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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 57: True Love.

I hope we can all find true love and affection in life. I used to date just for fun, for casual sex and for my ego to have someone to call its own. I can’t imagine ever going back to that mentality now that I’ve experienced the blessing of real romantic love and affection. I couldn’t imagine waking up without my wife, without the person I’ve grown to love so much, who I keep on learning to love more and more as the days go by. We are about to celebrate two years of marriage. In total we’ve been together for like five years now, and it’s been so amazing to share so many wonderful moments with her throughout those years. I don’t claim to be an expert at living life, and I’m not really too sure how I ended up with such an amazing lady, but I’m sure glad life worked out the way it did, and I pray it continues on the same course. No matter who you’re with, what really matters in a relationship is commitment and communication. There needs to be open communication between both partners, and even then there will be misunderstandings, but the goal is to lower their frequency. When there is true commitment, both partners are willing to put in the necessary work for a relationship to continue to run smoothly, acknowledging that trouble is bound to come no matter how careful we are, but that with the power of the love which we share we will be able to overcome it. If this is not something which is understood then any small problem can break a relationship’s foundation. It is much easier to call it quits than it is to put aside our pride and at least attempt to make things work out. I knew that it was meant to be for Maria and I when I understood that we shared this common attitude towards love, towards our own relationship. We may have a whole lot of differences, but the main thing that matters is that we are both fully committed to each other. Some might say we are both deluded, and that one of us is bound to abandon the other as soon as things get really tough, but the truth can only be known by those having the experience anyway. We must each use our discernment when choosing a partner, especially when we are considering one for an entire lifetime, but all I can personally do is relate my own experience of what I believe to be my relationship with the woman that I was destined to be with, my life partner, my wife. When two people who share this attitude of sincere commitment to each other come together, this is when true love can blossom and grow. When we are not ready to face the daily battle of sacrificing our own desires for the good of those we love, if we are looking for all we can gain from a relationship without considering what we can contribute to it, then we are not ready for real love. Love is not selfish, and is always looking for the good of the beloved, attempting to love the beloved as itself. We must at least love our life partner as we do ourselves, if we are not yet capable of loving our neighbors and the whole world’s population as we love ourselves. When there is true connection, sexual embrace and union take on a brand new dimension, a holy aspect. When there is true connection, when trust and true love has been established between two lovers then the whole character of a relationship is holy in a way, it is the truest form of union there can be. Every day I thank God for the opportunity of sharing my life with my wife, and I pray for the strength to love her even more than I love myself, to exceed her expectations and to become fully selfless towards her, to know her always more and more, to become completely united. We all need to cherish those we claim we love, we should appreciate everything about them. I never used to think of these things when I was living the party life, when I dated girls here and there just based on appearance and nothing more. When we live in this way, we come to believe that love is a mere superstition, and that sexual pleasure is the highest human pleasure possible. We chase sexual pleasure all our lives when we think in such a way. We become completely ignorant to the truth that sexual pleasure can never compare to, and can only be truly experienced and enjoyed when it is a product of, true love. We take the idea of love away from sex, so that we can commercialize sex and ridicule love. We do this since we are afraid to be vulnerable, we are afraid to truly be one with another, to part ways with our own selfish need to fulfill our own pleasures whenever we wish. When we come to experience true love in a romantic relationship, there is always a deep connecion which keeps both partners in a state of understanding, of forigveness and of support for each other. There is no blame, no using each other to gain anything. My wife and I use our debit cards interchanghably, and we work at the same company. We use the same phone most of the time, there is nothing to hide, no secrets. How much destructive stress is generated by lying and cheating, why not dedicate oneself to growing one’s relationship or marriage instead of chasing limitless sexual pleasure? In such a loveless society as we live in now, it is no wonder that so many people have cut out love from their hearts, that so many people have romantic relationships which are completely devoide of love. I wonder why the miracle happened to me, perhaps so that I could grow up and have something, someone, to live for, to truly love.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 58.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 56: Watch What You Say.

