It’s been years since I gave Survivor’s Blog Here a facelift and today started looking around at options. Does this theme work for how you like the post to pop out on the front page. What is missing?
I want to hear your feedback not only about the theme but what you would like to see more of from Survivor’s Blog Here. I want the good, bad, and the ugly.
The COVID 19 virus has affected several of our contributors, I’m sure you’ve noticed less blogging in general. This to shall pass and I’m committed to making Survivor’s Blog Here a safe space for everyone to talk about their trauma, chronic illnesses, mental health, and recovery.
As we move into our seventh year I’m excited about the future, committed to growing the community, and getting you involved in shaping our growth. We would not be here without you, your stories, and your feedback.
Please take a minute to let me know your thoughts. I look forward to reading your comments and making changes as we grow together.
Melinda and Team
Survivors Blog Here is thrilled to announce Chronic Pain with a Higher Perspective and Adi’s Wings have joined our community as Contributors. Both are inspirational and committed to helping people with the challenges life throws our way. Please stop by their personal sites for post archives.
Chronic Pain with a Higher Perspective http://www.validatingchronicpain.com
Adi’s Wings http://www.adiswings.com
Originally posted on April 28, 2018 on Journey Into A.
A couple nights ago I was having some real nasty, dark thoughts and I just needed to refresh somehow and home decor is one of my facets that really helps me out of that trench. I love it, I’m inspired by it, I strongly believe that what’s in your environment is what’s basically in your head. So I started reworking one section of my room and the final look is about 90% different than it was prior.
Here’s a little of the “before” and I guess a bit of background. (Side note: I pulled these pictures off my Instagram so they’re not all edited the same- bear with me here.)
Now, I have enough furniture (minus a couch and bookshelves) to decorate a 700 sq. foot one bedroom apartment- which is what I lived in with my ex for 3 years. So moving into a smaller room (12’x11′), I’ve got to “store things” in it by maximizing the space I have. That wall has 4 pieces of furniture on it. One being a smaller little thin table, one is a (heavy) confessional chair from the 1800s, and the other two are larger pieces- a dresser and a rustic thin table. Two of those items I cannot move, one is just perfect for storing smaller things and housing things I like to look at- so those three are permanent. What is on top of them or added to them, however, is not (except for the TV, there’s no other outlets).
There wasn’t a whole lot I could do with this wall because of those doors and it doesn’t have any outlets. The piece that stuff is on top of is a big rectangle table- like the size of a set of drawers, but open inside with one prominent shelf (I’ve got a plastic drawer that houses my winter accessories on there, some journals, helmets, random knick knacks) and one that’s more hidden underneath it (perfect for things I don’t know where to put/cleaning products/old paperwork, etc.). This piece especially had to go here because on the other wall, there’s the only vent and if it were to sit there, it would cover it which is a huge no-no for me when this girl needs her warmth big time in the cold winters. I mainly made the top of this prettier because it would be something I’d see more often when I woke up in the morning.
I had those baskets under it to house more books. The bottom shelf had books lined up vertically. I went through more of my things under my bed (boxes) to sell some items I should’ve prior to moving from CA- books, DVDs, etc. I sold a bunch of books that I really didn’t need anymore- none that would inspire me again- and I pulled out more that I had had on my list for a while. So then this area became one where I housed the books I wanted to read and this way I could see them and have easier access to them. The remaining books under my bed are ones I’ve already read or ones that I’m not in a hurry to read. I added a bunch more books than there was before, which meant I needed to make them all fit- which is how the stacking variations came into play. Those stacking variations led to openings to fit vases or knick knacks I didn’t have a place for previously. Then on top of the table, I got a Himalayan salt lamp, and the rest were just some knick knacks I had to make it look nice.
This was mainly moving that round mirror over and removing/adding knick knacks. I also got some fake florals from Michaels that I made into fun, bright floral arrangements for pops of color. To the right, hanging on the door, I moved a picture hanging garland that used to be strung around the mirror. I felt it added extra color and love to an otherwise bland/normal area.
The main thing I wanted was to move that mirror over which meant I had to move a top table organizer (not the actual name for it, but that’s the best I can describe it as right now) and a bigger piece of artwork. Not a whole lot happened here, but it spruced it up, definitely. The left wall, however, didn’t feel right at all. I had to move the organizer (thing) on top of the dresser because it was longer than that thin tall table which then lead to the TV put on top of it.
