The End Of The Road Is But A Bend In The Road

Hi there,

As we approach this Leten season, (how is it nearly March 1 already), no matter our current burdens or vices, I pray we can take a respite from life and its demands for quiet reflection and contemplation for spiritual growth. Since my rambling words are not sufficient, I hope the below poem speaks to you in some meaning ful way.

 

“The End Of The Road Is But A Bend In The Road

by Helen Steiner Rice

When we feel we have nothing left to give

And we are sure that the “song has ended”—

When our day seems over and the shadows fall

And the darkness of night has descended,

 

Where can we go to find the strength

To valiantly keep on trying,

Where can we find the hand that will dry

The tears that the heart is crying—

 

There’s but one place to go and that is to God

And, dropping all pretense and pride,

We can pour out our problem without restraint

And gain strength with Him at our side—

 

And together we stand at life’s crossroads

And view what we think is the end,

But God has a much bigger vision

And he tells us it’s only a bend—

 

For the road goes on and is smoother,

And the “pause in the song” is a “rest,”

And the part that’s unsung and unfinished

Is the sweetest and richest and best—

 

So rest and relax and grow stronger,

Let go and let God share your load,

Your work is not finished or ended,

You’ve just come to “a bend in the road.”

Until next time,

Anjelina

I Am More Than a Viral Feel Good Story or Culmination of “Likes”

Hi all,

With this entry, I will attempt to remain objective, however, with how riled I felt when first reading the article which sparked this post, I cannot confidently promise my knee-jerk reactions will not rise to the surface.

I am going to take a stab at statistics, which was not my strong suit in college, and assume most who visit this blog are most likely either sighted readers with some type of disability whether it is visible or not, or fully able-bodied folks who have their own perceptions of the conglomeration called disability.

Please seriously reflect on and consider how you would answer the following questions: if you have interacted with a blind or visually impaired person, what was your initial reaction? Did you see their noticeable disability first because they used a white cane or dog guide, or read Braille or used screen enlargement software to make print bigger? Did you worry about how you should approach or help them if needed?

If you have not had personal contact with a blind or visually impaired person, and your only exposure to visual impairments is either from media sources or stories from the Bible, what do you truthfully believe are the capabilities of a blind person? Do you feel pity, a sense of superiority or sorrow for their lot in life, because you could not imagine living life without sight or limited vision?

I have never been fully sighted, so I do not know what it is to drive, to see further than 10 feet in front of me, to see details or to get lost in a library or bookstore because I am simply enjoying the ability to peruse shelves upon shelves of page-turning engaging stories.

I will admit there are many aspects of sight which baffle my mind such as how can someone see for a mile away on a clear day, or how a person’s memory can maintain so much visual information such as facial expressions and the list goes on and on, however, what I will never understand, and no one has been able to yet provide a sufficient explanation is why the lack of sight is so feared in our society.

I Encourage all to read this article

Which states a staggering finding that “researchers at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that most Americans regard loss of eyesight as the worst ailment that could happen to them.”

I wholeheartedly concur losing one’s sight is an adjustment, it’s a grieving process and even when you’ve reached the point blindness is no big deal or something you do not even give a second thought to in your day-to-day life routine, there will come those days when being sighted would be preferable to blindness, which is primarily connected to the inconveniences of our society’s structure which unfortunately perpetuates the deeply entrenched misconception that living a happy, productive meaningful life without sight is a phenomenal feat only reserved for those select few amazing, inspirational blind people.

I do not mention the fact I went totally blind in high school for pity sake or a sensational sentence starter, rather it is to find common ground and recognize I partially can appreciate the fear and grieving process many have or may encounter surrounding vision loss, but what I cannot, and will never accept or embrace are these harmful backwards attitudes and actions, no matter whether intentional or not, we continue to see in our supposed progressive land of ADA, inclusion and tolerance. This article being read in such a highly-publicized forum,

Photo Of Grocery Store Worker Helping Blind Customer Shop Goes Viral

furthers the condescending concept that disability equates to pity or fodder for some feel good head line or story.

  • I am more than a viral feel good story or culmination of social media “Likes”
  • I am not to be pitied for my existence just because I may either use non-visual techniques or require occasional assistance with tasks sighted people believe are only able to be completed with sight.
  • I am a person who has many interests, failures, and successes, which have nothing to do with the fact I happen to be blind
  • I am not a caged animal at the zoo for your gawking pleasure, your photo opp or object of amusement
  • Sight is not superior to thinking outside of the box and learning alternative techniques which in some cases are faster than relying on sight
  • Receiving assistance in a public place is not a pull at heartstrings, rather it is an adaptation to complete a task

Now that I am all rambled out, what are your reactions or honest opinions?

