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If you are looking for Happiness and Fulfillment from anywhere other than from within yourself, you are looking in the wrong place. A person can live in abject poverty and abysmal conditions, and feel generally happy and fulfilled.  A person can live in opulent luxury and in the best of conditions, but feel miserable and unfulfilled.

The truth is that we can CHOOSE to be happy, no matter how bad our circumstances, but I know first-hand how hard that can be in the face of pain, fear and depression. But there are also things which can help nurture happiness, fulfillment and containment, despite negative factors in your life.

I have continuous crippling physical pain, along with nerve degeneration, loss of body function and isolation.  I also face the knowledge that it will get worse and worse until it kills me.  Yet, I usually feel relatively happy, fulfilled, content and I very much appreciate what I do have.  Sometimes I lament and grieve the loss of my social life and my active life, my inability to go out and meet freinds, to dance, to hike and rock climb.  If I let it happen, depression, anxiety, and sometimes despair can easily take over.  I work daily to control those negative emotions. I work to live only in the present and loose myself in helping others, books, dreams, and DA. Sometimes reality can hit like a Tsunami—such is life—I am far from perfect. Then I work to brush it off and get back to living.

As my body degraded over the last few decades, I kept losing the ability to do the things I loved to do, things that helped to define who I am.  But when one door closes, another opens. The trick is in recognizing the next door to open, and to have the courage to open it, and to have the courage to keep REINVENTING YOURSELF.

I look for and appreciate many things that most of you take for granted, like finding diamonds in the muck. I look for the small thing, like the sun falling across my dace, the sounds of kids laughing, my partner smiling, a great song, something beautiful…



Suffering is good for you.  How would you recognize or appreciate warmth or coolness if you have never experienced extreme cold or heat?  Every life is a series up ups and downs.  The deeper you fall into the pit, the further you can later rise up and soar high above like a bird, if you let it happen.  A shattered heart, love lost, allows you to feel and appreciate the next love even more love, assuming you do not withdraw like a tortoise in its shell or build walls around you.  If you are in a deep pit or slump, have faith that it will indeed get better, but remember you can help things along.

In my world travels, I have seen abject poverty and terrible human suffering.  Yet the thing that truly changed my life was in seeing how happy most of these people were, despite hunger and living in terrible conditions.  They found happiness with each other and made the very most of what they had.  It almost seemed like the more you have the less happy you will be, but that is oversimplified. STUFF and busy lives filled with thousands of distractions can act as a barrier to the things that naturally bring happiness.



Many people tie up their lives in pursuit of YOUTH, BEAUTY, WEALTH, POWER, FAME, RECOGNITION, CAREER, and SEX.  Sometimes we loose contact with what is really important in life, and get sidetracked by the wrong things and by the massive amount of distracting details, data and demands on our time that we are constantly surrounded by and inundated with, especially when constantly plugged into electronics. We can end up with less and less quality time spent with friends and loved ones, especially doing enjoyable things together.  By prioritizing our lives and our time, we can improve the quality and happiness of our lives.  It is like constantly wasting small amounts of money per day, and not having any money left for the things you really want.

As my body and mind have degenerated, I have had to keep prioritizing things out of my life.  There is no room for the thousands of things that distract people from truly living.  In this process, I discovered the most important things that will bring some measure of love, happiness, fulfillment, contentment and perhaps a bit of serenity into our lives:

    THE KEYS TO HAPPINESS, FULFILLMENT & CONTENTMENT
    :bulletgreen: First is to nurture your connections with people, particularly with the people you care about the most.

    :bulletblue: Second is to manifest some sort of creativity into your life.

    :bulletblack: Third is to feel as if you are part of something, or feeling a sense of purpose or belonging.

    :bulletyellow: Fourth is to give-of-yourself to the benefit of those in need, with no expectation of return (like volunteer work).

