Monday, March 28, 2011

Rejection: Are Your Wheels Big Enough?

There have been many times where I have met with people of the LGBT community who would say to me, “Well, I used to be Catholic/Christian/Protestant etc., but I wasn’t accepted because I’m gay.” Nobody likes rejection and nobody wants to walk into an establishment (especially a house of God) and feel rejected right when they walk inside. On top of that, because of “people’s” rejections - it automatically sends a message that God Himself rejects them too. And that’s not an easy thing to deal with emotionally. They begin to reject “religion” altogether and either label themselves as “spiritual” or resort to atheism. Usually, there is no offer of another option - no source to guide them to other places that will accept them. Some seek out churches that are more accepting like the Episcopalian churches and others alike. Wherever they are most comfortable is the important thing. Even better if you have a personal relationship with God and are able to pray at home, rather than sit in a pew like clockwork every Sunday with no enthusiasm or passion. With that being said, the other important thing to remember is that people are going to reject us whether we are gay, lesbian, bi, trans, straight, divorced, remarried --whatever the “sin” is - someone will judge us. Someone will ridicule our lifestyle, whether said out in the open or silently simmering from within - we’re going to be judged for who we are and what we do & what we have done in the past.

It’s amazing how people expect perfection from others. We’re all flawed so perfectly. We all have our ‘thing’ - and if others cannot seem to manage or deal with whatever our ‘thing’ is - then there are other people who will welcome us with opened arms and with opened hearts. When one rejects us, keep moving onto to the next, and then the next and then...the next. The one thing the devil wants us to do is crawl up like a ball and quit once rejection sets in - whether it be people, a church organization, jobs - anything - don’t give up. There have been plenty of times during my filming of Gays & Lesbians of Faith where rejection took place. I was even criticized for making the film “religious”, when in fact I include other religions in my film as well. The atheists who wanted to be part of it would throw around a few negative comments to discourage me and mocked my faith in God, but it never stopped me. A few religious clergymen tried discouraging me as well, telling me I would fail. Still, it didn’t stop me. Sometimes, it did slow me down to where discouragement almost settled in, but after praying and meditating about it, I knew that this project is important for people who need to get this message.

Then one day, my biggest source of rejection threw me into a depression. I “silently” stopped working on my project. I felt emotionally crippled. I then received an email from a woman named Gail, who I had spoken to seven years ago. She wrote a message on my public Facebook wall:

“I met Debra 7 years ago in a chat room (get your mind out of the gutter, not that kind of room!). My g/f of 15 years had just left me and I was devastated. I had just got out of the hospital after a failed suicide attempt and in little Regina there was not much for support so I reached out online and found Debra. I thank God I did, she sent me her copy before it was published of “A Prayer Away From Healing” I buried myself in that book. I truly believe that if it were not for Debra and that book I would not have made it thought the most difficult time of my life. Debra’s book gave me the inspiration, motivation and strength to carry on so I could find love again. I am so glad I found you again my friend…I love you {{{{hugs}}}}”

I remember that day clearly as my manuscript just sat on my desk collecting dust. I had just received numerous rejections from publishing houses - one after the other - “This is not our cup of tea”, “We’re not the right publishing house, good luck”, to even an email asking, “Are you good enough?” That one took me for a loop because in my mind, I said, “I guess not...” Rejection took me down, until I met Gail. She was in so much pain after her breakup of fifteen years. She was at the brink of suicide...once again. I said to her, “Before you even do anything, please read some of this.” I sent her a Word doc. file of my manuscript. It was silent for a while and then I received an email telling me that through my experiences and similar trials she had gone through, she found inspiration somehow. That’s when I decided to go ahead and keep plugging my book. If I could just save one person, then it’s totally worth it. And with the pangs of rejection still hitting me, I’m pressed to move on, because someone, somewhere, is needing to see this film or read my book. There are people out there waiting to see what others have gone through and how they kept pressing on no matter what the circumstances were. Thanks to everyone who has been apart of this film, to help show how important it is to keep the faith and to show others that rejection is just a bump in the road. Are your wheels big enough to run rejection over?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Friday, March 25, 2011

Complicated Friendships After 30?

