I am a writer, genealogist, a Humanist Pagan/Atheist, life long autodidactic student of world religions, history, anthropology, sexuality, body acceptance, trauma, and healing. This blog is about my life, studies, beliefs, and interests including art, culture, fashion, cuisine, health, challenges, sexuality and more.
My view on self love is all three. It took me a long time to get there for any of them.
I still struggle with body acceptance. Most of my life I’ve always hated and been ashamed of my body. I’ve always had a belly, even when I was thin. My boobs have always been big and saggy, even when I was young. Since I was taught to be ashamed of sex, I was also taught to be ashamed of my body. A bra strap showing as scandalous as it tell the whole world that you had boobs, that you had to be ashamed of and had to hide them away. In those days we covered ourselves in as many layers as possible so that roaming hands couldn’t get to the goodies. We wear a bra and panties, a garter belt or girdle, stockings until pantyhose became popular but still wore a girdle to keep that damn belly under control. If you had your period, you also wore a menstrual belt and pad since maxi pads hadn’t been invented yet. Over all of that you wore a slip, half slip or pettipants. And then a dress or skirt and sweater and another sweater over it all. No wonder we hated our bodies… you couldn’t see it or feel it, it was all hidden under layers of stuff. At least we usually won when we played strip poker!!
Things are much different for me these days, as I sit here typing this while I’m naked. I wish I had the confidence then, that I have now. Maybe my sex and love life would have been so much better.
Next is caring for yourself and it’s taken a long time for me to even understand that means. For years it meant buying every beauty product that was advertised. In those days, I wore tons of eye make up… black liner (upper and lower) topped with white liner, drawn on lower lashes (this was the era of Twigger) and fake upper lashes, lots of black mascara, eye shadow. My eyes looked great and I got lots of compliments, but was this really caring for myself? There were daily trips to the gym and to the gynecologist for birth control pills, to the doctor for diet pills. In the bathroom shaving your legs and pits (hairless pubes wasn’t a thing yet. I took dance classes and then danced every night at a club. Was this caring for myself?
I no longer wear make up of any kind.. I’ve gotten lazy in my old age. I also don’t shave my legs anymore, mostly due to the damage on both. And instead of birth control pills and diet pills I have to take heart pills and blood thinners. Old age is such a joy. And sadly, I can no longer dance or work out, just walking to the bathroom is a work out for me, as walking as become so painful.
And finally solo sex and masturbation. Finally something I can still do and even excel at. When I was younger, sex was evil and banned and masturbation was even worse. Good girls didn’t touch themselves. Good girls didn’t let anyone else touch them either. All of that was suppose to be saved for your husband to enjoy, but not you. Such fucking bullshit.
I’m still pissed that was taught those insane ideas. I resent that I wasn’t able to enjoy my sex life with male partners simply out of guilt. Of course, none of them seem to notice as they were simply out to get laid and my consent and enjoyment was not required.
I didn’t masturbate until about 10 years and I haven’t stopped since. I bought my first vibrator shortly after and have no gone through four of them. I have only had a few physical relationships with men since my age of awakening and I was pleasantly surprised that men, especially men who engage in BDSM, seem to be more receptive to women’s sexual needs. Not all, some are still selfish oafs that belong in the dark ages. But much more than I expected.
My attitudes about self love have obviously changed over the years, which is to be expected. I just wish I knew then what I know now.
According to a 19th century legend, the Truth and the Lie meet one day. The Lie says to the Truth: “It’s a marvellous day today”! The Truth looks up to the skies and sighs, for the day was really beautiful. They spend a lot of time together, ultimately arriving beside a well. The Lie tells the Truth: “The water is very nice, let’s take a bath together!” The Truth, once again suspicious, tests the water and discovers that it indeed is very nice. They undress and start bathing. Suddenly, the Lie comes out of the water, puts on the clothes of the Truth and runs away. The furious Truth comes out of the well and runs everywhere to find the Lie and to get her clothes back. The World, seeing the Truth naked, turns its gaze away, with contempt and rage. The poor Truth returns to the well and disappears forever, hiding therein, its shame. Since then, the Lie travels around the world, dressed as the Truth, satisfying the needs of society, because, the World, in any case, harbours no wish at all to meet the naked Truth.
