The Battle For Free Speech & The Fight Against Censorship

Free Speech. It’s a basic human right. It’s probably the most fundamental human right we have. Every single human being had the right to speak freely. That should not be taken from them. Free Speech is what enables us to have discussion, to have debate. More often than not, it comes up in a political context, or a religious context. Both are of great importance.

People say you shouldn’t discuss politics nor religion at gatherings. This discourages discussion of ideas, be they religious or political, as well as keeping people silent. Most often, those who operate by this code are those who cannot stand the opposing views that others present. They tend to either blow off the opposing views in one of two ways: dismissing the view & launching a personal attack at the individual who brings it up, or getting overly emotional about the issue, putting their feelings before the facts. If you were to ask me, I’d tell you that you should discuss politics & religion every chance you get, because debate is a good thing. It contributes greatly to the progression of humanity.

What is concerning is that there are people out there who do not want discussion to be had. They do not want issues debated. They would rather shut down all discussion of things they do not like, & push their own views upon the entirety of humanity. Many even go as far as to silence those they disagree with. This is called censorship. And, unlike climate change, it will destroy the world if it is allowed to take hold.

In recent times, there has been a rapid increase in the number of individuals who have fallen victim to censorship. There are some particularly notable figures who have been targeted over and over by many individuals & organisations who want to silence them. Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Louis Farrakhan, James Woods, Steven Crowder, Tommy Robinson, Gavin McInnes. These are just a few of the increasing number of those who have been subject to the censorship axe swung by Silicon Valley & media corporations, YouTube, Facebook & Twitter are the major perpetrators of censorship. It’s never been seen like this before. Many of these individuals have been completely deplatformed. They have nowhere to spread their message. They are losing everything for one simple reason: they are Conservatives.

In this day & age, it seems that Conservatism has become the most hated political side on the planet. There’s a reason for that: people don’t like the truth. They don’t like it when their false narratives are exposed for being completely fraudulent. Being Conservative now is like being a criminal. It’s even been likened to being a terrorist. As is what Facebook described those who it banned from its platform mere days ago. Conservatives are attacked, harassed, & insulted on a daily basis. Now some may say: ‘You’re playing the victim here.’ Here’s the reality: we aren’t playing the victim. Despite what other people think of us, despite what they call us, despite what they do to us, we keep on fighting. We keep on coming back, we keep speaking. Many of us Conservatives these days are called racists, bigots, homophobes, transphobes, sexists, misogynists, fascists, Nazis, and a number of other words that are much too explicit to share in this article. Yet we couldn’t care less what other people call us, because all it means is that we’re saying or doing something right.

The war on Free Speech used to be restricted to college/university campuses. Many Conservative speakers were either banned from speaking at certain campuses, or the universities made it difficult for them to run their event, either by hiking security costs at the last minute, or using some technical excuse in order not to approve their permit or cancel it. The universities want to stop political discussion. They want to stifle & destroy debate. This is because the universities are controlled by the Left. They indoctrinate students with Left Wing propaganda & viewpoints, & use these students to push their agenda. This is how the climate change brigade has continued on for so long. If politics are to be taught in universities, even in schools, students should be well-informed on both sides and be allowed to formulate their own political views & opinions. Some do escape the Left Wing ideology pushed in the education system, particularly in universities, & come out the other side as Conservative. However, being a Conservative in a university is something else. There are some teachers & professors who will show bias & mark you harder just for being Conservative. Conservative views are also disrespected & admonished, whilst Left Wing views are encouraged & welcomed. Free Speech is not well-respected on university campuses. On many occasions, Conservative journalists have even been subject to students harassing them & calling the police simply because they were having conversations with students on campus. These journalists are often asked to leave, their Free Speech left to die in a gutter. It’s a tragedy for humanity.

The war on Free Speech used to be restricted to universities. Now it’s advanced to a concerning position. Social media companies are now openly censoring Conservatives on their platforms. A few years back, Milo Yiannopoulos was unjustly banned from Twitter after Leslie Jones became overtly emotional and closed her Twitter account for a few days after engaging with Milo on the platform. Milo became a scapegoat, even though Jones had encouraged her followers to harass Milo on the platform & call him some disgusting terms. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was obviously looking for a way to get rid of Milo, & so used this as his excuse to shut him down. Now Dorsey has been fairly open more recently about the bias of Twitter, practically admitting to the Left Wing bias of the social media giant. And it’s been obvious for years. Many Conservatives have been temporarily suspended, banned, or shadow-banned on Twitter in the last few years. Shadow banning is a despicable thing. For those of you reading this that don’t know what this is, shadow banning is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community so that it will not be apparent to the user that they have been banned. Essentially, this means that someone could send out a Tweet & it would not be easily seen by their followers, nor anyone on the platform. It’s how Twitter restrict content so that they can censor certain views & opinions, as well as certain facts & truths they do not like.

Facebook have also now become more radical in their censoring of Conservatism. In recent days, Milo Yiannopoulos, Laura Loomer, Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, & Louis Farrakhan were all banned from Facebook & Instagram & their pages removed. Mark Zuckerberg has now openly demonstrated his Left Wing bias. People like Jack Dorsey & Mark Zuckerberg are now demonstrating totalitarianism. They want to dictate what can & cannot be said. And the censorship is only going to get worse. In fact, it has. You can now get suspended/silenced from Twitter for simply sharing a photo of Tommy Robinson. You have to think of it like a battle, like a war. Now that these social media giants have taken out the big guns, those who speak up for others, those who had major platforms, who have been spreading the truths of the world, they have free range on taking out other Conservatives. They’re going to come for all opposition. They want to silence Conservatism.

