Your Emotions Are Valid


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I’m here today to tell you that your emotions are valid.

Your fear and anger and joy are valid. Please don’t let others bully you into thinking otherwise. Emotions are signals from your soul which you shouldn’t ignore. You should be aware of them and learn how to process them in a healthy way. Sadly I’m only just learning this, as I and many others have an unhealthy background of shame about certain emotions which has been pushed on us by others, especially within the Christian community by other Christians and the Church leadership.

Not all churches do this, of course, but it is a huge problem, especially in the Patriarchal movement (and I’ve seen it in other types of churches, too.)

Why is the Christian church so determined to squelch certain emotions? After all, what are emotions but something God created for us to understand and process? This is a real problem that happens to real people and it needs to be addressed by somebody! 

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As a teenager I thought I couldn’t feel confidence because at church it meant I wasn’t thinking of myself as a humble worm that barely deserved God’s mercy for being a sinner. I quickly learned that to express fear for something was to show I wasn’t a strong Christian who didn’t trust God enough.

To speak my opinions or thoughts as woman was not seen as living honestly but as not having a “meek and quiet spirit” and “not being submissive to your father’s leadership.”

I’ve seen others swallowed in depression because their church shamed them for their feelings and verbally abused them into thinking they simply had weak faith. My own mom, who felt distrust in her marriage, was told by both my Bible thumping father and several elders, that she just needed to “trust” him more, to follow him blindly because that showed stronger faith.

This is a crisp example of spiritual abuse dealt out by the church itself, in the form of literally telling people what they are feeling is wrong.

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Even the emotion joy is trampled on within the Church, in my experience.

After watching Star Wars for the first time in 2011, my sister and I fell in love with the films. However our Baptist friends were so concerned with critically analyzing them for Biblical flaws that we began to hide our joy. That way we wouldn’t be interpreted as passive Christians who wouldn’t take “every thought captive.” We had the same experience when The Avengers later came out in 2012.

I know many Christians can face this over the experience of Harry Potter as well. Isn’t that awful?

God gave us emotions to find joy in love and to grow despite fear, so why are we told that fear is bad? The Church should help us in our journey and NOT tell us that what we’re feeling is wrong.

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The Church should never tell me my emotions are invalid. Sadly, many of them do anyway and at twenty years of age I now know they are wrong to do so. So that’s why I’m writing this: Not to say the Church is hopeless or to say that every Christian Church-Goer is like this, but to simply say from me to you:

You Are Valid.

I want you to know this. What you are thinking and feeling right this moment is valid. Do not be guilted by someone who can quote scripture more fluently then you that somehow what you feel is not true for you. Emotions were given to us by God, so embrace them, process them, learn from them, enjoy them: Because that’s what they are there to do.

Don’t tell yourself, “No, I can’t be angry, that’s a sin.” Instead, ask, “Why am I angry?” and get to the root of the problem instead. Anger is a warning sign that something must be mended–either within yourself or in the environment around you. You put yourself in danger by trying to hide it. How can you keep a house from flooding without acknowledging you can see the water creeping through the cracks?!

Even Jesus had a righteous anger: He didn’t smother it, he expressed it. That’s the key.

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The same goes for discomfort and contentment. Annoyance and anxiety. Guilt and love. You name it, that emotion is a valid signal that no one should shame you for having. Work through your feelings with safe people who can validate you as a person; people who show empathy instead of shame; people who can relate to you as a human.

Along these lines, don’t let Christians try to twist your story into a mirror image of their own by shaming you for your struggles or even for liking something they personally don’t care for. *sigh* Why couldn’t I have just enjoyed Star Wars?

God has made you as you with your own journey and your own interests that are different from others and that’s okay. You’re likes and dislikes are valid too.

Something to watch out for is Scripture to be used against validating your emotions, such as the verse that goes:“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” This verse has been twisted, in my experience, to mean: “Don’t trust your feelings and inner signals because it’s all a façade, you can’t trust yourself at all, so listen to what I have to say instead.” Beware.

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Yes, of course, we all make mistakes. We are all flawed within our hearts. However, that does not make our God-given emotions invalid, gosh darn-it! This scripture should be used to look within and not out at others. Sadly Christians have battered me with such a verse for having emotions that they think doesn’t exhibited faith or reformed Christian head knowledge!

No one should judge you against their own life’s journey because they think a scripture verse allows them to. This is wrong, it is spiritual abuse and it can mess up your head very badly in connection to something beautiful, like real-life faith. Such Bible-beating must stop.

