1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 67: We All Breathe the Same Air.

Another day of living, taking and giving. We take with every inhale, we give back with every exhale. There is no escaping this until we stop breathing and leave this earth. We all breathe the same air while we’re here so we are all brothers and sisters, and we must start to live by this truth rather than just talk or debate about it. Philosophizing is great, and it is in fact necessary, but if every truth of life is reduced to just an idea, which can either be accepted or discarded, then we have to wonder about the utility of our philosophy. The truth that we are all connected is evident to all of us, it is not a great hidden mystery. It is a truth that we can’t just talk about, we must feel it, we must understand it, we must put it into practice at all times. Whenever a new possibility arises, or any new situation, we are quick to look for whatever we can gain from it. Too often however, we completely overlook another even more important aspect of it, which is what we can give, what we can contribute to any given situation or project. Life itself, the world, society, these are the biggest projects we have going on on this planet, and if we were born here, if we find ourselves alive right now, it’s because we have something to contribute to them. Whether you believe in God or not, if you believe that life has any meaning at all, any deep significance, then there must be a meaning for you being born in the family you were born in, in the city and the country you were born in. Regardless of what your religion might teach, regardless of the metaphysical implications of your belief about life, we all find ourselves alive, in this life, in this crazy world, not really knowing why. We are all trying to live our lives as best as we can, all trying to make sense of the events which happen all around us every day, to integrate them into our lives, to learn what we can so that we may live life better every day. Life is about falling down and getting back up time and time again, it’s about failing, learning from our failures, and then moving forward with our new knowledge, trying to do better tomorrow. None of us have it all figured out, but a lot of us love pretending that we do. We love acting as if we have all the answers, since this makes us feel somewhat secure of our position in life. We look down at others who don’t have it all figured out like we firmly believe we do, and we stop associating with people since we don’t want to be dragged down to their level, or we don’t think they have anything to contribute to our lives. When we do this, we stop ask for help when we need it, and we don’t try to help others either, we never consider the possibility that anyone else might have any way to help us with anything. We isolate ourselves in a comfortable bubble, we focus all our time on trying to improve our own lives, and we ignore all the ways in which we could help all those around us. The problem with this is that we can never truly progress if we neglect the social aspect of our nature. We are all social creatures, we were all born with the capacity to interact because we are meant to interact, we are meant to build together, we are meant to help each other up when we fall. Things work much better this way. It is something that has been proven time and time again, something that we all know, yet we continue trying to live our lives on our own terms, never listening to any advice, never stepping out of our comfort zone to help anyone in need. When enough people start living like this, others begin to sense it. People feel vulnerable, like they can’t trust their neighbors, they can’t trust the teachers, the cops, the politicians, the police. But who are these politicians and police? Who are the criminals and the terrorists? They are people like us, breathing, living people. So, as we start to feel suspicious about our government and also about the criminals, about the terrorists as well as the police, then we are really starting not to trust humanity as a whole. We all try to get ahead, and in our desperation to get ahead, we are quick to step on others to get what we want. We worry only for ourselves, and it is easy for us to ignore the pain we have caused others as long as we can enjoy the benefits we got from it ourselves. We never take into consideration that, with every dishonest act, with everything we do to harm others and benefit ourselves, we help create an atmosphere of hostility, of distrust, an environment in which no one can rely on anyone else. Since more and more people start feeling this way, they also start acting out of desperation and fear, they start to “understand” that the world is a wicked place, that people only look out for themselves, no matter where we go, and that if we want to survive, we will have to do the same. So many of us have adopted this attitude, and because of that it’s almost impossible to fully trust anyone these days. This is really a sad state of affairs, since our whole society runs on trust, and the more we feel that we are isolated from everyone else, the more we feel that we don’t need anyone else to live life, that we don’t need to connect with anyone else, the more we will contribute to the downfall of civilization by helping to sever the connections between human beings. Before you do anything, before you start any new project, take a moment to remember that life is not only about taking, but also about giving. Think of what you can do to make a difference in someone’s life, even if it’s a small, positive difference. We all have to start somewhere, and maybe we can reverse some of the damage that has already been done.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 68.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 43: Maintaining A Happy Marriage.

