Cursed Paintings

Image supplied by http://courageousgirlsclub.com/cgc-blog

I heard over the weekend about a painting that was associated with various suspicious activities. A friend had this painting in his house and his accounts correlated with various other witness reports. It got me wondering about this painting and how many others there are out there. I’m going to start out with his testimony in his own words concerning the events around his cursed painting.

“…we had one in our house when I was a baby and well weird and wounded **** happened there and we had a fire in that house…I don’t know the full story [I] was too young but when I got older strange things did happen [and I] heard someone walking around but there was no one. Also heard knocking on walls and stuff like that.”

There are many others out there. These paintings, despite their value as artworks, are almost impossible to sell because of the stigma attached to them.

THE CRYING BOY by Giovanni Bragolin, 1950.

The painting my friend owned is the one famously known as ‘The Crying Boy’. The painting is below.

THE CRYING BOY. IMAGE COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA

This painting was completed in the 1950s by Giovanni Bragolin. Giovanni apparently painted 60 different paintings. Prints and reprints of these paintings have continued into the 80s. These copies all depicted crying children. Howevere, in 1985, these copies stopped. There was an incident in Rotherham which was publicized by The Sun. This incident involved a fire breaking out in May and Ron Hall’s home. This was attributed to chips left frying on the stove. In the years that followed, the painting became well known for attracting fire and misery in boys. Firefighters also report that when responding to these incidents, the paintings always remain unscathed.

A fellow blogger of the unknown shared this testimony with me:

“When I was a young child in the 70s, I became fascinated by a painting in my grandmother’s house. The painting was a cheap print of a well-known piece, and was hung on the living room wall of her small terraced house. The reason I was so fascinated was that the picture depicted a child. The boy was a similar age to me and for some reason looked sad and downcast, tears brimming from his troubled eyes. I was so attached to the painting I even gave the sad child a name. A few years after the painting went up on the wall, there was a devastating kitchen fire in the house. While the kitchen was destroyed, the rest of the house was undamaged. Despite this, the painting of the boy was removed and thrown into a skip along with the contents of the kitchen. For years it puzzled me why my grandmother did this until I read a series of articles about a cursed painting. That painting was ‘The Crying Boy’.” –Exemplore; Hubpages. If you want to know more, go onto her profile at “https://exemplore.com.”

LOVE LETTERS by Andrew King

LOVE LETTERS. Image provided by “culturacolectiva.com

In the Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas. Viewers of this painting have some weird things to report. Some claim when they looked directly at it, they felt dizzy or sick. Some viewers have even claimed to have levitated when they closed their eyes to look away from this painting. This painting was created by painter Andrew King. In the year 1887, Samantha Houston, the 4-year old daughter of a US Senator fell to her death down a flight of stairs. Some say that due to her near resemblance to the girl in the painting, her spirit haunts the hotel. It’s been said that the expression on the painting sometimes changes and the phantom of a little girl playing with a ball has also been spotted.

THE HANDS RESIST HIM by Bill Stoneham

THE HANDS RESIST HIM/eBAY HAUNTED PAINTING

Painted in 1972, by Bill Stoneham, “Hands Resist Him” has become famously known as the “eBay Haunted Painting”. It depicts a boy and girl doll standing in front of a shop window. According to Stoneham, the little boy is based on a photo of himself at age 5. The doorway is a dividing line between the real world and the realm of impossibility. The little girl is a guide into this unknown world, whilst the hands represent parallel worlds or possibilities. The painting is supposedly cursed and was first displayed in the 1970s as Stoneham’s sole work. The first claim to its haunting was after it was purchased by a couple off eBay. In the painting’s eBay description, the couple made various startling claims. The description led to a wildfire online and before long everyone was talking about the Hands Resist Him. Amidst the speculation surrounding this painting was reports that its first gallery owner as well as its first art critic were said to have been supposedly killed by the painting.

eBay Description.

