Sometimes It Hurts

woman in sunset sad

 

She grew up happy-go-lucky, spoiled, shy. She had an imagination that was infinite, with a kaleidoscope of ideas and thoughts on creativity and just plain fun.

She was the youngest of two daughters of parents that were there for her. Her father helped her with her homework when he was home.

Her mother and her were very close.

Her family moved around a lot because of her father’s job, and making friends was more difficult than ever. Her shyness was painful. It would take her several months to make friends, the one that never spoke first.

A tomboy through grade school and into high school, she had a lot of confidence playing whatever sport was provided in PE, or in her neighborhood streets. The shyness she felt evaporated in those moments. But at school, it clung to her like a blood-sucking leech.

She hated school, and her grades began to plummet in junior high and continued through her senior year of high school.

The bond between her mother and her started to fray in junior high school and throughout her adult years. At the same time she was bullied in junior high, made fun of, with hurtful words that dug into her very being and stayed there for twenty-five years, her mother added to the hurt.

Teens and parents have their clashes, but this did not happen between her and her father. He continued to help her in high school and support her, encouraged her to keep making an effort in her school work.

Eventually, after much verbal abuse for twenty plus years, she finally distanced herself from her mother, which was okayed and advised by her priest.

It took her over twenty-five years to realize she wasn’t stupid and that she was worth something.

So, when harsh words were said to her in the usual way they were, she learned to let it roll off of her, not allowing it to penetrate her heart.

Since then, for the most part, her relationship with her mother had become stabilized and seemed cordial. There were moments where glimpses of the mother she knew when she was a young girl peeked through like a hole in a cave that let in a pinpoint of sunlight, when there was true warmth and lovingness between her mother and her.

But sometimes, that indifference shield would slip, and the attacks would strike, and she would feel the pain, but not in the same way she had as a teen or younger adult.

She would keep her mouth closed and let the mean words pass because she knew that’s just how her mother was.

However, the shield slipped again within the last twenty-four hours, and she wondered if she wanted to make the effort to talk to her mother again. A couple of her mother’s comments were, as usual, mean, and she nearly said something mean back to her. But she kept her mouth shut. Figured it would cause more trouble to retort in a similar fashion than to just let the insults go.

Does this still make her that young teenaged girl who took the verbal attacks and believed everything her mother said to be the truth about her? That she was selfish, she was stupid, she was scatterbrained, she wouldn’t make anything out of her life.

No.

She knew now, after two years of therapy and graduating from college, that she was not stupid or scatterbrained. That she had made something of her life in taking care of her two sons and working at being a decent wife to her husband, and striving toward a closer relationship with God. That she wasn’t totally selfish, although, sometimes she was. Was there anyone that wasn’t at least a tiny bit?

However, she wasn’t and isn’t all those insulting and hurtful descriptions.

Between pride and low self-esteem, it is a challenge. And she tries hard to be the person God created her to be. To cooperate with His will, to become transformed into a true human being sharing the Light and Love of Christ.

Sometimes it feels like she’s in a hamster wheel, getting nowhere on this spiritual journey, but she won’t give up.

As she has in the last decade, she will continue to show kindness to her mother and keep the protective shield over her heart whenever the stinging arrows of harsh words fly toward her.

After all, she loves her mother, no matter what. Loves her sister and father. She will always be a part of them.

 

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Life Marches – My Take

march for life orthodox christians

The March for Life for this year started January 22 and goes through January 25. I was reading a few news stories about different religious groups attending, including my Orthodox Church’s bishops and brothers and sisters, and that’s a good thing.

I’m all for the life of the unborn. They’re precious humans that their parents co-created with God, which is a beautiful gift. But I do believe in the exception where abortion could be permitted, when it pertains to the danger of loss of life of the mother.

There’s a quote by Matt Walsh going around that says, “Here’s what separates the March for Life from any other march: nobody in attendance is marching for themselves. Nobody is demanding rights or privileges for themselves. Everyone is marching on behalf of those who cannot march.”

I do agree that the March for Life is definitely for the life of those little ones without a voice/unborn. No qualms with that, but I question his statement that it’s the only march for unselfish reasons.

There are a couple of other marches that I think speak for those who don’t have a voice, for those who are innocent and on the brink of death or have succumbed to it:

War and Environmental disasters.

I think it’s important we also stand up for those dying of starvation, drowning in floods, burning in wildfires, and other environmental catastrophes, and those being killed by drones or misguided missiles/bombs.

When people are marching against these wars for profits and other countries’ resources, we are standing for the innocence in the midst of these bloody fights and for those who are sent there by their governments to do the killing for them.

Let’s remember, it’s my belief, this planet was created by God for us to care for and protect all living things. God gave us this world to toil the soil respectably, to treat all living, breathing creatures with care. To be good stewards of all He’s given us. Not to plunder, steal, or cause genocide to our fellow humans or extinction of the beautiful animals roaming the earth with us.

I know I bring up life issues a lot. It popped in my mind because of the March for Life this weekend, and I felt compelled to share, again, the importance of life. Respect all life. He created life.

 

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Creation Changed Forever

nativity icon card

Christ’s incarnation and birth changed the world forever. He became one of us (with the exception of sinning), talked with us, preached to us, walked this earth with us. His presence showed us what eternal joy and unending love and mercy we would experience and encounter in the near future.

On this Christmas Eve, I say Merry Christmas to everyone! Christ is born! Glorify Him!

May your holiday be filled with peace, joy, and love.

 

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