Archive for the ‘introspective’ Category


It’s been a few days since Brad and Angelina publicly announced not only their separation, but their divorce. I wasn’t going to write about it because, well, it felt icky. There have been so many hateful people out there already contributing their two cents, and although I guess I shouldn’t be shocked the strength of the spite does shock me. People are… I don’t know… gleeful about the news.

I’ve seen the comments that are along the lines of,

“Well, she cheated on her boyfriend with a cheater and married him, so what did she expect?”

That was actually the most kind comment, and the most restrained.

I think that Angelina expected she would have a partner in her life who, once he adopted their children and fathered a few more, would also be a competent co-parent with her. I think she thought she found her soulmate, at least for a while. I think Jennifer had thought the same thing.

Brad must be really convincing.

Whenever I hear about celebrity couples divorcing, I don’t take it as an opportunity for entertainment. I mean, I don’t celebrate or cheer or joke when a friend or family member gets divorced. I might feel relief if it’s someone I know, and it’s something they wanted. But celebrating and being vicious about it… that’s wrong. I’d only celebrate, so to speak, if the loved one told me they were planning a celebration. To be honest, even then it’s uncomfortable. I know there’s this thing called Divorce Parties and some people celebrate the anniversary of their divorce every year. Those, I find amusing, but they have to be done by the individual. It’s their right, not ours. It’s they who get to trash the former spouse.

It’s a marriage ending. It doesn’t mean that how it began was in the best way. It doesn’t mean that the marriage was unsuccessful. It doesn’t validate or invalidate how the relationship began. It’s not a spike in the eye, driven by the wronged person in the previous relationship. All it means is that a current marriage is ending, and when that happens it’s sad.

It’s sad to hear that something terrible occurred during a marriage that’s caused one of the partners to file for separation and divorce. It’s sad because these people originally came together with feelings of love, joy, happiness, and passion even if others disapproved. In this instance, children have been involved from the very start. This couple has a large family by choice, and every  member of this family has been affected by whatever has been occurring and will now be affected by the divorce. They’ve all been through a lot together; loss of family, illness, trauma, and also a lot of joy. Think about that. Think about how this couple loved their children so much that while they were happy enough to remain common law partners, they legally married because their children asked them to do it. Then to show how important it became to them they included the children in the ceremony and the creation of the bridal gown. This has been a family that loves each other. They’ve tried whatever it takes to stay together. Let’s assume that. Let’s assume it because things like separation and divorce don’t come out of nowhere.

That makes this sad. This family has to find a new way to move on, and find a new normal. [Edit: If TMZ can be believed, Angelina filed for divorce because of how Brad was parenting. She cited irreconcilable differences, and her attorney stated she did it for the health of the family. Sources who she’s close to say she did it because of anger issues, alcohol and weed misuse, and that she requested full physical custody of all six children with Brad getting visitation. She did this for safety reasons for her children. Not because he cheated or she cheated. For the children. That’s SAD and it’s upsetting. But here we have people making jokes and saying how it’s somehow payback to Angelina for how Jennifer was treated. Payback? There are children suffering. What kind of God would inflict payback on children of a couple whose relationship began the way it did? How callous is it that people are making light of the split? And how can these children find a new normal where they can’t live without their dad because he’s not living in a way where he’s got their best interests in mind. He’s got his own best interests in mind.]

How many other typical American families ie. non-famous have had to go through very similar situations? Who can relate to this? Have we really lowered ourselves into believing that crushing those who are already at their lowest is entertaining? That it’s funny? That it’s acceptable?

I apologize for the tone of this entry. I’m sorry if this sounds Mother Superior. It’s just… sad. Sad to me that the viciousness is so acceptable. I know that my opinion is just a drop in the bucket, and probably not a very popular one. That’s okay. I just felt like someone had to step in for the children. I felt like I was defending a loved one who has been in similar situations. And I hate it.

*Disclaimer: This is not to say that divorce can’t be appropriate for some couples. While sad, it can also be liberating, a relief, better for a family, and other positive words… but there’s a reason for an end. And the reasons are most often sad. I’m not against divorce.

