Losing weight can be scary

What?  Scary?  How about Fantastic!?  Wonderful!?

Nope.  For me it is scary at times.  Why?

My padding is disappearing.

My figure is coming back.

I am feeling beautiful again, even sexy at times.

And then it happens.

groovesp14The groves created and reinforced in the my mind:  “It was your fault because of how you dressed, how you looked.”  “You actually caused him to do that.”  “If you didn’t look so good, it wouldn’t have happened to you.”

And then I stop, and counter.  “Wait a minute.  I didn’t MAKE anyone do anything to me.”  “What was done to me was WRONG.”  “I am allowed to be thin and pretty and beautiful.”

I am working on filling the grooves in my mind and creating new ones.

How about you?  What thoughts does your mind default to?

Can’t find the words…or the time

Did you ever feel like you had so much to say, but couldn’t figure out what you wanted to say, or, you knew what you wanted to say but couldn’t find the time to get it down?

My problem is the latter.  Time, among other things.

My husband asked me recently “What are you afraid of if you say what you really want to say?”  I flippantly told him I was afraid of nothing.  But I think I must be afraid of something as I have been very good at having so much to do that I have no time to get anything down.

I havsilenced_by_jolsariella-d3few70e been silenced for so long that it is continuing to affect me physically.

I truly believe in the body/mind/spirit connection.  I believe our bodies are barometers for what is REALLY going on inside of us.  Our bodies are the gauge for how we are REALLY doing.  I have a massive headache now as I type.  The kind that is making me nauseous.  The kind I had in high school.  The kind my body manifested after I had reached the limit of how much sexual abuse I could endure at the hands of my father.  The kind that stopped after he finally stopped.  Finally stopped after 11 years. And then denied.

Well, I said it.  My dad sexually abused me.  Over and over and over. Most I don’t fully remember, but my body does.  Every time I try to talk myself into saying nothing happened, I can feel my body literally screaming inside.  Those who have experienced sexual abuse will understand what I am talking about.  I have a fear of masks because one of the times, he was waiting in my closet after fighting a fire and he had soot on his face which made him look like he had a mask on and all I could see were the whites of his eyes.  I also used to check all the closets in a house when I was home alone.  The first thing I did when we moved into this house 11 years ago was to check all of the closets.  I thought that was an odd thing to do, until I made the connection what happened 24 years prior.  There are lots of other things that I still have to process and deal with decades after the abuse finally stopped, but my head can only handled a bit of pressure release at a time or I might explode.  I do know however, that I must keep letting the pressure out and finding the words or I will literally blow apart.  I have learned to pay attention to my body and what it is trying to tell me to address. Now I must be more diligent to follow through!

What is your body telling you?

She told me I was treating them like Israelite slaves

My organs.

Not people.

Gaining the benefits of Reflexology and an Intuitive Energy Session with Joy Klein, she said that all the abuse that I have subjected my body to made my organs feel like slaves in Egypt who were alreslavesinegyptimagesady battered and worn and continuing to be whipped expecting greater productivity.  That what I have been doing to myself for pretty much 35 years. Yep.  I said it.  35 years.  Between the bulimia, self abuse and beating, taking weight off, putting it on, starving myself, engorging myself…The list goes on and on.  Fellow sexual abuse survivors can relate I am guessing.

So it’s time for me to treat myself with respect, gentleness and love.  Me- treat me like that?  Yep.  It’s time. It’s actually long overdue.

I actually marvel amazing how healthy I have been considering the devastating circumstances I have endured.  And this is another step in my recovery.  Stop “whipping” myself and let my body function the way it was created to function.  I am a temple of the Holy Spirit after all.

Can you relate?

What is your definition of pleasure?

