Memorial Day, 2019, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Memorial Day, 2019

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

I had an uncle who fought in WW II, and he was never the same mentally. He was an extremely talented writer, and his PTSD from the war destroyed the rest of his life. It’s people like him I honor–and all the military people of color throughout history, and the indigenous people, who fought for rights they still don’t experience, who fought with little to no recognition, who fought and were betrayed by the very country they were fighting for.

I think especially today about my transsiblings who have lost their careers in the military–their years and decades of service–all because of trump and his religious extremist terrorist regime.

I have met homeless vets on the streets of Philly, in soup kitchens, when I’ve visited homeless shelters to sing–these people are in shock–not only because of the things they’ve witnessed, done, felt–but because of the way their country let them down once they returned.

These people and the trans service members are not just expendable pieces–nor were the people of color who served in the military….We all know that—but let’s not kid ourselves that this country really cares about the actual human beings fighting these horrific and most often unjust wars—If they cared they wouldn’t be so actively fighting to take away the rights of people like me—slapping the sacrifices soldiers have made to protect my rights and the civil rights of all people–in the face….only to watch their country erode into a cesspool of hate, bigotry, and a way of thinking that is so backwards mentally, spiritually, socially, that it’s difficult to see a way out.

You know I’m a pacifist at heart/soul, but a revolution might be what’s needed to change the shit going on in this country–and for those future veterans—the marginalized ones who will fight, who do fight everyday—-it will just be a continuation of daily battles.

And yeah, it pisses people off to hear comparisons of transpeople with military members–as far as us being “heroes.” –but the truth is, transpeople like me fight a war to exist every day–and that doesn’t make us heroic, it makes us victims in a battle we did not choose. We shouldn’t need to be called heroes just because we’re trying to live our lives in safety. I don’t believe the ghosts of the soldiers who fought for American freedom would be happy to know genocide is happening right on our very soil—-again–it’s never actually stopped.

Going out anywhere–to church, the store, to the post office, to any public restroom–is putting myself at risk. I am constantly hyper vigilant of my surroundings and those around me—why? Because my life IS a war zone. If people weren’t so scared of people like my why would trump and his weaklings want us gone so badly? So sometimes the comparisons are worthy to make between veterans and queer people like me.

And it’s not only queer people–people of color are at war in this country–young black men just picking up trash are veterans of living a life of war everyday—putting themselves in danger just because they wear a hoodie, Islamic people just trying to worship, to make a living–they are at war in this country–Jewish people, Latinx people….people in jail whose lives are completely destroyed for selling/using weed….Marginalized people–each and everyone of us is a veteran of wars we fight everyday because we are the hunted.

I am not saying I want to draw attention away from military vets–Far from it. I want us all to rise up and actually fight for what they fought for—a country free to all and for the rights of all. And as long as white-supremacist colonization and brutality is still going on there will never be peace. We will always be fighting.

To those who fight overseas, and to those who fight getting out of bed, to those that fight leaving their homes because of fears for their own safety, for those that fight who have no home—I honor all of you this day, and I will, as always, keep praying for peace, and keep fighting in the ways I am able.

 

 

 


Relax, You Will Not Be Eaten by Bears Even if You Think a Lot About Being Eaten by Bears, By Jennifer Angelina Petro

Relax, You Will Not Be Eaten by Bears

Even if You Think a Lot

About Being Eaten by Bears

By

Jennifer Angelina Petro

 

 

I saw this ad on my Facebook sidebar that said something like: “You become what you think about,” and, “think happy,” and it got me thinking and feeling annoyed.

Yes, thoughts are things, but do you know what a thought actually is?  I mean really?

Is a thought the stuff that drifts through your head like air through an open window, or static on a radio?  Is it something you create out of your own “mind-stuffs”—in other words is a thought is something you “think it up?”  Is that a thought?

I ask because some people who push things like the Law of Attraction (and I know this because I used to push it myself) haven’t a clue what they are talking about (just like I didn’t), and, as a result, they hurt people, frighten people, helped people feel powerless and defeated.  And that sucks.  Big time.  I am making amends for my past stupidity and this article is part of that process.

Here’s the deal:

 

1). If you spend a lot of time thinking about ashtrays, you will not become an ashtray.

2). If you spend a lot of time thinking about medicine you will not become a doctor.  You might become a doctor, but it wouldn’t be because you thought about medicine day in day out.  It would because you studied and worked hard and got yourself into debt over college loans for the rest of your life.

3). Most of what passes for “thinking,” isn’t.

 

Let’s use some negative reasoning to help us understand what thinking is not.

Thinking is not all the afore mentioned stuff that drifts and sifts and dusts itself through your head.