I want to make it clear here as I bring this towards an ending, that this post is not targeted specifically at anyone, even though I can think of several people who’ve specifically done this towards my family (when I speak family, I exclude my dad because he was one of the abusers.) And I’m not trying to say that those who’ve abused scripture are necessarily meaning to be cruel. I think many of those people were simply trying to hide their own emotions and by examining others instead were able to be distracted.

We are all in need of empathy and understanding but that does not mean we should simply submit ourselves to abuse.

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So, I am specifically attempting to bring light on a subject of spiritual abuse that has chased my family for many years. I want people to be aware of this problem because it needs to be recognized by unsuspecting victims, well-meaning abusers, and people who stand by completely ignorant either way. This is a problem. 

It’s time that the Christian Church stops invalidating the spectrum of human emotion and instead aid their flocks into maturity and mental health by processing those emotions instead of burying them.

But that could be a long time coming.

So please just know from me: You are special. You are wonderfully created to have strengths and weakness which will give you a life-long journey of discovery and growth. You have interests which God has placed in you, with emotions that are there for a reason. So treasure them, respect them, and learn from them.

And never let anyone tell you ever again that you are not valid.

~Jamie

A Weird Week


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I did finish The Night Circus this week!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Easter weekend! I didn’t do anything except eat deviled eggs and do laundry, so I hope you have better stories to tell than I do. I didn’t even eat Peeps, which I’m mad about. I need to get to Wal-mart pronto. XD

So this past week has been weird. My crown lengthening happened on Monday; it has been uncomfortable (and gross) for the past week. I’ve been in my room most of the time, mostly because my diet shrank to consist of only soft foods, which made my overall energy drop. I get irritable when I’m hungry/uncomfortable/in pain/can’t eat meat so, you get the picture. My tooth is gradually getting better, though, and the stitches dissolved last night! (My computer and internet was also fussy this week, which made me fussy too. Thankfully its all sorted out now. :D)

I have nearly finished a full Harry Potter Marathon; I only have the two-parter left. It was all quite an accident–I like the first one because the kids are cute and it’s just a happy movie so I put it in for comfort the night of surgery. Then each night I’ve just put the next one in and here I am. XD The Half-Blood Prince might be my least favorite because it’s so depressing…it’s a good movie but it sure left me sad.

The good thing about this week is that I did make progress on shows I’ve wanted to see before comic-con! I started the very famous Attack on Titan. I get what all the fuss was about a couple of years ago, and thankfully I’ve been able to avoid spoilers. I also got to start Free! and now I’m addicted to the ending. XD

One of the better things that happened last week was that I got my first birthday present of the year from my best friend–Princess Jellyfish on DVD! It came on Tuesday when the internet was out, so I was able to watch most of it before it we got it fixed: Perfect timing! It’s my favorite anime so I can’t wait to watch all the bonus features! (I should clarify to mention my birthday is in July, which is why this was such a fun surprise! XD)

The only other from this week worth sharing is that my parents’ divorce is nearly finalized, which makes me very happy. I’ll be discussing certain topics pertaining to it in the upcoming months. :)

So, that’s been my week; how was yours?

~Jamie

Movies of Interest


So, I haven’t done this blog series in a while! Totally time for it because I’ve been getting through my want-to-see list pretty steadily this past month. The one thing in common between these movies is that they were all released last year. Which ones have you seen?

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The Edge of Tomorrow | 4.5/5

So, I loved this movie! It follows a major who becomes stuck in a time loop, reliving the same day again and again as he awakens on an army base and goes into battle against aliens. It was SO entertaining and never once got boring! I loved Tom Cruise in the role of the Major and Emily Blunt in her female soldier role. I regret not seeing this in theaters; it would have been an amazing experience! If you enjoyed a good sci-fi story, definitely check this one out!

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Big Hero 6 | 3/5

I have A LOT of problems with Big Hero 6, I’m afraid, and I went in with lowered expectations to see if Disney would surprise me. I guessed the villain immediately because of his nose. The side-characters were gross one-dimensional tropes. Nobody felt like superheroes at the end, just glorified “LOOK AT US WE’RE COOL NERDS” with science-y things they’d made. Honey Lemon was a near carbon copy of Rapunzel except she dabbled in science instead of art (her personality, hair and face looked so similar…she looked cheap.) Disney, stop delivering such poor character quality already. One Pro: Baymax was cute. He was adorable. I want a Baymax.

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Gone Girl | 4.5/5

So, I really want to read the book, now that I’ve seen the movie! It was a great psychological thriller/murder mystery with some great characters, mostly because their depravity is slowly revealed as the movie progresses. I was on the edge of the couch throughout the running time and it went to places I didn’t expect. It was really long, but that turned out okay because I kept wanting more. :)

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The Maze Runner | 4/5

I’m about to watch Divergent as well because I’ve been curious about these other YA dystopian films the people always end up comparing against The Hunger Games. Well, I ended up enjoying The Maze Runner quite a bit! The lack of romance was very refreshing, the maze setting was really cool (I admit I expected more than I got when it came to the maze, but what I did get was okay,) and the end reveal surprised me. The movie did leave me with more questions than when I started, so I’m fidgeting for a sequel with anticipation. I hope the next movie answers my questions!

