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March 21, 2004

Silly test time


?? Which Of The Greek Gods Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

March 20, 2004

Stereotypes and Love

I was cleaning out some old email and came across an email I had never sent. My correspondent had sent me something saying that he was involved with someone who was anti-gay, while in contrast, he "loved" all gays and lesbians. He was saying it really bothered him that she was that way. I didn't quite know what to say to him, because I saw problems with both attitudes.

What I started to say to him was that the anti-gay attitude is a toughie. Leave someone with their ‎opinions? Try to convert them to what you think is the only right way to ‎think about an issue? Have an open dialog about it to find out what the ‎reasons are behind it?‎

But there is something more to what he said that caught my eye, and that was that he loved all gays and lesbians.

A friend of my daughter's is gay and has been open about it for some years. He is a wonderful person and I consider him much like the son I never had. In fact, he shares a lot of thing with me that my daughter does not (cooking, clothing, movies, the like). He and I once talked about gay and other stereotypes (the limp wrist, the swish, that type of thing) and of whether that sort of thing is all bad or something that can be acceptable in some contexts. We both agreed that stereotyping can be a useful cultural shortcut and can provide for some humor (whatever the subject) but it can also be quite harmful.

In light of that conversation, it seems to me that it is just as much a stereotype to say that one loves all of one sort of person as it is to say that one hates all of that sort.

I've had a few gay/lesbian friends, have at least one lesbian family member, and have known a much larger quantity of gay/lesbian co-workers and other acquaintances over the years. I couldn't say that "I love them" universally, any more than I could say that I "love" all children or all women or men or whatever, even though I have loved some of them individually. In fact, I am ‎automatically suspicious, I have to admit, when I hear someone saying that they love (or hate) "all" of something--all children, all women, whatever. That places that group on an unreasonable pedestal or in an unreasonable dungeon. I also wonder what it is about the person making such a statement that makes them feel they have to be so black-and-white about it. I just don't see how it is possible to "love" an entire class of any sort of human being. Some children, women, men, gays, and lesbians are wonderful people; some are not. And in most cases, with those I have known, who they were, whether someone I liked or not, had nothing to do with their sexual preferences/age/gender/species. In a few cases, their gayness or lesbianess or age etc.) was bound up tightly with who they were. But in no case was their gayness or lesbianess or other identification an automatic pass into the "love" or "hate" category.

What stopped me from ever sending my response to this person who said he loved all gays and lesbians was that I wasn't sure whether it was too challenging a thing for me to say. Some people run on the theory that those in our lives who challenge us are reflecting something back at us that we could work with. I think there is some truth to that, though I have seen that taken too far. One person I know keeps telling me it is her responsibility to fix everyone in her life who torches her off because, according to her, they aren't real and have no objective existence outside herself; they are only reflections of herself, and so it is her obligation to fix them; in fixing them she is fixing herself. That is, in my mind, taking an idea way too far. But I do think it is important to speak up when I see the need.

In retrospect, I should probably have sent my reply. To make up for it, I am posting my thoughts here where potentially thousands of people can have a chance to read it.

March 18, 2004

Thought of the Day

"No system of software is complete until it supports lying in all its complexity." —Ben Sittler, software engineer extraordinaire

March 13, 2004

Bravery and Falling in Love

In mid-December, I tuned into Metatron just to check in with him, since I hadn't officially channeled him (outside of prviate readings) for a while. He told me that he and I still have a lot of work to do together. He also said that he and my spirit friends had a gift for me coming soon. I remembered the first part because it is part of my life's calling, but promptly forgot the idea of the gift...after all, it could have been anything, even a wonderful flower or an unexpected check in the mail, and I don't like to have high expectations of good things coming to me. Though Metatron has never steered me wrong even in very improbable situations.

