unico_love: (crystal ball)
Habits 5 and 6 of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People )
unico_love: (Hotaru with umbrella)
Habits 3 and 4 from  )
unico_love: (sailor moon beauty)
Quotes and Personal Responses )
unico_love: (childlike empress)
I just took my second dose of Ritalin LA. I have a lot left for this month, so I figured it was okay. It really does help my anxiety and mood... I should be happy, though, and usually I am now. Sometimes I even think I'm happier than average. I still self-monitor a lot -- constantly looking for any sign of anxiety or depression or fear. Then if I do notice it I start panicking:-/ Just too many years of too many bad emotions... Life is better now. I have to remember that. Also my pap smear test results came back normal so not another one of those horrible exams for two years! Yay!

I think I'm kind of the opposite of a nihilist. I think there is meaning in everything. When people ask questions like "What is the meaning of life?" I get very confused. It's not like I know a deeper truth than them -- I don't know an objective "meaning of life" on this earthly existence that stands true for everyone. I do think all of our existences have some kind of deeper purpose, but I don't know what it is, and I don't think one has to know that to have meaning and purpose in their life. Perhaps like in existentialism we have to create meaning in our lives. I would still count that as important. I do not just think we're useless, tiny dots existing for a moment in history, of no real value. I believe all things in the universe are sacred and divine. There's nothing wrong with being a little focused on yourself and understanding yourself and your life -- we're all sacred and valuable! Ants are just as important as humans who are just as important as any higher-up spirits or organisms that may exist/will exist. I am more hedonistic than I used to be -- I think we should all enjoy life to the fullest. Life is meant to be enjoyed and cherished. For me the ultimate meaning of life is to experience love and to love as much as possible. That is my main goal, as well as somehow making the world a better place in some small way. As Emily Dickinson said, "If I can save one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain." My views on ethics and spirituality are constantly evolving, but the core of who I am remains the same and probably so will my belief that love is of utmost value.

I have met so many creatures (including humans) that are so inspiring and great in some way or another -- I am learning so much. I am inspired always. Hopefully my self-criticism will die away and I will focus only on how I can improve instead of thinking of the ways in which I fail compared to other people. I've had great opportunities in life, too, and I have many wonderful people to turn to. Some of my past is hard to overcome, but I will keep trying.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
This is my response from personality cafe:
Questions on What Values Are )

Blog Post I Made About What an Average/Healthy-ish 4 Might Look Like )

Questions About my Life )

9) What do you desire most in your life?

To be happy and to become a better person filled with love.
unico_love: (crystal ball)
At my Building Your Own Theology class, one of the leaders of the class said something that really struck me as important and I've been considering if I believe the same. She said that she had to accept/acknowledge everyone's beliefs, including ones she disagreed with, but she didn't need to respect them. Such as beliefs that certain people will go to hell or that it's wrong to be gay, etc. Maybe it's possible to respect human beings and treat them decently, while not respecting their beliefs? I definitely respect the beliefs of people that are different from mine but inherently non-harmful/come from a place of positivity or love. There are a lot of beliefs I do think are wrong from a moral standpoint, though. Judging people who are different from you, but not hurting anyone, is something I guess I really can't respect. Though that doesn't make me hate the person who holds the belief -- but I will probably feel uncomfortable around the people holding the belief. Beliefs I just disagree with because I don't think they are factually true are not an issue for me and I can easily respect them. It's just when cruelty and casting judgment on innocents (or excessive cruelty to the guilty) comes into play that I can't respect the beliefs. That still sounds harsh to me, but it's beginning to sound true and realistic to me.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
Church today was beautiful, as always! But today the pianist played and sang "In the River of Dreams" by Billy Joel and a James Taylor song and the congregation sang another James Taylor song. The focus on the service was about how the earth is our paradise on earth and we have to care for it and do good in the world. However, we also can't focus on fixing everything and being perfect because that will cause burnout. We just have to do what good we can manage while being mentally healthy.

Then Michael went to move his car closer to the church and the car wouldn't start-_- That freaked me out majorly. Fortunately a church member had jumper cables and the car started immediately -- unlike a few months back when Dan's car needed jumping and it took like an hour and two different people trying to help. Michael thinks he may have left the lights on when we went into the church, but I don't know if that would be the only cause (it was only a couple hours...). I just hope that problem is over now. We plan to eventually buy a new car, but we're waiting for this one to completely die. When we do buy a new (used) car we will bring my mother and her boyfriend with us, as her boyfriend is a mechanic. Also if the car needs towing at some point we will tow to his station, which is very convenient. I was so worried about the car, though, that I only read about 75 pages of my Wicked Lovely book during the break between church and the Building Your Own Theology class.

