Monday, August 22, 2016
February 2, 2016:
Today has been very difficult for me. It has been an internal battle. I went to the gym in the afternoon, where I had an appointment for fascial stretching. That was very relaxing. After that, I spent some time on the punching bag in order to release tension. It worked, to a degree. I did a shorter work out because I had already done one yesterday. One exercise I am really enjoying, because I can do it every day, is my abs. Plus, they’re sort of, almost starting to become apparent. Anyways, I noticed myself feeling a lot of shame and tension becoming greater after my workout. I don’t think I did anything offensive aside from saying ‘we’ll see’ a bunch of times. I don’t intend that in a hostile way anyhow. In order to challenge the feelings of shame and tension I was having, I started smiling. I went to the grocery store and smiled while I was there, most of the time with my head lowered. I always find this is an effective way of challenging the flashbacks when they come. I noticed twice today and once a couple of days ago, in the midst of a lot of hurt, I cried out, “into your hands.” After a few moments, the pain was drowned out and replaced by peace. In these times, particularly we need to nurture ourselves. Love yourself for who you are. Often, who we identify ourselves as is a construct of trauma and the shaping of the perspectives of our culture. We have to find our individual self. Either way, we deserve love and have been through so very much. We need to treat ourselves with love and respect. It’s easy to focus on all of the bad things about a person or a thing. Focus on the positive instead. If I were to look at someone for a long enough period of time, eventually I would start to become paranoid, thinking that what they are doing and saying (even if they are speaking to others) was about me. This is the case with anyone. It’s easy to see the negative in the character of a human being if you are looking for something to be upset with it about, something to judge about it. A person is so much more than what they simply do or say. These are large parts of their identity. But there is much more to the human being than what is in or on the body. I’m looking forward to weighing myself in the morning now. This morning I was 168lbs. It’s, I guess, a side benefit of doing this fast. This is the reason I am doing it: I am fasting for forgiveness, for God’s will to be done, to be glorified and for the right thing for this world. “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” Daniel 1:12,13. Something I have really started to notice over the fasts that I have done is the connection between sexual energy and temperance. Maybe this is a personal thing (Somehow I doubt it), but when I ejaculate often, I have less will power to continue my fast. This is another reason I choose to remain abstinent over these fasting periods. Like I say, maybe it’s personal. But there has to be a reason it is written: “If a man has an emission of semen, he shall bathe his whole body in water and be unclean until the evening.” Leviticus 15:16. It’s roughly day 37 of my fast. It has gone, for the most part, very well. I feel I have lost a bit of weight. In addition to this, though, I’m feeling healthier, more energetic and most of all, closer to God. I am happier and full of joy. As I have learned from past fasting experiences, the fast itself is the easy part – not that it’s actually easy – it’s tough as heck. But the hard part comes now, upon maintaining my new self. Plus, I am happy with my weight as it has become. I have, though, developed a plan. In addition to continuing in the Word and in prayer, as I have done in the past, I am going to go on and off, one day eating the way I did during the fast. And one day introducing myself to other foods. I’m registered in a poker tournament at Rama on the eighth. I am doing this because I love the game and want to challenge myself. Tournaments are more about skill. I will play the tourney and leave after without gambling. A child doesn’t have the verbal or the emotional capacities to stand up for themselves. They are subject to the power and authority of bigger, more experienced people. I want to remind you lovingly that people have a right to privacy. I went to church on Sunday where I received a blessing. I went to church yesterday. On a Monday. I went to pray the Rosary. I prayed the Rosary in my room again today. I read the Bible daily. I try to read three or more chapters a day. I have a Bible app on my phone, which makes it easy for me when I am out. I pray continually. My old small group leader told me something that over time, I started to notice for myself, though not all of the time. He told me that he considered himself to be in a continual state of prayer, even as he went about his day. I was amazed then. But I am slowly learning what he meant. It’s difficult for me all of the time but I try my best. Grace is a wonderful thing. It is the fact that we are loved by God and there is nothing we could do that could make Him love us any less or more. Works are very beneficial. They’re not necessarily needed. But when you love someone or something, you do things for them. Or you practice at that thing you love. You should be eager to show your love. Just as a husband buys flowers for his wife. Or cooks dinner. We should approach everything in this manner. So as not to take advantage of love. In order to accept His unconditional love, we have to trust Him. We have to trust Him that He wants the best for us. We have to trust how He died to show us He wants the best for us. We have to trust that He will provide us with life and a safety and hope. We have to trust that He will glorify our lives. From a very young age, I had a lot of difficulty allowing myself to open up my heart entirely to trust. There are a bunch of reasons for this, all legitimate. I went to church yesterday. On a Monday. I went to pray the Rosary. While I was there, I had a couple of wonderful personal revelations. As I knelt in front of a votive candle offering, I prayed the suggested prayer and then opened my heart to my Lord and our Mother. I practically wept. For a moment I was silent, then flooded into my heart such powerful feelings of love. I have faith and believe in my heart that Christ can heal me, even this. I prayed for a pure heart in dedication to His will. Having faith that the Father God can create in me a pure heart, I opened my heart to Him. God Almighty deserves all of the glory. It’s not just about work. I have to lay it all out before Him. I am crying out to Jesus. Making a conscious choice to lay everything before Him. I am praying for the best for our broken world. Still realizing that nothing I can do could help that. It’s about what God will do with my life. Love wins in the end.