Sunday, March 28, 2010

Reflections After Mass

Theme Song: Above all by Lenny LeBlanc

March 28, 2010 - Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

See the following link for Mass Readings.

The reading of Isaiah reminds me that, no matter how good one may be at speaking or communicating in some fashion, no matter how well one can listen, and even if one is obedient it does not mean that things in life will not try to tear a person down. No, these things will happen to a person no matter how good they try to be. So, it's a matter of how one reacts to the difficulties that makes the difference. You can either drown in the sorrows, and let the troubles over take you, or you can fight them, tread water and put hope in God, as well as not let the things that bring you problems get to you. It's easier said than done.

But what interested me was the enactment of the Gospel from Luke, to which my Parish did the alternative reading. The Psalm and reading of St. Paul's letter to the Philippians mainly segues into the Gospel. And what is important to me about the Gospel is that it indeed shows the battle of ideas and principalities, and what happens when the conflict manifests into the physical world. The charges made against Jesus are that he is misleading the people, won't pay taxes to Caesar, and is claiming to be the king of the Jews. What it boils down to is that they don't like what Jesus is teaching. The masses prefer a murderer over Jesus, even those closest to him deny him. He is mocked and sent to be executed by crucifixion. And yet, among his dying words are, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."

Forgiveness is hard. Most of the world is unforgiving. And living in the world, it is no wonder why it can be so easy to be tempted, or flat out just not be able to forgive. But still, Jesus does so even unto death.

I look back on the past few months, and yeah, I have to admit not being able to forgive easily. I have felt betrayed by people I considered friends. Mocked and hated by these same so-called friends. I have been exiled from a few places I once called home in SL. And I have had even family members in real life reject me, though the last one is from nearly 2 years ago, and that is one of the greatest betrayals I have had to deal with in my life. I won't go into detail, but, yep, it didn't help me in being able to forgive. And yet, when I think about it, those who have hurt me, and even hindered my life in ways that have made it difficult to move forward, a part of me knows, that they don't know what they are doing. Or if they do, they have done so in blindness of heart and mind.

In a way, it's like in the movie Avatar. The humans, they don't understand the Na'vi. They fear them, look at them as a nuisance, as savages. The humans reason it as a matter of security and survival, even though it is they that some to the land and are devouring it of its nature. Killing its Mother, as was done on Earth in killing their own Mother. But they know not what they do, and are distracted from the bigger picture. Unobtanium, while of material value, is hardly worth anything compared to the value of Pandora itself as a whole. This is true of Earth as well. It may not be some biological network in the same way as Pandora, but the world we live in in real life is filled with energy that we borrow. We live on alloted time, we can exert our energy given as we please because of free will. But, we don't often know what to do with what is given to us.

Jesus, then, is an oddity to us, because, if one is Christian, then what we are to believe is that Jesus, as the Son of God was, from the beginning, and ever shall be, God. In that, no matter what area in development he was in the formation of his carnal body, he always was, and always knew who he was. This is not so for the majority, if not all of humanity. We are taught philosophically that we are always developing and becoming, not that we are at the fullness of who we really are. We have to search and seek out such things that we think will improve us, and bring us closer to being whole. And yet, Jesus was, is, and shall always be whole regardless of his physical stages of development.

And so, humanity, when it interacts with something different in nature than itself often reacts out of fear. Consider, the reason it can be so difficult to forgive can be due to fear. Sure, it may be because someone angered you. But yet, anger comes for many reasons, often because of disappointments or frustrations. And there are feelings of hurt involved. So thus, fear of being hurt again drives the wedge needed to make forgiving undesirable. But yet, Jesus can forgive - and he can do so without fear, even under the pains of death.

So, when I think of what has happened to me, as related above, a part of me just has to say, "So what if they harmed me?" I sought out to take on the imitation of Christ, and, with getting reviled for doing so, how can I complain when I find similar suffering, but yet not to the point of death that Christ went through. It hurts, but still, I must forgive. For those who did what they did to me know not what they do. They may not be sorry, and are unforgiving themselves, but that doesn't mean I can't forgive.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Seems to be the theme today, or at least one of the main themes of my life that transpired today. I felt it hit after taking a test that I knew I could score higher on if I just put more aggression into answering the questions quicker and with more confidence that I know the right answers. Got it after while talking to my job counselor who said today was the most she had heard me speak in meetings with her. Even more so got it after going to a mock interview and receiving critique back that one of the things I needed to work on was confidence and being more aggressive in selling myself in an interview. And then walks in my Dad just a moment ago to check on me, who gives me his usual mixed message regarding having more confidence because irl, I really don't have many strikes against me. But, then, he does his usual rub about how people with worse records are able to get jobs, left and right apparently, and I'm still treading water in the job market. Yeah, that's a big confidence boost right there. <.<

So yeah, I need to work on confidence. How? I figured I've been on the right track lately, now, with trying to work through the employment service. I've not always asked for help, least not right away, and maybe not with the confidence necessary. But I'm trying to ask more and seek help more. Not that I have any choice, since relying on myself alone is getting me nowhere. You can be a nice guy, but you know, nice guys don't finish first too often. It's a harder road to take. Because, it seems, the more you can push people around, or otherwise force yourself into something, the more likely you will be to actually be continuing to do it. And people seem to prefer pushing more than guiding. It's strange thing, but, it plays out everywhere, even on SL.