It’s not just Facebook & Twitter that partake in censorship & deplatforming however. YouTube are just as bad. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is also Left Wing, & demonstrates her bias on the platform. Tommy Robinson, Gavin McInnes, Alex Jones, & a number of others have been banned by YouTube. They have had their platform completely taken away from them. Additionally, notable Conservative comedian & speaker Steven Crowder has been at war with YouTube for years, having been the subject of extreme censorship. Crowder has had content taken down, & been hit with numerous copyright claims & strikes, simply because he’s Conservative. As a result, Crowder began a subscription based daily show, Louder With Crowder, on an online platform, BlazeTV. The funds from subscriptions are used to keep the show going, as well as to fund content & the costs of fighting legal battles against YouTube, Facebook, & other organisations. And in more recent times, Crowder & his team have faced the all too real prospect of their YouTube channel being taken down. This is what has become of social media, totalitarian platforms run by dictators of speech.

There is also an array of certain things you cannot say on social media platforms in the modern day without running the risk of being censored. So here is a list of a number of those things: criticizing Islam, criticizing LGBTQI+ people, supporting Israel & criticizing Palestine, acknowledging that the majority of black homicides are committed by other black people, & that the crime rate of black people is high for a small population.

Now mind you, that’s likely not everything, but it’s enough. And in an effort to show just how despicable these social media giants have become, here’s a list of things that you can say that won’t get you banned or even slightly punished, things that are common amongst the Left Wing: attacking Christianity in the most vile & disgusting ways (eg. Calling Christians pedophiles, saying that Christians believe in a sky fairy or a zombie, etc.), antisemitism, doxxing (searching for & publishing private/identifying information of a particular individual on the Internet/social media, typically with malicious intent, or asking people to do this for you), & a number of others.

To show just how hypocritical social media giants, especially Twitter & Facebook, have become, have a look deeper into Laura Loomer’s story. Loomer was banned by Twitter for sending a tweet criticizing US Congresswoman Ilhan Omar. Omar is a Muslim, & has made many anti-semitic remarks even whilst in office. The Left have let this slide on far too many occasions, dismissing it & even defending her comments. However, when Laura Loomer called her out in November last year, she was banned for hate speech. Here’s what Loomer tweeted: ‘Isn’t it ironic how the twitter moment used to celebrate “women, LGBTQ, and minorities” is a picture of Ilhan Omar? Ilhan is pro Sharia Ilhan is pro-FGM Under Sharia, homosexuals are oppressed & killed. Women are abused & forced to wear the hijab. Ilhan is anti Jewish.’ What Loomer said is far from hate speech. It’s the truth. And it seems that these days, truth is the new hate speech. Meanwhile, Ilhan Omar is quite literally a Muslim apologist, & gets away with making comments such as, on the topic of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, “Some people did something.” How someone like this is allowed to sit in the Congress of the United States is extremely questionable. Loomer was also banned from Facebook recently, where the only reason given was that she was a ‘dangerous’ individual, with Facebook likening her to a terrorist. Loomer is far from dangerous.

Milo Yiannopoulos, Tommy Robinson, & a number of others have also been banned for being ‘dangerous individuals’. However there is one major reason that many of these Conservative figures are banned: their comments on Islam. Islam is probably the most protected religion on the planet. The Left, ironically quite hypocritically, defend Islam to the death. It’s ironic because these same people advocate women’s rights & LGBTQI+ rights whilst defending a religion which advocates the exact opposite. Islam advocates for the killing of homosexuals, & the oppression of women. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a tradition of Islam, albeit a harmful, disgusting one. Yet you don’t see those on the Left who go on about women’s rights criticizing & slamming FGM. Homosexuals are being stoned & killed in Islamic countries around the world. Yet you don’t see those on the Left who are celebrating & advocating in favour of LGBTQI+ people criticizing these actions & speaking out against it. These are the same people who attack Christianity on a daily basis, ironically calling out Christians for being ‘fake Christians’ for being intolerant of LGBTQI+ people. The reality is, Christians are accepting of those people. We are accepting of all people. We love & welcome any & all people. We aren’t the intolerant ones. We aren’t the ones supporting & defending a religion that advocates violence & oppression. I’d encourage anyone reading this to partake in a challenge of sorts, one that Steven Crowder put out there: the Quran challenge. It’s quite simple: read five pages of the Quran. You can even read a particular part of it & then compare to the Bible. In essence, the Quran contained a message of violence pertaining to this: if Christians do not convert, kill them. Whereas the Bible contained a message of love, with Jesus loving all people, no matter who they were. As we say in the Christian community: hate the sin, love the sinner.

Getting back to the point however, Milo, Tommy, Laura, & others who have been banned simply for criticizing Islam have done nothing wrong. They have simply spoken the truth. Again however, Islam is protected. The media barely report on terrorist attacks on Christians that come at the hands of Islamic extremists, of which there have been hundreds, if not thousands, in which thousands of Christians have been killed. And even in ones that are reported, the terrorist and/or their background is often not identified straight away by the media. However, when it comes to a non-Islamic terrorist attack, or one that is carried out where Muslims are the victims, the media are all over it right away, & the terrorist is identified immediately. Most recently, these differences were easily identifiable between the Christchurch attack, & the Sri Lanka attack. In Christchurch, Muslims were the victims, & the terrorist was identified immediately as a white male, however was repeatedly misidentified by the media, politicians, & many others as a right-wing extremist. The terrorist himself identified as an eco-fascist, & previously as a communist & anarchist, none of which are at all relative to the right wing. Yet the media & others spun & pushed this lie in order to vilify & attack the Right, & put the blame squarely at the feet of all Conservatives. Waleed Aly even prepared a monologue in which he teared up, slamming this attack. Hypocritically, a few years back just after the Boston bombings, which were carried out by Islamic extremists, Waleed referred to the terrorism as a ‘perpetual irritant’. Fast forward to the Sri Lanka attacks, & Waleed was practically silent. The media didn’t identify the terrorists nor their backgrounds immediately, & many would not even refer to those attacked as Christians, instead referring to them as ‘Easter worshippers.’ It is clear that these people will do anything, & go to any length, to defend & protect Islam.

