Yesterday my favorite dog in the shelter, Daisy, finally got a home that I think will work for her. She had been adopted two times previously and brought back only days later for reasons that make my doubt humanity a little. The last family that adopted her locked her in the bathroom all night, she cried all night, so they brought her back the next morning! She was in a shelter for over a month, she had been brought home once before, and then you lock her in a small strange room all night, of course she is going to cry!
But, the other day a young man came in, not looking for a pitbull necessarily, just looking. And when he saw Daisy he said it was love at first sight. That is the kind of owner she deserves, someone who loves her and will treat her well. So yesterday he came back in and picked her up. I was the one to go in and get her ready, and then I walked her out of the kennels. I had tears in my eyes because I love that dog so much. I used to go into her kennel when she was looking sad and just rub her belly. She would fall asleep if you rubbed her belly for a little while, even if other dogs were barking.
When I found out she was going home yesterday I went in and took some pictures with her. Because she really will be missed. But I am so glad that she has a home for the holidays. That means the world to me, and I am sure it means the world for her too :)
Two Loves, by Lord Alfred Douglas
I keep reading this poem, over and over again. Thought you all might like it too if you haven’t already read it.
I dreamed I stood upon a little hill,
And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed
Like a waste garden, flowering at its will
With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed
Black and unruffled; there were white lilies
A few, and crocuses, and violets
Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries
Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets
Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun.
And there were curious flowers, before unknown,
Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades
Of Nature’s willful moods; and here a one
That had drunk in the transitory tone
Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades
Of grass that in an hundred springs had been
Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars,
And watered with the scented dew long cupped
In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen
Only God’s glory, for never a sunrise mars
The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt,
A grey stone wall. o’ergrown with velvet moss
Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed
To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair.
And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across
The garden came a youth; one hand he raised
To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair
Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore
A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes
Were clear as crystal, naked all was he,
White as the snow on pathless mountains frore,
Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes
A marble floor, his brow chalcedony.
And he came near me, with his lips uncurled
And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth,
And gave me grapes to eat, and said, ‘Sweet friend,
Come I will show thee shadows of the world
And images of life. See from the South
Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.’
And lo! within the garden of my dream
I saw two walking on a shining plain
Of golden light. The one did joyous seem
And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain
Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids
And joyous love of comely girl and boy,
His eyes were bright, and ‘mid the dancing blades
Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy;
And in his hand he held an ivory lute
With strings of gold that were as maidens’ hair,
And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute,
And round his neck three chains of roses were.
But he that was his comrade walked aside;
He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes
Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide
With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs
That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white
Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red
Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight,
And yet again unclenched, and his head
Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death.
A purple robe he wore, o’erwrought in gold
With the device of a great snake, whose breath
Was fiery flame: which when I did behold
I fell a-weeping, and I cried, ‘Sweet youth,
Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove
These pleasent realms? I pray thee speak me sooth
What is thy name?’ He said, ‘My name is Love.’
Then straight the first did turn himself to me
And cried, ‘He lieth, for his name is Shame,
But I am Love, and I was wont to be
Alone in this fair garden, till he came
Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill
The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.’
Then sighing, said the other, ‘Have thy will,
I am the love that dare not speak its name.’
Just a friendly reminder that I love you. I love you and I will never question that. I will never second guess it. I will never think the oposite. I love you with every ounce of me, and that is irrevocable. If you ever start to wonder if anyone cares. Know that I do. Know that I love you. No matter what your faith, political stance, race, size, nothing will change this. I love you and so does the God I believe in. And you should know that. No matter how dark life gets, know that I care. And that you are not alone.
Veganism is not a question of privilege. It is a question of compassion. It’s not about you, it’s about them, the animals, other people, the planet. It’s about love, not excuses.
Q:So apparently I am a youth leader in my group now because i am older and i attend a christian university, weird. anyway i was wondering if you can suggest me any topic ideas when i have to give class? i also have give class for a retreat on peer pressure. its cool if you dont have any.
