Sunday, August 14, 2016

October 5, 2015:

Well, I am just feeling like a million dollars today. Yesterday, I went to Rob’s for Settler’s (the game) and was feeling a little bad for the majority of the day. In spite of this, I decided to go to the gym, at 8:30PM. I worked out very hard, I’ll give myself that. But on the way home, I felt a dreadful feeling. I was feeling unsafe and threatened. I felt somehow that people were trying to hurt me. That they hated me. All at once, the ridicule and humiliation I have endured flooded back to me, in addition to everything I have been through, attacking my identity. I grimaced a few times, trying my hardest not to lash out at anyone. I was on the bus. As the seconds passed, I decided to just sit with my pain. After praying, I felt a great peace come over me and went home. After I got home, I was struggling with my prayers so I decided to simply be silent with God, allowing His love to permeate my heart. In the morning, I did the same thing. I have resolved that I am simply going to have faith in God’s timing for me and my life, rather than dwelling on health and anxieties. This morning, I ate a bowl of strawberries and mandarins. So delicious! I went down to Queen and Yonge to transfer to the streetcar to go to my art therapy at the Gatehouse. I saw a man who was asking for change in the subway entrance. His head was sunken. I gave him 10$ and told him I was praying for him. His name, if I remember correctly is Robert. Then I got on the streetcar and went over to Etobicoke where I got off at a street nearby. I decided to go into a little Asian restaurant across from the Gatehouse and get some green tea. Here, I saw my facilitator from my phase 2. She sat with me and we had a great conversation about the Gatehouse programs, what she’s doing and our books (we have both written books). When she had finished eating, we walked across the street and she gave me a copy of her book. Really looking forward to reading it. In art therapy, we were talking about emotions. I did a collage about the emotion fear and felt really empowered in expressing myself. I really need to allow myself to be happy when I am happy as opposed to stifling it and exerting so much effort to try to conceal it. I am so afraid of feeling happy. Somehow in being happy, always led to disaster in personal terms later on. Likewise when I am sad, angry and scared. These feelings are human and deserve to come out. In any case, it was a very encouraging group. One of the guys of the group told me he was impressed by my bravery and inspired by me. It’s nice to think that I can have this sort of effect on people. We’re all brave in our personal ways. After group, I went across the street and bought a natural fruit cup. Waiting for the streetcar, my facilitator joined me and we sat together on the ride. She’s a really wonderful person and I am very heartened by her desire to help others with what she’s doing in art therapy. She is an artist too. Her art is awesome. I actually really want to buy some of her work. Anyways, we had a nice conversation. At my stop, I got off and saw another man asking for change in the subway. I approached him and he announced my name. Honestly, it had been at least a month since I had seen him. I asked him if he had a place to go that night. He said he has a place where he goes that’s warm. I gave him twenty dollars. His name is Jay. I told him that I come through that area around that time every Monday. So I told him to be there next week. Went home and now am writing this. Last Thursday, I went to St. Patrick’s where I received a blessing from the Eucharistic Minister. I am considering taking part in the RCIA program at St. Wilfred’s. Insert: the Bible is the true authority of Christianity. What else? After five days, I am again going another five days on my veggie and fruit and water fast including abstinence. I am doing the five days again because I am fortified by the warmness of heart that I am experiencing. For myself and others. I am feeling a lot of peace. I am feeling so revived today. It is 1:30AM and I am not feeling tired. I guess when I prayed for energy last night so that I could glorify God, the prayer was heard. Praise God!!! But I should go to bed soon. Or else tomorrow, I’ll be paying for it. Maybe. I am so happy! I wrote Michelle on facebook a comment about the pictures she is posting about her country and she told me to come visit. It wasn’t entirely clear if she was inviting me to see her. But I think she was. I am saving up.  I am grateful that I am alive and have a chance to live for God, even in a small way. Continuation: Sitting quietly, I whispered, ‘Into your hands’. And I called the name ‘Jesus’. It’s in these moments when I am learning to treasure God in my heart the most. These are the moments that cause me to want to fall to my knees in weeping prayer of repentance. Suddenly, after whispering this, I felt such a wonderful peace flow through me, a feeling as though my heart had been filled. Later, at home, I discovered that I was still feeling a bit of anxiety. I was having difficulty praying. The difficulty continued. So I decided to read a bit of the little booklet I got on Saint Therese. I said the novena and prayed. But one thing that really resonated with me in the story of Saint Therese was that what she was suffering so much, so much that she couldn’t voice her prayers, she would still consciously sit and be silent and at peace with Jesus. What a wonderful life she led. And what an inspiration to me to realize in a sudden epiphany of my emotions and sense of self that, indeed, there are always people who have and are experiencing life worse. Things can always be worse. And in no way would I want things to be worse for anyone else. It’s simply encouraging to be suddenly aware that life is not so bad after all. It’s enormously encouraging to know that God has been with me every step of the way. Let down your guard and accept the love that God has to offer. We just have to want the grace and the love that He offers so freely. This life can be absolutely brilliant, like a diamond, if we choose what He wants for us. And as Saint Therese displays through her life, it is certainly possible to suffer and with joy, knowing that we suffer for His great glory. We must trust God whatever His plans are for our lives. He always wants the best for us. God doesn’t create suffering in our lives. But it is His pleasure to use it for His and our glory. Whatever happens in our lives, we need to continue to have faith, fighting to the end, confident in God’s plan for us that there is light at the end of it all. Truly, when you are in a state of love, it is easy to see that things can always be worse. It is becoming increasingly clear to me that with love you can triumph over any suffering or pain. With love, any trial becomes endurable as my heart increasingly opens to love and peace. The concept, ‘Die to self, live for others, for the glory of God’ is beginning to make sense for me. We need to have compassion for people who have been hurt so much that they find it difficult to trust. There is a reason they find it difficult to trust. And we need to recognize that the ones who want to trust but that they are being hindered. This is why we need to have compassion. There is still so much, God willing, to be revealed. I just pray for what needs to be disclosed to be clear to you. Don’t forget that there are reasons people act out and even hurt each other. This is not an excuse but we have to have compassion for those who offend in small areas. “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13). After five days on my veggie and fruit fast, I have decided to do another five days. I am fortified by the warmness of heart that I am experiencing. For myself and others. I am feeling a lot of peace. Still, a couple of days ago I weighed myself in the morning. I came in at 189. This is the first time I have gotten under 190 in three years. Regardless, this is about faith. I am fasting, in prayer but I realize that the end result is entirely in the hands of the Father. I am coming increasingly to a place in my journey where I am realizing I cannot do this, any of this, on my own. I am increasingly realizing my reliance upon and need for the courage, faith, strength, stance, power and voice of God to do everything in my life. And so, this is a desire to show Him how much I love Him and need Him and desire a relationship with Him. I cannot do anything on my own. But through God, the Father, all things are possible. I have faith that whatever happens will be for the best. “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). All glory to God. All things are possible through our Father in Heaven. All I can do is trust, have faith and never give up. I am trying so hard to treat others with the love that they deserve. At the same time, I am trying really hard to treat myself with the love that I deserve. I don’t have to do this myself. “And he told this parable: ‘A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’ And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good. . .” (Luke 13:6). I know that I could literally die to this world at any moment. It will be enough to think of this when that comes. Now I want to embrace and live in the happiness that God has offered me. I want to live in the present. And in the knowledge that even if I were to die, there would be so much waiting for me. Because of the truth of God’s love.

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