~Jamie

My Online Highlights || Round 2


Favorite Blog Posts

I Read:

I Reviewed:

Twitter

What I’ve Been Watching

  • Frasier Season 4 (THIS SHOW IS HYSTERICAL.)
  • Your Lie In April (IT ENDED. It was so sad but so good!)
  • Arrested Development (because it’s also hysterical.)
  • Parasyte (it also ended! ALL MY SHOWS ARE ENDING.)
  • The Walking Dead is nearly over too.

New Accounts

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This month I discovered Anime-Planet, which put me on a rampage to document all the anime I’d seen. I liked hearting all the characters I liked and see how much time I’ve spent watching anime. According to the meter, I’ve seen nearly two weeks worth.

YouTube

Lindsey Stirling’s latest video is out and it’s so beautiful! It’s little different since we don’t actually see her play the violin. I’d also say this video holds some of her best acting! And the music is just amazing as always.

I heard this and immediately knew I needed the sheet music for it. I LOVE the piano at the beginning and the overall melody! I can’t wait to start learning this piece!

Writing Updates

I’ve been getting into the nitty gritty details of my world recently, more than I’ve been writing it. Lol oh dear. I dislike details so I have to put extra effort into it.


Well, I like how my second post for this monthly series turned out! :) My crown lengthening is happening today though, so that’s kind of a damper. I’m very nervous about it. AND my computer is acting up again and I’ve not yet done my first monthly backup! 8-| Hopefully all goes well and my computer stops acting weird! Prayers would be appreciated. :)

~Jamie

4 Things My Writing Career Has Taught Me


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So, an awesome thing happened. TheLadders.com are currently running a project where they seek out specific career advice, and they asked me to share my own advice for people looking into writing as their career. I thought, sure why the heck not?!

I’m still pretty new to my writing career, even though I’ve been blogging for four years and writing fiction for over ten; I have SO MUCH to learn! However, here are a few big things I have learned.

1. Helpful criticism is your best friend.

Everybody thinks they know this, but it’s another thing to have your work returned to you with more than just a few glowing remarks on your genius. Generally, unless they’re anonymous internet trolls, people simply want to be honest. If you’ve asked specific people for their feedback, trust that they’re wanting to help you. Even if you don’t change or do every single thing people suggest, it is smart to hear a reader’s perspective on your work.

I learned several years ago that my writing improved when I swallowed my pride and listened to the feedback people had to give. If you can take helpful criticism, you and your writing will improve quicker than if you didn’t.

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2. Go out of your way to learn more about writing.

I’ve exhausted my library’s creative writing section for a couple of months now, looking for books that talk about building characters, plots, worlds, grammar, story flow, ect. On can learn so much from doing this, especially if you’re going out of your way to find. Finding online articles about writing strong and better is even more convenient! Find anything that could expand my knowledge as a writer and give it a try.

I’m currently reading six different books on writing at the moment and they’ve already changed the way I view my craft. I strongly suggest all writers should learn from others shared mistakes and success to see what might help your individual needs and weaknesses as a writer.

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3. Unless you dare to try or to take risks, nothing will happen.

To be a writer is to take risks, to move forward when you want to move backward, to be open, to be insecure, to have gnawed finger nails. I hit these crossroads a couple of years ago myself. I discovered a platform for self-publishing but became scared people wouldn’t like what I wanted to publish; that it stunk; even worse, that people wouldn’t be interested to even try reading it. I saw two choices: keep rewriting till the story turned to mush out of fear that my work wasn’t good enough… OR take a risk to move past my insecurities and publish despite my inner voice of doom.

I realized that if I didn’t at least try I would never know either way if my work was good or bad. So in the end I hit publish and the response to my first short story was encouraging and kind: And people wanted more of it! I’m always thankfully I took that jump because it has led some wonderful success!

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4. WRITE. Everybody says this, but that’s because it’s important.

I don’t care what you write, but the more you write the better you get. This is the simplest piece of advice I’ve learned yet and hopefully most of you seriously considering writing already know and do this as often as possible.

These some the most valuable lessons that I’ve learned the past four or five years. If a writer’s career is the life for you, well, welcome aboard. Tighten your seat belts since the goings usually rough…just remember that the view is worth it.

