Points to Ponder

journal
Random thoughts this evening:

Boundaries are essential to health. Know them. Establish them. Protect them. They make life so much better.

Intuitive Eating. A new pursuit with nothing to report except I’m well on my way to figuring out what I like and don’t. And the simple act of blogging about it is a trigger that I plan to stay far from in the near future.

I’m madly in love with two people. One I have been married to for almost 19 years, and the other I gave birth to almost 9 years ago. I am so very fortunate, and wise, and proud. I have chosen well, and love much.

Genuine friendships are extremely rare. I don’t have a lot of excess time, nor emotional energy to invest in extraneous friendships. I am realizing I do need more time with those few of great quality and can allow myself to let go of the ones that only drain emotional resources without ever giving enough of a shit to “give back”.

And finally, sleep is so necessary. At night I seem to completely forget that. So now I close…

Namaste.

This Week’s Favorites – August 29, 2014 Edition

Random tidbits of articles, tweets, media, etc., that I found particularly good for any number of reasons this week. It will be rather eclectic, but, hey, it’s my brain!

Religion, Food, and Freedom

I’ve been going through a time of letting go. Some pretty hefty dropping of the baggage. My friend Beth refers to it as a “wiping of the chalkboard”.

My thoughts aren’t clear, but some correlations are appearing. If I wait until I have exactly what I want to say, I’ll probably be on my deathbed, so…bear with me as I start to make some sketches.

I’ve completely let go of religion. I don’t consider myself affiliated with any religious institution whatsoever. A few weeks or so ago, I would have said I’ve let go of Christianity and even of a belief in God. That may be the case, but I think it would be more accurate to say I’m solidly in the “I don’t know” camp regarding God’s existence.

The joy of being me is that I can change my mind at ANY TIME I SO CHOOSE. I have been so afraid of speaking my mind on these things, for fear of others’ opinions and views of who I am, and what my changing thoughts are, that it was affecting my exploration of my own heart and mind. Not good.

So for now, I’m going to share my thoughts without regard to you, the reader. [If you are worried for my soul, please don't be. If you are ok with hearing me tell the truth, feel free to ask questions - just don't feel the need to try to persuade me from my current path. You aren't me. And I've decided to stop "looking for myself outside of myself" :) . That's not to say I'm not interested in hearing about you, and what you believe, and why -- but I'm just not open to being "schooled" or "witnessed to" or "saved" from anything.]

Moving on.

Food. What a long and sordid history I have had with eating, and food, and dieting. It actually parallels my struggles with belief, and spirituality, and religion. In a lot of pretty intense ways.

I am currently reading (and listening to) Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

What I’m coming to see / feel / understand is that I have had an inherent distrust of everything I do. Somewhere along the way, I picked up this idea that if it comes from me (a thought, a desire, an instinct) that it’s likely wrong, or selfish, or sinful. Time to shed that too.

I am seeing correlations between a legalistic mindset in religion and pretty much all diets. And to add insult to injury, I managed to be very visibly, but painfully temporarily, successful using a religious diet plan that REALLY screwed me up regarding God and food and me. It had just enough of a nugget of truth to resonate with me, but then such an insidious message of our worthlessness that I ate myself right into hell.

What I am feeling most right now is relief. A sense of freedom. Hope. Hope that I can stop this conflict between me and myself. Hope that I can build some trust. Trust in my ability to listen to my heart, listen to my body, listen to my mind and make good choices based on what I hear. Sounds simple doesn’t it? I think it is. It’s time to disregard the fear and say “HUSH” to the critical voices that used to drive me to perfectionism. To let go, and listen, and trust.

i-trust-myself-i-trust-the-universe-fireman-bell-crop

On Racism

I’m not sure how to even begin to put words on the page about what has been happening in Ferguson, MO.

As I have followed the live Twitter feeds of people who have been there and are there right now, I have been horrified by the things that people are sharing of what they have experienced.

After watching a few of the witness testimonies, I don’t understand how people can listen to the outright lies certain networks are spewing just to make people feel better, so they can close the case in their minds and move on to the next thing.

I am scared for the direction of our country. I continually read satire posts that I can’t tell from the real thing. (See Poe’s Law.) I just read one satire post showing how we would write about what has been happening in Ferguson if it was happening in a foreign country. It was pretty condemning. What have we become?

We give our small towns leftover military vehicles? Ones meant for warfare? How is this a wise thing?

We talk about placing armed guards in front of our grade schools? How can a higher number of guns be safer? Didn’t we spend the 80s terrified of the arms race and somehow because we had achieved “mutually assured destruction” that made it better? And now we think that doing the same thing at a much less controllable, individual, level this somehow keeps us safer?

