I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spiritual Quote of the Day

Indeed, his words "Call no man on earth your father, for you have one Father, who is in heaven" may very well be directed against the patriarchal family, which as the primary social unit in that world was a microcosm of a hierarchical system. If so, this is a fascinating instance of Jesus using the image of God as Father in a way that subverted patriarchy. (82, Marcus Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spiritual Quote-Where is the Kingdom of Godde?

Moreover, the Kingdom is not somewhere else; rather it is among you, inside you, and outside you. Neither is it some time in the future, for it is here, spread out on the earth; people just do not see it. (81, Marcus Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Sandwich Snob

I absolutely love a good sandwich! I guess you could call me a sandwich snob. I like my sandwiches to have fancy breads and fresh ingredients, which is why I was very skeptical of Checkers' mushroom cheeseburger. Normally I would not have even thought of eating one, but my boyfriend practically lives on them and so I wanted to see if there was any chance that I would like them too. When I told Charlie that I wanted to try a mushroom burger, he did not understand. "They're unhealthy, Corey! There's a good reason why you don't like to eat fast food. It's not good for you and you actually care about your body." All of those things are true about most fast food and I do care about what I put in my body, but I also know that I cannot live in fear of certain foods. Recovery from an eating disorder has involved me trying lots of different foods that I used to think were "bad" and Checkers burgers were definitely on that list. I don't want to not eat something, because I am afraid of it anymore, so I told Charlie I needed to try the burger that he likes so much. His response? "I don't need to understand it, just accept it."

I tried the mushroom swiss cheeseburger and I must say I was not impressed, mainly because I did not like the sauce. I'm sort of weird in that I usually don't like strong sauces, but I am glad I gave the sandwich a try-now I know that I honestly do not like the taste of them and that I am not eating them, because of some irrational food fear.

On the other hand, yesterday for dinner I let my inner sandwich snob take over and I made some wonderfully fancy and fresh sandwiches. I put a mixture of garlic, ricotta, parmesean, feta, and cherry tomatoes that Charlie had made the day before...
on top of honey wheat bread from the farmer's market. I then cut up a fresh tomato and topped the tomatoes with a fabulous fresh pesto, also from the farmer's market. The last step was to grill the sandwiches on my George Foreman grill. The smell of the herbs and the freshness of the ingredients made my body happy. You have got to agree that my sandwiches are much prettier than the mushroom swiss burger from Checkers!
After comparing a fast food burger with a homemade, fresh sandwich I have decided that I will not be ashamed to be a sandwich snob anymore! I like what I like. And maybe part of an eating disorder recovery is not analyzing everything I do and do not eat. Am I finally at the place where I can fully practice intuitive eating? Can I finally trust my body and my cravings? When I ate the mushroom swiss burger, I realized that I was not scared after all. My hands did not shake, nor did I need a cigarette afterwards-all of which have happened when I have been in the throes of ED. At the hospital, the staff stressed eating "normally" and I must admit, making a big deal out of eating a fast food sandwich isn't all that "normal." So maybe now I will try to not make a big deal out of the foods other people eat and will just concentrate on my own. Like Charlie said, "I don't have to understand, just accept."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Take A Deep Breath

When conventional wisdom appears in religious form, God is imaged primarily as lawgiver or judge. [...]God becomes the one whom we must satisfy, the one whose requirements must be met. (Marcus Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time,78)
Take a deep breath. You do not have to meet any requirement in order to deserve the rights of humanity. You are valued. You are enough. You do not have to be a slave to conventional wisdom.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

August Reading List

Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes by Charles Hartshorne – A tough read! I had a lot of trouble getting through the first chapter. I kept on rereading passages and finally I said, “Screw it,” and continued reading. After the first chapter, the reading was a lot easier and I ended up enjoying the book. I had a severe anxiety attack for the two weeks I was attempting the first chapter (unrelated to reading-I needed a medication adjustment), so I have a feeling that it was the anxiety that made it so hard to read. I’d like to reread the book again now that I am not so anxious. I found most of the “theological mistakes” intriguing, although I am not sure I agree with all of them. Hartshorne has many ideas about what happens-or doesn’t happen-to us after we die and I found those parts a little hard to swallow, as I don’t really see how anyone can really know. After the first chapter, I ended up actually taking notes about what I was reading to help me focus and I would recommend doing that too if you read the book.
Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life by Dennis, Sheila, and Matthew Linn – In contrast, this is an incredibly easy read! This book explores the spiritual practice of a daily examination of the day’s consolations and desolations in order to learn more about one’s self. I found it to be an inspiring practice that I would like to start doing myself, but I don’t know when I would have the time to do the whole ritual. Right now my life is insanely busy, but I have found myself asking the questions and pondering over the answers sometimes during the day and that will have to do for right now. I liked this book so much, I am including it in my Related Books list.
The Fairy Realm: The Unicorn by Emily Rodda – I love the Fairy Realm series! This is the second book that the girl I work with and I have read from the series and we just love them. They’re clever, easy reading and I find it really refreshing that although it’s easy reading, I still get really involved in the story. This is a book that a parent or guardian can actually enjoy reading with their child.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – To get ready for DragonCon and because there is a new hitchhiker’s book out, I decided to reread all the hitchhiker’s books. Unfortunately, I have read this book so many times that it isn’t that funny to me anymore, but I still heartily recommend reading this book it you haven’t read it yet. I think Douglas Adams was a genius and remember, you’re not a hoopy frood if you don’t know where your towel is! (Note: If you click on the title of this book, then it will take you to the online computer game. Be sure to google a cheat sheet, though if you play it, because it's super hard.)
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams – Unfortunately, this is another book that I have read so much that it wasn’t as funny to me anymore. Fortunately, my favorite scene still made me laugh-the scene at the restaurant where the main characters meet the bull that will provide them their dinner. As Zaphod says, “Arthur, meet the meat!”
Life, The Universe, And Everything by Douglas Adams – Fortunately, this book was still funny for me. This is the book where you find out what happened to the whale and the potted petunias in the first book and where Arthur Dent learns how to fly. Great stuff!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spiritual Quote of the Day - Live Life Not According to the Performance Principle

Life according to the performance principle is also life according to the conformity principle: ironically we try to be outstanding-to stand out-by conforming to the standards that our culture values most highly. (77, Marcus Borg, Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time)

I have experienced this principle often in my life! I can tell that I am living according to the performance principle when I start really worrying about what people think of me or if I must be "outstanding" in order to live up to people's expectations. But we do not need to do this-we only need to live up to Godde's expectations and I believe Godde only wants us to be all that we can be. Godde does not want us to be perfect robots with no passion, but instead people that strive to love and live intensely and with passion.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wait Until the Miracle Happens

I believe that this week is National Suicide Prevention Week and I know for a fact that yesterday was National Suicide Prevention Day, so I feel the need to say a few things about preventing suicide. My main point is this: the thoughts of suicide, if one is having them, will always eventually go away. There is a saying in recovery groups that says, "Wait until the miracle happens." My life is a testament to this saying. I believe the miracle always happens, so just wait. The suicidal impulses will eventually lift. Like a psychiatrist I once had said to me, "Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem." I feel comfortable saying this, because I have been through some very rough times-I have heard voices, done self-harm, been suicidally depressed, and maniacally happy, but now? Now I am living in the miracle. My life has meaning and this meaning is found in helping others. I am no longer codependent, but have fulfilling relationships with other people, including a significant other. My life is full and everyday I have to pinch myself to prove that I am not dreaming. I am definitely not used to this! Occassionally, I find myself missing my old self, because being "crazy" is what I am used to, but ultimately I rest secure in the knowledge that Godde wants me to experience joy and that as a child of Godde, I deserve The Holy Friend's love, joy, and peace.

Recovery is hard work! It requires much introspection and implementing new coping skills. It demands rigorous honesty, but it is worth it. Sometimes the work is simply not doing anything at all, but not acting out on harmful impulses. Sometimes the best thing to do is to just wait, for the one thing that is constant in life is change. Your moods and circumstances will change-that is a given. I know of a womyn who was severely depressed for forty years. She tried killing herself, but thankfully she never succeeded. I say thankfully, because she found a miracle too. She tried every kind of therapy and every kind of drug and she finally found something that works. What she had to do is pretty extreme-it involves an electrical unit in the brain, but it works. Now she is no longer depressed and she finally has the energy to enjoy life. This womyn is an inspiration to me. She could have given up and said no to an experimental procedure, but what did she have to lose? Nothing! She was already miserable, but she had everything to gain. This womyn had no idea if the procedure would work, but she waited to see what would happen. If you are feeling suicidal, I say to you, "Wait." Wait for the miracle to happen. And how do you wait? Distract yourself from the harmful thoughts. Be with people, even if that is simply staying in a coffee house until your feelings subside. Play your favorite music or watch a movie. Pet a dog or cat. Call 911 or a suicide hotline if you have to, for that is not giving up, but is simply recognizing that you need someone to help you wait. Wait! You do not have to die tonight. Life can and will get better. Trust in Change.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Psalm 48 & a Litany-Take Time to Listen!

Great is our Godde
And oh, how beautiful!
Godde's kindom dazzles
With divine beauty.
Let us serve there forever!

Rulers passed by Godde's country
And were shocked into silence.
They were held captive by wonder
And they quivered and quaked.
Like a womyn in labor,
They were overtaken by fear and pain.
Like a strong ship crashed by the wind,
A ruler's power does not compare to Godde's.

Despite bureacracies that drown out justice
And governments that limit love,
Godde's kindom is here!-
We have seen it in each other's faces.
Unlike the unlawful tyrant,
Godde keeps her promises.
She wants to be in a relationship with us!
God is full of give and take-
Earthly rulers want to dominate.
See the difference?
Rejoice and be glad.

Explore Godde's holy city.
Be part of bringing Godde's kindom to Earth.
Recognize the Holy One
In each person you meet.
Let the Holy Friend be your tour guide.
Discover Godde's wonders all of your life.
To read the original, go here.
I am even busier than before! I am in a new relationship, which takes up a lot of my time and I spent a lot of time at DragonCon last weekend. Fortunately, now that DragonCon is over, my life is beginning to slow down a little bit and hopefully I will be back to posting on a regular basis. I hope you like this psalm. I wrote it a few weeks ago, but never got around to publishing it. And I do believe that Godde's kindom is here in the faces of the people we meet. When we are loving towards one another, then we are bringing Godde's kindom down to Earth, which is better than any limited government. Love has no limits! I truly believe that every person on this planet has value and worth as a human being made in the image of Godde, which is why I believe it is so important to listen to everyone. Here is a litany that I just wrote about this:

L:What kids have to say is important
P:Take time to listen and play with them.
L:What older folks have to say is important.
P:Take time to listen and hold their hand.
L:What crazy people have to say is important.
P:Take time to listen without judgement.
L:What the homeless have to say is important.
P:Take time to listen and look them in the eye.
All:We all have worth. We all deserve dignity and respect.
We are all children of Godde-keepers of the kindom.

(L-Leader P-People)