I hear people talk about so many useless and random things. I don’t criticize them on the spot, or behind their back to anyone, since I remember the days when I also used to speak just for the sake of speaking, just to be seen, just to be heard and acknowledged. I always had to make my opinion known, I always tried to have people see me in a certain light or think of me in some specific way, and so the things I said were just calls for attention, even when I myself didn’t see that at the time. I had to make my life into what I thought it should be, I had to make people know me, know who I am, what my beliefs were, how the system was wrong and I was right, and how my way of life was the only correct way to live life: recklessly, without a care in the world or a thought for the future. As I matured over the past few years, after living through the consequences of some of the bad decisions from my past, I’ve really stopped talking so much. I’d say I don’t even speak half as much as I used to. I try to practice discernment with all thoughts that come up in my mind, at least whenever I remember to do so, and I find that many of the things which I’m about to say can and should be discarded before they are even expressed. Nowadays I try not to talk so much, as I would much rather attempt to understand the things I observe, the things I see and hear, to relate them to my own experiences as well as what I’ve learned and continue learning. Most of the time we say things which we don’t know for sure, we make assumptions about others due to our limited knowledge of the situation they are facing, or of the life they have lived as a whole, or we offend others by only advising them from our own point of view, without ever taking a moment to place ourselves in their shoes. I try to give advice to my friends when they need it, though I don’t try to seem like I know everything, and I don’t go around telling people what they are doing wrong in their life, especially without providing any alternative to their current actions. All of us are struggling in this life, all of us are confused to a certain extent, all trying to do the best we can to stay sane and to survive, and maybe to transform our lives into great achievements, to make our dreams come true. This only seems to matter when it applies to ourselves though, but we are quick to kill the dreams of others, whether they are our friends or enemies, even if we think that words are pretty much harmless. Words are extremely powerful, and I’ve written on that subject before. So many of us are happy to see our friends remain where they are, never advancing or moving forwards, since they make us feel comfortable about who we are and where we’re at in life, so we only talk with them about trivial things, we never try to suggest any positive change or challenge, since the friendship might change for the worse or end if one of us gets higher up the ladder than the other. This is the way too many of us see things, yet the sentiment is often unconscious. We believe we want what’s best for our friends, yet we have no problem with letting them kill themselves with alcohol or cigarettes or drugs, so long as we are not the only ones doing it. We shouldn’t refrain from giving advice to those we care about, as it can be precisely what they need in order to move ahead and face whatever obstacle they may currently be facing, but we should always advise them in a humble manner. We always must keep in mind that we could have slipped just as easily as them, since we live in a world full of temptation and desire, our will is constantly being weakened, our minds attacked. We should never think of ourselves as higher than anyone else, as superior to anyone, just because they have done something which we consider horrible, which we believe we would never do ourselves. We don’t know what things can come to, we don’t know what everyone’s been through, and we don’t know why everyone does what they do. We can’t be the judges of humanity, we can only live our own lives. Only we have our own memories, our own aspirations, only we have our own ideas, our own I know that I know more about some things than others, though I don’t consider myself an expert in any specific subject, so I don’t pretend to be. Even so-called experts on any subject could benefit from thinking a bit less of themselves, leaving the arrogance behind, and admitting that there are many things, even about their special subject which they don’t fully understand. We learn during every day that we are alive, but it is our choice to learn the hard way, by arrogantly trying to mold life to our convenience, or to learn the easy way, by maintaining the attitude of a humble observer in this world. No matter how important we may think we are, whether we are the owner of the biggest organization on the planet, whether we are the most famous rock star or actor, whatever kind of celebrity, we all need to be humble enough to see ourselves as something else, something which we all have in common These days no one will take you seriously unless you’ve been to college or university, but I don’t think it’s necessary to Often times I’m too caught up in thought to say anything, I’m starting to let life happen more, without complaining, or without attempting to change the direction of things. I don’t know where I’m going with this, to be honest, but I have enough words and it’s time for me to meditate now, so off I go into a wordless space.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 57.

~ Rebel Spirit

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1,000 WORDS (2nd attempt): DAY 55: The Lessons You’ve Taught Me.