Lately, I’ve come across something I haven’t in a long time. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been single or dating, or perhaps I just didn’t ‘see’ it or acknowledge the desperate attempts to get me to play the game: the chase. Women are fickle, be it in friendships or in relationships. I know there are women reading this right now that say, “Oh I don’t play that game,” yada yada yada -- and you may be the 1% that doesn’t, however, I have seen this all too often enough to generalize it into a female characteristic. And let me explain... In my ~own~ experience and point of view, there are two types of these women. The first one, we’ll call her Wanda (like that?) -- she’s the type that wants to know where she fits in. In fact, she’ll even ask you, “Where do I fit in?” And of course all of this has everything to do with insecurity issues. She wants to know ‘where she stands’ and to what level of friendship is she considered. It’s not so much as a desperate need for attention or playing games, she’s communicating efficiently asking questions the normal woman wouldn’t dare to ask. I give “Wanda” credit for at least communicating before ending the friendship. In any event, it's just way too complicated for me.

Then you have the game player. We’ll call her “Viola”. She plays the game, “Please Chase Me”. The funny thing is, you don’t even know you’re apart of this game until one day, when “Viola” says, “We’re not friends anymore” or something to that level that severs the relationship and then you say, “Well, okay if that’s how you feel, I respect that” ---then she quickly responds angrily, “Why do you give up so easily?!?!” I can have all the time in the world, but I don’t have time for that nonsense. I’m not a teenager and no, I don’t do “the chase” unless it’s my wife running around in her undies in our living room. I don’t chase my friends. I don’t beg my friends to “please, please stay” --- if you choose not to be friends with me, then that’s your decision that you have made for yourself. No friendship should be begged for. I also want to state that if you befriend me knowing that I have a wife, you should also know that I will still be married within our friendship. I don’t want to hear that we can’t be friends because “you want a girlfriend” - because I’m not stopping you from having a girlfriend. Whatever inner conflict you’re going through isn’t my problem. I welcome my friends into my home and into my life. That’s all I can do.

"People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges." ~Newton, Joseph Fort
-To add onto his quote: ..& communicate only through text, Twitter and Facebook to get away from the real world.

Another part of this lovely scenario that I don’t understand (maybe because of my age), is communicating solely through text messaging. Let’s just stick to "Viola" for a bit on this one. She chose to communicate the entire severing of our friendship, as well as argue with me through text messaging. I kindly asked her, “Listen, if we’re going to talk about this, why don’t you give me a call on the phone so I can hear the inflection in your voice.” She wanted no part of that type of communication and said that texting was apart of her life and went on to say that my entire career is solely based on “text”. So, immediately I thought she was belittling my love for writing and asked her why she said that. She explained the process of “writing” was my life, not that I spend all day texting people. See how texting can be misconstrued? Sometimes people don’t quite understand what tone you’re speaking in and may take offense to what you type, which is why I asked to talk verbally over the phone...like an adult. Am I getting too old where I prefer to have conversations over the phone or in real life as opposed to hashing it out through text messaging?

Oddly enough, I met my friend through Twitter. We became friends almost immediately, and then we both took it into real life. We had a great time until something happened from within...which ultimately ended the friendship. After she ended ties, I took her off my Twitter account. She then asked why I did such a thing. So now she just wants to remain Twitter friends. Umm, no. I don’t work that way. I don’t work backwards. If you want to be friends, then let’s do it in real life. No more text messaging & tweeting encrypted messages that get misconstrued. If you still read what I tweet and enjoy my writing, then you should be able to enjoy me as a real life person. This is called “adult life” - learn it - live it - or simply leave it --completely.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Grateful . . .

Generosity
While growing up in my mid-teens or so, my sister and I would sit on the floor of her bedroom and play Rummy 500 for hours at a time. She always won, until one day when she told me her secret. We both knew the rules of the game, but there was a strategy to it. She said, “Always give up your most important card and you will always win for some reason.” It didn’t make sense to me - why would I want to give up my most important card if I wanted to win? But after losing a million & one times, I tried it. I started giving up my most valuable cards, and in return, I ended up receiving them back and then some. I then started winning. I guess that’s how it is in real life: when you give, you get back in return. And it’s not meant in a selfish way. To genuinely give in real life is rewarding in itself, but to see someone else happy and take joy in seeing that person happy, says a lot about who you are. And yes, it may be a “risk”, just like in Rummy 500 - but it’s a risk that you’ll never regret. I learned the hard way that if you loan something to someone, treat it as a gift and you’ll never be disappointed. Give without expectations. It’s a win-win situation.

“Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later.” ~Ecclesiastes 11:1

“If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving --large or small-- it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” ~Luke 6:38

Gratitude & Attitude
The scriptures above sound like the game of Rummy 500, but it’s so true. Looking back, when I was in my deepest depression, I had tons of pity parties for myself. “Why am I not further along? Why does everyone else have everything and I’m still here?” I was speaking more about where I was in life and very upset and angry about the stagnant place I found myself in. Nothing was changing...neither was my attitude. I had lost my faith, hope, and all means to be happy in the least bit. It reflected on how I treated others around me, and 98% of the time, I was just miserable to be around. People “felt” my vibes and when you’re around someone who is depressed or angry, you feel that - even if they pretend to be happy. It’s in the air somehow. I knew I needed an attitude adjustment, so I spent hours praying and meditating every single day. Although I wasn’t receiving any “gifts” or big hefty checks in the mail, I was starting to realize everything around me: my home, my loving wife, my family, friends, food in the fridge, a job I love, health and the most important of them all - my faith in God.

"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say 'thank you'?" ~William A. Ward

Competition & Envy
Even if you are in the same work or situation as somebody else - never compete with someone, because you don’t know how bad they may have it in other areas of their life. You can only do the best you can do - and that’s all. Never want what someone else has. You may get what you wish for and be highly disappointed. Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could live somebody else’s life who we admire for one day and see what it’s really like? There’s a story that I love so much that puts many things in perspective for me. 


Is Your Cross Too Heavy to Bear?

The young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. "Lord, I can't go on," he said. "I have too heavy of a cross to bear." The Lord replied, "My son, if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish." The man was filled with relief. "Thank you, Lord," he sighed, and he did as he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. "I'd like that one, Lord," he whispered. And the Lord replied, "My son, that is the cross you just brought in."


For me, life is all about giving, sharing with one another and being grateful for what you have right at this very moment. It’s about thanking God for all you have, and thanking Him in advance for what’s to come, because without faith, life would be meaningless...at least for me.

“Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has.” ~Author unknown

“You can’t be envious and happy at the same time.” ~Frank Tyger

"Give. Remember always to give. That is the one thing that will make you grow." ~Elizabeth Taylor

I'd like to thank Elizabeth Taylor for inspiring this post. May she rest in peace...

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Monday, March 21, 2011

Make the Connection: Perfection is Overrated

Connecting
Most relationships start off with a simple connection, whether it be something in common or a shared interest. Perhaps the drastic differences brought the level of intrigue higher. Whatever the reason was - the connection was made. It’s up to one or two of the person(s) to “keep” the connection, or simply disconnect altogether. There are some people who meet, connect instantly, and then down the road for various reasons, one tries to change the other. For instance, a friend of mine had mentioned that after she had met her significant other, a few months down the road, she was asked to buy more 'feminine type' of clothing. Being the ‘catering’ type that my friend is, she tried her best to even feel comfortable in more of a unisex style. My question is: if you met her that way, why would you want to change her? If you didn’t like what you saw upon first meeting, then why would you continue to pursue that person? Shallow as that may sound, I also have to ask if the desire to change other people has to do with self-serving, insecure motives to “look better”? Personally, “connecting”, for me has everything to do with depth - their personality - their character. Bonus if they’re a looker - kiss the ground if they can make me laugh.

Disconnecting
We disconnect for many reasons. There are some disconnections I don’t understand. For instance, in some cases, the very thing you loved about that person turned out to be the very thing you now hate about them. You once thought the little snort after his/her laugh was cute, and now, it’s the biggest character flaw you cringe at. We can even get into lifestyle habits and personality quirks that you once loved and thought was adorable, and now, you find it’s somewhat disturbing and unacceptable. Things change. Opinions change. Perceptions change. And yet, the person hasn’t. Maybe it’s the consistency of the relationship and the 'once newness' which has now faded into redundancy that has taken a left hand turn into Boredomville...? People get bored. Marriages are broken up before any effort is made to save it. Relationships are torn apart. Reasonings are getting more and more shallow and “simple”. The word “contentment” is shunned at and seen as “settling for less”, when in fact, in every single friendship, relationship as well as marriage - “contentment” in my world is called true love and acceptance --unconditional love. Everything seems conditional these days. Nobody seems accountable for any of their own actions, except to place all the blame on the other person. When one finger is pointed, three are pointing right back in return - cliche but so true. When you hear the story of a messy breakup between two people separately, they become two separate stories. There's always three sides of the story: the first party's, the second party's...and the truth.