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I really need to write an entry about managing my spoons per day, because at the moment I’m having trouble leaving myself enough to even get through until 4:00 p.m. during the school week.

I know that I need to recenter myself, refocus, and remember to simplify. I need to use the tools at my disposal.

I need to remind myself of how to do those things and what those tools are.

Before I can even write that blog… I need to take a big breath. In through the nose to the count of five, with the eyes closed. Pause. Out through the mouth until all of the air is gone. Pause. Breathe in through the nose to the count of five. Pause. Breathe out through the mouth until all of the air is gone. When you do this breathing exercise, think of nothing except the breathing. Focus and direct all efforts on your breathing. Do this five times without rushing the process. Keep your eyes closed, and don’t allow outside distractions, such as children or spouses but most especially your phone to interrupt.

This exercise takes as long as it takes. Do it twice if you need, but this exercise will force your brain, body, and anxiety to relax. Bringing in oxygen and forcing out thoughts does wonders.

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As it so happens, thanks to recent news, Jill Stein and that other guy, um, Gary Johnson are completely out of the question as well as long as Senator Clinton stays in the race.  As of today Gary Johnson has as chance of less than 0.1%. That’s not even a quarter of a percent of a chance of winning. Jill Stein isn’t even placing a fraction of a single digit percentage. They would both have to completely change their platforms to gain any sort of traction with anyone; and they would have to, well, not be Independent or Green Party.😉 Because with their individual platforms and the ideals of each party? I have to go with,

“Thank you, hell no.”

 

If you’ve followed my blog at all lately, you’ve probably noticed that I’m not a Trump supporter.😉 I’ve questioned why people support him. But then… I may have been a little insulting at times in my passion for my intense dislike of Trump regarding just how little I understand why reasonable people could even consider voting for Trump, but then again ‘m not running for office.

You’ve probably guessed by now if it weren’t obvious that the only option I find reasonable is Senator Clinton. She’s by far the safest choice.

Anything she does is under a microscope. Things from three decades ago are brought under scrutiny, twisted into half-truths and outright lies, and turned into spiteful memes. Present non-issues are “trumped up” if you will and blown into nontroversies until every single Trump Supporter and I Already Hate Hillary Clinton Frother laps it up with a big fat ladle.

They’ll pick apart her statements where she apologizes, even when she has no need to apologize. They’ll comment on how that’s a lie or only stated to gain voters or it’s rhetoric. That’s to be scrutinized crumb by crumb, ingredient by ingredient, until it’s lost all meaning. She can talk about her grandchild or daughter, and that has ulterior motives.

She coughs, and the world is on notice and thinks she’s not being transparent enough in her campaign or in regard to her health.

If only any month’s worth of comments Trump has made were scrutinized by the media so much as any single comment made or cough and antibiotic taken by Hillary Clinton at any given moment. Pneumonia is viewed as a death knell, apparently, and deceitful to boot. Who knew that allowing herself to become dehydrated and catching the common cold now and then wasn’t transparent, was deceitful, and she was on her deathbed. It apparently adds to the mountain of criminal activities she’s involved in while trying to destroy America in her conspiracy with President Obama.

Then this landed in my lap today from a friend on Facebook:

Pundits claim Clinton had a bad week. Next to Donald Trump’s seven days of gaffes and scandal, that is insane.

Source: An absurd week in America’s two-tier election – Macleans.ca

 

Well, I look forward to the day that we can call it the Ovulation Office, thank you very much.

Now, I’m not giving Senator Clinton a free pass. I don’t believe she’s perfect. I haven’t always supported her. In fact, for the majority of my life, I’ve “hated” the Clintons. The thing is, I’ve grown up. I’ve done research in unbiased sources. Some of what I thought I knew, I was proven right except not in the way I thought and most of what I believed was disproven.

For instance, calling half of Trump Supporters “a basket of Deplorables.” I mean… Trump likely doesn’t even know what the word means but most of his fans do, and many of his supporters are educated and are on the fence on whether to support him or her.  I might agree with the sentiment that there are many, many deplorable Trump Supporters, and there’s very good reason. But the fact is that TRUMP is deplorable.