SL pushy? Some of you may ask. Hell yes it is. It can be very demanding on people, to even a ridiculous level, considering that, if you don't pull yourself away from SL, there's no way one can keep their virtual life without their real life diminishing. And when it feels like the demands of this virtual life are becoming more than that of an already demanding real life, that's when the stress takes its toll on the citizens of the metaverse. Because, despite being able to teleport into numerous places in seconds, and with the use of alts be able to literally be two (or more) places at once, despite all these god-like feeling abilities of SL, we're still human afterall, and multitasking virtual lives on top of real life can and does become challenging at times, even so daunting that there's no way to keep up with the demands.

What to do then? Well, the easy way out is to just pull the plug on SL. But that's not the best way. However, sometimes it becomes necessary, especially when people in the virtual world are so caught up on trying to take your time and steal it for themselves. Why? Because some people are just that greedy. They either forget or just don't care that there's someone in another part of the world that is interacting with them and has a real life that they have to participate in to, especially in order to maintain a virtual world in the first place. And then, there's also the feeling that, if you don't keep active and are unable to attend to the demands of everyone, or, in particular, the ones you care about, then soon, those people are just going to decide to abandon you because you're busy and they aren't going to wait for you to return or have time to do things with them. People in SL rarely have much patience, which is sad, really. And it's also the reason that this virtual world becomes demanding, because impatient and greedy people that want to take up your time are going to do just that, if you let them.

And why do we let people online do that? Usually because there is an invested interest or desire, generally mutual between those that demand something and those that are being demanded of something. And, in some ways, it's not really a bad thing. The thing that makes it so generally has to do with priorities. And when priorities get screwed up, that's when demands become a bad thing. If there's anything that is hard for me to tolerate in SL, it is when priorities are not set and put in sync between the demand or desire of something and where they lay among the people involved. When I feel I have wasted time waiting on someone to which has risen in priority for me for various reasons, but generally because I've grown to care for them, and that desire seems not to be in sync, then yes, I do get frustrated. When I come on, and start to speak with someone in that priority, and see have them pass up time to do something with me, of course I feel rejected. Why? Because of the invested interest and priority. If I didn't have that, I probably would be more apt to say, "Oh well, on to do something else." But, when there is a sense of priority and invested interest involved, and the person goes and does something else, it turns into, "Ok... I just logged in for nothing, thanks! >.<"

So, there's two options that come to mind then:

1. Give up on the invested interest.
2. Work things out.

For the first, let's face it, not every invested interest in SL is going to be worth keeping. Especially when the interest isn't equal or mutual between those that have the investment. Once invested interest drops due to unequal priorities, it's about then that those interests go out the door. Why? Because, quite frankly, it's a waste of time if only one person in the invested interest is trying to prioritize and make things work. So, if things can't be worked out, then it's better to pull out while the chips are high, rather than push and wind up forced out at the lowest point. Getting out while you're still ahead (or still have a head) can seem the best thing to do.

On the other hand, if those that have the invested interest together, and want to keep it together, then it would be better to work things out. Because if there is desire to keep things going, then there may be hope that those in the invested interest can figure out a way to work together.

Anyways, how that figures in with confidence? *shrugs* I suppose with confidence, clarity and resolve to do what's best becomes more clear and easy to do than without it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stray Child

I suppose it's hard to consider why this song was picked, let alone the title. The song itself doesn't seem very uplifting, and can feel rather melancholy. But, the title and song convey a few things, on first the general feeling of straying, or having strayed. The title, well, it's about yearning to find one's way, to no longer wander alone.

It is easy to get lost in one's own way. Sometimes we dive into things so deep, that we forget that we are indeed in an awesome story, the story of life. And it's easy to be in doubt and stray. And when a person feels like it's them against the world, one may cling to that lonesome folly. And clung to it, one may find themselves too close to the pain to have an adequate ability to perceive things.

But, even going through the pain, one may come though it and be taken back to proper ways. Though it may, in the moment, seem difficult to find, it really is easy. But it might take remembrance of the path to unfold through someone.

Now, a person may lose their way and feel too deep in that awesome story. But, they can also be found again, despite that lonesome folly.

For some time, I have felt stray in my wanderings. But I have felt like there's an awesome story out there to tell. Maybe I have even told a few before, but felt so defeated in the process, and then a sense of being ostracized, losing what I felt was family, to which, on one hand, some of them were, on the other, they were people that claimed to be, or at least friends. I felt like I had an awesome story to tell, and maybe I did. But, it got lost somewhere along the way.