A N O M A L Y: Villain
(Or, ‘Number 5’)
***What started out as a free-write session became yet another milestone. Funny what you can draw out if you go deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. -JB***
So today I want to go deeper into the topic of the 10 Commandments of Success, as discussed in The Art of Manliness. In a nutshell, these 10 Commandments go as follows:
- Control Your Thoughts.
- Be Confident.
- Have A Program And Follow It.
- Find Out What You Want.
- Solve The Sex Problem Intelligently.
- Pay Attention To Your Money.
- Adjust Yourself.
- Be A Good Sport.
- Go On.
- Obey Your Conscience.
Personally, I’m not sure why I decided to commit this to memory (besides the 7 – no, 8 Habits Of Highly Effective People and the 20 Lessons We Could Learn From Leonardo Da Vinci [Well, the latter I will probably need to brush up on <Hey look, I’m at it again! Caption-ception!>]), but that’s probably why I’m deciding to write about it.
Side Note – I’m particularly fascinated about how I’m just writing so much more. Perhaps being in the USA, away from the Philippines, where ‘real-life’/’reality’ is, by how popular culture would have us imply (And yeah, right now I suppose I’m AVOIDING Caption-Ception again) is doing it for me, but it’s certainly helping me focus. Perhaps it’s the mushroom coffee. Perhaps it’s the nootropics I’ve been sampling. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been getting more exercise, less sugar – one, or a combination, or none of these things, I’m just enjoying the focus and the determination I have right now, to write – well, to type – instead of doing a million other things – well, two things: Playing There Are Billions / DragonBall Legends, and/or watching Jack Ryan (which I’m probably going to do later anyway. Go Jim Halpert!).
(Side Note, continued) Really, I’m loving that one statement by Francis Bacon. I’m definitely going to say it much more in this blog: Reading makes a whole man, Speaking makes a ready man, and Writing makes a precise man. That last line… man, I realized it, Pao confirmed it – I need to get it all together. Each and every time Pao would say, ‘Sandali – naguguluhan ako’ is extra incentive for me to make sure that the words that come out of my mouth are not just full of impact – shot out like a bullet from an expert sniper with a powerful rifle… spoken one shot, one kill.
And this is probably WHY I’ve had problems writing before, is because I couldn’t seem to get my point together, that I give up before I even start getting into the point I want to share. Well, that all changes, starting now. I’m determined to go back to just putting it all out there, and God knows whether what I write is for me, for others, or for all.
Hah. However it goes, writing does serve its purpose – precision? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t know how each and every time… but I shall write, and write some more.
So I’m to (1) Control my thoughts, and (2) Be confident. The reason why I am unable to do (1) is because of fear -fear of the thoughts of others, fear of the reactions of others, fear of the many ways others can respond and react, fear of a combination of these things not going my way, fear of fear shaking my foundation, fear of fear of fear… Where there is fear, there is no control.
Do I eliminate fear? Of course. That is necessary. However, I couldn’t establish and maintain control in a vacuum – or in the mere absence of fear. There has to be the presence of a positive force to replace the negative. Can it be confidence? No, confidence is on the surface of what we really need – and our Mamas know all about it: The secret ingredient is love.
(At this point I will allow you, dear reader, to laugh for 30 seconds. Done? Let’s keep going)
Love is the answer to so many questions I don’t know
So I stop my endless wand’ring
Ahem. Love – and rather, to know that you are loved, no matter what… and because of what I personally believe (and what I strongly believe each and every human being in the PLANET should give the SMALLEST amount of consideration to) – that Jesus Christ is the proof that I am unconditionally and eternally loved by no less than the Creator of the Universe, Creator of all that we perceive as reality – I no longer fear what other people think, because I know God lovingly thinks about me. I no longer fear making a mistake, because I know that even if I do, Jesus Christ paid such a great price for us to see our God as the Dad we probably never realized we could have – the Dad who encourages us and says that He is for us no matter what we do and no matter what happens to us.
I no longer fear to make a mistake, because I know God has my back. And because I know I am loved this way, I am able to love others the same way, with the said sniper-like precision – well, there’s not much to it, but sometimes (well actually, oftentimes) people who are so paralyzed by fear to make a critical choice don’t need you to reason out with them, more than you just saying that you are there for them, no matter what they decide.
Now I was supposed to go through each ‘Commandment’ one by one, but let’s just keep going here! See, for the longest time I knew that I needed to (3) make a program and follow it, because damn, I was all about efficiency and apparently, one big pet peeve of mine was wasting time! But here’s the thing: I know that I am so deeply loved by God – and I’ll keep saying it, because this is God who created time and is therefore beyond it, and definitely is true to His word when He makes all things work together for me, and ESPECIALLY when I beat myself up for not getting anything done (which used to happen a lot!).
It doesn’t stop there! For just knowing that God loves me and tutors me through Christ alive in me… that definitely has me confidently planning and programming, coincidentally (7) Adjusting myself, and making fine-tuned changes according to my pace, without the need to keep up with the best of the world when it comes to efficiency.