    :bulletorange: Fifth is to engage in activities with other people and in your community. Cooperation and Community are in our DNA.  It does not matter if it is a simple game of frisbee, playing games with others, helping a neighbor on a project, community clean-up, or other endless possibilities, it will help you feel better.

    :bulletpink: Sixth is to treat yourself and others with COMPASSION, UNDERSTANDING, RESPECT, HONESTY, FAIRNESS, TOLERANCE, and TRUSTWORTHINESS.

    :bulletred:
    Seventh is FORGIVENESS, to LET GO OF HATE, Prolonged Anger, Vengeance, and Retribution from your life.  This includes Forgiving YOURSELF. Hate is like YOU drinking POISON, then waiting for the other person to die.  Hate consumes you from the inside out and it limits your capacity to love.

    :bulletpurple: Eighth is to take nothing for granted, feel gratitude for that which you have in your life, and try to get the most enjoyment out of life that you can, while you are most able to do so.

    :bulletgreen:
    Ninth is to try to focus and live more in the present, enjoying this moment, and worry less about the unknowns of the future. DO NOT DWELL on negative things. We can be responsible and plan for future needs and future possible problems, but don't dwell on such things.  Satisfaction lies in the journey, not in the destination. There is no destination in life, just changing goals and dreams.

    :bulletblue: Tenth is to seek BALANCE in all parts of your life.  We need water to survive, but you can drown in a puddle of water. A drink or two of alcohol can add pleasure and be a social lubricant, but too much can destroy your life or kill you. This applies to every aspect of life, from sex, work, hobbies, social life, etc. Every relationship needs some codependency, but too much will destroy the relationship. Seek Balance in all aspects of your life.

    :bulletyellow: NOTE: Physical Activity and/or Exercise is another way to produce happy making endorphins, as well as helping us stay healthy and improving blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Physical Activities with other people also ties into Keys 1 and 5 for added benefit.

Remember that your most fundamental personal power in life is your POWER OF CHOICE.  You can CHOOSE to be happier, to take the steps to make yourself happier.



POSITIVE CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE

:bulletgreen: Notice and focus on what YOU HAVE, more than what you do not have.

:bulletblue: Notice and focus on what is POSITIVE in your life, more than on the NEGATIVES.

:bulletyellow: Notice and focus on what you Love about YOUR LIFE, more than what you hate about your life.

:bulletorange: Notice and focus on what you Love about YOURSELF, more than what you hate about yourself.

:bulletpink: Notice and focus on what you Love about PEOPLE, more than what you hate about people.



For more detailed help to find Happiness, especially if your are Depressed, please see:


A PATH TO HAPPINESS
A PATH TO HAPPINESS & FULFILLMENT
This was written to help ANYONE find a Happier and more Fulfilling life.   I wrote it especially for those of you who feel Depressed or Stuck in Life.
It is my hope that all of you can find a measure of happiness, contentment, and fulfillment in your lives, no matter what the circumstances of your lives are.  It is my hope that you will be able to look in the mirror and see the true beauty of who you are, and love yourself.
I know this seems like a lot to read, but isn't happiness worth the effort?  I believe that these steps can truly help you in a major way, as long as you actively choose to improve your life, and commit yourself to the process.  Some people have plenty of Dopamine and Endorphins to keep them feeling good, motivated and riding high, but even these people can find there lives feeling empty and unfulfilled, and all of us will experience depression at some point in our lives.
A PATH TO HAPPINESS




ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

Truly, the greatest gift you can ever give to yourself, is to give to others, of yourself, for the benefit of others, and without expectation of return. I highly recommend it. It can also return our humanity to us, if it is lost, and it can pull us out of ourselves and back in the world, when we are lost in despair inside up ourselves.

It takes courage to live, courage to love, courage to think for ourselves, courage to be happy and experience joy, courage to seek beauty and truth, courage to be a person of integrity and good character, courage to create, courage to overcome adversity and our many fears, courage to open our eyes and ears, courage to reach out and help other, or being willing to accepted it when you need it…The alternative is to not do those things and be like most people.

