Serious Topic Tuesday Part One: Thoughts on Religion

Serious Topic Tuesday Part One: Thoughts on Religion

deism_symbolI might do two of these today, because on the one hand, I really want to talk about this, but on the other hand, I also want to talk about how women should handle compliments from men, as I have seen a lot of vitriol toward men who compliment women in a respectful way. In this same post, I will finally decide to talk about my sexual abuse, though I will never, ever get into the horrendous descriptions, save through prose poetry in subsequent chapbooks I will be writing.

I just have to say again that Rachel Thompson has been my incredible inspiration. I wish we could meet in real life. From what I’ve read on her blog and how active she is in social media, she is an incredible woman–while also being brutally honest about publishing, which is a breath of fresh air.

Yet, I cannot forget Mariah E. Wilson, whom I know I will one day meet, as it is on my list-of-things-to-do-before-I-die. Canada isn’t a crazy place to travel to, and it’s a very realistic thing I can do.

I hope this topic is not controversial. It’s simply my thoughts on religion. I want to think Annette Abernathy for helping me to shape my thoughts on religion. Though we do have vastly different opinions on certain things, they are different because we actually thought through our beliefs, instead of simply parroting what our different religions told us to think–or politically correct society, as would the case be for me. Funny enough, a lot of Deists are against abortion, but let’s not get into that.

To start off, I am a Deist. Before, I was a weird mix of atheism and agnosticism. But a few near-death experiences created from my own internal struggles changed my thoughts on the world. They are both negative and positive. I am a Deist because I look around our natural world and don’t need faith to know there is a Creator. I’m not sure how my mental near-death experiences drove me into this natural religion, which is what some Deists argue it is. It’s considered natural because Deism didn’t need a divine revelation to create it, like many religions do. It isn’t based on faith. It’s based on confidence.

Deists have vastly different thoughts on our Creator, just as many religions do. For me, I believe our Creator is, in a sense, apathetic, and I have no issues with this. I like this, because it gives us freedom to be human, to learn from our mistakes, and hopefully humanity will slowly begin to change, though humans have not changed at all since our birth into this world. I believe our Creator wants the best for us, but, otherwise, the universe is left to its own devices. Some think our Creator does intervene if our Creator knows that person will make an enormous difference in the world. Some will pray to our Creator to help strengthen them for the day ahead without expecting our Creator to do anything at all.

My other thoughts on this is that our Creator created a primordial soup, that being the Big Bang, knowing the end result. After all, we seriously had less than a 0% chance of our universe coming into existence. This alone leads me to believe there is an intelligent being out there. How that intelligent being came to be is no different from Stephen Hawkins arguing that something can be created from nothing–and we are supposed to suspend our disbelief about that. I love him, though. I truly think he is agnostic in the guise of an atheist.

However, Deism is heavily science-based. To put this in perspective, if science could conclude with 100% certainty there is no Creator, we would have no issues adapting to this. I can’t imagine science ever would, because our Creator is too vast to understand with the human mind, but Deism is, and always has been, very adaptable.

Now on to other religions. I struggled for a time with religions like Christianity because of all the hatred against LGBTQ+ individuals. I had to give the ax on two individuals because of their cruelty toward people who didn’t adhere to the Bible. One said I was going to be a pedophile because I am asexual. That makes zero sense.

My dad considers himself a Follower of Christ, and I was insulted when a man older than my dad said he’d be going to Hell because he doesn’t take the Bible literally. As of now, I don’t believe in a Heaven or Hell, unless science can prove otherwise. But it miffed me, made me so angry. Those are Dad’s beliefs, and I would never, ever rob him of them, no matter how different our beliefs may be. In fact, I’d be more upset if Dad stopped believing, because people who usually stop believing have had something horrible happen to them, and I feel like their religion kept them anchored and grounded to the world, keeping their thoughts positive–the good ones, anyway, like Annette, who believes that God tests people, who believes God lets things happen for a reason. I would be heartbroken if she stopped believing in him, because from what I know of her, her belief in God is what keeps her going, and I want her to keep believing in him for this very reason.

