bad situation with a good outcome

Things to Consider in a Tarot Reading (Other Than Card Meanings)

It’s important to look at the meanings of tarot cards, but it’s very possible to pull even more out of a reading that individual card meanings. Here’s some other stuff you might consider bringing into your interpretation when it feels right:

🍄The position of the cards. This is why spread design can be so important! I’ve had instances where all the cards, in their positions, had the subjects looking or pointing towards one specific card. It was wild. What did it mean? Maybe nothing, but maybe something very significant, depending on the question!

🍄The visual element of the cards. Sometimes what’s depicted on the card can give more specific insight than the actual book meanings. The pictures were done that way for a reason, so don’t be afraid to give them their own weight! Also, sometimes the spread as a whole will have a flow of design (like when one half is much brighter than the other) or a specific card is WAY more colorful than the other cards on the table. Any of these could potentially carry meaning.

🍄Jumper cards. This is when a card pops out while you’re shuffling! I usually just put them back… UNLESS the question has already been presented, and I’m shuffling with that question in mind. Then, I keep them as extra advice, bonus cards.

🍄Reoccurring numbers. Maybe you do a four card spread for a friend, and you get the four of cups, four of swords, four of wands, and the Emperor! (IV.) What does that mean? What does the number four symbolize? Well, a lot of things, potentially, depending on what you study. Some tarot designs incorporate the Kabbalah’s numbered paths in the tree of life, others go with numerology. Maybe, the number four just means something special to you or the querent in particular.

🍄A bunch of cards in order. I’m not talking about when you forget to shuffle. I’m talking about when you give it a really good shuffle and you still get the ace, two, and three of Pentacles all in a row. This can be seen as a sign of progression, or that the events are all much more closely connected than anticipated. It can also mean it happens over a shorter period of time than normal. It’s up to you, your cards, and the contexts.

🍄Proportions of different features. Maybe you’re doing an obstacle spread, and your obstacle is something like the nine of swords. That’s pretty nasty, but if all the other cards in the spread are Major Arcana, then it’s probably not going to be that difficult to surmount. The reverse can also be true. Additionally, a high number of reversed cards in a spread typically signifies a lot of confusion, conflict, and turmoil.

🍄Reoccurring symbols. Beyond just the four suits, because that’s a given! But maybe your spread shows a lot of cards with images of fire, people dancing, or birds. Do these mean anything to you or the querent? What do they typically symbolize?

🍄Any hiccups or unusual events during the reading. Once I had a querent pick up a card to examine it, drop it, then pick it up and put it back reversed. Since it was the overall outcome card, I interpreted that as a heightened ability to change her own fate in this given situation, since she had turned the card from quite a bad omen to a good one. Sometimes little accidents like dropping cards, accidentally shifting them, or laying out the spread wrong are meant to be there and add to the meaning!

I hope this gives you some ideas! Feel free to add more. What do you interpret alongside the cards in a reading?

Originally posted by gameraboy

another piece of writing advice

the more knowledge and experiences you have the better you’ll be at writing

if you don’t have a ton of experiences, you need to at least do research and read (yes, read) a lot

you can’t expect to become a professional writer if you sit in your room all day and only consume modern YA fiction and MCU movies. You have to consume literature and cinema with actual weight to it

All of this builds a foundation for your writing ability. 

Writing fiction isn’t really anything but ‘creating a fake world’ and if you don’t know anything about the real one you won’t be able to make an engaging fake. So do research. About history, government, society, social interaction, all that. Just like building anything, you need to know how it’s structured, so read a lot as well. Consume many stories by different authors in different genres and try to see how they’re built, what their parts are.

Research isn’t just something you do when you need a character you decided was smart to drop a factoid or something. Don’t just make assumptions about how things and organizations work. Don’t assume you know how a hospital functions before writing something in a hospital; do research. Don’t assume, even if you’ve seen it on TV. 

Try to gain an understanding of things, rather than just superficially absorbing information. Once you understand how something is, think about WHY it is. Everything has a reason. Once you get good at thinking about the reasons why things exist you can use that when crafting your world and give it a much richer and more genuine feeling than if you didn’t.

Example: If you’re writing a story about two nations at war, you have to consider why they’re at war. “The ruler of one is a bad guy” isn’t a good reason. Wars are incredibly costly and their outcome is never guaranteed no matter what the difference in military force is. Think why the war is happening. Is the aggressor interested in some resource? Is it an ideological war? What drove this situation to outright war? Why is this a hot war instead of a cold one? The list goes on.

This even goes down to a personal level. “This person acts this way” why do they act this way? Try to figure it out, even if the audience won’t have that reason revealed to them. It’ll make the portrayal of them much more realistic and people will accept them as ‘real’ better.

How to Ask Tarot Questions

Hi lovelies! I’ve been meaning to write this for a while now. I’ll start by saying this. For me, Tarot reading isn’t “fortune telling” in a sense that what the cards tell you is set in stone. The future is constantly changing depending on the decisions we make right now in every moment. But some people fail to realize that and ask questions that are dis-empowering. And as your Tarot reader, my job is to help lift you up to your highest. I want to give you a road map to help navigate your problems and situations. Not let your problems and situations navigate you. So here’s a few tips on how to ask questions of the Tarot.

1) Don’t ask a question if you don’t want an honest answer.

This is really important. If the Tarot is anything, it’s honest. The Tarot is like that friend or family member you go to who gives you no-nonsense advice. Really think about the question you’re about to ask. If there’s a chance it might hurt your feelings and you’re not ready for that then simply don’t ask.

2) Ask open ended questions.

What’s an open ended question? Something that can be answered with more than a “yes” or a “no”. Yes/no questions are very limited and to be honest, quite boring. I know that when you go to a Tarot reading, you want as much information as possible. So why limit yourself to a simple question? For example: “Will my boyfriend leave me?”. I pull your card and give you a vague answer that points to a maybe. But instead you ask “What can I do to strengthen my relationship?” Now, even with one card, I can give you advice and guidance that will help you be happier and have a healthier relationship. Which brings me to my next point…

3) Avoid asking about other people’s feelings.

I know I know! You really want to know if he likes you, right? Or you want to know if your boss thinks you’re doing a good job. Or anything else involving another person.  Here’s the thing. When you ask a Tarot reader about the feelings of another individual, it’s not only spying on them but it’s that much harder for us because the person you’re asking about isn’t physically involved in the equation. We aren’t mind readers. And we don’t have permission to enter the thoughts of someone else. So instead, keep the questions about yourself. “How can I approach him to show him that I’m interested?” “What can I do to further impress my boss?” You might think that asking about how someone else feels will bring you comfort. But it usually doesn’t. If anything, it keeps you waiting around for them to take action when you can  take action yourself. 

4) What the Tarot says is not set in stone.