Free Speech is also very much under attack in Australia. There are certain individuals in the media who constantly come under fire from those who disagree with them. The majority of these individuals can be found on Sky News, in particularly in the night shows (or as they are commonly referred to, the After Dark shows). Andrew Bolt, Paul Murray, Peta Credlin, Rowan Dean, Alan Jones, Ross Cameron. All of these political commentators have been subject to a certain group attempting to shut down their voices & their shows through taking out their advertisers. Sleeping Giants Oz, the small Australian arm of Sleeping Giants, is a far Left social media activist group, primarily operating through Twitter. This group posts a list of Sky’s advertisers each week, & asks their followers to tweet to the advertisers, & ask them why they are advertising on Sky News. When tweeting to advertisers, the group & its followers consistently refer to Sky & certain commentators on the media outlet as being racist, sexist, misogynistic, &/or bigots. In reality, they’re just defaming those individuals. Some companies that advertise on Sky have fallen victim to this group & their ways, pulling their ads from Sky as a result. More recently, Pizza Hut & Colgate did this. What they think is that this is a big group of people, & they could lose hundreds of customers if they do not do what this group says & pull their ads. The sad reality is that by pulling their ads, they are actually losing hundreds if not thousands of customers, as opposed to losing maybe twenty at most, if any at all, if they didn’t. In reality, Sleeping Giants Oz is not a group of hundreds, nor thousands. It consists of around twenty people. Twenty people who don’t even show up for their own protest. And people are capitulating to this. Even Sky themselves capitulated to this. This group has had an aim to take out all Conservative commentators on Sky. That list of names I mentioned before. Sleeping Giants Oz want to silence all of them. They already took down Ross Cameron, after spreading a video which was cut down so as to take him out of context when he was making comments that were very pro-China on his show Outsiders. Sleeping Giants Oz trimmed the video so as to make it sound as if Ross was a racist, which he clearly is not, & Sky capitulated to them, falling for it, & sacking Ross Cameron as a result. It was a disgraceful attack on Free Speech. But this is what Sleeping Giants do. They deal in censorship of Conservatives, just like Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube.

More recently, censorship has found its way into the Australian political scene. A few individuals in politics have come out in favour of censorship of certain parts of the media. Greens leader Richard Di Natale has been extremely critical of News Corp on multiple occasions, in particular Sky News. He has often slammed political commentator Andrew Bolt, & has recently labelled News Corp as ‘a malignant influence on our democracy’, stating that they are ‘the propaganda arm of the hard right of the Liberal Party & becoming increasingly hysterical’ & that ‘they incubate hate.’ He has on numerous occasions accused Andrew Bolt of inciting hatred, & of being responsible in part for ‘Right Wing extremists’. However, despite his hatred for Sky, Di Natale has appeared on the media outlet multiple times, particularly in the lead up to the 2019 Election, & himself requested to appear on Andrew Bolt’s nightly show, The Bolt Report. For someone who hates Sky, he sure appears on it a fair amount. Di Natale has also suggested that in order to deal with News Corp, we would need to strengthen the regulator & give even more money to the ABC, which is taxpayer funded. However, the ABC should no longer be taxpayer funded. In fact, the best thing for the ABC would be to privatise the media outlet. The reason: The ABC is not at all impartial & balanced like it claims it is. In fact, it has become the propaganda arm of the Labor Party. Take shows like Q&A, Four Corners, The Weekly, Insiders & more recently the ABC’s election coverage. Q&A’s panels regularly consist of four Left Wing panelists, a token Conservative/Right Wing panelist, & host Tony Jones, who also appears to be Left biased. When Jones is absent, Virginia Trioli has been known to host, & has been extremely Left biased. Four Corners has produced specials such as the three part Trump Russia collusion special which aired after it was found there was no collusion. The Weekly regularly mocks & heavily criticizes Conservatives & the Liberal Party, with the occasional jibe at a Left Wing politician. Insiders features Left Wing panelists each week, & often criticizes the Liberal National Party, with Labor getting a free pass. Barrie Cassidy worked for the Labor Party after all. Finally, the election coverage on the ABC this year was a sight to behold. ABC journalists & commentators all came together, with many predicting a large Labor win. Yet when the Coalition were returned to government, the panel was in a state of dreary denial, very much alike to that of what occurred on many media outlets, in the US, particularly CNN, when Trump claimed victory in the 2016 election. The ABC is Left biased. There is no doubt about that. That is completely fine, so long as it is privatized. Many taxpayers would rather direct their taxpayer dollars elsewhere.

Political hopeful Oliver Yates, who failed to gain the seat of Kooyong in this year’s election, & former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, have also both been heavily critical of the Murdoch media. Rudd has attacked it on numerous occasions, even after the election was over. Yates has called for it to be silenced, wishing to take away its media license (which is intriguing as there is no such thing in Australia). This is unfortunately how these people work. They want to silence voices in the media that they disagree with, & only allow their own beliefs to be shared. Many on the Left have often made the same claim when expressing their discontent for media outlets owned by the Murdoch family. They claim that everyone on these outlets is just a Murdoch puppet or mouthpiece, & that they all say what he wants them to say. Yet there is no substance to this claim. All those who feature on Sky, in the Daily Telegraph, & on/in any publication/media channel owned by the Murdochs speak for themselves, & express their own views. In fact, even Left Wing individuals have featured & still do feature in the Murdoch media. Laura Jayes, Nicholas Reece, Graham Richardson, Stephen Conroy, & Janine Perrett all either have their own shows, have had their own shows, or feature heavily on shows on Sky. Labor Senator Kristina Keneally even co-hosted her own show before she resigned to run in the Bennelong by-election as the Labor candidate in 2017. Many on the Left have referred to Sky News as the media outlet ‘where the truth goes to die.’ In fact, the opposite could not be more accurate. Sky News, in particular the After Dark shows & Outsiders on Sundays, is the place where the truth lives. Which brings me to my final point.

