Friday, November 13, 2015

My Uncle Speaks, Schizophrenia, Mental Illness

Click here for an alternate link to Kim's session with my uncle.

Once again I am waking in the wee hours of the morning to sneak in some quiet time on the computer. I love my daughter dearly but she is a chatter box. She is proficient at making noise...lots of it. There is the constant, "Mom...Mom! Look at this!" and  singing, and musical instruments that don't always sound musical from 7-year-old fingers, complaining about Mahina as if she were a human sibling, etc. I would miss it all if she weren't around, but for the sake of concentration for composing this blog post, I sacrifice sleep.

I recently asked gifted medium, Kim Babcock to give a voice to my uncle. You may choose to listen to what my uncle had to say through Kim, or you may choose to read the blog post and then listen. Some of what I am about to talk about I told Kim about to give her validations and confirmations about what my Uncle said.

Lyndell from when he was in the military.

On November 4, 2015, my Uncle Lyndell Horatio died. He was 73. Some might say that making it to 73 wasn't so bad, but Lyndell wasn't like other people. He spent the majority of his adult life as a prisoner inside his own head. He was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. His case was severe and he didn't really communicate unless he was asked a question. He couldn't ever function well enough to live on his own. He needed people to remind him to do simple things like drink more water and have a bath and take his medications. The medications helped dull the voices he always heard in his head, but the medications caused a host of other health problems along the way. I always felt bad for my uncle and wished there was something I could do help him.

The front side of the old farmhouse

This is the back side of the farmhouse.
Lyndell and Mom in front of the old farmhouse.

My mom and uncle grew up in a remote area of Northern Missouri. They lived on a 200 acre family farm that had been passed on from my Grandmother's father after she married. My grandmother had been born in that house. The school they went to initially was a one room school house with a handful of kids. Grandfather would later eventually move the old school house to the property and turned it into a garage. He was resourceful. For as long as the house stood, they never had running water and going to visit my grandparents and uncle was like stepping backwards in time. I remember hoping and praying I wouldn't have to use the outhouse at night. You had to go out the back door, past the chicken coop and there it was...rickety and smelly...two holes cut out for where you would relieve yourself. For some reason that terrified me, but the stench of the taking off the lid of the chamber pot scared me more at times. lol I remember sometimes sitting on my uncle's lap and playing with him. He wasn't as far removed mentally back then.

This was the original barn but there were other barns that would be built for the storage of grain and farm equipment.
Great Grandfather on the farm with some of the horses.

They were hard workers and every Sunday they would traverse the dirt road to get to the main road so they could all go to church. It was a quiet life. It was a hard life. It was an isolated life. My mom married at the age of 18 because she was desperate to leave the isolation of the farm. Lyndell spent time in the military and came home. Lyndell was very intelligent and mathematically inclined. For a while he was able to hold a job and function somewhat normally. I am not sure he ever had friends. He liked a girl when he was in grade school. He bought her earrings and she rejected them...and him. He would never attempt to pursue a girl after that. Lyndell was a very sensitive soul and he withdrew a little further into himself that day. He liked doing jigsaw puzzles and collecting rocks. He collected lots of rocks. It was a bit odd, but I like rocks too...I just wasn't allowed to bring them all home with me the way Lyndell did.

Me and my Grandma at the old farmhouse. 1974

Me and my family in the kitchen of the old farm house. To the right was a wood stove which is where they heated water for baths and washing dishes. "Baths" were basically standing in a galvanized steel container and using a soapy wet cloth to suds up and then rinsing off. We didn't bathe much when we visited the farm. lol A kid's paradise.
It is hard to tell when the voices started. With each passing year, he became less and less responsive to us when we would visit them at the farm. We would come in and he would retreat upstairs in his room away from everyone. We often didn't see him unless grandma needed him to do something or we were going to church. And then one fateful day in 1985, my grandfather had a stroke. He would have more strokes in the hospital that would end his life. Lyndell was diagnosed as being a paranoid schizophrenic 11 years before but Grandpa refused to let him be treated with medication. Grandma wanted and needed to leave the farm but Lyndell refused to leave. She couldn't manage the farm on her own. It would be sold eventually. My mom had to sign an order claiming Lyndell was dangerous to himself and others in order to get him forcibly committed and put on medications for his illness. A big scene ensued on that quiet farm...the farm that had been the only home Lyndell had known. He was handcuffed and put into the back of the sheriff's car. It was hard on everyone involved, but the medications helped dull the voices that were ever present.