You can CHOOSE to look for beauty in the world around you, and come to recognize it in the most of amazing places. I can find great beauty in a muddy puddle of water, or in the old wrinkled naked body of a 90 year old person.  I can look at a war ravaged landscape and see the beauty of single human spirit struggling  to love and hope in a desert wasteland of humanity.  The more difficult it is to find beauty, the harder you have to look, but it is there.

You can also CHOOSE to see the physical world around in terms of light, shadow, and billion of colors. You can choose to open your eyes and actually SEE the world around you, look at the world going by, instead of looking at your walking feet, or staring blankly ahead.  Stop and focus on things and people to truly experience life and be a part of it. Use all of your senses.

Most of all, look in your mirror and see the great beauty in the person staring back at you, and be filled with the wonder of it all.

You do not know what life holds for you tomorrow. Instead of agonizing over tomorrow, get the most out of today. The future can be feared, or it can be seen as an exciting adventure.

By Matthew Barry    :iconinspiredcreativity: inspiredcreativity


© Matthew Barry 1988, 1992, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 All Rights Reserved.




O T H E R   H E A L I N G   D E V I A T I O N S:


A PATH TO HAPPINESS
A PATH TO HAPPINESS & FULFILLMENT
This was written to help ANYONE find a Happier and more Fulfilling life.   I wrote it especially for those of you who feel Depressed or Stuck in Life.
It is my hope that all of you can find a measure of happiness, contentment, and fulfillment in your lives, no matter what the circumstances of your lives are.  It is my hope that you will be able to look in the mirror and see the true beauty of who you are, and love yourself.
I know this seems like a lot to read, but isn't happiness worth the effort?  I believe that these steps can truly help you in a major way, as long as you actively choose to improve your life, and commit yourself to the process.  Some people have plenty of Dopamine and Endorphins to keep them feeling good, motivated and riding high, but even these people can find there lives feeling empty and unfulfilled, and all of us will experience depression at some point in our lives.
A PATH TO HAPPINESS
CHOICE - WHO WE ARE
Where we find ourselves on the Tree Of Life is determined by CHOICE and by LIFE itself.  We can stay where we are, or we can climb the Tree of Life through Taking Risk, Learning and Growing, thereby gaining Wisdom and finding our bit of enlightenment.  WE ARE OUR CHOICES.
The source of your Human Dignity is your Power of CHOICE. Empower yourself through Choice. Life itself determines where and when you get choice. You have no say about the earthquake that just hit, but you do have a lot of choice in how you react to it, and what you do. You walk a path through life, where you can only move forward and never backward, and you cannot see very far ahead.  Life will create forks in your road, as well as obstacles, events and challenges, but at each fork in the road, each obstacle, each event and challenge, you have CHOICES.  Sometimes, the only available choices may totally suck, but you still have choices.  Most people are lazy are
CHOICE - WHO WE ARE
How I Live My Life
Happiness & Sadness, Love & Hate, Good & Bad, Beauty & Ugliness, Intimacy & Loneliness—ALL Of These Things Are Relative To Each Other.
How can you know happiness without knowing sadness? If you live your life on top of a large plateau, you will never know you are living high-up, until you have found the edge and look down? How do you know you are warm, if you have never experienced being hotter and colder? They are all relative to each other, as are love and hate, good and bad, beauty and ugliness.
How can we appreciate one unless we have experienced the other? The greater our experience of sadness, the more we will appreciate our happiness.
Love lost, heart torn asunder, the emptiness, grief, and loneliness felt, ALL of these will make us appreciate new found love, even more.
When feeling despair try as hard as you can to realize that this will pass and that this will later be a benefit to you.  After feeling despair, do not try to forget it.  Instead,
How I Live My Life
GUIDED IMAGERY FOR HEALING
GUIDED IMAGERY FOR HEALING BODY MIND & HEART
THE MIND HAS ENORMOUS POWERS OF HEALING THE PHYSICAL BODY, AS WELL AS THE EMOTIONAL/SPIRITUAL BEING, & CAN BE USED TO IMPROVE ALMOST ANY TASK THROUGH IMAGINEERING.
This is a powerful tool for Imagineering yourself to:
    :bulletgreen: To be the kind of person you want to be
    :bulletblue: Achieve a Specific Goal and Improve Skills (even Sports)
    :bulletblack: LET GO of Negative things like STRESS, Depression, Sadness, Anger, Hate & Frustration;
    :bulletwhite: Reenergize and Revitalize Yourself, Renew Hope
    :bulletyellow: Improve Self-Confidence, Self-Worth, Self-Image
    :bulletorange: Fantasize Romance, Love, Intimacy and even Sexual Intimacy
    :bulletpink: HEAL Grief, Illness, Injury and to Forgive People or Yourself
    :bulletred: Helping you Make Freinds and Ask For Dates
    :bulletpurple: Manage PAIN an
GUIDED IMAGERY FOR HEALING
Pain and Life Circles by inspiredcreativity Pain and Life Circles

