In God’s Hands…

“Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.” – Paulo Coehlo

Here is one of those vague posts that I get to write where, you the reader, gets to decipher what I am really trying to say because for reasons I cannot express, I just cant be more than vague. All I can say is that things are in God’s hands right now. I have worked hard to redo the person and the persona you see in front of you.

This week was a great week of intense highs. I got to imagine myself where I truly want to be. I have been afforded opportunities that I have taken full advantage of…twice. Now I have to wait for the fruits of my efforts. This process of waiting can be a very agonizing one. Yet, I am used to it, even though there are small shards of pain that run through me thinking about all the possibilities.

I now place my fate in the hands of the uncontrollable. The universe will determine whether things are meant to be or not. I just hope that my time has finally come to complete this part of my journey. Funny, that when I think about a “journey,” I think about a road or a series of roads not unlike the ones I drive my car on when I go to NYC. I think about how some roads are smooth and some are choppy. Then, there are the new roads that being constructed that take forever and cause traffic jams.

I would like to think that my road is being constructed and there is a reduction in the speed limit so that no one gets hurt during the process. I would like to think that this road will become a bridge over water and when you drive across it you can see the beautiful green trees as they reflect on the water below. However, the reality might be that my road is bumpy and possibly filled with pot holes that I cannot adequately fill in the amount of time I have. Yet, both roads get me to where I want to be…eventually.

The only thing I can control is the faith that I have in myself and in God. Again, I am not a bible thumping man but I do believe that God and the Universe are one and the same. I do not pray for the unattainable. I just pray for the strength to get through this journey of mine.  I also pray that fear does not overcome me. We all have fears that can freeze us in our tracks, we just need to recognize it and move forward.

I am glad that there are people out there who have faith in me and despite the dark times, have never wavered when I doubted everything. Tonight I will rest on my laurels and pray that the Universe conspires in my favor…one more time.

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Dear God

Dear God…

I dedicate this blog post to one of my many prayers to you. I know that I am not the most religious being on this planet and I am certainly not Christ-like but I write this as a way to throw my literal words out into the universe as a testament of my faith that there is indeed a higher power. I pray to you because there are things in this world that I cannot control. I am just one person in a world filled with wicked people that murder, rape, and take advantage of the less fortunate all in the name of God. I pray to you because everything happens for a reason and every person in my life serves a purpose even if its for a little while. One of those people told me that if I truly want something than I need to ask the universe.

Asking the universe is like asking God because the two things are synonymous. I know that when I tell the universe my wants that it will conspire in my favor to help me get it. In saying that, I know that my prayers are pleas for help because I cannot do things without faith in myself and world around me. The problem is that I fear so many things. The decisions I have made in the past has not made my present as great as I would like it to be which only puts my future in question. I do think about my future because I still consider it bright.

I want to do so many things it is hard to comprehend where I can begin to start. This is a part of the problem because I don’t know what I don’t know. I ask for the strength to help me pass my own weaknesses. I know that I have not been one to totally go for financial success because money isn’t everything and let’s be honest, I cannot take it with me in death. However, I can pass it down to the children that I hope to have. What I want is to be able to live without fear. I don’t want to worry anymore about how I am going to get from paycheck to paycheck.

I pray for strength to get me through the hard times. I pray for strength to get me through the sparse amount of interviews. I pray for strength to let me deal with the unforeseen things that life throws my way. I am just a man in this world trying to do good. I help the students that I work with. I stay in touch with those former student who still feel they need my guidance. I want to be there in ways that people were never there for me when I was a student. I let my work speak for itself.

I thank you for things that you have given me. Those tearful nights when I thought I would never get to where I am now have seemed to have paid off. I am a survivor of bad decisions and financial consequences. More importantly, I thank you for putting her into my life. I thank you for giving me the strength to survive the past four years. I thank you for the family and the friends that I have because I am truly fortunate to have people support me when I needed them.

The strength I ask for is because I know my successes are not handed to me. I need the strength to act on motivations because fear is the only thing that is stopping me. I am tired of being afraid. Fear takes my will to succeed in every facet of my life. I pray to for help so I can get to my goals with dignity and honor. I ask the universe to conspire in my favor to help me achieve my personal legend.

I am not a perfect man. I am sinner in many respects, but I am a good person willing to help others in the only way I know how. All I ask is for strength, courage, and wisdom to guide me on this quest. I want to be the legend that I know I can be.

Amen.

The World did not End. So now what?

I have had a lot of fun with this end of the world stuff. My Facebook and Twitter have been filled with jokes and sayings about something that some people have taken so very seriously. But, that’s the point, isn’t it? To make light of something potentially disastrous in order for people to not really panic thinking about the actual end of the world. Of course, I never thought it was going to happen, however, I did think that it would be some real shit if it did occur.

Most of the day, I did not entertain the idea of civilization’s end. I went about the business of mowing the lawn and doing my household duties. I received a notice in the mail from the utility company, Niagara Mohawk, asking me to pay more money on a bill I already paid. So, I call them right away because I figured it was a mistake on their end. I get connected to an associate and I state my usual name, address and last four digits of my social security. Then we get into a very interesting dialogue that I will be thinking about for awhile.