I have heard multiple “holy,” “religious,” people talk about Jesus offering a life of abundance, yet they are same ones who talk about carrying the burden, suffering and sacrifice as the central message of salvation.   But it is built into our human nature to avoid pain and go toward pleasure.  I think it is important that we properly define pleasure.  One definition reads:  “a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.”  Some people think things will bring us that happy satisfaction that will come from stuff.  Others try to gain pleasure from people.  I think pleasure comes from having our basic human needs met.  According to Tony Robbins, we have 4 basic needs that, when they are met, mean we survive and 2 more that when they are met help us thrive and feel fulfilled in our lives.  The 4 basic needs are:  our need for certainty, our need for variety, our need for significance and our need for love.  If any of those needs aren’t met, we are in pain, so, as we are hard-wired to avoid pain, we find something to escape that pain.

My something has been food. sugar candy

Food physically helps me stop thinking how we cannot pay another bill this month, how we bounced another check, how we cannot do that thing because we have no money, how I feel when I remember some the things that were done to me.  Food has been my escape.  Food helps me takes my mind off the pain for awhile and it brings me pleasure.  So in my healing, I need to repurpose the role food has in my life.  Food is nourishment.  So the question I am asking now is “How can I enjoy providing my body the nourishment it needs while trusting even more God and His plan of sheer goodness for me?” (why not kill 2 birds with one stone?)

I USED TO THINK:  Food was the easiest, best way to escape the pain I feel in my life.

I NOW UNDERSTAND:  Food is nourishment that my body needs.  If I am feeling so much pain that I need to escape, I need to stop the pattern and figure out what I am believing that I feel my needs are not being met.

What role has food played in your life?

Different perspective

I had a conversation with a great friend yesterday and we came to an interesting revelation.  We look at things differently.  (ok- you are probably saying, “DUH!” at this point) Our history, our beliefs, our focus causes us to look at things a little differently.  We have the exact same reading/reflections from Sarah Young called “Jesus Calling” and I told her how I was reflecting on them and analyzing each reading to see what I agreed with and what I didn’t.  If I didn’t agree, I was correcting the section so I felt it was true. After all, she is writing it as if she if Jesus saying it.  My friend shared that if something didn’t resonate with her, she just shook it off and didn’t think another thing about it.  Hmmm.  Why is that?  Why, if I read something and don’t agree, I am compelled to make it truth?  If she reads something and doesn’t agree, she just moves on.  If I am sitting in church and I am uncomfortable with how a prayer is worded or something that is said in the homily, the same thing happens- I want to correct it.  I remember listening to a homily years ago about volunteering and giving our time to Lord and helping others. Having 7 small children at the time,  a couple in diapers and one nursing, I didn’t have a lot of time to volunteer. So I went to confession as I must be sinning as I didn’t do what the priest said was to be done.  He corrected me and tried to have me understand that at that point in my life, it was ok NOT to be volunteering, that at some point, that time would come.  There was no sin there.

I have done that alot in my life.  Beating myself up for things that didn’t really apply to me.  Then I began analyzing things, seeing how they apply and feeling a need to correct the situation instead of just letting it go.  One of my core values is truth, is that why I need to rectify in my mind when something doesn’t resonate with me?  But when someone says they are speaking on God’s behalf, they better get it right, right?

But I think so many get it wrong.

Everyone is human.  Everyone has “stuff.”

But when people with their stuff are in positions that violate the vulnerable, that does major damage.  It is in our human nature to avoid pain, so we need to figure out the source of the pain.  If it comes from people speaking of God on or on his behalf and we are hurt, the tendency is to reject God, or at least those speaking and acting on his behalf.  I know many, many survivors of sexual abuse who have a relationship with Jesus but want nothing to do with organized religion.  I wonder if they heard messages that didn’t resonate with them or actually reinforced their negative self images, which doesn’t make logical sense that God would mentally beat them up, so they avoid that pain.  They are drawn to God, but the church causes pain so avoid church.

One of my major gripes of one of the prayers of the Catholic Church is the 2nd verse of the Hail Mary.  I know that the first section is from the Bible, but the second part, “Pray for us sinners…”  was added by people.  Human beings with “stuff.”  Why can’t it just read “Pray for us..?”  Why do we have to call ourselves ‘sinners’ 53 times in the course of 20 minutes?  Talk about negative reinforcement.  I prefer to think of myself as ‘a child of God who sins’ instead.  Ask any psychologist and they will tell you that it can be harmful to call your child a ‘bad boy’ or ‘bad girl.’   The better expression would be to say, “you did a bad thing.”  Our identity should not be wrapped up in our behavior.  My identity is that of a child of God.  If I heard that more, perhaps it would be easier not to be branded as a sinner. If you are branded a sinner, you act like one.  Wake up people.  And that is why I avoid Mary.  Why would I want to have a relationship with someone who calls me a sinner over and over and over?