“When we received this painting, we thought it was really good art. A “PICKER ” had found it abandoned behind an old brewery. At the time we wondered a little why a seemingly perfectly fine painting would be discarded like that. ( TODAY WE DON’T !!! ) One morning our 4 and 1/2 year old daughter claimed, that the children in the picture were fighting, and coming into the room during the night. Now, I don’t believe in UFOs or Elvis being alive, but my husband was alarmed. To my amusement he set up a motion triggered camera for the nights. After three nights there were pictures. The last two pictures shown are from that ‘stakeout’. After seeing the boy seemingly exiting the painting under threat, we decided, the painting has to go. Please judge for yourself…”

For the full report go to https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/hands-resist-him-ebay-haunted-painting

I have only mentioned three such disturbing paintings, but there are so many out there. In future, I hope to cover the paintings I was unable to in this post. Check out the attached links for more info on these cursed paintings.

God bless you all my avidReaders.

Delicacies You’ve Probably Never Tried

We all know that every culture has foods that form the core of their customs and rituals. In this article I am going to through a few of these dishes and where they originated as well as a bit of the history behind some of these unique dishes.

BIRD NEST SOUP

Bird Nest Soup. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Our first dish takes us into Asia, more specifically, China and to a dish called Bird Nest Soup. This particular dish has also been called the “caviar of the east”. Contrary to what you may think, the soup does not contain sticks, but rather the bird’s saliva. The “nest” is covered in a light chicken broth and is a very rare and expensive dish ranging in price from anywhere between $30 to $100. It is the most expensive meat in the world!

FRIED TARANTULA

This is image is courtesy of thedailymean.com

Our next dish takes us into the land of Cambodia and to a dish, that for a long period, was considered an essential food due to the extreme poverty they experienced. This dish is fried tarantula. It was first discovered during Khmer Regime rule. These insects are deep-fried and seasoned with garlic and salt. This is not just any tourist or native delicacy–this is something that reminds Cambodians of their history and the trials they have endured during the Knmer Regime. The price of this treat is 8 cents per spider. Let’s put this into perspective, many poor Cambodians live on the same as $1 per day.

BALUT

Balut image provided courtesy of “primer.com.ph”

This next rare delicacy is found in the markets of the Phillipines. It is definitely something that bears mentioning. This dish is called Balut–an egg yolk with a twist, instead of raw egg yolk, it is a fertilized egg that has an almost-developed chicken or duck embryo. Balut is boiled and eaten right out of the shell, much like we would eat oysters. This dish can be found in the street markets and is purchased at $12 a dozen. Balut is often accompanied by a beer.

CASU MARZU/MAGGOT CHEESE

Casu Marzu image provided courtesy of “tasteatlas.com

This next dish takes us to the faraway land of Sardinia and to a specific type of cheese that will blow you away! Known to Sardinians as “Casu Marzu”, this dish contains live insect larvae. Now here’s where this dish gets interesting. As a result of the obvious health threats it presents, it has been banned. Essentially Pecorino, which has the cheese fly, Piophila casei, in it. The cheese is fermented as the maggots eat at the cheese fats. As a result, it becomes soft and creamy with liquid sometimes seeping out. This cheese has to be consumed while the larvae are still alive as once they die, they become toxic.

SANNAKJI

Sannakji image courtesy of “chicagoreader.com”

This particular dish is a raw dish consumed in Korea. Typically served as live octopus, Sannakji has been described by locals as a “party in your mouth” as the octopus essentially fights to preserve its own survival. Sannakji is cut into pieces, seasoned with sesame oil and served immediately with the tentacles still squirming.

PUFFIN HEART

Puffin Heart image courtesy of “telegraph.co.uk”

Sometimes called the “clown of the ocean” or “sea parrot”, the puffin is an adorable bird and something looked upon with wonder. Come to the shores of green Iceland and you will find a different use for the puffin. As a result of the large puffin population, Icelanders have a different use for this bird. The birds are first caught in big nets, then killed, skinned and their hearts eaten while still warm.

You will find hundreds of intriguing dishes out there, one such dish I came across in my research was something served in Vietnam called snake wine. I encourage you to do your own research and draw your own conclusions. Please let me know what you think of these dishes! I’d love to know what you all think! 🙂

If you are a foodie or someone who just loves good recipes follow the link below for some fine dining.

https://www.thesocialcafesa.com or follow their Instagram account on “the_social_grant_sa”

God bless all of you, my darling avidReaders!

Courage the Cowardly Dog’s Story

As the title above suggests, this is the truth behind the series. Looking into this last year, I was terrified more than when I watched the actual series. If you under the age of 40, you’ve no doubt grown up either on this series or known of it, but the truth is weirder than fiction. Today we will be looking at the occurrences that inspired the cartoon.

