Wednesday, June 29, 2022

What Pro Choice Should Mean

 I have waited to write on the recent Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.  I chose to wait because, once again, I find myself at odds with both sides of the political aisle.  For many "pro life" Catholics, I am not Catholic Enough.  For ALL of my 'pro choice' friends, I am the enemy.

Unless one is a new reader, my history is common knowledge.  I am a post abortive woman.  I lived such a horrific lifestyle, bereft of moral compass, physical health, common sense and self-love.  I 'chose' to abort my children (that's right - there was more than one) because I honestly did not think I had a choice.  I did not trust my parents though I know now that they would have helped me.  I did not trust myself. One abortion was done at the end of a fist. When I sat on an exam table no one at the 'Women's Clinic' commented on my bruises or the sad, dull expression on my face.  No one there asked a simply question, "Do you want to be here?".

It took years for me to heal from these horrible choices.  Today, despite an occasional sob or feeling of anguish (it still pops up) I have accepted that my children (all have names) now wait for me in heaven.  I pray with them every day.  I have received absolution through the Sacramental Life of Holy Mother Church.  I have received healing through my embracing of the philosophy offered by the appropriate 12 step program.  Today, I am okay.

It is my past that shapes me.  I left conservative groups behind because of what felt like a lack of caring about people like me.  Having to sit through discussions about the women who get abortions was difficult.  I did not want to always have to preface every contribution I made to a discussion with a revelation about my past. I wanted to keep my anonymity. 

It hurt me deeply, however, to hear Catholics speak to my selfishness, my disregard for my children, my poor choices, my lack of regard for society - all the labels they used for people like me - and never once hear them give any kind of thought to how it happened.  Why did a young girl, well catechized, educated in schools the Church provided make those choices? How did she fall so far?  I was, on the most part, dismissed by them as inconsequential.

Not by all, of course.  I want to make it clear that there have always been elements in the mainstream ProLife movement that have tried to provide for women like me,

When I left the GOP as a political party I had nowhere to go (I thought) because the Democratic Party pushed another type of tyranny.  It still does.  Abortion on demand is not the answer.  However their very talking points make it clear that when they use the term "ProChoice" they are pro abortion.

In my state - California - the Governor wants us to be a 'sanctuary' - not for women who need help but for women who want to get an abortion.  He touts the idea that an abortion is the ONLY help these women need.

Large corporations - Amazon, Starbucks, etc. - would rather send their female employees (and those females who now identify as males but still get pregnant) to another state to get an abortion than to seriously invest in a culture that promotes families...all families....no matter what those families look like: living wages, good onsite daycare, prenatal, natal, postnatal care, family leave, medical benefits that support a culture of LIFE.   They oppose unions but support sending a woman to get an abortion.  

Roe was bad law - it was only a matter of time before the decision was overturned.  What is worse, however, is the reaction of both extremes.  

A choice that has only one option is not a choice.  Being pro life is more than being anti abortion.  A society that says to a woman, "you cannot achieve your dreams if you have that child" is an ugly, evil society.  

I choose life - and this is why I joined the American Solidarity Party.  I am willing to pay the taxes necessary to promote a society where a pregnant person is cherished, nurtured, loved, supported and is not afraid to give birth.  I am against a society that tells a woman that there is only one solution - either kill or give birth - and then walks away from her.  I want to build a true Culture of Life.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Just how DOES one pronounce CALGARY?

 The past weekend was a very positive experience.  Coming off days of high stress I am grateful for the chance I had to spend time with the good people of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  I found out I was pronouncing the name of their fair city incorrectly (or was I?  Some of the natives did put the emphasis on the first syllable) but other than that?  I seemed to fit right in.

I had the opportunity to speak with a gentleman who had been dealing successfully with his disease of alcoholism for 68 years.  I am impressed.  You should be impressed as well.  For those of you who still believe Alcoholism is NOT a disease, I feel sorry for you.  What I saw in this man's eyes was the twinkle that comes from accepting the Truth, and then trying his best to live it one day at a time for over six decades.  If I am forced to choose between the smug, judgmental pronouncements of the anti-disease people and the warm, happy smile of Jim S. in Calgary, guess which one I am going to choose?

Retirement is supposed to begin at the end of the month.  It seems as though I will be transitioning into a part-time, at will, position until the new person is hired.  I like that because it means I get to keep my really cute name tag and my key.

Life is better this week.  There are still mountains to assess for either climbing or tunneling through but all in all, the landscape seems peaceful.  Yes, I still have conversations with people who are not in the room but most of the time I am able to change those conversations with them into a conversation with my Creator.  Eventually I get to transition that to an honest prayer, an offering to that Creator of this creature who is suffering the effects of her own goofy brain.

May God continue to bless us all - one day at a time.  And may the people of Calgary continue to flourish - no matter how they pronounce their city's name!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Digging Deep & Uncovering More

 Last week was a difficult week.  Without going into any details, let me just say that by Wednesday mid-day I was stretched to the breaking point with fear and worry.  I made a mistake and let that vulnerability show to someone ill equipped to handle it.  The results were ugly and hurtful.