Thinking is not all the “mindless” listening to NPR or the chatter of other people on the subway (yes, I used the word, “subway,” on purpose to make an allusion to the subconscious.  Some would argue we actually live based on what’s stored (collecting dust) in the attics (basements, dungeons, silos) of our subconscious minds.  This is like believing I am suffering in this lifetime for something I did, but cannot remember doing, in another lifetime.  It is a cruel idea.  It is like saying: “Here, YOU suffer for things unknown.  YOU suffer because I suffer and don’t know why I suffer, but I am going to tell you why YOU suffer.”).

Thinking is not all the stuff you “think” about in a given day—the bills, the bad drivers, the fate of the nation, etc.

And now what I am about to say will sound like a contradiction:

Those things just mentioned above are all examples of “thoughts” yes, but only if we believe the definition of a thought as being anything that just so happens to be in your head at any given moment.  But I don’t categorize these things as the kinds of thoughts that can be properly put into the file of, “thinking,” because they are not the kinds that can ever have truly creative properties.

So please, stop worrying about becoming bipolar because you think about bipolarism.  Please stop worrying you are going to get eaten by a shark because you watch so many shark attack videos.  Please stop worrying that your house will be robbed because you worry about your house being robbed.

Our fears do not, I repeat, do not, attract the things we fear into our lives.  Promise.

I mentioned there are thoughts that have creative properties however.  What kinds of thoughts are these?

They are the ones you invest your heart into.  Thoughts that you think with your heart in addition to your head—those are powerful things; things that can bring about great changes in the world and within yourself.  Here’s why:

Thoughts themselves are images really—sense impressions/impulses flashed on the screen of the mind—they are largely static, lifeless things, sort of like random magnetic poetry words on a refrigerator. However, once you stop, focus, draw your feelings up from your body, from your heart, suddenly those plain, “meaningless” thoughts begin to take form, shape, make sense, create beauty, excitement, dialog, poetry.  YOU have to rearrange them though, like the magnetic words on the fridge. You give them meaning by what you DO with them and how you FEEL about them.  In other words, thoughts can become powerful creational tools when infused with the heart, the soul, the spirit, and most of all, actions.

If you “think” a lot about being attacked by bears but never go into the woods, you’re probably safe from bear attacks.  If you “think” about bear attacks AND THEN go out into places where bears live and you drag around slabs of meat and cart along backpacks full of honeypots, well, then, you might just become bear poop in the very near future.

You see the difference?  One is empty(ish) and the other is boosted with actions.

I suffer from clinical depression.  I have spent many years in various forms of dissociative states.  I am a trauma survivor and someone who suffers from PTSD.  The last thing I need to hear is “think happy thoughts and you will start farting rainbows, and dancing around happy as a well, farting unicorn.”  The last thing I need to hear is “if only you would discipline your thinking to think positive thoughts you would be happy.”

There are times in my life when asking me to think positive thoughts is like asking someone without legs to get up and run.  I simply cannot do it.  I am not choosing to be mentally ill.  I have not chosen to be unhappy.  And I haven’t become depressed by simply thinking depressing thoughts any more than I will become taller by thinking about stilts.

People who find success with positive thinking are probably not as fundamentally ill as I am, and I am tired of being shamed for not being able to think as happily as you.

It’s similar with the Law of Attraction (LOA) cult.  Yes, my thoughts are things, but they are not homeopathic.  They will not attract other similar thoughts and thus, eventually, the desired thing (usually money, success, a relationship, a yacht) (nothing wrong with wanting any of these things, wanting is good, I am just pointing out the LOA cult leaders prey on people who are often economically disadvantaged, the lonely, the down-trodden, the ones who, forgive me for saying so, but who do not think clearly because they CAN’T).

The only kinds of thoughts that will attract other similar thoughts are the ones you think with your heart and hands.  The ones you put your blood, sweat, and tears into.  Things you love.  Things you not only desire, but know are true and good for yourself and the world.

Of course, positive affirmations and positive thinking is a good “idea.”  If it helps, go to town.

So, instead of telling me to “think positive” and to just “be happy,” or to just remember, “thoughts are things,” tell me you love me.  Tell me you’re here to listen.  Tell me you will drive me to my therapy appointment or come out for a cup of tea with me.  Tell me you’re sorry and that you care.  Whatever you do, know that I am listening to you and that it would be great if I knew we could stand together in the world, and not worry together about being eaten by bears.

 

 

 

 

 


 





Thoughts From the Heart, Part III, The Way of Being

Thoughts
From the Heart, Part III

A
Collection of Random Musings and Inspirations,

By Joseph
Anthony

 

     There
is a way of being who you are that matters most.                                                                                          It is the way of being that
sings of wonder,                                                                                            and a deep
sense of radiant gratitude.     