For those of you who have not seen the cartoon or heard of it, it is rather simple. Courage the Cowardly Dog is about a small purple dog who does everything he can to protect his elderly owners, kind Muriel and grumpy Eustace, from all the evil and oddities that surround his home in The Middle of Nowhere.

Courtesy of https://todaysfive.com. Thank you for providing the image.

The Legend of the New Mexican Skinwalker.

This legend is based on an ancient Mexican demonic entity known as the New Mexican Skinwalker. These entities were described as “as real as humans are” as quoted by the New Mexico Explorer. They are also described as similar to humans, which, in my mind, is even more terrifying!

Like humans, they do kill, and like humans, they have motivations for those acts of aggression. Power and revenge fuel their murderous intent, but such things cannot occupy the brain of a rational creature all the time, and skinwalkers do not make murder part of their daily routine.” as quoted by https://todaysfive.com.

These creatures have been seen by many people, yet if you ask any native of New Mexico or the Navajo people, they will deny their very existence. If you are lucky enough to be able to befriend someone from any of these two groups, they will slowly open up to you and start to tell their story of their first encounter with a skinwalker. From the research that has been gathered, a skinwalker has been described as a human that has sold their soul to Satan or “signed with the Devil” in exchange for superhuman abilities. These skinwalkers roam the landscape looking for humans to attempt to convert into skinwalkers. They form an obsession or attraction to a particular human they have taken an interest in. They then stalk this human for many months before converting them.

avidWriter, you ask, how do skinwalkers have anything to do with a children’s cartoon? Well, before I explain that, I need to talk about another famous theory.

David Parker Ray

Courage The Cowardly Dog Real House, in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

This New Mexico serial killer is probably the coldest one you have never heard of…until today that is.

David Parker Ray lived just 7 miles north of Truth or Consequence. This was where he kidnapped all his victims. Having only a population of 3,000 people made Truth or Consequence the perfect hunting ground for this cold killer. He kidnapped and murdered 60 people from this small town, preferably from houses isolated from the rest of the population. He used various sob stories or promises of wealth and fame to gain the trust of these secluded individuals, sound familiar to any villain/s from Courage the Cowardly Dog? I prefer not to go further into Ray’s methods of killing his victims, but you will see I have attached a link to the case archive file, if you want to read it for yourself.

So, how do these two stories have anything to do with Courage?

Well, the people of Truth or Consequence needed an explanation to all these occurrences. Due to the size and condition of the town, it was unlikely that a thorough investigation would be possible or that they would’ve even had a half-decent police force. When a town, as small as 3,000 people, has a killer loose that has murdered as much as 60 people, it is something of an epidemic and without any help it is no surprise that people would come up with their own theories! People began to believe that due to the skinwalkers ability to resemble humans, David Parker Ray was himself a skinwalker. This was all due to the similarity between the Navajo skinwalker stories and Ray’s tactics in hunting his victims.

Now we face the question: was Courage based on reality or not?

The answer is simple: Yes. These stories were based on the stories of skinwalkers, only made worse by the gruesome and horrific acts of David Parker Ray!

Before I speculate as to whether or not these skinwalkers exist, I just want to say that this cartoon was based on these legends and the gruesome acts of Ray. There are plenty of resources for you to come to your own conclusions, I am simply stating that this is what Courage was based on whether it is true or not is for you to decide.

All my avidReaders, below I have attached a link for the archived article of David Parker Ray’s case. You can also find quite a few videos on YouTube about Courage’s true origins.

David Parker Ray case files: archived CNN article from 1999.

God bless you all, my darling avidReaders! 🙂

Is The Earth Flat?

Flat earth map drawn by Orlando Ferguson in 1893, courtesy of Wikipedia

For many people, this is an easy answer: No! However some believe the opposite and today we will be looking at the world through their eyes. I, myself, have two friends who believe in the possibility of a flat earth and that’s essentially what got me to ponder this topic. So let’s have a look!

History’s Views

There have been many authors that have published papers wherein they hypothesize that the earth is flat. One such author went under the pseudonym “Parallax” where he published the results of various experiments concerning the curvatures of water over a long drainage ditch. He published a pamphlet in 1849 he named “Zetetic Astronomy” in which he published these results. He later went on to publish a further work detailing his theory.