Now there was a lot of added height to that space which I hadn’t originally expected. I didn’t think that organizer was longer than that table, but I wanted so badly for that mirror to go on the other wall and the mirror wouldn’t lean safely on that organizer’s smooth top (it could fall after the dog jumps off the bed). Having started this project 30 minutes before bedtime, I had to leave most of the (very) impromptu project for the next day.
Like I said before, I was having dark thoughts and I kind of threw my hands up (at how I was feeling inside) and thought “okay change something”. My environment is always a good one to change up because I have to live in it and if it’s not inspiring me or making me happy, I need to find a way that will. I wanted these two walls now to be more colorful and come alive again. This photo was after I had looked around in the morning sunlight at what I’d done which was the catalyst to my brain then reworking the puzzle and for the rest of the day I was coming up with ideas on how I wanted it to look and feel, how I could have even more storage space, how I could be further inspired in my day to day.
See the finished product and read the last 466 words here.
Originally posted on Journey Into A on March 20, 2018.
I believe an update is warranted since I’ve made all these life changes…
It honestly feels like I have taken felix felicis, aka liquid luck (for all you non-Potterheads out there). It feels like every single move and decision and thought I make is the right one preparing me for the future I so wish to have. It’s incredible.
I haven’t felt this type of motivation in years. Solely because I had no idea what the hell I was doing or what the hell I wanted. Now, though, each day is it’s own step toward a greater goal. I am first and foremost bettering myself as a human. I’m changing the way I think and how things make me feel. I’m changing how I react to things and the way I talk about things.
Read the last 109 words here.
Hey there everyone!
Another change has happened within the last few weeks… I post a positive message (image) to my Instagram account every day! It’s typically a message that I will take with me through my day and I hope that seeing it helps others during their day. Check it out here!
Originally posted on Journey Into A on March 16, 2018.
Here is one of my playlists (via Spotify, I hope you have it). It has songs that make my mornings a whole lot easier! Anxious? Depressed? This playlist makes me feel at ease and joyful.
It includes songs from George Harrison, Donovan, Paul Simon, Carole King, Townes Van Zandt, Sandy Denny, and more! I hope you get the same feelings from it as I do!
Happy listening 🙂
Originally posted on Journey Into A on March 13, 2018.
I was having a really rough day just over a month ago and I asked my best friend for some help. She had a bunch of positive affirmations and I needed some. She also told me about a meditation app. That meditation app has been my daily helper ever since I downloaded it!
The app is called Simple Habit. There are 5/10/15 minute meditations available with a ton of topics! I do it everyday before I leave the house. It clears out all my anxiety and any depression I may be feeling. It’s got options for if you’re having a rough day or starting something new or just going to start your day, etc.
Within the first few days, I noticed a change within my self and mind. From the teachings I’d meditated along with, I could just let my thoughts be instead of letting them get inside me and fester. I felt stronger just breathing and being at peace. I had much more appreciation for myself and my life.
Read the last 143 words here.
Originally posted on Journey Into A on March 12, 2018.
I had a day all to myself recently where I could just relax and do absolutely nothing. I thought it would be a great day, but somehow I still ended up feeling anger or sadness. Before I went to sleep, I really thought about this and asked myself “what was it that got into your day to make you feel so upset? You were at home all day! There shouldn’t have been anything to upset you.” I realized that the only times I felt anger or sadness were from when I had opened my Facebook app.
So I deleted it.
Now, I just deleted the app so I still have a Facebook, but I don’t have the easy access to it like I did before. I haven’t fully deleted it because of all the photos as well as the fact that that’s how I can reach my page (to promote my blog). I haven’t been on it in about 3 weeks and it has been so nice!
I have been trying to change my way of thinking for the better the past few months and everyday, I still kept getting dragged into the same old thought patterns. It always stemmed from going on that app and seeing so much hate and anger and sadness and complaining. It was too much. If I couldn’t control their narratives, then it was time to control my own.
I didn’t have to go on it. I didn’t have to read their posts. I didn’t have to be upset from, well, bullshit anymore. I could free myself from it. I have that ability.