Marriage can be something really special, if approached properly. The unification of two people as one, the commitment to make things work, to keep on moving through life’s hurdles together – these things are what create a truly unbreakable bond between two people. Before I got married, I did have some doubts about whether I would be making the right decision. I was only twenty-two, and many older people told me I was way too young, that I probably wasn’t seeing things in the proper light. I did take these comments into consideration, if only briefly, yet I didn’t let them faze me or cloud my judgment. I had to make this great decision on my own, I had an amazing girlfriend who was fully committed to me, who was down to earth and down to be there for me through thick and thin. I knew that it was time for me to return back home, and she didn’t have a visa to go with me. I knew that she was a decent girl in every sense, that her family would only really accept and respect me if we were married. Otherwise, there was no chance of her travelling anywhere with me. What could I do? I could appreciate this blessing and make things official after a period of working and saving u p some money, then returning to my birth country, or I could continue my life of partying and chasing thrills and girls in Vancouver, looking for wilder and wilder experiences, finding no true connection beyond the superficial. There was no doubt that we loved each other, just as we still do, whether married or not. The idea for the wedding so early in our relationship was really so that Maria could move back to Canada with me. We’re currently waiting on the paperwork to be processed, so in a couple more months, God willing, we should be catching a plane back to Vancouver. We aren’t intimidated by the changes that may come, even if my wife has never lived in cold weather. Honduras is known for its heat, so we will probably be getting her a lot of sweaters as soon as we arrive. I say that we aren’t intimidated by the changes that may come later in life since we are committed to each other and to always pushing through no matter what life may throw at us. In life, one always has a decision to make. Everything has a deeper dimension to it, every though, every idea, every connection, relationship, love. Everything can be approached in a superficial way, analyzed from a distance, from behind our twisted ways of perceiving all that we encounter, or it can be approached with respect, with a sincere attempt to fully understand, to become one with it, to really live each experience, and to fully live life as a whole. I knew that this was the time, I knew that she was the one. I knew that if I threw this away, then I would be throwing out something priceless, someone’s true love and affection, true commitment and connection, for random possibilities, for alcoholic hookups at clubs and house parties, for lonely nights surrounded by lots of shallow and empty-headed people. I knew that I had to make my life meaningful, that I had to honor the meaningful connection which had touched both our hearts and so greatly impacted both our lives during the time we spent together in Honduras. I can see now that U made the right decision, as following what we know is truly meaningful and worth pursuing can never steer us in the wrong direction. There’s less than a month left now until we celebrate our two year anniversary, so I know I have to think of something really special, not because of any obligation, but in order to show Maria how much I appreciate everything she means to me, everything she does as she keeps her part of the deal in this marriage game. Marriage is great for spiritual work as well, a firsthand experience of merging one’s life with someone else’s. The only way it can work is if each person sacrifices some things, sometimes, in order to be in agreement with the other. Each person should learn from one another, we should learn from our wife or husband’s strengths and weaknesses, just as we should learn from our own, and we should try to gently help each other out, so that we may cut some of the suffering of life from each other’s experience, as we share every tear and every laugh together, making tragedy more bearable, making love even more glorious. Random acts of kindness, always finding an opportunity to help, always telling each other how much you mean to each other, these are things that are needed to keep love flowing. Even after marriage, one should never become lazy and suddenly stop the old habits one previously had, habits which made both of you fall in love in the first place. If the love is true then even these issues can be worked out, yet much suffering is bound to arise in a marriage if either party is unable to properly show appreciation to other, to properly communicate his or her love and affection. Marriage provides an opportunity for us to become less selfish, to see another as my self, to learn what it means to care for another human being, to sacrifice our own petty pleasures at times, in order to satisfy someone else, to make them happy, to see them smile. These things create humility, they create more love where it already exists, they create a warm atmosphere where honest communication can take place. Marriage allows two people to learn how to fully accept another person, and also how to help them change for the better, if they want to change, without forcing any beliefs or any of our own values upon them, but rather trying to understand and to create connections, through compassion and through love and understanding, through acceptance and patience, through unconditional respect and support.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 44.

~ Rebel Spirit

1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 41: Don’t Take Family for Granted.