William Carpenter was greatly affected by the work of Parallax, thus leading him to publish his work Theoretical Astronomy Examined and Exposed – Proving the Earth not a Globe. He published this in eight parts under the name Common Sense. He later was quoted as saying thus:

“There are rivers that flow for hundreds of miles towards the level of the sea without falling more than a few feet – notably, the Nile, which, in a thousand miles, falls but a foot. A level expanse of this extent is quite incompatible with the idea of the Earth’s convexity. It is, therefore, a reasonable proof that Earth is not a globe”.

There are many other men and women who have expressed the same sentiment. Men such as John Jasper, Joseph W. Holden and Wilbur Glenn Voliva expressed the same belief in a flat earth.

The Flat Earth Society.

The  International Flat Earth Research Society (IFERS), more commonly called the “Flat Earth Society”, was set up by Samuel Shenton in 1956. Shenton was a direct descendant of the Universal Zetetic Society. His goal was to teach children at a young age of a flat earth. In 1972, Charles K. Johnson took over Shenton’s role as leader of the IFERS. Through his hard work, he was able to build it up to 3,000 members. He proposed that there was a conspiracy against the flat earth theory. He published his beliefs in 1980 in the scientific journal Science Digest. Unfortunately, there was a fire at The Society’s headquarters in California causing a decline in the 1990s, then followed by Johnson’s death in 2001. In the year 2004, it was revived by a Daniel Shenton (of no relation to Samuel Shenton) who started a website for The Society, firmly believing that there is no evidence disproving a flat earth.

The Flat Earth Theory

Described as the ultimate conspiracy, the leading flat earth theory states that the earth is a flat disc with the Arctic circle in the center and Antarctica, a 150 meter wall of ice, around the rim. Earth’s gravity is an illusion, not pulling us down, but moving up at 32-feet per second. There is so much to explore in this theory, you will see below I have posted a video provided by the LiveScience website as well as the website for the IFERS.

Website link for the IFERS: http://www.theflatearthsociety.org

Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/ifersorg?lang=en

As I said above, there is so much more to this theory than meets the eye. I have tried to condense the history and current views in this article as much as I could, but if you find yourself wanting to know more, I have posted links above for you.

God bless you, all my darling avidReaders. 🙂

What’s a Good Friend?

It’s a good question, isn’t it? What is a good friend? Is it someone who buys you chocolates when you feel sad or perhaps it’s someone who always wants to talk to you and seek your advice? Is it that one person in the world who never judges you regardless of what you tell them? Do they reply to your texts or answer the phone before it’s even dialed for a second? In truth they are all of these. They are the people you can turn to when the world falls apart around you. They are the people who will always know just what you need, whether it’s a bag of crisps, a chocolate or a stern lecture. I am blessed to say I have people like this in my life, they are more family (in fact I refer to them as ‘blood’) that’s how close they are to me.

When a person walks into your house and shouts at you for not having cheese, then you know they’re blood and no longer friends. Then there are just people you meet on the spot and know that they are kindred spirits. These are the people who become some of your closest friends and may even become family to you. We all have these people that we like on the spot. Those are the people who will always stay with you, even if they stay far away.

Then you get people who flit in and out of your life, leaving a lasting impression on your soul. They may have said only a single word of encouragement or seen something perhaps no one else had. These people will never be your friends, but their words will never leave you.

I could look at what leading scientists and psychologists say about how relationships affect us. For now, let’s just look at how to distinguish between a user and a forever friend. The following traits may help you see whether that one friend is worth keeping or leaving before you get involved with them. Sometimes we don’t always see them straight away and may even feel like we are helping them, but you aren’t and they will only drain you and make you feel unhappy. Don’t feel guilty, these traits may lead to toxic relationships and end up destroying both of you.

These are the signs that you need to watch out for:

  • The relationship is always one-sided. All relationships require quid pro quo.
  • The relationship is mentally and emotionally draining, often including or creating drama.
  • These people always talk about what they are going through and never return the favour when you need to talk about what’s going on in your life. This often shows little to no empathy on their part.
  • The relationship can often make you feel down as these people may do or say things to degrade you or make you feel inferior.
  • These people may feel like they have to be better or the same as you, even to the point of competing with you in everything you do.
  • They can often copy or become very jealous of you, this is a very dangerous thing as it may lead to an obsession.
  • You never do what you want to do, instead you find yourself doing what makes them happy
  • You friend may lie or gossip about you.