There are many HRC supporters who have been asking what the big deal is in her insulting Trump voters when Trump has been nothing but crude, rude, crass, vulgar, and outright insulting to every voter out there except for racist, sexist, homophobic, or xenophobic voters. In fact, the wording she used wasn’t crass or vulgar.

She was composed and used a relaxed, almost humorous tone of voice. She was speaking to the educated of America. She was speaking to those whom she knew were already on her side and didn’t need rhetoric or cajoling or politicking. She was in a safety zone.

That was exactly the problem.

Due to who she is, and what she is ie. a female AND a Clinton, she doesn’t have a safety zone.

She’s automatically being held under a much greater microscope and to a much higher standard than Trump or any other male. She’s always had to hold herself to a higher standard, and she always has just like any other woman in virtually every career that exists. She’s always carried herself with dignity and grace under pressure, and this was a slip. It wasn’t even as bad as that slip that Mitt Romney made when he denigrated all voters during his campaign for President.

During election seasons, when you’re running for any office but especially for President of the United States, you simply don’t insult the voters. You don’t insult the voters of your opponent because of the off chance you might have had that they would have become your voters at some point in the near or far future. If you call your opponent’s voters “deplorable” even if you specify “half of them” then those people are going to wonder if you really meant “all” and therefore…. you’ve personally insulted every single voter of the opponent. They now have a personal reason to hate you. They don’t simply hate Hillary for the lies spun from half truths by the GOP, or because they dislike that she’s female or a lawyer or a former first lady or a Democrat or “too liberal” even though she’s practically a Republican, or her wardrobe, or who she used to be friends with, who donates money to her campaign, who her husband used to be friends with, the colors lipstick she chooses, the sound of her voice, etc.

They now believe that even if they momentarily supported Trump, HRC finds them deplorable and will automatically assume them to be racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic. You have to be careful with the voters. Most of them may be harsh to each other, even in their own circles and families, but they have very thin skins if they think the spotlight is on them. Anything that seems critical of anything they support and it’s a personal insult. And even if they do have these deplorable qualities, are they really irredeemable? Is that really a judgment on their character that any candidate should make? No, it’s not.

Even if they do have these deplorable qualities, who wants to say that those qualities are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or any sort of -ist or -phobic or a bigot? Not when they have justification after justification after justification for being anti-whatever it is.

Those things are very true of Donald Trump. And yes, those things are very, very true of many of his fans. But at the same time, there are people who are voting for him not because they support him but because they feel they can’t support any other candidate. Many people are single issue voters, or can’t get past a particular story they heard and don’t research well enough to find out if something was as true as they believe. Many people don’t care to know. Many people just won’t vote for The Woman or A Democrat.

I think she knows these things, and even if it’s more rhetoric, she nearly immediately apologized and expressed regret for her comments. She then dropped the other shoe, and that cracked me up.

Trump has tried that maybe once or twice, and it backfires. It’s always a crass and backhanded nonpology. Hillary Clinton backtracked quite eloquently, regretting that she generalized so grossly and shouldn’t have said “half.” She put the onus of lifting up individuals that are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, etc. back onto TRUMP. Essentially she called him out for glorifying those traits in people who find those qualities admirable… even if they don’t like the words used to describe those qualities. She called Trump’s social media contributions to be offensive, hateful, and mean-spirited rhetoric. She did state that some of those people are irredeemable (which is true) and “Not America” which is also true of the IDEAL IDEA of America.

She also said that his supporters are people that are looking for change in any form because of economic anxiety and she urged her supporters to empathize with them.

Oh yeah, and the e-mails too. What started as a non-troversy to begin with, and is turning out to be one of the BEST things she ever did. After all of the investigations and committees and waste of tax dollars, because the Republicans have this need to discredit her and try to make her look foolish; after an FBI investigation found her to have done nothing criminal; it turns out that just as it was stated early on in the first week or two that her servers were FAR MORE SECURED than the government servers at that time. It also turns out that if her servers were being used today they’d be more secure than the currently updated servers the government uses. Because her servers were SEPARATE and therefore much, much harder to hack. That was the whole point of several government officials having their own servers.

