“Don’t gain the world and loose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold.”
Long time no write, eh? Despite the current soggy weather, rumor has it summer has arrived.
Over the past year I wanted to resume writing; however, often I found reasons to justify not doing so, and in the end, neglecting purging on virtual paper my thoughts/feelings culminated into a mucky mixture of anxiety, depression and at times unbearable emotional pain. Instead of continuously sinking into the quicksand, and mindlessly allowing history to repeat itself, I am trying a different way for a change.
My life is often compartmentalized into transformational segments. Grief, joy, and happiness have spiritually, emotionally and mentally broken me to the core of my being and from the ashes somehow by the grace of God my life is transformed.
I have realized when I allow God and life to work in and through me, such as returning to the faith I cherished as a child and took for granted as an immature, stubborn, know-it-all adult. Words cannot explain the blessings I can often see on the other side of the refining process; however, going through the dismantling and reassembling is painful. I know it is purposeful, so maybe this is a spiritual exercise in redemptive suffering. Since my last entry, so much happened which has stripped me of just existing from day-to-day. The build-up of tangible loss, sadness, loneliness, depression, and even a sense of stability prompted this entry. It is interesting how for me depression, Anorexia and anxiety have unique ways of getting down to the bare bones of the thoughts and emotions I erroneously thought I was obviously not so expertly avoiding.
During these figurative splits in life, I find myself examining my life with a fine-tooth comb. From everything I possess along with frequently taking the pulse of my mental and spiritual status. I respect for many these realizations may be of no use, but if they are helpful, know you are not alone in not just accepting who or where you are in life. I truly believe life is about becoming better than we were yesterday, and this also includes not completely relinquishing all the baggage we cannot so easily check at the door.
I preface what I am going to write with the assurance I am not suicidal or have a plan to harm myself or anyone else. So, here we go.
The closest daily activity I can equate the past year with is seeing my life through a mirror. Instead of simply noticing a few favorable qualities as well as numerous faults from a skewed perspective, examining what I long for to use the remainder of my earthly time through the lens of my faith feels like a burden and prayerfully is somehow a blessing unknown to me.
Some day we are going to die. We cannot escape it and as ardently as we try to stave off the inevitable, ready or not, the death of our human body will greet us, and just as when we entered this world, all our possessions will not accompany us on our next stop. Knowing something logically is vastly different from beliefs and feelings. I often think about death, and yes, mostly when I am depressed suicidal ideations are a constant struggle, but the angle from which I am currently processing death is a mixed bag. These realizations have moved from simply head to heart/head knowledge and I am finding this rearranging a bit emotionally uncomfortable because, at the core of who I am, what I long for will not be obtained in this earthly life. This earthly existence will never bring me the peace I seek.
Whether it is today or ten years from now or some other time to be determined, I will die. This marry-go-round ride will stop, and although I have faith that maybe I will spend ten trillion years in purgatory because I am not worthy of heaven, prayerfully God will have mercy on my soul. No matter where I or any of us spend our eternity, the reality is each day we have choices. I can ritualistically go through the motions of my Catholic faith, but if I do not put all the professions of faith into action, then I am a hypocrite.
I often become frustrated and jaded by our society which simply accepts the way things are just because of our boxish tendencies, whether it be our social groups or political circles. Imagine if we put into action the faith we Christians profess, how transformed our world could be? Btw, this has nothing to do with current hot button political topics.
I know my little island eutopia of books, music and all-around authenticity may be an imaginary state, but if only we could work toward respecting one another, our differences, the life lessons and stories or experiences so many we initially discount.
I am a highly sensitive person to my detriment, and a frustrating downside of this trait is emotionally feeling the pain of others. In some ways it can be a gift of connection and investment especially during happy joyous times; however, general life events on various levels over the past year sure have been an emotionally rinse and repeat cycle. It is a form of connection that is not superficial, but on the other hand the pain of humanity, the daily happenings in the world, the petty squabbles I read or hear about hurts and I am left with this indescribable longing for peace, for all of this to end and for me to understand why I am going through this torment.
During a walk I heard the chattery chirps from birds and the sounds of lives going on around me, my soul felt both anchored down with worldly sorrow, as well as this indescribable yearning for the world to not just know but also fully embrace and feel this sorrow, pain and compassion for one another in the hopes no matter religious affiliation or lack thereof, we can be the visible Church of Christ on earth.
I cling to the truth whether on this side of heaven or when I take my dirt nap, God will reveal to me the wisdom of His plan or maybe the missteps of my earthly life which brought about this grief.
As I am writing this well after the conclusion of Lent, I have realized the gift of liturgical seasons has a way of returning me to the big questions of life, and each year as I grow, regress, change and try to be a better person than I was before, I feel as if my spiritual speedometer is getting a workout, however, it is putting ware on me mentally, physically and emotionally.
I have always valued the liturgical seasons of the Church, and unlike previous years this Lent and Easter were not just about going through the routine no meat on Fridays, Ash Wednesday, fasting, prayers, sacraments and penance and almsgiving trickled into a feeling of longing. It was not like a happy spiritual high or anything. It has been a deep sadness for my brokenness, the evil and pain in the world, and the pain I see in the lives I encounter. These feelings are tiring, and there are many days I pray for God to take away this intensity, but as long as I am living, I will keep on keeping on.
I am rambling, and my editing tendency is starting to creep in, so I will do my best to put this entry to bed.
- Please, whatever you do, recognize in life we are all in this together. The greeting you give to a stranger, the ear you offer to a friend who is going through a difficult time, the gossipy words we withhold as to not speak untruths about another are small ways I am learning what it means to truly live and respect one another as we want to be respected.
- Related to eating disorder recovery, I do not know if I will be alive at 40, because truthfully, I know my body will not take any more of my madness without repercussions, but what I do know is if I do nothing worthwhile with my life, I pray I can at least try. Each day although I may not succeed with following my meal plan, I can at least try. If we do not try, then how can we know whether we can overcome?
- Recently I have pondered why I have maintained this blog for so many years. Initially, I thought maybe I should resort to private free writing, because who wants to read my rambles? I realized even if I die today, prayerfully with my little life lessons contained in this blog, they could be paid forward to the world in some way. We never know how our actions, no matter how small or monumental can change or even save a life.
I pray we can all live out Mary’s fiat, and say: “I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
I am sad, worn down mentally, physically and emotionally, but what keeps me going each day is my faith which gives me strength and trust that this too shall pass, and life lessons will be learned. Without the gift of my Catholic faith and Audrey Assad songs, I would be without hope to keep on keeping on.
Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.
Until next time,