There are ways to get out of a relationship like this. You can start by distancing yourself from them, treating it like a break-up and, as hard as it is, you have to move on.

Now that we have seen the signs of a toxic relationship, let’s look at what a good friendship looks like:

  • They have your best interests at heart, even when you don’t see it straightaway.
  • They respect you and consider you before themselves.
  • You love to be around them regardless of what you are doing or where you are going
  • They tell you how it is, regardless of whether or not you want to hear it. At the end of the day, you will love them for it.
  • They are your rock when life gets crazy and never expect anything in return.
  • They love and forgive you unconditionally, showing you how to be better than you are.
  • They see the good in you, even if you don’t, and help you see it, too.
  • They make the time to really listen to you.

These are the people you want to hold on to. They are the ones who make your friendship a priority. Ofcourse, people get busy and the friends you had in school won’t always be able to stick around, but putting in the effort means all the world to you. I have one such friend, who makes the time to visit all her friends at least once a month. People like that are the ones I hope to have until the day I die. A good friend is a jewel no amount of money can ever hope to purchase. Hang on to these people, but most importantly, to have a good friend you need to be one. If you saw that you matched any of the negative criteria here make sure you make it right with your friends before you lose them forever.

To all my dear avidReaders. I love you and I know I’ve been quiet lately. I apologize for that. I will try to write more regularly for you.

God bless all of you! 🙂

Forums

Recently I’ve added quite a few subscribers. avidReaders, please explore the forums, have fun, but please read the first post for both forums. In the posts are the rules for the forum. Keep safe please, if you need help, contact me on my social media accounts. The links are on the page. I’m still working out a kink in the Instagram button, so please contact me on my FB, until I have the issue with Instagram resolved.

Thanks guys, you’ve been really great! Keep safe and warm, my dear avidReaders

Dear Dads

Thank you, Daddies!

I know I’m a day late, but I wanted to spend the day with my Dad.

I wanted to write a letter to all the men out there who defend their families, all the men who work two/three jobs just so their kids can go to school and have food in their lunchboxes. I think of all the Dads who let their children cry on their shoulders. All the men who stay up at night crying because they can’t anymore, yet smile the next day when they say goodbye to their wife and children. Thank you to all the men who sometimes have to travel to different cities or provinces just so they can get work.

The sacrifice you make is something your family see and appreciate. You are all more than men–you are heroes. Heroes to your children who will defend their “strong daddies” no matter what. Heroes to your wives who are there to help and hug you when you get home and they can see the stress and frustration on your face. They see that you fight, not for yourself, but for them. You may miss your family, but your strength and determination is something your children will never forget.

You have a huge responsibility to us. You set the example and when we grow up, everything you’ve taught us will go with us into the world. We will live our lives having learnt what we saw from you. Your words will always have power, but not as much as your actions. Showing us how much you love us, have as much power as telling us. You’re the men who fight for us, cry over us, break your backs for us. You are the men who brave the harsh, cold world so that we can be protected from it’s heartache and pain, but you are also the men who have to step back and watch us bump and bruise ourselves. You have to watch us make mistakes and watch us cry, so that one day when we have families of our own we’ll have learnt lessons we wouldn’t have if not for those bumps and bruises.

You are also the men who, if you are lucky, will get to have your grandchildren sit on your lap one day and pass down the same lessons you taught us. You will tell stories of your youth and pass down family history, the same way you would’ve with us. You will play with them, build puzzles with them, colour in with them and love them as much as you did us.

In the very end of it all, you will be mourned and missed by those you have left behind, but your stories, your lessons, your love, all of it will remain. Your legacy will stay behind after you’ve gone and, as long as we live, we will always remember you. We will pass down everything you’d have taught us to our own grandchildren.

You are men of valour, integrity, love, boldness, courage. You are also men who face fear, depression, anxiety, sorrow, pain and anger, but you cover it. You hide it from us, so that we never have to know what wars you fight for us every day. We love you for it and we always will.

So, thank you, fathers. Thank you for keeping us safe, for teaching us to ride bikes, for helping us with homework and teaching us all we need to know for when we are on our own out in the world. Thank you for all the times you repeated yourselves when we wouldn’t listen. Even though it’s difficult, you somehow manage to be patient with us.