He asks me if my last name was Cuban. I tell him the I am Puerto Rican/Ecuadorian. I must have come off a little stand offish at first because he asked if I was offended. I told him I wasn’t and changed my tone. I was calling to fix my situation and not get into a discussion on what diaspora my name was from. As he was looking up my issue he mentioned that I sounded very much like his father. At this point, I was thinking that there is no way I sound that old. So I tell him that! He responses that his dad was 36 when he passed…

Now, I feel like shit. I tell him that I was sorry for his loss and that yes and I am 36 as well. As we talk and he fixes my issue, he admits to me that he is tearing up because I sound so much like his dad. I tell him that perhaps this is a sign that he is watching over him. He agreed and he went about finishing his business. We continued for a few more minutes and we are about to get off the phone I tell him to take of himself and we both say “God Bless.” I hang up thinking that the universe works in mysterious ways. My bill being fixed is nowhere near as important as this dude’s validation that his father is looking over him. It just made me again think about how I need to remain grateful for the things I have.

Then there is my stepmother who called me later on in the day to tell me that if the world does end today, I should know that I am loved. Sometimes people criticize me for being too emotional, but I feel that very few people in my life truly understand that life is short! Fine, the world is not going to end but it is ok to tell people you love them anyway and that is what I did. Before 6pm, I texted some of my closest friends that I cared about that if the world does end they should know that they are indeed loved. I did this thinking about the guy on the phone. I will say that some people laughed thinking that I was joking, some never responded, but generally most told me the same thing.

My point is this simply, we never know when our time is up, whether it is collectively or singularly. We should always tell the people we know and love that we love them. Not just because they may die and we will never see them again, but because WE may die and they may never know or understand how much they mean to us. The universe does things to remind us that we are here for a purpose and while we are all laughing at these fools for this false alarm, the point of all this may have been God telling us to not take our lives for granted.

The End of Days? Hardly.

Clearly, someone miscalculated last time…

There has been a lot of talk about the world ending lately. I find it amusing on so many different levels that I just had to incorporate this into my blog today. Over the last year, I have been thinking about my personal relationship with God. I have been thinking about what it is that I truly believe in and how does that determine my life from this point on.

I have always made it known that I am a “recovering Catholic” and this is just to show others and myself that I am not fond of all things that the Catholic Church preaches. On one hand they can teach that Jesus wants us to love other and yet on the other hand that love is conditional based on sexual orientation. Let’s not forget that in the past that the bible was used to subjugate people by forcing them to believe that there is a better life after death if they just accept their current fate. So while talking about people like Osama Bin Laden and radical Islamic views, lets not forget many of the people in the past who were murdered in the name of Jesus.

Those radical views are not views that I share. Twelve years of Catholic school has led me to believe that I should always believe that there is good in everyone. Of course, that has bitten me in the ass more times than I can count, but the God I believe in is based on love. However, I am not blinded by faith to think that things will be handed to me. I know that I need to work for what I have and help others when I can. I think this is why I find my job with working with students so rewarding.

My personal relationship with God involves me praying and having conversations with him/her. There was one point in which I find myself praying for the people that I love and wishing them happiness and success and not praying for my own happiness. I often times pray for strength because I feel it is one thing that I need the most. It is not that I do not want to be happy because I know that I need to fight for what I want, but I know my life is not as bad as other people around the world. I recognize my privilege and I cannot take that for granted.

I have always found it hard to describe my relationship with God. I am not one to preach about it. I think we are all entitled to what we believe and we are also entitled to not have other people’s views of God forced upon us. However, when I read The Shack by William Young (which is an amazing book), I finally felt that the personal one on one relationship was validated. I do not need church to believe in something. I am a good person and would never intentionally harm anyone; I just find it hard to see the bible as more that just a book written by man.

So when I see things like this, which is describing dates of when the rapture begins leading to the eventual end of the world, it makes me shake my head. Why do people feel the need to concoct such things as if God would ever make it possible for any one of us to predict when he/she decides to judge us? The planet Earth is just a marble in this vast Universe, this beautiful universe that was created for a higher purpose that you and I can never comprehend. I almost consider us to be like an atom in the body of this universe or perhaps maybe this universe is the body of God. So in that respect, he/she will just disregard us based on text that man wrote? I have dreams all the time that zombies are coming after me, does this mean I should write it down and call for the end of days?

Then I can only imagine the reactions of the people of other faiths who read this stuff and be like, what the f*ck? I can see Muslims shaking their heads and laughing while saying, “and they think we are crazy.” I am not sure I have seen any other religions try to calculate the exact moment when those who are “righteous” will be taken away while the rest of the heathen fight to stay alive in a real life version of the Night of the Living Dead. This type of thinking is the root of the elitist mentality that some people are better than others.

This elitist mentality has been played out in history as well as in our current time period. The bible has been used to show that there are heathens out there that are less than human and deserve what comes to them. You can include the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the massacre of the Indigenous population in the Americas as just examples of “elite” people playing God. You can see it now in how so many people are against gay marriages by saying the God would never allow it because homosexuality is a sin (less they forget that Jesus died for ALL our sins…but clearly that is irrelevant).

I am digressing here. In my past posts and poems, I have often talked about fate and the universe. These things are synonymous to me talking about God. Those phrases are one and the same. We all have to figure out the paths in our lives. I was recently reading a passage from The Alchemist that leads me to really think about what is really in store for me in my quest for inner peace:

There is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe…. The soul of the world is nourished by people’s happiness.

The world is not coming to end whether it be Saturday or 6 months from then. We should focus more on what we want to do to make this world better than dreaming of a time when we separate good from evil because none of us are perfect…even if we do go to church on Sundays.