deviantID

inspiredcreativity
Matthew
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States
A LITTLE ABOUT ME

I am a 57 year old Gay man, way-old, and I have been married to my husband Greg for almost 23 years and counting, and now married under Washington State law. My degree is in Engineering, from a Merchant Marine Academy (not military), and I went to sea to sail as an Engineer on Supertankers, and worked up to Chief Engineer. I retired on my own investments when I was 34 years old, and went into Full-time volunteer work in a Soup Kitchen and doing in-home care helping those dying of AIDS. I had also started doing volunteer Peer-to-Peer Counseling to the Gay Community (trained at the University of Washington). I also started doing secondary and primary care of those dying of AIDS. After 8 years, I was no longer able to do physical labor in the Soup Kitchen, so I decided to focus much more on counseling. When I became disabled, I could no longer help those with AIDS, so I started doing all of my counseling using the internet.

I did metal art for about 17 years, since I was also a machinist, welder and metal fabricator, as well as certified electrician and plumber, etc. A year after retiring at age 34, I purchased my first Apple computer and Photoshop 1.0. Digital Photography barely existed in 1990. I had some experience working with film in the darkroom, which helped me learn Digital Photo Editing, and then Digital Art. When I felt more confident in my skills, I started a Digital Graphic Design Company, using Adobe Photoshop, PageMaker (later InDesign), Acrobat, and Illustrator.

It is believed that I started developing arthritis at around age 12. It was not much a life-limiter until my early 30's, and became crippling in my late 40's. The disease is progressive and will do me in, since the progressive nerve damage is now effecting my internal organs. I am now unable to do much of anything, including my art. Pain medications have had severely affected my cognitive and memory functions. The disease has progressed to the point where I am effectively homebound and rather non-functional, other than my online volunteer counseling. I am no longer able to dance or do much of anything physical, including much walking.

I was also born with Autism Spectrum Disorders, with High Function Autism and Sensory Integration Disfunction being dominant. I failed 1st grade and was going to be put in a school for the Mentally Retarded (what they called it back in 1960), when thankfully my parents borrowed money to have me tested, which was when the Sensory Integration Disfunction was found. After a lot of physical therapy and one year of private school, I was able to skip 3rd grade. I was in speech therapy up through the 6th grade.

I also faced physical abuse at home until I was about 15 years old, and bulling and isolation at school. Fear, loneliness and self-hatred defined much of my childhood. Autism itself acts to socially isolate you. I always felt like I was on the outside looking in, never fitting in anywhere or with anyone. When I was 11 years old, I was discretely following cute boys around, and at 12 years old, I fell in love with a boy and came to realize that I felt about boys the way I was supposed to feel about girls. When I was 13, I tried to come-out to my aunt, but she just brushed it off as a phase. Soon after that my Priest told us Altar Boys that when a boy is attracted to another boy, he is an Abomination in the eyes of God and doomed to burn for an eternity in the everlasting fires of Gahanna. I had wanted to be a Missionary Priest. Soon after that my Faith shattered and I tried to jump off a Freeway overpass, just to have some man grab my feet.