I know I already mentioned this in the intro but I wanted to elaborate further. Basically the Tarot works like this: You ask a question about your future. The answer isn’t “This is totally and completely gonna happen and there’s nothing you can do about it so just suck it up and deal with it!” It’s more like “If you keep doing what you’re doing ‘this’ might happen. If you change what you’re doing 'that’ might happen. You decide.” This goes for good and bad situations. Your future is the clay and you are the artist. Make of it what you please! Don’t let anyone or anything, INCLUDING the Tarot tell you your final outcomes. That’s all up to you.

Use the Tarot to your advantage. There are 78 beautifully illustrated cards ready and waiting to help guide you along your path. Why skim the surface when you can dive deep? You hold the power to get everything and anything you want. Think of the Tarot not as “fortune telling” but as a means to help you get there.

A small note on Grantaire characterization:

I cannot tell you how many edits/headcanons/fics/etc. I have seen that either outright call Grantaire a cynic or have him express cynical views on something.

This may be a bit pedantic, but Grantaire is not a cynic. He is a skeptic.

Among all these passionate hearts and all these undoubting minds there was one skeptic. […] Grantaire was a man who took good care not to believe in anything.” Victor Hugo takes the time to not only specifically name his outlook, but to go even further and specify what he means by it.

Quick crash course on Cynic vs Skeptic:

Cynicism is an outlook on life, a lens through which to view it, that regardless of evidence, causes the cynic to expect the worst of a person or situation in terms of their results or intentions. Cynics can often believe that people are incapable of altruism, are selfish, will always be selfish, and thus improvements in society won’t be made because everyone acts in their own self-interest. These are beliefs that cynics can hold, regardless of how much proof they are given to the contrary, purely because they believe the worst of everything. This is pessimism to the extreme.

Skepticism is about evidence surrounding someone or something, or more specifically, the lack thereof. Unless given irrefutable proof, a skeptic will feel/express doubt over a purpose or outcome. They may doubt that the outcome to a situation will be good, but it is important at the same time to recognize that without a lot of evidence, they will also have doubt about the inevitability of a bad outcome.

Grantaires’ position in Les Amis is “juxtaposition” to the others. He does not necessarily believe that everything will go wrong, but it can seem that way sometimes when “all these undoubting minds” are around him going ‘This will work! Things will get better!’ and Grantaire is the one going ‘…but it might not.’

This nuance can be hard to emulate thought, and at the same time, you could argue that throughout both the brick and the musical that Grantaire expresses more cynical views than skeptical ones, which…. yeah that argument could certainly be made. If this is true though, he would still be a cynic hiding under the guise of skepticism.

On the other hand, words aren’t real and these characters and stories have morphed into something even bigger than the author’s original text, so I guess,,, feel free to ignore everything and write whatever you’d like?

tldr: I like philosophy and nitpicking, and grantaire doesn’t believe the worst, he’s just doubtful about anything, good or bad. Write what you love regardless.


ps. On another, brighter note, this means that Grantaire’s “fanaticism” over Enjolras is even more interesting. Whereas its possible that Grantaire has just made an exception in his personal philosophy, bc like Enjolras is pretty and loud about his feelings–it would be understandable, lbr–another possibility to this would be that Grantaire maintains his skepticism, but believes he has enough evidence about Enjolras to place his belief behind him, capable of being terrible and all.

The bitterness of being single (Feelings & Advice)

You know everything that you possess and have to offer but no one to show or give it to.

You’ve been alone with yourself for awhile and learned a lot on the way and just want to share that growing process with someone.

You often imagine being in a relationship and all the good qualities you have to make it last.

You grow sick of hearing problems from people in relationships because you long for what they have.

You feel sorry for yourself when you’re around couples and often tell yourself to snap out of it to avoid carrying a spirit of jealousy

You feel that you’ll never find someone with all of the qualities you want in a man/women

You sabotage potential relationships with people because you feel that everyone is trying to hurt you.

You participate in the cycle of hurting people because you’ve been hurt before.

You often shield your heart and come off
as stuck up or mean because you have given up on finding something real.

You feel that you’re a good person and deserve love.

Sink all of this in and think I may deserve “someone” but does that “someone” deserve me. You’re a strong individual who will find the person of your dreams. You may be hunting to find someone when God may be training you’re soulmate to be the right fit for you. Remember, rushed situation always have bad outcomes. Good things are always worth the wait

anonymous asked:

1/Hiya, I'm one of the anons that LIVE in your page. and just wanted to ask can i request a quick fic? My sis is going through a bad divorce with her abusive husband, my other siblings are at each others throats arguing every 2 secs, my parents are in a bad place always fighting and screaming, i have finals and depression is crawling and life looks so grim atm. my cat is my only solace, always purring and comforting me whenever things get too depressive, and then started thinkin 'bout dami......

2/…you write him so well and wondered what would happen if he gone through the same scenario (w/those parents of his he probably does) i donno i just find comfort in reading characters with similar situations having fluff outcome or good ending and the sort, it keeps me going for another day i guess. If u have time I’d be soo thankful i might cry. If not I’m just glad i was able to get it off my chest. Have a nice week love <3 and sorry to bother you.

It’s no bother at all! I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time anon. I’m glad you’ve at least got your cat to cuddle with, and I hope it gets better for you soon :) I wrote this real quick as soon as I woke up so hopefully this little drabble makes sense. It also fills this prompt:

Anonymous said: “I wanted to apologize” Dami and Tim, you choose who says it

Enjoy :)


A cold nose nudges Damian’s ear and he tightens his arm around Titus’s neck (not too tight, but enough to get across stay, I need you, I’ll be fine). The dog’s coat is soft and silky against his face, his scent that comforting mix of familiar dog and oatmeal and honey dog shampoo. Damian inhales deeply and Titus’s broad flank rises in time with him. His dog whines softly, sensing his master’s distress, but he does not disturb the nest they’ve curled themselves into on Damian’s bed to fetch someone (usually Richard) who can fix it, like he sometimes does. He seems to know that Damian needs to be alone.

Mostly alone.

Alfred had walked lazy circles up and down, around and around, Damian’s back before settling just below the base of his neck. A warm, purring ball of comfort. A clear move to say stay, cuddle, we’ll make you better. Sometimes Damian thinks his animals are too smart for their own good, the way they always seem to know his mood, to know when he needs comfort or when he needs to get out and run until his legs shake and his chest burns and his head is clear of problems.

Problems like Mother and Father. Yelling at each other over video calls, pulling Damian between them like a tug-of-war.

(“He will return to me for the summer.”

“No, I’m not letting him anywhere near that hell you call training. He’s doing well here, he stays.”

“You think you can keep my son from me? I’ll-“

You were the one who kept him from me! For ten goddamn years, Talia!”)

Problems like Richard. Moping in Bludhaven because his latest relationship fell through, even though he and Damian had plans last weekend.

