Love you, THEN reproduce

Unfortunately in some situations abortion might be the most loving choice. What is absolutely 100% better, however, is just not to have sex in the first place if you don’t want to give birth. ‘Sexual freedom’ and sexual wantonness are totally different things. Women have the freedom to have sex with men outside of marriage. We also have the freedom to choose to not use that freedom.

Whether or not you agree with me doesn’t matter, but have an open mind for a minute.

I’ve known several people who told me they knew their births were accidental because of things their parents had said, who had been treated terribly by their parents, or who were adopted and had never forgiven their birth parents for having a child and being unable to take care of it. These people have suffered so greatly. I have such compassion for them. I would absolutely NEVER say that these people should have been aborted, because I don’t feel that at all. I believe these people deserve all the love in the world. I am glad to have known them. I do feel that it’s cruel to bring someone into a life that you aren’t ready to provide them, or aren’t emotionally capable of providing. A person needs to love their self before they can teach a child how to love itself.

Are you wondering if maybe you don’t love yourself that well?

do you smoke? drink for oblivion? use drugs at all? use sex to block out emotions? neglect to eat/sleep/bathe/brush your teeth? (You can’t love yourself if you’re destroying yourself.)

Or perhaps you do have a healthy love of yourself?

do you care more about being true to yourself than about what other people think of you?

do you make your needs priority ahead of your desires?

can you give up something that’s harming you?

do you seek positive healthy situations?

can you set boundaries and hold to them?

can you sit with and truly feel strong emotions until they pass?

I would like to gift you the quest for love that I have been taking… I am seeking to love myself in the kindest ways, to have self-compassion and to take great care of my well-being. I am passing it on to you.

Women are so cool.

Some articles that appeal to me:

26, Unmarried, and Childless : Hear hear! I am doing awesome things, too! This article rocks my socks. There are other women out there like myself. I would love to be married and holding my kids in my arms by now, that would be great. But other wonderful, necessary, important things are actually happening Right Now. Personally, I try to live in reality, not regret nor fantasy.

Jesus Feminist : Jesus treated women as his equals, forgave wrongs done by women and by men, and had female as well as male friends. I am worthy just because I am (and so are you!), and that worth is entirely independent of any relationships or personal qualities or achievements. I am wonderful and I do my best to live in a way that supports values of love, honesty, faith, peace, and integrity. I especially love the following quote:

“So the Kingdom of God stands in sharp contrast to the ways of the world. The church has not always stood in sharp contrast. Yet the Kingdom of God is bigger even than the Church’s failures and successes, disappointments and triumphs. As the people of God, we proclaim and we dare to live out the truth for us all: you are valuable, you are free, you are loved.”

And finally, writings of the funny brilliant genius who used to be my neighbor before she moved halfway across the country.

Women are pretty amazingly radically mind-bendingly life-alteringly cool, aren’t we!

Notice how not-a-question that statement was. I’m feeling good about being so cool.

 “I know it’s important to be honest; to honour the stories of hurt and pain, but it is just as important to tell and hear the good stories of the people of God.  I believe we can be critical thinkers without a critical spirit.”  ~Sarah Bessey, ‘Jesus Feminist’

Small Things with Great Love

“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”

This quote is resonating with me today, so I’ve decided to do a post on Mother Teresa. She is certainly one of my heroes and if she were American, she would have been featured in my ‘Inspiring All-American Women‘ post. Today I had a plane ticket to visit a relative who is in delicate health. I woke up with a sore throat and have been around three people this week who proclaimed they were sick, two of whom had fever the previous week. I made a choice this morning to stay home. A very small thing to do, perhaps, but with great love. My goal is to protect my great-uncle’s health. I still hope to visit when I’m certain I’m well. (And I’m going back to sleep in a few minutes…)

Mother Teresa spent the majority of her life in service to the poor, ill, diseased, and dying. She dressed wounds, prayed with the people, hugged them and held them as they died, and was an advocate for peace to world leaders as well. She was no greater than you or I. Mother Teresa understood the cumulative kindness in daily actions that can heal hearts and souls. She gave with love, constantly.