Read the last 221 words here.
This morning was so incredibly foggy, I could not even see a few inches in front of me. There is something a little eerie when you wake up to a thick layer of fog outside your window. Driving to work in this massive fog was a little scary, only because not everyone drives with the right amount of caution. In additional to the towering fog, there was an intense threat of rain! Rain and dreary weather adds even more pain to what I have already been dealing with.
The weather has been so crazy lately! It was not too many weeks ago when it was cold and there were minor threats of snow, but honestly snow in the south are only an inch or so! Now, it has been rainy and highs in the 70’s. It sounds so insane to me for temperatures to be in the 70’s in February, but I am really not complaining at all. I just wish the rain would stop and allow the sun to shine through! We all could use the benefits of pure and natural Vitamin D!
I know that it is the changes in temperatures that has caused my pain to sky-rocket once again. I am doing my best to not allow it to get me down because I know there will be a day where my pain is a little more tolerable, it just is not today. I always try to remain hopeful for a better tomorrow though because I really do think it is important to hold onto positive thoughts. I mean, seriously what good will negative thoughts really provide in the big picture?
Life is a struggle, but it is how we choose to cope with the issues that can make a huge difference in the outcome overall! No matter how much pain I am in or how hard it is for me to make it through the day, I do know that things could always be so much worse. It almost feels that life is like a game of cards. You will some days get dealt a great hand that is just easy to play, but other days the cards we are dealt are all horrible and hard to continue to play the game. The most important thing is to never fold because what you are holding in your hand may turn into something wonderful on another day! I use these analogy because it seems to fit, but the funny thing is I do not even play cards!
I hope y’all had a great day and you are feeling well! I appreciate you taking the time to visit my site today and of course leaving me some great comments! I will respond to all of your comments as quickly as I possibly can! Oh and before I forget, I am SO excited because I am doing a guest blog tomorrow for one of my fabulous fellow bloggers. If you have not already seen Grace’s blog, her site is https://msgracefulnot.com/, she is truly amazing! I really do feel honored that she would want me to make a guest appearance on her blog! Sending y’all lots of love and comfort, always!
I hope y’all have had a wonderful weekend! It is always so amazing how fast it goes by and then we have another 5 very long days we have to be at work! I guess it is kind of a blessing in disguise because at least we have another chance to make our week great!
I am sure everyone already knows this, but there are some topics you should never talk with family or friends about! Most of us have our own very passionate beliefs regarding politics and religion that probably do not match up with everyone. It is okay that we all have our own thoughts about these topics, but arguing about them will never solve the issues and you will never be able to change someone else’s mind! Never in my life have I ever been a political person, but I do have my strong opinions on the topic that are not influenced by anyone but myself!
Another hot topic that should be avoided with family and friends is same-sex marriage! I am one who believes very strongly that we are entitled to love whom ever we choose and therefore should be able to marry whom ever we love! Same sex marriage does not harm anyone, but talking ill of this in a “free country” will ultimately harm others. Why does it seem that so many are only okay if you marry someone of the same color, religious following, same ethnicity, but it must be the opposite sex? Who has a right to say who you should or should not love?
As y’all can probably tell, there are some things I am extremely passionate about and feel very comfortable sharing my thoughts! I think we should all feel comfortable with who we are and never feel any shame about it! I believe very indomitably that we should feel free with our beliefs! I will not get into how I feel about politics though only because that is probably a more intense conversation!
I want to thank y’all for visiting my site today and reading my semi rant! I get so frustrated with the negative thoughts surrounding these topics and will never understand the hostility with certain things! Sometimes facts are facts and can not be changed, no matter what you do or say. I really feel that if there was more love and acceptance around us, instead of hatred and judgement, the world would be so much happier! I did not mean to go all pageant queen with that statement wanting world peace, but it would be really nice if we could all just get along!
I hope you have a wonderful evening! Remember to always stay positive because it will pay off! Please feel free to leave a comment and I will respond as quickly as I can! I would really love to hear your thoughts! Sending you love and comfort always!