Until next time,

Anjelina

Life Story

Next week is set aside to bring National awareness to eating disorders. I am reblogging this entry because not only can I relate to each and every word since I often feel as if “I’m not sick enough for help”, or my mind conjures up many of these illogical justications for not receiving help, but more importantly this entry also is a needed reminder to the general public eating disorders are more than appearance, they go deeper than surface level, and to anyone in recovery or relapse, we are all deserving of physical, mental, and emotional wellness.

The Raw Reality of Eating Disorder Recovery

 

Hi there,

I am hoping I can make some sort of intelligible connections with the recent place I am mentally related to eating disorder recovery, so if you can glean something helpful, way to go for comprehending my ramblings, and if you have feedback, tips or a reality check, I am all ears.

For anyone in recovery, I am sure you’ve heard the comments which are intended to be motivating or have received the tough love, reverse psychology approach some misinformed friends or family use to accelerate recovery. Or maybe in their own way they hope it will return you to the person you were prior to an eating disorder, I don’t know.

I don’t know because I do not remember who I was before anorexia. I’ve lost sight of the freedom to eat a meal without fixating on irrelevant details such as the size of the plate, the name of the dish, especially if it has adjectives about size or weight in the title. Reading over this last sentence makes me feel screwy, because logically I know, who in their right mind cares? This is my experience with an eating disorder. It makes no sense, it has no rhyme or reason except to slowly kill me  

Today I went out for an enjoyable lunch with coworkers, and that damn bitch of an eating disorder screwed with my head the whole time. The mental exhaustion of logically knowing despite having to interact with food you possess the ability to socially assimilate with others, but then the thoughts, feelings and associated obsessions come boiling to the surface. Oh, and we can’t forget the planning for the future to undo any perceived bit of damage whether real or a blatant lie.

Please someone tell me when does it stop? Maybe it’s just been today and if I hold to the truth that tomorrow will be better this will come to fruition, but this is where I am right in the moment.

Recovery is frustrating, uncomfortable, difficult, tiring, however, I had little glimpses of what it felt like to be free of this prison, although a brief respite from the madness. I am thankful for these memories of clarity, because I do not know if I could have continued down this path or would have even survived this hellacious war for the past 20 tormenting years if this journey would have been one unending relapse.

I truly hate anorexia more than I did when I was 13 or even 23, but where I am I going wrong when it comes to recovery? Why care about a stupid number on the scale, or in clothing sizes that logically means nothing?

I’ve been trying to follow my old ass meal plan and try not to obsess over the specifics, but without fail eating equals feeling full, which then translates into illogical distorted perceptions of my body and then it’s time for reconstruction mode to kick in since the symbolic voice will not shut up with the self-deprecating comments. Now, I try to remind myself, Anjie, you don’t have to give the eating disorder control, but I have this irrational fear of losing it altogether.

If I actively work at recovery each day with all its messy, emotional, exposures of my vulnerabilities and weaknesses, then what of me? What will people think if I cry over a stupid snack or meal because I intensely emotionally and physically feel too much? I am supposedly a 33-year-old professional, daughter, Mother, friend, and sister, but the way my mind works some days I feel as if I am not worthy of these titles.

I hate sitting with those feelings with nowhere to go and nothing productive to do. Yes, I have tried the distraction techniques which temporarily work, however, I am realizing the pressure to measure up, to keep up, to be who I long to be is a double-edged sword.

While outwardly I am sort of successful. I graduated with my MSW, have a wonderful fulfilling job and authentic friendships I wouldn’t trade for the world, in the long-run what am I really doing? What if everyone knew who I really was or the not-so-good mental health days?

By avoiding recovery, being passive, sort of motivated but not, actively restricting but fighting back with all I have some day’s over others, how will this sorted soul-sucking story end?

God, right now I do not have the answers. I do not have the strength to deal with dinner, but I must. I must because you haven’t brought me this far for me to give up. I will divide and conquer and if so be it I will fake it until I “make it.”

For anyone in a similar place, know you are not alone, and we may not have all the answers to the questions at this exact moment, or even quickly win each battle of relapse and recovery, but let’s cling to the assurance recovery and overall wellness are possible with faith, hope, love, dedication and healthy supports.

Until next time, be well

Anjelina

 

What We Deserve reflection

Hi all on this rainy day,

Based on unfortunate happenings today, I have been forced to seriously evaluate what I deserve in life, and rather than focusing inward, I believe these criteria are applicable to us as human beings. Especially also with Valentine’s Day coming up this Tuesday, when most of our society is focused on “love”, many men and women are sadly suffering through abusive relationships. May we always be mindful abuse does not have to be just physical. At times emotional, mental and verbal abuse can cause deeper wounds than one can visually see, for anyone who has also come through to the other side of an abusive relationship, may we never forget this short list of things we all deserve no matter our pasts, current situations or future choices.

We deserve:

•To be heard

•To be ourselves

•To be loved.

•To make mistakes and learn from them.