Despite knowing that I felt about boys the way I was supposed to feel about girls, I had no clue what sex was or even what those swear words meant, or what Faggot meant or Queer, until I was 19 years old, so you can see how isolated I was. I was actually stalked by girls through both Jr. High and High School, which made my life more miserable. However, because of that no one thought I was Gay. I was bullied and isolated because of my Autism.

When I entered the Academy, everything changed. They guys full accepted me, included me and even liked me. The Academy basically became my new family and I rapidly grew as a person and thrived. Back then in the Merchant Marine, Gay men would literally be killed if discovered, tossed over the side of the ship. I had to watch myself carefully. One time on a ship I got caught sitting down and crossing one knee over the other, then got razzed for a week for, “Sitting like a Queer.” Even mail was not private, so my partner then, Paul, became Paula, and I had to constantly change ‘him’ to ‘her’ and ‘he’ to ‘she’ when talking about home.

On my last ship, retiring from sailing, I sent out over 50 letters to my best mates at sea, coming-out to them that I was Gay. I then came home to find an empty house, empty bank accounts, and no partner. It shattered me. Then letters started coming back from my best mates at sea, and about three-quarters of them totally rejected me with outright hatred, including two death-threats, and comments like, “I hope you die a horrible lingering death from AIDS,” “Burn in hell Faggot,” “You don’t deserve to live,” “Fu**ing Queer,” etc. The end result was that I almost succeeded in killing myself. I only survived due to severe allergic reaction to a sedative I took to relax myself into death. This is when I finally got some counseling.

I needed to learn how to overcome the worse of my Autism challenges, to meet people, make friends, and socialize. I found a Gay & Lesbian Dance place where everyone seemed to be having a blast, so I started learning how to dance, eventually learning to both lead and follow Two-step, West Coast Swing, Tango, Fox-trot, Rhumba, Waltz, Samba, Mambo, Bolero, etc, as well as going crazy on a club dance floor. With my kind of Autism, dancing should have been ‘impossible’ to learn, but I just kept going 5 to 6 nights a week, taking lessons, and forcing myself to introduce myself to one stranger each night and socialize (harder than you could ever imagine). I pushed myself so hard to learn how to dance and to socialize with people that my brain literally remapped itself, forming new neural pathways around problem areas. This process is called Neuroplasticity. It brought real joy and happiness into my life, as well as a lot of love.

I loved dancing, rock climbing, hiking, whitewater rafting, landscaping and building things. But one-by-one, I could no longer do the things I loved. I hung onto dancing until I was coming home and vomiting from the pain. As I keep losing the ability to do things I love, I have to keep reinventing myself and learning new ways to fulfill my life. My hard life has given me a true appreciation for the many small or simple things everyone else takes for granted. This allows me to find happiness in each day, despite the constant pain, as well as physical and mental limitations and knowing I will not exactly have a long life. My partner Greg helps care for me, and I feel certain that he will stay with me until the end. What more can a guy ask for?

Alas, little of my work is posted. There was no internet to speak of when I did most of my digital art, and then no way to post art. Almost all of the sold and commissioned work was done under older contracts that did not allow posting a likeness of the work on the internet, which means it requires written permission to post, and that is too big of a project for me. I posted mostly things that marked important personal moments or have emotional meaning for me.

I am astounded by the breadth and depth of the creative and artistic work form the artists here on deviantART. I am amazed at how creative and imaginative young artists are. DeviantArt is like a candy store with a huge variety of candy. I am very thankful for all of the artists here who have shared their work with us. While I do get attacked by Christian Fundamentalists on DA, I have never before found a community like this where almost everyone is so cordial with each other, respectful of each other, encouraging, and willing to help each other. A big ‘Thank You’ to all of the artists here.