I don’t believe in the concept of “sin”, but I like the way this is presented.
THE TRUE DEADLY SINS
Lust *NOT a sin – feeling sexual attraction, sex with consenting partners, masturbation, consuming pornographic media, having several sexual partners, sex before marriage. *IS A SIN – when the person projects lust onto an unwilling recipient person and does not take into account their wants or consent. Rape, harassment, sexual assault, catcalling, dick pics.
Gluttony *NOT a sin – food, enjoying food, cooking, eating sweets, eating meat. In the larger sense, accumulating material things you enjoy, like books or collectables or whatever. *IS A SIN – when it deprives other people of what they need.
Envy *NOT a sin – Wanting things you see other people have, like money, power, fame. *IS A SIN – When this is how you define people, and stop respecting them as humans. It’s a sin when you use them for what they have and what they can bring you.
Greed *NOT a sin – Wanting financial security, working hard for the things you want. *IS A SIN – When your own financial growth depends on keeping other people impoverished and suffering.
Pride *NOT a sin – Being proud of your accomplishments, liking your looks, dressing up *IS A SIN – When it stops you from accepting your faults and seeing how you can be wrong, not admitting that you can better yourself.
Wrath *NOT a sin – Righteous anger at situations, being mistreated, seeing other people suffer, at the injustice of the world. Self-defense. Revolution. *IS A SIN – When violence towards defenseless people, hitting your partner or your kids,. Violence fueled by intolerance and bigotry.
Sloth *NOT a sin – Resting. Sleeping. Taking a day or a year off. Being unproductive. Playing video games. *IS A SIN – When you stay inactive when action is required. When people need you and you do nothing.
Sadly, too many of those who claim to be Christians…. god-fearing (a term that makes no sense), bible-believing (yet haven’t read it) and who break every one of the 10 Commandments, but demand that others abide by them… they see the part that isn’t a sin as a sin and ignore the rest.
And do they really want us to do “unto them” what they are doing to the rest of us? Doubtful.
There once was a town called Allopath. It had many people, streets and cars, but due to budget limitations, there were no stop signs or traffic lights anywhere in Allopath.
Not surprisingly, traffic accidents were common. Cars would crash into each other at nearly every intersection. But business was booming for the auto repair shops and local hospitals, which dominated the economy of Allopath.
As the population of Allopath grew, traffic accidents increased to an alarming level. Out of desperation, the city council hired Doctor West, a doctor of the Motor Division (M.D.) to find a solution.
Dr. West spent days examining traffic accidents. He carried an assortment of technical gear — microscopes, chemical analysis equipment, lab gear — and put them all to work as part of his investigation. The townspeople of Allopath watched on with great curiosity while Dr. West went about his work, meticulously documenting and analyzing each traffic accident, and they awaited his final report with great interest.
After weeks of investigation, Dr. West called the people of Allopath to a town meeting for the release of his report. There, in front of the city council and most of the residents of Allopath, he announced his findings: “Traffic accidents are caused by skid marks.”
As Dr. West explained, he found and documented a near-100% correlation between traffic accidents and skid marks. “Wherever we find these cars colliding,” he explained, “we also find these skid marks.”
The town had “Skid Marks Disease,” the doctor explained, and the answer to the town’s epidemic of traffic accidents would, “…require nothing more than treating Skid Marks Disease by making the streets skid-proof,” Dr. West exclaimed, to great applause from the townspeople.
The city paid Dr. West his consulting fee, then asked the good doctor to propose a method for treating this Skid Marks Disease. As chance would have it, Dr. West had recently been on a trip to Hawaii paid for by a chemical company that manufactured roadaceuticals: special chemicals used to treat roads for situations just like this one. He recommended a particular chemical coating to the city council: teflon.
