“It’s incredible that all the pain has produced something really wonderful….two kingdoms fighting each other and they were sending arrows, except that once the arrows hit the other, would turn into flowers or would turn into doves….such a powerful imagery how all that pain hit me, felt the pain but they turn into flowers, they turn into doves and really if you could just endure…something really beautiful…there’s redemption.” -Jelveh Pedraza
Fiction. Based on a True First Night Out in Berlin.
by Mingjie Zhai
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
You walk through the village in the middle of Tegel forest where you are staying for a few months. You feel like a princess, with your pretty dress wrapped tightly by the fur coat your parents gifted you from one of their trips in China.
“God,” you say out loud whilst walking to the bus stop, “thank you for my parents, thank you for Don who is helping me stay rooted in Christ Jesus, thank you for the ability to travel like this.” You have your own space here in Berlin, Germany. Your solo quiet resting place where you can learn how to take care of yourself, date yourself, and write.
You started reading Joseph Campbell’s Art of Living back in Colorado when you picked it up at an indie bookstore, and you had continued reading bits of it in Utah, then in Arizona, and now here in Berlin, you are determined to finish it. In a certain passage, Joseph Campbell revealed that he formulated The Hero’s Journey only after reading a bit aimlessly, out of leisure, and pure interest for five years, relatively undistracted, in the middle of the woods. He lived a simple life, with a lot less wants, so he had plenty of time to fill it with reading and an aim.
You had packed two big bags for your Europe trip, but it was when you weighed it at the counter, it was over. You had to give up a few books. One of which is the Big Book that you had handed to your dad, half hoping that he will get curious and read it for himself.
The books you have carried with you this time around are Dr. Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning, Joseph Campbell’s Art of Living, Mythic Worlds, Modern Worlds, Paramahansa Yogananda’s The Second Coming of Christ, The Resurrection of the Christ Within You, Michael D. Wester’s Greek to English translation of The Poetic Scriptures of John and The Poetic Scriptures of Paul in rhythm and rhyme. If you can read these books in the two months you are here, you will have an idea of how to complete Act I’s Reflections program.
You are an avid researcher. This comes naturally to you and you can pull it off. Somewhere deep in your heart of hearts, you know you can pull it off. Last night, you listened to one of Peterson’s lectures on how he was able to push out Maps of Meaning by being brutally rude and protective of his time, even among his kids and wife whom he loves with all his heart. He knew he had a serious problem to solve–how not to repeat what happened in China, in Russia, in Cuba, in Venezuela, in all the countries who adopted the Marxist ideals of communism–so he wrote a solution that took him three hours a day, every day, for 18 years.
You wonder if publishing Act I in a solidified print copy of the journal by this Christmas is doable. If you truly want what’s good for the people you stand for, the people who are and who will go through what you have gone through when you were on your knees, helplessly fooled by the accuser’s voice in 2013, then the answer is you have not yet put in the real work that it takes to make it what it should be. Now is the time to be about it. No more talking about it, or even writing about it.
Just do it.
It’s better you start the studies now. You spent some time looking up PHD programs in Europe last night. Why? You have what it takes now. But you have doubts about yourself so that is why you research. That was also why you kept your California teaching credential by which your dad observed and commented, “If you’re going to do The Love Story, go all the way. Don’t plan for plan B. Focus on plan A and give it all you’ve got with no plan B. It’s only Plan A. That’s it. ”
You wonder if having the opportunity to interview and scoop more artists is another distraction. You attend Lola’s magazine issue release party and when you walk in, Suzy is DJing and you realize that you are not one bit excited for this party. It smells of cigarettes and booze. You’ve time traveled back to the 80s, and you realize you are here because you don’t have the connections or time to really scoop for artists to interview, so perhaps making an ask in person will do it. Her partner is filming her DJ and you join in as the paparazzi, happy to contribute since you’re filming for your vlogumentary diary to prototype the Break Your Heart Open value proposition.
Most of your time this time round is to stay home, work out, read, and write. Yes, still do your vlogumentaries because that will also offer spiritual clues towards the Reflections Playbook. You are also here to build a business plan, manage, and lead. You are here to study ancient texts, myths, and pay respect to all the great philosophers, psychologists, and mythologists who paved the way to where we are today, and still, whilst the real time world is another library, it is also requesting your contribution.
You have a camera, video editing skills, writing skills, reading skills, communication skills, and networking skills. You are your teacher and you will attract the right mentors if your aim is precise and you are focused and consistently focused on the mission.
