The Desire to Scratch

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~The Spiritual (Video) Game of Life~

~The Spiritual (Video) Game of Life~
 
Level 1: On Sunday, I hit something on my way home and got a flat tire.
Level 2: When I went to go get it fixed this morn (at the closest dealership), there was extra paperwork that needed to be re-done bc my VIN number was inputted wrong in their system. So, I would have to go to the original dealership where I initially got my car, so that they could fix it. It would take 2 hrs. to fix the paperwork.
Level 3: I was unsure of the cost at this point (also, I needed gas). I didn’t have time to go to the other dealership (which is further away) this morn, so I had to wait until after work… then it rained… and there was traffic…
Level 4: What normally would’ve taken a half an hour took an hour and a half. (Plus, I’m still driving on a doughnut, mind you… praying that I don’t die or get into an accident, lol.)
Then, I had to wait like 3 hours after that in order to get everything done. (I was hungry/falling asleep, yo. lol)
 
~But life has a way of evening itself out~
 
Here are the positives of this situation:
 
1. When I initially hit the ‘something’ in the street, it was as I was turning on my street (like, literally, a few houses down), so I didn’t need a tow truck, and didn’t get stranded. (Woot!) 💁
2. I had some nice father-daughter time with my otousan, who helped me to change it, and even taught me how to change it myself… just in case, for a next time! (I finished changing it halfway through, and it wasn’t so hard as I thought it would be.)
3. I had to get my tire replaced (they couldn’t repair it), but it was at no extra cost to me since I already had tire coverage with my lease (so yay)!
4. All of that extra time waiting was well spent in reflection, and doing creative/fun things. (It’s times like this when I’m glad that I bring my laptop/3DSxl with me, lol.) Also, that hour and a half of driving to the dealership was spent listening to an audiobook, and coming to some realizations (which I will share below). Btw, the audiobook was “Facing your Giants” by Max Lucado.
 
~What I learned~
 
I’m starting to look at trials/setbacks as like ‘levels’ (in a video game) to overcome and to beat. And if I’m having difficulty beating the level, then I need to see what God is trying to teach me through them, in order to win and move onto the next challenge. (And maybe there is a calming FMV to watch in between~)
Remember, I’m talking spiritually here. There are some things we can’t control in our earthly lives, in the physical world. But we have (much more, if not all) control over what *we* do and how we learn/think with our minds/spirits.
 
Anyhow…
 
~When it is difficult to beat a level~
 
Maybe we need a ‘power up’ (a boost in energy), or a new weapon to beat the level/boss (some thing or some strategy you haven’t tried yet, or a spiritual weapon/defense you are not using, or didn’t think you had); maybe we just need to gain more experience and ‘level up’ (and learning through repetition… after you keep dying on the same level/part, eventually, you gotta try to figure out what you are doing wrong! lol); or maybe we just need to be humble and read the manual… (the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, y’know.)
 
There’s always a way to beat/overcome what you are facing…
 
Do you seem to have troubles controlling your “character” (both types (the physical body and mental/moral character))? Learn the controls… learn how YOU function. There may be a certain set of buttons you didn’t know how to use properly… Or sometimes, it just takes experience ‘playing’ in order to get it (to be second-nature)…
 
Is the game becoming boring to you? Perhaps it is TOO repetitive, and you just need a change… Perhaps your close friend likes it, and you feel a bit weird for not liking it.
Don’t just give up on video games, altogether! You just have to find which genre/game best suits you! 😉 (This is finding what you are good at, passionate about, and what your likes/dislikes are, in life.) What inspires you? You gotta find it! But sometimes the gift may find you too. 🙂
 
All in all, try to find the hope in all situations. Even if the physical reality is very slim to change, you can at least change your mental state for the better. Without hope, how is there even a CHANCE to change anything?…
 
Look for the lesson in how to overcome every setback. And when you DO beat the level/enemy, don’t get too cocky… there is always another challenge ahead! 😉
 
We WILL have troubles in this world (John 16:23), but luckily, we have access to the best game designer who has overcome the world. 🙂
 
~If you *think* you are facing an unbeatable level, remember…~
 
1. As long as you are alive, there is hope in beating it.
2. Look for the lesson– if it is too hard for you, don’t berate yourself for not ‘being good enough’ to overcome the situation. Start small(er), and work/practice from there.
3. Maybe some difficulties aren’t meant to be ‘beaten’ or ‘defeated’. Maybe they are just a ‘thorn’ which God allows us to have (2 Corinthians 12:6-10) in order that we would not become conceited, but lean on Him for our strength.
(1 Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”)
4. If you are able to get into the mind of the game designer, you are more likely to beat the level. (And maybe all of this car stuff happened just so I would be inspired enough to tell you all of this.)
Be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2) (like a Spiritual Super Saiyan!), and become a master at that game, yo! Then, if others have trouble beating it, you will know how to help them… 🙂
 
~LOVE IS AN ACTION VERB!~ ;*

Thar she blows…!