Then in January I met someone and fell in love with him. It has been a long time since I've been in a relationship--two years, to be more or less precise--and I've been glad of the time off. And for that matter, I wasn't looking for anything when this happened. In fact, I was just having fun playing a massive multi-player online role-playing game (called Final Fantasy XI, or FFXI for short). A massive multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) is a computer game in which you connect to a central set of computers over the Internet to play. One difference from regular computer games is that many--in fact, most--of the other characters in the game are being played by other real people. who could be anywhere; in this case, mostly either in Japan or the US. It is a very social game as a result.

While playing this game, I met this man and we started to chat. Nothing unusual there; I'm a personable person and one of the things I love about this game is the social aspect. But things started to click with us pretty quickly.

I should mention that there were a whole series of events and decisions that we each made that all had to fall in place in order for us to meet each other. For one thing, the game is duplicated on about 30 computer systems, each of which is separate from all the others. So to start with, we had to each have had the luck to have started playing the game on the same computer system. And the choices and decisions went from there...each having to be made in just one way by each of us for us to even run into each other and start to talk. All of these fell into place.

I won't give all the details because they are mostly of interest to the two of us. The progression was essentially from in-game chat to talking on the phone while playing the game to just talking on the phone and finally, to him flying out to California from 3,000 miles away to meet me. We both knew things were progressing faster than is usual for many relationships, and we talked about whether we wanted to put the brakes on or just follow our hearts. We both decided to just follow our hearts, but to make sure that we were truly listening to that inner guidance and the voice of wisdom that we all have access to within. And we did, and have, and will continue to do so, to the point where we were brave enough to say what was in our hearts before we met in person, which was that we loved each other.

We were both nervous about meeting in person--we only had some photos to go on for how we looked--and we are both realistic enough to know that what we thought we had might not be there when physical reality was added to the equation.

We needn't have worried, but it was healthy that we did. And in fact the entire relationship is healthy and wholesome. Unlike all my previous relationships, in which I ignored anything from a handful to a whole boatload of red flags, there have been no red flags with this man. He is different from any man I have ever been with before, and is so incredibly compatible with and perfect for me that all I can say is "Thank you" to the universe.

Which leads back to Metatron's gift. At one point when talking with my love, I said that he was a gift to me. And suddenly I remembered what Metatron had said, and realized that this man is indeed the gift that Metatron had told me was coming. So I say "thank you" to Metatron and all other spirit friends who had a hand in this, and I encourage anyone who may be struggling with relationships or lack thereof to have faith that the perfect person does exist for you. You just need to be clear in your heart and willing to be brave when needed.

Bravery means mostly overcoming your own fears and saying what you know is the right thing to say even if it requires a struggle--even a hard struggle--for you to do so. I have already had to do so a few times. I was afraid of his reaction if I spoke up, but I knew that if I wanted the relationship to continue to grow stronger and deeper, I had to share everything that related to the two of us, including uncomfortable feelings and feelings I would rather have hidden.

Which leads to another aspect of relationships that many people don't realize is important: A relationship needs to be founded on trust, the deeper and more absolute the better--and on good communication and, of course, love, honesty, and respect.

I trust this man more than I have ever trusted anyone before, and having this trust, I realize how much I ignored my inner senses before in previous relationships, including the fact that I came to feel in each relationship, based on their repeated words, actions, and behavior, that the man I was with at the time could not be fully trusted. And trust isn't just a matter of whether the person is truthful. It is also a matter of whether they are on your side and can be relied upon to support and defend you; be loyal to you; not turn on your privately or, worse yet, in public. It means that you know they have good intentiosn toward you and actually mean you well. I am sorry that it took me this long to figure all this out and to realize that I have never had this before in a relationship, but I am joyful that I finally do and that I can tell the difference because I have had the previous experiences to compare this one with.

I am not saying that others need to have bad relationships to have a good one--many people don't--but what I will say is that if you want a good relationship, the place to start is inside yourself. Pay attention to what you are feeling and thinking, and act on what you think is the right thing to do. Set some guidelines for what you will and won't tolerate in a relationship, then stick by them. And hold out for the best. You might as well.