Problems like Drake and Todd. Constantly at each other’s throats lately for whatever dumb reason they find to squabble, too busy arguing to think that maybe Damian would like to spend time with someone other than Pennyworth or his animals.

At least the animals are decent company. At least they understand him. At least they care about him.

There’s a soft knock on the door and then it pushes open to let someone inside. Damian does not lift his head from Titus’s fur, not even when the door clicks shut again and the person walks over to perch beside him on the bed. Whoever it is scratches lightly at Alfred’s head (Damian can tell because he purrs even louder when you get a certain place) while they find their words.

“I wanted to apologise,” Drake says, and Damian is a little surprised that it’s him. “Dick, Jason and I were talking and we realised we’ve been neglecting you a bit lately. I know it’s hard with you parents fighting-“

“Do you?” Damian snaps, but it comes out garbled so he has to lift his head to say it again. His movement dislodges Alfred and the cat stretches, winding around Drake’s arm before flopping down between Damian and Titus, a paw just brushing each.

“Yes,” Drake says simply. “My parents weren’t happily married, they fought almost constantly and were barely on speaking terms by the time-“

He looks away. Damian knows enough to fill in the gaps, to know how Drake lost his mother. He is surprised, though, to learn that his parents argued all the time.

“And I know what it’s like to be ignored or forgotten about,” his older brother continues. His fingers move to play with a few strands of Damian’s hair and Damian doesn’t swat him away, he leans into the feeling of comfort given from someone other than his pets. “It’s awful, messes you up a bit. So I’m sorry we haven’t been very good brothers lately. If you can forgive us, we’re going to make it up to you. How does pizza and a movie at my place sound?”

Damian considers the offer. He considers Drake. He considers Titus and Alfred. He considers all the ways the night could go wonderfully, and all the ways it could end up no better than the last few weeks. Then he says, “Is your apartment pet friendly?”

Drake smiles, shaking his head a little, but it’s not a no, it’s amusement. “Sure, Damian, you can bring your animals - but no Batcow, okay?”

And that night Damian sits on the couch with Richard on one side and Todd on the other, Titus at his feet and Drake on the floor beside him, and Alfred in his lap. The cat purrs. Damian bends forward to bury his face in his fur and smiles.

Ok folks, here’s the thing: now that I finished ME:A I can freely sail the tags on Tumbr and there’s one tag that needs serious improvements: Sloane Kelly.   She’s one of my favourite characters in this new story-line so here’s a long post about her that probably nobody asked for.

 As I was playing I literally went from ‘ugh, this wacko, ruthless character’ that I couldn’t be bothered with to a character so complex and real it completely blew my mind. And I am both angry and so pleased with the way the game treats her on one side, and frustrated with the crap the fandom throws at her. K, so buckle up for some long character analysis. Spoilers ahead:

Keep reading

Cognitive Distortions (the first piece of the CBT puzzle)

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy under the guidance of my therapist to manage my mental health issues, and today I wanted to write about the very first CBT concept I was introduced to by her (I will still call her Leia here).  A cognitive distortion is any thought that is irrational and influences our emotions in some way, and all people encounter them, but for those of us with mental health diagnoses they can be central to our emotional, behavioral, cognitive, and adaptive difficulties.  

I have gathered up a list of common cognitive distortions from my therapist and will share it here

Magnification: exaggerating the importance of an event or circumstance.  We might believe that all the work we put into our achievements is much more important than what others do, or put more weight on our mistakes than those of others.

Minimization: the opposite of magnification, in which we might consider our own negative behaviors insignificant or minimize our problems to enable avoidance.

Catastrophizing: imagining all the possible bad outcomes of a situation. (This one is pretty self-explanatory, and is common even in the healthiest people)

Overgeneralization:  Making broad interpretations from little information. We often say “I always mess up” when we feel down after messing up, or “They always let me down” in the moment when we are hurt by someone’s actions.

Magical Thinking: thinking that totally unrelated things will influence each other “Good things shouldn’t happen to bad people”

Personalization: Feeling or believing we are responsible for things we can’t control. “My partner is upset because I didn’t do enough to make them happy today”.

Mind Reading: thinking we know what others are thinking without having any way of knowing. “They didn’t text back because they hate me” or “They are so annoyed by me”

Fortune Telling: Claiming or believing that we know a situation will end badly without a rational reason to support the claim or belief. “I’ll just fail this class because nothing goes right for me” or “I just know this date is going to go terribly” or “I am going to have a terrible surgery and not come out okay”

Emotional Reasoning: thinking the way we feel reflects the reality of what or how we or other things are. “I feel like a failure because I am” or “I feel like such a bad parent; I must be a terrible father”

Disqualifying the Positive: We do this when we see everything negative (failures, criticism, etc) and almost ignore or fail to give weight to the positives (successes, compliments, etc.)

Should statements: We might think certain things should be a certain way.  “I should always workout” “I should not cry” “I should never be limited by my illnesses”

All-or-Nothing (Black and White) Thinking: This can be found in several other distortions, and happens when we think in absolutes like that something is or should “always” or “never” be true, or that “every” person, item, or event is a certain way.  

For me, reading these distortions for the first time was quite shocking, because I almost felt that someone had read my mind. Over time, I learned to use my awareness of cognitive distortion to my benefit.  

If we can become aware of our own cognitive distortions we can question if they have sources in our disorders or experiences, and ultimately fight and reduce them to become cognitively healthier.  Lessening cognitive distortions can ultimately lessen stress and negativity in our lives. 

I hope this post was helpful and I’ll see y’all tomorrow! Ultimately, I hope to write a post for each of these distortions.  

Worldbuilding Wednesday #7: Souls and Ghosts

Souls

In the Poppy universe, souls are a tangible concept that have been proven to exist and can be rendered visible to the naked eye via magic. There are NOT magical in nature, however, and opossums do not exert any influence over them.

When most people think about souls, they think of some singular mass representing an individual, but this is a highly misguided view. A living creature usually contains, at any given moment, somewhere between 50,000 to 70,000 souls. These souls represent their current state of consciousness, and can come and go depending on the person’s mindset. Things like fleeting feelings, opinions, memes and memories are all souls either produced within the mind, or picked up floating freely through the air.

For example: a memory is not some perfect representation of a moment, but a generated concept within a part of the brain to be used as future reference. Any given memory will only store a single concept, such as a situation, and will be reliant on other memories to provide context with things like the faces and names of individuals within that situation.

A memory is, by nature,  subjective, and can be corrupted by its surrounding thoughts and emotions. That corruption is a natural part of free will, and is essential to creating new mindsets, although it can have both good and bad outcomes. A negative person is highly susceptible to free-roaming souls that resonate those feelings, which can lead them into emotional feedback loops, such as depression. Conversely, someone with a positive mindset will attract positively resonating souls, which can color their worldview as very idealistic.