So I found this below, which was written last week. And to think, I was almost THISCLOSE to thinking that the e-mail stuff actually was a bit more scandalous than I originally believed, and I’d have to eat a bit of crow. That I didn’t actually know what I was talking about way in the beginning.

 

The attention paid to it has far surpassed the boundaries of the facts.

Source: The Hillary Clinton email story is out of control – The Washington Post

You know, I just realized that I never once commented on the positive aspects of HRC’s campaign. I pulled a stunt that I HATE from certain Trump fans. My apologies. I clearly had some purging and pontificating to do! LOL

So, I’ll save the, “why I support HRC versus other candidates” post for another day. This one got out of control and too long.🙂 Ta, loves!

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Hmm. So Phyllis Shlafly has died at the age of 92 years. It’s easier to explain what she stood against than what she stood for, politically and religiously. Suffice it to say, she was against: feminism, Women’s Rights, the Equal Rights Amendment, bilingual education, abortion, religious freedom, Communism, equal pay for Women, and a few other things I forget at the moment. To give you an idea of how little I agreed with Phyllis and her politics and religious ideologies: The likes of Ann Coulter, Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Ted Cruz are mourning her death as a great, great loss to America and the Conservative Right.  

Of course there’s more to her than this paper doll figure I’ve set up for you here. She had far more depth, vicious all the way through, disguised as a Conservative who was an advocate for women, families, and children. I don’t really make it a habit to celebrate the death of anyone, but I’ll say that I won’t mourn her passing, or find her to be a loss to the world. Her passing isn’t a loss for America. I’m sure that this isn’t an appropriate response to someone’s death. After all, we’re taught that it’s poor form to speak ill of the dead even if they deserved it.

So while I won’t, or can’t feel sorrow at her passing, I also can’t celebrate her death, as so many on social media are doing today. Her voice brought about conversation, discussion, counterpoints, argument, and a thoroughness so that each opposing viewpoint was forced to look at itself. She was an extreme in her ideas, and she was fierce… and that fierce passion she had was something that I can actually admire. I don’t admire the great majority of her causes, but the emotion behind it… can’t we all?

I do feel sorrow for her family, that they’ll feel a loss without her, as I’m sure she was a good mother and grandmother. It sounds to me that she was an astounding advocate, and one that you would have wanted in your corner. She was a woman who felt passionately about a great many things, and not everything about her was terrible. Maybe she was a sweet grandma.

Yes, I found this woman to be a disgrace and a traitor to all women of America whether they were Left, Right, Conservative, Liberal, Republican, Democrat, Independent, Christian, non-Christian, and anyone in between. She may have been a mean old hag, dangerous to our nation’s values, but celebrating her death is beneath us. This mourning period is not really for her but to pay respect to her family and those who did personally love her and will miss her.

As much as I despised her politics and how she twisted Christianity, I didn’t know her personally and so…. I’m trying to apply my belief that 99.9999% of all people have good in them. No one is all bad, just as no one is all good. We owe it to people to assume that there was something loveable about them. After all, the Catholic girl in me says that she was a child of God, and God doesn’t make junk. As a parent, I know that our children grow and make their own choices and we have to let them figure out the consequences as they go. Sometimes they get it right, and sometimes not. Free will and all.

That all said, I find it far more disgraceful and embarrassing to capitalize on her death. It’s shady and slimy. What am I talking about? Just check D. Trump’s Twitter account. Trump and Pence are cashing in on her death. They’re encouraging people to buy her book about D.Trump as a “tribute” to her life and death. Considering she was against free trade, I think she’d expect that after death people would do one of two things: vilify her as heathens do, or mourn her as good Christians do.😉 And I’m sure she’d want her book to sell sell sell sell sell to help capitalize gains for her family fortune. I think that first and foremost, she would want a proper mourning period; she would want respect from those who actually respected her. For Christians, that typically means attending a wake, and a funeral, and bringing a casserole for the family to freeze or making a donation to a cause the decedent felt strongly about. Then later on, encouraging people to buy the damned book for her family’s gain and your own political gain.

I’m not sure how to close this one. I still have a lot of thoughts floating around, but I don’t want to flood a single post.