Annette has her own struggles, struggles of which she is very open about, which is why I am not afraid to talk about her on this blog. I want people to realize what an incredible young woman she is. Despite her pain, she has beautiful dreams that I WANT to come true for her. She is intelligent, not blind, and she is someone I look up to. She is beyond inspirational. I could gush about her throughout this entire post, because she is representative of what Christianity should be.

In any case, I DESPISED religion, mostly because it seemed like it wanted to rob marginalized groups of inalienable rights, like oppressing those in the LGBTQ+ community. Yet, the more I became entrenched in Deism, the more I realized it wasn’t religion’s doing. It is people and people alone. They use their religions as an excuse to hurt others, even though I believe, in my heart of hearts, religion would not want this–unless you’re part of religions based on extremism. Annette has shown me this.

I remember one conversation I had with an ex co-worker who told me her mother believed in God. Her mother has a hard life, but she keeps going because of God. Some people NEED this in their lives to keep going. Without God, who knows if she’d still be around. So it is an amazing, beautiful thing religion exists. Regardless of whether or not religion was created to control people does not matter. Religion has evolved to the point where people believe because of how the creation of life is everywhere and too perfect to be mere chance. If Christianity is right, Christianity is right. And I have no issues with this, so long as people like Annette spread that Christianity should be about love and not hate.

I used to rail against religion on my Facebook from articles stating that ‘x’ religion doesn’t believe it should allow certain people rights because their religion tells them not to. In fact, and I may be wrong, several laws have been put into effect that allow people to discriminate based on “sincere religious beliefs.” There are conflicting things in the Bible–and I could be wrong about this. Yet, there are incredible religious people who would NEVER use their religion as an excuse to hurt people. They use their religion almost has a type of mentor to fight against this.

Religion has arguably made some people hateful, but I truly believe those people would be hateful without it. We do become warped by our beliefs and anything that influences us, but I think there is something more than religion going on to make people truly hateful. They’re just using their religion to convey why they hate in the manner they do, though they claim it’s out of love.

Love everyone, no matter their beliefs. I love to talk to people who are willing to talk about their beliefs without being preachy. Conversations like this help me understand that individual more and what positive impact that religion has had on that person.

Religion can be an incredibly beautiful thing when in the hands of the right people. Am I saying everyone needs to believe in a God? No. Atheists and Agnostics have come to their own conclusions through serious thought. As long as they are happy and don’t feel the need to believe believers are stupid, they deserve their beliefs as much as religious people do. Some people don’t need a god in their lives to keep them going forward. Others do. However, I want to point out a few things:

  • If you live your life only doing good things because you’re afraid of going to Hell, then can you really be called a generous person?
  • Don’t even believe that without religion, people would fall into anarchy. I mean, before religion was revealed, do you truly think people went around and killed and raped whomever they wanted? That goes against the survival of our species in the first place, and goes against the rational thoughts gifted to us. In fact, that is downright insulting to the human race.
  • What is it with wanting people to be afraid of God? Shouldn’t god be loving? Fear suggests God isn’t as loving as he seems. I could be wrong.
  • I think people should only believe in a god through careful consideration and not be a believer because that’s what the Bible says or that they don’t know any better. If God is real, he gave us rational thought processes for a reason. Think about why you believe what you do. Don’t believe blindly.
  • Don’t let scientific discoveries shake your faith.
  • Don’t randomly go up to strangers and preach to others. Let those strangers come to you if they wish to know more.
  • Love people without judgment.
  • Don’t be afraid to be MUCH louder than the voices of people wanting to oppress others while making their religion(s) look awful. Change how people view religion. Start movements. Heck, start a parade if you want to fight against those who use religion to be hateful. I’d march along right with you.
  • Don’t be afraid to stand up for your own religion if you feel others are being ignorant about it. I used to be completely ignorant, fighting against it at every turn, believing religion was actually responsible for the downfall of society.
  • Be confident in your beliefs. Don’t shut down because this is what society seems to want. Blog about it. Write about it. Do whatever you can to teach people without preaching. Look up Matthew Turner’s blog. I love reading his thoughts. He is a strong believer in Christ.
  • Keep believing. It’s okay to stop believing, as long as you don’t do so because life has beaten you down. Be rational if you decide to stop believing–have a level head, in other words.
  • Most of all, find the beauty in the varying beliefs in our world. After all, you have to realize you’d believe very differently if you grew up somewhere with another dominant religion besides Christianity.
  • Believe people can be good without religion.

