What are You Reading Wednesday

“No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant.

Take peace! The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in darkness, could we but see. And to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look!

Life is so generous a giver. But we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you.

Everything we call a trial, a sorrow or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there. The gift is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Your joys, too, be not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty beneath its covering, that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it; that is all! But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country home.”
Fra Giovanni Giocondo, written as a letter to a friend

Until next time

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Facing Mortality is About Living Life

This article accurately sums up where I have been the past few months related to my relationship with anorexia.

http://beatingeatingdisorders.com/2018/08/23/dont-become-a-statistic/

 

My fear is one day I will be a statistic, and it will not be because I am not trying; rather my body just cannot keep up. Knowing and accepting my actions have the ability to put me six feet under really is sad and sobering all at the same time. I am not going to ramble further into this because I know this depression/sadness will eventually pass.

My prayer is no matter the crosses we carry or the sense of contentment with life we may attain, we never forget each day is truly a gift.

We are not promised tomorrow, and I have been trying and mostly failing to live each day with purpose, but thank the Lord each day as soon as we wake, we have another chance to try and strive for holiness.

 

“It is very hard to accept an early death. When friends die who are seventy, eighty, or ninety years old, we may be in deep grief and miss them very much,
but we are grateful that they had long lives. But when a teenager, a young adult, or a person at the height of his or her career dies, we feel a protest
rising from our hearts: “Why? Why so soon? Why so young? It is unfair.” But far more important than our quantity of years is the quality of our lives.
Jesus died young. St. Francis died young. St. Thérèse of Lisieux died young, Martin Luther King, Jr., died young. We do not know how long we will live,
but this not knowing calls us to live every day, every week, every year of our lives to its fullest potential.”

Henri Nouwen

Until next time,

Anjelina

🙏Grateful for gifts of the Holy Spirit

Chris Rice- Be still my soul

“Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what you want me to be – and becoming that person.” St. Thérèse of Lisieux

One thing in life that always changes without notice is the weather as evidenced by a muggy hot humid morning and an unexpected soaking cool down this afternoon.

I struggle with depression, which I am sure is not a surprise for the world of WordPress, but recently I have been putting serious thought into the adage, “Feelings are fleeting.” Spiritually and religiously this has thankfully slowly traveled from head to heart/soul truth which has trickled into my brain. More times than not, I fail time and time again by generally speaking basing my decisions, reactions and/or interactions on feelings. For whatever reason, the realization hit me like a gentle breeze. Nothing momumental or catestrophic happened to prompt it, but there it was for me to take or leave.

Life is never going to be easy or without struggle despite the ladders upon ladders this earthly existance defines. Contentment with humanity, the perfect job, the best friendship, the fabulous flawless relationship, (anyone who buys that got sold a bill of goods), the right amount of stuff or money–if it’s not kept in check, chasing after the unattainable is like signing your own death warrant. Well, maybe not yours, but I know I have been allowing figuratively and at times literally my blood, sweat and tears of running and never catching up/being good enough/contending with rejection to bring me to this pivotal place.

I have given up on the pipedream of the magical day will come when struggling with depression will be a thing of the past.

It is a grand lofty goal, but most likely it will be the cross I bare and my offer up to God for others who also suffer.

Anorexia? Whelp, we will have to explore my sham of waffling recovery in a future entry. So, back to the big D.

The depression which feeds my inability to actively work at recovery.

The depression which makes me feel as if I cannot get out of bed and must sleep off its fatigue like it’s my job.

The depression that causes me to question my abilities, worth and where I am in life. Yes, depression does that and lots of other shitty tricky things. Thanks be to God and all His holy saints, such as my therapist because I am learning how I feel is just that. How I feel, and although it may be like lifting a whale out of the ocean, each day I get out of bed, stick to my sleep schedule/not sleep when I want to, make my bed each day, and try again is when the words turn into actions.

These most recent truths are gifts truly of the Holy Spirit, and even though these realizations/affirmations surpass my understanding, I can only continue to trust and keep on trying.

This morning I really struggled to get out of bed. My therapist offered me a beautiful gem for such days, and it really works. I set my alarm and allowed myself to become enveloped with how I felt and thought, but as soon as my alarm went off, with lots of cajoling and self-talk I knew if I did not get moving, I would only have myself to blame.

Now, here’s where things go against my typical pessimistic turtle tendencies. I make my bed each day out of habit, but also by the end of the day if I do nothing super productive, I can at least say, self, give yourself credit for making your bed. And yes, often it feels as if my depression and self-destructive tendencies sure need a good talkin’ to on a regular basis.