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Double-Chocolate-Chip-Swirl-Cookies- from Sally's Baking Addiction Blog

Double-Chocolate-Chip-Swirl-Cookies- from Sally’s Baking Addiction Blog

Let’s Play Pretend

You’re a nutritionist.

You’re a nutritionist that’s advising clients about how to choose healthy and healthier foods when they’re out and they have very limited options. You teach them about basic ingredients; whole ingredients and whole foods; which ingredients are all right when refined and which aren’t; which ingredients to always avoid; how to read ingredient labels; how to prepare meal plans and meals. How to shop for groceries.

Your client knows that fruits and veggies are the best choices. Include them in as many meals as possible. Find fats and oils from as many natural sources as possible. Avoid low-fat and low-calorie labels. Avoid sugar-free labels and artificial sweeteners. Avoid artificial dyes and high fructose corn syrup. 100% whole grains. Real ingredients. Real food. As much as possible.

All in preparation for how to be able to choose between poor options, and when to refrain from any options at all; and when it’s not healthy to refrain from making a choice.

The Day Comes

One day they’re at a party and there’s a cookie table. Let’s say it’s a political party. An election, even. At the back of the table, the fruit and veggie trays are out of reach and wrapped up and not an option. Apparently the best options are for later.

There’s a plate of cookies that are simple sugar cookie. They look fabulous.

There’s one plate of cookies that are sugar cookies with caramel in the middle. Also pretty delicious looking.

There’s another plate of cookies that appear homemade, and they have some chocolate chips; in fact, these cookies have chocolate chips on one half of the cookie and white chips on the other half, but your client dislikes chocolate chips. He thinks they’re disgusting. They also have some sprinkles on top. The sprinkles aren’t completely natural or healthy, but that’s ok. It’s just sprinkles. You can flick those off if needed.

There’s another plate of cookies, but they’re clearly not homemade. They’re supposed to be pumpkin cookies with white chips, but they’re so bright orange they had to be pumped full of dye. There are fire-hot cinnamon chips in them, so hot they’ll make you gag, and Lemon War Heads and Jawbreakers on top. Clearly these cookies are vile, and not worth another look because every ingredient will make your client sick. There’s nothing natural at all in them. They’re completely toxic.

Your client walks away for a while to see what’s happening at the party, but when he comes back he notices that the cookies he really, really wanted, the sugar cookies and caramel cookies, have been completely eaten up. He was too late. All he’s left with are the chocolate-white-chocolate chip cookies and the pumpkin-nasty-ass cookies. He knows the pumpkin cookies will make him incredibly ill, and even have far too many ingredients in them that will make him sick and even have ingredients he’s allergic to… but he desperately hates chocolate chips.

So he eats the whole plate of fake pumpkin cookies stuffed with nastiness, just to avoid the chocolate chips in the chocolate chip half of the cookies.

And he’s so violently ill, he’s vomiting orange for four years and regrets every damned bite wishing he had eaten the half and half cookies.

I completely understand that cookies, on principle, are not healthy. That’s entirely the point I’m trying to make in what I hope is an obvious parallel. And I must note on a personal level that Sally’s Baking Addiction has the most bang-up amazingly awesome cookies you’ll ever bake whether you have a nutritionist or not. You’ll bake your own just so you have an awesome choice at a political party.

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I don’t write about this often even though I’m sure a lot of you could empathize. Fibromyalgia and weight issues often go hand in hand.

The thing is, it’s usually not for the reasons you might think. There are many who have Fibro that are underweight, and can’t seem to gain no matter how much effort they put in to make sure they get a calorie packed diet. There are many who are overweight and can’t seem to lose no matter how healthful and active they are in spite of the pain.  I don’t know if people realize just how hard it is to have an appetite when you’re in moderate to severe pain 90% of the time. Pain suppresses the appetite. Many medications suppress the appetite as a side effect. With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as a co-diagnosis, it’s hard to eat if you’re so fatigued you can’t even chew or blink, let alone cook a full meal or go grocery shopping very often.

The fact is that no matter how healthfully we eat and are active in spite of the pain and fatigue, we have to deal with the biology of the disorder and additional health issues and co-diagnoses that are part of the very real chronic disorder that has a mind of its own. We do the best we can when we can as often as we can. We just hope it’s enough.