Expect that other article later! Much love, Stars.

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Fashion Friday: Thoughts on Beauty, Self-Love, and My Go-To Skin Care Products

Fashion Friday: Thoughts on Beauty, Self-Love, and My Go-To Skin Care Products

First, I’m going to start this post by talking about something I’ve been mulling lately, something I am writing down as a possibility to keep rooted in my mind, for it is something I am very interested in pursuing in my own time. I go to Columbia College of Missouri and take their online courses. I’m majoring in English Literature, and though I feel this degree will ultimately lead me nowhere except to feed the burgeoning intelligence of my mind, I will still pursue it and finish it regardless. Some say you are obligated to have a higher pay, even at a minimum wage job, for having the perseverance to tackle as something as difficult as a college degree. It has especially been incredibly difficult for me, for my mental health forced me to take an entire year off at one point, and I was only able to take one class for a quarter after a severe mental breakdown. I could rail at the unfairness of this, because everything doesn’t happen for a reason. Yes, I am a Deist and believe in a natural god, but this Creator is apathetic and should remain so. I have a precious friend who once posted a status thanking her Christian God for all of the horrible things that have happened to her. She said it wasn’t a blame to God. It’s just her reality in conjunction with her religion. Though we have vastly different beliefs, it would break my heart if she stopped believing in God, because her belief in God is what keeps her going.

In any case, my current job is a marketer for Southern Siding. It sounds like a fancy title for someone receiving a quarter above minimum wage, but it really isn’t–because that is exactly what I am doing is marketing. I am marketing myself and the products in which potential customers are interested in in order to create a lead that will hopefully at least demo, but at the most sell so I can receive a 1.5% commission that can actually give me a full-time “career” check on part-time hours. This job is unlike working at McDonald’s, where the labor of the station you’re at likely becomes monotonous and second nature. This job rarely becomes second nature, because every time we have a weekly meeting, often two hours, we are always learning something new that increases our chances at making sales. In fact, last month, our department contributed to the one million dollars in better business the company overall made. They celebrated.

It wasn’t until this year, truly, that I began making some sort of sale every month. I have had to develop these marketing skills over the course of two years. Plus, I work for a corporation in a department, and I can switch departments if I so choose. Also, believe it or not, the skills I’ve earned with my English degree have been helpful with this job. I am ambitious. I don’t need to be told what to do. If I have an idea to better the department, I put it forth. I read the books my boss gives to me and create summaries for my co-workers to read over. I created an entire booklet over important products that, unfortunately, could not go through because we don’t have the necessary instruments and time at our hands to do so. Yet, it still counts on my resume as an ambitious project I undertook, one that took about 15 hours to do.

I haven’t created anything as of late. My mind is trapped in places no one will understand. It’s not bipolar’s doing. It’s the cause of repeated mental trauma to my brain that has drained me of the zest for life I am doing my best to grab on to when I can. It’s not all gloom with me. The gloom is within my mind. My exterior self exists for others through my smiles to strangers, hellos, nods, anything that acknowledges that they exist. More than ever I strive to make my fiance happy by wanting to do things for him with no desire to have him return anything for me.

This is neither here nor there. Just some philosophical ramblings from a too-trapped mind.

In any case, what I want beyond marketing is to become a self-taught make-up artist, part-time, really, even if it’s just fifteen hours. After all, I still want to make room for dance (the demonstration being put together is dang difficult to do, by the way). I don’t know what this springs from. In my junior year of high school I took an apt interest in make-up and doing manicures. I suppose that part of me is coming back, possibly pulled from my trauma that I think Freud would need to explain without associating it with my sexuality, as I have no sexuality due to my asexuality!