And this is where I analyze and correct.  I have stopped using the word ‘sinner’ when I pray the Hail Mary.  I am teaching my kids the same thing.  I believe Mary can lead me closer to her son, but alot of damage has to be healed from that wound first.  I am working on identifying myself as a child of God, loved and cherished, which is what a survivor of sexual abuse needs to hear.  That is the very reason I wrote my “Stations of Hope.

Gee, I wonder if that is why so many survivors of sexual abuse blame themselves: it was something they did, something they wore, something they said, that caused the abuse.  They are after all, a sinner.

So when we realize that the crime committed was not our fault, the place that should bring consolation and truth is the very place that crucifies us.

Can anyone else relate?

(So I looked in google pics for “sinner” and “child of God”  Definitely a different feel, right?)



Where’s your focus?

focus-407244_640As we go through our lives, I have heard that what we focus on, we become.  What we focus on will repeat, will manifest.  If my focus in on negative, I will continue to have negative things to experience.  If I focus on being  grateful, there seems to be so many things that I can be thankful for.  Both were always there, but what I choose to focus on is what I experience and bring more and more into my life.  It has been hard to shake of the weight of years and years of abuse, the effects that manifest, the triggers that at one point seemed to control my life, BUT SO WORTH IT.  And the Lord asks me to keep my eyes on Him on that journey.

I USED TO THINK:  I was supposed to focus on God to he can manipulate me, use me, pull my strings like a puppet, see how much I can endure and then prove my love for Him.

NOW I UNDERSTAND:  If I focus on God, I can be led to live a life that is peaceful, utilizes my gifts, satisfies my needs, wants and desires.  Just because I have peace though, doesn’t mean I am not challenged, doesn’t mean my life is boring or unfulfilled.  Quite the contrary. My needs of certainty, variety, feeling loved and significant are met AND my life has purpose as I am growing and contributing beyond myself.

That is what I want to focus on.

Has your focus changed in your life?  Still in process?


Not trusting is NOT an act of rebellion

So, two for two- postings that is.  Today, February 26 reflections in “Jesus Calling” start out harmless enough, but I am thankful for my ability to discern.  Just because the book is called “Jesus Calling” doesn’t mean it is His words.  She has her frame of reference that she is using to record her reflections and I do not have to buy into all of it, or any of it for that matter.  I love that the Lord is leading me step by step, as author Sarah Young says, but to say the future is flimsy? Uncertain, yes, but flimsy?  No.

She says “secret things belong to Lord” and even sights a bible verse, but then says that figuring out the future, worrying, doubting in the Lord’s promises is an act of rebellion.  I totally disagree.  She is wrong.  Dead wrong.  I know, because I am learning to trust him again.  It’s hard to trust when your life has no certainty, not a lot you can be sure of,  not knowing when he will be hiding in the closet.  Living the reality that those who are supposed to care and protect you violate you instead.  Not trusting is the only way to survive.  And we are born with that instinct to survive.

But I am safe now.  I am brave.  I am perseverance.  And I do not want to just survive, I want to live- and I know that will take trust.  So I must trust that God has a plan of sheer goodness for me.  How can I enjoy and trust even more God’s plan of sheer goodness for me?  I have been asking myself that now multiple times a day.  And I am starting to relax more and enjoy the journey.  But I am not buying into the accusation that I have been rebellious- that is the pious bull sh*&t that I have been fed that keeps people groveling with low self esteem and keeps them from leading abundant productive lives.  But not me, uh un, not this time.

My future is AMAZING- not flimsy



Give thanks for the bad?