I’ve been fat, and I’ve been slender. I’ve been in between too. People treated me better when I was in between than when I was fat. People treated me far, far, far better when I was slender than when I was in between or fat. Because due to Fibromyalgia, my weight blew up to 280 lbs on a 5’4″ frame.

Give me a moment to digest the fact that I’m divulging this sort of information.

When I was That Fat, people treated me shamefully in public. People, nurses, treated me shamefully in doctor’s appointments. People feel obligated to say nasty things about food intake and exercise, and apparent lack of willingness to conform to anything healthy yet have the nerve to complain about being heavy. It’s still acceptable to fat shame here in America because A.) people think it’s helpful to point out the fat and ugliness of it and B.) they think it’s motivational to be rude and mean and C.) some people just think it’s funny to shame people due to their size and act like bullies.

Since I started to lose the weight, in the typical Fibro start and stop fashion, I have dropped 85 lbs so far. This number is accurate as of 1 1/2 weeks ago. And let me tell you, I’m thrilled over breaking that 200 lb barrier. It took me six months to do that with tripled efforts, which means for me trying to fit in 2500 calories a day with as much full fat in whole foods as possible. I try listen to my body when the fatigue takes me down. Managing the pain, managing the relief so that I could move more easily has helped. A few months ago we got a wonderful new mattress so being more rested helps.

During all of time, with each 15 lb mark of weight loss, I see and feel a difference.

Oh, not a difference in how I feel physically. My pain is still there in full force and in fact I’m in far more pain than before I started to lose the weight I gained. That weight that never belonged there.

There’s a difference in how people are treating me and looking at me. People are offering me their places in line again. They’re smiling at me again, more smiles with each pound I lose. More doors being held open for me, where when I was fat, people made it a point of looking me in the face and letting the doors close.

There are people asking me if I need help. People are complimenting me out of nowhere lately on my clothes when I run errands after work. Strangers.

People are noticing my pain now. They are actually seeing my face. They see the pain in my face AND my body, and then they see my cane, and they’re kinder.

I’m not behaving any differently. I’m still me. The only real difference is my weight. This all feels good because I never realized before how kindly people treated me when I was slender. I sure did notice while at my fattest how poorly people treated me. I was invisible to many, less important. Even certain family members. Slimming out somehow is legitimizing.

That angers me a bit, but saddens me more. I think maybe I don’t need to explain why. You guys are pretty intelligent.

But guys… I’ve lost 85 lbs. I know I’m poopooing it, but I am happy about it. Maybe my pain isn’t better, but I know that my risk of Diabetes is down; my risk of Heart Disease is down; and even though I have very low cholesterol intake, my body was producing more bad cholesterol on its own while heavier. I was also drinking more coffee, though, which raises the bad cholesterol readings. Yes…. yes…. while still a coffee fiend I did reduce my coffee intake to two cups tops a day.

My next goal is 25 more. I know it’ll be slow, and that’s okay. If I never lost another pound but suddenly magically had Disney Princess hair, I’d die happy in old age (somewhere in the far future, I hope).

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I forget where I got it, other than Google

Candlelight Vigil

In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, a three hour nightmare, I’ve realized that the moment it occurred and was made public was a moment that changed America forever.

I hope that none of us loses sight of what’s really important in this tragedy. These people matter. The 49 who were massacred. They’re important.

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 | Stanley Almodovar III, 23 | Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 | Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 | Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 | Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 | Luis S. Vielma, 22 |Kimberly Morris, 37 |Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 | Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 | Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 |Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 | Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, 25 | Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 | Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 | Martin Benitez Torres, 33 | Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 | Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 | Amanda Alvear, 25 | Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 | Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 | Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 | Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 | Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 | Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 | Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 | Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 | Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 | Cory James Connell, 21 | Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 | Luis Daniel Conde, 39 | Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 | Juan Chavez Martinez, 25 | Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 | Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 |Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 | Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 | Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez, 27 | Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 | Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 | Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 | Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 | Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 | Frank Hernandez Escalante, 27 | Paul Terrell Henry, 41 |Antonio Davon Brown, 29 | Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 | Akyra Monet Murray, 18 | Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25

The 53+ people who were injured, maimed, and hurt matter and are important. Their families and friends are important. The first responders, the police, and the nurses and doctors at the hospital who interacted with them, tried to save them, watched them die, are important. The people outside the club who watched it happen are important. The 9-1-1 operators who answered those calls are important. The off duty officer who was outside and realized something was happening and was the first to engage is important.