Hey again! (There goes another ‘hiatus’/long break in between posts!)

During this almost-past year, I’ve discovered that God allows certain thing to happen for a reason. I am still discovering the reason ‘why’ on so many things, but in the meantime, I get constantly reassured to just keep on pressing on, and to see the light in every seemingly dark situation.

So… it’s interesting, yes.

Anyhow, I wanted to say how I finally updated my site a bit ago, organized some things… but… now my website isn’t working! lol -___- (Off go to fix that. Maybe it’ll be fixed by the time you read this xD (maybe not, lol)) Actually, it looks like it’s just the hosting site, itself, which is down… xD Might have to just wait it out, lol.

I updated the “Comics” page with some new-ish art… My publisher for “Mystery of the Black Water” is working on getting online orders for my (and others’) comics, so I can at least make that available for you too. 🙂 Currently working on pt. 2 of that…

Still excited to see TJM (Hey Arnold: The Jungle Movie)!!! 😀 😀 (Next year, 2017!!)

I may go back to work on MSI (My Sweet Indulgence)… tbh, it was supposed to be a one-time thing, long ago… but it seems that people like it, so that’s cool!

I also want to work on/rewrite NKTR (Nekoturr’s Realm– I’ve already rewritten some of it); I feel like I’ve been saying that for the longest though… actions speak louder than words tho, yess? So, I just have to build up the courage and just do it! lol. But how to make it not so cliff-hangery all of the time, and give it some resolution in between…? Still working on that… xD

Spiritually-speaking, I have a lot to work on. Me and God need some serious one-on-one time to figure my heart out. But never stop believing! He has given me so many little gifts and encouragements… it’s super cool, actually! (To see God answer prayers on even the little things; even things I haven’t really overtly prayed about, but I needed it anyway.)

God is so cool 🙂 Give Him a chance!

Again, still looking for the good in my dark situations, but as long as I don’t give up (and the temptation is really there), I know that He’ll guide me through.
I know some people have different beliefs, and that’s okay. That’s just where you are. But I believe in my God, not just because my parents believed it, or I read it out of a book, but He’s also something that I’ve experienced, first hand. I didn’t have strong faith for a while– and even now, it wavers from time to time (depending on my situation, but I need to work on that)– but once I finally ALLOWED God to change my heart, and trust in Him, I finally was ABLE to experience Him and some of his direct blessings. But without the trust, there was no way I would be feeling or knowing anything too soon. As stated before, I still have a lot to work on, but I’m hoping that God will work with me through my weaknesses. (And boy, do I have a lot of those!) Lol

Hope you guys are doing fine!! Live your life with no regrets!!

p.s. Oh!! I’m also trying to finish up, at least, the written version of Trunks’ Date. You can view it here!
p.p.s. Dragonball Super is super awesome!! lol (It’s gotten my inner, old-school-anime-fanatic self coming to life again, lol.)

Hey Arnold! returns! + personal goal stuff!

Yo, peoples! It’s been a while. (My blog/journal seems to always have these large gaps in the middle of posting, lol.) Sry. Real life, ya know. Anyways.

Life lately has been strange. A strange mix of events.

For the good news (if you haven’t already heard): Hey Arnold! is returning to Nickelodeon!!
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/hey-arnold-tv-movie-nickelodeon-reviving-shows-1201646666
Whooohoooo!!! (<–Honestly, this doesn’t fully express my excitement, because I’ve known about this for a while now, and have expressed it more fully in other places, lol.)
But what great news!! This was a group effort though. All of the fans, Craig, Nick, etc. After all of our hard work campaigning, and getting Nick’s attention… buying all of the merch that we could… finally… (It’s coming back as a T.V. movie for now (TJM!!), but maybe we’ll get another season or series if we’re patient and nice. 🙂 (And if the movie does well in ratings/sales…)
Just goes to show you that you shouldn’t give up on something, if it’s something that you really want! Anything can happen! :)…