Reconnecting
A couple of my friends are going through messy breakups right now and it had me thinking: have we lost all ability to forgive one another and accept each other ‘as is’? Have we lost the ability to communicate efficiently and come to a common ground, instead of arguing relentlessly over the same thing over and over, until after a while, it becomes a whole new other issue? Soon enough, you’ll forget what even started the argument. Yes, I’ve been there. Even when my wife and I had separated years ago, we acknowledged that we had a communication problem. For whatever reason, we weren’t “open” enough - we were reserved with things that should have been common knowledge. As we developed a foundation of friendship while separated, we reconnected on whole new levels - levels we never even had. I got to know her better and vise/versa. We fell in love, again. We reconnected for good and kept the lines of communication open. That has been the most important thing that has kept us together. Even when we do argue, we still have little spats here and there, but more so, we’re now able to sit down and discuss instead of “yell at” and point fingers at one another. We’re able to forgive...and most importantly, to forget. I say “forget” as in, ‘water under the bridge’, but to remember and learn from it. No grudges are allowed. No anger is to be stored and saved for a rainy day. Cliche as it is - never go to bed mad. Sleep better. Reconnect. Forgive. Forget. Learn. Experience the humanness in every single person you meet. Make the connection. Perfection is overrated.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Complicated Friendships

There are many pleasant, uncomplicated friendships that I have with many straight and gay people. It stays “pleasant” and “uncomplicated” for various reasons. For the most part, I prefer to keep my friendships semi-surfaced. Let me explain... Learning from my past, I’m beginning to realize that if I become to close, or perhaps spending too much time with one person, there seems to be more quarrels, disagreements or in rare cases, an underlining beguile that seems to have a great influence over their actions and behaviors. I’m at fault for my personality quirks at times. I’ve been told I’m flirtatious, overly friendly at times with an “assuming” underlining intent. Of course, those assumptions about me were all told by former lovers or very opinionated friends who know me well enough to tell it like it is. My straight friends who I mostly hang out with never ‘go there’ thankfully. They never assume, they never tell me ‘what’s wrong with me’ or ‘what I need to do’ - they just accept me for me, and I love that. Spending time with them doesn’t mean trying to figure their motives out - it’s just time spent well. Usually, “time spent well” means hanging out with my heterosexual girlfriends and those who are already married. I rarely hang out with single lesbians anymore.

And that’s a shame...

It would be nice to relate to someone of the same lifestyle. My entire social life revolves around straight people. I have no problem with that. I grew up with straight people and relate to them on many levels - regardless of any gay/straight differences. People are people. We have the same dramas; we have similar problems. Although, there happens to be a level of connection that I miss very much when I spend time with another friend who is also gay. I seem to run into a lot of problems trying to give it another shot, on their part and on my part. Yesterday, while sitting in my therapist’s office, I explained to him how all of my ‘gay friendships’ always takes a turn for the worse. There’s either a ton of drama or loads of arguments for whatever reason. Maybe I’m “too close” with them - trusting them more than my straight friends due to the ‘connection’ of just living the same lifestyle. And that reasoning is just insane in itself. He stared at me for a moment and then said, “You can’t be friends with a single lesbian, Deb.” I just looked at him with disappointment. He went on, “It’s just like a single woman being friends with a single man. There’s bound to be a complication or two down the road.” And then, it all made sense. 

“But wait - I’m married...?”
“Doesn’t matter,”
he said, “Straight men go for married women and vise/versa, right?”
“I guess.”
“Then what makes you think this can’t happen with gay women?”
he said, while smirking.