As a daughter, I want to thank my father who, despite all his own worries and responsibilities, has always been my knight in shining armour. If not for him, this blog would not exist. I love you Daddy!

My Furry Anti-Depressant

Over the passed weekend my friend and I were talking and laughing about all the bizarre things our pets do and I’ve heard and seen countless weird things the furbabies in our family get up to. They dominate our furniture, our laps and stare the food right out of our mouths. They take over our beds, our cars and almost all our time. Yes, I know they sound like toddlers, but they are our toddlers. They warm my lap, as well as my heart. When I’m sick or depressed these little Baskerville Hounds crawl under my blanket and start making grizzling little noises as they sort out who sleeps where. My youngest furbaby demands love 24/7/365, but she gives as much as she takes. Whereas her sister is docile and only wants to know someone is there.

There are many ways in which these little creatures have benefited mankind other than just as constant companions. Some have been trained to sniff out landmines, detect terrorist cells as they have a very unique sense of smell as well as being companions to their fellow veterans. They have received commendations and are even honourably discharged from war just like any other veteran of war. If they have been lost they are honoured and, if they are wounded, they are honourably discharged and sent home to live with their handler and his/her family. These companions to man are just as important to our survival as any man or woman who has fought for us in war.

Service Dog and His Handler

In the police force, they have a special unit for these “policemen” called the Dog Unit. They are trained from puppies to sniff out drugs, dead bodies, missing persons because of their honed sense of smell. They are also used as attack dogs should the need arise. They are treated as well as any other officer in the police department. Some handlers even become so attached to their police dog that they form lifelong bonds with them. When these dogs retire they are taken home by their handler. Most often Retrievers, German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Bloodhound or Dutch Shepherd breeds are used for this purpose.

There are many other uses for our canine companions. They are trained as guard dogs to protect their family or private property. They are also protective in other ways. Golden Retriever, Standard Poodle, German Shepherd, Akita, Rough Collie, Rottweiler, Cairn Terrier and Great Pyrenees breeds all have the ability to detect epileptic seizures before they occur and are especially trained from when they are puppies to warn their owner of this so they can take protective measures quickly in order to limit the damage caused by the seizures. Animals have a unique ‘super power’ as it were, they are able to sense when something is going to happen. They can sense danger, weather disturbances and when there is something wrong with their owner/s.

Guide Dog in Training

One of the most famous uses for canines is as blind guide dogs. These save their owners lives every day, by stopping their owners from walking into traffic or other dangerous situations they may find themselves in. Labradors, Retrievers, German Shepherds and Poodles are used for this specific purpose.

If any of you have ever watched the Netflix series “The Healing Powers of Dude”, you will know that there is one last service our canine companions do for us and that is as therapy dogs, or as they are more commonly called “emotional support animals”. I mentioned above how my two canine companions can detect when there’s something off with their owners, but they also have this amazing ability to boost your mood as companions for people with social disorders, depression or anxiety. In “The Healing Powers of Dude”, Dude is a support animal for his owner who suffers from Social Anxiety Disorder. These special friends accompany their owner everywhere as they provide comfort and security for their owner. They have the ability to distract you from what is bothering you by wanting to play a game or attempting to keep you busy using other methods such as demanding attention or giving you affection themselves. They are truly “man’s best friend” sometimes just a touch from these special companions is enough to cause you comfort.

Therapy Dog and His Little Friend

I know not everyone is a dog person, so for all you cat-parents out there, I will cover some of the sparkling aspects of your very own kitsies. I, myself, love both of these fluffy little friends. Unfortunately, I’m horribly allergic to cats. My companions of choice will always be dogs. My breed of choice: Jack Russells. Then again, I have two of my own, so I’m biased.

My dear avidReaders, if there are any topics you want me to cover, I have a forum up and running with some feeds where you can discuss which topics you want me to cover next. The forum is preferred since all your fellow avidReaders can discuss it with you and have their own input. It’ll also help me see what the most popular requests are so I know what to cover next, but don’t worry I will do my best to cover all your requests. I promised you when I first started this blog, that I would do my utmost to see to all of your requests.

God bless you all, my darling avidReaders.

What is Fear?

