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Showing posts from January, 2013

Should People with Mental Illness be Sterilized? A Response to Bigotry

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I was on a date earlier last year and my date made the error of sharing too much personal information too early.  Basically, it felt like a therapy session, only it was supposed to be a date.  Not good.  But what was really not good was that he said something that I found extremely offensive-so offensive that I put him on my "I-never-want-to-interact-with-you-again" list!  (That's bad!)  The person seriously told me that all people with mental illness should be sterilized.  When he saw my shocked face, he tried to get back in my good graces by saying that his statement included himself if he was ever diagnosed with a mental illness. Needless to say, it didn't help. There are several huge things that are wrong with that sentence, the first being that who gets to decide who has a mental illness?  Do you know how many people in the United States alone have mental illness??  According to the National Institute of Mental Health , approximately one in four adults or 57.7

Inspirational Food

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The book of Ezekiel is one of my favorites books in the Bible and it has some really great imagery. I wrote a bunch of passages in my inspirational quote book, so you're going to read scripture for inspiration for a while. Don't worry, if you start missing quotes from my friend's book, Making a Way Out of No Way-I go back to her pretty shortly. Here's my inspirational quote for the night: Then I passed by and saw you kicking about in your blood, and as you lay there in your blood I said to you, "Live!" I made you grow like a plant of the field. You grew up and developed and became the most beautiful of jewels. Your breasts were formed and your hair grew, you who were naked and bare. Later I passed by, and when I looked at you and saw that you were old enough for love, I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness. I gave you my solemn oath and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.

Cheering Up with Books and Cupcakes

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Today has been frustrating, as I have had stomach pains all day.  Yuck!  I have them on occasion and always have.  To cheer myself up, I am going to share a very happy and triumphant memory with you: my last book club meeting!  I meant to share it weeks ago. Over a year ago, I started attending a classics book club in order to meet more people in my area.  I was nervous at first, but I have grown to feel very comfortable in the club and I look forward to attending it.  What's more is that the other members seem to genuinely look forward to me coming too.  I love the opportunity to read more classics, as I focused my English major more on poetry than prose and so I missed out reading a lot of the classics that people have assumed an English major would have read.  We're a passionate bunch, as we argue over why we did or did not enjoy the book and what we think it means.  Despite all this, I started to want more.  I wanted a group that would argue with the same kind of passion

Evolution's Purpose - A Book Review

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Evolution's Purpose: An Integral Interpretation of the Scientific Story of Our Origins by Steve McIntosh This is another book provided by SpeakEasy . You know how I thought the last book was not scholarly enough?  Well, you get what you ask for, because this one is so scholarly that it errs on being dry and inaccessible.  Which is a shame, because I've always been interested in evolution and was looking forward to reading this book.  I like the premise, which is that evolution is not a random thing, but is ultimately about always choosing towards becoming more good, true, and beautiful.  I kept on waiting to be inspired and engaged in the material, but by the middle of the book, I decided to abandon my efforts to something that would capture my attention more readily. So now I'm much more engaged and interested in a book I've read before -Kindred by Octavia E. Butler.  It's the book my feminist book club picked out.  I definitely don't mind readi

2 Samuel 21 - Another Untold Story

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I was reading the Bible when I came upon this story about a woman that I thought was really hard to understand. Of course, besides being a complicated story, it's also harder to understand, because no one ever talks about it! I'm going to do my best to present this story to you. The story is found in 2 Samuel 21:1-14. 21  During the reign of David, there was a famine  for three successive years; so David sought  the face of the  Lord . The  Lord  said, “It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.” 2  The king summoned the Gibeonites  and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to spare them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) 3  David asked the Gibeonites, “What shall I do for you? How shall I make atonement so that you will bless the  Lord ’s inheritance?” 4  The Gibeonites answered him, “We ha

Self-Soothing the Sadness Away

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"Freedom isn't an anomaly.  Let go."  A picture from my Color Me Calm coloring book.  The person in this picture is freeing herself by letting go of some of her emotions?  Preconceived notions? Anger, greed, desire?  The picture is up to interpretation.  I have been struggling with some sadness and exhaustion lately and I have been trying to free myself by letting go of some of my expectations of other people and of myself. I have decided that I am not going to push myself into getting a full time volunteer job right away, but just take it one step at a time.  I'll add the job at a nursing home gradually.  I think I was beginning to expect too much out of myself and I need to continue focusing on my emotional needs. DBT skills that I have used today is self-soothing myself and mastery.  I did these things by cooking a good dinner-a yummy chicken salad with a homemade dressing.  I wish I had taken a picture!  Usually I stay near my therapist's office after my s

Book Review - The Enoch Factor

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I feel sort of bad about this review, because it's not going to be pretty.  I promised Speakeasy that I would review all of the books that I received though... The Enoch Factor by Steve McSwain I read about four chapters before I gave up on this one.  It was the "insanes" that did it for me.  McSwain has a very lax writing style and after using the word, "insane" as a descriptor for the fourth time, I just couldn't take it anymore.  Seriously, I felt like the book was fulfilling an assignment that he really wasn't interested in and was just filling it with as much generic, spiritual filler as possible.  On each page, there are quotes from famous philosophers that don't seem to have much to do with anything else on the page.  I got the feeling that he was trying to fill a certain page quota, which was very annoying. McSwain also seemed to be insensitive to those who may have mental health issues.  Besides using "insane" as a descrip

How Could I Not Know?

