You are dust

I am Catholic, want to stay Catholic but don’t agree with all the messages that are said and things that are done. For example…

Today is Ash Wednesday.  Crossofashes

My husband and one of my kids went to the early prayer service at 6am as that fit our schedule the best.  I am grateful that I am now able to counter the negative brow-beating messages myself and not be spoon fed crap.  For example, there are a few different phrases that can be used when distributing ashes and the one that she said to me today is the one I hate the most.  “You are dust and to dust you shall return.”  What an inspiring, motivating way to start the day!  NOT!  So, recognizing the way I feel about it and having the power to change it, I immediately said the phrase that I prefer, “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.”  Now that is empowering and inspiring!  I recognize that I have faults and I sin, but it is really hard to stand tall as a forgiven child of the Father who has a plan of sheer goodness for me when I am beating my breast as I am being told how much of nothing I am.

That doesn’t jive for me!

Not inspirational to me anyway

So I am really struggling who to listen to, who to get daily inspiration from.  Folks that I have followed in the past are stirring me up now.  I get a physical sick feeling in my stomach sometimes with what they say.  Things that I used to think were good for me.

But I’ve dug a whole lot of new grooves.  Healthy thoughts leading me in a better direction and those past guru’s don’t seem to hold as much wisdom for me.

Like this morning, my daily inspiration from Matthew Kelly.  “Life is not about getting what you want.”   I read it and wanted to throw up.  Maybe it is because of my abusive past, which I WANTED TO STOP.  So reading this, I shouldn’t have wanted it to stop because that is not what life is about.  Bullshit.  I think I’ll be unsubscribing to that daily email.

“That doesn’t jive”

I struggle with some things in the Catholic Church.  Things, but probably more accurately, things that people do.  I’ve decided to vent with the topic title, “The Doesn’t Jive.” It’s crap like this that turns people away from the church.  BUT…the church is a God-made entity with human beings running it. I believe we must remember they are human, however there must be accountability for behavior. A couple of things that I jotted down last Saturday night as I wondered WHY…

…The authority of our parish consistently preaches about getting to mass early and staying through the  last song BUT one of the priests more often than not starts mass 3-4 clockimagesminutes late?  That doesn’t jive!

 

…People in charge of teach high school kids how to pray silently BUT immediately turn on music?  That painmandoesn’t jive!

…I find most of the messages I hear preached about money are negative- it is the root of all evil, we shouldn’t love it, debt is bad, BUT they are always asking us for it!  That doesn’t jive!moneyindex

 

This stuff being said, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is that we have a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with our Lord and Savior in order for us to discern our course of action.  Yes, people do things within the church that don’t jive, but that doesn’t mean we stop having a relationship with HIM.  THAT doesn’t jive at all.

It’s not for me

My husband and I just got back from church.  One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to go to confession once a month.  So I put it in my calendar and made it happen.  I was reflecting on the way there and thought I would have some time in church to  continue to think before I went in.  But was I ever wrong!

Reconciliation times are set to begin right after mass on Saturday mornings.  Well I guess that is also the time to say the rosary and every other litany and prayer that the people there can think of.

My husband drove me and when we walked in, he wondered how I was going to handle it, knowing how I feel about these situations.  I went and stood at the end of a long line and pulled my hood over my head to muffle the noise so I could at least try to remember what I wanted to say.  The line moved fairly quickly as I listened to monotonous rattling of the Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s.  But I wondered how long it would be before I needed to add more sins to confess because of what I did while I was waiting in line.

I watched people who were waiting in line in front of me praying the rosary until they went into the confessional and immediately starting again after they quickly came out.  I think it is a fair bet for me to guess that they do this every week.  I found my blood starting to boil, probably because I am learning not to stuff my feelings down with food anymore, and wondered how they could properly reflect before going into the confessional while simultaneously joining in the praying too?

I ached for quiet but calmly handled the situation without punching anyone or squatting down wrapping my arms around my ears and screaming for them to shut up. My husband and I spoke on the way home. He said that he couldn’t judge those people for what they were doing but can say without reservation that “it wasn’t for him.”  And he was totally ok with that.  And for probably the first time in my life, I can say the same thing.

I feel connected with God and I know when I feel his presence and what he is calling me to do and the little steps he is calling me to take.  That is what I need to focus on. So next month, I think I might go a little bit later to get in line.

 

How does she do it?

I am substitute teaching today in a 3rd grade classroom.  I have never seen such disrespect and attitude in one place in my life.  I have been holding back tears all day morning and it is all I can do not to run out of here and go home.

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Most of my days subbing are great, they really are.  I find ways to connect with the students and do the best I can with the lessons the teachers leave for me to teach.  But today, it is my lunch hour and I feel like throwing up.  The thought of eating is making me sick.  And THAT has NEVER happened before!  But food is no longer a tool that I need to process.  So process I must do.

I seriously do not know how this teacher can come into work everyday to this group of kids!  So how do I get through the next 3 hours and 46 minutes?  Well, my husband is praying for me and I know that ALWAYS makes things better.  ALWAYS.

I need to not let the couple problem kids ruin the experience for the rest of the class.  I need to be more matter of fact of the situation.  If they are following the school rules, I will reward them with a paw, if they are not, they get a warning and a stop sign and after 2 stops signs, a minor.  Cut and dried.  No emotion necessary.

I can cry on my drive home.

Don’t get ahead of me

So typical Vicki.  Always trying to figure out God and his plan for me.  Usually running ahead, trying to predict.

Today He reminded me to just be faithful and do exactly what he is asking me to do and the rest will unfold.

Okay, okay, okay

I’ve been stingy

I was listening to a new movie called The Abundance Factor.