•To have joint control and say in decisions in relationships

•To make our own decisions whether good or bad

•To be respected for our choices

•To be honest with those who hurt us with our words or actions

•To give respect, love, and attentiveness to others.

•To guard our heart

•To listen before speaking

•To not have to justify our actions as adults to others in order to seek their approval

•To value and love ourselves by caring for our mind, body and spirit

•To be happy

•To feel sad and share our pain with those we trust

•To be ourselves with all our authentic strengths and weaknesses

•To improve ourselves

•To make choices

•To live our lives free of emotional manipulation, retribution or fear

•To actively live out our chosen faith in supportive communities void of condemnation

•To live this precious gift of life

Whether someone tells you on Valentine’s Day or all the other days of the year, know you are valued, a unique gem and this world would not be the same without you.

Until next time,

Anjelina

 

Mass Reflection: Being The Light of the World

Hello there, welcome to the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary time.

While many are watching the Super Bowl, I thought I would take time to attempt to make up for my lack of blog entries with some random reflections. This morning I was honored to be one of many who celebrated in a beautifully personalized Mass at the Cathedral for a friend from Theology on Tap who was received fully into the Church with the sacraments of Communion and Confirmation.

It has been refreshing to see a catechumen so on fire for her faith. Most of my friends who are Catholic are like me, cradle Catholics who at times take our faith for granted. I know I did not value my faith until I completely walked away from it and reverted with a deeper love and appreciation for the beauty, fullness and truth of Christ’s Church.

Here are

Today‘s Readings from the USCCB

Fr. Brommer’s homily focused on the Gospel which proclaimed,

“You are the salt of the earth.

But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?

It is no longer good for anything

but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

You are the light of the world.

A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.

Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand,

where it gives light to all in the house.

Just so, your light must shine before others,

that they may see your good deeds

and glorify your heavenly Father.”

 

We were reminded as practicing Catholics, the Church impacts our relationships, helps shape our opinions and perspectives, but do we often stay in our comfortable familiar circles without venturing out to minister to those of different or no particular faiths?

The larger question is “who is the Church?” As the Catholic, meaning “universal” Church, it is all Christian believers whose purpose is to live our lives in such a way we bring god the glory.

While as a practicing Roman Catholic I may have theological differences with my fellow Christians of different denominations, I pray in our own personal ways we can reach out and be the salt and light to the world, because the Church is all believers, and as St. John said, “they will know us by the love We have for one another.” Recent life changes have reinforced the idea that I cannot cause conversion in someone’s heart, or steadfastly clinging to my narrow-minded life goals does not freely permit God to work in my life.

Being part of such a moving Mass for a beautiful friend who has joined the Church family has renewed my prayer that rather than attempt to single-handedly orchestrate my life, I ask for the Holy spirit to ascend upon us all so we can go out into our parts of the world and put into practice the “culture of encounter” as displayed by our Papa Francis.

This fitting song was our Communion hymn

I Want To Walk As A Child

 

May through modeling the examples of our heavenly Saints who have gone before us and reliance on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I pray we carry out the Great Commission through our words and actions to all we meet no matter their faith journey, because God’s always up to some greater good that we may not see at the time.

Until next time,

Anjelina

Letting Go reflection

Hello all my blog lovin’ friends,

It has been some time since I last put keys to computer, so here goes a beyond brief hodgepodge of rambling realizations in the form of a poem by an unknown author. I hope to return in the near future with a more engaging entry.

I will first start off by saying this rendition of

Audrey Assad’s Bridge Over Troubled Water

has not only been on my daily music merry-go-round over the past few days, it also has been instrumental in helping me come to terms with the difficult and at times painful pieces of life as well as provided the strength to embrace the positive people God has graciously placed in my life. If I attempted to summarize the below poem, it would become a muddled mess, so since I concur with all that is said, I pray these words of wisdom speak to you where you are. I also pray we continually seek the strength and understanding from our Creator, the one who knows us better than we know ourselves, and may we live a life pleasing to Him.

 

Letting Go Poem

Author Unknown

 

Letting go doesn’t mean to stop caring;

It means I can’t do it for someone else.

To let go is not to cut myself off…

It’s the realization that I can’t control another…

Letting go is not to enable,

but to allow learning from natural consequences.

To let go is to admit powerlessness,

which means the outcome is not in my hands.

To let go is not to try and change or blame another,

I can only change myself.

To let go is not to care for, but to care about.

To let go is not to fix, but to be supportive.

To let go is not to judge,

but to allow another to be a human being.

To let go is not to be in the middle

arranging all the outcomes,

but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.

To let go is not to be protective,

It is to permit another to face reality.

Letting go is not to deny, but to accept.

To let go is not to nag, scold, or argue,

but to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.

To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,

but to take each day as it comes and cherish the moment.

To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,

but to try to become what I dream I can be.

To let go is not to regret the past,

but to grow and live for the future.

 

Until next time,

Anjelina