I went to my cousin’s high school graduation today. They put up a video of some childhood photos for each of the kids who were graduating. It was great seeing him happy, enjoying his graduation ceremony along with friends. I don’t remember my own graduation ceremony, since I never went. I wasn’t invited, since I got kicked out of school, and finished my high school education online. Thankfully that was an option, and it ended up being for the best anyway, since I graduated even earlier than my classmates who didn’t get expelled. Putting my own past aside though, my cousin’s ceremony really brought up a good feeling within me, a feeling of true bonding between families, of children making their parents happy, of how great it is when a child actually wants to follow the path their parents hope they will follow. I could never relate to these things, although in a way I still wish I could. I’ve always wanted to do my own thing, and it didn’t always end up with in the greatest of situations. I do know the joy that comes from a family spending time together and simply getting along though, a feeling of unconditional love and support. We often spend a lifetime searching for this in other people, searching for the group of people with whom we’ll feel comfortable, who we can be ourselves with. It turns into a crazy kind of desperation for us, even for many people who already have this love available in their family, yet have always taken it for granted. Sometimes, we feel ashamed to be ourselves with our families, since we come to feel guilty for taking, taking, taking so much without giving back even half as much. We feel as though we’ve got to pay them back for all the wonderful things they’ve done for us. Someone who is an amazing example for us of how to live life is now avoided because they we feel a deep sense of shame when we’re around them, we know that they have been there for us through the worst of times, and that they truly know us. We shouldn’t feel any shame regarding this however, our families are the few people who we can truly be vulnerable with. We can’t always trust everyone we meet, we can’t share our feelings with every person we find on the street, yet most of us are provided with people who unconditionally love and support us right from the get-go, from the moment that first breath is taken, and even before then. Yes, it’s true that sometimes parents can be a bit too controlling, but unless there is something really serious going on, physical or emotional or unspeakable kind of abuse, unless this is the case then a person has no excuse to completely disregard a parent who only wants what’s the best for them. This doesn’t mean that their advice, or their opinions, should be our own, and that they should be followed without fault even after we reach adulthood. It means, however, that we should carefully consider their ideas, sometimes people who have known us for a long time might see things about ourselves that we can’t see, being so caught up in our own personal drama, unable to look at things from a different perspective than our own. This is exactly what was going on with my parents and I during my high school years. I loved them so much, I still do and always will, and I couldn’t bear to let them know that I was completely disregarding their advice, that I was doing things, consciously doing things, which to them were completely outrageous, things that no one in their right mind would do. Looking back on some of those things, I see that in some ways they were right. In some they were wrong, and some of those habits I still have today, but a lot of times they were right. I couldn’t see they were right though, I was too blind to see what was going on in my own stupid lifestyle, so I ignored what they said, I ignored their pain and suffering because the pleasure of the trance I was caught up in was too heavy, it was too euphoric to escape from, no matter how wrong I knew I was. I think of them quietly sitting at home, suffering for my actions, the actions of an ungrateful, rebellious teenager who just couldn’t stop getting into senseless troubles. I think of my mother’s tears, of my father’s temper towards everyone at home, stressed about my situation. Ignorance is bliss, and I wasn’t there with them, suffering with them, as we are supposed to do with our family members. Instead, I was the very reason for their suffering, and I was laughing all along, laughing harder and harder to make sure I wouldn’t cry. But sometimes I would trip, and I would eventually cry. I would think back of times, such as today’s graduation, times in my own life when I saw my mother smile, proud of her firstborn son, when I heard my father cheer me on as a child. I thought back on times of severe stress, of fighting and fussing and yelling at home, of sadness and silence, of rainy days, tormented by the consequences of my own actions, the suffering doubled by the fact that I had spread it throughout my household, that I was the cause of so much pain. If only the pain was all my own, then I could deal with the consequences on my own. If only I could leave, then I would be the only one responsible, the only one held accountable, but the only one suffering, the only one enjoying and suffering. That would be just fine by me. I couldn’t wait to leave from my parents’ home and party every night and suffer every morning, alone, without thinking about reality. Such is the state of many young people, for me it’s taken a few years to even begin escaping from that state of mind, but I’m making progress. We all need help sometimes, and I know it’s tempting to behave as if we’re all along, us against the world, and that we’ll make it on our own, that we’ll show them. Keep cool though, put your pride to the side, and appreciate those who love you, even if they disagree with you, even if they annoy you. Try your best to understand them, to truly listen, especially to your family. Give them a chance, build a stronger bond, family is meant to help each other. Don’t take them for granted and always do your best to keep the peace with them.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 42.

~ Rebel Spirit

“WHERE THE LOVE AT” (produced by Shadowville)




Written and recorded by Rebel Spirit. Produced by Shadowville Productions. Mixed and mastered by Rebel Spirit. Cover art edited by Rebel Spirit. We all need to take a real honest look at ourselves and accept the amazing fact that we all come from the same essence. We can’t go on living in the same way we have for milennia while somehow avoiding worldwide chaos. Even with the heights of all our technological, social and medical advances, machines actually contribute to our alienation from society and our poor health, people still struggle all their lives through poverty and violence, and millions still die every day due to incurable illnesses. It’s definitely time we all stop and think about the message of Truth which can be found within us, the same message some enlightened beings have attempted shared with us since the beginning of time, regardless of being ridiculed and mocked, persecuted and crucified. They all tried to show us something so simple, yet so precious; something so full of goodness that it encompasses all that is good, from respect among all beings, to compassion for the less fortunate, to intrinsic, unconditional love for those we build a bond with throughout our lives. If we all look for this Truth within us, regardless of race, nationality, religion or belief system, we will clearly see that love is the answer very much needed to the uncertain questions we all face in today’s corrupted world. So I ask you, “Where the love at?!?”

~ God bless | ~ REBEL SPIRIT