Even though souls have an obvious effect on the mind, that does not mean they’re what make people tick. A person’s ability to think and form ideas is born from the chemical and biological processes within the brain. The best way of demonstrating this concept is to consider the relationship between a living person and a ghost.

Ghosts

A ghost is a complete mass of souls that has been permanently seperated from the body, most typically as a result of death. Under normal circumstances, a ghost is not capable of being seen or heard, and cannot physically interact with objects, but if a person were to, say, astrally project via magic and then die (Such as Master Mouf’s fate), their souls would be locked within that projection, and continue to exist in an observable state until they lost their structure and fizzled out.

Ghosts are not capable of true thought. They are simply a representation of person’s consciousness at the exact moment of their death. They cannot learn things, or come to new conclusions, or change their current emotional state, as those things all require changes within the brain. Even if you were to tie a dead person’s ghost back to their original body, without a living brain, you’d only be creating a flesh construct with no real will of its own.

Now, simply pulling a person’s souls out would not produce a ghost, as their souls are naturally attracted back to their body, but for the sake of argument, if you could seperate a body and soul mass in some permanent manner, the ghost would eventually disappear into individual particles, but the body would continue to live, albeit confused and disoriented, without any memories or bias. They would eventually develop a new set of souls and move on.

The concept of free-roaming souls raises many provoking questions and theories, such as whether a single running stream of consciousness truly exists, whether living things actually have true free will, and if there’s some in-universe credence to concepts like morphic resonance, the subconscious exchange of ideas and memories between unrelated individuals.

BUT ENOUGH OF THAT STUFF, NEXT WEEK WE’RE TALKING ABOUT FLORAN VIDEOGAMES

Answer The Call (Moriarty x Son!reader)

Request: “Could you please write a Jim Moriarty x m!child!reader? maybe something like he’s in a meeting, and he keeps getting distracted by the kid calling or something like that, idk. I understand if you can’t, of course. I just think you do a great job on all your moriarty inserts!”

Word Count: 1542

Summary: You are Jim Moriarty’s son, and you’re in danger. Someone broke into the house, and Sebastian told you to hide. In panic, you call your father using Moran’s phone. Moriarty is slow to pick up the phone since he is at an important meeting.

Author’s note: Ok, I lied. The Joker x reader is taking longer than expected since plot bunnies keep springing into my mind XD This Moriarty x reader probably isn’t what you were expecting anon, but I needed to write a story with conflict for my English teacher sooo yeah. Hope you like it! This is kind of in Moriarty’s POV, but it’s still in second person. Sorry this was a bit short.

Warnings: None


“General Shan could jeopardize your identity, Jim. You granted her access into Britain, but now that the police have been informed that she’s here, she could reveal information. You controlled her through fear, but once she’s in custody, that power you have over her will be passed onto law enforcement. She failed to retrieve that hair pin, and now the whole operation is done. Over. You should give the word for Moran to put her down before anymore harm can be caused.” Derek Wallberg reasoned with his boss.

Moriarty nodded in boredom. He already knew that he would have to dispose of Chan; she was too much of a liability to his work. He never really took the advice that his informants gave him. He just thought it was amusing to watch them argue over such obvious matters. Jim was a man who could walk into a situation, and see every outcome whether good or bad.

Shan was a piteously vulnerable leader for her large and powerful organization, the Black Lotus Tong; Moriarty should know. He was the one that got her in that position in the first place. She payed him, but he didn’t do it for the money. Moriarty did it so that he would have easier control over that extensive criminal web. It was a win win. Now that she has to be taken care of, he’d have to influence the decision of who would take her place.

However, Shan wasn’t the real focus of this meeting. Jim’s dead eyes glanced over everyone in the room, and he spoke up in a flat tone, “It’s decided then. I’ll inform Mr. Moran that he’ll need to assassinate her, but it’d be on my signal. Now, for the real reason I called this meeting-”

His smartphone buzzed against his chest while in his pocket. The vibrations made a loud noise that everyone in the room heard, but they didn’t comment on it. They knew what happened when their boss was irritated, so they stayed quiet. Jim paused for a bit, and the whole room was plunged into silence. The criminal mastermind decided against answering the call since he had more important things to deal with. Jim continued as if nothing happened, “It was brought to my attention that the Korean elections are to be held next-”

The phone vibrated in his pocket again. With an overly exaggerated scowl, he reached into his blazer’s inner pocket. The screen was lit up with the name, Sebastian Moran . His thumb roughly pressed the button to cancel the call. The assassin knows better than to call him a meeting. He’ll get a piece of Jim’s mind when he finishes this meeting up. Jim clenched his jaw, and he tried to finish his thought, “Next year. I know that Mycroft Holmes-”

Buzz. Moriarty snatched the phone out of his pocket again, and his thumb hovered over the cancel button. However, he decided to answer it. Sebastian was obviously very keen to talk to him. He angrily hissed into the phone, “Moran, if you call again I’ll-”

“Daddy?” Your hushed tone sounded from the phone, which slightly softened the murderous look on Moriarty’s face.

Jim maintained somewhat of a serious expression so that his associates continued to be intimidated, and he asked, “(Y/n), we talked about this. You can’t call me while I’m,” He stopped sternly patronizing his son when Jim heard your attempts to stifle your whimpers and heavy breathing.

His expression darkened considerably. Everyone in the room knew that look. Someone was going to die, and their leader was going to do the deed himself. Moriarty wasn’t a man who liked to get his hands dirty, but it happens sometimes. Jim demanded in an angered tone, “What’s happening? Is someone there with you; where’s Sebastian?”

Sebastian Moran was sort of family to the Moriarty household. When Jim wasn’t around to care for you, Sebastian babysat you. He made sure no one came after the infamous man’s only son. He was like a second father to you. You didn’t have a mother since neither Moriarty nor Moran talked about her. You didn’t know anything about her, and you stopped asking after a while. It was like Sebastian took up the spot in your life where your mother should have been.

Your voice choked up as you cried hysterically, “I-I don’t know! He to-told me to hide. I think a man broke into the house! Daddy, please help me!”

Sebastian was a high profile assassin. He knew what he was doing. Jim, however, needed to make sure no one touched his little boy. Moriarty pointed at Wallberg, and growled, “Get them over to my house quick. Catch that senseless idiot who tried to hurt my son. I want him alive. I want him unscathed.”

Wallberg curtly nodded, and he scurried out the door. Jim glared at the remaining people with fire in his eyes. They took the hint, and they also made themselves scarce. He turned back to speak into the phone, “Where are you hiding? Is he close?”

“I can’t tell… But Daddy please hurry! I’m scared, help me!” You entreated your father fearfully.

Jim’s gut twisted as he heard you hyperventilating. His nostrils flared, and he ground his teeth together. That intruder was going to pay, and the price was going to be much more than the man’s death. Before Moriarty could comfort you any further, screaming came from his phone speakers.