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Everyone needs an out when incredibly frustrated or sad.  Sometimes when I feel like I'm going to explode with emotion I post my complaint on twitter or tumblr, so that I don't hurt the people in the room with me.  I post it on those sites, because I don't know the majority of my followers personally and so it seems like a fairly safe way of releasing emotions.  I don't post anything mean, it's just a way to quickly release some steam.  This is what I did yesterday after talking to my insurance carrier, who said that I might not be covered for much longer if I don't lose some weight. This is what I wrote on tumblr: Thin privilege is not being denied for health insurance, because your height to weight ratio doesn’t match their specifications.   Thin privilege is not being told that you need to lose twenty pounds in less than a month in order to get health insurance. It felt good to get that off my chest! My comments got mixed reactions-two people "li

Book Review - Rants to Revelations

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Rants to Revelations: Unabasedly Honest Reflections on Life, Spirituality and the Meaning of God by Rev. Ogun Holder , Illustrations by David Hayward I liked this book, especially the cartoons that help introduce each chapter.  This one was one of my favorites: "I think the peace that passes understanding also passed me by." I was very excited to get this book, because one of my friends had already introduced to David Hayward's blog, The Naked Pastor , which showcases jaded cartoons about what a minister may think and feel.  I enjoyed reading the book, but I would call it spiritual brain candy, meaning it is a very easy read and...there's not much substance.  Holder's book has a lot of big ideas, but the chapters are so short that there's hardly any space to explain his ideas-if I was his editor, I would tell him to "elaborate."  I appreciated that the book from Speakeasy  was progressive enough for me, but for once it was actually a litt

Inspirational Scripture: Ezekiel on Freedom

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I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds. I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 13:20-21   This seems like a fitting inspirational quote to read after Christmas.  After all, following the ways of Christ is one of the ways that a person can free herself.  Of course, being a feminist, I believe that there are many ways that people can free themselves.  Freedom is for everyone, but I think the main qualifier is that the person is following in the way of LOVE.  Hardcore fundamentalist Christians believe that what we need to free ourselves from is the devil, but I think that's a bit silly.  There is no devil with horns and a pitchfork poking at us to sin, but instead there are the very real consequences of our actions when we do not act in Love.  Fundies also talk about how we need to free ourselves - by being "washed in the blood of the lamb&

A Look Back at 2012 - Fabulous Fatshion

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I got this idea from tumblr.  Here is a college of some of my favorite outfits from 2012: And my favorite hairstyles: I have a lot more outfits from 2012 that I haven't posted yet, so stayed tuned for more.  2012 was a year where I became a little more comfortable with my body.  In fact, I have become so comfortable with taking pictures of my body that I bought a full length mirror for my room.  That way I won't have to sneak into my parent's bathroom!  I went to hear Hanne Blank , who is the author of her new book,  The Unapologetic Fat Girl's Guide to Exercise and Other Incendiary Acts , speak at Charis tonight and I was inspired.  I was inspired to get moving, to accept my body, to do what makes me happy, and to tell people to "get out of my way" if they don't like it.  I loved her message that all people of all sizes deserve respect and are worthy.  As she says, "There is no wrong body."  In other words, "Every body is a good body!&q

New Year's Resolutions

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I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I have a few new year's resolutions this year.  I prefer to call them "goals," because I think it sounds more definite and it feels more likely that I'll actually achieve them. 1.   To blog more often.  You may have noticed that I blogged more last month than usual.  That wasn't just because I was on vacation.  The main reason is I have a lot more energy than I used to and I feel like now is the time to stretch myself, to do more while I can.  Besides, I have a lot of things to say.  The content won't change much-I'll still write a hodgepodge of spiritual insights, book and recipe reviews, pop culture critique and stories about my recovery-just more often.  My goal is to write a post every day, except on the days when I am too exhausted, like yesterday.  I want to push myself, but I am not unrealistic. 2.  To work full time.  Before you gasp in surprise, no I don't mean a paid, full-time job.  I spen

Happy New Year - Happy Reading - December 2012 Book Review

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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – This was the book my feminist book club chose last month.  I can’t wait to discuss it on Friday-I actually have five other people signed up to come!  Whoo-hoo!  The book is very thought-provoking and a great pick for a feminist book club.  I will warn you though in that it has the potential to be very triggering.  It is the story of a handmaid, which in the not-so-distant future is the name for the women who are the upper classes’ surrogates.  It is a gripping tale, but I was disturbed by its graphic sexual violence and female oppression-at one point I even gasped aloud.  If you are stable enough, I really recommend the book.  It’s really scary, because it makes it seem like our world could become as oppressive as the one in the book overnight.  And who knows?  Maybe it could.  I would like to think that it couldn’t, that us feminists would riot the streets, but the way there’s been so much legislation put upon my uterus lately, I’m serious