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‘Jesus is coming. Look busy’

So…a blog. I’m getting quite used to trying new things in my life but self-expression is a mountain that I’ve barely even dare photograph.

This is Mount Taranaki, a mountain I did dare photograph.

My names Mikey; I’d like to think of myself as outgoing, salt of the earth and always right. In reality, I’m a creature who is more adept at mastering the ‘art of hiding’, terribly sick of WORK and my convictions are at best shakily spoken to those whom I know won’t directly disagree. I’m 24 years old and feel like I’ve little to show for it. Least of all any hair on my head. But that’s absolutely not fair on me!!

Not really gotten the hang of selfies. I think it’s something like this? 🤔

I’m not your orthodox fella: I’ve a degree, but spent 2 months living on the streets of London. I’m incredibly courageous and simultaneously scared stiff. I’m passionate for performance but painfully shy. I could probably continue to bore you with how much of an enigma wrapped inside a riddle I am with opposing parts of myself.. but it’s very true. I’m a complicated geezer. Or maybe I’m just not joining the dots on all this in a way that makes sense.

You may now have picked up on the theme of my blog. I’m intending here to lay bare the way I choose to live and the thought process behind those choices. They seem unorthodox to most – at least that’s the feedback I’ve been getting, to put it lightly! Yet, I’m rather quietly confident that (with my growing joy and self-awareness) it’s not so unorthodox after all. In fact, it’s plainly clear that the direction I’m moving in was clearly the intention of our creator, God. Ooo, yeah, I said it. And there we have our paradox* (the other part of the blog title).

But what’s Jesus and ‘looking busy’ got to do with an intro? Well, kinda nothing really. However, he is almost (almost) the most important discovery of my life. (I really hope you’re not the type to be impatient with paradoxes. If you are, you’re in the wrong domain amigo). It’s also a Johnny English reference. The spoof spy film starring Roman Atkinson (Mr. Bean) and my God I love those films – genius! This idiom is plastered across the Archbishop’s bottom in the film.

Here is the actors face (not his bottom). I thought we’d all prefer that. Credit ‘movie clips on YouTube for the picture and StudioCanal Working Title Films.

I am absolutely not a religious type. That feels strange to say, seen as I attended a Church of England primary school and I used to go to church as a child with my mum (until I was about 6) AND have grown into a very spiritual man. I also, as a boy was deeply curious and definitely believed in God. Sometimes, I’d even pray when I was afraid (I know, what a loose cannon). But if we extrapolate the last 2 and a half years of my life, God wasn’t even on the radar. There’s a lot more to say about this for me but I won’t. My parents aren’t religious at all. My mum quite clearly disgusted by religious folk and I have to say, I feel similarly sometimes. That’s not to say I condemn them, their beliefs or my mother does either. It just seems to us ‘cool, normal, rational, scientific (insert chosen superlative) folk’ who enjoy our wine and sin that you’re all a bit mental and are trying to convert us. We’ve all met someone who has [tried to convert us]…

So discovering the ‘Divine Truth’ YouTube page, in July 2018, the summer I finished uni, and was entering a new chapter of my life (and the proverbial ‘real world’) – it was like a bomb going off. A beautiful, confetti filled dud of a bomb that also shook me to my core (paradox).

I’m now firmly on board and have been for a while. I love it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about then I’m sure you can do some research and make your own mind up. I’m not here to convert anyone or persuade. I’m just here to explore some topics that interest me and to talk about my life in a way which I hope is educational and interesting. Although, there will definitely be a lot more divine truth.

Artwork found in Mile End, London, UK – July 2020

I might be on the Rock n Roll**, I might be lonely and I might not be a objectively what you’d aspire to be..but if you join me then hopefully we can straighten a few things out here. We can open things up and take the veil off. Let’s get real and live bravely and see where it takes us. Thanks for reading my first post and welcome aboard. I hope we can get to know each other and grow together.

* For those of you not aware a paradox is:

noun

  1. a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true.
  2. My favourite concept 🤓

** Cockney rhyming slang for ‘on the dole.’ Due to my circumstances I am currently receiving the UK governments universal credit payments and have been since January 2020.

On Hatred and Vindication

I’m currently working my way through some emotions that are unraveling years of detective work and deep anguish for myself. I wanted to share these discoveries to anyone who may benefit from being aware of their own need for vindication, however imaginary that need may be.

I have always had a deep sense of separation from others. I’ve felt rejected, unlovable and even hated. To make it worse I’ve felt like I have to prove my pain. My major childhood memories revolve around instances which were beyond my control (or comprehension); nightmarishly painful events occurred that I had no power to change, and seemingly neither did the adults.

The pervading feeling was it’s my fault, i’m making it up and there’s nothing I can do to change this. I’m now 24 and I realise just how intense and deep this wound goes.

Although I didn’t realise it at the time, I think I began my exploration of self because of this reason. I wondered why I feel bad, what’s wrong with me; why do people react like they do to me and how do I change this!? Why do people hate me!?