“We can treat this Skid Marks Disease by coating the roads with teflon,” Dr. West explained. “The streets will then be skid-proof, and all the traffic accidents will cease!” He went on to describe the physical properties of teflon and how its near-frictionless coating would deter nearly all vehicle skids.
The city council heartily agreed with Dr. West, and they issued new public bonds to raise the money required to buy enough teflon to coat all the city’s streets. Within weeks, the streets were completely coated, and the skid marks all but disappeared.
The city council paid Dr. West another consulting fee and thanked him for his expertise. The problem of traffic accidents in Allopath was solved, they thought. Although the cure was expensive, they were convinced it was worth it.
But things weren’t well in Allopath. Traffic accidents quadrupled. Hospital beds were overflowing with injured residents. Auto repair businesses were booming so much that most of the city council members decided to either open their own car repair shops or invest in existing ones.
Week after week, more and more residents of Allopath were injured, and their cars were repeatedly damaged. Money piled into the pockets of the car repair shops, hospitals, tow truck companies and car parts retailers.
The town economic advisor, observing this sharp increase in economic activity, announced that Allopath was booming. Its economy was healthier than ever, and Allopath could look forward to a great year of economic prosperity!
There were jobs to be had at the car repair shops. There were more nurses needed at the hospital. “Help wanted” signs appeared all over town at the paramedic station, the tow truck shops, and the auto glass businesses. Unemployment dropped to near zero.
But the traffic accidents continued to increase. And yet there were no skid marks.
The city council was baffled. They thought they had solved this problem. Skid Marks Disease had been eradicated by the teflon treatment. Why were traffic accidents still happening?
They called a town meeting to discuss the problem, and following a short discussion of the problem, an old hermit, who lived in the forest just outside of Allopath, addressed the townspeople. “There is no such thing as Skid Marks Disease,” he explained. “This disease was invented by the roadaceuticals company to sell you teflon coatings.”
The townspeople were horrified to hear such a statement. They knew Skid Marks Disease existed. The doctor had told them so. How could this hermit, who had no Motor Division (M.D.) degree, dare tell them otherwise? How could he question their collective town wisdom in such a way?
“This is a simple problem,” the hermit continued. “All we need to do is build stop signs and traffic lights. Then the traffic accidents will cease.”
Without pause, one city council member remarked, “But how can we afford stop signs? We’ve spent all our money on teflon treatments!”
The townspeople agreed. They had no money to buy stop signs.
Another council member added, “And how can we stop anyway? The streets are all coated with teflon. If we build stop signs, we’ll waste all the money we’ve spent on teflon!”
The townspeople agreed, again. What use were stop signs if they couldn’t stop their cars anyway?
The hermit replied, “But the stop signs will eliminate the need for teflon. People will be able to stop their cars, and accidents will cease. The solution is simple.”
But what might happen if stop signs actually worked, the townspeople wondered. How would it affect the booming economy of Allopath? Realizing the consequences, a burly old man who owned a local repair shop jumped to his feet and said, “If we build these stop signs, and traffic accidents go down, I’ll have to fire most of my workers!”
It was at that moment that most of the townspeople realized there own jobs were at stake. If stop signs were built, nearly everyone would be unemployed. They all had jobs in emergency response services, car repair shops, hospitals and teflon coating maintenance. Some were now sales representatives of the roadaceuticals company. Others were importers of glass, tires, steel and other parts for cars. A few clever people were making a fortune selling wheelchairs and crutches to accident victims.
One enterprising young gentleman started a scientific journal that published research papers describing all the different kind of Skid Marks Diseases that had been observed and documented. Another person, a fitness enthusiast, organized an annual run to raise funds to find the cure for Skid Marks Disease. It was a popular event, and all the townspeople participated as best they could: jogging, walking, or just pushing themselves along in their wheelchairs.