The phone was dropped, and the line broke up into static. Jim brought the phone speaker closer to his left ear, but the line was silent. Bang! Bang! Bang! Three gunshots sounded before the phone hung up.

Jim was shocked. Paralyzed in place. His genius mind was rendered useless, and all he could do was stare at his phone. This was the first time in his life where he actually felt… helpless. Unable to lie, bargain, cheat, steal, run, or manipulate his way out of a situation. His nose started to tingle as his eyes glossed over. However, there was no time to grieve. Jim set his jaw, pulled out a handgun from his other coat pocket, and he stalked out of the room.

He almost gave a few people heart attacks when they saw him with a gun. Some had to dive out of his way to avoid his wrath. He was a rampaging bull set on murdering the man in red; everyone in his way would be killed in the crossfire. Moriarty got to the end of the hallway, and he violently pushed the doors open to reveal a flight of stairs. He jumped down three stairs at a time until he was on the ground floor.

Jim ran out of the building, and into the parking lot. He wasted no time in getting into his car, and he pulled into the street. He was going twenty miles per hour over the speed limit without his seatbelt. He forced all thoughts of you out of his mind as he drove to his house. Moriarty didn’t even know what he was going to do to the man responsible, but it wouldn’t be pretty.


Moriarty ran up the steps to his house, and he bolted through the open front door. He searched the whole first floor before he charged up the stairs. The hallway was crowded with his men, but Jim could see that there was a body on the floor. A part of him wanted to look the other way, but the other part needed closure. He still couldn’t believe what happened.

As he got closer, he realized that the body wasn’t any shorter than six feet tall. The man was wearing jeans, and a black hoodie. Jim didn’t know who it was, but by the tattoo on the man’s foot, he knew the guy worked for General Chan. Three bullet holes were visible on the man’s dead corpse; two to the head, and one to the heart.

“Daddy!” You wailed happily. Jim turned around just in time for you to pull him into a tight hug. Your face buried into his stomach, and tears dampened Jim’s favorite westwood suit. Jim wrapped his arms around your back, and he glanced up to see Sebastian watching the both of you.

The assassin was leaning on the wall a feet away. He grabbed his cigarette box from out of his back pocket, and he plucked one from the box. He put it in his mouth before he spoke up, “I’m sorry boss. I didn’t know you wanted the guy alive until after I shot him.”

Jim gave him a stern look. On the inside, he was actually grateful that Moran took the guy out when he could. However, he did disobey orders. Moriarty looked down at you, and you were still traumatized from the incident. Never again will this happen, and Jim was going to make sure of that. He replied coldly, “Don’t let it happen again, Moran. Your month’s pay is going to be reduced.”

Sebastian cracked a small smile at Jim, before lighting the cigarette in his mouth. Jim was the closest thing Sebastian had to a best friend. He knew this was his boss’ way of saying thanks.


That’s all folks

~thedarknessdwellswithin

I’m pretty annoyed right now with Tumblr defeatism culture (I’m not really sure what else to call it).   Like, seriously, hanging out in this culture too long is fucking poisonous.  I had to take a good step back from this site and remind myself of my own values and goals that were starting to get muddled from receiving too much of my media from this site.  I feel like, having done that, I should mention some of the messages that Tumblr culture gets right, but also where it takes that good message down fuckery lane.

  • It is good to be able to accept yourself as you are, with the limitations you have, and in the situation you are in.  It is bad to demonize or harass people who encourage self-improvement.
  • It is good to recognize that a solution that works for one person’s problem won’t necessarily work for another.  It is bad to reject someone’s solution as wrong or bigoted simply because it won’t work for everyone.
  • It is good to acknowledge your privileges.  It is bad to treat people like they can’t be role-models or they can’t be proud of their accomplishments because you deem them “too privileged.”
  • It is good to recognize that privilege impacts our outcomes.  It is bad to foster a deterministic culture that treats people as though their fates are sealed by their privilege or lack thereof.
  • It is good to accept and de-stigmatize mental illness.  It is bad to characterize symptom management and recovery as stigma or non-acceptance.
  • It is good to advocate for positive revolutionary changes to a system.  It is bad to characterize smaller, positive changes as worthless or even harmful to the cause.
  • It is good to have strong convictions.  It is bad to consider inaction to be innately morally superior to compromise.

I’ll stop here before this becomes a novel.  I will probably take a separate post to describe why this is bugging me right now because, again, I don’t want this to turn into a novel.

infinitepunches  asked:

If you believe that Yoda’s inaction is partially to blame for the rise of the Empire, isn’t Padme’s inaction largely to blame for the origin of Vader? “To be angry is to be human.”



To be angry is to be human, and to express anger is to be healthy. Anakin’s anger, like Anakin’s love, is unhealthy because it is suppressed and concealed in direct response to Jedi teachings. And like a volcano, it builds up and then erupts, destroying everything in its path.

So, I extrapolate you mean Padmé not telling anyone what Anakin told her about the slaughter of the Tusken raiders. Whom should she have told and what should she have told them? 

There is no evidence that therapy exists in the Star Wars universe. The closest we get is Jedi meditation and Padmé has no experience with that. (Yoda has experience with it, and Yoda also feels Anakin’s terrible pain and rage at the Tusken camp so why doesn’t he do anything about it?) If they, newly married, could have spent time with Padmé’s family? Jobal Naberrie mothering Anakin? It could have helped, it might have changed things. But no one can know they are married. They can’t go on a family vacation to Naboo together. She can only try to help herself.

There are no authorities on Tatooine, so her options would have to be the Jedi Council, Obi-Wan, or Palpatine. Padmé doesn’t really know the Jedi other than Anakin or Obi-Wan, and if she made a formal report it might be taken as coming from the Senate/Republic as Anakin was assigned to protecting her at the time of the incident. So that leaves Obi-Wan and Palpatine. And I think she would prefer to encourage Anakin to tell them himself, rather than inform on him. And we learn in Revenge of the Sith that Anakin does tell Palpatine what happened. They both trusted the wrong person, and he used it against them aka the theme of the prequels.

The Jedi Order, The Senate, The Republic are broken systems that Palpatine is able to exploit. The Jedi deliberately keep information from the Senate. The Sith are active, they don’t tell anyone. Their powers are fading, they don’t tell anyone (on Yoda’s orders). Yoda feels Anakin’s pain and rage, tells no one. Anakin tells Yoda he’s having nightmares about death and he needs help, Yoda tells no one. The Senate, also, deliberately keep information from the Jedi. Notably, Padmé tries to open communication. She attempts to set up negotiations with the Separatists but Palpatine thwarts her. She tries to get Anakin to talk to the Chancellor about stepping down, and about ending the war, but he refuses. She tries to convince the Senators she’s working with to talk to the Jedi, but they say no. She spends most of Revenge of the Sith asking Anakin to talk to Obi-Wan. He doesn’t.