Lyndell, Grandfather and Grandmother
At this point I think it is important to note that mental illness seems to run in my mom's and grandmother's side of the family. Grandmother was a hoarder. She was the kind of hoarder they make TV shows about. Grandfather kind of kept her in check while he was alive, but when he died, her madness was allowed free reign. She bought and bought and bought. She saved and saved things most people just throw away. She had so much stuff that there was barely room for her and Lyndell to live. The beds had long since become inaccessible and they slept in reclining chairs in the living room. My mom had gone up to help her empty her house twice but Grandma always managed to fill it back up. As Grandma aged, dementia added to her other mental issues. Lyndell suffered that environment because he had retreated so far into himself by this point, he no longer really had his own voice. He nearly died a couple times because he couldn't communicate his symptoms he was having. He couldn't really complain. He was a prisoner inside his head.

My mom says there are several members of the family who were bipolar. When you listen to the recording from Kim Babcock, you will understand why I find this information interesting. There were at least 3 family members who committed suicide but she says those were based more in the physical pain they felt they could no longer endure.

I once read an article which links schizophrenia to a virus. The article mentions that many of the people affected were born in the spring. My uncle was born in March. My best friend's aunt is also schizophrenic and was also born in the spring which was an interesting fact.

There is a lot of evidence coming forward that proves that trauma suffered is passed on from generation to generation genetically.

I have always known this because before I believed in literal reincarnation of the soul, I believed simply in genetic reincarnation where strong emotion memories were passed on from generation to generation. I now believe fully in both forms of reincarnation. What I wonder about is what genetic memories are being passed on and on in my family that are causing some of the issues we are seeing? Many of my maternal family members can be described as "extremely sensitive." I appreciate what Lyndell said through Kim, but what I wonder is if we have had a long line of family members who were meant to be healers but because of society, small minds and judgments, they repressed the abilities that are inherent in all of us. Some people are a little bit more plugged in and wired to communicate with both the physical and non-physical world. Were my ancestors repressed long ago and now that trauma is showing up as mental illness in the generations that follow?

This is an article about a shaman visiting people in a mental institution and what he saw and said. I think it is an interesting idea to research further.

Maybe my ancestral genes are begging me to step into who my family before me never could feel free to be. Maybe through me and through my daughter we can heal the trauma that has been passed on and on.

My daughter sometimes hears voices. She sometimes sees people. She isn't mentally ill. She simply is able to see and hear the non-physical people who are around all of us all the time. 

As much as I love my Uncle Lyndell, I am happy his suffering has finally come to an end. He is finally free of his prison. And from the other side, he can finally have a voice again. Kim mentioned possibly doing a second recording and, should that happen, I will update this blog post to add it here.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

I Am Not My Body - Making it Personal

I have written about this subject before but then elected to delete the blog post because I was a coward and it made me uncomfortable to reveal things that felt so personal and still very much something I struggled with in my own life. I have written poems about physical appearance too which you can find here on my blog.

This blog post has been developing in my head for a while and I think I am finally ready to get real with all of you and share my thoughts, my experiences and my feelings about it all.

I love my mom. I was always very attached to her when I was a child. My mom was unfortunate enough to be in an abusive marriage. The barrage of verbal abuse was daily. My mom gained weight and my father used to say the most horrible things to her. He would make lustful comments about other women in front of her and us regularly. How could this not chip away at her self esteem over time. How could this not be extremely toxic and damaging? My mom gained weight. At first just a little weight and later quite a lot. It seemed like she was always on some diet and at one point she lost quite a lot of weight but looked very sickly. And then she gained all of the weight back and then some.

I can't remember the first time my father told me what a fat ass I had and how I was going to end up looking just like my mother, but it was more than once. And it became a personal fear. I think I was about 13 or 14 when he said it to me the first time. I can remember being in Kentucky while visiting my cousin and seeing how fat my mom had gotten actually disgusted me. I vowed I would kill myself if I ever got as fat as my mom.

I went through a period of being bulimic and then switched to not eating. I would get a high from not eating and I would go as long as I could and eat as little as I could. The praise I got for losing weight was ever present. "Oh you look amazing!" "You look so much better." So all this positive reinforcement made me keep it up. I think I pretty much lived on coffee and cigarettes to get me through a day. Who cares that I would faint every now and then. Everything is fine as long as you are thin and pretty, right? I was extremely disdainful of people who were overweight because they represented my biggest fear.

