A Red Halloween

“Boys and girls of every age, won’t you like to see something strange?”

The end of the year is coming and soon, Fall will turn to Winter. I love this time of the year, this tone brings people together, there’s good food, memories are made in nearly every event that will occur, I especially am fond of decorating. Thinking up of ideas to display the holiday spirit, seeing the creativity in nearly every house and family. Even the holiday themed movies are interesting, one in particular was the Book of Life.

Produced by one of my favorite directors, Guillermo del Toro, my whole family was looking forward to seeing the movie that was based on the Mexican Day of the Dead. The movie was funnier than anticipated, but it revealed to me, how little exposure I’ve gotten to the holiday. Halloween came natural to me, I get more than a kick at the idea of scaring people, but that’s not what Día del Muertos represents.

This holiday is about family, it’s about honor and memory, ultimately it’s about love. It’s nothing new to hear about Latin American morals surrounding the idea of family, and this holiday fits perfectly in that. Our loved ones who have passed away continue to live on happily so long as we remember them fondly in our hearts. They are insulted when we cry over their deaths but would rather that we tell stories of the best times we’ve had with them. To laugh over the things that make them so dear to us, is the best way to honor them, it doesn’t matter whether or not there were things left unsaid or regrets between two parties, what matters is that Life goes on, that there is love present our hearts.

The love between two people are said to overcome any distance, why not the gap between this world and the next? Isn’t that the whole concept of Christianity? That God’s love is so grand, that it covers the whole whole and people’s hearts, is the message that Christ has been trying to tell us all these years.

Heh, it warms the heart to think this way.

Love. It helps us look back with courage and fondness, but to also be able to look forward, to make the best of our lives and to not be complacent with apathy or cowardice.

I thought about why we never celebrated Día del Muertos and, much to my regret, it was just something that we never really did. Whether it was just too painful or there were no fond memories to reflect upon, I wasn’t introduced to the celebration of it until that movie, The Book of Life. Because now I have someone to remember, someone whom I love and have had good memories with. I’m not sure if the rest of my family will want to participate, but at the very least, I still have this journal.

This year will be interesting for me, to celebrate Halloween and Día del Muertos, to terrify others with the face of death and then to sit with him and, reflecting and laughing. This will be my strange holiday.

What People Will Always Remember

Days ago, the world lost Maya Angelou. And upon her death, I remembered the only quote that ever stuck with me:

people will forget what you said and what you did, but people will always remember how you make them feel

Days ago, I was experimenting with means of communication, specifically, seeing how effective being direct with others would be. In my mind, I thought being direct would be most efficient, “do this. “ok, but which this or that?” “do that, then.” Done and done.

Oh, how wrong I was…

What I thought was being efficient and direct was being received as mean, disrespectful, hostile, and overall speaking with an attitude.

In essence, my being direct made things worse, communicatively

People have a wide range of assumptions and expectations, feelings and tolerances, and there is a huge gap for things to get vastly mistranslated.

People indeed need things to be clear, but not direction or even words, what people need most is to have clear feelings and intentions coming from one another. A smile, a kind gesture, even a slight touch, with gentleness and a loving heart, can penetrate any sort of mean demeanor one can possess. 

Heh, looking back, it was kinda silly of me to think that being direct and otherwise emotionless, would result in anything but utter disaster. 

No, people will always remember the way they feel whenever they’re around you, whether it’s feeling like you’re needed, loved, disrespected, or even hated. Which is probably why once a bond of trust with someone is broken, it’s hard to regain it, because they’ll always remember that feeling of betrayal.

So in order to truly conquer the hearts of others, it’s not by force or fear, but with love. If we can learn to be compassionate towards others, we can help them, guide them, and even teach them to help others. 

Heh, it’s like the Sun and North Wind all over again. It’s funny how much power lies in a smile towards someone. If you do it long enough, they won’t remember the act of you smiling at them, but the feeling that you are smiling with them.

Faith like a Seed

Today, I was having a conversation with Nena and Greggy, and the conversation shifted towards me and my problems with faith. They both repeated, in their own words, the concept that Faith is only felt within, it’s not something tangible to be seen with the eyes nor the ears, it must be felt first, then there’s something to be seen with one’s eyes and ears.