As a member of the Senate, Padmé is complicit in the rise of the Empire the same way Yoda and the Jedi Order are. But she’s more active than basically anyone in terms of trying to do something.

As regards Anakin specifically, she’s his wife, his closest friend, the only person he trusts with all his secrets and it’s not at all clear her betraying that trust would bring a better outcome. Palpatine doesn’t actually need Vader to create the Empire – he’s been planning this longer than he’s known Anakin, he just recognizes great power within Anakin and chooses to exploit that, too. Something like Fives’ discovery of Order 66 is more dangerous to Palpatine’s plan than an exploration of Anakin’s mental state (I guess in that case it’s Anakin’s inaction that dooms them). It might have brought about a better outcome for Anakin, and for Padmé, but the Republic’s fate is sealed unless Anakin were to take out Palpatine and even then its survival is not guaranteed, especially given the sequel trilogy.

And look, Padmé is 24 years old when Anakin confesses to her. That’s late adolescence. Yoda is just shy of 900, and he is in a position of great authority. Yoda has more experience and more power.

Padmé is trapped in a terrible situation. She has no good choices, and maybe she doesn’t choose the best of the bad ones. But holding her ‘largely’ responsible for the origin of Vader is ridiculous. Ultimately, Vader is Anakin’s choice and Anakin is to blame. Not Padmé, not Yoda, not even Palpatine. Anakin does it to himself.

The Wildcat and the Bear (Part 5)

This might be the longest chapter I have ever written, so long in fact, I had to cut it in two. Sorry. Here’s part one. Enjoy, my beautiful readers!!

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 (AO3)

Naming Ritual - Day 1 (Part One)

She’d woken up warm again that morning. Much to her surprise, the reason she was waking up warm was that Cassian had his arms wrapped around her. More surprising still, she hadn’t immediately drawn away from him, falling back asleep instead.

The conversation that came after she woke and they had a simple breakfast had been a little less pleasant.

“Yesterday… you called me your mate, to Mor.” Cassian had started carefully.

“That’s what you called me, isn’t it? I assumed that was the name of what we are.”

“It is… but, why did you call me that? You hadn’t before.”

She’d sighed, “I haven’t talked to anyone but you since the bonfire ritual and I was following your lead. I’m sorry if I make things more difficult for you both.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” He’d asked indignantly.

“I know you love her Cassian. It was one of the reasons I’d distanced myself from you in the first place, I assume it’s the reason you distanced yourself from me as well. I understand, after the naming ritual we go back to the way things were,”

“What? Just stop for a second. I don’t love her, if I ever have it’s been years since I’ve stopped. You’ve already given up then? Is that what you’re saying? We spend one day trying to get to know each other, trying to work together and you’re done?”

“Whatever it is you and her have, I don’t want to get in the way of it. It’s fine.”

"We don’t have anything, you stubborn woman. That’s what I’m saying, we never have. I don’t want her. I want you. I’m not in love with her, I’m in love with you. You want to know why I distanced myself from you after the war? I was scared because I’d never felt that way before and I didn’t think I was ready for it. And I wasn’t. But then I was sitting at the bonfire the other night and I see that wildcat and it turns into you and I realized it was chance to start over, to do this right, to try Nesta. Don’t give up, please, not yet.”

And what was she to say to that? How was she to walk away from another plea? So she hadn’t left, though she said nothing in return. Why was it so hard to leave him? Some time later, while quietly contemplating the variables, she’d decided that she would try for the week, this one week. It should have been against every fiber of her being to be so compliant, but it wasn’t, not when it came to him and that fact was extremely infuriating to her.

So there she was, in that cursed tent, thinking, while he hunted with his brothers. She should have gone hunting with them… If it weren’t for her damn pride she would have.

She had no idea what to do now but she did know she wanted to get out of this tent. Right now. She sighed and lifted herself from the floor. She’d… go visit Feyre. She felt a little bad for using her sister as her last resort, but she was close to calling defeat and it was the only idea she’d had all day that didn’t make her stomach turn.

She quietly walked over to her tent and listened for a second, to make sure she was alone, then entered.

“Oh, Nesta! I hadn’t been expecting you, come in, sit.” She did as Feyre asked, not knowing what else to do. She was too caught up in her head, too caught up in herself, in Cassian’s words, of the meaning behind them. She was just so… confused? Conflicted? This was a mess.

Feyre’s smile was blinding. Her little sister was happy, genuinely happy. It was almost strange, after everything, to see her be so effortlessly happy, “So,” Feyre continued in stride, despite the fact that she had said nothing, “How is everything? How’s it going with you and Cassian?”

How were things with her and Cassian? She didn’t understand it very well herself. At all, she didn’t understand it at all. Before she knew it she’d said, “Cassian told me he’s in love with me,” and it had slipped out before she could control herself.

Keep reading

mental health day 2017

i was going to write this huge post going into detail about my garbage but got cold feet at the idea of that kind of information being out in public for all eternity. here’s something instead: this year i got consistent therapy and a new medication for my extreme, debilitating anxiety problems, my terrible subhuman self-esteem, my depression. i began to discuss my problems with friends, even a little bit. 

i am still very embarrassed about most of what has happened to me and feel like i am making a big to-do out of nothing. i struggle greatly with understanding what im supposed to be feeling at any given time. if its too much or too little, usually i feel like i am disproportionately upset and have been for far too long. but the improvement from 7 years ago is massive. i am more of a person than i have ever been. 

for so long i felt like i was already dead and my body just didnt get the memo; i feel like i didnt even have a personality for years. when i started to get a feel for my sense of self i finally started to discover what kind of person i am. and to be honest im a little ashamed of that person. in spite of finding the same qualities lovable/endearing in other people, when i do it i feel immediate pangs of regret. i am constantly confused and upset trying to understand why anything good happens to me or why people put any kind of faith in me. i cannot imagine being worth the effort. i am extremely avoidant of ambiguous situations with uncertain outcomes and i go through extreme measures to avoid feeling bad. whenever i feel bad i feel worthless.

some days are better than others. i can look at myself in a mirror now. i wear clothes that show skin. i try to do things that give back to the community. i leave the house frequently just to get out. i dont lay in bed for hours listening for sound cues to detect if my own home is “safe” or not. i dont cry hardly ever. i dealt with some stressful situations this year fairly well. my work output has slowed down but i have been socializing more and doing more for myself and trying to be “selfish”.

i can try to answer questions people have if they have them. if my experience helps people then its worth the headache.

June 28: Ships that pass in the night (Chapter Eight)

Title: Ships that pass in the night (Chapter Eight)
Tags: Alternate Timeline, AU, Slow burn, stranger to friends, friends to lovers
Words: 2869
Summary:
Dan and Phil are YouTubers. The catch? They’ve never met, and Phil doesn’t want them to.

