Context: God and the Devil are in the Details

If time were an unlimited resource, I would probably break down each one of my sentences and turn them into essays. I would work tirelessly to achieve as much clarity as language allows.

Today, I’m going to expand on some of the sentences I wrote in yesterday’s post.

“When I meet anyone – I quickly read them (facial expressions, word choice, vocal tone, breathing pattern, eye blink pattern, movements, etc.) to determine what they’d like me to become.” Is this really necessary? Why do you do this?

  • I’ve written on here before that as a child, my father would experience unexpected rage attacks. In those instances he would break things as well as destroy and hurt whatever was in his way. At some point in my early childhood, I realized that his body exhibited certain characteristics right before he had an explosive episode. While this may seem like a sad story to you (and it is), it is also what allowed me to develop a deep attention to detail – it’s what allowed me to become a keen observer. I adapted to learn how to protect myself for situations that I perceived to be dangerous and in the process I developed a people reading skill.
  • On that note, I would like to express that I have fully forgiven my father for his behavior during my childhood. My forgiveness doesn’t excuse his actions. My forgiveness allows me to be free. This process of forgiveness has taken me almost 15 years worth of therapy (age 15 – present). I started therapy at the age of 15 after receiving a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa. Processing difficult situations takes time – I had to work through my anger, through my sadness, through my grief. While I don’t have a deep relationship with my father in the present day, I still seek him out. I ask him questions about his well being every once in a while. I deeply honor and respect my father. My heart aches for him – for the trauma and pain he was never given the luxury of time to process. In healing myself, I hope he can see that liberation from a tragic beginning is possible. I know that someday my father will cross on to the great unknown. I will miss him when he does.

“I don’t like clubbing. I don’t like drinking alcohol. ” Do you think less of people that partake in these activities? How do you have fun? Would you ever try psychedelics?

  • I don’t think any less of anyone that likes to drink alcohol or club or partake in whatever extracurricular activities make them feel good. What makes me feel good is not what makes the next person feel good. We’re all varied creatures. I genuinely don’t feel super happy when I do these things often (of course I’ve tried! <insert college years>). Where does this originate? My parents think that dancing and drinking alcohol are sins. They also think women wearing pants, women wearing bathing suits, eye brow waxing, wearing makeup, wearing jewelry, cutting your hair, changing your hair color, going to the movies, etc. is a sin. Don’t even get me started on decisions that involve anything other than the superficial aspects of life – ie. my father thinks that women giving up their children for adoption is unethical. Even though I am now free to choose how I live, some of the beliefs they indoctrinated in me must still be part of my subconscious programming. We can’t get rid of our pasts! We can only process and integrate the lessons it brought on to our lives. And for clarification purposes, I love to dance! Just not in a club setting.
  • Fun is a very personal thing! I enjoy the activities I choose to partake in.
  • I would only try psychedelics (there’s a lot of cutting edge research in the use of psychedelics to treat trauma) if in the right setting with a knowledgeable guide. Would I take psychedelics and go to a rave? No. I would only partake in psychedelic use for medicinal and therapeutic purposes.

“We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.” Hermann Hesse

“I spend about 10% of my time “withOUT” – with other humans and with the outside world.” Do you ever feel lonely?

  • There is a difference between feeling lonely and being alone. “There is lonely, and there is alone time. I have found that both have etched character upon my soul.” (Alfa). Or as Bukowski wrote, “I’ve never been lonely. I’ve been in a room — I’ve felt suicidal. I’ve been depressed. I’ve felt awful — awful beyond all — but I never felt that one other person could enter that room and cure what was bothering me…or that any number of people could enter that room. In other words, loneliness is something I’ve never been bothered with because I’ve always had this terrible itch for solitude. It’s being at a party, or at a stadium full of people cheering for something, that I might feel loneliness. I’ll quote Ibsen, “The strongest men are the most alone.” I’ve never thought, “Well, some beautiful blonde will come in here and give me a fuck-job, rub my balls, and I’ll feel good.” No, that won’t help. You know the typical crowd, “Wow, it’s Friday night, what are you going to do? Just sit there?” Well, yeah. Because there’s nothing out there… I’ve never been bothered with the need to rush out into the night… I like myself. I’m the best form of entertainment I have.” I have certainly felt lonely in the past, but I currently don’t feel lonely, As I mentioned yesterday, I live with a cat as well as 2 roommates. They’re all very lovely beings. We don’t have super deep and close relationships, but I respect and like them very much! I also interact with humans for work (I’m pre-COVID remote) and for life errands (grocery store staff, bank staff, healthcare providers, etc.). Once again, none of these are deep connections, but they’re folks I interact with! What I don’t have is a group of people here in San Diego that I regularly go out and socialize with.
  • Is this because of COVID? Is it because you moved to San Diego? When did this begin? Well, let’s go back to the beginning. From the ages of 0-8 (in Puerto Rico), I lived a pretty normal life. Though the grand majority of my early childhood interactions were with adults -very nurturing adults (mom’s side of the family – they’re not religious – and my day-time caretaker when maternal grandma wasn’t able to). I had child friends from 0-8 too. After we moved to the United States (I was 8.5 years), this changed. From the ages of 8-17, I was only allowed to have social interactions while in school or in church. I wasn’t allowed to hang out with peers outside of those settings unless it was at my house and my father could 100% supervise every aspect of it. From the ages of 8-17, I joined every extracurricular activity and volunteer event I could find. It’s actually how I got involved in research starting in 2003! (Never thought it would be the foundation of my career!). I didn’t get involved in these activities out interest or wanting praise or wanting to “get into college”. I got involved in these activities to spend as little time as possible at home. My father tolerated my involvement in extracurriculars that were of an academic or service nature. During my college years (starting at age 17), I was very, very, very social. I had a full and robust social life. This ended in 2014 when my last college best friend left Rochester. 2015 was a a year full of grief- the chosen family I had found that had accepted me for exactly whom I was, suddenly was spread in locations around the world. I have been in partial hermit mode from 2014 to the present (I moved to SD in 2018). PS. For those of you that are doing the math – how did you start working in research in 2003 when you’re 29 turning 30? From 2003-2006, I worked in research in a limited capacity. I was rewarded via stipend because I wan’t legally able to work. At the age of 16, I took out a work permit in New York State and officially began getting paid for research work. I have never worked outside of the science research industry.