Everyday we have choices. Today I can choose to show my strength, my power of choice, my voice for peace, by doing simple things. Anyone who takes part in a movement for change can choose to put aside our own ego and continually do small things that promote the ideals of our movement. Sometimes it’s the most subtle among us who are the most visible, anyway. Do everything with love, today. See what a change you make.

Honor Your Soul

Honor your soul this autumn.

 

Eat seasonal fruits (grapes, pomegranates, apples and pears, pumpkins, squash of all varieties) and dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, chard).

As you eat a pomegranate, meditate on the many and varied ‘seeds’ that make up who you are. Each is a jewel in your crown, whether you find your qualities pleasant or unpleasant, they all have something to teach you. And your soul is here on Earth to learn.

This autumn, as always, take care of yourself. Watch the squirrels gathering acorns, eating some and burying extra ones to dig up later. What do you need to gather now? Watch the leaves fall from the trees; sometimes in great showers and sometimes one by one. What do you need to let go of? Watch the plants begin to die on the surface, and make no mistake that their roots are resting underground, preserving strength for the next season. What can you do to rest well, starting now?

WHAT I’M GATHERING NOW: LOOKING FOR A CAREER. LEARNING ALL I CAN.

WHAT I’M LETTING GO OF: OLD BEHAVIORS, OBSESSION AND FEAR.

WHAT I CAN DO TO REST WELL: CONTINUE HEALING MY BODY, FOCUSING ON POSITIVE THOUGHTS.

 

Personally, I like to begin Christmas shopping now (after all, I’m not giving gifts of tinsel and strands of lights, so why wait until the holiday season?), so that like a squirrel, when the cold days arrive I can stay indoors (and out of the holiday mayhem) with the people I love. These days I am aiming to focus more on spiritual concerns and less on materialism.

 

I’m feeling good about honoring the seasons, and my soul.

Affirmation for today

Write this on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket, or wallet, or on the dashboard of your car, the edge of your computer screen at work, your mirror:

“I am happy with myself exactly the way I am. I love myself.”

Repeat this mantra constantly. If you have to, “fake it ’til you make it!” If you don’t feel the statement right now, say it anyway. Say it with me:

“I am happy with myself exactly the way I am. I love myself.”

One more time! I’m feeling good because…..

“I am happy with myself exactly the way I am. I love myself.”

Seeking Healthy Relationships

Do you have difficulty knowing what you’re feeling? Is it not worth sticking to your values if that means you’ll be rejected or someone will be angry with you? Do you believe people are incapable of taking care of themselves properly? Do you use sexual attention to achieve what you want? Do you pull people toward you and then push them away when they begin to get close?

Often women are described as putting others’ needs ahead of our own, thusly forgetting to take care of our own needs. This wikipedia article has something intensely interesting to say about this sort of behavior which you can read under the section ‘patterns and characteristics’:

 “This creates a sense that they are “needed”; they cannot stand the thought of being alone and no one needing them….When they do stand up for themselves, they feel guilty.”

I’ve recently been hearing about the concept of ‘codependence’, so I decided to do some research. What does ‘codependent’ mean?

Well, for starters, if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions in bold or any behind this link, you may decide to look into recovery from codependency. Here’s a Wikipedia definition, as an additional help:

“[Codependency] refers to the dependence on the needs of or control of another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships. Codependency may also be characterized by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance, or control patterns.”

There is hope. CoDA meetings are a resource for people who would like to have healthy relationships. For those who cannot find a meeting local to them, here is a beautiful list of affirmations to help you.

I’m feeling good about loving, healthy relationships.

limits

I’ve often had the same ‘looking out a woodsy cabin window’ vision. And I, too, am beginning to understand what it is to live life for me, rather than to prove my worth to someone external. I’ve got limits, and I’m feeling good about them. Sing your truth, women, you are my sisters.

limits.

by rantywoman

From a Reconceiving Women interview , p. 90:

…I’ve lived the first half of my life as though I’m not vulnerable, and as though I can just keep giving and doing and achieving… and I can’t.  I’ve got limits, and it’s becoming increasingly clear to me. And I think the second half of my life, I’m not sure what form it’s going to take, but I think it is going to be more inner directed… developing my own individuality rather than compulsively caretaking others… An image I get of myself sometimes is just standing at a kitchen sink (in a cabin in the woods) looking out a window, in a flannel shirt and a pair of jeans.  Not being anybody’s therapist or mother.  And I fantasize how wonderful it would be to be up there and have a studio to paint in, having a half a dozen clients.  I’m feeling so much less achievement oriented.  It has just collapsed, that whole thing has collapsed…it feels really odd to not be striving to become something else, to prove to myself or to the world that I’m “good enough.”

