No Monsters

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As a young man my parents would share music with me, their tastes blended with mine and allowed me to evolve the complicated mix on interests that I choose to listen to, even to this day. My music library is well over 100,000 songs and steadily grows as each album release season comes and goes. I have been a fan of many things over the years for many reasons, but there are some artists who will always stand out above the rest. Rush, from my father. The band that was instrumental in creating my passion for music, Coheed & Cambria, He Is Legend, Maylene, Watsky, so on and so forth.

However, among these artists there is a particular one that I want to talk about today. Carman. For those of you who don’t know, Carman is a contemporary Christian musician who has been releasing albums for somewhere around 30 years. Many of his songs encompass the cheesy and over the top dramatization of the Christian faith, with a twangy country styled piece called “Step of Faith” about believing that the plan is laid out for us, and we need to trust in Christ. There is “The Champion” which takes the final moments of Christ’s life and makes them into a title fight for the souls of the universe, with God in the announcer’s box calling the plays of the battle. The “Soap Song” Which is an evangelical piece based around the titles of various soap operas. Then, the one I’ve been railing into my mind lately, “No Monsters.”

I’ve spoken to you about monsters and magic and dragons. I’ve talked about personal demons and so much more, but this song is something incredibly special to me. The premise is that a young man who has seen horror shows on the television is being afflicted by the spirits that he saw, taunting him and terrifying him, in the form of an alligator man and a serial killer cannibal. These demons infest his home and torment the boy as he is trying to sleep and to combat them, he turns to the biblical teaching of calling on the name of Jesus to turn them away.

As I was listening to Carman a few days ago and talking to my mom about stress levels and how frustrated I am at some of the avenues and dragons that had popped up into my life, she told me that “No Monsters” applies to real monsters and demons too. Not just the ones I’ve made up in my head. By that, she meant to tell me that I need to focus more on my faith and my relationship with Christ as opposed to delving so deep into my own head to manage how I feel and figure out what I need to do.

See, every point of pride or sorrow or shame or worse in our lives can form a chink in our armor which will inevitably be attacked by evil. I find new scratches in mine every day, and when I do, sure as I’m living and breathing something grotesque will rear its head and try to destroy me. The fears of failure and ineptitude, the greed of desiring more money than I would ever need, the pride of knowing I am right about something, the jealousy when someone gets a bit too close to my garden. These thoughts and feelings are accompanied by evil spirits that float around my head, more often than not I let their taunting and deceit get to me when I truly shouldn’t.

This same concept can apply to you, even if you aren’t religious. Consider the story of the wolves. It is (possibly) a Native American folk tale about two wolves that are fighting within you, one embodies all good, love, joy, kindness, patience, peace and more. The other is the wolf that carries in its coat the evil in the world, jealousy, hatred, anger, impatience, lust and the rest. A young man asks the elder who wins the fight and the elder replies,

“Whichever one you feed.”

So, to wrap this up for you today, this world is filled with evil that is always going to be at your throat. Each new problem, new point of stress is just another bastion for the battalion of destruction to gain access to your fortress. When that happens, and trust me, it will, just stop moving so fast for a few seconds, look the evil in the eyes and tell it that it cannot defeat you.

No monsters are welcome in your fortress, and you should do well to remember that. You and I are building them as each day passes and they don’t belong here.

Fill it with love instead.

If you want more Polar Bear King love, check out my website!

www.linmtba.com 

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Raising Curtain

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This week is the second week of my YouTube Channel’s life (sorta.) and if you really wanna have a good time, go check out the videos that I’m uploading tomorrow and Sunday! For schedules on my blog/video release schedule you can check out my website and be directed appropriately to those places + then you’ll never have to miss a video again!

It’s no secret that I like secrets. With the ciphers and codes I have built into my writing and business, I enjoy the element of mystery. It’s something remarkable to me when I am reading through a book or playing a game and I find a secret language or a message hidden in the pages or somewhere on the screen. I find a kind of thrill in it that I can’t describe. Like I once again managed to embrace that child like fascination with the world and I suddenly become a spy decoding some kind of message that could potentially save the world.

Of course, few of us ever truly reach that position in the real world. We are accountants and bankers, authors and mechanics. We manage apartment complexes and there is rarely complexity in our lives so we must substitute our own to fulfill some kind of rampant desire to understand more than we do.

It’s honorable, sure.

That’s what I’m talking to you about today. The concept of hiding things or disguising things in our own lives.

Often I hear from friends and family that they don’t understand other people. A while back I was having a conversation with my roommates and we were talking about human nature. How we don’t know what someone else is capable of ever, regardless of the situation we can never put a pin in someone elses motives. Why is that do you think?