The class was fun, again! Some of our reading had been on moral codes so we tried to come up with our own (shared) moral code. My contribution was to not seek revenge, which a girl amended with seeking justice, but not revenge. That's fine with me. I do believe people should be held responsible for their actions, I just personally find I can have a vengeful attitude and I don't want to live that way. I don't want to ever seek vengeance and I want to find ways to soothe my anger so I can deal with situations fairly and rationally, not allowing the cruelties of others to lead me to be cruel.

We also drew pictures of what we saw as God/the Absolute/the Ultimate Reality -- a picture of what we thought of that as a child, a teenager, and an adult. There was a list of names for the Ultimate Reality listed, but they were all singular, which was pointed out, which wouldn't accommodate some pagans. Though the person who pointed it out actually wasn't one of the pagans or people into earth-centered religions. I drew a picture of the cross and an old bearded man because I used to believe a lot of traditional "Christian" things when I was little. I believed God could be vengeful as well as a loving father. The my teenage years were kind of an early version of what I believe in now -- panentheism where God is in all of nature/reality and beyond it. I didn't mention that I believe God is the source of love in our existence, but I do believe that.

We had a moral discussion on how morally permissible it would be to have a baby to use the bone marrow to save your dying teenage daughter (it was an article based on the situation the book My Sister's Keeper was based on). All of us except one found it permissible. One woman didn't because she didn't think the parents would be good parents to the child and the child might not feel really loved and feel used and it would have bad repercussions for the child's feelings about herself. This woman has had difficult times with her family, feeling unaccepted and unwanted by them, so I guess she sees her situation mirrored in the one of the child being born for the bone marrow.

I disagreed even though I probably have had similar experiences to her in my family. Michael often says my parents should never have been parents and it's probably true. However, I'm an optimist and I believe that a life has so much potential and, while I think people over-breed, I don't think a child shouldn't be born just because the situation isn't ideal. I brought up the fact that I was an unexpected pregnancy and my mother nearly aborted me, but I still am glad I was born. Sometimes I feel like I was unwanted, sure, and my parents often mistreated me. But my life is so much more than that. I feel that I would feel worse as a dying teenager knowing there was something that could help keep me alive that wouldn't (likely) involve in anyone dying than I would as a child brought into the world to save my sister's life. I could deal with knowing I was born to save someone's life. After all, I can deal with the fact that my parents were pretty bad parents and I wasn't really wanted as a baby and, in many ways, my birth ruined my mother's life.

It's raining a lot today and I got soaked so when I got home I changed into pajamas and Michael made me dinner. My mother picked up my prescription today so I didn't even have to go to Walgreen's. Though I need to get Miralax soon...
unico_love: (Default)
Today Michael and I went to church. My power was out for a little this morning (which also means my water), but we were still able to get ready on-time and got to church early. Today's service was about ethical eating and people did speeches on veganism, vitamins in food, and the different kinds of foods available and making wise decisions(locally grown, organic, hormone-free, free-range, imported, etc.) I wish I could become vegan, but I struggle to eat a diversity of foods without any restrictions at all. And I can't cook, hate vegetables, and have a very limited budget. However, I still often feel that I'm being selfish and I should just eat food that I hate:P Someone in our membership classes spoke on vitamins in food. I really like him! He's also in my yoga class. He just seems really nice and genuine and a little eccentric. The offering song was "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast. They served yummy vegan treats after the service.

Then we had lunch and our final membership class. Michael and I officially became members of the Unitarian Universalist Church! We wrote down a pledge of how much money we will donate until the end of May. Then the new year for pledges begin and soon we will fill out a form for what we intend to donate June 2011-May 2012. It's not much, since we are on disability, but it is something. I love going there and love their programs so I would want to donate. There was some gum chewing there, so Michael had to leave for a little while. We received an envelope filled with information.

Tonight we also went to the Japanese marketplace and Michael bought me a sandwich and red bean ice cream. They were very good:-)
unico_love: (crystal ball)
I think my reason for being here is to learn to love and to forgive, to learn to cope with difficult situations without losing hope, love, or compassion, and to make positive impressions on human beings and the world at large. In my own, tiny way:-)


365 Day Meme )
unico_love: (childlike empress)
At our Unitarian Universalism history class we were given a worksheet that lists this about Unitarian Universalism (I really liked it so I'm repeating it here):

Sources

Unitarian Universalism draws from many sources:

-Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;
-Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
-Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
-Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
-Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
-Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Principles

There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalism congregations affirm and promote:

-The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
-Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
-Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
-A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
-The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
-The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
-Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part
unico_love: (childlike empress)
I'm really agitated right now. I tried to be assertive and talked to others about a concern and it just backfired. It's so stressful... I might need to take a Klonopin.