Which brings me to this question: can a straight single man be friends with another straight single woman without a history of ‘intimate attempts’ so to speak, or perhaps an untold interest of possibly more developing? Here’s something interesting that I learned... (Yes, I’m going to quote you Mr. TJ Kelly & Ryan Nickulas.) With gay men, I have learned that sexual preferences may determine if the two friends ‘go there’ or not. For instance, TJ Kelly said when answering a question posed, if Ryan and himself have ever been intimate, “Two bottoms don’t make a top.” I guess for us lesbians, (and I’m gonna say it boldly), we’re emotionally messy. We don’t care if you’re a pillow princess or diehard diesel dyke. If we’re crushing on you, perhaps totally gaga in love, we’re going to accept any 'positioning' in the game. With that being said, aren’t gay men emotional enough to do the same? Does it really matter what someone prefers sexually behind closed doors? I relate gay men to lesbian women, or just women in general because they’re so emotional and like us, so why wouldn’t they ‘think’ or ‘feel’ like us? But then again, I have to say that I’ve seen feminine lesbians only go for masculine butch lesbians. They won’t sway from that type because that’s their preference, plain and simple. Another question is: is it difficult for a single gay man to be friends with another gay man without the underlining romantic feelings or interest - even if there isn't a desire for a relationship - is there still a level of sexual tension between the two? Do they have these setbacks in friendship like some lesbians do?

To all my heterosexual readers (which is 95% of my readership), you do not have to answer or comment, but if you do, how do you handle friendships with the opposite sex? Keep in mind, I'm asking on a broad spectrum - not just for the LGBT community - just complicated friendships in general.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tragedy

There have been devastating disasters all over the world in our history, like Chernobyl, Hindenburg, Pearl Harbor, Katrina, and of course 9/11. ...Too many to list. If you were there, or at least remotely within the location, for whatever reason it impacted us more. We’re human so we fear any disaster on our very own soil. We experience more fear, pain, loss, devastation, sadness. We go through the motions more so than those who are on the other side of the country...or world in this case. Think about what’s going on in Japan. Sad, terrifying, surreal. Think about if that was happening right in your own country...your own state...your own town. It’s hitting home home now, huh? I remember where I was, what I was doing the morning of September 11th: in my office cubical, paralyzed with fear, looking outside my window for the other “missing planes” that they had reported. We were under attack. “WE” were under attack. As a whole, yes, America was under attack, but nobody seems to understand the full impact that New York went through - the biggest tragedy New York had ever seen and experienced.

I remember talking to a friend about September 11th years later. She said, “Oh, I remember where I was and the fear that went through me.” She was in Arizona watching it all happen on her television. She had nobody who lived out here in New York. Granted, she had heartfelt sadness and worry for the people going through this, however it’s different when you’re “there” - when you are apart of the tragedy. It takes on a whole new meaning. People have disagreed with me before, but I stand firm when I say, “I understand” - I understand, because although I feel heartfelt sadness, worry and fear for the people of Japan, I am certainly not going to undermine it and say I feel the same fear and sadness that they’re going through right now. In fact, I had to turn my television off for a while so I wouldn’t hear the terrifying news about their tsunami, loss of life and the nuclear threat that looms over their heads. It’s. just. different. It’s almost the same when you hear somebody who just lost a parent. You immediately send your condolences, wish them well, perhaps pray a little, and then move on... Yet, the person experiencing the loss of their parent probably doesn’t move on for many, many years.

This doesn’t make us bad people, it makes us human. What we experience is quite “real” - as opposed to watching a real tragedy happening on TV. It makes is a tad surreal in a way. I’m even speaking about the most sensitive types of people. They just cannot comprehend the depths of it all, as would someone being in the middle of it all. It takes on a whole new meaning. For the person witnessing, experiencing it all, perhaps they have a loved one who was injured or killed. People know friends who were lost in the tragedy. This makes it “real”. I remember having a little debate with my friend from Arizona about the mosque being built near ground zero. Most people within the New York area highly disagreed with the building of the mosque due to the insensitivity of it - not because of the racial issues that were suggested. Especially families who had lost their loved ones in that terrible tragedy were outraged - I mean outraged that there was even a slight inkling, a thought to even attempt to build a mosque near ground zero. Those were the people who “felt” it harder than those who hadn’t lost anyone on 9/11.

