I wanted to write a bit today on my reflections based upon my very hurt feelings yesterday. I'm not going to get into any specifics, but reflection upon hurtful things in life, and consequent lessons learned, is a good thing, and I wanted to share that with all of you.
I am a person who gets her feelings hurt very easily. I so, SO wish that I could change this about myself, gentle reader, but as many of you also likely know, this is simply not possible. And so, through the years, I've tried very hard to just deal with hurt feelings better and not carry the wound with me so long. Things have improved somewhat with age and wisdom, but the underlying condition remains. This is the personality God blessed me with, and so I do my best with it.
Here are a few of the things I reflected on last night: When we are hurt, God wants us to ask Him for His help. We may be feeling too cranky to ask, but we must. Prayer, even when it feels utterly devoid of inspiration or emotion, is *still* beneficial to our souls. It will help, even if it doesn't feel that way right at that moment. Also, God is trying to show us something valuable and beautiful even in spirit crushing situations. Painful circumstances are not something to merely endure, but to look more widely at what positives we can learn and take away from them. There is *always* going to be more to learn.
I also thought about Pope Francis yesterday. I very much love and admire Pope Francis, but I hadn't yet forged an emotional bond to him the way I had with John Paul II, and even Benedict XVI. His style is very different from theirs, and so I didn't know if I'd ever have those same feelings for him, although his guidance of the Church right now is so top notch. But yesterday, I thought about him, do you want to know why? Because I knew that he would have the words to soothe me, as any good Shepherd would. One of the things he has said recently that the media latched onto was very applicable to why I was feeling so poorly yesterday. It made me appreciate him anew, and realize that I shouldn't only wait for him to start talking about liturgy or detailed theology to get interested in what he has to say. I may be particularly interested in those two topics, but he has something to offer that is just as fascinating and just as good. I'm so appreciative for the opportunity to have realized this.
I knew that a good night of sleep was paramount to my spirits bouncing back today, and that is what happened. That, and some support and encouragement from very dear and wise friends who are such a blessing to me. I thank God for them.
And so here I am today, trying to get my bearings again. This has always been a "life blog, " as evidenced by the title, and I'm certain that different people read my blog for different reasons. First of all, thank you to you ALL for even reading, I can't tell you how much that means to me. A writer loves an audience, to be sure. But my blog is somewhat different from other blogs that I read because it doesn't focus on any one "theme," if you will. It's certainly a Catholic blog, but I write about my whole life, and so there's a lot more in there, like my description indicates. I write about parenting, I write about dancing, I write about crafting, I write about marriage, I write about being a librarian, and sometimes I just write about things that I find funny, because my aim is always to be a lighthearted and humorous writer.
Sometimes I may write about things that you are not interested in. If that is the case, I hope that you'll just skip that post and come back the next day. :) I guess where I'm going with this is that I have gotten some more readers of late. I LOVE that. But more readers brings more issues, as well. I'm not going to go into specifics, but let me just say this: There are any number of reasons that someone could come to this blog and then judge me. And then say unkind things about me. And then insinuate that I cannot be a very good person and/or a very good Catholic. I mean, I'm human, and therefore a sinner, so the possibilities are endless, really. But here are some of the ways that come to the forefront of my mind:
- I am a belly dancer. You may notice that I changed the header on this blog to read "Middle Eastern dancer." I did that for a reason. I don't want people to be put off by the word "belly" and then never give me a chance to explain how this form of dance is not in any way inherently inappropriate. This is a part of my life that I love and enjoy, and I'm not going to stop writing about it. I do, however, hope that people will not see the header and immediately judge that I am therefore beneath them and not worthy of their time.
- I am a mother to small children who works full-time outside the home.
- Our son attended daycare from the time he was 10 weeks old until he went to kindergarten at age 4.
- I do not homeschool. I have absolutely zero problem with homeschooling, but I do not feel that I would be very good at it. Therefore, my school aged son goes to our parish school.
- I nursed both my babies, but I did not do it exclusively and I did not practice attachment parenting.
- I am married to a baptized Catholic who now considers himself an atheist.
- I have 2 beautiful children, a boy and a girl, who are five years apart in age. It would be very easy to look at the birthday tickers at the top of this blog and judge that my husband and I use artificial contraception. That would be utterly incorrect, but that's what happens when one lets surface facts lead to condemnation without looking any deeper into the matter whatsoever. See "I am a belly dancer," above.
I am very sorry for that. But I am NOT going to judge that person or persons in return. They may be having a bad day. They may be having a bad month. They may think that they are being charitable by pointing out what they see as my sinful behavior and are concerned for my soul. I hope that they will give me a chance to explain, but I cannot force them to. They may hurt me, but I'm not going to lash back.
I'm just going to go about my business, blogging like usual. Because I love blogging. And I love blogging about all of the things that make this blog, and this woman, unique. I hope that you and I, dear reader, will have a long and happy future together as we journey along this thing called life. It's not always easy (especially when you have suffered through reading this entire post. :0 Your sacrifice has been duly noted...) but we do our best.
I promise to be chirpier tomorrow, scouts honor. :0