The views expressed by Conservative commentators usually attract the most criticism & the most hateful vitriol. In fact, on many occasions these views are labelled as ‘hate speech.’ And just on hate speech, there is no clear definition of what this is, but it is evident that in current times, hate speech is practically any view that the Left disagrees with. The term has lost its meaning from excessive misuse. To the main point. Views expressed by Conservatives typically attract large amounts of criticism & hateful vitriol/ There is a simple reason for which this occurs. People don’t like the truth. Because often times, the truth hurts. In fact, the truth can be destructive. When I say destructive, I don’t mean that literally, more so figuratively. The truth destroys certain narratives, it destroys certain views which are being pushed as part of a much larger agenda. There are many truths which are fought against on a daily basis by those on the Left, who want to ultimately destroy the West & all its values. Truth has indeed become the new hate speech. Allow me to demonstrate some of the truths that the Left are attempting to exterminate in a few short sentences. Prepare yourself. And a short disclaimer: the following sentences may be seen as controversial, & may offend some people. But then again, everyone’s offended by so many things these days. Here we go: Abortion is always murder, not a right. Climate change/global warming/global cooling is a hoax used by globalist elites as a profiteering scheme, & any ‘climate scientist’ that does not push it is stripped of their funding & ridiculed by the media & politicians. There are only two genders: male & female. Gender is not a social construct. The free market is good. Capitalism is good. Socialism never works. Everyone has the right to express their religious views. Islam is not necessarily a religion of peace. Feminism is no longer about equality for women, it is now an excuse to belittle men. There is no such thing as a gender pay gap. It is illegal to attempt to enter a country illegally (by boat, by border crossing, etc.). True refugees do not pick & choose the country to which they would like to go, they go to the closest peaceful country they can find. Renewables are unreliable & expensive. Coal is reliable & cheap. Nuclear energy should be an option. People shouldn’t necessarily be stripped of their gun rights. And finally: Free Speech is a basic human right to which everyone is entitled. And whilst I may not agree with a view that you have, I will always defend your right to express it.

Everything listed above is true. Many of these should be common sense. And whilst I’m not going to delve further into each one of them individually, they all collectively have one thing in common. They are all views expressed by Conservatives. And because of that, they are often attacked with hateful vitriol, even violence. Many times someone will be censored for expressing one of the above views. There are a few in particular that are censored more than others. The truth is censored. That is indeed a blight on society. Censorship is never an option. The truth should not be labelled as ‘hate speech’. People should not be silenced simply for expressing a view. If we stood idly by & allowed for this to occur, for totalitarianism to take over, for Free Speech to be decimated, then the world would end up looking like something similar to the dystopian world of 1984. Orwell never intended for this to be used as an instruction manual. 1984 was a warning, it was a guide of what not to do. Conservatism is not fascism. Conservatism is not trying to create a new world order like the UN is attempting to do. Conservatism is trying to prevent all that & more from occurring, it’s trying to prevent a slippery slope, a descent into chaos & destruction. Censorship is only the beginning of the plans of the Left, of globalists. There is so much more that they can take, that they will take, if we do not stand up & fight back. So if you have a view, if you want to express a view that’s listed in the previous paragraph, express it. Fight for your right to express it. Because if those who are willing to do so are silenced & everyone else remains silent, there will eventually be no one left to speak up for us against the totalitarianism, & certain rights will likely fade. It has never been more important to defend our right to free speech than it is now.

JJ

 

My Story: Living With Anxiety

This is probably the most personal piece I’ll ever write. Things are going to get deep. Before I begin, I need you all to know that what I’m about to share with you is not easy to talk about. It’s not easy to share. It’s hard to write this. But I want to share this with you because I want to be more open & honest, & I feel that there needs to be an increased awareness of sorts around mental health. So here goes.

For most of my life, I’ve lived relatively happily. I have had minimal stress, & I live out each day fairly smoothly & without issue. I have found happiness in many things; friends, family, music, writing, my dog, acting, & some fantastic people. But sometimes happiness doesn’t stick around. Sometimes it disappears, & you aren’t sure when it’s going to come back, if it’s going to come back. Let me give a bit of background first.

I have always been a shy person. For as long as I can remember, that has been one of my resounding qualities. It’s been a part of me my whole life. I have never really found it easy to approach people & talk to them. I get nervous, I try to find a way out, & I can’t bring myself to do it. It’s something I sometimes wish I didn’t have. Being shy makes things so much more difficult than they need to be. Many a time I have found myself wishing I was more brave, more courageous, more confident. But I lack that. I lack confidence. I lack courage. And that makes my life a lot harder. I find myself in situations where I struggle to get by. Which takes us to the anxiety.