Lots of things got my attention.  One thing was a statement about being stingy.  If you are stingy, then expect stingy back.  And it made me reflect on ways that I have been stifled that have caused me to be stingy, with my attitude and with my time. Most of my activity revolves around my faith and church and it is very difficult when people in authority make decisions that I don’t agree with and that I think are wrong.  The attitude that I have taken is one of “brush off and screw you.”

And I realized today how stifling that has been for me.  It has killed my creative energies and enthusiasm.

And I decided today, that if I am stopped, I will discern if I am to proceed and if I am being led to continue in my path, I will merely choose a different path.  Much easier said than done I know, but being aware of it has been half of my battle.  The other half is deciding to keep going.

Well, that makes subconscious sense

Any one that has been abused in any way, let me even say traumatized in any way, has a multitude of things that go on.  And we all handle the effects of that trauma in different ways.  Our body reacts physically to the trauma and cause changes that actually lock it into our DNA.  Whatever impressions we have or beliefs we make at the time are also locked in.  Impressions and beliefs can be consciously changed by digging new grooves and filling those old trauma grooves with the fresh dirt from the grooves of truth.  But we must first realize what the impressions or beliefs are that are driving us.

That understanding was necessary for me to have in order to share what I finally understood about the diet program that I have been having great success with since August 17, 2015.  As of today, I am down 47.2 pounds!

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I feel great and am planning to drop another 35-40.

I have been an advocate/coach of health and fitness at some level for over 40 years.  I have worked at a local health club, done jazzercise, tons of workout videos, treadmill, stationary bike, and taken drops, shakes, supplements, but until now, not found a program that really addresses the truth of the situation.  We have to eat less food.  Period.  I have been spending years trying to manipulate the situation so I could eat more and still lose weight.  Not possible folks.

I know I have been using food as tool.  Stuffing my feelings inside.  Making myself fat so I wouldn’t be pretty so I would get raped AGAIN.  All of those things for years subconsciously controlled my behavior.  I have spent alot of time and effort digging new grooves and retraining my brain that food is merely fuel.  It is not a reward, it is not a treat, it is not the way to escape.  It is still hard as the other unhealthy grooves were REALLY, REALLY DEEP.  But it is working.

Except one thing.

I have a hard time contacting the group when I need help, when I feel like cheating.  Now, they encourage us to reach out and contact whenever we need help or have a question.  The encourage it all the time. It is one of the foundations of their program:  I agreed to ask for help when I felt like not doing the program or had a question.  I have learned to ask for help in other areas of my life, so why is this so hard?

Well, for one thing, asking for help makes us vulnerable.  And in my experience, being vulnerable gets you abused.  That is a fact for me.  I was sexually abused from the time I was little until I was 18, multiple times by multiple men, so being vulnerable was not a healthy thing.  Even asking for help was not safe as that backfired on me.  So I learned to handle everything on my own.  That was the only safe way to survive.  Fact.

But the abuse is over now.  And I have S-L-O-W-L-Y learned to trust again.

But who to trust?  I am very observant, as I have had to be in my experience, to try to be prepared for what was coming, so I see and notice alot.  And here is what I have observed about F.A.S.T. Diet out of Omaha Nebraska.

They are knowledgeable.  They are timely and thorough and have proven methods.  They are truthful and not gimmicky.  They are incredibly reasonably priced. They don’t pull any punches and require daily accountability but they are understanding.  They have the tools in place to help you succeed.  So why am I having such a hard time being vulnerable with them when I am struggling?

It occurred to me this morning.  Their website address is meanestmanindieting.com.

So every night when I check in, I see that website address.  EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.  Every night for the last 164 days it has been visually reinforced to me that this group is the “meanest man in dieting.”  That groove is getting dug deep in my brain.

So what’s the big deal you ask?  So what if he is mean?  Well, in my experience, mean men abuse me.  And I know other mean men who abuse people I care about.  So it would not make subconscious sense for me to allow myself to be vulnerable to a mean man.

And that make perfect conscious sense to me.

Watch your back

Man, he is slick.  Sly. Cunning.  Smooth.  As soon as I think I am good, I find myself down a slippery slope, not even knowing when I lost my footing.

Stand firm against the tactic of the devil.  Guard us in the battle.

So I cannot let my guard down?

But just saying that can be exhausting.  So what I am supposed to do?

Who can watch my back for me?

Do I always have to be on guard?

Talk about stressful.

So what is the answer?

I understand we are in a battle, but holy cow, to always be looking around is too much.  I’ve actually lived my life like that for a L-O-N-G time; checking out closets in an empty house to make sure no one was going to pop out and attack me, watching EVERYONE in a restaurant to make sure I knew everyone’s story so I can protect my space, not letting myself receive.  I finally have been able to relax and trust, but crap, if I have to be aware of the cunning evil one ALL THE TIME, THAT IS JUST TOO MUCH.

I seriously don’t know the answer.  It was not a hypothetical question.

Who’s got my back?

St. Michael?  We ask him to defend us in battle.  The prayer I pray goes like this:  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil . May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

So is that it?  I am not utilizing all the resources that God has given me?  Jesus called on legions of angels.  I for sure have one guardian angel assigned to me and according to the author of Angels in my Hair, Lorna Byrne, there are tons of unoccupied angels just waiting to be asked to help us.

So that is my answer, for now anyway.  Call upon the angels to guard for me so I don’t have to stress.

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Thanks Michael

and my special one.

And the rest!

Vitamin for the Soul

That is what my husband called my blog today.  I apologized to him for being so edging last night and explained that it was subconsciously eating at me that I hadn’t been obedient and blogging regularly.  He told me he missed my posts.  He called it a vitamin for his soul.

So back to my discipline of  jotting my thoughts and reflections down.

Swallow honey.  And don’t forget your water chaser.

Hope these don’t leave that aftertaste in your mouth…

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