You make me see that things are not always as they seem, you make me appreciate the power of love, something I never believe in before. You taught me compassion, communion, you helped me to see that so much of my confusion was only a choice. You made me realize that I had a choice, to be free or to keep on struggling in my mental prison, to let go and to allow myself to be loved, to let go of the past that was keeping me down, or to keep on holding on to an illusion of myself. I knew when I met you, that life was providing me with an opportunity which I couldn’t refuse, that God was granting me with a precious gift, one that I couldn’t completely understand at the time, but which I knew, without a doubt, came as a form of divine grace. Such love doesn’t just come unexpected, to someone who doesn’t even believe in the very idea of it. Perhaps deep within I always believed and wanted it, perhaps it was something which was attracted by an intense yet hidden desire. I always wanted a true companion, a woman to share my thoughts with, my ideas on life, to reflect and to build together, to help each other move along through the struggles of life, to listen to her and do support her. I do remember wanting that long ago, my parents were always an amazing example of this for me. As I began to grow, to date, I forgot about this idea, about love and romance, and I saw that people just wanted to party, both guys and girls wanted sex with no commitment. Unconsciously I developed a cynical view of life, since everything seemed so superficial, interactions between people I knew seemed so meaningless, so I decided to join the fun, to allow myself to become caught up in the drama, in the highs and lows of sensual living, I forgot all about ever finding a true life partner, since such an idea simply wasn’t cool. As I began to identify with certain ideas, different from my initial thoughts of love and companion, I began to believe I was an identity, I was a cool dude, I was not about to be chasing any girls down and I was not going to give in to them, I was going to keep it cool and fuck them and leave them, I thought I knew the game. There was no way I was allowing myself to be tied down, how could I if there were so many girls yet to meet, there was so much fun to have still? I never wanted to marry, I also began to take pride in having meaningless sex with as many attractive girls as I could, even when I knew, deep inside, that there was no merit in anything I was doing, that there was really nothing at all to be proud of. All along I craved that deeper connection, and then you came along into my life, completely out of the blue you appeared and stole my heart with your sweet voice. I see now that I was wrong about many things, your simple attitude towards life has convinced me that, even when everything is going wrong, even when everyone around us decides to do only what’s best for them, even then, we should mind our business, we should do our work, we should be ourselves, and we should always be happy about it, we should always do the best we can with the most positive attitude we can bring to the table. You’ve inspired me to become a fighter, before I didn’t see much of a purpose to fight for. I did see many things that were wrong with the world, but a part of me thought they were impossible to change, that life was meaningless because I couldn’t change all the things that were wrong with it. You’ve shown me greater depth than I could previously even imagine, and I thank you and I thank God for it every day, since I know there’s a profound reason for our coming together. I can’t wait to show you new places, which are old to me, and I’ve had a great time during these two years while meeting your family, immediate and extended. Life is great when we are together, you woke me up to the fact that even the most seemingly insignificant details are rich with meaning, that life is no further than here and now, and that we must never let anything get in the way of us being here for those we love and who love us, for being here and now, fully present for them whenever they may need us. You’ve taught me, and you continue teaching me, a lifelong lesson in sacrifice, in putting others before oneself, in working as a team, in making things work together, through proper and honest communication, through restraint on anger and on jumping to conclusions, through sincerity in all situations. You make me smile every day, it’s great to have a person I know I can trust, an embodiment of all that is good and true. You made me see that, before our time together, I had been chasing worthless thrills, I had been living life all wrong. You made me see that there is so much more good within us than we often want to accept, that we often can do much more for others than we wish to acknowledge, lest we feel obligated to do so. You don’t seem to realize it, but your personality has had such an impact on me, your kindness, your radiance and your happiness, they’ve really brightened up my life, I’m so happy to be with you and I can’t wait to see how these virtues continue to grow in you in the future. I wish you the best always, and I pray God blesses you forever, and that we may spend a long, long time together on Earth, and if possible then beyond as well.

To be continued tomorrow, on Day 56.

~ Rebel Spirit

DAY 3: 1,000 WORDS: WHERE I’M WRITING FROM (part 2)

