Thursday, January 12, 2023

Give Up the Right to Be Right

 I am blessed today to have a group of women in my life who acknowledge their own failings, their own lack of humility and their struggles with pride.  To listen to them speak honestly about themselves is to hear them enumerate their failing to live up the program, to live the Faith, to live up to the standards they have embraced.  

Not many people do this because it is not popular today.  It is considered 'negative self talk' rather than an 'honest evaluation of my shortcomings'.  I understand the difference - one has no purpose other than to be manipulative.  It is done not to be honest and to find a solution; rather, it is done with the hope that someone listening will interrupt me and say, "Oh no, Leslie, don't talk that way about yourself.  Don't admit you struggle with obesity. Don't admit you struggle with pride. Don't say out loud that you get angry, hurt and defensive.". The other, however, is done as an admission - even at group level - that I have failed one more time to be the person I want to be in order to bring the Light of Christ to my corner of the world.  

That is where I am at today - I am trying, with a true intention - to simply give up my 'right' to be right.  I am sacrificing my need to be heard, acknowledged, understood, cared for, thought well of.....all of it, I hand over to the God of my understanding.  

My morning meditation today included this from Holy Scripture:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths."

–Proverbs 3:5-6

I am letting go of my own insight and I am going to accept an unflattering opinion of me expressed to me, by someone in an area of ministry I love.  I was hurt by the words but it was necessary.  I am not going to defend myself.  I am simply going to say to the woman, and to God, "Thank you for sharing my failings with me.  That will never happen again".  

I am then going to move forward with, again, the intention of being guided by the Holy Spirit.  However God wishes me to serve His Church and His people?

I will let go of the way I want to serve, the way I think I am best suited and the way I LOVE to serve.  I will step back and put myself at God's disposal.

If I am supposed to be in any kind of active ministry?  It will be revealed. 

If I am only to be quiet and in the background - a prayer support - I will do that for Him

I want to be a saint.  It's up to Him to show me how.

Friday, December 30, 2022

2022 In Review

 What a year.  This 2022 year was really...uh...something.

I retired - twice.  The second time was not too wonderful but that was my fault as I reacted poorly to someone else's questionable behavior.  I have an unsettled feeling about that whole thing but am still fearful of the person and their reactions.  Someone has offered a means to clean that up.  I am willing but not hopeful.

Someone I love more than my own life had a spectacular meltdown.  It ended up being the catalyst for a total life turn about and today they are doing better than anyone could hope.  I am so grateful I got to be a small part of that healing.  Now I have to work on shutting up and letting them go forward.

I am dealing with body image issues and doing better than I expected.  It's a tough issue but I am doing it.

Several members of my family have made some awful choices (in my opinion) and they are fine with them. The fact that these choices make my teeth grind is my problem, not their problem, and I am grateful I know this today.  I wish them well.  I love them with my whole heart and soul.

We lost people this year that meant a great deal to me - people like Bud and David - but I know they are just fine now.  I am grateful to have known them and I acknowledge how much they gave me one day at a time.

I got to go to Maryland and meet my new mentor and learn more about Scottish Terriers. 

I met some new people in my 12 step program that today I get to call 'friend'.  How amazingly wonderful is that?  I got to attend Stateline in Las Vegas.  My Niners are on their way to the playoffs.  My dog is fine.  

Today, in all honesty, I have a joyful life.

How blessed am I?

Happy New Year, everyone.

Monday, December 26, 2022

67 and counting - Thanks, Mom, for my Life

 Today I celebrate my 67th birthday.

I want to thank one person - my late mother - for giving me life.  I also want to acknowledge how very blessed I am to have had a mother who embraced her vocation without demeaning it.  She saw herself as essential to the proper development of her children and did her utmost to assure their survival.  She also felt it was necessary to put herself second in order that we might thrive.

Her unselfishness and devotion to her children was taken for granted.  I honestly thought all women who gave birth acted like my mom and have been saddened to learn, from listening to others my age, how many of you were deprived of my experience.  

I had a great mom.  I know that and I shout it from the rooftops.

So, happy birthday to me and my brother - and a huge thank you to Mom.  She made us possible.

Monday, December 12, 2022

Gaining Courage

 By taking action, I gain courage and I thank God for the ability to distinguish between those situations I can work on, and those I must (offer to God).

(paraphrased from the Daily Reflections book from AA World Services)

I often second guess myself because I take action or make statements based on a fundamental idea that has NOT served me well.  What is that idea?  That EVERYONE wants to heal and learn.  No they don't.  

I am different and always have been and that is probably because I really don't have a lot of confidence in myself.  When someone says, "Here is why you are upset and this is what you have to do" I might get hurt enough to cry but you know what?

I try to take the action described.

I want to be a person that heals and grows and learns how to be a better me, one day at a time.  I sometimes fall flat on my face (wait - sometimes?) and when I do I want help.  I want to know what I did wrong and what I could do better. I do not want to keep making the same mistake over and over.

Someone I respect told me this past weekend that I am very hard on myself. It was not said as an admonishment; rather, it was so I would see that not everyone sees themselves as the likely culprit, the suspect in the crime documentary unfolding before my eyes in the guise of broken or breaking relationships.  In other words, if I get into a catfight with someone (especially someone I love) my first thought is, "Oh hell I messed that up".

One of the reasons I have a mentor is so she can say to me (occasionally), "Let's drop the rock, let's get off the cross, let's take a breath.  Yes, you made a mistake but let's not make you the lead villain in the crime drama here. There is your part - let's do something about that - but it is just that, a PART of the whole".

I love my friends and family.  I am so blessed to have them in my life.  I also know I am a different person from most of them and so....I have to give them grace.

And I have to give me some too - so maybe tomorrow I can go get some by going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Thank you for listening, God.  I needed this today.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

I am Grateful Today

 Today I am grateful:

For a safe place to live.

For Dayquil.

For a cozy bed.

For a God of my understanding.

For a little Scottie dog.

For amazing friends.

For the safe travels afforded family members.

For the love I get from unexpected places.

For Bud.

For Victoria.

For Norene.

For people who show me how to walk with dignity and grace.

For Debbie.

For the men and women I get to hang out with and celebrate with today.

For my life today exactly as it is; I wouldn't change a thing, even if I could.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone.