Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Day Dreams

Hola a mis amigos del mundo. 
It's been a stressful week over here, and my brain is going nuts, life is off the wire. And to top it all off, this is probably my most intense academic week as well. I can't find balance. But, I'll keep chuggin through. 
So, while being a good little student and attending classes today my mind was wondering into deeper thoughts of what I was being taught. 
In my New Testament class today we learned about a passage in Philippians known as "The Christ Hymn." I feel like it really sums up most of my reasons for belief and what I believe to be important factors in life and God's teachings. So, here we go... Philippians 2. 

"If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus..."

Yeah. So far, out of my minimal interpretative and closed reading Bible studying I would say that this is a large summary of all I value. Compassion and sympathy, love, humility, self-sacrifice... Oh, HELL YEAH! I wish Paul would've written this letter to me. 

After learning more about this passage and Paul's relationship with the Church of Philippians I started thinking about my church and the relationships I've formed growing up in that congregation. The deeper I go in life, and the deeper I go in forming new relationships, the more it comes back to my church community. I can't help but recognize the correlation of the ones I love the most and where I initially started my relationship with them... mi iglesia [my church]. Why is that? Is it simply because I've known these people for the longest; and they've seen me through my maturity and growth? Or is it because of the setting I've known them from? I think there's a fair amount of truth in claiming that my love for these people may be solidified because I know they have been taught a love similar to the one that I value. A love that we were taught, and have almost all applied. The largest handful of people that I have as examples and leaders in my life are those I've seen most Sundays and Wednesdays of my adolescence. It could just be that my connection to all these loves are simply because of the time and energy I've put into them. But, I feel like a spirituality that's unexplainable and probably unprovable is an underlying tone in all of these relationships. My bestest friend in life right now is a boy I grew up in church with. We've seen ups higher than I imagined possible, and we've seen downs lower than I'd ever want them. But, somewhere there's always been love and patience. I don't know how he's put up with me all of these years... when I look back on all of our struggles I can't help but just laugh at how ridiculous we've both been... more, I. But, we're both still hanging on. We know what forgiveness does for a relationship. We know the importance of loving someone, unconditionally, and accepting them for who they are and who they want to be. Sounds a lot like some teaching we may have received in the little days of Sunday School, doesn't it? I have multiple other relationships that are similarly strong and based on these virtues that originated at this establishment. The number is high and outweighs all of my other social scenes. Maybe it IS because we can all recognize this "same mind" and "same love." ?
Hell, I don't know. 

I really hope that this theory continues as I go through life, because these people are the ones who will help me the most as I choose my life, or react as it comes. 

I realize the exact opposite of these claims can be made as well. I would guess that there are many people out there who felt more judged in their church than anything else. Which angers me gravely. The ideal of a church is acceptance and love. The ideal of most religions is acceptance and love. Boo judgement and boo church's that exemplify that. I'm sorry to you... 

A certain someone had me thinking non-stop about music as well today. 

What does it mean to me now? How has that changed from previously? Do I want it to continue changing or is this a beyond satisfying place to be?

Music is the answer for me right now. It's helping me identify myself in ways I'm not sure I would've been able to identify elsewhere. I've had music in my life, again mostly beginning at my church, for as long as I can remember. I did the whole piano lessons thing... (not for very long, and not very well, but... lessons were had), I joined choir in 6th grade and have yet to leave it. Sang throughout middle school, continued in high school... ended up doing "well" [whatever the hell that means] and now, here I am, getting ready for a college choir tour to England and Wales, in January. Choir is a lot of my musical mold. There are aspects I'm grateful for, but also training that I'd rather be ignorant of. I wonder what choir would've been like for me in another country? A country that wasn't individualistic? In America, we're so focused on individual talent and doing our own individual, absolute best. There's a sense of pride in the independence of knowing we can sing a part well, on our own. But where's the harm in depending on the group as a whole? You can lead the way all you want, in tempo and in pitch, but if the rest of the group is keeping a group tempo and pitch you are getting nowhere, and benefiting no choir. It's a group. It's a trust. It's great. 
I'm learning that's what I want music to be, and what I want more of my life to be. There's a certain amount of individualism that's needed, especially in our society, but the idea of a communal understanding is gorgeous. 
Music has also given me confidence by identifying my insecurities. I would've never guessed a year ago that I'd EVER play any of the songs I've written for ANYONE. But now, here I am... preparing for potential gigs consisting only of originals. Scary. I never would've thought I'd have the confidence to do that. But, music has enlightened me. It's allowed me to recognize that there are things that I can do that will be beautiful, even if only to me. It's given me confidence in my emotions and expression. Music will never again be an experience lacking spirituality for me again. We've become committed, music and I. We're dating. 
I'm falling pretty hard for him too. It's hard for me to have music in 'the background' at all now. I have to focus on it, I want to focus on it. I want to feel it. I'm so fricken lucky to have a best friend who is one of thee most talented, and admirable musicians I've ever met. And then on top of that, to have a whole realm of friends with extreme talent and passion. Ahhh... but music is so vulnerable. SO VULNERABLE... especially in the voice, I've noticed. Everyone has their own voice, and everyone perceives voices differently. You never know who's gonna like what you sound like, who will like the vulnerable creation you're creating. Takes a lot of confidence to ignore that step and to just make music because it's enjoyable to you. 
I think it helps to have someone who shares the passion.
Safety in numbers, right?

Music has been a huge release to me. It's the deepest I've ever felt for it. It's the most comfortable I've ever felt for it. It makes me appreciate simple things in life. I think I would feel simply the most happy sitting next to a campfire with a guitar in hand, a cello in my best friend's hands, a french horn in my other best friend's hands, and a breathtaking voice in my Puerto Rican lover. Ah. That'd be life for me. A weekend of that, and all my internal conflicts would be resolved and every desire for love would be filled. 
Music and Love.
I'm a broken record.

I need to go camping.
But it's snowing.
My life needs a camping trip. A weekend surrounded by glory. yummy. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

News. News. News.

I just purchased my tickets to see this beautiful man premiere in the new James Bond flick, "Quantum of Solace" on Thursday at midnight.

Thank God for Daniel Craig.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Physical Attraction and Love.

We're surrounded by a world of lust. We're mammals with desires, instincts, urges. But somewhere lost within our societal influences, our evolution proves our deepest desire... 
to be in love.
I watched a video today in my Social Psychology class that went into psychological depths of physical attractiveness and our chemical reactions... I won't be able to remember much about the chemical stuff... neurobiology is not my thanggg... Sorry. 
We all know the rule of symmetry. Everyone's heard that we're attracted to individuals with symmetric faces. It's proven and accepted... yeah yeah yeah... 
We're also attracted to pheromones that are produced by a special someone of interest. There's been studies done where women will actually smell the sweaty T-shirts of men who had been playing basketball... then these women will proceed to analyze which smell they're most attracted to. And sure enough, the pheromones that women often get the most excited over belong to men with the strongest immune systems. How the hell? And why the hell? I don't know. It's part of our evolutionary instincts to find the most 'attractive' person, who would then be obviously the best suit to raise children and a family with, and continue the beautiful human life. 
It still seems strange that my Chick-Flick influenced subconscious would find attraction levels based on healthiness and who would bone the best, and make the best lookin' hijos. But, I guess that's where the basis for our attraction comes from... Who has the best genes. 
One of the anthropologists who was making this video gave her theory of a 3 step attraction process. The first step is lust. Pretty self explanatory. I feel like this step is too heavily stressed in the World around us. We're expected to act on these urges. I would guide not to recognize these desires as often as they arouse. Lust is misleading in our goal of ultimate love. Other mammals with these lustful desires can pull it off. They're capable of sexing all over the place and making babies, because that is more so their 'purpose' in the circle of life. But we're these radical beings... and we're exceptions, as always. Somewhere in lust you must factor in future, which I believe to be almost impossible if we're truly just acting on lustful instincts. The step of lust doesn't get us far in our goal for love. After lust comes the romantic interest. You know... that puppy love stuff. Who doesn't want this stuff? It's great. I think this is probably when most of the chemical interactions going on in our body happen. Because to me, romantic interest means further sexually... which means more chemical alterations. Some lovely thing called the caudate nucleus is activated when we're in love. There is literally a change in our brain, similar to the effects a drug such as cocaine may have on us. The dopamine levels in our bodies are highly elevated, and as many of us have probably experienced... we have one attention, one focus: the lover. This explains our desires to be with that person all the time. It's nearly impossible to focus attention elsewhere. I'm a big fool for the idea of romantic love, but have potentially only really felt the chemical changes in my body for a couple recent weeks in my life. They were great. Unexplainable, powerful, all that good stuff. We all have a desire to fall for someone. We want to be swept off our feet and into someone's love embrace. It's an addiction... I mentioned this in my last blog, even. I'm addicted to love... we all are. So, what comes after the romantic interest stage according to this woman? Long Term Attachment. This is just simply the commitment stage. Pffftttt. It's an oxymoron for me to say "simply the commitment stage," isn't it? This is the time in our biological lives when we decide that we're ready to raise children together. So... we commit. I'm a cynic to this idea, right now in my life. I'm debating and playing roles in my head as to what I would want commitment to truly mean in any relationship I'm in. I'm a big fan of growing as a person, and with other people. And I think it's ignorant to not notice growth that may take place apart from that other committed person. Relationships are important to me, and I think ideally I'd like to make that commitment. But, realistically I'm hesitant. You can make the commitment, but you also must commit to yourself. How much of yourself can you ultimately give up? Shoot... "give up" was a bad choice of words. You know what I mean though... Have you heard of "The 7 Year Itch"? This is the time when attraction generally begins dwindling. Evolutionarily this would be explained with the idea that you and your lover would now have a kid around the age of 6 or 7 and you know now that the child is at a better place to witness and live a break up... Eventually attraction may only be holding on by the offspring, and their happiness. My parents must've had the seven year itch... I was about 5 when their divorce was going through. I'm fine. I fit the mold. I can see this... and in some ways, I can respect it. I respect my parents' love and care for each other, and themselves to recognize things that may have no possible positive solution. I respect that they let each other go, and broke their commitment to one another. We're so focussed on divorce rates in this country being negative. And, I do agree. It's sad that relationships are so often weak, and divorce may seem like the "easy way" out. I could never look at it that way... but I can see how the majority can and do. Divorce isn't always bad. Marriage before a certain point is bad... Premature, and immature marriages. If you lose the itch, you lose the itch. No blame pointed. If there's someone better, there's someone better. It's your choice. Bleh. Hits close to home, this junk. 
But anyway... What else did I learn from this video that I thought interesting? OH! I think it's pretty obvious that what we notice men to be most attracted to is visual phenomenon. In the courting sphere, they're focussed on appearance... which could be affected by things as small as dialated pupils, to something as obvious as "a nice rack." Women however, are more attracted to memories of a man. I was glad to hear this, because I would agree, 100%. Women are attracted to men who they have memories of high morale situations, and good times. Or, they purposely remember times when the man messed up, and put that in the back of their heads somewhere as possible justification of sorts in the future. 
Ah... attraction.
Great stuff. 