When I became a full-time live-in nanny, suddenly I was having to sit with people every night and was being watched by the entire family. I was acutely aware that I needed to be an example to the kids and dutifully ate my dinner. Over time I naturally gained weight. It bothered me but I tried not to let it get to me that much. When I go back and read old journals, I can see what a focus it was in my mind. It didn't help that I was depressed and lonely living in Michigan. I never found my tribe there and never felt I had a place and people that I fit with.

Eventually I did get as fat as my mom. I haven't killed myself yet over it. lol I married, had a baby, and went through a lot of internal changes. I went through a period of having lost a lot of weight about 4 years ago and then I gained it all back when I went back to a normal diet. The diet and excessive exercise I was on was causing me to lose my hair which made me equally unhappy.

I have lived both sides of the coin. I have been both head turning beautiful and the person that gets completely overlooked and assumptions made about. Here is what I have learned.

I wasn't happy when I was thin and beautiful. I was miserable, in fact. Sure there were tons of people who would stop me and want to know me. People gave me things for free be it drinks, no cover charge at the bars I went to or even fruit at a stand where the guy thought I was hot. People fall all over themselves for outward beauty. People would want to know me but here is the catch. They would want to know me as far as having me around but they want to project onto you their ideal no matter how many times you try to tell them who you are inside. The majority of the people I knew back then never could see ME...the me inside.

I am overweight now and I know what kind of assumptions people make about me as I have likely made them about others before during my fat phobia years. I know people assume I am lazy and sit around over eating and eating crappy food. That couldn't be further from the truth.

When people want to attack you, the first thing they often go for and try to use to attack you is your personal appearance. It used to bother me but it no longer has a negative charge for me.

I could lose weight when I deal with my internal emotional baggage but a part of me doesn't want to. About 4 years ago when I lost a lot of weight, people were suddenly treating me different and were more responsive to me. The way I see it is my weight weeds out those who are rather shallow and superficial. It saves me the trouble of wasting my time to find this out later. If you don't want to know me and spend time with me when I am 220 pounds then I don't want you in my life when I am 120 pounds. I am still the same person inside at any weight or age.

It has been a very long and arduous journey to love and acceptance of myself as I am in this now moment. I am not going to say, "Oh I will love myself when I have lost _____ pounds." because that would make me no better than the shallow superficial people who only make time for those who are pleasing to their eye. I have to love and value ALL of me in this now moment exactly as I am.

There are many spiritual reasons why we hold onto to extra weight. You know those people who are heavy even though they eat well and are active? Usually there is an emotional and spiritual reason for the extra weight. I have had various dreams that highlight what some of my reasons are as a way to help me work through it and release what I need to release. Here is one of those dreams:

September 3, 2014 The dream jumps again and I was somewhere...another shop. My male friend runs the shop and he has some notes out on the counter about the applicants he has interviewed and some of his notes included "pretty" "nice figure". I get really upset and ask if that is really something he is looking for in an applicant. I asked him how these things are a determining factor in how well someone can do the job or how well qualified they are. I'm like "look at me! I am fat!" And he says something to the effect of, "well you're different." I am very upset. I say "No, I am not different! Do you know why people are heavy and why they carry extra weight?" I start to sob, "Because we just feel so much and we carry all of that with us. We feel so much pain and we put the weight on to protect us and cushion us." And now I am seeing the shop keeper but he has morphed into an overweight woman. Maybe that was who was living inside him from a past life and maybe why he was obsessed with attractive thin women...because he wanted to be that in a previous life.

I am going to be 47 this month. I will not allow our twisted societal ideas of beauty dictate to me what is beautiful. I will honor and cherish every line on my face. I will honor and cherish my body as it is in every now moment. I will not abuse it with starvation or excessive exercise as I have in the past. I will love and value me exactly as I am right now. We live in a society that worships youth and beauty and the moment that the youthfulness starts to fade, we throw them away. This is especially true of women, but I am sure it happens with men is just we are more inclined to say "oh age looks good on him" and with women we just criticize and say, "Wow, she is getting old".

