Before I Knew Her

 

The  summer after my mom died ten year ago, I discovered a cache of letters, poems, and old photos I had never seen before, many of which dated back to her high school and college years. It was disconcerting, to say the least, to discover that my mother–my mother!–had once been as immature and silly as I remember myself being during those years.  Well, almost. There were other surprises awaiting me as well.

I think I was somewhere in my twenties when I realized that my parents had actually been people before I came into their lives. Interesting, intelligent, fun people, growing and experiencing young adulthood just as I was at the time. My head almost exploded at the thought. “Well, of course,” my mom said mildly, barely looking up from her mystery novel when I shared my discovery with her. My dad just looked at me. “When I was your age, I was fighting a war, ” was all he said, while I stood there with my mouth hanging open and my world tilted on its axis a bit more. Ever since, I’ve been hungry to learn more about them, the young woman and man who became my parents.

My mother’s letters and poems have helped me understand how she dealt (actually, she didn’t really deal) with the sudden loss of her father in a farming accident when she was 20. Reading her prose makes me sad that she never followed up on her youthful ambition to be a writer, and makes me more determined than ever to somehow, someway, realize my dream of becoming one, chronic migraines be damned! Looking through her papers I am continually reminded that although I may not be her flesh and blood, I am so much like her I might just as well be…The passionate love poem she wrote to my dad shortly before their wedding, well, I just have to keep putting that one aside because I can’t wrap my mind around that one, nor am I entire certain I want to!

But most astounding and overwhelming letters that I found were the ones I had no inkling existed, the letters she wrote to God when she converted to the Catholic Church in her early twenties. My mom was a real Christian; she lived the Beatitudes and was warm, generous, joyful, and loving, forgiving, nonjudgmental and kindness itself. But these letters reveal a depth of love so overwhelming that it is shocking, in the the same way some of the more mystical writings of the saints are shocking. It’s a good reminder that not all saints are canonized, that even those we love most have hidden depths, and that, indeed, we are all called to holiness.

 

The Darkness

I have learned things in the dark, that I would never have learned in the light. Things that have saved my life over and over again, so that there is really one logical conclusion. I need darkness as well as light.
Barbara Brown Taylor

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“A light shone in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:5

‘Healthy Privilege’ – when you just can’t imagine being sick

This is terrific and should be required reading for every healthy human being.

Heart Sisters

by Carolyn Thomas   ♥  @HeartSisters

Have you had the experience of knowing something intuitively, but without realizing that the thing you know already has a name?  For example, have you ever found yourself limping along on the losing end of an argument, yet  only much later (when it was far too late!) you suddenly thought of just the perfectly witty retort that you should have come up with? 

There’s a name for that. The French call this l’esprit d’escalier’, literally “the wit of the staircase”.You’re welcome.

Similarly, I’ve been writing for some time about my niggling frustration over something else that I didn’t even realize had an actual name. 

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Sorry I’ve been AWOL!

I’m so sorry I haven’t been posting much lately except reblogs, photos, and quotes. I need to repeat the neck surgery I had a couple of years ago, and I am in a lot of pain and taking muscle relaxers and some serious pain meds. I’ll write more about this later. Just know that I am still alive and haven.t disappeared from the blogosphere!

To See the World With God’s Eyes…

The soul that is united with God sees the world with God’s eyes. That soul, like God, sees what is otherwise rendered invisible and irrelevant .–Dorothee Soelle

 

Protecting Yourself by Liking Yourself

I love this post because, personally, learning to like myself–even part of the time–has been so incredibly difficult. Peeling back all of the layers of shame and defensiveness I’ve encased myself in is truly a struggle. For me, two things have helped. One is my firm belief that I (that we are all) made in the image and likeness of God–the “imago Dei”. The other is a quote from St. Catherine of Siena: “Become who God meant you to be, and you will set the world on fire.”

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Soul Healing Art

Stepping Into Stepping Into

I often wonder what pushes us forward in life. What transforms us? What stimulates our movement from an abusive relationship or toxic behaviors (by others or those we lay upon ourselves)?

And I think it begins with one thought inside of us – we begin to like ourselves. We begin to like ourselves enough to say “No” to things that hurt, belittle, injure, or limit us.

This initial liking may be but a small sliver, but it is enough for the magic to begin. It begins to serve as a reference for what will and what will not be allowed in our lives.

And in this liking of ourselves, we establish a sense of value within ourselves. And like anything of value, we begin to understand that we are worth protecting. So we leave harmful situations or if we can not leave, we begin to take measure both…

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Never Underestimate the Healing Powers of……

I love this list! I wish I had come up with it myself. It’s lovely!

My Meditation Challenge

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Life can throw curve balls at us, some days are tougher than others. We are all in need of healing as long as we are living in these bodies, in this world. I thought it would be fun to make a list of what has helped me in healing myself from the struggles life can seem to make. I would love if you added activities/actions that have helped you to heal your mind, body and soul in the “comments” section below. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

Never Underestimate the Healing Powers of…..

–Curling up under a blanket and getting lost in a book.
–Waking up in the morning and drinking a full glass of water.
–Getting a back massage from a friend.
–Finding a new park or neighborhood that you have never been to and going for a walk in it.
–Writing three full pages of whatever is on your mind…

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Not Just A Day

Migraines, fibromyalgia, Reynaud’s, kyphosis, PTSD…none of these are terribly rare, but because they are mostly invisible, many people don’t know the toll these kinds of illnesses take of a person’s lives, their friendships, careers, and family.
“Be kind. For everyone is fighting a hard battle.” (Plato)

Migraine Discussions

Today is Rare Disease Awareness Day. The main objective of the day is to raise awareness amongst the general public and decision-makers about rare diseases and their impact on patients’ lives.

Today I think of my love Michael Fernandez and the fight he, his family and I take in order to put the awareness out there about Churg Strauss Disease and the fight for his life . If you Google Churg-Strauss the normal description it has states that it “is a disorder marked by blood vessel inflammation. This inflammation can restrict blood flow to vital organs and tissues, sometimes permanently damaging them.” As simple as it seems its much worse when you witness what it does to the patient. Michael constantly is deal with pain from head to toe from the constricts of blood flow. His breathing has become much worse that now he uses an inhaler.

For his family and…

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