April and Phil were supposed to go with Michael and me to the 11:15am UU service, but they backed out. We first needed my mother's boyfriend to put air in the car's tires (unexpectedly) and took a wrong turn, but got to the church on-time. The sermon was supposed to be about pluralism and nihilism, involving quotes from Moby Dick, but it was changed last-minute to be about the shooting in Arizona and the death of a couple church members very recently. Apparently the boy who did the shooting had some violent acts on his record that would have prevented him from being able to buy a gun at a gun shop in Illinois (where I live), but not in Arizona. My father was a lunatic and owned tons of guns hidden everywhere and I don't like them much. I don't think anyone with violence on their record (other than self-defense) should be allowed to own a gun. Unfortunately, my eyes kind of glazed over the readings from Moby Dick because words often get lost on me when they are spoken as opposed to written. There were some other really sad things, like this woman whose dog just died:( I almost started crying. Though another woman had good news that her son was getting a service dog.

After the sermon we talked to people and everyone was very nice. I had to explain to one woman I couldn't work due to my autism and she said it must not affect me very severe socially:P It's true my autism affects me worse in other areas and I know a lot of autistics who are less disabled than me in all other areas except socially. I know a lot of non-autistics worse than me socially. Michael's response to this woman was "it depends" and "she's come a long way." But really, even in college I could put on a social mask, even when I had trouble understanding spoken words and small talk was meaningless to me. Ritalin LA also helps. Sometimes I seem normal and sometimes people mistake me for being socially retarded. We talked to the woman who is leading the UU membership classes and she has a nephew with Asperger's Syndrome. That came up when Michael was talking about his OCD and how he may have to leave the classroom (for the first UU membership class) due to gum chewing. Fortunately he managed okay just sitting in the back of the room. The class was interesting, though felt a little long to me. The next class is supposedly more interactive. They provided us with a big lunch -- sandwiches, carrot sticks, apple slices, cheese sticks, potato chips, and brownies. Some people also got food from the potluck going on in the main room. The youth group in the sanctuary next to us was having a class on sexuality. They have a class like that starting with first grade and going up through the end of high school (but not for every single grade).

I don't know how I'm going to get there on days when Michael isn't around, but I signed up for the free yoga classes. It's only 5 classes. I don't know if I can get my mother to take me at least to the first class... She only has one well-behaved car right now and she drives my brother to and from work. Hopefully she can take me if my brother isn't working then or will get off later than my class ends. It's rather frustrating to me because my brother doesn't even have to pay for anything other than beer or cigarettes, so his job doesn't seem that important to me and I'm sure arrangements could be made...

I also singed up for this:
Building Your Own Theology

During this class, we will examine varieties of religious experience, ethics, ultimate reality, and the meaning and purpose of life. Participants are invited develop their personal credo statements: the fundamental religious beliefs, values and convictions that inform and direct the living of your life. Preparation: Short readings will be assigned each week in preparation for the next class. Prior to the first class, participants may receive the reading as a hard copy or via e-mail.

***

Hopefully Michael will join that class with me so I will have transportation. Though my brother usually doesn't work Sundays, and especially not early. I would need to be dropped off at the church before 11:15pm and picked up at 4pm. I really want to take these classes...
unico_love: (childlike empress)
In Authentic Happiness it mentioned the importance of having a meaning to your life. Sometimes in bipolar episodes I would dwell a lot on my life purpose and whether I could even justify continuing to live at the expense of other living things. Sometimes I thought that maybe there was a trick to being alive and we were all meant to kill ourselves so we would no longer kill other things in order to exist. I'd also obsess over what choice I made would benefit the most other living beings (including micro-organisms). However, I generally maintained the outlook that the world was an enchanting place that was primarily good and human beings were also fascinating and primarily good. I never really felt hopeless to affect people and the world in positive ways, though I would be keenly aware of the times I had negative impacts.