After Earth

There are many varying definitions of fear. Some describe it as “an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined.” In the movie After Earth, it is described as something that exists in your thoughts of the future. It is something we allow our brains to believe. However, there’s a lot more to discuss. Let us dig a little deeper into this emotion that seems to control so much in our lives.

Fear has many interpretations. It is referred to as one of the 7 universal emotions that are common to all human beings, it has also been described as a self-preservation instinct. Something that tells us, “Maybe I shouldn’t poke the snarling dog with a stick?”. This emotion is not just a physical response, however, it can also be psychological. As I mentioned above fear sometimes manifests in the mind. From my own personal experience, this fear is the hardest to overcome. It can sometimes become a war you wage daily and I know I’m not the only individual living with this struggle. There are various mental disorders to describe this struggle. There are panic disorders, anxiety disorders, PTSD and various phobias. This fear isn’t always caused by an external or imagined fear, sometimes it can be caused by a biochemical imbalance in your brain that has to be treated as a chronic condition.

Biochemical and Emotional Response.

Symptoms of fear’s biochemical responses include sweating, an increase in heart rate as well as increased adrenaline levels which enable us to be more alert to the impending danger. This reaction has been defined as “the fight or flight” instinct. On the other side of the fear coin, is the emotional response. This is something unique to each individual as we all experience fear in different situations. Some fear can even be experienced as a pleasant emotion as it involves the same chemical responses as happiness and other pleasant chemical reactions in our brains. An example of this would be riding a roller-coaster or watching a horror movie. Some people even become addicted to this emotional response. These people have been called ‘adrenaline seekers’. They would be the ones doing sky-diving, bungee-jumping or other extreme sports and activities. As I already mentioned above, not everyone experiences fear the same as others. Some find it exciting and others find it unpleasant.

What Happens When I’m Scared?

Well, in answer to this questions there are various biochemical responses attached to the emotional state of fear. I have already listed a few of these above, but there are many symptoms you may experience such as chest pains, chills, dry mouth, nausea, upset stomach, trembling, rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath. Some of these you will have experienced. I, myself, when I am fearful or anxious about something get nausea and loss of appetite as well as a rapid heartbeat. It may not stop at the physical effects, it can cross over into psychological responses as well, such as a feeling of being over-whelmed or upset because of a lack of control in the situation you are facing. Sometime this intense anxiety can cause a person to go into a deep depression.

When you are feeling distressed certain bodily processes, such as your digestive system may shut down. All of this is to enable you to react faster to a dangerous situation.

F.E.A.R

In all honesty, fear isn’t always a bad thing. It can be a warning to avoid a particular situation or something that can be overcome. If you can overcome your fear, you will find yourself stronger for it. I speak as someone who has experienced and does constantly have fears and anxieties to overcome myself. I am just like you, my avidReaders.

I write this to help you understand your fears and see both sides, but I also write this for myself. I have learnt as much researching this as you will reading it. I will try to cover chronic fear when I look at chronic conditions. For now, we’ll look at fear in it’s base conditions. If this post in any way encouraged or uplifted, let me know in the comments below.

God bless you, my avidReaders.

Wilderness

Wilderness.

It’s so hot. I can’t breathe. It’s as though all the heat and heaviness of all I’ve done is weighed on my shoulders. It’s so heavy I can hardly stand up. I lift up my head and all I see is more sand as far as the eye can see. Not a blade of grass or a single cactus, never mind tree, is within sight. Why is it so far and so difficult? Why is there no end to this wilderness? Will it never end? I’m so encumbered with my burden and so thirsty I could fall at any moment, yet I keep pushing on. I can’t stop. I keep going, as though there is no way it will ever end. Death won’t come as much as I beg it to.

I try again to look up, the sun is setting, then comes the cold–the loneliness and the unbearable cold. I can’t do this, anymore. Why can’t I just die? Please, let me die. The burden grows heavier with each step. My breath hitches in my throat, my mouth drier than the cracked ground I walk over. What I would do for a drink–I don’t even care what as long as I can feel moisture in my throat again.

This burden it’s too much and I collapse under it’s weight. Death? Will you eventually come for me? Then, just passed the great weight on my back, I see feet. They aren’t cracked or shredded like mine. Why is that? Haven’t they been walking this wilderness as I have? Their owner lies flat on the ground to look me straight in the eyes. They are so happy and open, yet there’s something about those eyes. Something different, it scares me, but somehow it also makes me feel safe. There, on the ground where I lie, he asks me if I need help. What a question, can’t he see the burden that’s brought me right to the ground?