I didn’t really experience much anxiety until 2012. Yes, that’s right, the year the then impending apocalypse was upon us. But never mind that. In early 2012, a few weeks before I began high school, I was out at a friend’s party, & whilst there, I began feeling off. I just didn’t feel right. I felt slightly sick, & I found it difficult to eat. I barely ate anything at the party, & I think the only thing I ate that night was a salad when I got home. That was likely the first time anxiety struck me. After that night, I didn’t experience that again for a number of weeks. I started Year 7, & everything was going relatively well. I was able to make new friends. I was a tad nervous about starting high school, but it was nothing major. However, a few weeks in, I began feeling sick again. I’m not entirely certain of what brought it on, but anxiety was upon me. There were many days when I woke up & did not feel like going to school. There were days when I threw up. I missed many days of school in those weeks because of the effects that anxiety had on me. I almost didn’t make it to the Year 7 camp. I remember that morning I was in pretty bad shape before I left to go to school. That camp was likely three of the worst days of my life. Whilst I was alright at camp, I still felt some anxiety, & it didn’t help that we all got food poisoning on the second night. I couldn’t wait to get back home. When I arrived back home that Friday, I remember breaking down. I was not in a good way at all. It almost got to the point where I had to go talk to a professional. But we didn’t get there. I remember I did end up having a conversation with my Year Adviser at school, & I think after that I woke up to myself, & I was able to kick the anxiety & take back control of my life & my body. I’m not sure how I did it really, but I think by the end of the term, I was ok again. I was living again. And I thought I had seen the last of my anxiety. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Throughout the years after that, I lived relatively well & peacefully. There were a few occasions where I did feel nervous, & a few times when I was feeling a bit anxious about things, such as times when I was going to go out with friends, or to parties, etc.. But they weren’t too bad. Apart from those minor attacks, I was perfectly fine. But I think what I was doing was suppressing things. I was suppressing emotions, feelings & a lot of other things, so that I could maintain a strong mentality. I think I knew I had to protect my mental health, & be strong. And so that is just what I did, for around seven years. I kept building up barriers around my mind, my mentality, all of it. And I kept suppressing things. I was able to maintain the suppression. I just needed to keep a strong mind. And above all of it, I thought I was going to be fine. I thought I could never be broken. I just didn’t realise that I would be.

Last year I decided to take a gap year. I needed a break from the education system. I needed to figure myself out, I needed time to write. I thought I would write at least one novel. I thought I would be able to write many a monologue & short story & play. I thought it would be a productive year. But then I began to lose sight. I put my novels on the backburner. I stopped writing for my blog. I stopped writing in general. And, looking at it realistically, my gap year ended up being a failure. In addition to that, I became conflicted. I had been telling people I was going to become a novelist, & people had told me that the market was volatile, that people don’t really read books anymore. And I took those comments to heart, & convinced myself I would never be a successful author. And I gave up on my dream. I tried to change my degree from creative writing to journalism. That failed.

What you need to know about me before I continue is that I care a lot about what other people think & say of me. It’s one of my biggest weaknesses. With every big decision I make, I take into consideration what other people, in particular my family & friends, will think of me. I don’t want them to see me as a failure. I don’t want to disappoint them. I don’t want to let them down.

Earlier this year, things occurred in my life. And they broke me. The last couple of months have been the hardest of my life. I’ve experienced things that I never want to experience again, & that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. My anxiety returned. And it came back worse than before. Whilst I haven’t been physically sick, I have felt really off many days. I’ve broken down many times. It’s even affecting me now just writing this. I’ve even found it difficult just to leave the house. It’s a challenge for me to even just get to work now. To be brutally honest, I really don’t like the way I’m living. I don’t like the person I’ve become, the person my anxiety turns me into. It’s hard to admit that. It’s genuinely one of the toughest things to live with. For me, I feel like I’ve lost control, & I’m fighting to get it back. I have times when I just feel so out of it, so off, almost sick. My mental health hasn’t been great. It’s been dreadful really. Thankfully, I was able to talk about things with a few of my family & friends. They know who they are. But it got to the point where I knew I needed to get help. And so I went to see a counsellor. He gave me some advice & tips/strategies, & I left feeling like things could get better now. But they didn’t. I had some really rough days. And so I went back. I talked with him again. And I will be maintaining regular contact with him.

Many of you wouldn’t have known it from looking at me or speaking with me that I wasn’t doing well. That’s because whenever I’m out in the open, I hide it. I try to suppress it for short period of time. Or if it is affecting me, I try to control it somewhat so that it doesn’t show. And I’ve been doing this for over two months now. But I think that’s making things worse in some sense. It hasn’t helped. So I made the decision to stop. Because to be honest, I’m sick of hiding now. I have to be honest, I was somewhat apprehensive to put this all out there, to put it out in the open. And whilst I know that many who read this will be very caring & all, I’d rather not discuss it openly just yet. It’s a lot for me to even share my story here. However, I need to do things on my own terms. I need to have control over my life & my journey. I need to forge my own path, & whilst currently I am not doing as much as I’d like to be doing, I will get there in time.

At the moment I’m taking things day by day, one step at a time. As you might already know, I’ve withdrawn from my University course at UTS, & I am enrolling in a Bachelor of Communications course offered by Griffith University through Open Universities Australia. The course will be completed over three years online. And I have also recently re-entered Special Religious Education (SRE) work as a helper in Catholic Scripture through my church, helping with a Year 5 class at my former primary school. I will be looking to get out more, to maybe participate in some volunteer work, get some work experience at either a radio station or publishing company or even both, & eventually get a second job. But it’s going to take time for me to get there. I’m still working to get things under control within my own mind & body, & in all honesty, I cannot really contemplate doing a lot of these things until I get it under control. It is a battle, & it’s not easy, but I’m not going to give up, I’m not going to stop fighting.