One way or another, nearly everyone in Allopath was economically tied to Skid Marks Disease.
Out of fear of losing this economic prosperity, the townspeople voted to create a new public safety agency: the Frequent Drivers Association (FDA). This FDA would be responsible for approving or rejecting all signage, technology and chemical coatings related to the town’s roads.
The FDA’s board members were chosen from among the business leaders of the community: the owner of the car shop, the owner of the ambulance company, and of course, Dr. West.
Soon after its inception, the FDA announced that Skid Marks Disease was, indeed, very real, as it had been carefully documented by a doctor and recently published in the town Skid Marks Disease journal. Since there were no studies whatsoever showing stop signs to be effective for reducing traffic accidents, the FDA announced that stop signs were to be outlawed, and that any person attempting to sell stop signs would be charged with fraud and locked up in the town jail.
This pleased the townspeople of Allopath. With the FDA, they knew their jobs were safe. They could go on living their lives of economic prosperity, with secure jobs, knowing that the FDA would outlaw any attempt to take away their livelihood. They still had a lot of traffic accidents, but at least their jobs were secure.
And so life continued in Allopath. For a short while, at least. As traffic accidents continued at a devastating rate, more and more residents of Allopath were injured or killed. Many were left bed-ridden, unable to work, due to their injuries.
In time, the population dwindled. The once-booming town of Allopath eventually became little more than a ghost town. The hospital closed its doors, the FDA was disbanded, and the Skid Marks Disease journal stopped printing.
The few residents remaining eventually realized nothing good had come of Skid Marks Disease, the teflon coatings and the FDA. No one was any better off, as all the town’s money had been spent on the disease: the teflon coatings, car parts and emergency services. No one was any healthier, or happier, or longer-lived. Most, in fact, had lost their entire families to Skid Marks Disease.
And the hermit? He continued to live just outside of town, at the end of a winding country road, where he lived a simple life with no cars, no roads, no teflon coatings and no FDA.
He outlived every single resident of Allopath. He gardened, took long walks through the forest, and gathered roots, leaves and berries to feed himself. In his spare time, he constructed stop signs, waiting for the next population to come along, and hoping they might listen to an old hermit with a crazy idea:
…that prevention is the answer, not the treatment of symptoms.
This fable was authored by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger. You may reprint or repost, as long as appropriate credit is given to Mike Adams at http://www.NewsTarget.com
Port Angeles Fine Arts Center and
Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park pafac
which includes a small museum and a fascinating arts in the park, with trails and paths that meander throughout the park with different art installations along the way. Every time I go there, I see something new.
I saved this prompt for Moon Day, today on July 20th.
Moon Day is for the moon landing on July 20th, 1969.
“Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin formed the American crew that landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969, at 20:17 UTC. Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface six hours and 39 minutes later on July 21 at 02:56 UTC; Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft…. ” ~ Wikipedia.
I remember that day well. I had just graduated from high school and joined some friends at one house to to watch the landing on TV. I remember walking outside and looking up at the moon and then back into the house to see the astronauts on TV and thinking they both were the same.
We watched the landing after watching the lift off a few days earlier. We watched Armstrong take the first step onto the moon saying, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
I have no doubt that this event caused a lot of my peers to investigate science education and occupations. Yet, even today, 50 years later there are still people who believe this is a hoax, and those who even believe the earth is flat.
I am a big fan of two things in life… learning and sharing.
Education can come in many different forms… from formal education in a classroom to reading a variety of books from a library. It’s asking questions and listening and asking more questions. It’s looking for new viewpoints.
The other; sharing… volunteering to help others, to donate funds and items that helps others, lending a hand to those who need to help others.
I’m listening to and reading online comments from people who claim to be followers of a teacher who is said to encourage these two ideas but they are doing anything but.
One woman who screamed at others that she will teach her grandchildren to hate “you people”. Family members who talk about others as nothing more than objects. Those who refuse to do one simple thing, like wear a face mask, that could help keep others from getting sick.
