Honestly, don’t hate me for it.

My heart is so heavy. My soul feels crushed. Money is tight, but I’m making it. I don’t see my friends anymore, I’m angry and jealous that they have lives. I’m in pain all the time. I went to a new doctor recently and they asked how many hours of sleep I was getting, I lied. I told them 5 but really I sleep 12 out of 24 hours mostly in the daytime because my anxiety at night is so severe. I haven’t been to church but one time in months, I feel like God is too far, that my panic and worry and fear strangle out anything from him. I feel listless and jaded. We’ve been sharing a car for months. I have people telling me that I’m obviously lazy and am letting my mom do it all, I can’t make anyone hire me. My family has drama going on. I haven’t seen my 92 year old grandmother in weeks because I’m part hurt and ashamed to see her. I spent the better part of the day trying not to bleed to death, sitting in the shower while blood flowed like a faucet. Chronic sickness is invisible to the naked eye, yet I feel like I’m slowly dying and who knows, I might be. Grief is a heavy burden. My mom is still in a stage that I can’t understand because it’s entirely different from mine. I know there’s good in my life, but it’s eclipsed by this all consuming feeling of emptiness. Where do I find peace and a sense of ok-ness again? How do I get better when there are so many hurdles and not enough money? I’m not looking for pity. I just want someone, somewhere to understand. I sit here typing this, debating on whether to post it or not. Will it make someone mad or hurt feelings? That’s not my intention. My heart hurts from this heavy burden. Where do I find some peace? Honestly, this is my heart. Don’t hate me for it.

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As you are.

I fallen off the tracks. I’ve forgotten how to see myself. I’ve let other dictate how I should look or feel. It’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs the past 6 months. I thought I found my new normal, living life without my dad here. Missing him but moving forward. Then as quick as the new normal came, it all shattered with news of a diagnosis. It seemed as if my life fell apart in that instant, all over again. Many things happened all at once and continued to pop up over the course of time. I suddenly didn’t have the job I loved, I couldn’t workout because of the pain, I lost new connections that had been made, I turned to food because it was a comforting old friend, I gained back all the weight I lost. I turned back into the ugly ducking. I am back a square one. I started avoiding mirrors because I didn’t like how I looked. I want the approval of men because they are where I held my value. I stopped going to church because it was too hard to worship a God who let bad things happen and takes away your dad. This has been my normal for the last 6 months. I pride myself on being authentic and open, on being my own person. Yet, I’ve lost sight of what that really is. I’ve looked to men for approval on how I look. I’ve been ashamed of myself when I go out the door. I put my value in how many miles I walked or the amount of calories I consumed. I let my crushing fear of not being good enough ruin precious time. My value isn’t in a person, a number, or any material thing. My value doesn’t decrease because of a person who doesn’t have my body positive views or feels that they or anyone else needs to look a certain way. My value is in the one who died for me on a cross. I am who God says I am and He says I’ve more precious than rubies. He says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, handcrafted and the mold shattered after I was created. It’s so hard to live in a word where if you don’t fit in you’re automatically cast aside or counted out. It’s hard being an advocate for a movement you believe in when you hold value in how you appear to others. I lost sight of what the body positive movement is. It’s not about working out or being conventionally beautiful. It’s about loving yourself exactly how you are, where you are and extending that grace to everyone. God doesn’t care what size your pants are. He care about how big your heart is and how you’re living this precious life He gives you. I’m not saying I’ll never worry about how I look. I’d like to eat better and see if I could do some light cardio but if my body isn’t ready for that, my value doesn’t decrease because of it. I recently read this quote,

“Was who she was, who she really was, really enough?… This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take: to be seen as we truly are.”

But the thing is, that you are enough. I am enough. Exactly as we are right now. It’s a risk worth taking because it is the most freeing thing in the world to know you need only be who you are.

I’ll leave you with this Litany that has become the prayer if my heart:

From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of comfort and ease, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being criticized, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being passed over, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being lonely, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being hurt, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering, deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, strengthen me with your Spirit.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, teach me your ways.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
help me put my self-importance aside
to learn the kind of cooperation with others
that makes possible the presence of your Abba’s household. Amen.

Adapted from a prayer by Rafael,
Cardinal Merry Del Val, 1865–1930