I suggest we change ourselves and our views and how we measure beauty. I suggest that we not judge a book by it's cover and actually get to know who someone is no matter if they are pretty or plain or old. Physical beauty can disappear in an instant. It could be a fire, a car accident, domestic abuse, violent acts like acid attacks. Everyone will get old eventually. What I suggest right here and right now is that we celebrate aging. I suggest we honor physical changes and be understanding and compassionate towards one another. I am suggesting you take the time to really get to know someone and see the magnificence and beauty that lives on the inside. Physical beauty is fleeting but inner beauty lasts forever.

In the end we are not really physical beings. We are spirit having a physical experience. All the beauty that is you has no real shape or form. The beauty that is you...that is soul...lives inside and is begging to be seen and acknowledged.

I am not my body....but I will love my body.

I know my worth and value and neither is dependent on someone else's opinions of me.

See with your hearts and not your eyes.

Friday, October 9, 2015

It's God's Will

Have you heard this phrase before? Has this phrase passed your own lips?

Link to the story.

God's will.

Hmmmm what do you suppose is "God's Will"? What does it mean to you?

If everything is as it is always supposed to be and there is no real right and wrong because right and wrong is a judgment then we can look at all the school shootings as "God's will." *shrug* "I guess it was God's will that I murdered someone." Why fight crime because "it's God's will" and there is no right and wrong, right?

You see, in my mind, "God's will" is just another fucking cop out for not having accountability or taking responsibility for anything in your life. Why bother doing anything at all ever? You could just call it "God's will," right? It is another way to pass the buck and say "I don't take responsibility for my life or my actions and I am not responsible for anything that is happening to me. Don't look at me, it is God's will."

Guess what I say to that? FUCK THAT!

We can agree that the devil and Satan were created so we don't have to take responsibility for our actions. But guess what? "God's will" is that same fucking ruse only prettied up with an imaginary white haired man in the clouds directing everything in your life.

If we say that we are ALL God in spirituality and then we say "God's will"...what does that really mean? Doesn't it mean that you are in control of your destiny? Maybe you do have your higher self directing you in this little rat maze experiment we call Earth Life, but it is still YOUR will, YOUR choices. How can everything be God's will and then we tell people they are the creators of their own realities?

By saying it is "God's will" you are just giving away all of your power and we are anything but powerless. If you only knew how much power you have, then you would never give away your power again.

I think there is a lot in spirituality that breeds apathy and standing back and doing nothing. By throwing up your hands and saying "oh well, it is God's will" and then going on your merry way, how does that help you or anyone? So you want no judgment and there is no right and wrong? Okay, how about I come over to your house and take your car and brutalize your family and then let's see you tell me again how there is no right and wrong because that is a judgment.

We live in a dualistic world....not an idealistic one and as long as you have shitty people who do shitty things, we will always see one action as right and one as wrong.

Apathy does nothing to change anything. Is it God's will that millions of innocent lives are being taken in a war on terrorism that is based on nothing but lies? And are we to sit back an do nothing because calling it wrong is a judgment? Fuck that! You live in this world and I live in this world and it is up to ALL of us to make it a better place. No one can save us but ourselves. To stand back and take an apathetic non-judgmental view will do nothing to create change.

Yes, be the change you want to see in the world but don't stop there. If you see a stranger who needs help, HELP THEM! If you see an injured and abused animal, DO something and/or call someone. Don't just stand around thinking, "Well it is God's will. There is no right and wrong.""Well someone else will stop. Someone else will help." GET INVOLVED AND GIVE A SHIT. This is your home, your planet. Give a shit and get involved and take action. This planet is your home so everything that happens on it really is YOUR problem. It might be as simple as walking down the road and seeing litter and you think "people suck who litter" but then you stop and you pick that shit up because you see it as your problem because you love the Earth and care about her.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Celebrities on Celebrity Involvement with Causes

There is an episode of Donahue in five parts on YouTube. The below was transcribed from part four. Guests for the show were River Phoenix, Lisa Bonet, Raul Julia, and John Robbins.

CALLER: What I would like to ask is how long have you guys been involved in such projects? Also, I would like for you to address the issues of celebrity involvement and such...such as we know that...

DONAHUE: Why...why don't you tell us what you think of that?

CALLER: What do I think?

DONAHUE: Celebrity involvement.

CALLER: I think it is very important I...I...I think that it, um, as people who are mainstream and seen by America, they can get the ideas out and information to people who don't know like myself and I'm very proud of them. I think these...i think Lisa has shown and River and Raul have shown considerable interest in today's society and I commend them wholly on it and I thank them as a young person. It's good to see other young people involved as well.