Oddly enough I am not a youth leader and I don’t attend a Christian University. :P
But I suppose it depends most greatly on who you are as a person, and the kids you will be working with. What ever you teach on has to be something that really means something to you. The thing about talking to kids (or anyone really) is that if you aren’t passionate about what you are saying, they will notice. Don’t just get up and teach your average sunday school lesson. Think of a way to show the Bible in a way that maybe they haven’t seen it before.
When I lead my Bible study group we go through the assigned reading, but I try to get them to think about the passages in a way that maybe they wouldn’t have. I also like to ask the hard questions that I know they won’t have a straight answer for. Because studying the word of god should not be about taking a class and then understanding. It is about growing from what you read. Every time we pick up the Bible to read, it should change us just a little bit. Maybe you could talk about that, about how to look at the Bible as a book of growth and not a book of straight answers.
Paul says in Thessalonians 5:21 “but test all things. Hold on to what is good.” He does not say read the Bible and all your answers will be found, he says to test. This includes the teachings we hear in church, from our friends and family, and ourselves as well. Our lives and our study should be about spiritual growth, not being “correct” or assuming that we are.
That could go along with your peer pressure thing. That we have to test all things before we commit to them. That our friends can be wrong, and the only one really worth following is Christ. I would also mention fellowship. That they should feel comfortable talking to people like you, other leaders, and each other about things. That they are not alone and they will always have friends who won’t try to force them to do something that they don’t want to. Also Romans 12:2 reads “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” HCSB
If I were you I would stick to the scripture as much as possible. Let the word speak for itself, and simply guide them through it without necessarily telling them what it means.
One last thing I suppose is teaching lessons on love. It is kind of my thing to talk about love when it some to God and the Bible because I believe that it is the most important thing you can get from the Bible. That God loves us, and that we must Love Him and each other. look at Romans 12:9-21, Romans 13:8-10, 1 Corinthians 13, 1 John 4-5:5, and those are just a few. BUt I truly believe that Love is the thing that the church needs the most of. And it is what Christ said was most important.
So thats what I have for you. Feel free to ask me anytime for anything I would be glad to help :) And feel free to come off anon, I won’t bite :)
So here’s the thing. I could die tonight. After drinking my tea and reading my book; after singing my dogs to sleep and praying to God; after tucking in under my blankets. After all of that, I might crawl into bed tonight and fall asleep for the last time. The sun is going down outside my window right now and this might be my last chance to see it. This could be my last chance to sing my favorite song, my last chance to hold my dog. This moment might be my last chance to tell you how much I care about you.
If God is going to take my soul tonight then I want you to know something first. I want you to know that you are special. I want you to realize that you mean something, and I can say that truthfully because you mean something to me. Maybe you are the girl who held me up as I cried about how I thought God hated me and who hugged me as I screamed about how much I hated living a lie. Or maybe you’re a stranger who I have never really met and probably never will. Maybe you think that I can’t care about you because we have never spoken. But I need you to hear me as I say that I love you, more than you could ever believe of me. If you hurt then I want to hurt with you, and if you are happy I want to laugh and smile with you.
I don’t expect you to believe what I am saying. But I would never lie about this. I mean this, no matter who you are and no matter what you have done. If you are the person who gave me hope with your written words that I read trying to imagine what your voice sounds like. Or if you are the person who stands in protest at military funerals, heart full of hate. If you hate or love me. I love you no matter what.
The reason I am saying this is because this could be my only chance. This could be my one opportunity to tell you that you are loved and cherished, when you probably don’t get told that enough. You or I could die tonight. And I don’t want to go without you knowing. Every second that passes is another step I take towards the black void, where I will either meet my savior, or fade into a forgettable memory. As time draws closer to when my heart will stop beating, I want you to feel just a few beats of it. I want you to feel loved. I need you to feel loved.
Please. Feel loved. Because you are so loved and so appreciated. I love you so much and I am proud to say that that is the truth. If you know nothing else of me, know that I love you, and that I don’t need this to be my dying breath to feel this way. I want this to be my dying breath, and so I will try to make it all of my breaths.
I love you. I want you to be loved. And you should know that, before either of us loses the chance to say it.
And don’t forget that you are blessed.
