Pain

In the book, Daring Greatly, the author says that when she experiences emotional pain (shame, sadness, grief, betrayal, you get the idea) she says the word pain, pain, pain, over and over again until it passes. I have not yet tried it but I plan to when I experience pain in the future. I don’t know why the idea is so attractive to me, but I just have this feeling that it’s a good idea.

I also read in the book that anger is a secondary emotion. It is a socially acceptable emotion, so ppl tend to display it lavishly… however, grief, sadness, shame, etc.. are not socially acceptable emotions, so ppl do not display it as often as anger. This is fascinating to me and makes me see the world differently. Whenever I experience anger, I will ask myself, “What is the source of this anger.” Usually, I have a feeling, the underlying emotion will be fear.

So. Pain.

There is a LOT of pain in the world. Just only recently, there was the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Texas explosion, my friend’s 2 year old has cancer, my sister is in a domestic violence situation, my relationship with my sister is broken, world hunger, guns everywhere, my friend wants to find a man and can’t, world sex trade, child labor, etc… etc… and this. It breaks my heart. All of it.

I know someone who refuses to watch anything but “fun” movies. She says she doesn’t want her mood to be dampened by serious stuff. I mean, I kind of get that… but at the same time I don’t exactly agree with her strategy. I don’t think avoiding thinking about “sad” stuff, makes your life anymore genuinely happy. Avoiding pain, does not make the pain go away. It kind of makes “life” go away. It makes you live a dead life. That is what I think.

I’ve realized that the more I look at, feel, embrace the pain of others, the less painful my own pain feels. I become right sized. The more compassion (suffer with) I feel, the less self pity. The more I share the sufferings of others, the less debilitating my own shame, guilt, flaw is to me.

I don’t have any wise insights about what this means. I guess it could mean that when I’m in pain, look around. When I am self-focused, that pain will only get bigger and the pity party will get wilder. Look around and see that others may be fighting much scarier battles than I… and take courage and encouragement from that.

Sisters

I have a sister. She is 12.5 months older than me. We don’t talk much. Actually, we don’t talk at all. For the past 7 years, we have only talked a few times. I can count them in one hand.

Whenever ppl talk about sisterhood, and the bond that only sisters have,  I cringe a little inside. I berate myself for not being that sister to my sister. I then immediately justify myself to myself and tell myself that it’s all her fault for being such a b*tch. I’m sure, deep inside, she is not one. But she sure has acted like one in certain circumstances in the past.

Last night, I had dinner with three women friends from my small group. It was the first one and we plan on having it monthly.

It fed my soul.

It fed my soul.

I never felt like that with a group of women before.

The conversation never stopped. The food was fabulous. We talked about everything from breastfeeding to claustrophobia to backpacking across Europe and composting. I felt like one of the girls in Sex and the City. One of the four. (No, we did not talk about sex.)

I am so thankful to my “sisters” for last night. I ended up staying up until midnight to finish a work project but it was worth every minute. Every. Minute.

mood: grateful

Home

Our home got broken into last week. While we were at work/school, around 10 AM, the thieves took our computer, the x box and my jewelry.

I just finished making the list for the police report and insurance claim.

I thank the bank that they make us get home owner’s insurance. I hope the claims process isn’t too painful.

Things have been going really well. And although this bump in the road seemed like a bad thing, I’m actually not too bothered by it. Of course, it’s annoying and time consuming to deal with this. And costly. But all in all, it hasn’t disturbed my serenity or happiness too much.

I am thankful for the reminder to not be possessed by my possessions. That this world is not my home. That stuff is just stuff. That fleeting memories will be 100% accurately remembered in heaven (that’s a reference to the photos and videos of the children that are lost along with the computer).

The husband and I have been saying that we made an unplanned contribution to a disreputable charity.

I’m so over it.

Goin’ on with my life.

Ponderings

Learned recently that someone I know passed away.

This person… I was full of judgement towards this person. I barely had one short conversation with this person but I judged them based on their looks and the behavior that I saw. What I didn’t know was this person’s story. This person had had more than their fair share of life’s troubles and tribulations. This person had major health issues, that I couldn’t tell by looking. Full of judgement, was I. Towards this person that I was called to love.

Maybe I am being too harsh on myself? But one of my words for the year was “not judging.” That year, I started to become aware of how much I judge people. Before that year, I really thought I wasn’t all that judgmental. I’m thankful that God only reveals my sinfulness in little bits… so that it’s not too overwhelming.

I have told myself that if my father or mother died, that I would not be too affected. This death has made me reconsider. We don’t have a great relationship, my father and mother and I. I am OK with it. I have learned not to go to the hardware store, expecting candy. But maybe I’ve gone too far in the other direction. Maybe I’ve put up walls instead of boundaries. Maybe I’ve hardened my heart towards them just a tad bit too much. Maybe I can start by being open… and letting my heart grow soft again.