And it was funny, because the examples they used, were things that I’ve seen in my own life, that instance where something tells you to pull back and you casually listen to it, only to have avoided tragedy, like that accident I saw a couple of weeks ago. And it was reminded of me, that God only gives us what we need when we need it, even if it’s something as important as a job or the future of some young individual trying to be a doctor. But as my sister put, “That means that you’re not ready for this yet, that God is saying, ‘I need to prepare you just a little bit more'” I believe that what she speaks is genuinely true, not that those were exactly God’s words, but that there’s a reason why I’m not in medical school yet, why everything has, and is, happening exactly as it should.

And from all of the things that they were describing how faith should be felt in one’s life, I felt like these things were already happening. Which led me to believe that, that level of faith that I thought eluded me, was already in front of my all along.

I remember a phrase that goes, “The last person to realize that they’re surrounded by a body of water, is the fish.”  It’s quite possible, that I was already at the point that I wanted to be in my faith, but that I didn’t believe I was in it, still tells me that something is missing, “You believe in God, the Devil and all of them, but you can still not have faith.” another helpful quote from my loving sister, “To have faith, is to love something so much that you’re willing to die for them.” So this makes me wonder if I have enough faith to be willing to die for it. I always thought I did, but then I think about all of the times when I didn’t take the chance to thank God for all that He’s done for me, in front of friends and family. Heh, so many missed opportunities…

But now things are different, I have the faith planted within me like a seed, now all I need to do is with all of the patience in the world, watch it grow, as I strength it, feed it, care for it, and nurture it with all of the love that I have. And eventually, it’ll no longer be a seed, it will be something that blossoms into beauty and love.

I’ve gotta say, writing my posts on another medium and then putting it on here is working out pretty well for me, this is definitely something that I’ll maintain.

Archetypes and Activities

Day 21: Take a look at our excellent series on the four archetypes of the mature masculine. Read the descriptions, and think about which archetype you most strongly resemble, and that which seems to be your greatest weakness. Write about how you can achieve better balance between all four archetypes and identify the specific ways in which you can strengthen your weaknesses and harness your perhaps overpowering strengths.

Alright, it’ll take WAY too much time re-reading all of the series of the four archetypes of mature masculine, I’m going to base my answers on this chart and what I can remember.
OK, in my current place in life, there’s not going to be much that I’m strong in, but we’ll see.

  • Lover Archetype: I believe that I’m fairly strong in the Lover archetype, the concept is that you love life and everything in it, and I do. It doesn’t matter where I’m at, or who I’m with, I’m always looking at life with happiness or optimism. Heh, in the truest sense, I’m a Lover.
  • Magician Archetype: OK, this is the constant striving to learn archetype, and due it’s broad spectrum covering just the general desire to learn on any level, I’d say I’m also a Magician, I’m always trying to learn new techniques, ie. Handstanding and now the Typewriter Pull-up, I’m seeking to learn more about my faith, and just broadening my horizons on several levels. So I’m not a complete Magician, I’m well within the high end of that triangle.
  • Warrior Archetype: Although I’m not really a warrior in any sense, I’d put myself right at the end of the Hero archetype, I’m still searching for a Purpose, trying to still be Mindful, and all of the rest of the traits that would make one a complete Warrior. So although I’m not a Sadist nor a Masochist in any sense, I can’t in complete honesty call myself a complete Warrior either. So I’m in the middle of this Triangle.
  • King Archetype: In this archetype, The Divine Child is a man who’s young at heart. Based on Isa’s labelling me as a “Halfa” (Half adult, half child) I’d say I’ve achieved the Divine Child and am somewhere in the King Triangle. I’m not ruler of anything except myself, and I’m no where near independent enough to be. So for this, I’d put myself as still the Divine Child, I’m not even in the triangle of the Mature Masculine spectrum yet.

Day 22: Imagine you’ve been provided with a livable income for the rest of your life. You have no need to work, but aren’t rolling in money either. How would you spend your time? Your answer will say a lot about you and what your passion may be. Perhaps this discovery confirms your career choice, or maybe it makes you realize you’re not actually where you want to be in life. If it’s the latter, think about how you could make money with that passion, and even draw up a game plan for getting to that point. As much of our lives are spent at work, to dislike what you’re doing will not only drain you of energy and willpower, but also leave you looking back and wondering why you didn’t do anything to change it.