I recognize the need to have a vision, but I no longer need to force myself to have one, nor do I beat myself up for not having one as others are skillfully able to at a moments notice – I mean, for one thing, I recognize that they are gifted with that, and/or they were unrelenting in practicing that skill, but God’s everlasting love for me has me living in the present, and as such, I may not know it with much foresight as others would right now, but I do (4) know what I want, right now – and one of them is to finish this with a smile on my face!
(well, I’ll be honest, I still want to sneak in a game of There Are Billions)
And can I be more honest? I like sex. And while I recognize that my drive for sex is natural, the grace of God doesn’t have me fearing what I can do with it – in fact, I see that the One who created sex in the first place demonstrated true love by not just offering flowers, chocolate, a bit of red wine and a good time, but by leaving ALL that He had, and giving ALL that He was, because we were ALL that He wanted. In this case the presence of true love had my eyes open to a living Intimacy infinitely superior to ‘pleasure’ that the most hardcore of pornography and the most sensual of sexual acts could offer on their own… I am excited for the moment when I can
have sex again make love with a my wife whom I first publicly proclaim my love to, ALL BECAUSE of the presence and overflow of true love, and the absolute absence of fear.
Well, you can’t get any more hard-hitting than that, can you? See, the superiority of Christ and His finished work has us putting each and every other thing our senses perceive in this reality in their place. The faith which He establishes in us opens our eyes to the eternal and everlasting love and the life we have in Him, with Him, and through Him. This opens our eyes to see this reality from the perspective of forever, which has us learning to be at ease, whether we gain or lose all that is temporal. Sex, abundance, power, fame, and fortune are put in their rightful place because we have the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, the Creator of all this and more, not just loving us, but in the most intimate of relationships, literally alive, one with us.
For this reason, we do not find happiness in money, but in peace, we are able to lovingly (6) pay attention to our money. Christ has us being generous – in what way? Well, while we recognize the value of money, we do not love it, but we love others investing our money in their souls (for what is unseen is eternal, right?). Because we find contentment with Christ, we put money in its place, as a tool… and like any other tool, we recognize we can get better at using the tools that we have, getting better (or in this case, more) tools as a natural consequence.
See where this is going? Because we know that God loves us and is for us, we find peace and comfort even in defeat, and even if the world has us swinging till the end, when we know that the gig is up, we are able to throw in the towel with the same grace that Christ demonstrated when He willingly lost it all… we are able to (7) be a good sport, not because the media loves a pansy like that, or not with the premise of getting more followers. But since Christ gave it all up even when He didn’t have to, we can graciously do the same, and (8) go on.
Dear reader, if there’s anything that I want you to remember in all this, it’s that while there is no control in fear, where there is love, there is peace. And no matter what the world would have you think, where true love is, there is Christ.
…and vice versa.
This is what has me going. This is the message of my life, as of today. Now I understand that I have more years in my life, and I will leave pages after pages blank from here on out because I have so much more to learn… but for today, I am enjoying the best I could, living this life everlasting, heart like heaven because of all of Heaven in Christ alive in me… Not forcing Him down like religion would have us do, but shining Him with every beat of my heart, every breath I take, every second that I live from now unto forever.
Here’s a mouthful: I am able to ‘listen to my heart’ and consider my ‘gut-feeling’ (as rivers of living water flow from the belly of those who believe) – and furthermore, I say all this because (BEGIN CHRISTIANESE) I no longer fear my past self, for as Christ rose to life, so did I,
and not as a zombie, but a new creation – Holy, righteous, and acceptable to God, for as Christ is, so am I in this world. (END CHRISTIANESE).
His finished work guaranteed so much, but for now what I choose to stand on is that whether I am in this body and this reality or with Him forever when all this fades away, I am able to (10) obey my conscience and He loves me anyway.
Wow, that rhymed. I figured you needed a break at this point. And really, you’re still reading? After what I said about sex, and after all I said about Christ and Him loving me, in spite of all I said about sex?
Of course, I could have used a million other examples, but what can I say? Falling prey to porn at an early age, and spiraling further into perversions most vile in my mind thereafter, suffering hit after hit to my body, my relationships, my family, my reputation, and seeing how Christ, in spite of all this, and seeing me do all this 2000 years ago and STILL choosing to lay His life down for me and for the ALL of reality… How can I make it closer to home, and how can I make it more precise?
For the light of Christ found me in the darkest of days… and there we find out, He is with us ESPECIALLY at our lowest.
I am totally at peace with the possible scandal that comes out of everything that I’ve laid bare here, for the world to see. I understand there will be consequences, as, well, there are consequences to everything we do in this life anyway. Pastor pa naman ako.
Well, among other things, anyway.
So I give you a culmination, if you will, of the 35 years of my existence, condensed and exposed in its fullness to you today… For I want nothing less than for you to know that if you give the thought of God’s love for you through none other than His Son, Jesus Christ, just the smallest consideration… this Life, free from fear, free from shame, full of love and peace, for your past and future, is for you, today, and forever.
Thank you for making it this far. Please let me know what you think.