“Yes!” I shout desperately. He points to the burden and asks if I want him to take it off. Again I shout yes. I need this man’s help–this man I met in the wilderness as darkness was about to encompass me and my only escape from it was death! I can almost feel his smile as he lifts it up and puts it on his own back–what? Why is he carrying it? It’s so heavy–how is he even standing? I was on flat on the ground with its weight! He grins at my amazed expression. It’s a compassionate smile, almost as though he was walking this wilderness in search for me. Why would he be here and why take my own burden onto his back? Who is he? What kind of man would help a stranger in the wilderness?

“What’s your name, sir?” I rasp. Instead of answering me, first, he gives me a bottle of ice cold water and then he says to me,

“I am the Lamb of God, I walk this wilderness in search of those who need me. You see many, many years ago I came into this wilderness as a traveler myself. I walked and watched the people around me doing whatever they could to get their burdens to go away, but all that happened was that they got bigger and bigger. My Father, Who had sent me here, and I knew what had to happen to help these people. You see, we’d watched and tried to help. We put our words into people who were willing to speak them to the world, but few listened. My father and I both knew from the very beginning what had to happen. So, my Father waited for the right time and then I came down to walk among you, but I myself never picked up any burden of my own. I walked in my Father’s will all the days of my life. Until, one day, the world killed me. Taking my life, because I made them see that their own burdens were what weighed them down and they didn’t care. You see, they were quite happy to keep picking up more and more burdens as they went. My Father and I knew this would happen, but that wasn’t the end of it. After I had been dead 3 days, I rose from the dead and walked the earth once more until my Father called me back home.”

“This is a lot to take in, sir.” I say, scratching my head quizzically. He grins once more at me and helps me up, carrying me as though I weigh nothing.

“There’s a lot more for you to learn, but walk this wilderness with me and I will carry you and teach you about my Father. If you would would like to? I will never force anyone to walk with me.” I look around me and see he has another ice cold bottle in his hand. It’s then that I realize I am all alone. This man in front of me–this stranger who holds me up–he’s the only one who came to help me.

“You have taken off my burden and have helped me when there was no one in sight. Who are you?” I ask. It still hasn’t sunk in. Everything he has said to me.

“I was a traveller as you are, yet I never did anything that caused me to carry a burden. When I was killed, all of your burdens–everyone’s burdens–fell on me. I walk here, looking for people who will let me help them. Will you let me help you?” When I look into those eyes, I see nothing but love shining from them. I’ve never seen such a pure love and never had anyone look at me like that. So I nod my head.

“Sir, thank you. If you will let me walk with you? You see my burden, it is of my own making. You see all that it contains, are you sure you want to walk with someone that’s done the things I have?”

“I see your burden. I know all you have done and all that you will. I love you despite that. If you walk with me your burden will be gone and no one will ever see it again. All of it is erased. You need never carry it again. Watch this!” He lifts the burden off his back and drops it to the ground as he does it, it’s gone! My jaw drops as I see this.

“How….” I don’t even know where to begin.

“I told you. It’s gone. I have taken it away. My Father and I no longer see it. I am your help in this wilderness and any mistake you make from here on, it’s gone. Tell me what you did and I can help you.” I fall to the ground again and start crying.

“I am no longer alone?” I weep at this stranger’s feet. This man who saw I needed help and without me asking, helped me and says I need never be alone again and that I need never carry that burden again. I can’t stand this time for all my weeping. He bends down again and places his hand on my back.

“No, you will never be alone again. I’m here now. From here on, it’s you and me together. Stay close beside me and you will be alright. At the end of this wilderness, I will take you into a place where you will never know suffering or loneliness. You will only know joy and peace.”

“You have asked me my name.” he says,” My name is “Jesus”.” We both smile. I take his hand and shake it.

“From here on, Jesus, I will never leave you. I want to be your friend.”

At the end of my life, when I close my eyes, I know one thing. I have walked beside the Son of God. He is my friend, my guide and my only help in this wilderness. At the end of my days, I will go into an eternal paradise. My wilderness looks less lonely and I am able to look up and see everything that I was blind to before. Jesus has never left my side and when I am lost, he always knows where to go. He is my salvation!

I am free of my burden forever!