How did you get here?
Rylie inspired you. You thank him as you head for your first Lover’s Addict meeting in Berlin. A woman opens the door for you when you first arrive. She looks at you and automatically trusts you. You have that effect on people. You have that face and you are grateful for this face. You remind yourself not to abuse that gift. You zig zag through stairs and signs to find it. You thank God for the prayer of opening the doors that serve you and closing the doors that don’t, even when the closing of the doors are often tinged with suffering. That is why you came tonight. To give that suffering over to higher power.
The Lover’s Addict meeting provides tea and each person reads a few paragraphs of chapter one of Lover’s Addict literature. This is the third time you are reading Step One, and re-reading gives you more insight and an affirmation from God that you are meant to be here. You are on the mark with this one.
It helps you define the line between falling in love and becoming addicted to the idea of love. There is a clear line. You know what love is. Love is patient and love is kind. When you are you in your addiction, you exhibit neither of these qualities and that’s how you pierce through self-deception and find the illness. The first step is admitting that you are a love addict–that your life as a love addict has become unmanageable. You have been calling it love, professing it to be love with all the men you profess it to, and only Rylie cared about you enough to call you out on your bullshit.
“You don’t love me.”
“I think you need help.”
Those words resonated. Truth has a different vibrational frequency. It hits the heart, making it conscious of its hardening so that you can make the choice of softening it.
When you profess “love” to the men you profess it to, it comes off as inauthentic, manipulative, crazy, because the addiction actually works contrary to the actions of love.
In love addiction, you objectify the men, you become impatient with them, and you are mean-spirited.
You smile as you leave Lover’s Addict. You heard someone share your story. She had fallen in love with an addict, someone who is emotionally unavailable. She was a fixer, a person with prominence, self-sufficiency, who made a good living helping others, yet this man she is fixated over, destroys her ego. She finds herself weak, irrational, and obsessing…fantasizing over this guy when the reality is she does not truly love him, but rather she wants to dominate, fix, and control him. He senses this and creates healthy and safe boundaries…that is, if he is a wise and sharp man. The fear for the both of you is that he will go for the youth and nativity of a younger woman. A young naive woman can look up to, rely upon, and play nurturer for the man who has a sensitive artistic ego. And women like you and her fall for the artists, because we secretly relish in the chaos, when our ego fronts the embodiment of order. We are spiritually sick actors with an overblown ego to cover for the fragile sense of self and we overcompensate by misusing our natural gift of intuition by dancing circles, obsessive over, and objectifying the men, for we tell ourselves that we are too cunning, too conscious, too woke to bother with maturing a man-child. It is not our responsibility though the men we attract subconciously yearns for it, like a child shouting for mother to take care of everything and make it go away. That’s the trap.
You both exchange numbers and the next day she tells you that she is attending CWC, Codependent Women’s Club, which you instinctively know you can also benefit from, for you are a ambivalent and polar woman swinging in extreme ends of the spectrum of emotions.
You are intuitive and so you understand the gap between where he is and what he could be, and only men who hunger for rapid transformation will appreciate and respect women like you to be with, but it is highly challenging, like playing 3D chess, where you really have to practice, slow and steady, the steps of recovery.
Men who have made the commitment to take on the challenge of self-realization, men who are sick and tired of being sick and tired, who have cried out to God for help, so God had sent women like you to attract the potential energy of having them outgrow the path of making a jackass of themselves on pleasure island, but this challenge can only be realized if women like your could maintain the peace, patience, and kindness to yourself first, in order for such a miracle to manifest.
The act creates the pact.
You know that the key to transformation means staying rooted in Jesus Christ. You read bits of Paul’s Poetic letters to the people of Corinth. You come upon your favorite scripture (aside from 1 Corinthians 13); it is 1 Corinthians 9:18;
For although in regards to all
I’m under no one’s domain,
I enslave myself to them all
That more of them I would gain.
To a person who is a Jew,
To act as a Jew I choose.
In freedom I become enslaved
So that I might gain more Jews.
To all those who are under law,
As under law I behave
(Although I am not under law)
So those under law I might save.
To all those who are without law,
Without any laws about sin,
As one without law, I behave
So those without law I might win.
However, let me clarify,
God’s law I don’t violate.
I myself behave lawfully
To Christ to whom I relate.
I’ve become to the weak as weak
So that the weak might be won.
To all, I have become all things
That in them I might save some.