Third day of writing and publishing 1000 words. For the sake of honesty I have to say, my energy and enthusiasm today are not as high as they were during my first two days of this challenge, and for that reason I wasn’t able to post this in the morning as usual. I won’t let this sudden mood change kill my determination though, so I have to get 1000 words together no matter what, and I will post them before midnight for sure. One of the main reasons for this goal, apart from exercising my writing ability, is to work on my self-control and determination. I haven’t set a date for how long I’ll write 1000 words for, I’m just going to keep writing indefinitely, hopefully until the end of my days. Anyway, just to quickly recap on where we’re at so far on this literary journey, yesterday I was explaining a bit about the circumstances which brought me from Vancouver, BC back to my birth country of Honduras, where I’m currently writing from. I didn’t have space to finish my story yesterday, so let me get back to it. Growing up in Vancouver, where my parents moved in 2004, I started hanging out with a lot of crazy kids. Many aspects of Canadian culture were very different from what we were accustomed to as a Latino family. Adapting to this new experience and all it entailed was hard on my parents, especially during the first few years, but to me everything seemed wonderful as I lived in a childish state of pure ignorance towards my family’s situation. After arriving in Vancouver at the age of 10 and starting to attend elementary school (grade 4) I started making friends quick, having already learned a significant amount of English at a bilingual elementary school in Honduras. I was a naïve kid, excited about my freedom and independence, about being a teenager in a new country, a safer country with more opportunities for fun and adventure. My parents, having always been very overprotective, now began to loosen up a bit, feeling like Canadian culture was somewhat more sane than that of Honduras. Having always taught my brothers and I about God and morality, and having been great examples of ideal people themselves, my folks never imagined that their firstborn son would end up caught up in some of the things I ended up getting involved in. Today I would feel a deep regret about all of the suffering I caused them, except that I know now that everything is meant to be (although things are only meant to be so that I can learn something from them in order to positively impact the present, and by extension the future). At the age of 13, around 2007/08 was really when it all started. I was always a friendly kid, and was open to friendships with anyone. I met Mike in grade 8, he was my best friend all throughout that year and throughout the summer that followed it. Grade 8 in BC is the start of high school, so that year I got to know more kids than ever before, due to the fact that all grade sevens from all elementary schools in the area were now in classes together, all at the same school. I’ve always been kind of a weirdo, and the kids I started hanging out with the most were the craziest ones, a lot of them being introduced to me by Mike, who was a really troubled child. We started problems everywhere we went. Alcohol and other drugs made it all real fun and allowed me to ignore the reality of what I was turning my life into, as it was all a fun and crazy mess with no time left for reflection. I was living on auto-pilot. I’ll touch more upon this period of my life in later posts, but for now we can skip the details of some of the craziest things that happened during those years. Let’s just say for now that many dark years of of lying went by, me lying, mom crying, dad yelling, school and police accusing, me denying. Fights, school suspensions and eventual expulsion, shoplifting, and many more constant problems I was always involved in. After about 9 years of this my parents were getting extremely tired of it, and since I was now about 19 years old I was getting tired of the constant conflict as well. It had always annoyed me, and I had wanted to move out of my parents house for as long as I could remember but I never had enough money to do so since I always spent it all. Now that I was almost 20 I knew it was time, I had to move away no matter what. By this point, I had already calmed down a bit since the days when I was hanging out with Mike, and really the only drug I was still using constantly was weed, as I still am up till today (more on why in future posts). My parents could never accept this though, and I could never come home and simply be at peace since I would always have to hear a lecture about a habit which I was not going to stop after having already blazed for about 7 years straight at that point, and which I had already decided was an essential part of my lifestyle. I flew to Honduras as soon as I could, and came to live at my grandparents’ home, in a spare room they had. Since 15 years old I had always worked, since I liked having my own money so that I could buy exactly what I wanted whenever I needed it, and the same was going to be true in Honduras. I  was really into working out in those days, so I signed up for a monthly gym membership. The gym mentor was an old crazy Honduran who had lived in the US a while back and told me stories about having fought in some old war, I can’t remember which. Anyway, after a few conversations he told me that here in San Pedro Sula, most English speakers work in call centers, as they pay workers good money for simply talking on the phone, doing customer service, sales, or collections work. There was a popular call center, Collective Solution, right across the street from the gym. I told him I would apply, and I did and was hired that same day, as good English is really the most basic requirement they look for. About a month after starting to work there, I think in August of 2014, I met the beautiful lady who became my wife a few years later. The call center is divided into different “campaigns”. Basically, each campaign is a third party representing a specific client, some American company that has agents working overseas (in order to pay them less). I was hired for a collections campaign, to collect on past due accounts for the Fresno Credit Bureau. A few steps from me was a campaign for H20 Wireless, a cell phone company, and in one of the spare moments of boredom in between calls my attention was caught by a soft, emphatic voice, saying to the customer on the other end of the line, “Hello, my name is Marie, how can I help you today?” I turned around to notice a mysterious girl with a hoodie on her head sitting in the corner…

~ Rebel Spirit ~