Ultimately, I’m just writing this to try to clarify my own perspective. It’s not black and white (you know what I mean!). There are so many different sides to this, it’s mind blowing.

I am heartbroken.
I am scared.
I am sad.

Racism is huge and cancerous, with deep, deep roots that will not be easy to cut and extricate. Sometimes I wonder if it’s even possible, and if it is, how I can possibly make a difference.

I can connect more deliberately with my neighbors of color.

I can speak up and against instances when I see casual and offhand racism happening.

I can be more educated and vary my sources of news, listening to more than a monochromatic and familiar echo chamber of voices, in places like Facebook and Twitter.

I can let myself be heartbroken, and not run from the discomfort when faced with story after story of pain being caused out of habit and lack of awareness.

I can be aware of, and grateful for, the privilege I do have, through no merit of my own.

I can consciously choose to raise my son with a respect for all human life, and the rights and responsibilities that go with it. [This blog post. Seriously.]

I may not be able to change the world, but it’s really important to me that I don’t just block out the things that are unpleasant or uncomfortable, but see reality, be cognizant of my choices, and speak up for what’s right when I am able to do so.

Namaste.

fist-bump

Reclaiming My Thought Space

Breathing Room

Going forward, I’m changing my format. I’ve turned off comments for my posts. I won’t be auto-publishing to Social Media.

I’ve stripped my Twitter feed to a more manageable volume. I’m starting to “unfollow” (but not “unfriend”) voices on FB. There’s a lot of transition going on in my innerspace and I’ve wanted a place to practice using my voice. If I can’t do it on my own damned blog, where can I?

I’m not looking for feedback or validation at this point. I’m seeking my own approval. If you’re here, and you’re reading, and you want to talk about any of the things I may share over then next few weeks and months, you are welcome to engage me elsewhere. For now, this space is just for me.

Thanks for understanding!

Namaste.

Free

freeI just spent several minutes free association writing. I take my glasses off during the process so I don’t get hindered by typos. I wrote and wrote, working through some tangled thoughts in my mind. I didn’t realize that my touch pad had reactivated and as I finished writing, I put my glasses on to see my word count. Somehow, at the very end of this rather extensive writing period, my palms had caused my touch pad to select all my text and I was left with the last two words I typed:

I’m free.

Posted in Truth by Lundie Pinner

What are you devoted to?

devotion

Devotion is the motion for a world that makes sense.
Jennifer Louden

So, what am I devoted to?

At first thought, I would say I am devoted to my family. I will probably spend some time ruminating on that today, though, before I land on that for certain.

Devotion DFN -love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause. “Eleanor’s devotion to her husband”; a feeling of strong love or loyalty : the quality of being devoted. : the use of time, money, energy, etc., for a particular purpose
synonyms: loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity, constancy, commitment, adherence, allegiance, dedication;

No, I guess I really don’t need that much time. If I strip away everything else, I keep coming back to my family and home. A significant amount of my time, brain space, and energy is spent towards caring for my husband and son. They’re the first thing I look to when re-centering my priorities.

Second to that is probably my own development. Pushing through and processing to ensure that my own mental, emotional, spiritual, and hopefully soon, physical, health will allow me to be of more help to my family.

In general, what I want most in life to do is…help. I want to be a help. Assisting and care-taking come very naturally to me. However, I am learning that I need to rein some of that in and apply it to myself for a while. If I don’t, I quickly become a martyr and that helps absolutely no one.

The more I attend to my own basic needs, the more I realize that my unhealthy care-taking was a misplaced attempt at earning the right to take care of myself. If I just could get “done” with the chores of helping others, then I would earn the perk or bonus of time for myself. That’s one of those (faulty?) interpretations of the J.O.Y. acrostic I was taught in Sabbath School – Jesus/Others/You is the intended order of priority for my devotion or attention. Just so messed up.

There’s a real downside when you believe in your heart that you’re supposed to serve and love others more than yourself (as better than yourself). The chronic devaluation of a person can never have healthy side effects. Sacrificing your mental and emotional health as the going price for God’s approval and in exchange for eternal safety, well, those days are over.

I can’t honestly say whether I believe in the idea that God’s Spirit is within me, but if it is, that’s how I’m going to be listening to him/it/whatever. I’m going to be listening to my own heart, and doing what I believe to be in my (and my family’s) best interest. I’m ready to stop second guessing myself at every turn.

So what is my devotion? To make this world a better place for my family to live in.