As a Christian, as a Catholic, I believe that above all else, we need to remind each other to make it a priority to choose love, compassion, empathy, generosity, loyalty, humanity, kindness, open mindedness, duty to our family and communities. This is my call to Faith. This is my call to Action. The only way we can make sense of things: remembering those who have died. Praying. Giving blood. Giving hugs. Communicating with Equality Florida (click here). Letting our LGBTQI+ family and friends and coworkers know that we support them, love them, need them… ESPECIALLY when we’re Christian… ESPECIALLY when we’re Catholic.

We all have such a capacity for love that most of us are still learning to tap into the potential of it. Well, it’s time to put down the chisel and grab the wrecking ball. We need to break open the dam and forget about the flood gates; we need to forget about holding it all in.

We’re a nation that is filled with diversity, and therefore intersectionality. We all experience the same emotions and have the same needs.

Everyone has an opinion, and they’re clamoring for their voices to be heard about what they believe is the most important thing. I have some opinions. I’m not so sure they’re lining up with what other people are talking about. I don’t really care. It’s my blog. I can talk about what I believe is important, especially based on what I’m experiencing in my home with my children.

I’m trying to imagine how hard it must be for the people who were actually involved. But I imagine the people I love who are in the LGBTQI+ community. I imagine my daughter’s friends that in that community, and how she feels when they tell her about their fears and grief. I imagine them going on vacation to Orlando, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I imagine it happening here, in a place that’s supposed to be a safe zone for them when “out there, somewhere outside” isn’t so safe. Fear and grief clutch at my heart, and again, I try to imagine that feeling in someone with more ties to the community.  Those are the people who deserve the empathy and connection and consideration. Those are the people who need protection, love, generosity, caring, and a sense of safety equal to that of what anyone else feels.

I have a difficult time with the people who choose to identify with the murderers, to the point that they become apologists and empathize with them. In this instance, there are vile people out there cheering him on believing he should have been hailed as a hero.

I don’t want to empathize with the shooters or those assholes who do.

Most people in the world agree to live by the codes, laws, mores, and social systems established in the societies they live in. Most people who don’t enjoy the society and have the will to change it go about changing the system legally and without violence. Most people live in a world where they care about their community as well as their core family.

We need to accept that we belong to more than our simple family units; we belong to our towns and cities, our states, our nation and yes, we belong to the Global Community. We all need each other. We have more similarities than we do differences. No single one of us deserves more than another, or is worth more than another. We form closer bonds with our parents, spouses, children, siblings, and friends, and that makes them important… but our value as human beings is all the same. Our needs are all the same. We’re all equal in God’s eyes, and so we should all be equal in each other’s eyes. We must be. God loves us all. Maybe he loves all of us enough for himself, but I believe that we were all put here to love and be loved. To respect and be respected. To learn. To build relationships. To see God in each other. To see ourselves reflected in others. To appreciate where we are, and the wonders of the Earth and the Universe and each other. To learn as much as we can before we look forward to the big pearly gates. Doing all of this while still honoring a relationship with Jesus, with God, while accepting everyone BECAUSE OF their differences can only fill our lives with more love.

I’m certainly not perfect. I have a hard time with this. I try my best to at least “not hate.” I may not love murderers or Donald Trump but as my daughters point out, “It’s not Christian to hate them. Jesus would say don’t hate anyone.”

So trust me, it’ll be hard for me to follow certain aspects of my own Call to Faith and Call to Action, but I beg you to try with me. Please. Let’s pay it forward with a kind act each day. It shouldn’t be a token act, but it doesn’t have to be a grande gesture all the time either. It SHOULD come from the heart and be genuine.

I’ve written far more than I intended to write. I had hoped to be much more succinct. My brain is just so full up. So sad. I don’t know what to do with it all.

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