After a lot of thinking, Praying, and researching, I have decided Lifewithanillness is making the transformation to self hosting. My blogs have really flourished, and I truly cannot thank you all enough for all of the love and support I have received. Not only am I trying to help others but in turn you all […]
Originally posted on Journey Into A on November 15, 2017.
A couple of weeks ago I had a passenger who answered the phone and when the caller asked how he was, he said “I’m maintaining”. It stuck with me. It felt like the first time I’d ever heard someone say that.
The brain works in mysterious ways. Perhaps I’d heard that a hundred times in my life, not as many times to refer to as “common” when I’d usually think of the typical responses of “oh, doing fine”, “I’m alright”, “I’m good” or “I’m getting by”, I’m going through some things”, etc. I have truly no recollection of ever having heard that before, but this time I heard it, and I mean heard it, because I needed to hear it. He said something completely in the middle of those common responses.
It struck me as gold. It was a way to communicate that you’re going through the good and the bad that life throws at us. It was that middle ground that explains being in between or in transition or in coming out of something or changing. It alludes to you having gone through some things and that you’re actively working to move past them. It was beautiful. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
I told him right then and there that I’d liked his response. I told him how it made me feel and how it provoked so much thought. It was an honest response. It was a way to not feel that guilt you feel when you toss someone one of those generic responses. You know the feeling- you get it with those people that you feel really could hear you and listen to you, but you give them the old “I’m fine” when they ask how you are. You gave them that response because you still aren’t sure if they will really hear you, when so many don’t listen or don’t want to listen. We don’t want to bother anybody with the truth.
Read the last 111 words here.
I Love My Life
I’m so glad I didn’t end it when I became paralyzed 3 years ago! I was really, really close to doing just that…. 😳 but I stuck it out and I am so thankful that I did! I realized I can still do everything I used to be able to do, I just have to figure out a different way to do it.
I started a business to help me financially if anybody likes beef jerky it would sure help me out if you could go to my website and buy a bag my website is jerkybiz.org
All spiritual teachers say that complaining will reinforce your feelings of victimhood.
I’m in the middle of my second major victimization, and I’ve been complaining for the last 3 and a half years.
Complaining feels good, but has a heavy consequence. The complaining actually makes the feeling of victimization stronger.
If you are being attacked, you need to go to the proper officials to get help…..
….but if you get the help you need but continue to complain, you are only going to make yourself sick, but also potentially loose your friends, that you are complaining to.
This has taken me a total of seven years to learn this valuable lesson.
Every time I would complain about ‘the issue’, my emotions would get more stronger. Every time I complain, I reinforce my past pain and victimization.
Complaining is highly addictive, so be careful.
Now I no longer systematically complain about my problem….. I’ve finally worked out it doesn’t help, but quite the opposite.
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The photos in this video are dedicated the men and women of the American Civil Rights Movements.
We are all religions, races and nationalities. We are gay, straight and transgender.
We are everywhere and we will never give up.
I chose “We are Family” by Sister Sledge because it makes me smile. 🙂
Hi folks. I’m Chris.
And for about 12 years, playing drums has been a significant part of my life.
I played throughout middle and high school and went on to play drums in the Marine Band for several years. My parents paid so that I could attend private lessons (thank you momma and dad) while in high school.
In lieu of living in apartment, I’ve had to come to settle with playing drums in a video game to whet my percussive appetite.
When I sat down to play “Critical Acclaim” by Avenged Sevenfold the other day, I just sucked. Trying to look for a teachable moment, I came up with these five things that I can relate to my life on a daily basis.
Sometimes my drums are “off” when I play.
Really. They are.
They don’t play when I hit them, or more accurately, they have a lag.
Sometimes my SMART TV or some quirky electronic bug seems to decide on an incorrect default for my drums. This can result in a delay between when I hit the pad and when the sound is heard.
This results in “missed” notes.
This results in my score going down.
Which results in me failing out of a song.
Through a process of troubleshooting, I usually find that I need to recalibrate my drums to my TV. This little factor has a HUGE impact on how well I perform for the stadium of overzealous fans crammed into my beach bungalow’s living room.
In life, I sometimes get off track. My actions don’t align with my beliefs. Sometimes my words can come out all jacked up, potentially ruining someone’s day. My temper flares. My mood swings. My irritability soars. I get overstimulated and need to take a step back.
