Pre-LentenReflection repost

In preparation for the season of Lent, the below is taken from the Diocese of Harrisburg Facebook page.

 

“Let’s pause and pray, today, for one another
and for all who will come to pray tomorrow,
on Ash Wednesday…

Let’s pause and pray for us all:
a fresh start with God,
a new beginning in prayer,
a second chance to do what’s right…

Let’s pause and pray
for a season of serving others, near and far,
especially those most in need of help…

Let’s pause and pray for all:
a springtime of renewal,
a season of mercy and grace,
leading us to the joy of Easter
and the peace of the Risen Jesus…

Amen.

Courtesy of: A Concord Pastor Comments”

 

Until next time,

Anjelina

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What It Is to Truly Love

Long time no write. Well, guess who? Yep, me again. Same old sinner just another day who is late to posting this ramble…

AsI bask in the warmth of sunshine and welcome warmer temps, despite how awful I feel emotionally, these little natural reminders from God give me hope with His grace and my compliance this will be a steppingstone of growth and detachment to seek His will rather than my own.

I have been asking myself the following: why do I do the things I know I should not do? Well, I have learned something about myself in the process. For whatever reason when knowledge travels from the head to the heart it hurts something fierce. The readings from this Sunday and today were the bash over the head I did not want but sure needed.

 

1 Cor. 12

Brothers and sisters,
If I speak in human and angelic tongues,
but do not have love,
I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.
And if I have the gift of prophecy,
and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge;
if I have all faith so as to move mountains,
but do not have love, I am nothing.
If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast,
but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.
If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing;
if tongues, they will cease;
if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing.
For we know partially and we prophesy partially,
but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
When I was a child, I used to talk as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
when I became a man, I put aside childish things.
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror,
but then face to face.
At present I know partially;
then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
but the greatest of these is love.

 

During a retreat I remember doing an activity where we replaced our name in for “love.” I tried this exercise this weekend and certainly come up short because I have a long way to go to cultivate the qualities of love, but it is something I strive for each day. I strive and fail and maybe sometimes succeed at displaying love in my friendships, relationships with coworkers, interactions with family and encounters with strangers, but something deeper settled into my soul with a resounding thud when I read the above reading for Sunday’s Mass in my parish bulletin.

My Catholic faith is most important in my life, and I do not try to live it out because of some fear of hellish retribution, but rather it is my source of peace and strength; however, I often lose sight of this truth and try to do things my way rather than listening to wisdom and intuition. The following words of Bishop Barron rang clear to me, and this tore my heart in two because I know I have epically failed.

 

“To love is to will the good of the other as other. It is to break out of the black hole of one’s own self-regard and truly desire what is best for another. Therefore, to be sure, love is inclusive in the measure that it recognizes the essential dignity of each individual; love is tolerant, inasmuch as it respects the goodness of even those who hold errant points of view.”

 

Love is not giving or saying to another what is wanted, but it is unclenching my fists to let go of what I am holding onto and accepting I am not God. Some may say love does not hurt, but I offer another point of view. Love does hurt because it wants what is best for another even if it is uncomfortable.

 

“What is the mark of love for your neighbor? Not to seek what is for your own benefit, but what is for the benefit of the one loved, both in body and in soul.”
St. Basil the Great

 

I was reminded today the most difficult thing is to forgive myself for my shortcomings, and since God has forgiven me I need to extend forgiveness to myself which sure is not easy. I pray every day with my setbacks and successes I keep on learning, changing and always thank God for opening my heart and mind to what it means to truly love as He does.

 

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” C.S. Lewis

 

Until next time,

Anjelina

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

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