The term “Radical equality” has always confused me. On the one hand, If we are going to be radical about anything equality seems like a good choice; but on the other hand, I don’t understand why equality should ever be considered “radical.” I think we have a very serious problem in our social order if something like equality could ever even be thought of as radical. Equality its self implies that everyone is on the same playing field. That we don’t give special treatment to some, or deprive rights from anyone else. So If I, or anyone else, is considered to believe in “radical equality” because say, I believe animals have a right to their life, or that gays have a right to the same legal consideration as heterosexuals, then I am sorry but that is ridiculous. There is nothing radical about the equality I believe in, but instead there is something inherently hypocritical about the alternative views of “equality.”
Perhaps it is true that my beliefs are “radical” in comparison to the rest of society, but I don’t believe that my views are radical at all. I think there is a difference between radically perusing a goal that others find excessive or insane, and being a decent human being. I am trying to be a decent human being, and love the way that Christ DIED to tell me about. I don’t think then that I am radical; just trying to be a good person.
Nothing like cysteine-tyrosine-isoleucine-glutamine-asparagine-cysteine-proline-leucine-glycine-amine to get you in the mood
Love has always fascinated mankind. Whether we are searching for it, or dying over it, or sitting in dark rooms writing depressing poetry about it as if we knew what it was. Well, Science it would seem may have found the cause of our sweet suffering; and that is oxytocin. “Love” cannot be narrowed down to a single chemical reaction in the brain let alone a single compound. However, science has been able to show us a more clear idea of what causes “love” or in the very least, that passionate “warm fuzzy” feeling that has caused people to kill thousands of others in it’s name. And so while literature has spent thousands of years trying to explain why love is beautiful and worth killing over, Science has started to look into what causes it, and what it actually does for our species. It would turn out that “love” is more of a survival instinct than a cause for war, it is a way of making sex worth while, not romantic.
Oxytocin is now commonly referred to as the “love hormone” and that is because it appears to be directly linked to mammalian behavior in regard to life-partners, and inter-being relationships, particularly among those of the same species. Oxytocin acts a neurotransmitter in the brain, produced by the hypothalamus. Oxytocin levels spike in the brain during such activities as intimate touching, kissing, hugs, sex, birth, and breastfeeding. In those kind of situations oxytocin acts as a way to create trust, and concern for person or thing you are interacting with. Oxytocin can also spike during other pleasurable activities such as eating chocolate or reading a good book. The levels of oxytocin will not be as high in those activities, but it is the source of that “warm-fuzzy” feeling that one experiences at those times. It causes an emotional connection that, as history shows, can often take president over physical connections or needs. It goes against the laws of survival for a mother to risk her life for the sake of her child, but doing so increases the chance of the species continuing in the surviving offspring. So while hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol cause the “fight or flight” response to support individual survival, oxytocin performs the opposite duty that is cooperation and self-sacrifice for the sake of communal survival. The highest peak in oxytocin levels occur during birth. With the mother’s and the child’s systems flooded with oxytocin, they form an emotional bond that would hopefully persuade the mother to watch over her child, this swarm of maternal instincts is nature’s way of ensuring that we take care of our young, keeping the species alive and well.
Oxytocin was first recognized for it’s role in Birth. In fact, “oxytocin” is derived from the Greek word: ὼκυτοκίνη (ōkytokínē) meaning “quick birth,” it was named so by Sir Henry Hallet Dale in 1906. Dale was a British pharmacologist who recognized the compound for its uterine contracting properties. It turns out that the compound works a hormone throughout the body at the same time that it acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It not only causes love and affection between mother and child, but it helps cause the uterine contractions during labor, and stimulates the mammary glands during breastfeeding. Oxytocin was not available for any practical use until 1953 when Vincent Du Vigneaud produced it as the first synthesized polypeptide, he won a Nobel prize in Chemistry for this in 1955. Synthesized oxytocin is now used most commonly to induce labor and to further contract the uterus after birth to prevent bleed-out. However, the most modern use of the hormone is in psychological research. Some psychiatrists are considering oxytocin to be a medicinal solution to extreme shyness or social anxiety. Dr. Shelly E. Taylor, PhD. says that oxytocin is the “tend and befriend” hormone, apposed to “fight or flight.” A lovely sentiment to be sure, the tend and befriend attitude is certainly the more “civil” approach to social interaction, though the controversy might be that if we start treating “shyness” and a medically treatable condition, what other part of the normal human psyche will we attack next?