It’s at times like this that I need to take time to get my recalibration on, baby.
I need to realign my thoughts, actions, and words with my core beliefs.
I need to reorient my moral compass and get my rudder straight.
Sometimes we all get off track.
Better get yo’self back on track.
Better get yo’self some recalibration.
I wish I could play all the songs on Expert and get five stars. The fans deserve it.
Unfortunately, I have a long ways to go.
Fortunately, Rockband has a practice mode.
After I humbled myself the other day to Critical Acclaim, I switched over to Practice Mode and played the song a few times at different speeds. I had to break sections down that were killing me. I had to divide and conquer.
Now I can play the song on Expert.
After playing it about 20 times in the past two days, I finally achieved five stars on “Hard”.
Just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke, I played it again to be positive I could get five stars on the same difficulty level.
Practice paid off.
When I took private lessons, I didn’t like to practice. In fact, a lot of the time I would practice the 30 minutes prior to my lesson, or even in the car on the way to my lesson!
Outside of Rockband, I can at times, suck at communicating with my girlfriend. – I fail “our song”. If you ask her, she knows the hours where I have a metabolic dip that happens to be exacerbated by my sleep apea – times where I’m about as worthless at communicating as a hibernating grizzly.
Being an introvert also puts me at a level where I feel socially inept when it comes to talking to others.
I’m also a “stonewaller” – I reach a point in our arguments where I just withdraw and don’t respond or even talk at all. My exasperation and patience has jumped out the window.
I’ve been holding myself accountable to make these practice areas in our relationship. Meaning, when I’m in a good mood, I’ll try to initiate conversations more. Or when I’m irritable, trying to push myself to say, “listen babe, I want to talk about this, but am just too tired. Can we hit this again in a couple hours or at another time?”
A lot of the time I’m not able to do it and so I have to start all over from the beginning of our song.
We all have things in our life that we have to practice at whether we are already good at what we do, or pushing to be better at something.
There’s things at which we all fail.
Better get yo’self better atcho song.
Better get yo’self some practice time.
3. Overdoing It
When you’re playing Rockband, you have to play what is on screen, NOT what you think the song sounds like.
You need to play what you see, not what you think.
You may have the drum chart to Your Betrayal, or Diary of Jane memorized, but that ain’t what’s on screen if you’re playing on Easy.
A lot of times I’ll throw in a bass drum kick with a cymbal smash because that’s how I learned to play drums and that’s the way the song sounds. But that’s not was the screen is showing.
Sometimes in my relationships, I assume things. I think about something too hard. I incorrectly interpret the tone of a text or read into something that was never intended to mean how I took it.
I need to step back and take things slower. I need to relax a little and take things a little more lightly. I need to be slower in my responses and give them time to cook so I don’t hasten out a response of anger and resentment.
We all have an area in which we overdo it.
Better get yo’self to chill out.
Better get yo’self to slow down and simplify.
4. Baby Steps
Compared to a teenager, it took me an insane amount of time to get to the level in that song that I did. I had to start on Medium then work myself up to Hard. Then I had to work myself up from three starts to five stars.
I didn’t just sit down and play and BAM! I’m at my goal. I had to take things level by level. I had to use baby steps.
We all want things too quickly don’t we?
We all have a sense of video game satisfaction and entitlement where we may want to get to the end sooner rather than later. Where we try to find an easy way around. Where we want to punch in a cheat code instead of unlocking the puzzles in the game.
We all want to skip the trials and journeys.
Better give yo’self some time to git to that goal.
Better get yo’self to take it one step at a time.
5. Time Signature
Probably THE MOST challenging thing for me when playing Rockband is that there is no time signature.
Time signatures to the musician are what signs and lines on the road are for the driver. They tell you how much each thing is worth on the sheet of music. Without it, it’s…well, it’s Rockband.
Rockband has a minimal amount of guidance and sometimes I have to guess at where the notes are to be played. I understand why this is, it just makes things harder for the musician in me.