Which comes to my next problem. My personal art goals are all over the place, man. The TJM news is very inspiring, sure. It’s helped to bring me back into my writing/drawing mood. I’ve felt– for a long while– that I’ve just been doing stuff “for work” and not for me… bu that’s not how my art began as, you know? It later turned into just pleasing others via commissions or with companies. Sure, in order to have a job in art (or anything), you have to serve. But shouldn’t there be a balance if it’s your personal way of expression too? I’ve felt like I’ve given up multiple times on myself…
Although I used to blatantly tell myself that I would rather commit suicide than to give up on my dreams… well, after realizing that killing yourself would be sending you straight to hell, I opted out of that, but… I had already been dead, and been “killed”/ given up on the inside. That’s… just as bad, imo. Having no motivation, just living until you die. What kind of a life is that?

Secondly, I also want to honor God with my art/comics/stories. But just having a heck of a time in figuring out how. The way things are currently going… well… it just seems that things are going veryyyy slow. I have many stories in my head, but there’s no way that I’ll be able to finish them all if things continue like the way they are now. I just need to do something… different… I don’t know what that looks like yet. But I’ll figure it out, hopefully.

Thirdly, I just feel a sense of overwhelming guilt in not finishing my fancomic, Trunks’ Date. I really don’t feel the motivation to finish it (right now, at least). But I just feel guilty about it. Is that a good, bad or neutral thing? Other comic/art professionals I’ve talked to have told me that I shouldn’t do it anymore. I do understand their position. I feel guilty for giving it up, since it’s gone on for so long, and I want to move on to my personal, original art/stories more, but… maybe there’s an off-chance that I could go back to finish it once I get my original art-life in order more?

I am just out of balance, in general.

But such is life in figuring out how to live. Also, just trying to be more grateful for my friends and family– because you never know what might happen tomorrow. I want to prepare my soul for death, even if that does seem a bit morbid. but really, that’s just reality. You never know…
I’ve seen too many deaths happen this year– either to people I’ve worked with, knew offhandedly, or knew of friends’ relatives who have passed away. Sometimes suddenly, sometimes they knew it beforehand. But, the result is still the same: it just made me realize how short our lives can be, and how much we (I) take it for granted, sometimes. I want to live with no regrets. I also want to die with no regrets. I just have to continually ask myself (and really see this as my reality)– what would I like to accomplish if today/tomorrow/a week from now was my last day? What would be more important for me?

It’s not even having money, or being ‘successful’ which would be most important; but the depth in how much you loved others, your relationships, is what I think will be all that matters in the end. (My relationship with God is number one, and then my relationships with others, afterward.) How much did I love others, and honor/love God in doing so? So, instead of being in a defaultly selfish mode (as per the usual), I have these things to figure out. Because– as stated before– you just never know.
On my death bed, I would like to think that I “did my best.” But I have a long way to go.

The Veil of Anonymity

Man, people think that they can do whatever they want without any repercussions. From driving crazily (which is only half ‘anonymous’, because chances are that you’ll never encounter/remember that person’s car/self again), to internet bashing, to leaving/writing unnecessary comments to someone at work. People are so ‘brave’ once they’re anonymous, right– doing things they wouldn’t dare to do in someone’s face? As long as you don’t have to actively encounter that person in your day-to-day life, it’s okay to act like a complete jerk to them? There’s lots of power in that supposed anonymous state.

But, it’s more like a ‘veil’ of anonymity… It is not REALLY covering you. Sure the person whom you are attacking/being rude to will probably never meet you in real life (unless they REALLY tried to track you down), but… YOU know what you did. Your karma knows, your soul knows. Also, God knows. Don’t believe in God? Then, let’s just stick to Karma. Or let’s call this, “The Golden Rule.”

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. ” (Galatians 6:7-8)

And about the karma aspect…

Karma is about actions. No, it is mostly about intentions behind the actions. For example a surgeon will cut a body with a knife. This is a healing act creating, hopefully, healing results for his patient. The same cutting action with a knife performed when someone stabs another person in anger has the opposite intentions and the opposite karma.”
(
http://tovana.org.il/en/library/articles/119–what-is-karma-how-does-it-work#ixzz3Jlz1bHCi)

Also, there’s science:

Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion:
“When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.”

“Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction?
This is the third of Sir Issac Newton’s laws of physics, and one that is very important to space flight. Here’s how it works. If you push on anything, it pushes back on you. That’s why if you lean against the wall, you don’t just fall through it. The wall pushes back on you as hard as you push on it, and you and the wall stay in place. If you throw something, you put more force behind it than just leaning on it, so it pushes back with more force. This is hard to observe, because usually, if you throw something away from you, the friction between you and the floor makes resistance to keep you in place.”
(http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu/projects/vss/docs/propulsion/2-every-action-has-an-equal-and-opposite.html)

Stick with me here; I am going to apply this in a spiritual/emotional sense. Now when you do something, even in ‘secret’/anonymously, you are not only affecting the other person you are doing it to ‘anonymously’, but yourself, as well. Because, speaking spiritually, every one of your actions is equally sent back to you as well, as the ‘opposing force’. Eventually, that negativity will catch up to you. God is not condemning you; you are condemning yourself. Sure, God is the “judge”, but you are the one doing the actions. You are your own jury (by your guilty conscience) because you know what you did!

So, it makes sense that we should leave the judging to God. Whatever they did will eventually come back upon themselves anyway.
“It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” (Deuteronomy 32:35)
11Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?” (James 4:11-12)
12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)

But you know, it’s not even just an ‘eventual’ thing; it is an instantaneous force that happens automatically (upon one’s soul) when we do these actions with good or bad intent. Tell the truth; you can feel it in your heart and soul… ‘something’… some kind of force (whether it be god or bad) which comes with your actions. When you give food to the needy, it makes you feel good about it, right? (Well, you have to have the right heart to do it too– don’t feel compelled to give, or else, it’s not really being ‘giving.’)

Basically, all that I’m saying is that whatever force you put out– good or bad– it will come right back to you (instantaneously, not just eventually), but in your heart. Basically, having the right heart is everything. And why taint it by doing evil things? Sure, it may take some people a long time to eventually see their just ending. (They are simply running faster and faster away from their fate.) But you can only live behind a cloak (and run away) for so long. You will eventually run out of breath.

So, “why do bad things happen to good people?” Because people have free-will, and they choose to use their actions to hurt other people. People get caught up in others’ bad karma all of the time. But God giving us free-will isn’t bad… would you rather be a robot– being forced to do whatever? Would you rather have your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife feel like they are FORCED to be with you, instead of them choosing to do so? Which version is closer to love, in your eyes?

Therefore, it has to stop with us. We have to start taking personal responsibility for our actions. Blaming others for them is soo Adam and Eve. Get over it. It is coming out of your own heart! Or ARE you a robot– only being “programmed” to do certain things?

I am not asking you to be perfect (because no person–except Jesus– is), but to just think about how your actions will affect others before you do them. Otherwise, we will CONTINUE to live in a vicious cycle on this earth of promoting negativity because, “Well, he/she did it to me!” And eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is so very Old Testament. It does not apply to this current life, so please stop using it.

Being anonymous is a great excuse to be ‘brave’, and do something that you normally wouldn’t do. Actually, it’s a great way to show others what is REALLY IN YOUR HEART.

What was that saying…? “Actions speak louder than words”?… Yes, they do. They are also the things which will come back to haunt you– in your karma and in your heart.

And of course, I have an ABBA song that goes with this theme! 😁😁

“He Will Wipe Every Tear From Their Eyes”- Silent Manga Audition 2014 entry

Hey, guys! Here’s my entry if you haven’t seen it already.

He Will Wipe Every Tear From Their Eyes
(I didn’t win again, haha.) But this sure was good practice… I kind of rushed on it though. (Always my weakness; but I never seem to fully be able to flesh it out till the last minute??) Next time, I’ll try to take my time more. XD (I kind of stressed myself out…)

No dialogue again.

“I made this story as a reminder to how we can take others from granted. The “Finest Smile” occurs when the character(s) finally realize how much they love and appreciate each other. The idea for the story came to me last year, so it is not inspired by the recent events regarding the Malaysian plane and/or other recent accidents. I can especially take my family and friends for granted, but we have to realize that we have such little time on this earth. We never know when it will be over; so, we must live each day as if it is our last. However, when our time on earth has ended, the cares, fears and tears of this world will be over as well.”

The title comes from Revelation 21:4 (in the bible).

When ‘doing what you love’ turns into ‘doing what you must’

…When turning your ‘hobby’ into a career, there is a dangerous chance that what you originally did, just to please yourself (and maybe a few friends, here and there) has turned into this monster– this insatiable monster– wherein you must create, create, create to reach this never-ending road to perfection. By perfection, I mean this perfect life that you supposedly dreamed up for yourself.