This is the true esoteric teachings–the heart inside the Book of Knowledge–on how to act as if in the world, how to show up for others in ways that align with the true fruits of being with one another, staying fully present, being over there, the “selfless love” that is the highest way divinely designed in the matrix.
But this knowledge has been misused–misused as a tool for getting what the user’s will instead of operating on God’s will. This is the difference between magick and miracles. This was the first temptation that Jesus Christ passed. When the devil came to Jesus and said, “If you are indeed the son of God, turn this stone into bread and feed yourself.”
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” – Matthew 4:4
Bingo. One must use the gift for others rather than self. That’s why you are doing the self-work so that you can operate in the flow of miracles. Repentance is key. The Step work helps you clear the wreckage of the past so that the temptation of falling into the trap of revenge-based actions become less strong for you. Aaron reminds you to chill and be patient. He knows a lot more than he lets on. He knows you more than you think he knows you. He told you this once upon a time ago. It occurs to you on your way home from the party that Aaron is suffering just as much as you are. In fact, both of you are being tempted by the enemy.
The temptation for you is to abandon him because the enemy lies to you and tells you that he is using you for your body and uses you as a temporary distraction so he can avoid the responsibility of showing up as a man for the woman he’s been trying to work things out with. These are half truths.
If you are indeed meant to be with Aaron, then you would leave him alone for 40 days and if he comes back to you, then you two are meant to be. If he does not, then he was meant to be with Amy this entire time, and you were indeed in the way.
These tests. You request 40 days of no contact again with him. This time he quickly blocks you. He’s had enough. You can’t blame him, yet you do. You tell him it’s because he is emotionally unavailable for you, which is true, but it’s inauthentic because the full truth is that so are you.
Mr. C responded via Telegram. The private sale is on. Time to switch assets from gold to crypto. You are ready to take this leap. Your dad gave you the clue-in. A month ago, you had asked him how he made his ends. He told you he invested in business. Despite what your family says about your business qualifications, you are a dreamer. You are still learning how to do business and you’re going to fail and fail and fail until you fail upwards. That’s been your life story. But when you looked into the bottle of the hemp oil, they integrate nanotechnology, which is to say that the oil itself has particles designed to terraform the DNA. Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter. You wonder if your ambition to show others that you are some business woman mogul is just another attempt at proving your worth and sidestepping God’s will for you once again. Gold is what grounds. But even more so, you have possibly jeopardized someone else’s career if you were to liquidate your retirement play the wheel in the gain or lose on crypto.
The number 13 pops up everywhere.
Schillingstake 31 is your first party.
You don’t recognize anything that isn’t English. You don’t know how to type in their B sign both on your keyboard and on the text, but you know you’ll be here for only two months so you don’t bother learning, though you are finding German comforting to hear.
You contacted MGMT’s publicist to see if they are interested in interviewing with The Love Story. You also walked to the English bookstore next to the German bookstore and pitched their diary book buyer. She looked interested when you said, “The first augmented reality diary designed for young artists dealing with heartbreak.”
After the Magazine party, you are thinking of funnel pages for each department. Don plants a seed for you on organizing and managing a business. You are super thankful that he is offering his expertise being a self made man from his multiple businesses.
You tell Aaron that you’re looking for just that, a man rooted in Christ, and he is offended because your comment came off as if he is not. On the way back to the forest, this sinking feeling hits you. You’ve done it again. You were demanding, insecure, and overbearing. You keep pushing him away. You have demonized him without even letting the relationship breath. You take a step back–outside of yourself.
What if he really does care about you deeply, but now has been hurt too many times by your insistence that he is only using you for sex and money, that he is more afraid to act upon his feelings for the paralyzing fear that you are going to demonize him again, playing the inconsistent and unpredictable game, making it entirely unsafe for him to open up. One minute you tell him you just want to be friends, next minute you want to build a family with him, and next minute you tell him you need space because you’re ill for falling for him. Anybody in their right mind would want to stay away.
At the Lover’s meeting, you listen to the promises and it brings you hope. The idea of loving someone while still enjoying life, without the obsession of the mind on that one person to take away the joys of who is present, of putting God first instead of making that idealized person the idol, of being a whole person who can offer real value to anybody you come in contact with. These are the promises of recovery. You tell the Lover’s Addict group that the men you’ve dated these past few years, you’ve had hot and cold attitudes towards the relationship. When they are “busy” with work, you’ve assumed that they are cheating on you with another woman.
Your therapist says, “It also seems you’ve been testing men to see if they really care about you. You want to abandon them before they abandon you. Cheating on them makes you feel you have the power and that they can’t hurt you. So it’s a way to protect yourself..”