My life is like that. I have several guides that I need in my life to keep me between the lines on the road of life –
♦ The Bible – this is kind of my oil in the engine and user guide. When I do devotions in the morning and take time to read my Bible, Jesus Calling, and In Touch, I’m filled with peace and hope for the day. Life still happens, but when I have a driver cut in front of me, or given a situation in which I have the opportunity to exercise patience and kindness rather than the opposite, I’m able to come back to what I’ve read earlier that day at my kitchen table. The Bible is my anchor point, magnetic north, and grounding point. It’s also the lines, the speed limit and other signs that keep me grounded and directed in life, helping me stay on the road while I travel.
♦ My friends and family – These are my sounding boards as well as how I receive feedback to my “performance”. If I have ideas that aren’t so great or am about to make a bad decision, these people help me see that. They may give me alternatives or sound advice. They may advise against what I am about to do or support me with reasons why they think I should make a certain decision. They let me know if I’ve earned a 1-star performance or a 5-star performance and what I need to do to move up to the top 5% on the leaderboard.
♦ My conscience/the Holy Spirit – Sometimes I want to respond to my ex-wife’s email and texts with anger and vengeance. Sometimes I get irritable with my girlfriend. I always have a choice on how I respond. When I respond negatively, I get a little pinging in my brain telling me that’s not how I should be doing things – that’s the Holy Spirit. You may call it your conscience but whatever it is, we each get that little morale alarm advising against what we’re about to do, or a little victory bell of confirmation letting us know that we did the right thing.
I screw it up a lot, but I can’t blame it on not having a “time signature”.
We all have a time signature that gives us structure to our lives.
Better find out what drives yo’ life.
Better get yo’self familiar with yo’ time signature.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post, friend. What are your thoughts? I’d love to talk with you in the Comments section.
A little brick of hate was laid, down into the dirt.
Along with words of callousness, and spite, and wrath, and hurt.
A wall was built that housed mistrust, by someone I loved dear.
It grew in strength, brick by brick, each year it grew in fear.
All I could do was sit and cry, and beg that it’d come down.
But each day mortar, stone, and hate, solidified it with the ground.
I saw the light begin to fade, as it closed against the sky.
I hung my head in deep despair, in hopelessness I cried.
Then one day a dove appeared, against the blackened grey.
It chipped the joints, and broke the bricks, and toppled them away.
It pecked, and chipped, and split the wall, stone by simple stone.
For love and peace had reached a soul, that never the soul had known.
And now a garden there exists, in place of deep despair.
No brokenness, no sadness, no signs of disrepair.
For what was once a wall they made, was used to shut me out.
Love had now transformed through healing, and brought the rampart down.
That word says it all for me.
It’s usually a battle. And I never look forward to it.
I’m ashamed that I feel myself withdraw from my daughter because the torture I go through with her mother over the issue.
It’s NOT right.
I know this.
I am a poor dad for doing so.
“I’m human”, I plead to the masses ready to lead me to the desert of retribution outside the city gates for crucifixion.
“It hurts too much.”
“It’s too much to take.”
And my resolve collapses.
Shame on me.
This week I made a small stride…
“D”(aughter) went to Florida with her mom for 10 days.
She was to return today to spend 10 days with me.
She called last night to ask if she could stay in Florida for another four days.
I told her “yes” and to enjoy herself.
Some Lessons I Learned-
1. Humility. In the grand scheme of things, “D” is the Lord’s child, not mine. I am merely His earthly representative to guide His child on her earthly journey. This has helped make these valleys of mine, “easier” to traverse. It helps me put things in perspective.
I had to let go of my pride and focus not on what would hurt me, but what would glorify Him.
This. Can. Be. A. Tough. Lesson.
2. Selflessness. I had to put someone else’s desires above my own egocentric wants. Was it the right decision? Did it answer the question “What Would Jesus Do”? I have faith that it did.
3. Anger. I was able to harness my anger and resentment towards “D’s” mother. This is a struggle I have, thanks to my anger-based personality. Last night, I won in the gladiatorial arena.
4. Spirit Strength. It was not my inner strength and resolve that enabled me to take the high road. I don’t have that strength.
I am a person of retribution and vengeance.
I have cruel intentions.
I am a person that crumbles to getting even rather than understanding.
Totally opposite of what Christianity teaches, right? Yes, you are correct.
That’s why this situation wasn’t resolved because of my intestinal fortitude. The only reason I was able to traverse this river of Styx was through the Holy Spirit’s power.