☺️As I started to begrudgingly make my bed, this strong thought/urge of, “You know what? Take a dose of fuckitall today because I do not want to make my bed.” I felt that childish meh, no I don’t want to take route, then as if on cue or queue the Holy Spirit reigned down some get your ass in gear fire into the brain box. I still remember the thought word for word because it was contrary to my meh morning mindset. “You have to make your bed. It’s when you begin to slack in the little things, it will make its way into the larger areas of life, so do not start now.”

Ok, got it God. I totally felt like I was rightfully chastised, but whether it’s correction from above or in this realm, it is never an easy pill to swallow.

The daily Examine has been such a help to focus on what matters in life, because as each day comes to a close, we are another day closer to our bodily death and eternal entrance wherever that may be. I am far from an upstanding citizen or a saint. I am grappling with my mortality, and I want my life, its interactions and actions to have purpose. This has nothing to do with wanting to earn points with God or something. 🙂

These realizations are not out of piety or Scrupulosity, because been there done that. Rather the inward growth and painful detachment from the empty promises I clung to have crushed me, let me down and broken my trust. A visit to D.C to see the World Youth Day cross and time at the J.P II shrine solidified what always brings me peace is my Catholic faith as well as taking some serious inventory of my spiritual wellbeing. And since you have made it to the end of this ramble, I have one more favor to ask, please and thank you. Keep in your prayers a special intention.

Until next time,

Anjelina

A Reminder for Difficult Disordered Days

Hi again world of readers and blog writers,

So many entries in such a short time after a prolonged silence… Well, this week I have realized my constant consumption of news and the ease at which I get emotionally exhausted from the noise is not healthy on so many levels. Writing has always been therapeutic, and although I do journal, there is a strength I receive from at least authentically writing and if someone finds it of use, then it was for naught. I learn so much from reading what bloggers have to say, because there is an honesty that comes from being behind a keyboard. Some may say blogging is just another way for me to hear myself yammer, so feel free to pick one reason over another. 🙂

The thought of writing a letter to my eating disorder crossed my mind today, because let me tel you, we have a sorted past. I always say with each relapse I move a bit further on the recovery continuum; however, I have realized this rationalization can only go so far.

On one level it deeply saddens me to realize for 2 decades + of my life I have been acquainted with disordered eating. For the first time though this scares me. For the first time I fear anorexia. The first wtf moment, where I was like, self, you really believe you are so impervious to the effects of starvation? Who do you think you are? Jesus being tempted by the devil in the desert? Uh, of course not. I am a human who needs food to live, to maintain some sort of homeostasis if I want to keep the blessings I have in my life. My living space, my work, my friends… I can’t purposefully hasten my death by not eating.

I have never been at this place where I know my body is a bit medically precarious. For the first time I believe the wisdom in treat yourself as you treat others. I would never encourage another to starve themselves, so I deserve to extend the same care to my body.

Anorexia sure has scrambled my brain, but consistent therapy and the daily Examen is teaching me it’s now or never I care for myself.

So this is a reminder to recovery on those difficult eating disorder days.

The next time you make something you enjoy the taste of, this is your body saying thank you for taking care of me.

Physical food is essential to continuing to nourish my soul with spiritual food.

If I believe we are all made in the image of God, then this makes me no different.

You may not succeed every day or even with each meal, but hold onto the feeling of when you do feed yourself, because self-care is not a race.

Although I scoffed at the adage, especially in treatment, they were not lying when I was told food is medicine, it will help you live.

Until next time,

Anjelina

Not to fancy, but this is me

A PRAYER FOR HEALING: Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to You.

Allow Your healing hand to heal me. Touch my soul with Your compassion for others.

Touch my heart with Your courage and infinite love for all.

Touch my mind with Your wisdom, that my mouth may always proclaim Your praise.

Teach me to reach out to You in my need, and help me to lead others to You by my example.

Most loving Heart of Jesus, bring me health in body an spirit that I may serve You with all my strength.

Touch gently this life which You have created, now and forever. Amen.

Written by Priests of the Sacred Heart

I do not have a motivational quote to share or song from which I have drawn strength from, but the above prayer sums up the longing of my soul despite how I feel. This sure is not a well-crafted entry, but what follows is where I am emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

I have no need for dying by suicide, because my inability to get a handle on anorexia will sure speed up my demise. What’s sad to some or more accurate is I am to tired to care or try. Right now I can learn to live with its effects and the thought of recovery feels impossible. I am not at all saying recovery is not possible; rather right now here in this moment it feels daunting.

This next statement is not for pity. For whatever reason today the weight of having a visible disability in a society who has programs/procedures which look golden on paper but harken back to the days of separate but equal or the truth that institutional ableism is alive and strong causes me to feel a mixture of defeat, cynicism and anger. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. It is a source of solace to know this earth with its crosses to carry and challenges to confront is not my eternity, and with each passing day I am closer to death.