I hear ya, sister.”

Love Yourself

FGAF’s take on it: While reading this I felt So Much Love.
“When we treat ourselves with love and respect, we are sending a strong message to the Universe – what we give out is what we attract back into our life. By respecting and loving ourselves, we attract respectful and loving relationships.”
I need this affirmation Every day, and I believe you do, too. Love yourself and be grateful for who you are. No conditions on it, none of that. It is no longer cool and desirable to put yourself down. I make it a point today, when I see someone posting on facebook or otherwise about how much they dislike themself, to tell myself “that person is on a journey, and needs to love themself as no one else can. I would only be enabling their insecurity if I try to encourage them to change their mind.” And I make it a point to work on forgiving myself and being kind to myself, being who I believe I’m meant to be and loving the person I am, in order to lead by example. If enough people move forward, those left behind will run to catch up.

Bless you and all you do. I am grateful for me. I hope you are grateful for you, too.

Cauldrons and Cupcakes

“We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.” ~ Mary Dunbar

If there is one thing I have learned in this lifetime, it is this: When I love myself, when I am kind to myself and encouraging of myself, healing happens, doors open and life falls into place.

One of the singular most powerful acts you can perform that will transform your life is to have gratitude for YOURSELF.

Appreciate your own efforts, acknowledge your work and your growth, be gentle with yourself when you fail, and praise yourself when you pick yourself back up.

When we treat ourselves with love and respect, we are sending a strong message to the Universe – what we give out is what we attract back into our life. By respecting and loving ourselves, we attract respectful and loving…

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The Hills Are Alive!

The Sound of Music is one of my favorite films because it lovingly portrays a strong woman, independent for her time, on a journey of self-discovery. It is a musical, and I have included some quotes of lyrics that inspire me and remind me it’s ok to be a bit different and spirited, to be terrified and confident all at once, and to accept life as the grand adventure it truly is.

Julie Andrews portrays a spunky, unapologetic young woman named Maria who has decided to become a nun, but is a bit animated for the abbey. In the words of the other sisters, “She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee, her dress has got a tear. She waltzes on the way to mass, and whistles on the stair.”

She is sent to work as a governess for the large family of a widower. Because it is outside the abbey and somewhat removed from the town she has known her whole life, she is apprehensive about the change. Yet she bolsters her confidence, reflecting and singing;

“What will this day be like? I wonder.
What will my future be? I wonder.
It could be so exciting to be out in the world, to be free
My heart should be wildly rejoicing
Oh, what’s the matter with me?

I’ve always longed for adventure
To do the things I’ve never dared
And here I’m facing adventure
Then why am I so scared

A captain with seven children
What’s so fearsome about that?

Oh, I must stop these doubts, all these worries
If I don’t I just know I’ll turn back
I must dream of the things I am seeking
I am seeking the courage I lack

The courage to serve them with reliance
Face my mistakes without defiance
Show them I’m worthy
And while I show them 
I’ll show me

So, let them bring on all their problems
I’ll do better than my best
I have confidence they’ll put me to the test
But I’ll make them see I have confidence in me

Somehow I will impress them
I will be firm but kind
And all those children (Heaven bless them!)
They will look up to me

And mind me with each step I am more certain
Everything will turn out fine
I have confidence the world can all be mine
They’ll have to agree I have confidence in me

I have confidence in sunshine
I have confidence in rain
I have confidence that spring will come again
Besides which you see I have confidence in me

Strength doesn’t lie in numbers
Strength doesn’t lie in wealth
Strength lies in nights of peaceful slumbers
When you wake up — Wake Up!

It tells me all I trust I lead my heart to
All I trust becomes my own
I have confidence in confidence alone
(Oh help!)