Anxiety affects so many people. It often goes unnoticed by others. It’s only noticed by the individual of whom it affects. They feel it, they experience it. It can manifest in a variety of ways, & can have different levels of intensity. And it can be hard to cope with. It can be even more difficult to talk about. Sometimes we think we can fight it alone, that we can deal with it on our own. We think we’re strong enough, we think we can handle it. And sometimes we can. But sometimes we can’t. We don’t have the strength to go it alone. We aren’t as strong as we thought we were. We didn’t realise it was ever going to be so hard. We come to a point where we can no longer suffer in silence. And that’s ok. That doesn’t make us any weaker. In fact, it takes a certain strength to admit that we can’t do it alone, that we need someone to help us along the way. So in some sense, we are still strong, just in a different way.

Whilst anxiety can take its toll, both mentally & physically, it can also be something that helps us to understand ourselves better. It can shine a light on our true selves, it can help us to see who we truly are. And after being at an all time low, you can come to appreciate the smallest things that create joy & happiness. It could be as simple as seeing someone’s face light up with joy when they see your loyal pet dog. For me, having an adorable pup has made my life better, and has brought me the slightest shred of happiness in my darkest times. Ellie has truly been my best friend through all of this, & I honestly don’t know how I would have been without her. She is truly a blessing.

Through all the hard times, I’ve also had my faith to guide me. There have been times in the last couple of months that I have questioned my faith. I’m not afraid to admit that, although it isn’t something I find easy to admit to. There were times when it seemed I was just losing everything, like I was just taking blow after blow. There were times when I felt like the universe was against me. There were times when I just started asking God one question over and over; ‘Why?’ I kept asking for guidance, for help, for the strength to get through this. And I felt like I wasn’t being heard. However, I’ve now come to see that God has provided me with help, with support. I’ve come to see that He had been listening. I still often wonder why certain things have occurred in my life. I guess I’m yet to discover the answer to that question. But I am glad I have my faith in my life. And I guess there are times when we are in a dark place, or when we endure something, & it makes us question a lot of things. I still ask myself questions, I still think about things often. But I’m happy to have my faith to help me along in my life.

I know that ultimately, my life is not going to be an easy one. And I know that I’ve still got things to sort out. I’ve still got to get things under control. However, in order to do that, I realise that I need to be more open. This is a step in that direction. And hopefully it will help me to get this out & get things back under control. I haven’t felt so strong mentally lately. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve been there. But I’m hoping I can get back there soon. I know it will take time, & it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get back to that point. But I want to get back there. This time however, it’s going to be different. This time I’m not going to hide. This time I’m going to be more true to myself. I guess in some sense I’ve been living a bit of a lie. But I’m going to change that. I’m no longer going to hide behind a façade. I’m going to be my true self. And I’m going to take back control of my own mind & body. Anxiety may take the reins throughout my life, but I’m not going to let it stay that way. I’m going to take them back. And I’m going to live my life.

I want to finish by saying this. I know anxiety is never easy to deal with. My experience over the last couple of months in particular has really challenged me, & it’s really stripped me down to my core. If anyone is ever going through something & they need someone to talk to, I’m always more than happy to be that person. I’m always happy to chat. I know it can be difficult to get through on your own. And I know from personal experience that it can be a challenge in itself to talk to someone about it. But it can make a world of difference if you get it off your chest, if you talk to someone about it. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to decide how they deal with it, but sometimes talking to someone can make things that little bit easier. While it can feel like anxiety is beating us at times, like it is winning, like it’s taking over us, it’s important to fight back, to regain some degree of control. And while sometimes it seems like it will be impossible to feel good again, to feel happy again, it will come. I hope that by sharing my own experience, my own journey, others that might be going through similar times in their own lives will be able to feel like it’s worth fighting, & those that might be suffering in silence may feel that they can talk to someone about what they’re going through. It’s never an easy journey, but sometimes it can make us who we are, & it can help us to become even stronger than we were before.

Take care everyone, & look after yourselves.

J

Words

Words can be so powerful. They can change the course of our lives. They can make us or break us. What we say can have an immense impact on not only ourselves, but on other people. The thing about words is that once you say them, once they leave your mouth, they can never be taken back. You cannot change what you have said, no matter how much you might want to. That is why it is so important, so crucial, that we choose our words so carefully. Because the words that we choose could change someone’s life completely.

All throughout our lives we speak. We use words every single day. We likely use hundreds if not thousands of words each day. For writers like myself, words are so important. They are essential to our work. Words are quite literally my life. And sure, the words we use in our day to day lives may not be so crucial. It is at certain moments in our lives however that words gain importance. It is at these times that it is essential that we choose the right words, or what we think may be the right words. In reality, there likely may not be ‘right’ words. Rather, we must choose words that will ultimately work best, that will express what we wish to express. And we must ensure that these words are not damaging. We must ensure that these words do not cause harm. But all in all, how would we know if they did exactly that?

These days, words aren’t just spoken. They can be written, sent via text messaging. The issue with text messaging, the issue in fact with any form of communication other than spoken word, is that our words can be easily misconstrued. We may intend for our words to mean something in particular, but they are interpreted by their intended recipient as something else. So how do you know if your words have been interpreted in the way you intended them to be? How do you know they haven’t caused harm? In all reality, you don’t. You don’t really know. You could warrant a guess. You could follow up with another message to make sure they weren’t. But you would never truly know. Not unless you spoke in person. Your words could have done damage, or they could have brought someone great joy. But you’d never truly know unless you spoke to that person face to face, or at least voice to voice. Until that occurs, you will never really know if you made someone truly happy with your words, or if your words caused them a world of pain.

The thing about words is that they don’t always come to you when you need them. As a writer, I can attest to this. Usually, it is at the moments in our lives when we most need to find the right words that they do not come. You could be a brilliant writer, and have such a way with words, and then when that time comes, you cannot find the words you need. You might hope that they will spring into your mind, but they just won’t come. This is what can ultimately bring about chaos. A writer may not be able to find the words they need, however, they will proceed with other words. And then it doesn’t work. The words they have chosen are not the ones they needed, rather they lose them the battle. Again, this is why word choice is so important, so vital.