“I’m NOT birthing any physical entity in this lifetime.” Why did I use the phrase “physical entity”? 

  • I believe that birthing comes in many different forms. Writing a book, sewing a dress, cooking a meal, etc. are all forms of metaphoric birthing. Creating comes in many forms. There are plenty of non-physical entities I will continue to give birth to for as long as I’m alive. I probably should have phrased this as “I’m not birthing any human entities in this lifetime.” The definition of physical can certainly expand to include the items I labeled as non-physical above (book, dress, meal).  In the previous post, I wanted to clarify that I don’t intend to use my uterus nor my birth canal to bring a human into this world.

“The only way I would become a parent in this lifetime is via step-motherhood. The child must be above the age of 5 and the primary mother must still be in the picture as a caretaker.” Why so strict?

  • As a kid, my mother would always submit to all of my father’s demands. I never saw her use her voice nor showcase her sense of self.  She never challenged him. I understand why and hold a deep compassion for my mother in my heart. She moved to the United States as an adult without a single one of her family members nearby. To this day, my mother doesn’t have any friends nor social connections. As a child, I promised myself to always stand up for what I believed in – even if it meant danger. From observing my mother, I understood that to truly advance in life, I had to be vocal about my desires and what was/wasn’t allowed. I needed to embody the opposite of her actions.  In therapy, I learned the language around this promise I made to myself. It was the art of establishing boundaries. While I really suck at establishing boundaries professionally (that’s b/c I fear the lack of security), I’ve become pretty good (not perfect) at establishing boundaries socially. As I previously mentioned, I have almost 15 years of boundary-establishing practice.

PS. I also don’t drink coffee 😉 Are you trying to showcase how”pure” you are? Do you think this makes you healthier?

  • I love the taste and aroma of coffee. However, if I drink it, I’m up at 3AM pacing around my room, sweating and shaking, while wondering why I’m experiencing tachycardia. If this wouldn’t happen to me, I would drink it often! Let us not forget that caffeine is a drug – a stimulant to be exact!

Bonus: What are your religious beliefs?

  • Nature and the cosmos are my religious beliefs. Have you ever looked at a piece of body tissue through a microscope and become lost in what appears to be an infinitesimal infinity? Have you ever stood in front of the ocean and pondered your insignificance? Have you ever looked through a telescope and become raptured by the vastness of what lies beyond?  I don’t subscribe to any organized religion. I don’t crave additional stories and an accompanying set of rules – the wonder of what is, is sufficient for me. I admire Hinduism -in all its complex, detailed, and rich history (there are so many sects in Hinduism!). I also admire the mystical branches of organized religions such as Gnosticism, Kabbalah, and Sufism. In regards to belief systems, I identify with humanism.

Why did I write this post? To showcase that the human experience is riddled with details, subtleties, nuances, as well as grey and technicolor areas. I wrote this to invite you to question the conclusions you come to after being exposed to information about a person, subject, and/or event. I know that our current social media algorithms have convinced us that we can master anything (or anyone) with a shallow dive, but I think otherwise. It takes a lot more than a meme, three articles, and a few podcasts to achieve any level of true knowledge and mastery. Have I mastered anything? No. Am I perfect? No. I generalize often. I fail often. I’m not immune to the dominant culture. But in the process of learning and discovery, I try to catch myself and course correct.  I try to remember to use  “Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?” as my exploration vehicles as often as possible. To dive deeper. To attempt to have a better understanding the subject at hand. Overall, I try my best to identify my pitfalls in order to make space for expansion and for the unknown.

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti (via Jason Silva)

PS. There’s a difference between critical thinking and conspiracy theories.

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