Everybody deals with tragedy differently. Some handle it more sensitively than others, while some just ‘wish them well’, and then move on. And that's okay. It doesn’t mean they’re bad people. It’s just human nature.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Thursday, March 10, 2011

WANTED: Mind Reader

Reflections of self-loathing or insecurity issues:
Why do we blame the people in our lives for what others have done to us in the past? And, not necessarily for the same thing, but by the simple action of transferring ‘unfinished business’, or anger toward someone we’re associating with or dating. I’ve done it, I do it and I may do it again. We have a lot of mistrust, and rightfully so at times. We’ve been burned, we’ve been heartbroken and we’ve been disappointed countless times. You’re nodding... We’ve also put high expectations upon people. High expectations = disappointment. I’ve also found that people who genuinely don’t like themselves very much, are the very people who think everyone is out to get them, or either dislike them for some reason or another. If you come across a person who doesn’t like themselves very much, you’ll immediately think that they don’t like you just by their behavior. They can’t. Just as that expression says, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?” It’s so true. That line applies for platonic friendships as well.

Communication is key:
As for me, and my platonic and romantic life, I try to communicate the best I can. I’m not one for ‘roundabout’ chats. If someone wants to speak to me in an ambiguous way, I opt out and withdraw. For me, it’s all game playing - plain and simple. I don’t want to guess what someone else is thinking or expecting out of me. And for that, some people may think I’m quite abrasive. I don’t sugarcoat my words just to please people. I say what’s on my mind and I’m honest to a fault. I don’t want to speak in tongues and have it be misinterpreted one way, when it should have been meant ‘this way’. Why can’t people talk directly anymore? The only person I can fully communicate without using smoke signals or sign language is my wife. We talk openly, bluntly, honestly -- and I love that about us. This is one of the many reasons why we’ve been together for so long. She’s my best friend and I feel like I can tell her absolutely anything without judgment or criticism. And although she may critique an issue of mine, it’s done constructively. Our marriage hasn’t been a perfect one, but with our awesome communication, we’re still hanging in there and ‘eye-to-eye’ on many levels. She “gets” me.

Rejection:
When I first started dating my wife, I remember she had just gotten out of a five year marriage with a man. I had just been on a slew of pointless dates with bisexual women who eventually went back to dating men. In my mind, as soon as she said she was going through a divorce, I immediately withdrew a little and sort of took our entire relationship very casually. I didn’t want to get hurt. Because of the actions of my previous girlfriends going back to men, I immediately threw that upon Madelene. In my head, I thought she would do the same thing. I rejected her numerous times, in fear of being rejected....once again...and on top of that, to a man. To lose a woman to a man is such a surreal feeling. It’s like....really? Is this really happening to me? The women I dated had given me such high hopes, and once I was on cloud nine, the skies cleared up and I fell right on my ass. With all the wounds of falling time and time again, I wasn’t about to get back on that cloud again. I tied a pair of cement blocks around my ankles and made it known that I was semi-unavailable...and that the Hudson River was my next stop. Mad’s not a quitter. This is why I love her so much. I tried every which way to get her to stay away, out of my own fear of getting hurt, but she nudged and nudged. She even sat outside my door, knocking relentlessly, and then left my house and went down to the deli phone booth. (Yes, those were the days when nobody had a cell phone.) She then slipped a letter under my door. Of course, I immediately grabbed it. It was the first time she ever *communicated* her true feelings and stated that she loved me. She said it three times in her little note. My walls came down, and I’m so glad they did. It proved to me she wasn’t like all the others who had hurt me so badly before.

Differences:
People are so different in so many ways. We can’t just slap a label on them, assuming they’re “just like the rest” - it’s not fair to you or that person. In whatever kind of relationship, be it friendship or romantic, I think communication gets lost when either one or both person(s) involved doesn’t think highly of themselves. They start communicating in tongues and you’re there trying to sought out all the encrypted messages. Insecurity plays a huge role in this. We all have different ways of approaching situations, challenges, conflicts and feelings, so why waste time trying to make the other person decipher your encrypted words? Life’s too short to have people guessing. And if you’re in a relationship or marriage and this sounds very familiar - stop. drop. and talk. We’re not mind readers.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

The Best Medicine

In the past, I used to roll my eyes whenever someone would talk about, “the laws of attraction” or “karma” type of situations where they could place a ‘blame’ on something happening in their lives. Some would chuck it up to luck and others would simply say, “it was all meant to be.” The one cliché that I tend to cringe at, but I somewhat agree with is, “You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.” What about déjà vu? I remember a friend telling me that when déjà vu occurs, it’s a 'scene' that you have already been through in a previous life (perhaps repeating your life again), where the message or purpose is to let you know that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be in your life. It would happen a lot during one point in my life where I questioned it constantly. I still do. I get various answers - too many answers to where I just chuck it up to a ‘faulty memory’.

Getting back to the laws of attraction or even karma, I have to say that these past couple of months have definitely been a real eye opener for me. As you’ve probably read in my last previous posts, I was going through a bit of turbulence in my life and still am, however things have definitely shifted a bit, perhaps mentally and emotionally speaking. I realized the more negative energy I put forth, the same amount of negative energy came pouring back into my life - or even just the feeling (depression and anxiety). As you could see, I was angry, bitter, agitated, irritable, sad, judgmental and very cynical. Hell, I’d like to chuck it up to PMS, but I guess I do that every month. I was too sensitive. I was too combative and very defensive. I’d snap back faster than a rubber band. Many people in my life were a little intimidated to even go near me, and rightfully so.

Not having to realize intentionally what I was doing to fix this, I had eliminated all negative people in my life: people who insulted me, those who would judge me to the point of hurting me as well as those who thought they still had a hold on my emotions and reactions. They no longer bothered me. I prayed and prayed...and prayed. I even prayed for those who intentionally sought out to hurt me. I sent out positive energy and tried my hardest to see the good in everyone and everything. My wife has helped me tremendously by talking with me, giving me her honest advice and just being supportive through everything I have been going through. She’s my rock. I then brought into my life all the positive people: people who made me laugh, those who edified me, encouraged me and shared themselves with me. But, I have one friend in mind who literally saved my life. It was as though I was living my life in a black & white movie, and when she entered it, my entire 'movie' turned into bright, vibrant colors. I just want to thank her for all the positive reinforcement she has placed in my life, and the tons of laughter she has given me. It was the best medicine.

Yes, now I believe all of those corny clichés and platitudes. It all makes sense, if you truly believe it does.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Inner Turbulence

Truth be told, I can’t tell if this year was better than last, or if ten years ago was all that much better, but I do know that “today” seems paralyzing. Emotionally, I can’t seem to function to where people would like me to. Spiritually, I feel deafened by the words of God. Physically, I feel drained - depleted of all energy, and other days, I can walk or cycle miles at a time, taking all my frustrations out on whatever fuel I have left to work on. I’ve been hypocritical, judgmental and in a state of rage. It’s the person I never wanted to become. Here she is: Cynical. Pessimistic. Depressed. Numb. The black cloud that’s been following me hasn’t quite dissipated yet, or as fast as I would like it to. I expect too much, and often get disappointed with people or situations. I’m up all night with insomnia, because if I do fall asleep, the first seconds of ‘falling’ are interrupted by intense jolts of anxiety, making me gasp for air. My heart races and leaves me awake, listening to the clock get louder and louder, until I hear birds outside my window reminding me that it's 6am. In other words, I’m a mess.

Faith hasn’t been lost though. I pray, mediate and feel that God’s working through me, but I need more. In a fit of despair, while praying and praying and not hearing God’s voice - I threw the bible across the room and tried denouncing my religion. It didn’t work though. He forgave me. I’m not sure if I’ve forgiven myself though. My writing has suffered greatly because there is too much static - too much noise to filter out. I can only resort to telling my unwanted opinion about this and that, instead of helping anyone. Perhaps the best thing is to take a little hiatus from writing and focus on myself, but isn’t that being self-centered and indulgent? I just feel as though if I don’t work on myself, I can never help anybody else out there. My entire purpose of this blog was to help others feel confident in their lifestyle, religion and overall being, and of course jot down everyday type of happenings. My documentary is still in progress and I want to have others voice their beliefs and encourage those who are lost and feel rejected by “religious” people, and perhaps God Himself. Maybe right now, I need other people’s voices to help me work through my own inner turbulence.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com