she said that she’s never hidden anything. When compromising things would come out during Hannah Montana years, she never hid what she was doing; it was just who she was. Even though her actions are not at all classy, she still owns it and has actually transitioned from Hannah Montana Miley to Bangerz Miley very well. It wasn’t as though one day we all woke up from Best of Both Worlds to We Can’t Stop. There were plenty of things in between as she matured that led to who she is now. And now, she’s just being Miley. I love Miley for the same reason I love Jennifer Lawrence: while JLaw is moral, kind, and caring, and Miley is sexualized, and ratchet, they both know who they are, and don’t worry about anyone but themselves. 
As I am obsessed with her, I’ve been listening to all my Hannah Montana and other Miley songs, and have found a lot of similarities between her old and new careers. 
  • See You Again: I can’t sing this song now without doing it this way, “The last time I freaked out, I just kept looking down, I stu-stu-stuttered when he asked me what I’m thinkin’ ’bout. Bangerz, bangerz. Felt like I couldn’t breathe, he asked what’s wrong with me. My best friend laughed and said, ‘Oh she’s just bein’ Miley.’ “
  • Hoedown Throwdown vs. 4×4 feat. Nelly: Really. Listen to the music of these two songs. I’m sure someone has put these together on YouTube, because they are basically the same song. Okay. I just checked, and I can’t find it anywhere, but just listen for yourself and compare them. 
  • Then there’s this: 

Speaking of, her VMA performance was just a mess. I haven’t even watched it all the way through, only what people have shown on other videos and in Gifs, but from what I’ve seen, it was a wreck. The thing that made it popular, was because it was SO MUCH. It worked because Miley is doing everything right. Whether her performances are good or shocking, they get us talking, which means publicity. 
So why do I love Miley, but HATE Justin Bieber for acting the exact same way? I still don’t know. I’ve never been a JB fan anyway, but even now he’s the biggest douchebag and all-around awful person. He spits on his fans, pees in mop buckets at restaurants and other unmentionables. But, really, they’re moral compass is set in the same direction. I just will always hate JB and love Miley and that’s how it’s going to have to be. 
Either way, they can’t be expected to maintain the 12-year-old image they started with. It’s impossible. If they did, society would ridicule them for NOT growing up. But instead, they grew up, and are being ridiculed for that. So you can’t win. 

This our blog party, we can say what we want—Religion

I’ve had this written for a month and I still don’t know if I really want to post it or not  I don’t want to because for anyone who reads it, they’ll probably get very upset at me and I would like to keep some friends in my life. I WANT to post it because it’s how I feel. And this is my blog and I can say what I want. But I know it’s a touchy subject,  and I REALLY don’t meant to offend anyone who should read this, even if it comes across badly. So disclaimer. 
How do you respond to people asking you about God when you don’t necessarily consider yourself religious? What do you say to the question “has God shown you direction? What does He say about it?” What is the correct way to avoid it to not hurt the person asking, but keeps you out of an awkward situation? Is it okay to tell someone “I’ll be thinking about you” when they’re going through something instead of “I’ll pray for you”? At least telling someone they’ll be in your thoughts is truthful. 
Which is better? Flattering someone’s religious ego, or truthfully speaking to their heart? For some people, that’s the same thing. I feel like some people want to HEAR religious words; like it Will make the idea stronger. But if prayer isn’t sincere, and keeping them in your mind IS, should it matter if its spiritual or not?
If someone offers to pray for me, I’m not going to refuse it, because that’s their way of showing they care. But I have a problem when they expect the EXACT same from me. We all have different kinds of encouragement. 
I think it’s hard for people to understand when I’ve grown up in church, Bible studies, Christian schools, etc. but I think those things are part of the reason I feel the way I do about religion. 
Not to say that church is bad or Christian schools are bad. But some of the people I have met in these places aren’t, what I would consider, “great people.” I can’t stand when people act one way, but spend their summers on mission trips, just to return to their normal lives where they don’t hold up the morals one would think. I know too many of these people, and want to know what people who have NEVER been to church would think of this. 
I also know plenty of people who DO hold their same morals and standards through EVERY aspect of their lives. These people DO exist, but it doesn’t make up for the other kind of Christians that I see on my Facebook. 
Even if I were religious, I’m not evangelical. I am not one who wants to go on mission trips and preach on the corner or lead people through ways like that. If I were to “convert” anyone, I would want it to be because they saw how I acted and it was a good influence on them. I don’t want to SCARE people into believing in joining the first baptist church because they’ll go to Hell if they don’t. So much of what “church mission trips” seem to be is the warm fuzzies of “we saved 200,000 people today” when, unless you plant churches to CONTINUE those people’s growth, nothing for them will really change. So for the people who go and constantly leave people there to aid them, I think that’s great. If you have a passion and calling for it, go for that. But I hate when it’s expected of “Christians” to HAVE to evangelize when not everyone is called to do that. You can do just as much being a light, silently, if that’s more your style. 
Another reason “religion” has been difficult for me to accept is the arguments that take place surrounding the Bible. NO ONE will ever interpret things the same way, but every person thinks they’re the only correct view. I don’t like to argue, and I don’t like seeing arguments. So to be in an environment where your ideas and beliefs could be shot down–NO THANKS. 
It isn’t that I don’t believe in God. I don’t believe in the Big Bang. But I also don’t think I believe the world is only a few thousand years old. After some brief Wikipedia research, I’m almost leaning towards the “Ietsism” belief of “it FEELS like there’s something more…” But without having to call it this God or that. It sounds like a cop-out, but it’s not. In looking online, theism sounded a bit like what I’m feeling, except most theists reject any religious text…and I don’t know if I do. But on the other hand, I would accept other religious texts that normal Christians wouldn’t. I think there IS something like a God, or whatever people want to accept. But I don’t think there is an Alla and a God and a whatever other religions have. I think there is probably ONE and Islam and Christianity just have interpreted the same idea differently. THAT’S going to make people upset that I just said a Christian worships the same god as a Muslim or Hindu or tipi-living, buffalo hunting Native American. Even religions that are polytheistic, I think have the same “god” as anyone else. If “God” is karma or the cosmos or whatever some may believe, if there IS anything, I think it’s all the same. 
I love the line from Macklemore’s “Same Love” that say “whatever God you believe in, we come from the same one.” That’s exactly how I feel about it. That if there is a single entity, it’s the only one. Whether you’re Christian or Hindu or whatever, the same “God” or entity or what have you created everyone. Religion is just each interpretation of the same thing.  
So I’m deeply sorry if I offended you, lone reader. But this is just my sole opinion. I hope you have your OWN thoughts, not just about religion, but about life. I want you to think for yourself on ALL matters. That’s what I’ve done, and that’s the reason I wrote this.