I’ve always known that the world was full of selfish, narrow minded people who didn’t care for anyone else but themselves. The fear and guilt they promoted has always been there. But it seems it’s more overt, in your face right now. It’s as if the racist squatter in the White House has given them all permission to be angry and hate and make sure we all know exactly how they feel. Too much of this hate is becoming action meant to send messages of fear to the rest of the country, and the world.
They are not happy that “the others” that they fear and hate are now pushing back. Women with the #MeToo movement, The Pride movements, Black Lives Matter, are three of the largest.
But smaller, quieter ones are also pushing back… older people, fat people, disabled people and non-Christians.
And this last one is one that is usually fueling the strong anger and hate that infect the others…. Conservative Christians are the only group who has the majority and then tries to force fear and guilt because they don’t have a monopoly.
It’s the white, straight, rich, Christian males who guide the rest of the problems. They hate BIPOC. They hate LGBTQ. They fear strong women and only want young obedient submissive Christian women who have enough sense to stay at home and raise babies like they were designed to do. They hate and fear the poor. They hate non-Christians; Muslims, Jews, Pagans, Atheists and even some that self identify as Christian but the conservatives refuse to recognize them as such.
This group also dislikes, if not right out hates, and fears education and helping others. Republicans have for generations insisted that people stand on their own two feet and not expect government aid. Conservatives encourage early marriage so that young people can’t get too smart, especially young women. If they have to have education, they insist it has to be “Christian” education, which isn’t really education. It’s indoctrination.
They don’t learn or know the history of our country, or even of their own religion. They encourage ignorance on both, because “poorly educate” people are easier to control and manage.
So what am I worried about?
I’m worried that conservatives have infiltrated politics at such a rate that it might be hard to turn it around. This is not by accident, this is by design, and has been the goal since the 1950’s when they forced “under God” to be added to the Pledge of Allegiance and on the dollar bill. Both of those were intended to force god onto everyone whether they wanted it or not.
The goal of electing Donald Trump was a simple one. To get conservative judges on the Supreme Court so that they will overturn Roe Vs Wade and outlaw abortions. If they can accomplish that, the next goals of repealing the amendments that give “others” the rights we have… women’s rights, civil rights, gay rights. They would love to take us back to the 1920’s when women, black people and gay people are all second class citizens and have no rights to speak out, to object and to vote. The only ones who would have these rights would be them… white, straight, rich, Christian males.
And if you think I’m overreacting, just look at how way too many people are reacting to the Covid 19 novel coronavirus in this country.
Instead of listening to the experts and learning about the virus and about how to keep from getting it, and more importantly how to help others from getting it, they are only thinking of themselves. They don’t care if anyone else gets sick and dies. As long as it’s not them. They want to go to the beach. They want to get a haircut. They don’t want to wear a mask.
Education and helping others.
Learning and sharing.
These are choices and it’s amazing, it’s appalling, how many people don’t want to do either one.
Too many people don’t take the younger generations seriously and they need to start doing so. It’s their future that we are infecting and affecting.
The teenagers of this country pulled a huge “prank” on Donald Trump and his egocentric rallies. I never occurred to Trump that there would be people who wouldn’t jump at the change to attend this insane rally.
These are just the latest. Add in the teens who organized BLM protests all over the planet, kids working for gun control so they can go to school without getting shot like the Parkland students.
And Greta Thunberg and others like her who are activists for climate change.
Teens are getting involved with #MeToo so they don’t have to deal with sexual assault like their mothers and grandmothers.
And they are getting involved with promoting social distancing and face masks during Covid 19.
These kids have had to give up a lot over the past 4-5 years, most recently the high school experiences that the rest of us all took for granted… proms, graduation, time with their friends.
But they hold the future in the palm of their hands and they are NOT going to let a gross dirty old man take it away from them.
Cheers to you, kids…. many of us are rooting for you and your successes!!