DONAHUE: Tell us about this, uh, it is true we are seeing an increase in the numbers of politically active celebrities with special skew to, uh, younger folks including you, Raul, I don't want to be...(laughter)

RAUL: I'm gonna take my tie off.

DONAHUE: Yeah, you better take your tie off. Speak about this and, uh, we've got some people looking through the blinds and wondering who is a hot dog and who isn't and do you really know what you're talking about if you are an actor. What do you really know about nutrition and vaccinations?

LISA: Well...well because we are people, you know. We separate the celebrity from the people, you know, and the thing about life here on Earth and success and glamour, you know and then you attain it and you're like "What do I have?" You know, do I have a healthy family? Am I healthy? Still our celebrities are dying of cancer and AIDs and of this and that. You know, we aren't separate from the realities and the fear that exists on this planet. And the reason why we are here as celebrities is 'cuz we can be here, where as some of these people here in the audience might not be invited.

RAUL: I think celebrity involvement takes, uh, has two aspects. There is the celebrity involvement of the celebrity that comes out into the public and doesn't know much about what they are talking about and they're there just to be seen and you ask them questions and they get (makes tongue tied sounds), you know. So they are there for their own celebrity. Then there is the celebrity involvement that is really committed, that really studies the situation and becomes a master of his cause. Then it goes beyond charity. It's no longer charity. It's a stand that this person has taken, a commitment. And that's what's gonna make a difference. Not "nice charity," "my pet charity" and all that stuff.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Retraction...sort of...

Deryck Whibley
I have been thinking a lot after I wrote my last blog post. I have calmed down a lot since I wrote it. I felt kind of bad for the things I said and debated taking it down entirely. Why would I even hesitate to remove it, you might wonder. Because I actually do want Deryck to take this beautiful opportunity he has to REALLY make a difference and DO something meaningful with it. I really do want him to understand the influence he has on all of his fans and to use it wisely for something that isn't self-serving.

This is a Syrian woman trying to keep her baby from drowning.
"In all, some 300,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Greece and Italy this year alone, according to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Of those, at least 2,373 have died, according to the International Organization for Migration."copied from HERE. The attacks on the World Trade Center killed 2,753 people. Isn't it time we get moved into action and try to DO something to help these people? I implore people to give a shit about what is going on in the world. Get involved. If you think it isn't your problem, think again. We are ONE planet and ONE people.

A Syrian family tries to stay together.There is a crisis going on for these people. They are HUMANS and they need compassion and assistance. Instead they are experiencing hate and being arrested.

This is a Turkish bride and groom who thought it would be better to feed the Syrian refugees with what they would have spent on a wedding reception. I posted an article about this on Deryck's Facebook page, but I suspect it was entirely ignored.
Deryck's wedding reception on Sunday at Hotel Bel Air in Beverly Hills.

Another shot of the reception. They were dancing and oblivious to the pain and suffering being experienced by so many. Can you see and understand why I got so upset?

Despite how harsh I have been, the truth is, I care about him a lot. I wouldn't waste my anger and time on someone I hate. My anger stems from caring too much and feeling frustrated that an amazing opportunity is being wasted on superficial nonsense. You might wonder if this is typically how I treat someone I care about deeply. The answer to that would be, yes, this is typical for me. Hahaha The only physical fight I ever got into where three cop cars pulled up to break it up was with my very best friend in all the world. (Happy Birthday, Shannon! I love you!) Thirty years later she is still my very best friend. I mean, I am not an asshole usually but when I get fired up about something, I don't have a lot of filters. There isn't much standing in the way between the thought and saying it. I don't ponder, "Should I say that?" I just blurt it out and there it is. It isn't always pretty when that happens, but on the plus side, my friends know they will get an honest answer when they ask me for my opinion about something.

But what if my words piss Deryck off enough that he never wants to talk to me again? If my words make him say, "Fuck you, bitch. I will prove how NOT shallow I am!" and then he goes out and gets passionate about something and as a result his fans get passionate about the same thing, then sacrificing any future friendship with him is worth it. I want my words to light a fire so strong that it isn't likely to go out. If I can create a domino effect that creates change in the world, I would happily sacrifice myself for that.

