Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Thinking about...

We got the loveliest of presents yesterday!
Fresh soap! Smells so wonderful!
And today I finally had "real tea" again,
instead of just 'feel better sinus tea"...
I still have my cold but I think I am slowly
winning the war and KICKING 
it to the curb where it belongs.
Thanks so much all those who commented on my 
Mat Anna had a great post up today about this and 
from this post and I am still pondering it...
So some back story to explain where I am coming from 
and how what Mat Anna writes fits in....
Years ago, back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when
I was still doing my undergraduate degree at TWU,
I was reading this book that was wildly popular at the time.
It has some good ideas in it I think,
however, it is really quite incomplete.  
Not only did the author's life fall to pieces after writing it,
poor thing, (I do hope she is better now, it was quite a painful
experience from what I know from reading her later things),
but one of the ideas I got from it was just wrong.
Somehow I thought I could imagine the person I wanted to be
and somehow become it.
It really was a persona that was utterly fictional.
I was going to be somehow all of these things:
Poised, Eminently Respectable, Able to Handle Social Situations
with Grace and Ease, Fashionable, and a professional... with
great work clothes and a beautiful home.
Now, in reality this is who I am today:
Sometimes Able to Handle Social Situations, my fashion is 
utterly my own, often what my Husband calls a 'hippie look' with
skirts, dresses, various coloured bandanas that match the 
colours I am wearing that day, and Birkenstock Shoes, Boots and Sandals.
I wear make up only on special occasions.  
I like what I wear and esp my red glasses and long hair. 
Vanity I still have not fled.  
But I am not what I thought I would look like.
Actually I am about 20lbs heavier than what I was back then,
my shoulders are rounding from bad posture, 
and well.  I am MYSELF not some fictional imaginary character 
who was never me.
So, that part is mostly not disappointing me; yes, I wish I was
better socially (I still feel quite awkward and mess up) but I am 
happy with how I look, even though I don't have the willowy figure
anymore and well, one day I think I will look more like my Great Aunt and
Grandma, who look perfectly fine, normal woman with big hearts...
other than that I hope I still have long hair, I am curious to see
if it stays curly once it is grey....
This part (my looks) though I am more fine with because my Husband is very
clear with me in liking how I look and that goes a long way,
I know I am VERY blessed. 
But other things, like my spiritual life and who I thought I would be by now,
it's not happening.  This is where I am most disappointed with myself,
those same sins again and again.  The same struggles.  And just not
being great at certain types of prayer.
But here's what I am thinking may work better about that
and actually help... 
to do this:
accept where I am
not meaning 'give up' but 'accept'... to not hate myself or be unkind
and in this also accept where others are and that
they are struggling with things and themselves as well.
I think I am trying to accept where I am so that I can
keep trying to have the life I do want
(like a clean house, some sewing/crafting, etc).
Right now I see my biggest job being to create a haven
for my Husband.  He's needing this so much right now,
to come home to a peaceful, orderly, loving home.
It's the biggest thing I can do for him.
So the other thing I am thinking about, 
 is perhaps for another post,
but it's that confusing balance of accepting who 
you are, loving yourself without being sinful about it
(like approving sin or something)
and knowing that it's OK to let go of shame, guilt
and seeing how things may be making one feel guilty,
for me I struggle with having so much - when others don't;
others I think it can show up other ways,
like 'perfect weight = approval' or even trying to be 
so environmentally conscious because of we should feel
shame for how our race has wrecked the world... it's tricky;
I am all for doing what we can and recycling, but we still
have a right to exist, to use things, to need that plastic 
water bottle because we need water now and are in NYC 
on a really hot day...and our water bottle is empty... but
boy can one feel guilty for needing that water bottle;
I had to learn that better to be hydrated and not fall ill... than
not buying that needed water...
Or a Mother who is struggling with burnout and feels
she can't give everything she feels she should to her kids;
it's OK to not be able to be everything we think we should be.
Somewhere there MUST be a balance between
care-of-self, accepting our inabilities and not giving up
on trying to do better on what one actually CAN do.
Kinda like Fr Thomas Hopko said:
Anyway, there it is.
Today I was able to clean, do some laundry, 
have real tea, a bath! and enjoy the new
soaps we were given
(I can feel guilty about having such things
instead of enjoying them, I swear we feel
so mixed up in terms of what we should and should
not be feeling guilty about).
God loves us.
We are sinners.
We need to keep looking to Christ and praying for help
to do so..... 


Mat Anna said...

Yes, very much this. It is a very complicated thing, but it's better to grasp what we can and not feel worse for failing to understand all the intricacies! We humans are funny things...

(Interestingly, I can't seem to leave a comment here from my WP account, only my Google account.)

elizabeth said...

Mat Anna ~ yes, it is so strange how complicated this is! But good to think about and comes to terms with.... :)

Martha said...

You have a fabulous unique sense of style...and I think I'm the same, relatively simple (no makeup), fringe, comfy, hippie, lace, bright colors just because they make me happy kind of style. Yay! That you're feeling better, good tea, medicinal tea can be dull after days and days.

Gloriade said...

Acceptance of who you are is one of the biggest lessons in life. I think it begins with acceptance of who you are in Christ, the one who knows you inside and out and will always love you with an everlasting love. I am in my early 60's and I am still working on it. :)

Pom Pom said...

No guilt. I'm studying Romans AND Martin Luther in two separate Bible studies and it's so good to read/hear about His great grace and my utter need of it.
Great post, Elizabeth. You reminded me to get out my beeswax candles that the nuns made. (Oh! I like your style!)

Helensmamma said...

Hello Elizabeth. Sounds like a lovely day. Think back 1,2,3 months or weeks even. how far you have travelled and improved.
Warm wishes
Ann Marie

elizabeth said...

Martha ~ yes~ thank you!
Gloriade ~ still am figuring this one out, I really appreciate your words!
Pom Pom ~ thanks so much!
Ann Marie ~ thank you so much. Yes, things are improving... I hope that in time they will be better than they have been, even before the accident...