Perhaps the reason using oxytocin as a medicinal tool in psychotherapy is somewhat alarming is that oxytocin is also the foundation of our sense of trust and interpersonal relationships. Using oxytocin as a way to be more trusting of people could turn someone who was too shy, to someone who trusts too easily. The code of ethics for a psychotherapist is rigid as it is, but when we start manipulating hormones that determine things as vital to our social existence as trust and love, we start walking a fine line between curious scientific endeavor, to seriously harming peoples mental and social lives, and people have died for less. As I mentioned earlier, oxytocin is the source of a “feeling” that people have killed over, so it seems like it might not be the best thing to start playing around with.
It is easy for people to talk about oxytocin as “just” another hormone. We can say so many arbitrary things about it such as its molecular formula is C43H66N12O12S2, or that its molar mass is 1007.19g/mol, or that it has a systematic name of cysteine-tyrosine-isoleucine-glutamine-asparagine-cysteine-proline-leucine-glycine-amine.
The problem with oxytocin is that that is not just another amino acid chain that you can make a chart of foods for or a recommended dosage to be fit and happy. Every hormone/ neurotransmitter should be treated with respect because they are so influential to our behavior and our sense of being; but oxytocin is the cause of such feeling that people have died and killed to protect those feelings. Oxytocin may not be the most significant hormone in the body or even the most necessary, but we have treated its symptoms to that level of importance in almost every aspect of our culture. To treat oxytocin as any other behavioral medication is like treating nuclear warfare as we treat the educational system: without thinking.
That being said, we cannot classify oxytocin (or any other hormone) to be purely emotionally relevant. Oxytocin levels rise mildly with every affectionate touch from wither other humans or emotionally close animals. Physical contact, it would seem, is quintessential to our survival. Dr. Ben E. Benjamin, PhD. explains that physical contact results in “physiological reactions necessary to survival.” Before this connection was recognized orphans would die without out physical causes, such as infection or disease. the condition they developed became known as “marasmus” not proper diet and exercise, nor sterile environment cured the condition. Only when physical nurturing was emphasized did the children start getting better. Upon further research with other mammals Dr. Benjamin makes this claim, “the way an infant is touched, even in tis first few hours of life, influences how it copes in the world as an adult.” The studies show that mammals that where deprived of physical contact from their mothers suffered noticeable brain damage if not death. Oxytocin plays a role not only in how we behave, but if we live. These finding of course cannot be pinned solely on oxytocin, but it is clear that it operates not only as a linchpin for psychological survival, but physiological as well.
What makes things like oxytocin truly interesting is not just what they do or how they do it, but what they are. Hard to imagine how an obscure combination of lifeless blocks of matter can combine in a way that would have such an effect on our lives. Strange how the thing that makes up diamonds or burning stars can also float through our blood changing the way we feel, and the things we care about. Horrifying even to consider that the emotion that many base their self worth upon is really just a few carbons, hydrogens, nitrogens, oxygens, and sulfurs moving from place to place in our brains and bodies. Elements that we find in stinky rocks and black oil, defining our existence. The concept is both beautiful and depressing. But that is what is special about things like oxytocin, we can think what we like about it, but it will make us feel wether we like it or not. And who knows, maybe it is love that the orphan children were missing. Maybe oxytocin is not just the cause of something that we claim to live and die for, but is something that keep us alive in the first place. When Shakespeare wrote the infamous words: “Tis better to have loved and lost, then to have never loved at all” it is worth wondering if he knew that to have never loved at all would mean our death; both metaphorically and literally. Maybe none of that is true and oxytocin really isn’t that important, but so long as we believe that it is, then it is. We will continue to use cysteine-tyrosine-isoleucine-glutamine-asparagine-cysteine-proline-leucine-glycine-amine to get us in the mood. And we will continue to blow it out of proportion. Then again, oxytocin probably isn’t worth dying for; but love might be.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him.
But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.