The words we speak can be inspirational. They can encourage others, change their minds, shape their ideas, their values. Words carry so much power. Our words can help others. They can lift others up. They can make them laugh, make them smile. However, what can be good can also be the opposite. Our words might be able to bring happiness and joy to people’s lives. But they can also have the adverse effect. They can cause people to become sad. They can put people down. They can bring pain to people’s lives. They can break people down. It’s astounding just how much power a few words can have. It might take just one short sentence. It could be less than ten words strung together that can change a person’s life.

Many people do not realise just how much of an impact their words have on the lives of others. Many just say something, and they don’t even think about the possible repercussions of what they say. Many people write things, but they do not consider the effects the words they have written could have on other people. Whenever I write, particularly pieces like this, I write in the hope that the people who read it will find some inspiration in the words written here. I write in the hope that those who read it might learn something, that they might consider something they previously hadn’t. I know my articles aren’t really getting much exposure, but I write them anyway. Because if I can inspire someone, if I can bring about a good change in someone’s life, if my words help them, then I can continue on knowing that this is helping people.

If people knew the impact of their words, some may not utter them initially. Words are more powerful than you think, than you know. They can make a world of difference in other people’s lives, and in your own life. Once words have been uttered, they cannot be unspoken. They cannot be taken back. You cannot change what you have said. At times you may think about what you’re going to say before you actually say it. And then there are times when words may come from the heart. These words can be some of the most powerful. When you speak from the heart, you are showing your true self. It is at these times that you can be at your most vulnerable. And so these are the times when words can have the greatest impact on you. It is at these times that words are most powerful. And it is at these times when both your own words and those of another person can make you or break you.

Words carry with them the utmost power. They can be more complex than you’ll ever know. Words we utter may seem simple at the time, but they may indeed carry with them more weight than we realise. And whilst it may be difficult to determine whether or not your words have had an impact on someone else, on another person’s life, it is important to remember that your words can have such an impact. You never know just how powerful your words are.

Life, Love & Hope

Here’s another analytical piece on the human condition. These sorts of pieces can get deep, but for some reason I really love writing them. There’s some science involved in this one too. There’s more to come. Hope you find it interesting and inspirational.

Love. It’s something everyone wants. But we don’t all get the love that we want. Love and life go hand in hand. Fate comes into it all too I guess. Although fate depends on what your perspectives are on how our lives are written. It depends on whether or not you believe that there is a higher power, a God who has planned out each and every one of our lives. Sometimes something like that is hard to believe, even for the most religious of us. There are some that believe everything happens for a reason, but many of us can find that difficult to believe. Love, Life, Fate, Faith, and Hope can all be brought together, with each one linked to the other.

We all have a life that we live. We all do different things in our lives. We all have our own experiences, ideas, perspectives, passions, feelings, thoughts, etc. Each one of us has a mind and a heart. Each one of us has our own hopes and dreams. We each hope for something in our lives. The mind and the body are inextricably linked. In essence, the mind controls the body. If you start thinking about something, and it makes you nervous, or even anxious, your body will likely respond and you’ll experience some different feelings. You may start to feel sick, your heart could start racing, you might even start shaking. All of this reaction is controlled by the mind. If you think about something that makes you happy, you might light up with a smile. Adversely, if you think about something that creates sadness, you might start to become emotional, and you could start to tear up and feel down. Certain chemicals do play a part in all this, namely hormones. Dopamine, oxytocin and cortisol are three such hormones that elicit certain emotions within the body. The mind has immense power over the body.

Love is ultimately the most powerful thing known to the universe. Love is something we all hope for. It’s something that can be so amazing, so beautiful. It can make you so happy. It can bring out the best in you. Some say love is like a drug. In some ways this is true. But it is much more than that. It’s something else. When someone is in love, dopamine and oxytocin are released, however not at standard levels. They are at much more elevated levels, which results in that person feeling something they’ve never felt before, immense happiness, elation, joy, all of it. The emotions they feel are much stronger than usual. And they can strengthen more over time. So in the event of love being ripped apart, someone experiencing these emotions can become torn up. This is more commonly referred to as heartbreak.

In the event of heartbreak, an individual can become inundated with pain. What occurs within the body is a change in hormones. The elevated levels of dopamine and oxytocin drop quickly and are replaced with cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol elicits the body’s fight or flight response, and because of the elevated levels of cortisol in the event of heartbreak, someone who was once so happy, even someone who has such a strong resolve, physically and mentally, can become weakened. The elevated levels of cortisol can result in a number of changes in the body. You could start to feel sick, become anxious, emotional, even depressed. You might even start to lose your appetite. In basic terms, you become broken. And even when you’re broken, you could still feel that love. It’s still there, and you can’t let it go, because it’s so real. Your mind is still controlling your body, however, your mind may be fractured, and thereby your body isn’t in as great a shape as it used to be. In essence, heartbreak can change a person. It’s something everyone hopes to avoid, but some can’t. You wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. Although, there are always two sides to every story.

Everyone has hopes and dreams. Some have faith to go along with this. They may be religious and pray to God for certain things in their lives. They might pray for these things for months, even years. And then, when the time finally comes, they get what they were hoping not to get. It is at moments such as these when faith is tested. Some may have such a strong faith that they trust in God no matter what. Even if they got the opposite of what they were hoping for, they still trust God. Others may not be able to do this as well. They might begin to question things. They might question their faith. They may begin to wonder whether God is there, listening to their prayers. Some people who believe in God will say that God has plans for all of us, that our lives are planned out by Him. When something doesn’t go the way we were hoping, these people might say that God is taking us in another direction. Some may accept that. Others may not want to go in that direction. When things don’t go the way we were hoping in our lives, it can be difficult to get through. It can become a time of questioning.