You don’t need to go to some beauty school to become a make-up artist for places like Sephora or some other make-up department in a department store. My best friend, in fact, received a job as a make-up artist at Macy’s, but ultimately dropped it in favor of a job she grew to hate. She majored in English, just like me.

What I was told to become one is to show up to a job interview wearing flawless make-up that suits you and coordinates with what you’re wearing. Yet, to me, that isn’t enough, so I am studying, hard, about everything that has to do with make-up, from contouring with various face shapes, to winged eyeliner (dang hard to do for me), to eyeshadows for different occasions, products that help better skin, and even learning about all of the products so I know what products I can recommend to people who have questions about what products would best suit them. After all, a shimmer for hooded eyes is difficult to do, as a shimmer can make hooded eyes look even more hooded. This is thanks to the incredible Stephanie Lange, whom I learned about hooded eyes from. Her Youtube channel has been my textbook. New Beauty has also been my textbook, because it is strictly about beautifying oneself, through make-up, hair, exercise, diet, and so forth. Though I want to be a make-up artist, I also want to educate myself in all possibilities of beauty, save for artificial enhancements, like botox and collagen fillers and the like, though I do know well about these and at what age you should consider using them. I’d never encourage anyone to go to these expensive procedures. Just age gracefully by starting skin care young. Even if you haven’t, it isn’t too late. I look at my mother’s skin–she’s in her 50s–and I think she is aging gracefully without botox or fillers or anything. She just knows how to take care of her skin and what products to use.

Our society is obsessed with beauty. My chapbook concentrates on this a little bit. Yet, I do not think it is wrong to want to strive to be beautiful. In some ways, I think it is natural and a form of self-love, believe it or not. We see the beauty of butterflies, the beauty of a sunny day, the beauty of light leaking through trees, and I think we want to be beautiful because nature is beautiful. We are part of nature, so we want to be beautiful like flowers and butterflies and clear, sunny days.

I have acne-prone, dry/combination skin. I get mild breakouts, I still have to use acne products to battle the few spots I get on my face, but I am overall happy with my appearance without make-up. Yet, the red blotches of acne are irritating and sometimes painful; overall, my skin does glow, and I love that facet of my skin. Even with the few spots of acne, people will nonetheless tell me I have pretty skin. I love my hair. I love my naked body. Yes, I work on these things because I want to be beautiful/maintain my beauty. I’m not sure if men care about this in the same way women do. I’m not a man, so I can’t say. Yet, I can say men are just as insecure as women. It’s just not talked about enough (*looks at feminism*).

I remain unaffected by the media, as I don’t watch much television and get wrapped up in what Kim Kardashian is doing or America’s Next Top Model or watching fashion runways or anything else. I do see fashion magazines in stores, but when I read the content, it isn’t about feeding womens’ insecurities. The content has turned into self-love, while also saying that if make-up helps with your self-esteem, fine, so here are some tips. People need to stop blaming the media. WE create the media, after all. If we didn’t feed into what the media puts out there, the media wouldn’t continually create this material.

I don’t need to wear make-up. I want to wear make-up because it’s fun. It feeds the inner artist in me. My face is a palette, and I can do with it as I please. Perhaps this stems from the trauma and links with control. Make-up allows me control over my face, a part of my body that, while it was remain untouched, was still desecrated by sexually abusive words. I don’t know if this should be a sad thing, but it’s given me a direction on a second job I’d like to take. I do not think I am meant for a 9-5 job. My mental health just seems too fragile to handle one. This is why I’m grateful for online courses. If I’m feeling sick or sad or whatever, I can lie in bed all day and work on coursework later. Also, I can look at my bare body in the mirror and know that I love it, too, even more now, especially my abs, which have now become my favorite part of my body, my legs being second.

I don’t know if lots of women can say that about themselves, and it saddens me. They think parts of themselves are ugly, instead of realizing they have control over their bodies that no one else has. That control in itself should be beautiful. Thus, it should be an exciting journey to embark on striving for self-love, even if they want to change parts of themselves. Self-love creates that beauty humans are innately attracted to. Whether or not you wear make-up doesn’t matter one bit. Strive for self-love, no matter what direction you decide to go to achieve it. Self-love starts with self-care.