I have heard my whole life that we need to be grateful in everything.  The Bible talks about it all the time- a couple of the verses read: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” Col. 4:2 and  “Give thanks for this is My will for you.” 1Thes. 5:18.  Mandisa sings about blessing the Lord at all times.  In her book, “Jesus Calling”  Sarah Young brings up in her February 25th reflection that “a grateful heart protects you from negative thinking.”

I USED TO THINK that the purpose for us being grateful was that God was God and he knew what he was doing and if life is miserable, well then a miserable life is good for us and we should thank him for that.

NOW I UNDERSTAND that focusing on gratefulness, actually attracts more goodness.  It puts positive thoughts in my mind, helps me to focus on the bits of really good things going on, keeping my state of being upbeat and thankful, putting me in a better mood, which then attracts better experiences and even better tangible things.

When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.

But wait, I know people who offer lip service to that teaching, saying “praise the Lord”  when anything happens and their lives are not what I would consider abundant and prosperous.  So that must mean that even though the words are there, the feeling and belief is not.  There is a stronger belief and focus that keeps the negative right on coming.  A subconscious belief like, “Life is hard and then you die” or  “I don’t deserve anything good to happen to me” or  “Life is a test,” and depending on how that person’s experience with testing has played out in their life will determine how negative that metaphor’s repercussions are.

So when I smile, I need to smile inside too and let that warmth radiate out!

NOW YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY!!  Mine is already better!sunimages

Fed a line of crap?

So I am in the process of discerning everything in my life, mostly my mental chatter, beliefs, as they shape everything.  I knew it, but understanding more and more how much impact what I believe affects my actions and attitudes, which then affects my behavior, which then affects events in my life.  I must say though that it is hard to basically challenge everything that I have believed in for my life.  But then it occurred to me today that maybe it wasn’t what I was fed, it was how I interpreted it?!  How can two people experience the same circumstance and come out of it with different perceptions of what happened?  Because of our frame of reference, the state in which we experience it, our beliefs and our focus.

I process well through writing, so that is how I am going to do this then as I have been spinning for a couple of days.  One of the things I wanted to do this Lent was to write and reflect each day.  So far, 7 days into Lent and this is my first day.  That’s okay, I am doing it now.  I am on the path of truth and healing and will keep moving that way until I get to my destination.  Would you like to come along?


How dark are your sunglasses?

I was at adoration for the first time since my mom had her stroke on September 16 pondering the whole suffering issue.

Am I allowed to be happy?

How about all the suffering saints?

Well, in my prayers, I read about being allowed to feel joy…about God having a plan of sheer goodness for me. I took off my hood and starting allowing the heaviness to lift.

You see, I have read the books, heard the sermons and I have been trying to be grateful because that is where it starts, right? Practicing gratitude, having a grateful heart. But because of my decades of sexual abuse, it hasn’t been easy.  But a couple of weeks ago, I began starting and ending the day listing specific things that I can be grateful for. This has taken YEARS mind you. YEARS. I have heard it said by author after author, speaker after speaker, homily after homily, and even have a plaque in my room as a reminder, but only after reading The Scarcity Trance by Victoria   did it finally click for me. Now, I try to list 10 things each night before I go to sleep and then 10 things before I get out of bed in the morning.

I was reflecting on all of this as I left adoration and walked outside.

sunimagesThe sun was blazing in the 30 degree sky. It occurred to me to take out my sunglasses as I squinted from the radiance. But I also remembered how Vitamin D comes from the sun and that our bodies need it and the only place we get it is from the sun. So I soaked it in as I walked and thought some more. I have been in such a habit of wearing my sunglasses that I even have been putting them on, even some days when there is no sun, which makes everything overly dark.

Hmm… overly dark. My sunglasses have the ability to change the way I see things.

So I offer this comparison. God is like the sun. Always there, even when blocked by “clouds.”   If I am always wearing my sunglasses, am I missing the blessings? Dulling the radiance?

Wouldn’t it be cool if our lives were so full of blessings that we had to put the shades on from being overwhelmed by his generosity in our lives?

So it boils down to my attitude, my perspective then.

My sunglasses.

How dark are yours?