Your sponsor said, “It means you still have not forgiven your ex-husband for what he did.”
Now that somebody across the world knows the nature of your disease–unforgiveness–it’s time you cease and desist and start praying for the ability to forgive your ex-husband and the other woman.
You need a plan.
It’s the 12 Steps of Recovery. It’s a thorough inventory.
You come across a shop that takes pictures and turns them into canvases and you think that maybe it’s time you start organizing your artist photography once again. Perhaps, it’s time to get a quote, print out a shit load of artist performances in action, go to the photography museum and pitch them on showcasing your collection of interactive performances. Make a name for yourself so you can grow the interactive photography business. You also think about all the artist drawings that could be made into mugs, bags, shirts, outerwear, etc. to support the non profit organization. Or maybe, this too, is also a distraction. You don’t know until you start planning, scheduling, and following through with both.
Suzy’s mate, Darren, tells you that you can get a PHD for less than 1,500 Euros and it does not have a time limit. “Humboldt is one of the top fifty,” he said with a heavy British accent. You had passed by Humboldt the day before and instinctually, you wanted to pop in, but you hold back. Something in you knows Academia is no longer your cup of tea. At the same time, you know you’ve got to face your fears and grind as if you were in a Ph.D. program, except your thesis is your new media business, you find your own mentors outside of the academics, you build your structure, and you take the initiative to hustle.
You need that fire.
That’s why you’re in recovery because you need all your wits, all your will given to God’s plan for you, and all your willingness to hustle through the hard times. And there are hard times.
The pain you have suffered through. The four mental hospitalizations, two suicide spells, and all four psychosis gives you a deeper insight into God’s character and His will for all of us. The first one revealed that the purpose is love; the second is that spells and miracles operate in a zero sum and non zero sum game, respectively; the third psychosis revealed more insight on how to battle in the spiritual realms to affect real time reality; and the fourth psychosis revealed the true purposes of Jesus’ second coming.
He kept looking at you with bloodshot eyes in the train. You were on your way back home from the party. His ears were covered by ear buds connected to a phone that he was speaking in and the way he looked at you he was captivated and amused. You dared look back. Usually women would feel uncomfortable and look down. He was visually undressing you, sexualizing you and objectifying you as you stared back and you stare him up and down with the same energic power struggle of objectification. You look at him like a nurse would to a patient.
Too short, too poor, too short tempered–no, no good.
That look of push back took him by surprise, and he looked away, at first. You smiled a bit in delight. The evil queen in you stirs. It is still there–the femme fatale fire. You thought about ways in which you can make him suffer–perhaps you will shout like a crazy woman, act like you are possessed to scare him into thinking that you’re the girl from the exorcist–perhaps play a cruel joke on him. You can act like a guy and say, “what the fuck is your problem,” and perhaps start a fight where bystanders look on, but perhaps these are all losing strategies considering that you don’t know how to fight to win, just fight to warn off people. You wonder if this guy has beaten or raped women and judging by the way he was undressing you with his eyes, he has done either or both. He keeps staring at you and you leave your seat to sit next to a couple of guys a few seats away whilst the man still stares at you from far off. He continues to stare at you up until the point where he has to take his exit. You were relieved when he leaves. The guy behind him, perhaps of the same nationality, follows him, and though they did not talk on the train, you would not have been surprised if they are coordinating in some mock operation of secrecy rape-naping of women.
By the time you are safely home, you had 9% battery life. You miss Aaron and he misses you. When you did connect with him the night before, he sounded sad. He chalks it off to lack of sleep, but something tells you that you’ve done enough harm, unrecovered. He is worn out and torn between two lovers, something you now empathize with Sonny, when he was choosing between his wife of six years and the older other woman. You know that Aaron loves you just like Sonny loves the other woman, but somewhere deep within knows that this is wrong. Somewhere deep within knows that the other woman seven years ago was wrong. You know you have to forgive the other woman so that you don’t fall into the same trap of being in the way of a young couple’s potential future and growth together.
You tell Aaron that you need 40 days. He blocks you. This is your fourth time pushing him away. Enough is enough. You are relieved. The withdrawal starts now. The pattern of love addiction needs to stop. It is the only way you can lead The Love Story to the right hand path for Jesus Christ. Doing it as an act of passion, revenge, or self-righteous self-will would be the left hand path. It’s time to go Right. God plays a non-zero-sum game. God’s will, not mine, be done, on earth as it is in heaven.