              

 

As you
walk through the dark woods, open your hand.
                                                                                           Feel
the good spirit slip her hand into yours,                                                                                                and watch the darkness open into
light.


Inside
your heart a seed. Inside the seed your heart.
                                                                                                        From
inside this shared space, alive and breathing,
                                                                                 all things grow into
the world.



Spirit
wears the life of matter as we would wear a silken robe                                                                                        –with delight, dignity, 
and with lavish playfulness.       

Within
matter (mater=mother=earth) spirit lives, flowing                                                                                                    and filling every cell
with sheer and
utter joy.       


                                           


Struggle
isn’t bad, it only feels bad sometimes–it’s actually a blessing.
                                                        Ask
the bird, ask the butterfly, ask the baby learning to walk.         


                                                                      

      


We are
here to unlock the treasures of one another’s hearts.                                                                                     Keys
like kindness, compassion, gratitude, forgiveness,                                                                                                                                    and praise work well.  

“What
of the feeling of impending doom?” asked the old man.                                                                   “Notice
your feet,” said the child, “and then look at your hands.                                                                                                                                       Be here
now.”

 


“Where have you
been?” the old man asked the child.                                                                                       “Sleeping,”
replied the child, “in your heart.                                                                                                                Didn’t you look for me there?”



 

 

 

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


Thoughts From the Heart II

Thoughts
From the Heart II

A
Collection of Random Musings

And Inspirations

*

We are all Lightworkers. With every breath, 

with every act and thought of love,

we have worked with the medium of
Light.

 

Walk through your doubts while breathing
in Light, and as the Light fills you,

illuminating your mind, breathe out the doubts.


 

In addition to exhaling anything
you want to let go of, try exhaling

as a way of sharing your love, creativity, and forgiveness.

 

Breathe with your whole body, and
breathe in more than just oxygen

–breathe in love, beauty,
creativity, forgiveness, the sky.


 

Being able to be the still point
in the
storm, the hub of the wheel,

has more to do with how one
breathes than anything else.

 

Create yourself a wonderful day
and share it with others as you go along.

 

Just as we create dreams from our
minds when we sleep,

so too do we create our lives
while we’re awake.

Think positive thoughts.

 

When I asked for news from my
first graders, one of them said:

“My rose tree is
blooming.”

 

Just as the darkness gives way to
birdsong, so too your sorrow will give way to joy

as you awaken to the blessings
around and within you.

 

Be like the dawn and lift the veil
of darkness.

With every breath and every
movement towards your desires,

it lifts, revealing more Light.

 

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog


Thoughts From the Heart, a Collection of Random Musings and Inspirations

Thoughts
From the Heart

A
Collection of Random Musings

And
Inspirations

 

Sure, the razor’s edge exists. So does the edge of praise, of openness, of breathing freely,
and laughter.  We choose the path we walk.

 

People say to trust yourself, just meditate, go inside.
What if inside is a mess? We all need mentors to help us sort things out
sometimes.

 

Transforming black and white thinking into the rainbow palette
of reality means opening the heart to the many shades of now–the many shades
of living an alive life.

 

Crying is for the soul as rain is for the flowers…Water
the garden of the heart with tears, tears of sorrow, tears of laughter.

 

There is so much light in the darkness. One spark from
your imagination, one note from the song of your heart is enough to create the
dawn.

 

Soul calls come every moment, every second; from the
Beloved, from your dreams, from the world. Answer with your whole life.

 

I used to believe as one
progressed on the spiritual path that it got narrower.  Now I know it broadens, opens, blossoms into
more; more possibilities to praise, more opportunities for gratitude, more
discoveries of healing, more variations of expressing eternal truths, more tolerance
of others, more compassion for both myself and those around me. This is the
Yoga of the Christ, the Buddha, the Divine Mother, the One Light Shining Within
Us All. This is the Yoga of Praise. This is the Yoga of Song. This is the Yoga
of Joy.

 

Move in the direction of your dreams. They are the
compass rose emblazoned on your heart, and they will always lead to verdant
shores.

 

Let the poem write you.

 

Dear Sun, as you filter through the curtains, please do
the same in my mind.  Don’t let the dusty
doubts and fears block your way.

 

Be the one who dances with their dreams. Be the one who spreads the wings of their creativity
and soars above fear and shame.

 

Be the one who embraces their divinity and lives the life of being called to shine. Be the one
who accepts and shares their given glory.


 

Be the one who rings the bells of freedom and rises to meet the horizon. Be the one who walks
hand in hand with gratitude and praise.

Copyright Joseph Anthony of the Wonder Child Blog