I have confidence in confidence alone
Besides which you see I have confidence in me!”

Maria’s intention throughout the film is to follow the will of her Creator, rather than to find a husband, which is the theme of an unfortunately large number of other films. Through her search for belonging, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn to motherhood and to a man who appreciates her personality and her direct and honest approach when relating to others. As well, she proves to be a talented music teacher and seamstress.

Through a particular turn of events, Maria is in search of guidance. Mother Abbess (the ‘head nun’ at the convent) advises Maria to leave fear behind and face life for the adventure that it is;

“Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, ’til you find your dream!”

I find this movie comforting and inspiring every time I watch it. I hope it can do the same for you. I’m feeling good about sharing in life’s adventures.

I Support Women.

Ohhhhh this topic. It’s so fraught, so controversial, so buzz-wordy and ‘evil’ and a matter of choice and rights, and entangled in dogma but not in faith…. And I’m tackling it to the ground today.

Feminism is too-often equated with ‘support for abortion’. If I can do something to change that idea, it is my responsibility to try. Feminism is support for women.

As a feminist, I do not support abortion, yet I do support women who have them. See the difference?

By supporting women, loving them as human and worthy, by understanding that difficult choices are often made with the very best of intentions, I am a feminist.

I’m not talking about laws. Abortion IS an option: regardless of what you think ‘legalizing’ does for abortion, a clinic is safe, and therefore a necessary alternative. There are home remedies that have existed since the beginning of time, are cheaper, and cannot be removed by ‘de-legalizing’ them. And some women in dire situations will use those remedies, as they have from the beginning of time. I do not wish harm upon anyone, even people who make choices that I do not agree with.

Do I want my fellow women to go through the pain of abortion? Of course not. Emotional pain, physical pain and discomfort, social stigma and the fear of social stigma are all wrapped up into the package of the choice that is abortion. The very same fears of ostracization (rejection by one’s community and culture), physical pain, and emotional turmoil go hand in hand with childbirth, for many.

Abortion is a tough decision. It’s an expensive decision. Yet, it’s far less expensive than raising a child. Abortion, like child-bearing, is a decision that will last forever. Once you give birth, you can’t un-give-birth. Once you abort, you can’t un-abort.

When parenting, a parent makes choices. Men and Women both make choices which influence a child’s life, such as which school the child will attend, what neighborhood the child grows up in, what foods the child eats, what friends the child is encouraged to hang out with, whether a child is exposed to alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes at home, and more. Who has control over those choices? Parents. Not you, not the government, not your system of belief. People make vastly differing choices for their children. What illusion of control do you think you have over other people’s choices?

And for those who use Christian religion as an excuse to frighten and traumatize people with nasty photos; to yell at, insult and exclude unwed mothers and women who’ve had an abortion; or any other manner of cruelty, please understand you are going *against* the teachings of Jesus. Jesus accepted and loved women, and those who were perceived to be ‘sinners’. Fear is not love, and does not disguise well.

Not every human being has adequate resources, or the love for themself, trust in themself, and faith that the world will be kind to them and to their child that it takes to lovingly bring a human being into the world, much less raise one. Once the wage gap disappears, discrimination is denounced at every turn until it vanishes, and women are treated as viable respectable participants in society, the previous sentence can hope to be corrected.

Decisions of this sort are intensely personal. Instead of assuming that you (the outsider) know best and are the authority over other people’s decisions (you’re not. you never are. you make your own decisions), why not become someone who promotes and protects women? How about if you put work and time and care into helping women feel safe? Why not ask what women need in order to feel safe?

What do you need?

Do you feel safe?

How can I help?

Tell me about your life?

You’ll find out, if you listen.

Donate to a women’s shelter or abuse prevention center yearly, weekly, monthly. Volunteer your time and talents. Spend less time lecturing and more time listening.

If you had a fear greater than you felt you could manage, would someone yelling at you, insulting you, and harassing you reduce your fear? If you are addressed with kindness and understanding of where you’re coming from, do you think that would make it safer and more peaceful to make a choice that is healthy for you? Learn to let go; potential parents can make good choices.

I’m feeling good about helping women feel safe, unconditionally.