Peyton aka _sum41_
Part of what calmed me down was talking to a Sum 41 fan I adore. (Hi, Peyton!) I mentioned about going through comments that fans post on Facebook and Instagram and reading a lot of them. Sure there are the idiots who all say the same or mention some of the things I have discussed in previous blog posts, but I haven't talked yet about the gems amongst the sea of throw away comments. I have previously gone through comments and responded to people who have gotten real and poured out their hearts. I wanted them to feel like they have been seen and heard even if it wasn't by their hero. It gave me pause to think about because I really do care about these kids and I was ready to just walk away in a fit of anger. It made me stop and think, "What the fuck are you doing, Oktobre?!"

 These kids are AMAZING! They are talented artists like Peyton Mallory...

Art: Peyton Mallory
Art: Peyton Mallory

and Dario Ponessa (aka the_jester_art)...

Art: Dario Ponessa (aka the_jester_art)

and poets and musicians like Nicholis Klopper...

Some of them are voices of reason who I know are always going to say something sensible and level-headed like Jimmy Capel and Joey Padron. There are those who are cheerleaders and faithfully support Deryck and his band and are unwavering like Lula Whibley, Veenza41, ga_muser, and Linameww. They are this beautiful community of artists, poets, musicians and misfits and I adore them and applaud them. How can I simply walk away from this community? I can't no matter how annoyed or irritated I get about things and my guides know it. lol

Deryck, I apologize for being so harsh and hurtful.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Why Does This Always Happen to Me?

 How many times have you heard someone say something similar to this?

"Why does this always happen to me?"

Maybe you have uttered those words at some point in your lifetime and maybe you have heard it from friends. I know in my younger years I used to say it a lot.

*drum roll*

The reason this keeps happening to you is because there is a lesson that you aren't getting. When you don't get the lessons that life is throwing at you, life will happily throw more of the same shit your way until you finally get it.

When I say "life" I really mean you/your higher self because you create your entire reality. It's okay if you don't want to take responsibility for your reality and keep saying that others are doing this to you, but the sooner you do take responsibility, the sooner you can become a conscious creator and turn things around. The sooner you look at the situations that always happen to you, the sooner you can identify where you need to make some adjustments and make different choices so you don't have to keep experiencing the same situation a million times only with different people.

Denial is a powerful thing and there are plenty who want to whine and complain and think that they aren't at fault and it is everyone else who is doing this to them. Hahahaha Sorry, but it really makes me laugh when that happens. I have been there and I KNOW. I was full of excuses and blame and nothing was ever my fault. I get it, but I also get that you can't ever grow to your full potential and have the experiences you think you want to have until you can humble yourself and look in the mirror and recognize that the reason "this" keeps happening to you stems from you alone.

We manifest every single experience...good and bad. But good and bad is a judgement therefore in the end there are only experiences. The sooner you look at every experience in your life as a learning opportunity, the sooner you will actually examine each experience and GAIN something positive no matter how painful. It tends to be the painful experiences that help us to grow the most. When I look back at my life, it is the experiences I didn't think I would survive that helped transform me the most.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Embracing Change and The Oddity of Fandom Part 2


I debated staying up last night to write about what was bouncing around my head but I was too tired so opted for sleep instead. Now I am stuck composing this on my phone which I really didn't want to have to do, but what are you going to do when the only computer is being occupied? There is nothing left to do but adapt and push forward. I need to get this out of me. It needs to be said. It doesn't matter if anyone ever reads it. I will feel better for having said it.

A band I follow recently posted an announcement for a pre-order for the new album they are recording. It isn't as if the new album was news to the people who are following them closely but everyone was excited for the opportunity to pre-order the long awaited new album. So many comments flooded in. There were lots of positive comments but then there are always those that like to tell the band what sound it should have and that it should sound like blah blah blah previous album. They don't want any ballads. They don't want another Screaming Bloody Murder album. They don't want this and they don't want that. They are pissed off because Dave and Stevo are no longer in the band. They want Deryck to stop wearing hats. They want Deryck to always wear his hair spiked the way he used to. They always want them to have campy silly photo shoots. Never let us see you have matured and grown. Better not age either because that might piss off some. People feel so entitled to say some of the most horrendous things to celebrities as if they aren't human and have no feelings. I'm sure this isn't an exclusive phenomenon experienced only by Sum 41. I'm pretty sure this fear of change is felt by every band who has any kind of following. I sat there reading the comments and I got really annoyed and was thinking "Fuck off!" I am still not sure why I got so annoyed and took the comments so personally. I am not a musician but I do consider myself an artist of sorts...a writer/poet. 