Prompt:This chapter is brought to you by two cups of coffee and a 15 minute nap in the middle. I’m so tired guys, massive project at work, trying to get the house sorted for when squidge moves and I’m not really sleeping well.
But I didn’t want to disappoint you, or myself, by falling at the final hurdle of fedij. Only a few days to go and I really love this fic so I wanted to write something. I’m sorry if it isn’t up to it’s usually standard but I covered all the plot points I needed to.

FEDIJ Day: June 28


Previous Day | Masterlist of fics so far

[AO3 Link]

Keep reading

archiveofourown.org
and the nights (bigger than imagining) Chapter 2| Archive of Our Own
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
By Organization for Transformative Works

Do you ever regret not doing the bad thing?

Those half-awake moment, forgetting the distinct line between what is done and what simply is not? Those times when you’ve got a choice, a choice, and a half second you’ll regret for the rest of your life?

Look, there’s the good thing to do and the bad thing to do. Sometimes it’s not that black and white. Sometimes it is. 

Look, there’s the thing you want to do, and the thing you know you should do.

Look. 

It’s a bad situation, whatever the outcome, because you have to make a decision. Maybe you didn’t make the right one.

CBT App - “Thought Diary”

Good news: I’ve recently re-started cognitive-behavioral therapy!

A few years back, I tried CBT, but it didn’t work out for me too well. One of the reasons was that my therapist asked me to write out my thoughts on paper. Back then I wasn’t great at remembering to take the piece of paper with me, and I felt embarrassed to be taking it out at random times because people might ask me what I was doing.

When re-starting therapy, I became interested in writing down my thoughts again, but without all the hassle. Fortunately, I came across an app that I’ve found to be extremely helpful.

The app is called Thought Diary, and in this post I’ll give an example of how I personally use it. It’s discreet to use in public; I can just turn my screen brightness down a little bit and I basically just look like I’m texting someone. There’s no pressure to explain my mental health to anyone unless I choose to, which is a huge bonus.

It’s a free app, available for both iOS and Android. If you don’t have a system that this can work on, then it could be adapted for other devices (by writing down the categories in template format in a text message/note to yourself, then responding to them).

The key behind CBT is to transform your emotions by transforming the thoughts that trigger them. A lot of the times I’ll be extremely distressed by something that seems outwardly “small” - for example, my friend commenting that I’m quiet and shy as opposed to gregarious. It’s hard, initially, to understand why this would put me at a category “6″ on a 1-10 distress scale. Through writing down my feelings and exploring my negative thoughts further, I eventually discover the root of my intense pain. Instead of taking her statement at face value, my brain jumped to “I wish I had been born as a different person. I drain the energy from other peoples’ lives.” That’s a really heartbreaking belief; no wonder I felt so distressed about it! If I said those words about someone else, they’d probably feel equally distressed.

After identifying my negative thoughts, there’s a space for me to look at them more critically - where is my distress distorting reality? In what specific ways am I sabotaging my joy? Using the app, I can analyze my thoughts and challenge them which allows me to play a direct role in adjusting my thinking patterns.

The app is based on the idea that someone who is experiencing frequent negative moods is going through cognitive distortions. It provides all of the most common cognitive distortions for you, along with examples, so that you can see where you may be experiencing them in your own thoughts. There is nothing “wrong” with you if you have cognitive distortions - it definitely doesn’t mean that you’re unintelligent or that you lack self-awareness. It just means that, for one reason or another, you have negative beliefs that interfere with experiencing positive emotions. The good news is, you can definitely work to change these - writing down your thoughts and challenging them is just one method.

Alright, let’s get into this. I’ll be including a few pictures to show you the simple design of the app. This is sort of in tutorial style, because when I’m feeling really overwhelmed it helps me to look at a step-by-step process and follow along. I hope this guide will make you feel less intimidated about using this method!

When I’m in a negative mood and I have the spoons to write down my feelings, I can open it and create a new post by clicking the plus sign in the upper right corner. Once I’ve done that, it takes me to this screen:

After titling it, I can click on the Emotions screen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow you to enter your own emotions - I think this could be a helpful update to the app, because sometimes these generalized emotions don’t fully encapsulate my experience. One upside to this screen, however, is that it doesn’t take too much of my energy to check the boxes. If I’m feeling exhausted, it’s sometimes easier to have the app suggest broad emotions for me. In this example, I’ve selected “Anxious,” “Ashamed,” “Hopeless,” “Sad,” and “Worthless.”

Next, I can go to the Distress screen and rate that on a scale of 1 to 10. Sometimes it can be hard to determine how much distress you’re actually feeling - I tend to go with my gut and put down the first number that pops into my head. I’ve found that it’s best not to overthink this step, as the truly important part comes later on. Here I’ve selected “6″, meaning a little more than moderate distress. For me personally, this means that I’m bothered enough to feel like I might cry if I keep thinking about it. I might be short of breath. Someone else’s “moderate distress” might present differently, so it’s a good idea to decide for yourself what your physical and emotional indicators might be. Another measuring tool I use for myself: if I select “Anxious” or “Scared” in the Emotions screen, I’ll usually select a higher distress level, because I’ve found that anxiety and fear manifest more powerfully in my body than things like sadness or emptiness.

Next, I fill out the situation box. You may be tempted to put your negative thoughts in this box, but this box is best used for the most realistic view of the situation that you can muster. I try to stick to facts - that way, when I come back to it later on, I can examine the reality of the situation and remember what actually happened without the accompanying negative emotional responses.

After that’s done, I let myself fill out the negative thoughts section. This is the time I take to be honest and open with my negative feelings, without judging them. In fact, throughout the whole process, I tend to think of it as analyzing my thoughts and feelings, as opposed to judging them or forcing them to change. The purpose isn’t to beat myself up over feeling bad - it’s simply to understand why I feel that way in the first place, and to balance out my bad feelings with more realistic ones.

Here’s the situation section and the negative thought section, filled out:

(Keep in mind that I’m not actually distressed at this moment, it’s just an example. You don’t have to worry about me because this is a hypothetical situation. However, I have felt similar thoughts before, so if you can relate then please know that you’re not alone. There’s nothing wrong with being shy - if you’re shy and reading these negative thoughts distresses you, then I’d urge you to read the “Challenge” section so that you can realize that you’re worth just as much as everyone else.)

This next portion is the part that I think the app does a really good job or providing - the various cognitive distortions. I selected “Overgeneralization” because I assumed that everyone in general dislikes me, “Mind reading” because I assumed my classmates hate me, “Magnification of the negative” because of my emphasis on the ‘weakness’ of how shy I was instead of giving myself credit for the positive aspects of being soft-spoken/less-frequently-spoken, and “Should/must statements” because I said that I should have talked more. The selection process gets easier with time, and it doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect. If you need help, you can click on the “?” icon and it provides definitions for each distortion, as well examples of each. You could also google these distortions, as they’re widely known in the CBT world.