This praise song has been on my mind. I can’t seem to get it out. Have you ever heard it? It’s old school I can’t seem to find a good version on YouTube but here are the lyrics.

 

Face to Face by Mark Altrogge

Jesus, I love you. For when I was blind and lost.

You shed for all your enemies, your blood upon the cross.

Because you have loved me, now I can love you to.

Your love flows deep into my heart and I send it back to you.

And Jesus, our love will only grow much deeper.

Sustained from above by your overflowing grace.

And Jesus, our love will only grow much sweeter.

And someday we shall be together, face to face.

 

Truly, because God has loved me, now I can love him too…

Pray

My One Word for 2013 is Pray!

I know it’s not one of the candidates from the previous post but as soon as I thought of it, my heart gave a little jump. I also feel like God has given me tons of hints over the past few days to steer me towards this word.

I’ve always thought of myself as a very bad pray-er. I am not a prayer warrior and I don’t consider praying to be one of my spiritual gifts… but maybe that will all change this year? Who knows. All I know is that I’m going to be learning a lot about prayer this year and that I will be trying to maintain conscious contact with God a lot more than I have in the past.

My prayer today is that I will know His will and that He will give me the power to carry it out.

2013 – First Post

Hello 2013.

Hello blog.

It’s been a while.

I got a letter from Compassion that my sponsored child will be graduating from the program this year. I am very sad.

I am happy that she has made it thus far. She’s going to college and on the right track… she seemed to have a bit of a burden to provide for her family once she graduates though. They give an option for us to stay in touch if we mutually want to… and I am pretty sure she will want to. I hope she will…

Took the kiddos to Disneyland over Christmas break. Did a bunch of other activities as well… like the USS Hornet in Alameda.

IMG_1072

They liked it. AJ kept on pushing all the buttons and I had to carry him down most of the steep stairs… although, towards the end, he wanted to do it “All by myself.”

I’ve been thinking about my One Word for 2013 for the past few days and I am leaning towards Embrace. Or Enough. Embrase will remind me to live in the moment and to embrace whatever is in front of me at that moment. Enough will remind me that I have enough. That I am enough. That God gives me enough. I am still really liking this way of doing resolutions.

2012’s One Word was humility. Boy, I learned a lot of lessons about that. Mostly about how sinful I am. I scare my kids with my anger sometimes. I scare myself too. I am on step 10 in al-anon so I’m trying promptly admit it when I am wrong. First pick-up from school in 2013 started with, “I’m sorry for… do you forgive me?” Of course, my Christian forgave me without hesitation. Children have such big hearts. No bitterness. No resentment.

Christmas season was a little bit insane for my etsy shop. I totally did not expect that. I raised almost $1000 for Compassion. I shall be better prepared this year!

 

 

Christian Answers the Proust Questionnaire

I’ve been following Julie’s lovely documentation of her children answering the Proust Questionnaire and thought it was a wonderful idea. I’m copying her. In case you are new, Christian is my son and he’s five years old. He’s turning six on the 14th though. SIX! In FOUR DAYS!

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Having to be with my mommy and daddy.
2. What is your greatest fear?

Dragons. (We just read a book about dragons today. I guess he got scared.)
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? (Julie had great explanations of terms that kids could understand and I copied those too.)

Be mean to somebody automatically.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
When like they boss me around.

5. Which living person do you most admire?
My friends.

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

Having 600 dollars.

7. What is your current state of mind?
Very having fun.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
When people think someone is funny when they do something cool but it’s not.

9. On what occasion do you lie?

When I do not want somebody to know when I did something that’s not good.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?

Cuz me and my mom are not the same.

11. Which living person do you most despise?
SKIPPED

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
I like because they sing rock and roll.

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Because they look pretty.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Mom and dad and AJ.

16. When and where were you happiest?

At the airplane museum.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?
Being a good spinner of blay blades.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Not having fun.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My birthday getting to be soon.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

SKIPPED

21. Where would you most like to live?
At a house that has stairs and lots of guns that are toys.

22. What is your most treasured possession?
Toys.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Somebody’s not being nice to me.
24. What is your favorite occupation?
Coloring.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?
Cuz some of the people have pee pees and some of them don’t. (Pee pee = penis at our house.)

26. What do you most value in your friends?
Loving.

27. Who are your favorite writers?
Dr. Seuss.

28. Who is your hero of fiction?
Spiderman.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
SKIPPED

30. Who are your heroes in real life?
Daddy.

31. What are your favorite names?
Pablo. Cuz it starts with a p.

32. What is it that you most dislike?
Not winning games.

33. What is your greatest regret?
I wish I played greatest I could in my soccer game.

34. How would you like to die?
SKIPPED

35. What is your motto?
I can do this.

********************************************

I love the last one. I can do this! =)

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