This isn't a new topic. I have discussed it in comments on the Sum 41 Instagram page. More than once I have discussed how I feel about it all. From a spiritual stand point, I understand that the people who want the music and the band to stay exactly the same have a fear of change and this is being reflected in their desire to keep the things in their life exactly the same. Their desire to keep things exactly the same is so strong that they try to control those around them...including the bands they love. They threaten to not be a fan anymore or they say mean and hateful things. It would be very easy to get upset and lash out at some of these people but each person has a story. Each person has feelings and their reactions are based in a fear of change. I had to step away, pause and think about it instead of reacting out of anger.

Perhaps the best I can do is write this blog and try to show them that their desire to keep their favorite band exactly the same is based in a fear of change and reflects their own fear of moving forward and change in their own lives. The majority of the Sum 41 fans are angsty teens whose whole lives feel volatile and unstable because they are nearing that point where big changes are getting ready to take place be it leaving high school, starting college, etc. Kids are highly hormonal at that point as well, therefore emotions are all over the place. They desire something constant and stable in their lives if they have a sense that their life is out of control...which is why they seek to try to control what matters to them most like a band whose music speaks to their angst.

My hope is that some of these people will recognize their fear of change and then choose to face it. I challenge them to embrace change. Embrace change in yourselves and in others...even if it means your paths part because of it.

Here is the thing, we all have free will to choose. If a band no longer makes music you dig, move on and discover something new that speaks to your soul. There are SO many bands out there to choose from. It is okay to hold a special place in your heart for the albums you loved that are basically like a soundtrack for a specific time period in your life, but don't expect anyone to stay exactly the same because of your fear of change.

Below is an exchange that took place after the below photo was posted on Instagram:

oktobre17: sum41 Long live Sum 41!! May tomorrow always bring about changes for all of you that help you be the very best versions of yourselves. May "right now" always be the moment you cherish most and be filled with all the music of your soul.

sum41:Thank u. This is the sum 41. That is excited and wants to be here and play music for the world! oktobre17

oktobre17: sum41 I know this is the version that wants to be here and make music and you have my love and support. it frustrates me seeing how difficult it is for some to accept change in others be it your hair, the sound of the music, the shoes you wear. My marriage ended because my husband couldn't accept the changes I had made with my beliefs. What I have come to accept and learn is that those who no longer serve our highest good naturally fall away from our lives the moment we let go and let the Universe work its magic. When that which doesn't serve us anymore falls away, it makes room for that which IS for our highest good to reach us. I embrace change in myself and others. Staying stagnate and the same would mean you aren't learning and growing. You, my friend, have done a beautiful job of changing. You are the Phoenix rising from the ashes and being reborn into something new and better than your last incarnation. I have mad respect for you, Deryck.

user1: Oh what happened to the days where you guys use to look happy

oktobre17: user1 is that what you see? Unhappy? I see three men who have matured and grown. I see warriors who have come back with new resolve and determination. I see a new dad who likely is thinking about what kind of world and legacy he wants to create for his child. I see a newly married man who is juggling being a member of two bands and his personal life. I see a man who has been to hell and back who hasn't given up....a man whose big motivation is to create something new for all of you and be able to perform it for you later. Must they always stay the same and have the same goofy silly shots to be deemed happy? sum41

user1: Not saying that at all tho I do not follow there personal life's to much.

oktobre17: If you look at the posts on this sum41 account, you are following their personal lives. Deryck has shared all of those tidbits along the way.

user1: oktobre17 or your just don't understand the meaning of "to much"

oktobre17: Do you mean "too* much"? Sure I do...but I am on a roll today and I figure "what the fuck" and threw caution to the wind and spoke my mind and my heart regardless of it still being a Mercury retrograde. Hahaha oh well. I have always maintained that it would be far better to actually have real dialogue than one-liner quips.

user1: oktobre17 so what your say is you take pleasure in coming on here and trying to put people down good to know.

oktobre17: Are you saying that is how you feel? I have not intended to put you down. My intention is always to be a friend to sum41 and show him my support. I get frustrated when I see comment after comment about people whinging about his hair not being the same or wanting the music to be exactly the same, or want them to always maintain the same playful campiness in photos they are known for. There are shitloads of people who complain that Dave and Steve aren't in the band as if Deryck has a hand in their no longer being in the band. Dave and Steve made free will choices to move on and do something else. This was not something Deryck wanted but he has no control over their choices. Deryck's main focus right now is to move forward with his life and part of that is creating the best fucking Sum 41 album of his life...until the next one. My point is, I wish people would stop lamenting and pining away for what was and embrace and support what is now with the band. My apologies if you felt put down. It is not my intention, user1

user2: oktobre17 people have different tastes and opinions and miss things. It doesn't mean they dislike a thing. I miss the old sum 41 because of the crazy photos and punk side to it and it's good for a band to know what their fans like. They could try and satisfy most ppl with different styles.

oktobre17: user2 musicians are ARTISTS...not some factory churning shit out just to please the consumer. They take everything that is twisted inside of them and create something and simply hope that some people resonate with their creations. But they create primarily because it is a spark in their soul that drives them. Their creations are expressions of who they are in this now moment. If an artist tries to churn out shit to please others, then they are not being authentically themselves. Wouldn't you rather they were true to themselves rather than caring so much what others want them to be? I am a writer and if someone tried to tell me what to write and how to write it, it wouldn't be my creation. It wouldn't have the same flavor of who I am because I would care too much about what others want and not what I feel compelled to say/write. We should all strive to authentically be ourselves and not bend to conformity of what others wish us to be. sum41

user2: oktobre17 im not saying they can't change. Im open minded and appreciate all they do but as a fan I am allowed to say that I liked AKNF or Chuck UH whatever more and I wish they play around with different sounds more and take more photos without it looking all the same these days with just a different background.

user3: I don't want a change I like how they are song like motivation, into deep , fat lip , walking disaster , and underclass hero songs like that please listen to the fans and stay that way


Monday, April 27, 2015

Repeating Patterns and Doors of Opportunity

On this journey called "life," we all develop patterns along the way. Sometimes those patterns are helpful and sometimes those patterns leave us stuck and repeating behavior that isn't for our highest good. We each are a sum of all our parts. Every single experience along the way helps to create the people we are in this now moment...baggage and all. It influences how we see the world and the way we interpret the information coming in. We unconsciously manifest situations over and over again in order for us to repeat these patterns. When you become a conscious creator, you understand that everything that appears in your life is something you alone manifested for the LESSON. When we continue to repeat the patterns instead of making different choices, we will keep creating similar situations that often end up compounding and adding to the issues we already need to face and come to terms with.

Every single relationship in our lives is a door of opportunity to make different choices. We only need to step back and recognize our own patterns.

In recent months, I have been given doors of opportunity to recognize my own patterns and make different choices. It is never easy to face your own shadows. It is never easy to look at a situation and see where you are going down a similar path of miscommunication and stuffing your true self aside to keep the peace and please the other person. Make no mistake, I have no one to blame but myself for the choices I was making. It is up to me to stand up and demonstrate self-love by being authentically me. It is up to me to make different choices so that I don't end up right back where I just came from. I take full responsibility for me and every situation, be it wonderful or difficult, that appears in my life.


I think the hardest thing to do is to make different choices in the face of knowing that those choices will cause pain and heartache for all involved. It is hard to make different choices when you know that it requires you to walk away or change the dynamics with someone you love so deeply that it feels your heart could burst. When you can make the painful choices, it means you are finally changing patterns. It means you are finally learning and freeing yourself of old destructive behaviors that no longer serve you.

No matter how much you love someone, sometimes the most loving thing you can do for both of you is to walk away while you still feel that love. Often when we stay and we repeat those patterns, we start to feel resentments that chips away at the love you feel for each other. The issues and problems become bigger than the love. Anger and hatred come in and set up camp where love used to dwell.

When you make those painful choices, it might hurt so bad that you just wish you could close your eyes and never have to wake again. There might be floods of tears and doubt that you have made the right choices. But eventually the sun will shine again. Eventually the tears will fade. Eventually you will be able to breathe again and be able to take a step through that door of opportunity you opened and travel down your new path you just created.

I am ever so grateful for the opportunities I have been given to make new choices. It has been painful and I have cried buckets of tears and had many sleepless nights, but I am still grateful. To the people who have helped create those opportunities, I sincerely thank you and love you very much. Without these opportunities, I can't become the very best version of me that I want to become.

Ask yourself what patterns you are repeating. What steps can you take to dramatically change your life for the better? Don't let fear hold you back. Love yourself and take that difficult first step to ending old destructive patterns.