My initial response was to take the action I needed to take over the next two days and then walk away from the person.  Their treatment of me was uncalled for and I am worth more than that, is what my head told me.  

This line of thinking is backed up by the world.  We, as a society, are told to walk quickly away from people who hurt us, to cut them out of our lives.  This is not necessarily bad advice.  No man, woman or child should stay in a situation that is unsafe, either physically or emotionally.  I am not advocating for everyone to become a St. Rita - even the late Mother Angelica admitted to not ever being able to emulate that particular saint.  

As the events unfolded I returned to the mistake I had made - because, as always, I set the ball rolling.  What had I done that had put me in the position to be hurt?

Simply - I had asked (unconsciously) for someone to be something they are not, that they haven't been for many, many years.  Then, when they did exactly what they have been doing for years, I was hurt, I was shocked, I was angry and I was sad.

Well, whoop de doo, Leslie.  You mean that sticking your hand into the bee hive got you stung?

Realizing this much was huge.  I am happy that the program of active spirituality has allowed me to recognize when I have put myself into the situation that has hurt me.  However, that is just the surface because the real problem is that I still really want this person to love me, to be what they are not, and I now struggle with the temptation of trying to figure out how to manipulate them into doing just that - and that, my friends, is called insanity.

It disguises itself.  For me the disguise is this:  I will sit down with them and tell them exactly how I feel and why I am walking away from them.  This will get this off my chest and I will be so honest with them.  It will be a clean break.  I will do it with love.  

Under this disguise is:  they will be changed by what I tell them.  They will not want to lose me and so they will change.  Everything will be better.  We will go back to a good relationship and I will have that person in my corner that I always wanted.  I will be loved and I will be honored and I will be protected and....

And phooey.

The reality is I cannot change anyone.  Letting someone know how I feel will do NO good whatsoever.  I am not clean in my motives because what I am really wanting to do is control that person so they will be, in my book, 'better'.

What is the answer?

This need for love is what I offer to God.  The difficulties I ask to be relieved of are those that cause me to keep going to a dry well for water.  The reason I go to God with this is because if He can do this for me, it can show others that it is possible for it to be done.  And if it is done, then I can be of better use to God.

The grace I receive from the Sacraments allows me to walk this walk.  When I have those conversations in my head, it is grace that allows for the light bulb in my mind to snap on and for me to see exactly what it is I am trying to do - to be the director and arrange the stage.  Grace gives me the power to do better, to NOT take that step that would simply be a disaster and to move closer to God for the love I crave.

I just wish it was easier.  And I wish it wasn't so painful.

God, help me endure.  Without You, I am nothing.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

My Heart Hurts

 On May 14th, 2022 a White Supremacist walked into a Tops Market in Buffalo, New York and opened fire.  Ten black Americans were killed. The shooter was captured.

On May 15th, 2022 a Chinese immigrant who hated Taiwanese people walked into a Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods and killed a Pastor. The shooter was captured.

Today, in Uvalde, Texas, an 18 year old man killed his grandmother and then ran into a nearby elementary school and started shooting.   The present count, as of this writing, is 18 people were killed, most of them students between 2nd and 4th grade. The shooter was killed by the police.

The usual BS from those who think they are clever about being anti life sprung up on Facebook right away.  "Oh that's right, Pro Life people only care about embryos".

The other stuff will start soon - today's shooter was Hispanic so pretty soon the anti-immigration stuff will begin.

Meanwhile, THIS pro life Catholic is sick.  She is sick and sad and angry and cannot get the images out of her mind of suffering people in Buffalo, Laguna Woods and Uvalde. My hands are shaking and my stomach hurts and I want to grab the people making stupid remarks on Social Media and shake them, physically SHAKE them and scream, "SHUT UP FOR ONCE".

But I can't.

What I have to do is turn to the God of my understanding and ask for forgiveness.  I ask for mercy on those who are going to turn this into a photo op, a meme to promote their political ideology or a chance to try and hurt someone in opposition to their beliefs.  Satan, your army is strong and fueled by these people.

My army is stronger.  We weep in Adoration Chapels and we pray quietly in our homes and we offer our prayers for the souls of those killed and their survivors.

And we are turning away from the two headed monster of American Politics because the two heads screaming at each other are really the same thing.

Don't count us out.  Don't think that because we do not choose to engage your stupidity on Facebook or Twitter means that somehow you have 'made your point' or 'won the debate'.

Meanwhile, go ahead....make your points....


I am going to ask God to help us.  We need it.



Tuesday, May 10, 2022

I have ONE quick post - 30 years, baby, ODAAT!

 On May 4th, 2022 I celebrated 30 yrs of continuous sobriety.


I am grateful...to the God of my understanding and the Church He founded....