When you were little (or just younger), what did you dream of becoming? Has it manifested itself into reality lately? If not, is there something holding you back? By ‘you’, I am speaking of myself here too. I am always holding my own self back, it feels. People-pleasing has always been a big thing for me to overcome. And even once I feel that I’m over it, the need to do so sucks me right back in. And why?

Of course, I want others to love and appreciate my stories, but to the expense of who I am– who I feel I really need to express? That is not a very fair trade-off, is it? I wouldn’t want my friends to sacrifice their very soul just ‘to be liked’, or what have you. I would like them to ‘express the real you’; everything else will just be a shadow of themselves. Not what I’d really like to see.

So, what’s the big deal then with me, you ask? I’m not quite clear on it, myself, but from what I do know, it seems my ‘people-pleasing’ has turned into ‘company-pleasing’. Instead of sacrificing myself/art to satisfy a certain group of people, that group/audience has merely shifted into people who are in charge of other people– a.k.a. comic book companies. When’s the last real time I did any art JUST for myself, huh? Or just to please myself, or just to get something out, huh?

I mean, I have a few good stories out there that I’ve done in the past– just for myself– but what about now? What, in the last two years have been really for myself, and not for the sake of ‘getting a job’ or whatnot? Of course, I’m not saying that getting a job isn’t important (and even more so if you want to ‘follow your dream(job)s’), but when your dream doesn’t even feel pleasurable anymore, when you lose the original meaning to why you did art in the first place, well… I just don’t get why I’m still doing this anymore.

I’m not saying that turning your hobby into a career is NEVER going to feel like work; it is actually a LOT of work. (I am not there yet, but it is work so far). But there is a difference between doing work that you LOVE, that you don’t MIND how many strenuous hours it takes, and doing work that you despise, don’t look forward to, and ‘must distract yourself to get through it’ work. I can always tell when I am working on a drawing or a story that I love vs. one that I don’t because I don’t NEED any other distractions (in terms of background music/movies and frequent breaks); and in fact, sometimes I cut it completely out because it’s more enjoyable to be in the moment of story-telling  and making things as perfect as can be, that to be partially enveloped in someone else’s story (for distraction purposes). Also, by perfect, I simply mean that you want to get your emotions and meaning in your artwork and words as close to how it is in your head onto the page. You will always be/feel better or worse that someone else, so there’s no use comparing there. (Plus, art is subjective, anyway! 😛 )

What I really mean to say here is that we/I need to be careful when doing/combining something so natural (self-expression through art) with a ‘work’, so that it does not become systematic and chore-like.

I need to draw/write more– a LOT more– if I ever plan to really do art/comics as my ‘career’. I’m 29 already. When is enough going to be enough? Although I believe it is never too late to start on your dream, when are you (I mean “I” going to take the roadblocks off of your own path, and quit pretending that you’re making progress, when all that you’re doing is driving SOMEWHERE, ANYwhere and getting lost? As long as you get back on the road, you’ll be fine (nothing wrong with failure, as long as you realize it and try to correct it), but be careful not to waste any gas by going in a direction you know you never should have traveled. And why should a road trip like this be painful to the very end? As long as you’re enjoying the ride, then it shouldn’t matter, really… but that’s the thing; you have to ENJOY it in order to make your trip (through life) worthwhile. Otherwise, what’s the point? If all you were going to do was have a monotonous art job that you don’t really enjoy, you might as well have done that OTHER monotonous job without wasting all of that practice time.

The difference, I feel, between doing something you regret and ‘normal sadness’ can be found in this slightly old fan-comic that I did about Death Note, oddly enough. (This is an explanation of ‘driving where you know you shouldn’t.’)

100 percent- L's Philosophy, page 1 by genaminna

Even if I never make it to where I (think I) want to be, I should at least enjoy the ride, wherever I am going. Who says that I know the exact direction anyway? Who is really driving this thing?!? Lol. 🙂

When your soul will never be satisfied by your work until you achieve the ‘end result’ that you had for it… well… isn’t being focused on the end result, ONLY– being attached to the outcome– the sure-fire way to not be happy with whatever turns about? After all, how can we expect to control everyone’s reactions to our work?? Maybe it is not up to us on HOW we will achieve our dreams. And maybe that’s a good thing.

I still would like for people to like my artwork and stories, HOWEVER, there is a limit to performing like a scripted clown, hoping that people will laugh VS. a person who is laughing on the inside (or outside) as he is performing.
You get me?

I bid you adieu!~

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” (Matthew 16:26)