Posted by: cmittermeier | August 22, 2016

Letting go of old clothes… Part One

Up till last night, I have not doing major purges; it has been a slow process of putting things in goodwill piles when something is found to be really too big.  Last night I went through the folded tops.  Sweaters, t-shirts… It was time to reorganize not just on an item to item basis.

Some pieces were easy to chuck away. There were a few things that hit the garbage can, more a rag than garment. Then, there were all those things that never fit right, either because the style just wasn’t mine or it wasn’t cut right for my shape (regardless of weight).  

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what clothes I like on me.  I’m still finding my style.  I’m so not a shopper – I rely most heavily on a friend whom I call my personal shopper.  The second to last time I tried totally on my own, she took one look and replied, “Amy Farah Fowler”.  Yup, I dressed up like the dork in Big Bang Theory.  Since then I’ve been thinking a lot about what I like to wear.  My next one was better, but I am not totally in love with the way the jeans fit.  My friend is always better at going through the piles of styles to find the one that fits me best.  

There was a lot to let go emotionally with those easy pieces.  Imagine throwing away a stack of failed or low grade tests.  It didn’t have the negativity one would expect.  I have tried hard in the last two years of homeschooling to embed my boys brains with the idea that failure is about finding where you need to work next.  It’s not about good or bad, it’s about finding information so you can plan the next step.  It felt good to review those pieces and acknowledge what I have learned from them, and not be weighed down by the sheer volume of bad outfits.

It is all too easy with weight loss to get bogged down by failures, the more I pondered that large pile the more liberated I felt. It wasn’t just saying good-bye to a mistake you can’t face, it was not being afraid of having made the mistake.  There were more than one head shake of sillyness, but not shame.  I know I have a long way to go before my wardrobe will look right, I’m in for a few more failures (though hopefully not so many Amy Farah Fowler look a likes), and that’s OKAY.  

As always, failure pondering turns my head to confession.  We are so blessed to have it.  Maybe if we didn’t make so many mistakes it wouldn’t be so important.  It gives us courage to continue to try, no matter how many times we have to face the same mistakes we are reminded there is a new try, with help and peace just around the corner.  

Mistakes are just information, they aren’t good or bad. They don’t have to be worked out all at once. There is always a next time. …and best of all, your closet doesn’t have to be a museum to them… Let them go.

Today’s reading is the infamous “camel through the eye of the needle” that we tend to pass the buck on.  It’s far too easy living where and when we live, to find tonnes of people who have way more stuff than us, and, refuse to get down on their knees to squeeze through a tiny narrow gate.  As the priest said this morning, camels are very stubborn creatures, getting them to kneel down … It’s about as hard as getting US to kneel down.

He wasn’t talking about THEM, he was talking to those of us IN THE PEWS!  

Today I go for my weigh in, and I do not know how it will go.  For one, it’s the week of my cycle where I will naturally be up. For two, I didn’t journal this week.  I am having a hard time hunkering down.  Yes, I’ve lost 30 pounds, but in the last few months all I’ve done is just  maintain it.  I tried to discuss with my husband accepting that and living at this weight instead.  He feels this is not the end of the road, the hurdles of the last few months are not the eternal loop, and he wants me to continue with the expectation that things will get better soon.  Yesterday, I was prepared to tell my nutritionist the opposite – this is the end, just help me stay maintaining what I’ve already lost…

And then I read today’s reading and realized I need to get rid of that bit of baggage.  

The moment that priest started talking about STUBBORN camels, well, lightbulb.  I had mentally made the decision weeks ago to give up, I’ve been going forward trying to prove my hypothesis so everyone would just nod with me, congratulate me on what I did and tell me I’m right, I’m not meant to weigh less.

I am stubborn, I don’t want to do the hard work that is needed.  I want to eat only things that “hit the spot” and “make me feel good”.  I want easy workouts that I’m super excited to do.  I don’t want to have to do stuff when I’m not motivated.

I am a camel.  Though God agrees with me, yup, not possible for man, he doesn’t leave it there.  He looks me square in the eye, “but not impossible for God”.  