I am living, I am surviving, I am holding on, but also as I cling to these truths, my hope is slipping. I am slowly sinking and am fearful in the end depression or some such thing will be the victor in this war for all-around wellness.

With all that said, this is where the real work beyond words comes into play. This is where and when I rely on my faith. I am not delusional buy saying this, but as always, with my cooperation God will see me through. I am rambling, so I will roundup these scattered thoughts. I am here for today, and even if it is just for today or tomorrow, I will pull from my hefty toolbox of recovery and wellness tips to fight what I can not see. Though starvation is an area I seem to excel in, I will die trying to get back in the tiresome game of life.

 

&\**8/10 AM update.

I have the tendency to not take the time to write down those, ya know like-a-feather Holy Spirit bombshell revelations to my later chagrin, so here goes.

The lies and myths of depression, which is in my mind is the title of the unpublished database which houses the distortions of depression is an interesting cycle.

Waking up and getting out of bed at times feels painfully difficult. On those days I can’t even push myself to do what I have to do perpetuates the cycle of self-defeatism which is the place I wrote from yesterday. And don’t worry, I will process all of this with my therapist, but I am realizing I have to find an outlet for my emotions other than crying, (which for me is huge, or subconsciously starving myself. Whether it’s writing more, going boxing, getting together with friends to have a tantrum-throwing party, I don’t know, that’s what has to happen. For me, depression comes first then anorexia is always right there to take over, but no matter what DSM diagnosis sticker, it does not have to have the final say. I do not want it to be.

Ok, so back to the Holy Spirit insight. I need to work to not bemoan my earthly life and long for death, because I woke up today which is prooff I still have work to do, and not whatsoever referring to paid employment. 🙂 This is where trust and saying God, your will be done not mine is Essential. I may not succeed in many ways of the world, but what matters to me is living out my faith which also involves going through changes, putting in the work to spiritually grow and through weakness comes strength and detachment.

Living is sure not easy, and often the weight of anger, sadness, hurt, cynicism, caring to much, feeling to much, and just seeing in our humanity disreguard and intentional meanness can take me to such a dark place where a dose of Fuckitall feels quite plausible but is not the answer.

Please know I sure am no saint, and I fail and can improve just like the next, but I can’t thank God enough for this peace I was able to grasp during the easiest prayer, especially when washing hair, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

 

Until next time, please pray for all who are struggling,

Anjelina

The Church I Love Despite the Hate

Typically participating in weekly Mass renews my soul, nourishes me spiritually, mentally, and strengthens me for the week. Being in the presence of and receiving the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist is like Pedialyte to my soul. However, today I felt the full weight of shame my Catholic, universal Church has caused. The sadness, betrayal, hurt and mistrust many have especially toward Catholicism is absolutely justified, but the purpose of this entry is not to defend what is abhorrent.

I was raised in the Catholic Church which sowed the seeds of faith into my soul and seems to be built into my DNA or something. I have willingly discarded the Church along with my faith in God for the ways of the world which eventually brought me back to where I began, the Church and the faith and Sacraments which were given to me at my birth. Anointing of the Sick after my premature birth, Baptism, penance, Holy Communion and Confirmation. No matter how far I distanced myself, no matter how angry with God I have been, no matter the alluring promises of our “you do you” culture, I must honestly ask myself why did you revert and choose to identify as a practicing Catholic and continue to be a member of such a broken flawed and hypocritical church?

The church leaders and laity around the world, in my state, and in my Diocese, who have knowingly caused and covered up their evil actions, choices and afflicted pain onto God’s most vulnerable, what do you say of that? How can you still profess such a faith?

This poem hopefully will summarize my answer.

“How baffling you are, oh Church, and yet how I love you! How you have made me suffer, and yet how much I owe you! I would like to see you destroyed, and yet I need your presence. You have given me so much scandal and yet you have made me understand what sanctity is. I have seen nothing in the world more devoted to obscurity, more compromised, more false, and yet I have touched nothing more pure, more generous, more beautiful. How often I have wanted to shut the doors of my soul in your face, and how often I have prayed to die in the safety of your arms.

No, I cannot free myself from you, because I am you, though not completely. And besides, where would I go? Would I establish another? I would not be able to establish it without the same faults, for they are the same faults I carry in me. And if I did establish another, it would be my Church, not the Church of Christ. I am old enough to know that I am no better than anyone else. …)

The Church has the power to make me holy but it is made up, from the first to the last, only of sinners. And what sinners! It has the omnipotent and invincible power to renew the Miracle of the Eucharist, but is made up of men who are stumbling in the dark, who fight every day against the temptation of losing their faith. It brings a message of pure transparency but it is incarnated in slime, such is the substance of the world. It speaks of the sweetness of its Master, of its non-violence, but there was a time in history when it sent out its armies to disembowel the infidels and torture the heretics. It proclaims the message of evangelical poverty, and yet it does nothing but look for money and alliances with the powerful.