Heh, if I have livable income, then I’d find a way to start saving some of that for a rainy day by restricting myself of some luxuries and then after I have something of a sufficient back-up, I’d, while still living restrictively, would make some purchases of things that I’d like to have: Gaming Consoles, Movies, etc. But in the end, I’d like to go out and make the most of my time, doing something productive, or creative. With sufficient income, I’d go to school, get another degree, or resume my attempts to get into med school, and one thing I would like to do is travel, and see the world, expand my horizons and live a good life full of experiences and interesting people. I always said that if I become a doctor, I’d help people for free if I could. All I need is that one chance! I’ll get in! “Positive thinking”, my sister always tells me, “Positive thinking.”

What is $20?

Weeks after my Mother has told us that we need to watch what we use, for financial purposes, my Father walks into the living room, my brothers and I sitting on the couch fixated on the TV as usual. He looks at us, then the screen, and back at us again, He says, “Let’s go!” motioning me. I jump out of the couch and follow him to the door.

We get into the car and we’re driving in the evening, “Where are we going?” I ask finally, “Oh well, you said ‘Pizza’ so we’re getting pizza.” He responds. Shocked, I say, “Wait, didn’t Mom tell us that we need to save money? We can’t go for pizza!” “Well… What’s $20?”

There’s a phrase that goes, “When you have 2 shillings, you buy Bread with one, and a Flower with the other.”

I’ve always wondered about this phrase, and the purpose of such a thing, I mean, it’s interesting in the sense that it’s saying, ‘buy something you need, and then buy something fun/flirty/loving/inedible’ and my Father saw that, despite whatever hardships one is experiencing, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a bit of fun. If nothing else, that small bit of fun helps you by relaxing you, and if only for a moment, taking your mind off the utter stress you’ve been placed under.

My Father realizes that no one can be serious 100% of the time, there has to be– no, there must be time to laugh, to smile, to forget about one’s worries, and lose oneself in a moment of pure joy, of relaxation, of love.

The world isn’t perfect, that’s given, and it’ll always be hard on you, without withholding any blow however severe, the world is cruel, calculating, and oftentimes confusing. But no where in there does it say that you can’t tickle someone, that you can’t hug a friend, you can’t kiss a love, you can’t laugh with your children.

And then you see it, despite the fact that the flower costs as much as a loaf of bread, the flower is just as necessary as the bread, sure you could’ve bought 2 loaves, yet you’d have too much bread and something goes to waste, not the loaves, but your own heart. If you don’t place happiness, or joy, or laughter, or even a bit of stupidity in your life, you’ll constantly be surrounded by stress, which weighs rather heavily on the consciousness, without something light, you’ll strain your thought processing will be on constant high gear, thus wearing out far beyond it’s intended expiration date.

Because once you really think about it, what is it that you’re worrying about? Bills, electronics, heat, water, shelter, all tied to pieces of paper saying this and that. We are designed to respond to this by throwing other smaller pieces of paper at it, and they respond by throwing other pieces of paper at us, and we reply with our previous response, and the cycle continues, until someone stops throwing paper at the other.

We are biologically designed to think, to move, to feel, to live, to laugh, to love, to smile, to cry, to feel pain, to reach for the stars, we are not designed to stress over notices, payments, overdue bills, insurance, debts, money. The body is meant to move, whether inside or out, we are not meant to be under paper yokes that bind us to a singular place, we’re meant to stress that someone/something is coming to kill us or eat us, not whether they’ll take our money or our stuff away.

That’s why there’s a Flower that accompanies the loaf of bread, or a pizza that goes with the house payment, because sometimes you need that little victory over the stress, that small piece that says, “I will have this moment, just for me, where the world cannot touch it.”

These moments are manifested in various things, from flowers to pizza.

It’s necessary to have a moment to yourself, a moment that seems insignificant in the long run, as well as the memory, until you’ve overcame your obstacles and you can look back. Your accomplishments will be the triumph, but those moments that you’ve forgotten will be the ‘umph’ that kept you ‘tri’-ing.

Heh, in these moments when you think overall it means nothing, yet you find out that it is in these moments that you’ve learned how meaningful they truly are.

$20 can buy so many necessary things, from food to a payment, yet, sometimes the most necessary thing in life, is the thing that makes life worthwhile.