Once again, I’ll have to lay down my pride, my godlike stance that I know more than everyone else.  This isn’t the end of my weight LOSS journey, I’m not heading into maintenance.  I know God is asking more of me, that old, “not impossible for God” will not be a teleporter through the short narrow doorway.  I know I’ll be down on my knees more, I know it means more work.  But, I’ve got a Divine Coach.  …and you know what, that stupid pride that was trying to excuse all these months of not trying so hard, well, now that it’s out in the open labeled properly, I feel a whole heck of a lot lighter.

Pray for me folks, I will need it if I’m going to get working again. Know I’ll be praying for you.

Posted by: cmittermeier | August 7, 2016

Reconsecrating myself to Jesus through Mary

I am where I am because I was called to attach myself to Mary’s coat tails.  Yup, years ago when I first came back to the church I consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary and it’s been an amazing journey.  It has been said it is the fastest, surest route to Jesus and sainthood, and I have to agree.

In the years since then, I have redone the consecration several times, always using St. Louis de Montfort’s method.  Honestly, I don’t find it long or difficult, though I certainly did the first few times.  Back then saying a rosary seemed like the longest prayer in the world!  This time, however, I am using a different preparation.  It’s still 33 days, but, it’s a modern approach based on St. Louis’ work, as opposed to using his work directly.  It’s called 33 days to Morning Glory.

This fall, well, it seems like there is a lot on the plate between homeschooling, family, and my own personal health.  I need something extra to make sure I stay close to God, there will be a lot to distract me.  When a friend at church suggested doing the consecration by this method, I was honoured and excited!  I have heard bits about it, even known a few friends who have followed the Morning Glory method and I am eager to do this.

There is one problem… I am to ponder the short passage and prayer throughout the day.  Uh, I have ADHD and keeping something in my mind that doesn’t naturally stick in it could be a problem.  Not that I can’t ponder – I do that all the time – just not on stuff suggested by others.  This is going to be interesting!

My aim is to get closer to God.  As silly as it sounds, I miss Him.  I want to spend more time with Him, get to know him better, in new ways.  Yes, I know that the closer I get to him my own resilience will improve, but as a by-product.  Yes, He knows my health is in my prayers, along with prayers for the health of many other family members.  But, this retreat is less about my health than it is about understanding something new about God and our relationship.  
So often in life our relationships hit a plateau, we think we know everything there is about a friend or relative.  The stories have all been told, there just doesn’t seem anything else to say.  Till the road twists, just that little bit.  I’m doing this retreat knowing there will be many twists, many knew understandings (some I’ve probably known and forgotten).  Of course it will help with everything else in my life, that’s how God is.  The closer you are to Him, the more you follow His will instead of your own, the greater the peace.  But, those things aren’t the goal but the by product as I said above.  I want to rediscover my God.  He’s kind of infinite, it won’t be hard to find new angles!

If you haven’t considered consecrating yourself to Jesus, I urge you to look into it.  There are many consecrations, to the sacred heart, to his divine mercy, to Jesus through st. Joseph, to Jesus through Mary, and a variety of ways to do each of those I’m sure.  I already know of several ways to consecrate to Jesus through Mary… There has to be one for each of us, our God is too personal to leave one of us out.  Search for your way, it will be there.  Getting closer to God can only help.

Posted by: cmittermeier | August 6, 2016

Allergies, viruses, and a tired body

I am tired today, enjoying a day in bed with podcasts, documentaries, all that “I’m sick, just let me be stuff”.  This year I decided not to do allergy shots thinking I would be okay, boy was I wrong.  It has been much worse than I can remember in years.  The last month was much worse as I have an added pet load in the home coupled with a need for AC, shutting all those wonderful things in and circulating them around.  Last week I had a minor cold, just a slight fever for a day combined with a facet of yellow phlegm for a nose.  I had mostly recovered from that when yesterday I awoke to a sore throat, and now today I had the slight fever, stuffed sinus, and a marked drop in my energy level.  

I need to develop a plan, the allergens are not going away and their constant push will continue to drain my system leaving me open to more and more colds.  Now that the natural berry season is over, I’m less likely to be eating them.  Soon it will be orchard season, peaches and pears being my favourite August fruits.  I will have to check their vitamin c levels… But I suspect I will have to add a daily orange instead.  I will continue to have the salsa on my eggs in the morning, good immune helpers there, but, I should look into lowering my bread load a bit.  It causes a mild inflammatory response, and right now, a mild increase now means not just more phlegm, but I fear a touch of asthma.  I will add more mushrooms into my cooking, and onions, easy enough and they both lower the immune reaction.  It goes without saying that my sugar load needs to be tightly reigned in, and dairy is back to avoid at all costs.  Time to cook my eggs in olive oil again.