Those who dream of something different from this are wasting their time and have to rethink it all. And this proves that they do not understand humanity. Because this is humanity, made visible by the Church, with all its flaws and its invincible courage, with the Faith that Christ has given it and with the love that Christ showers on it.

When I was young, I did not understand why Jesus chose Peter as his successor, the first Pope, even though he abandoned Him. Now I am no longer surprised and I understand that by founding his church on the tomb of a traitor(…)He was warning each of us to remain humble, by making us aware of our fragility. (…)

And what are bricks worth anyway? What matters is the promise of Christ, what matters is the cement that unites the bricks, which is the Holy Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit is capable of building the church with such poorly moulded bricks as are we.

And that is where the mystery lies. This mixture of good and bad, of greatness and misery, of holiness and sin that makes up the church…this in reality am I .(…)

The deep bond between God and His Church, is an intimate part of each one of us. (…)To each of us God says, as he says to his Church, “And I will betroth you to me forever” (Hosea 2,21). But at the same time he reminds us of reality: ‘Your lewdness is like rust. I have tried to remove it in vain. There is so much that not even a flame will take it away’ (Ezechiel 24, 12).

But then there is even something more beautiful. The Holy Spirit who is Love, sees us as holy, immaculate, beautiful under our guises of thieves and adulterers. (…) It’s as if evil cannot touch the deepest part of mankind.

He re-establishes our virginity no matter how many times we have prostituted our bodies, spirits and hearts. In this, God is truly God, the only one who can ‘make everything new again’. It is not so important that He will renew heaven and earth. What is most important is that He will renew our hearts. This is Christ’s work. This is the divine Spirit of the Church.”

Carlo Carretto

Jesus is the foundation of my faith which has caused me to feel the anguish and pains of spirutal growth. This is why I will actively live out my Catholic faith on this side of heaven. In the end, to know, love and serve God in this world, and to be happy with him in the next is what it is to be a Christian.

Until next time,

Anjelina

Finding Strength in Weakness

https://youtu.be/4cvK5eBIrboHowdy bloggers. The Mass readings for today really spoke to where I have been and continue to be mentally and spiritually. When it comes to depression, I am blessed beyond measure to have found a therapist who says very few words; however, when she speaks I certainly listen.I falsely bought into this mindset that meds should fix my depression and anxiety, but it is only 5% of the battle, and the rest is the hardest part of doing the heavy lifting to tangibly do something to help myself. The truth that depression may never vacate my life is something I am learning to accept. This is where I can relate to St. Paul’s assertion to let God’s will be done no matter the struggles, because I believe through offering it up, strength can be found in weakness.And fyi, this does not mean I gleefully carry on my merry way without my grumbles to the G man.Here are the readings for today if interested:http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070818.cfmDepression is the cross I try to graciously carry, but today tears and the overwhelming feeling of defeat nearly took me under, but it is the little things I am learning through therapy which have given me tools to make incremental changes. For example, getting out of bed when all I want to do is cry seems to be my recent struggle, but despite how I feel, because feelings are not always factual and are often fleeting, I have been setting a timer so I can have my cry-time, but as soon as the timer goes off, that’s when I have to make a choice to push past how I feel and realize in the little moments I have choices. Now, I am the first to say it sure is not easy, and most of the time as I am going through the motions, the despair does not lift, but in these times I can see the healing in my brokenness.I have been doing a daily Examen, which has also really helped to put each day into perspective. Here is a link about the Examen:https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/26156/the-steps-of-the-examenFeeling the sun, hearing the birds and holding to my faith and the simple prayer, “Jesus, I trust in you” are what keep me going. Also, I know the world cannot bring me peace or eradicate my struggles is even more dependence on my faith, and while this sounds morbid, the truth is each day we are one closer to death, and with heaven as my goal, with ten trillion years of purgatory before my final destination, I can feel the painful reformation and molding God is doing in my heart, mind and soul. And what’s so amazing is how those in my life have been His instruments.I wish no one had to struggle, I wish everyone who claim the title Christian made it a daily way of life instead of a to-do Sunday obligation, and the list goes on and on, but instead of wishing life away,in whatever situations, or through trials, joys and those who are placed in my life I find strength in at least doing what I can each day, and when I falter we are blessed to begin again tomorrow.I pray in what we say and do we can be authentic examples of compassion, kindness and friendship to all we meet.Until next time,Anjelina