Here comes the good part - you get to respond to your previous thoughts, which usually reduces the stress. If you’re stuck and feel like you can’t be compassionate to yourself, clicking on the “examples” button will take you to a screen which suggests statements to get you started:

I chose to start off with “I should be more sympathetic towards myself.” I then added some more of my own words.

The outcome of this situation is that I feel less worried about the situation. I then asked my friend if I thought being shy was a bad thing, and she assured me that she loves me for who I am - I am gentle and she’s able to be around me even when she feels overwhelmed, because I’m never “too much to handle.” Writing in my thought diary and talking to my friend brought my distress all the way down to a 1!

Here’s the screenshot of my challenge, the outcome, and the ending distress level:

My distress didn’t go all the way down to a zero, and that’s perfectly fine. Sometimes I’ll finish writing and I’ll still feel the same exact amount of distress. This doesn’t mean I failed, it just means that this method of self-soothing won’t work every single time. I can always try again later, or try another method if need be.

I hope this post was informative for you, and helpful if recent events have triggered any negative moods. If anyone has any questions about this, then feel free to send them in and I’ll do my best to answer them!

- Mars (used to be known as “Maggie”)

Emergency! Best Underrated: The Exam

In The Exam, Johnny and Roy must re-certify for the Paramedic program by passing a tough exam that a lot of the other Paramedics are failing.  (Ernie Brown failed! Tim Williams too?)  It’s fun to watch the guys navigate trying to study, panic and take notes while all around them there are meals to be eaten, lives to be saved, and a fireman’s widow to be placated when her accident-prone daughter gets her head stuck inside a coffee table in the morning and then smashes that same head on the floor falling out of her bunkbed later in the day.

This episode includes one of my favorite Emergency! scenes between Johnny and Roy.  During a brief heart-to-heart chat in the Squad in the middle of their stressful day, Johnny confesses that he really wants to pass the exam because he doesn’t want “…to go back to the Engine.”  It’s an unexpected moment between two friends that is both heart breaking and real. This episode convinces me that Johnny never really accepts becoming a Captain or at least he doesn’t last as one for very long. His heart and his instincts lie elsewhere. 

The final rescue is memorable for being shockingly violent.  A car crashes on a movie studio set and an idiot working in the crew makes a bad situation even worse by lighting up a torch near some spilled gasoline and causing the trapped driver’s car to burst into flames. It’s a devastating scene for the show and the resulting carnage must be spectacularly gruesome because Captain Stanley will not even let Roy look at the body.

Even though the episode ends on a cliffhanger, the outcome of The Exam is never really in doubt.

Highlights include:

Virgos are not going to have a good exam day Johnny.  “Forget it…”

Jeanine’s stuck head.

Johnny’s profile.  Wow.

“It’s the electronics age!”

“He always eats a hotdog when he’s watching that football.”

That scene in the Squad…

“They’re more than just friends, they’re…”  “Crutches.”

UGH…

Don’t look Roy…

“We passed it!”

“You’ll never guess what some twit did.”

theoneobserving  asked:

Hello Father, I know you are supposed to turn the other cheek. My question is therefore when is it acceptable to fight back? Thank you for your time!

Hello,

Thank you for this question. It is hard for me to answer, because when someone attacks me, I don’t like to turn the other cheek.

In fact, there are passages in the Bible that speak of fighting for the rights and justice of those who are downtrodden: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). In fact, the Lord warns us that at the final Judgment, He will tell us that whatever we did for the least of our brethren, we did for Him (Matthew 25:40).

The epistle of James reminds us that true Christian love is to be very concerned for the orphans and widows, and to strive to be unpolluted so that the world does not corrupt us (James 1:27). That striving certainly involves struggle, and contending against what is unjust and unfair.

I mean, what if someone makes fun of, or attacks, our gay friend, our friend of a certain race, our friend who weighs more, our friend who is poor or unemployed, our friend who is undocumented, our friend who is denied their rights in the workplace? What if our friend is bullied? Do we not care as Christians? Do we sit idly by and do nothing?

Or, on a larger scale, what if terrorists are coming to kill people, to rape and plunder, to enslave, as has been done in certain parts of the world. Should those with greater might not step in and protect the defenseless?

You mentioned the passage of Matthew 5:39 where Jesus tells us not to violently resist those who do evil, and to turn the other cheek (although when Jesus was struck on the cheek by the servant of the High Priest, He protested that He was innocent, and thus gave justification for some sense of self-defense). Jesus also said to love our enemies, to bless those that curse us, and to do good for those who hate us (Matthew 5:44). It is pretty clear that 

Thus, we can confidently say that Christianity is a religion of peace. There are parts of the Bible that encourage war and fighting in order to defend the nation of Israel or to fight against the bad influence of pagan idolatry. However, the example of Jesus was clearly pacifist, anti-violence, and pro-forgiveness, of even our enemies. 

As I see it, Scripture enjoins us to strive to be at peace with everyone insofar as this is possible (see St. Paul’s teaching in Romans 12:18). That means not striking out, not lashing out. When we are attacked, we are called as Christians to ratchet down the tension, to de-escalate the anger so that people calm down and take a step back from the conflict.

On the other hand, we must love ourselves as we would like to love our neighbor (Matthew 22:39). How can we say we love ourselves, and yet allow others to destroy us? There is a need for self-defense. 

Maybe that means calling the police at times. Maybe that means taking an employer to court who refused to pay us for time worked. Maybe that means learning self-defense and engaging someone in a fight in order to discourage bullying. Maybe that means when our family is at home, that we have to purchase a firearm and defend them from a home invasion.

“But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into” (Matthew 24:43). Jesus does not condemn a man who wants to defend himself from criminal aggression. Neither does Jesus say we can just kill people who commit assault on others because we thought they were insulting or threatening to us.

Would Jesus condemn you for defending yourself, and for giving reasons why you should not be mistreated? I say no. Would Jesus condemn you because you sought to defend your dignity and seek redress or compensation for an injustice that was committed against you. I say no. At the same time, I imagine you grow in much grace and merit for all those times when you show peace, in the face of aggression.

Prudence is the Christian virtue by which we apply to a practical situation in our lives, the right amount of force, the right amount of action, in the best way for a positive outcome, so that the good which is accomplished outweighs the bad. 

On the internet, this is almost impossible at times–I understand. Our emotions get the best of us, and it is just easier to give someone a piece of our mind no matter how harsh. I have struggled A LOT with this problem on Tumblr–because on numerous occasions, I have not just been attacked, but I have been smeared and slandered with every sort of unjust accusation. This is why your question is so good for me to think about, because I need to constantly be reminded of the virtue of prudence when I am answering difficult people.

And yet, if we can accomplish a peaceful resolution by not raising our voice, by not saying certain vulgar words, by not raising our hand against someone, then by all means, let us prudently seek to work out a conflict with the most proportionate good being accomplished, for the sake of being at peace with others, even our enemies. God bless and take care, Fr. Angel