Usually, though, I have had a feeling of meaning in life and my idea of that hasn't changed much. Around age 12 I became more aware of other living creatures and how I didn't want to hurt them and wanted to do good. For me the purpose in life is to help other living beings as much as you can while also enjoying your life and finding happiness and hope in whatever you can. The world is a good place with many tools you can use to improve circumstances for yourself and others. Kindness and mercy are of the utmost importance. Forgiveness should always be cultivated -- though it took awhile to see that forgiveness didn't have to mean having abusive people in your life. Being grateful and aware of how much others sacrifice for you was also always important. Also I've always believed in God and prayed to God, though I see God as everywhere and largely beyond comprehension. For me God was always intimately tied to my beliefs about meaning in life. I want to experience God as purely and openly as possible and allow love to fill my life. I equate God with love and love in the world is of the utmost importance to me. I want to feel as much love as I can and to spread love to others and reassure living things that they are loved and appreciated. Life is difficult and filled with many roadblocks, but being able to see the good in life and fill yourself with love and happiness, contributing to the love and happiness of as many beings as possible and in as much depth as possible, makes living purposeful and worthwhile even in the darkest times.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
I really like the book Anam Cara ("soul friend") very much so far, though I have to read it very carefully to ingest everything. A lot of the descriptions of eternity and love being the basis of our souls resonate very deeply with me. There are some things this book has brought to my attention that I need to work on -- like appreciating my body and my senses. I'm very inwardly drawn a lot of the time, and though my senses tend to be hyperactive, at other times I drown everything out. I am awkward with my senses and get confused. I'm not comfortable with having a body. This book discussed how our souls encompass our bodies and our senses are our connection to the external world. Our bodies are part of divinity and should be appreciated. I should try to keep this in mind. I also need to work on accepting change. I tend to be resistant to change (sometimes even "good" change), but change is constantly occurring and is an invigorating part of life. The soul really is mysterious and we can't see all of it, just parts. There is inherent mystery in life and souls, and there's an inherent unity in everything (I am in everything and everything else is in me). I believe in panpsychism, pantheism, and animism. I believe divinity is everywhere, which makes this book relevant to me because similar beliefs are shown there. I have to also learn to be more yielding, open to possibilities, seeing everything as an adventure, and not fighting life. Life holds many magical potentials and being rigid only limits me. Another interesting thing was the idea that we should be gentle with ourselves (what my psychologist has told me before); we should accept our more negative qualities and work with them, try to use them to our benefit and transform them into something positive in a natural way instead of just trying to cut out the parts of ourselves we dislike.

By the way, I found that skirt I was so worried over.
unico_love: (crystal ball)
From: http://www.tenthousandquestions.com/search?updated-min=2009-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&updated-max=2010-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-05%3A00&max-results=50

Who *is* that person??
We all have ideas when we're young about who we're going to be, and what we're going to do with our lives. What aspect of your current life would surprise your younger self?


I would probably be surprised I wasn't working and hadn't succeeded in some field, at least a little bit. There were a variety of careers I went through phases of being interested in when I was younger, so I don't think one specific type of job would be what I expected to have. I also probably wouldn't expect myself to be in a romantic relationship. I imagined relationships with romantic aspects to them, but I never thought of myself as having a boyfriend and husband (or girlfriend or wife). It probably wouldn't be too surprising my father died when I was in high school because I knew smoking was dangerous, though I didn't realize he was an alcoholic and that could also be dangerous (I assumed his drinking habits were normal and he'd lie about how much he drank, too). I don't really think too much about my lifestyle would be surprising to me because my interests and feelings haven't changed too much over time. I feel like I've always been the same person. I still do art and writing though I don't make any money off of them, and those were always major interests for me. Even though the idea of sexuality repulsed me for a long time (probably partly due to PTSD from childhood things) I still imagined growing very close to people when my father no longer controlled my life. I always had problems going to school, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised I'd be disabled and unable to work most jobs. My appearance isn't vastly different. I was always very small, but not bony.
unico_love: (Unico)
1. Only I can make myself happy.
2. Happiness is a choice.
3. Don't be quick to judge.
4. Compliment more and criticize less.
5. Set goals for each day and force myself to get started.
6. Enjoy the process.
7. Do not ruminate on bad memories or upsetting things.
8. Help someone or compliment someone in some way every day.
9. Tell people how thankful I am for them and what they do.
10. Be myself.
11. When there is a problem, state what the problem is and drop it (don't keep complaining).
12. Don't hurt myself (because that hurts other people, too).
13. Enjoy the small pleasures of each day.
14. Let go of needing to be in control of everything that happens in my life or others' lives.
15. Be kind to myself and to all other people, animals, and other living things.
unico_love: (childlike empress)
"First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse." From: http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/start-.html
I am going to try to start my own "Happiness Project," but my resolutions will basically be the same as the 101 Things to Do in 1,001 Days. I might make a shorter list for this project or I may just make different, related lists.

I'm putting this under a cut because it's so long:

What Makes Me Happy )



What Makes Me Unhappy )
unico_love: (Default)
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I don't have strict beliefs on what happens after death, having no memories of an afterlife following an incarnation, but I do have some beliefs that feel right to me. I believe all living beings (and possibly nonliving) have souls that are immortal. I believe eternity is the natural state of the universe, that all things really occur simultaneously and time is an illusion. I believe there is another plane of existence besides earth and that our souls also reside there. I also believe at least some souls reincarnate. I don't believe these reincarnations are a punishment of some sort, though I do believe there is at least some degree of choice involved.

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unico_love

August 2013

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