I think I can justify it by using the secreat agent mentality. That we want so badly to understand and to seek, that internally we have a craving to crack codes and uncover things because of the rush it gives us. So in light of that, we spin this intricate web for ourselves behind the scenes and don’t reveal how it crosses over. We hold opinions that we don’t explain and we sit in the middle of these spider-like webs hoping (at least, I can only assume we are hoping) for someone else to come along and unravel the mess.

Why are we like that? I can’t tell you outright. As always with the blog it has to do with my own opinions and ideas, when it comes to this topic I just don’t understand it.

Why is it that we want to disguise our motives and ideas behind veils and curtains so that the people around us can’t understand what we are really up to? I am just as guilty as many others of this. I frequently keep things hidden up till the last minute in the hopes that someone will dig up what I’m doing, and then when someone does I get pissy and throw a fit because they are “in my business.”

What it boils down to is that we as a society have built a complex map of how things should be. We have polarized so many things and put people we respect in high seats, then in an attempt to understand them we dig through miles of spider silk in an effort to figure out their brain patterns. Perhaps for the thrill of the chase, perhaps for something more complicated. That’s just it though.

I did it there myself, Instead of looking at things as they are I assumed that there was a mor complicated motive behind our own actions, mine included. We have this intricate mind that can do more than we even comprehend and we want to understand that thing.

In our personal interactions we strive to leave some mystery in them, which leads to plenty of confusing and complicated situations. A friend of mine was involved with this guy once who was rather needy, wanting to see her frequently and spend time with her which I totally support. However he was angry when she told him she didn’t want to make a big deal out of their relationship. Also understandable. From the outside I heard one half of the story and it boiled down to this: One party wanted to remain as they were at that time while the other wanted to officially date this girl and make it public. There could be a host of things behind the root cause of their problem, jealousy, insecurity or whatever else, but as I heard the story I considered how much easier it would have been if both parties had just been upfront from the get go. They had spoken on their feelings a few times and it seemed to get better from that point, but not really, not from the outside looking in and from the messages I got from my friend, it wasn’t that great on the inside either. One or both of them were concealing something from the other. A motive, a reason, an assumption, the whole truth wasn’t being shared between them which ended up making the two conflict.

So we know the problem in our personal and professional lives. Your boss wants you to do something but won’t tell you why, your girlfriend expects you to behave a certain way but won’t tell you why, your children want you to believe something but won’t tell you why. So that leaves us at one simple conclusion.

We must stop acting as if we are spies. We have to consider the fact that others don’t know how to solve our puzzles. That people are not inherently built for the constant logical Olympics we as a race have decided to put one another through. We were meant to look at things face to face and understand them as they appear to us. Years ago there was less of the trickery and misdirection. I think that is something we as the youth can examine and look at within our own lives.

Is someone mad at you today and you can’t understand why they are mad?

Did you find yourself frustrated with someone else who just won’t apologize for what they did?

If so, consider what I’ve said in this piece of writing. I think there is a maddeningly easy cure for these simple problems.

Communication.

We have to talk to one another again. I mean really talk to one another, and listen in return. We were given two ears and one mouth, so that means we were meant to listen more than talk. When someone is mad, confront them peacefully and ask them what you did, or what is wrong. If they choose not to tell you then there isn’t much else you can do. If you are on the opposite end of things and are holding a grudge in your web, if someone approaches you and asks what is so frustrating or saddening, tell them. Sit down with them and pull the curtain back. I know you worked hard on your intricate web of thought, I have too. That doesn’t mean it can’t be appreciated after it has been seen. More often than not we appreciate things so much more when we truly understand them. So seek to shed the curtain and end the show. Don’t let yourself put on an act anymore. Be honest with people. I bet that they will admire the work you’ve put into your own thoughts and motives. Then, when they are done with you, you can observe them in return. When two parties understand one another, they don’t have to agree or support each other’s choices, but it makes things a whole lot better for living in harmony. I don’t know about you guys, but I think we need more harmony right now. Things can get messy in our melodies, we need something to balance that out. So we should tell people about that. We should ask and we should first seek to understand our own motives before we try to break codes and decipher messages in order to understand someone else.

If you enjoyed this, come back next Friday for “Where Is Everybody?” about aliens, and human silliness. If you want more of GME, tomorrow I’ll be posting a recap of this week’s blog posts (poem + blog post itself.) in my vlog over on Dyzygy! It’s the start of a super rad journey and I’m so damn excited to start it with you all. I wanted a way to let off some steam and to be honest, a way to have an excuse to play video games. (oops.) So I’ll see you there tomorrow!

If you want to put more words into your eye places, you can buy my book “Mean Shadows” now! It’s available signed on my website or if you’d rather, you can order a blank copy from Amazon!

If you guys still want more from me (I’m humbled.) you can follow me on Twitter + Facebook for updates on this blog, YouTube, and my novels/poetry as well as anything else I might have up my sleeve at the time! I’ll see you on the other side, my friends.