~Jamie

Too Yummy To Count


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What’s your favorite candy? I know, I know, it’s not very good for you. But it’s fun to eat from time to time! Outside of saying chocolate, which is very broad, I would struggle to pick a favorite!

I love gummy worms (more than gummy bears) because they’re long and gross and cool all at the same time. I like Tootsie Roll Pops, the grape and raspberry flavored ones. I love Nerds, because they’re acidic and sweet and crunchy. I love the Jelly Belly Raspberry Blackberry pieces because they remind me of vacations and long car trips. Caramel is special because wearing braces and other mouth appliances for years made it a forbidden sweet. Reese’s and Hershey Dark Chocolate are also wonderful.

THERE’S JUST TOO MANY TO COUNT.

What’s your favorite?

~Jamie

A Lyric Medley


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I have a diverse taste in music; my cousin recently asked me what my favorite type of music was and I couldn’t even answer as I didn’t know where to start. I like a bit of everything–well, I’m not really into country or bubble gum pop…but I will listen to pretty much everything else if the song grabs me. So, this lyric/music tag should be really fun to do!

Thank you, Tara, for tagging me with this. I’m so sorry it took me so long to get it finished. :)

A song that describes me perfectly.

Roar by Katy Perry. This song resonated with my past when I first heard it, and it’s been my unofficial theme song ever since. “You held me down but I got up/Already brushing off the dust/You hear my voice, you hear that sound/Like thunder, gonna shake the ground.”

The happiest song I know.

Is it too cliche to say Happy by Pharrell Williams? It’s literally called happy. I walked the dogs to this song for weeks because it was so upbeat (and repeated well). “Because I’m happy/ Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof/Because I’m happy/Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.” Hee-hee, the lyrics sometimes feel a bit odd but it’s still a really bouncy song.

A song that makes me want to dance.

Flyers by Bradio. I want to jump along the rooftop when I hear this song. It’s still one of the best songs I’ve ever heard, especially when paired with the Death Parade animation. “Everybody, put your hands up!” (Also Shake It Off by Taylor Swift should be mentioned, because that’s the perfect dancing song.)

A song that makes me feel rebellious.

Shatter Me by Lindsey Stirling. This song makes me want to break barriers, smash walls, leave my shell. Violin and dubstep has never sounded so amazing together. Lzzy Hale has a great voice! (Also the music video is incredible.) “Somebody shine a light/I’m frozen by the fear in me/Somebody make me feel alive/And shatter me.”

A song about a story.

This is an unconventional answer, but Lazy Scranton (which, I’m sure, Michael Scott once again plagiarized from a different song) is such a fun rap from The Office–I think of the story of The Office when I think of Michael and Dwight’s incredibly cheesy music video. That show is boss.

“They call it Scranton/What?/The Electric City/Scranton/What?/The Electric City.”

A song that would play during the apocalypse.

The Regulator by Clutch. Maybe it’s because I originally heard it on The Walking Dead, but I see this song playing over an apocalypse in slow motion. I really like how it starts off fairly slow and then builds. “Dream with the feathers of angels stuffed beneath your head/The regulator’s swinging pendulum//Come with me and walk the longest mile.”  (I used to go for runs with this song and pretend zombies were after me. I tell you those were my best workouts.)

A “I can’t even” song.

Don’t Stay by Linkin Park. I can’t even about this song because I detected the voice of my longest running main character singing it when I first hear it–I could hear him sing to his nemesis, his best friend, and himself–bitter, scarred, resentful…the song itself seems like a breakup song, but that’s never how I hear it. “Sometimes I feel I trusted you too well/ Sometimes I feel like screaming at myself/Sometimes I’m in disbelief I didn’t know/Somehow I need to be alone.”

A song that gives me chills every time I hear it.

Chandelier by Sia. I resonated a lot with the hopeless-sounding emotion that this sound resonates. It’s an old, familiar feeling from a few years back, only more beautiful-sounding. “I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier/I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist/Like it doesn’t exist/I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry.”

A song of hope.

The Lost Get Found by Britt Nicole. This was one of the first Christian pop songs I heard as a teenager, and the beat and lyrics struck me and have stayed like a pin with me ever since. “Don’t let your lights go down/Don’t let your fire burn out/’Cause somewhere, somebody needs a reason to believe.”

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I’m going to tag: Faith, Emily, Maribeth, S, and Grace. Here are the tag rules for anyone else who’d like to do it–I didn’t follow it very closely to be honest, lol.

The rules:

1. Thank and link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Make a collage that represents your taste in music to go along with your tag post.

3. List a song for each of the 10 questions (or make up your own!) and include your favorite lyrics from that song, if you’d like. If you want to explain why you chose that song, that’s cool too – go crazy with it!

4. Tag at least 5 bloggers

~Jamie