Some however may fight for their hopes and dreams. Even when things don’t go the way they were hoping, even if they prayed for it. They’ll still fight for it. Because they are not prepared to give up. They know it will be hard, and they might experience pain and suffering along the way, but they know that ultimately it will be worth it. They are willing to go through anything in their fight, because they know that they likely won’t be able to live knowing they didn’t fight for it. Times like these, when things go against you, can bring out a person’s true self, their raw being.

Some believe in fate. They believe that certain things are predetermined in people’s lives, and that no matter what you do, you can’t change it. Personally, I don’t believe this is true. I believe that everyone can change the course of their lives. If you fight for something, you could change the outcome. If you hold onto a feeling, and fight for it, things might change. If you have even a glimmer of hope, and you fight for it, it could spark and ignite into a fire of hope. Some things are worth fighting for.

Some people say that hope is a dangerous thing to have. They likely say this because sometimes hope could result in further pain and suffering. I personally disagree with this idea. Hope can be a good thing. Having hope can be all the difference in a person’s life. It can be the one thing that keeps them going. So while it may seem dangerous, while it may be dangerous, hope is essential. It gives us a bit of light in times of sheer darkness.

Ultimately all these things come together in a human being. Within our lives, we hope to find love. We may have faith and may believe that our lives are planned out by God, or we might believe they are scripted through fate. Or we may believe that we have control over our own lives. After all, everyone has free will. And free will cannot be controlled by anyone else. It is unique to the individual. It’s what gives us some control over our own lives.

Life and love are likely the most important parts of our humanity. Love makes our lives so much better. Everyone lives in the hope of finding love. Because having someone special in our lives can change us, it can make someone a better person. It can bring out the best in someone. Another person can do that. Another amazing human being. And sometimes you have to fight for that love. Because at the best of times it doesn’t come easily. You have to be prepared to fight for it. And sure it can be hard. It can tear you apart. It can almost destroy you. But that little glimmer of hope you have, that’s what can make the difference. That is ultimately what pushes you, what inspires you to keep on fighting. Because you know the love you feel can change your life. You never want to lose it. Because you know that if you lose it, you’ll lose so much more. And you don’t know how you’ll keep going if you do. Life, Love and Hope. The three most important parts of our humanity. Never lose them.

Faith

This is something I wrote a couple years ago back when I was in my final year of school. It’s part of a collective of pieces I’ve been writing on humanity and everything it entails. I was planning on compiling them into an analytical text under the title of The Wonders Of Humanity. I’m not sure that will go ahead as planned, but I want to get them out there. This piece hasn’t been edited since 2017, but I just felt like sharing it. If you like it, leave a comment and I’ll share some more of these pieces. J

Faith is such a strong word. It has multiple meanings, depending on how it is perceived by the individual that is viewing it. Faith is something that can be weak or strong. It may be the difference between happiness & utter depression. Faith may not even be existent in the eyes of some. It is all this & much more that makes faith such a wondrous concept within humanity. 

Whilst there are a range of definitions as to what faith is, there are two that we can focus on here. In terms of a more general definition, faith can be defined as having complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Some may therefore link faith to the idea of trust. Trusting someone is quite similar to having faith in that person. An individual may reveal private information, potentially something such as that of a secret, to a person whom they feel they can rely on & trust to keep this between the two of them. It may be a close friend, or a family member. Whoever it is, the individual is demonstrating that they have faith in this person to keep this information shared between them private. If there happens to be a confidentiality issue, alike to that of this trusted individual sharing the private information they have received with a range of other people, then the trust that those two shared will be broken, & the faith that was shown will be destroyed. The faith that has dissipated may create a rift between the two people, & the friendship they once had could potentially fall apart. This is evidence of the power of faith, & how, when it is abused, it can become all consuming & destructive.

Faith can also be defined as a strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. This definition depicts faith from a more religious point of view. In this sense, faith is based upon what is heard or read, what is believed by a person in terms of their religious beliefs. For example, an individual may be of Catholic or Christian faith, & may hear or read the word of God, which they ultimately believe to be the truth. Belief is a strong form of faith, it is an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof. From a Christian/Catholic point of view, individuals have a strong belief that God created the universe & everything in it, & that all we see around us was created by Him. They also believe that God created humankind in His own image, & so it is believe by Catholics the world over, that all this is true. They have faith that God exists, that He sent His only son, Jesus, to die for our sins, & that there will be a second coming at some point in the future, when He will come again, & the world as we know it may cease to exist. This faith may be seen as blind, but it ultimately takes hold of those individuals who believe, & helps them to live a full, happy life, trusting in God, & having faith in others. Obviously, this isn’t the only religion out there, & there are many other religious points of view, many other faiths that I personally have a great respect for. And despite what anyone believes in, no matter what faith they choose to follow, I personally see everyone as complete equals. After all, everyone is human, no matter what they choose to believe. 

Some say faith can move mountains, others say faith is blind, hence, ‘blind faith’. These two sayings, whilst most potently are complete opposites to each other, both leave a lasting impression on whoever reads them. Faith is still represented as strong in both of them. Faith being able to move mountains demonstrates just how strong, how life-changing faith can be. On the other hand, if faith is blind, then we must follow it into the darkness, because no matter what happens within the darkness of that tunnel, no matter how long or how short it is, there is always a light at its end waiting for us to arrive. And the only way anyone can get through that tunnel, the only way anyone can possibly reach that heavenly light, is to have faith.