Now for the skin care products I use. Keep in mind I don’t use some of these every day. I do switch out, depending on what I know my skin needs:

s965681-main-hero-300Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Vitamin C Collagen Booster

I am 24, but I have used this sample for weeks and love how it freshens and makes my skin glow. Plus, Vitamin C is very nourishing for one’s skin. I use this every day in the morning after splashing warm water on my face. You can find this at Sephora.

300Sudden Change Green Tea Facial Mask

I use this every so often in the morning when I feel my skin needs an extra oomph as far as glowiness is concerned. It contains antioxidants, which are very important to the skin to fight free-radical damage. You can find this at any drug store.

Fango_Purificante__29976.1403299109.500.659Fango Purificante Purifying Mud Mask for Face and Body

My mom just go this stuff last week. I love it. This particular type I posted is for acne-prone skin. It gives my skin a next-day glow. I use it as needed. It’s a big jar, so it can last a while. I think you can only get it online. There are plenty of mud masks from Fango to suit what you need for your skin. Simply copy and paste the above name to find the website.

300Perfect Image Level 2 Salicylic Acid 20% Gel Peel

This has green tea extract, too, a natural antioxidant. I use this once every two weeks, and it gives me a long-wear glow. It also helps strip away the top layer of your skin, revealing smoother skin beneath. It does burn, yes. It’s best to leave it on for no more than 2 minutes, if you can handle it. If not, wash it off sooner. Directions come with it. You can get this on Amazon.


This isn’t the exact product I use, but it’s retinol. What it does is it speeds up the process of cell turnover, so it makes your skin cells less sticky. This is the number one anti-aging cream. I use the gel version of it, which is harsher, but I do not use it every day. I use it when I feel my skin needs it.

s1567197-main-hero-300First Aid Beauty: Ultra Repair Liquid

I always, always, always use this after I’ve washed my face during my showers and pat my skin dry. NEVER, ever rub your skin dry. Never rub your skin period when applying any sort of facial product. This prevents dryness, redness, and flaky skin. It is a wonderful godsend. You can find this at Sephora.

s1217744-main-hero-300First Aid Beauty: Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration

As with the above product, I use this after using some product that helps with acne. Repairing moisturizers are more important than regular ones because they actively repair skin while your other skin-care products work to help your skin. Due to these two products, my skin is not really dry (though there is some peel from the acid peel, which is normal), red, blotchy, any of that other stuff that normal moisturizers generally can’t combat. This can be found at Sephora as well.


Biore Charcoal Bar

I generally use this as my soap. It pulls out excess oils. I don’t use it for a few days after my acid peel, though. You can find this at any store that sells beauty products.


Philosophy Purity Made Simple

This is the ONLY cleansing product I will put on my face for the next few days after my acid peel. It is the gentlest, most effective cleanser you can find on the skin care market, marvelous for sensitive skin like mine. You can find this at Sephora.

You can actually find a lot of these products elsewhere. Sephora is just where I go.

Yes, I use A LOT of skin care products, but keep in mind I switch up what I use based on what I think my skin needs. I usually use my charcoal bar, some sort of acne cleanser, and then my two moisturizers. So I never use more than four products a day. The only thing I use in the morning is the Vitamin C Serum and a moisturizer with SPF 30, which can be found in regular drug stores.

Using these products doesn’t always prevent breakouts or cure enlarged pores or sometimes blotchy skin, but they help you maintain a youthful appearance. Like I’ve said, I’m 24, but a lot of people think I’m 7 years younger.

As a note, if you beauty gurus who read this have written articles about  make-up, please, please, please put your links below as part of material I need to study.