At youth football matches I would overhear opposition teams talking about ‘breaking the ginger kids legs’, on Halloween our family would be shunned by the larger group and seemingly exiled, at school I was told in my report to speak up more but when I did I got shut down. I would try harder, only to be ridiculed and beat on for being a try hard. I would stop trying to be told I’m lazy and not pulling my weight. Whatever I did, the answer was always the same. Even accomplishing something was met with disdain. I once had a trophy taken away from me without explanation – I’d won it fair and square. My grandma tells me I can’t achieve what I want and the guitar music I play ‘doesn’t have enough twiddly bits in it’.

I’m sure my mum would deny these facts. In truth, she probably has no idea they happened. She’s far too self-centred to know about my life. She still tries to convince me my childhood was a happy one. My Dad is practically not even considered, so distant is he.

Of course, these are not the main events of my childhood but rather a flavour of hostility which met me wherever I went. I now recognise the sexual abuse I suffered, the emotional abuse and physical abuse that went on. I see the neglect for what it was and I see the abandonment and rejection. It’s no wonder I haven’t managed to achieve what I wanted to. What I feel capable of. I’ve been carrying so much trauma and I’ve worked so damn hard to release it, just so I can express myself like everyone else seems to be able to.

My pain was completely ignored as a boy. If I was upset I was often ridiculed and ganged up on. I had no adult to turn to for anything. Nobody listened, nobody saw me and nobody cared. The world to me was full of winners or losers and I’d be damned if I was going to be a loser. Emotions, relationships, kindness all meant nothing. People were just there to be exploited and used, just as I had been.

Simultaneously, I was desperate to help others. Unable to say no, I would try everything to love’ other people. I didn’t value myself at all.

I lived my life desperate for vindication. I desperately wanted to clear my name and be just like everybody else…

But maybe their lives weren’t all that either? Their lives definitely weren’t all that either.

See, in a world less than a century away from the atrocities of WW2, anti-semitism is on the rise again, racism is as problematic as it ever was, far right politics and ways of thinking seem to be the norm across major states. Think Trump, Brexit, India, China, Brazil. The ‘race’ to the holy grail of 2021 – the vaccine. Shouldn’t we be sharing these things? I look around and see the world more clearly than I ever have. I see the intense narcissism, the brutality of our humour, our attitudes to sex; I see how wrong we are about love (and often totally disillusioned). I really could go on..

My point is, nobodies life is perfect. The world is a mess and almost nobody knows how to make it better. Does this make me feel better? Absolutely not – and I refuse to not care either. I deeply care. I deeply care about my own happiness, about the happiness of others and the condition of our Earth.

But I think it’s time I go a little deeper. I want to soften my heart that much more and really allow myself to be cleared of blame. Blame that never really was mine. Forgiving myself in this way will allow me to really forgive others and free myself from self hatred. It was never my fault and it wasn’t your fault either. It really doesn’t matter how we got here at the end of the day. It’s time to change and it’s time to change now. It doesn’t have to be like this.

I’d hate to end this on a happy clappy note without being real about this. This process takes work. Hard work. And time and patience and a lot of anguish and tears. The reason I felt like it was my fault is because all the adults in my life were not taking personal responsibility. They were happy, and still are happy, to blame ‘their’ child for reflecting back their own condition. I felt overwhelmingly burdened with responsibility. I was treated horrendously and I have to hold them accountable for that in my heart before I can truly forgive them. This is the reality.

And it’s been a nightmare. My life has been horrible. I’ve been so afraid that I couldn’t even talk to people for long periods, so isolated I stopped believing in friendships, so unhappy I woke up everyday wishing I didn’t exist. I felt like invisible television static in-between all the rage, the pain. You get the picture (or maybe you get the static).

I’ve had murderous rages to feel and release, seemingly endless shame and fear and grief that words don’t do justice to.

Yet, the more I work through the anger, the shame, the fear and the grief, the more I feel alive. The more I catch myself dancing in the kitchen and caring for those around me. Such a beautiful process is the one God has designed to feel our pain. In fact, I feel most unhappy when I no longer feel connected to myself. I’d much rather feel the beautiful release of grief than that distant sense of separateness from myself. Of all the things I lost during my childhood, the hardest thing was to lose myself.

I don’t know your challenges but may I encourage you to vindicate yourself and those around you. You may just find yourself immersed in the smell of a distant trees pollen, or deeply satisfied with your evening meal. You may even believe that a happy life is possible and feel proud for your willingness to do your bit and to never want to stop doing your bit.

I now believe I can achieve my goals. I feel a million miles away but that’s closer than not believing at all. It’s a matter of time for me I feel. I’ve moved mountains in my life and God has the capacity to help me grow tenfold more than I can alone. The capacity for the human soul to change is tremendous and my weak heart takes courage from that.