I've never had a boy love me, so I'm not sure where my heart really lies in all of this stuff. But, it's fun to think about before I have to experience and deal with it first hand. I've paid close attention to relationships my friends have, one relationship in particular, and have pulled out many things from them that I would inspire to, and that I would never want. Sadly enough, not too many of my friends really have positive relationships going down, in my opinion. My roommate is livin the life... that's for sure. But, other than that... the relationships I see daily are not what I would desire.... But I like knowing that : )

I think I'm going to call it a night. Two blogs in two nights? 
Something's wrong with me...
Night World.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Unorganized Chaos

Hello Hello Hello [I think it's appropriate I keep a theme of 3 in every posted blog. I feel like 3 is a good number... We've got the trinity, the 3 amigos... but anyway, on with this nonsense]. 

I hope that people (most of which non existent) reading this won't be insulted by the lack of order and organization that is to come. I have no motivation as to what to write and no deep dark insightful World understandings to publish. I guess I'll just talk about whatever is hidden in my subconscious. That's always awkward and vulnerable and entertaining.

With our recent election of the gorgeous, the inspirational, the beacon that is Barack Obama my thoughts are instantly drawn to hope. Hope is such a powerful force, that is often overlooked by our focus on rationality and reality. Barack Obama is new hope. He's a new vault to put our hearts and trust into. He's just great... exactly what the doctor ordered. Every class I have right now is mostly focussed on people. I'm hoping to double major in psychology and religion and have been finding stronger parallels between the two than I ever would've dreamed of. Our deepest desires as humans... our strongest subconscious pulls... that many-a psychologists are constantly attempting to figure out... and many philosophers are constantly trying to analyze and construct... have been answered in the beautiful simplicity that is faith and hope, and for lack of better definition, religion.
One of the greatest and strongest things we can give to one another is hope and belief. What good is a relationship that doesn't exhibit trust and love for one another? Isn't that what it's all about? We need to have faith that people are capable and potentially even created to be great. We need to encourage all that good ole' fashion love stuff. Can't hurt, right? I'm a little girl who values relationships to points beyond measurable. And the ways of the universe are shifting my tides of comfort that have been so steady and consistent for so long. I would never say that I've "misplaced" my faith in people, but my faith is definitely being tested in a good chunk of people I've put love into. Maybe there's such a thing as loving people too much? I want to deny those thoughts though. I'd like to think that the only possible variable in that equation that could be getting hurt would be the person exemplifying so much love... and potentially just draining themselves. There are relationships that I have put nothing but love and acceptance into that have all of a sudden vanished... and not by my choice. I could fight harder. I could give more. I know I have it in me. But, I'll sit back and let time play these out. I'll continue to have faith in these friends who I know are beautiful people who are just overwhelmed with outward pressures and inward confusion. I'll have hope that they find themselves and convey themselves as accurately and positively as possible... whether that involves my activity and support in their life or not. Maybe that's where a cliche, "if you love someone, let them go" phrase would fit in. Who writes those things anyway? 
I'm addicted to love. 
And no addiction is healthy... But, I feel like this self-inflicted addiction can only be hindering to myself. I can only give too much of MYSELF, and therefore can only hurt me. But it's a beautiful cycle, because giving love also strengthens me. It more than strengthens me. It charges me. I like being charged. I like people who have faith in me. I like people who are capable of loving. AKA EVERYONE : )
I would be talking about this.
It's all I can talk about lately.

Maybe that's because it's all that makes sense, and what I'm most confident in.
I'm confident that by giving love... I can injure no one. And injuring no one sounds like a desirable course of action. 

Anyway... I think I was going to connect religion in there somewhere. But, it mostly does it itself. 
Agape love.
Yes, Please.

If nothing else... my dog gives me agape love. She's cool.

I'm just clinging onto hope.
Barack Obama.

:: sigh ::
What a man.

What else to talk about? MUSIC. Music is cool slash my life. 
Actually, I'm gonna call this first ever blog attempt a wrap, and go spend some quality time with my roommate. 
Sorry for sucking at blogging... I'm a noob.