Live life to the fullest every day of your life. Take nothing for granted.

Matthew
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:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner 3 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Hi, Thanks for your kind words.  I imagine that my work is not seen by very many people, at least not those responsible for DDs.  My purpose in writing my deviations is to help Sexual Minority Youth.  I get all the satisfaction I need from hearing back from those who were helped.  I had a terrible childhood and young adulthood in a world violently against Sexual Minorities.  I was born Gay and Autistic with health problems that I still have, and in a family where I was physically, emotionally, and mentally abused.  As bad as all that was, it made me who I am now, a person who greatly appreciated every little thing and blessing I have, despite being in chronic pain and crippled.  It is up to us to get the most out of life.

If you get a chance, you might enjoy looking at my  HAPPINESS, Fulfillment and ContentmentIf you are looking for Happiness and Fulfillment from anywhere other than from within yourself, you are looking in the wrong place. A person can live in abject poverty and abysmal conditions, and feel generally happy and fulfilled.  A person can live in opulent luxury and in the best of conditions, but feel miserable and unfulfilled.
The truth is that we can CHOOSE to be happy, no matter how bad our circumstances, but I know first-hand how hard that can be in the face of pain, fear and depression. But there are also things which can help nurture happiness, fulfillment and containment, despite negative factors in your life.
I have continuous crippling physical pain, along with nerve degeneration, loss of body function and isolation.  I also face the knowledge that it will get worse and worse until it kills me.  Yet, I usually feel relatively happy, fulfilled, content and I very much appreciate what I do have.  Sometimes I lament and grieve the loss of my social life
 HAPPINESS, Fulfillment & Contentment


I also have a number of other deviations you might be interested in, such as:

CELEBRATION of GAY PRIDE
CELEBRATION of GAY PRIDE - An Older Gay Man's Perspective
Straight people keep asking, "Why do 'you' people need GAY PRIDE when there is no need for STRAIGHT PRIDE?" This is my answer:
Straight people do not need to be proud of being straight, because they do not need to overcome and survive vilification, hatred, bigotry, discrimination and suppression, for being straight. Sexual Minorities deserve great pride and respect for overcoming all of that, and more.I call this a "Celebration of Gay Pride" because it is a celebration of my journey to self-acceptance and pride-of-self.  I was 13, an Altar Boy wanting to be a Priest, when our priest told us boys, "Boys who are physically attracted to other boys are an abomination in the eyes of God, doomed to burn for an eternity in the everlasting fires of Gahanna." I could not understand it. I was simple, autistic, and I lived to be a good boy. I had not done anything to make these feelings for boys happen. God must
CELEBRATION of GAY PRIDE
The Faces of Teen Suicide by inspiredcreativity The Faces of Teen Suicide
THE TORTURE OF HOMOSEXUALS by inspiredcreativity The Torture Of Homosexuals - 1950s to 1980s
GAY LOGO + The Pink Triangle by inspiredcreativity History of The Pink Triangle

AND THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

What Is Love All About?
What To Look For In A Mate
RELATIONSHIPS


THE CHEMISTRY OF LOVE



A PATH TO HAPPINESS


CHOICE - WHO WE ARE

GUIDED IMAGERY FOR HEALING

Understanding AUTISM
Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Cheers,

Matthew 
Reply
:iconmegaanimefreak7:
MegaAnimeFreak7 Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Student Writer
WHY DO YOU HAVE NO DD'S?!!!! Seriously, your work is inspirational and amazing. This is ridiculous.
Reply
:iconxxkiriku:
xxkiriku Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh, I'm really happy for you and your partner! My parents as well have reached to their 25th anniversary, and I know how it feels (well, I try to imagine the happiness).
Yeah, I remember some of our talks some years ago... I was fully caught by dA and artistic life in general; I'm trying - as I said - to restart and I think I'm on the right way.