I have to thank God for this.  Yes, you read correctly, this is a blessing.

I have had a hard time dealing with the recent stress and my eating has been slipping.  I sat in the chapel last night and asked for some help, and being slightly sick is just what is needed.  As usual, God was working in this well before I realized it.  This is stuff that will require my whole summer to be more careful, how cool is that? A long term help!  Instead of me having to artificially narrow the path, he has been setting in place a naturally narrow path.

Yes, with God, slowly I am beginning to understand better that all things work for the good.  Even what would normally be annoying allergies and pesky colds.

Posted by: cmittermeier | August 4, 2016

Healing isn’t the absence of what causes the ill

In the clearing stands a boxer,

And a fighter by his trade

And he carries the reminders

Of ev’ry glove that laid him down

And cut him till he cried out

In his anger and his shame,

“I am leaving, I am leaving.”

But the fighter still remains — Simon and Garfunkle, The Fighter.

I do love my nieces and nephews!  Thought I don’t spend enough time corresponding with them, I do try to keep up with their lives and when the moment allows, to enter more fully into their daily lives.  One is convalescing right now, and knowing they live alone, well, I’ve taken it upon myself to invade their email box daily with a check in and virtual hug.

Today, I decided to write differently.  I wrote my thoughts in story fashion, pretending as if we were actually together and I could quietly ramble on at their bedside for a bit.  I decided to post it for you, because in this big journey of mine facing the reality that till I die I will be moving from battle to battle can be disappointing – but when we pair it with pondering our own immune system that does exactly that continually, it becomes a peaceful thought instead of a fearful one.  

Yes, I will be battling pecan tarts and apple pies, ice cream and banana spilts… But, my “immune” system will continue to grow as well allowing me to fight back.  Set backs become like colds, a short lived, temporary state where the bug is bigger than my fight. I am the fighter who still remains, as the song quote above says.  Here was my story letter that I sent… Enjoy!

“Morning,” I whisper quietly as I pop my head in the convalescent room. “Just wanted to check in, sit with you for a bit. Maybe pat your hand as you rest. Being sick is yukky, so much of the time you just have to slug it through with nothing to do that can speed it up. Usually there’s lots we do that lengthens it out, push too fast too quick, eat stupid stuff, so many ways to make it worse, yet so few to speed up healing and nothing can make it go away forever.
“One of the things I have found interesting to ponder is my own immune system, and how it reflects the spiritual reality so well. You see, so we get a bug attacking our immune system… Our body attacks it, kills it all of, right? Nope. Not fully. There’s always stragglers that hide in our body, waiting for the opportune time to try and strike again. Just like the enemy of our souls – he’ll attack and withdraw till an opportune time returns to attack again. Our bodies do learn how to recognize the attacks though, and it can often fight back squelching the attacks so well that we barely even notice we were fighting something. But the fact is, we are always fighting them.”Every bug that took us down, they are always there. Physical, psychological, spiritual, we never heal so fully from them that they go away for ever. Even if something bizarre were to occur and they were to totally leave,  our bodies carry reminders of them for ever – our immune cells are both our history and our present.  

“Healing, well, it’s not about returning to a state without the injury/infection. It’s about regaining a new life that will not be ruled by that injury/infection because it just isn’t possible to go back to a state before that injury/infection. Straggler bacteria from every single infection that laid me down (and many I never fully got attacked by) live in me constantly.

“It’s important to ponder this, because the false expectation of complete healing creeps into all areas of our lives. We will always be fighting the same nasties. Our job is to cooperate with our immune system to keep it in fighting form so that, like our heart, it keeps on winning the fight and keeping us going.

“There now, you need to drink a bit more, eat a few things that help your system fight optimally, don’t slow it down by garbage in. Go back to sleep now, I’ll be here when you wake up again. We can watch a movie while I sort socks, but now, go back to sleep. Our bodies fight best when we relinquish control and let it do its thing.”

Forehead kiss, hand pat, I stand up and quietly leave the room turning off the lights.

Aunty.

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