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Smart Phone Bullying

Smart Phone Bullying

As I was working the mall today, I noticed a very disturbing incident. A young girl was being pushed against the wall. Her Pandora bag fell out of her hand, and the box containing her purchase fell out of it. For a moment I thought a group of guys were going to harm her, so my immediate reaction was to step in to stop it, in spite of knowing I could get hurt in the process. Yet, I steadily crept up to the situation to find who I assumed to be a mall detective trying to cuff her. So I knew she must have shoplifted or something. She was hysterical, proclaiming her innocence, as all usually do, while her friend was trying to calm her down and telling her that she might not be going to jail. The detective eventually brought her into Helzberg, but I decided to stay, hoping I could contribute into calming her down by speaking soothing words. I don’t know if she had actually shoplifted or if there was simply suspicion that she had, but if it was just suspicion, he likely wanted to handcuff her because of how she was reacting.

In any case, a lot of us were trying to calm her down, because she wasn’t making things any better. I was trying to tell her it was going to be okay…because it will be okay, eventually, even though it won’t be in that moment. A lot of people began to come upon the scene, because, well, that’s human nature. We’re naturally curious by things we don’t often see. However, when I turned around, I saw a man videoing the incident, and I grew angry. I didn’t realize I had it in me, but I began yelling at him to stop videoing the incident, because what was happening was for no one’s entertainment. Of course he pulled out the trite argument that it was his right, and I told him it was, but the incident was for no one’s entertainment. Then a woman had the audacity to tell me that maybe she won’t shoplift ever again because of the video.

Can anyone tell me what is wrong with this statement? Who should you be angrier with? The impulsive young girl or the older man?

I can tell you. 30 years ago shoplifters didn’t need to be humiliated by having themselves strewn across the internet. 30 years ago they learned their lessons to not shoplift ever again without having to be humiliated by millions of people. 30 years ago they didn’t need to be subjected to cruel, nasty comments about their misdemeanors.

I am a very non-judgmental person. I don’t know if she shoplifted. If she did, it was very foolish and impulsive of her. People need to think before they commit such actions. This is why our Creator gave us the ability to reason. At the same time, videoing this girl’s behavior is pure barbarism and cruelty. This video won’t teach her a lesson. In fact, this is what I wanted to tell the woman who told me it would: “Or maybe she’ll kill herself, because people say the cruelest, nastiest things in the comments of videos such as these. People have killed themselves from being humiliated on the internet.”

Her crime was shoplifting. She was fighting against the detective, but she wasn’t trying to hurt him or anyone else. She just wanted him to let her go. If she shoplifted, being arrested is punishment enough. But to put her on the internet, just for others’ entertainment? That makes me mad, sad, and hurt for this young girl. Her alleged crime has no reason to make me angry. Yet, her being recorded does.

If she did shoplift, I don’t know why she did it. The obvious answer is impulsiveness, but all shoplifters have their unique reasons. We all have it in us to be just as impulsive as her, so why should we think ourselves above this young girl? Why should we think we’re better than her? We shouldn’t, and that is what that woman was doing when she made that comment.

It is not okay to do this to other people who aren’t physically harming anyone, threatening anyone, or verbally abusing anyone. This young girl simply kept repeating that she wanted to be let go of. She wasn’t even calling anyone any names. She was crying, upset, and scared. And all of this is going to be seen by thousands of people who WILL leave terrible comments. They’ll laugh, and because she’s a young girl, they’ll call her sexist words. In fact, I have no doubt I’m going to be in the video, but I don’t care. If I can be a distraction from her for even a few seconds, then so be it.  In fact, nothing of this nature needs to be put on the internet. Fights don’t need to be put on the internet. Pranks don’t need to be put on the internet. Cruelty, period, doesn’t need to be put on the internet. All people do is upload it for the entertainment of others, just to amuse others–and that is sickening. Now whether or not I was being foolish for chastising this man remains to be seen, but one thing I learned is that I have it in me to stand up for others who I don’t even know anything about. Her shoplifting doesn’t tell me much about her. It simply tells me she’s impulsive. But that man videoing her? That tells me A LOT about him.

I can only pray this young girl will learn her lesson and become stronger for it, if she indeed did shoplift. I can also pray that she will still be able to find a job through someone’s compassion and forgiveness. I pray she never does it again, and I pray this video will not psychologically damage her to such an extent  that she will be a danger to herself or even others.

I shared this to make people realize that we are all connected with one another. You are never harming just one person. Never.