As soon as possible, I need to get a Premium Membership... I really miss giving features! You know I love to "spread the voice" of art, showing works I appreciate. Hope to get one soon (ahaha, I'm saving money for my trip, but I'm sure I can spend some of them).

I think that's all for now. I'll come back soon. :)
Reply
:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Hi, Welcome back and thank you for dropping by to so say Hi! It really has been a long time.  I have some notes from our talks in 2009, but we may have talked after that as well.

I hope you are feeling good and are experiencing a measure of happiness and contentment in your life. 

I am not as active on DA as I was. My body has continued its downward slide as the arthritis takes over more of my body.  I am managing to keep my mood relatively positive, despite being homebound and in ever worsening pain.

My partner Greg and I are almost at our 25th anniversary.  We got officially married last year (which is legal in Washington State). 

If you ever feel the need to talk, feel free to give me a shout.
Reply
:iconxxkiriku:
xxkiriku Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Hello, Matthew! It's been a long time since we talked. How are things going? I've been away from here for a couple of years (maybe) and I'm starting again. I still remember the people I met here (you as well) and I just wanted to have a stop here and say "hello". Nice to see you again. :)
Reply
:iconcakep0p:
cakep0p Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014   Digital Artist
Yes, I agree! Always focus on the positives...
Reply
:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Hi, Thank you for your kind words. When I get the time, I hope to post a deviation about how and why we are born as Sexual Minority people, the genetics, biology, and evolutionary mechanisms.

I am not very active on DA like I used to be, due to my health getting worse and worse over the years. The arthritis and nerve degeneration that started when I was around 12-years-old has pretty much crippled me now, so I am homebound.  Luckily I have a husband of almost 24 years who will stick with me to the end and help care for me.  It is wrath pointing out that even though much of my life seems centered around pain-management, I still focus on the positive things in each day.  This way I still have a relatively good Quality of Life, despite the pain and inability to do all of the things I used to love doing.  No matter what life throws at you, it is still up to you to make the very most of each day.  Your Power Of Choice is the greatest power you have.  When I was depressed, I chose to get help and to actively seek happiness.  Each day, I choose to make the very best of the day that I can, to focus on the positives.  This is sometimes very difficult to do.  Learn to PUSH through challenges and keep looking forward.  
Reply
:iconcakep0p:
cakep0p Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2014   Digital Artist
Hello, I've read some of your writings, and they touched me deeply. I respect you a lot. Best of luck on your
ever-continuing journey. :)
Reply
:iconinspiredcreativity:
inspiredcreativity Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It has been a very hard year for me.  I lost my mother in March, then my Father in August, and now my Mother-in-law last week.  I was very close to all of them. I am home-bound and can't travel, so my husband has been gone for some 6 weeks, at first caring for his mother around-the-clock, and now dealing with her death, the funeral (tomorrow) and then dealing with her house, his family, etc.  I can't be there with him, which is hard, and I am completely isolated and alone.  My sister comes to bring food and to visit once a week, so I have some contact.  Not complaining, because I get by, but it has certainly been a rough year.  Losing so many people, so rapidly, reminds me of the days when I did Hospice care for men dying of AIDS, which adds even more sadness.  When your world is shrunk-down by isolation, losing 3 key members of your world is a big deal.

But I also believe that when door close, other doors will open, but you have to be willing to watch for them, recognize them and then step through.  Greg and I need a new door soon.  Once we get back on our feet, we will talk about how to manifest positive change.

My mother once said she would rather me be dead than a disgusting pervert, but I didn't give up on her.  Her love for me eventually overcame her homophobia and she became a supporter, a friend and confidant.  When Greg came into the picture, both of my parents told him they saw him as their son too.  Greg's mother did the same for me from the beginning, telling me that I was her son too and part of the family.

Hate seems to be the most powerful force at times, more powerful than love, but it is like a race between a hare and a tortoise, where often the tortoise wins in the long run.

All the best,  Matthew
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Patrickjkiley Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

Thank you! I'm glad to see you are still haunting these Deviant halls, inspiring others.

Keep well.

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