Forgiveness

I will probably look like the chick from the Grudge in this blog post. Hopefully not by the end of it, though.

I always thought I was someone who had the upper hand in forgiving people. As naive as it sounds, I have always had such a hard time holding grudges. Then I met Laura.

Laura did some very awful things to me. She two faced me. She pretended to be a friend, but ultimately changed my whole life. Granted, it worked things out for the better, now. I saw that when I met Daniel, and realized what it was like to be truly loved.

Laura. She’s a spider in my life.

And because of her, I know what it feels like to have a hard time forgiving.

When I first began going to the Catholic Church, journeying through RCIA, one obstacle was confession. Because of my grudge on Laura, I wasn’t sure how to explain to the priest that my problem was deeper than just an easy sin. It was something I couldn’t change. Something bad that hurt me….that made me hate myself and cry.

How do you just forgive someone who turned your whole world around? Once I became Catholic, I visited a priest in another town every couple of weeks to talk about it. He could see how hurt I was, from what she did, the oppression, and from my own transgression. He would spend the time speaking to me about it, encouraging me to keep praying. He saw my problem… if I forgive her, I would have to be friendly with her. But I didn’t want to be friendly. I didn’t want to be around her. And he told me that forgiveness doesn’t mean being friends. I had to come to terms with this. This had been a problem my whole life. I always forgave…and forgot…and continued. I was naive. Thinking staying friends with people who did me wrong would make things right again…

I also read a verse somewhere, either during a Mass reading or on my own, that Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross to forgive everyone, and how little my burden is compared to that sacrifice. It would make me cry staring at the crucifix. He wants my yolk. How could I be so bitter…

It’s been since 2016. I only now feel the affects of forgiveness towards her. The anger I used to feel at her name, at seeing her, it has become more like a pity feeling. I just want her away from my daughter and to move on. I don’t need Isla learning that it’s ok. But for so long I wanted her to taste her own medicine, to feel pain twice more than she made me feel. And I hated that. It didn’t help. It only made me more angry when I didn’t see her in pain.

To conclude:

I see more than ever that there needs to be a balance between forgiveness and friendliness. Sometimes, friendliness is necessary. Other times, it is not. And being concerned about vengeance can only keep you in the darkness of a grudge.

This quote from St. Philip Neri is perfect!!

“If a man finds it very hard to forgive injuries, let him look at a Crucifix, and think that Christ shed all His Blood for him, and not only forgave His enemies, but even prayed His Heavenly Father to forgive them also. Let him remember that when he says the Pater Noster, every day, instead of asking pardon for his sins, he is calling down vengeance on himself.”
–Saint Philip Neri

picture from Forgive Me, But Forgiveness Ain’t Easy by Cynthia Toussaint which is a cool blog about forgiveness! How relevant!

Rational Relationship Advice

Relationships seem complicated these days. We have all these romance novels and flicks showing us how beautiful and wonderful true love is.

And it’s all bullshanks.

Did you lock eyes with your mother and just know this was the person you would love for the rest of your life, and then never fought? HELL NO.

So why would this happen with a guy or gal who isn’t someone from your immediate family? It doesn’t. Relationships take work. You had to get to know your family to love them. And sometimes…you don’t even like them. Some people don’t like their families at all. And these are people you should love unconditionally because fam!

But love is something that comes with trust and respect. It isn’t something you just know. It’s not something that magically occurs and stays. It’s something that HAPPENS. There’s a difference. See…asking for someone’s respect leads to not trusting them. And asking for someone’s trust makes it hard to respect them. Because at any moment…at any change, those things can slip away. But when trust and respect happen naturally…. everything can fall into place. Trust and respect come because you LOVE someone. Unconditionally. Boy or girl, family or friend. True love forgives. True love is patient. And true love is natural. It happens. It isn’t earned or predicted.

You can’t EXPECT to be loved by someone, nor can you make someone love you. Hell, you don’t have to do those things either. Love comes because it just does. When you see a gadget at the mall and think of that friend who would love that, and you buy that thing for them…and it’s not their birthday or Christmas. It’s heartwarming (or gross).

If I haven’t gotten through to you what love is yet, then maybe I’m not the right person to explain it. But if you are in some blossoming romance, here are some key tips to starting out building a RATIONAL relationship.

EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING IN COMMON

SNAP OUT OF IT!

No no no nono o no noo !!!

Fated should be a word saved for the past. No one is fated until it is done. You may feel stuck and fated…but no! That’s your dumb conspiracy brain talking.

People have things in common. It is how content is alive. It’s how we connect. There is only so much to connect with, and guess what….you’re going to be looking for the things you like. So, yeah. Of course you noticed those things because you would notice. And that makes you want to talk about those things and connect…just like the other people in the room who like those things, or have had those things, or whatever it is you’re noticing.

Connecting is good. Having things in common is good. But that doesn’t mean a relationship needs to be romantic. Connecting is something that starts friendship. Which is great! Get in there and be friends!

PERFECT EVERYTHING

Ok, we all have our type…but that doesn’t mean that since he looks like your math class doodle from the 9th grade that you’re meant to be. Maybe you’re just psychic and telling yourself to stay away. Hehe.

No one is perfect. They can be perfectly imperfect. Meaning…what issues are you willing to put up with? Don’t kid yourself on this. You need to know this before things go further. It’s doable. Trust me. And that person will be beautiful to you no matter what they look like.

PLAYING GAMES

This one PEEVES me.

If you play games…. STOP. Just stop. If someone likes you then they will be with you. There is no point in playing games. It’s narcissistic, manipulative, crazy, and unnecessary. If you have to play games to keep whoever around…then get lost and leave them alone. They don’t deserve that just as much as you don’t. They are entitled to love who they want, and so are you. This is so evil.

Just love and live. Please.

HONESTY

WHOA! Yeah, admit your feelings. Who cares? You and the person who loves you. Your ego shouldn’t be affected by minor rejection. If you’re friends, it’ll be funny looking back. If you guys aren’t friends, then good riddens. And, hey, maybe they’re interested too. There is nothing wrong with admitting to something. From a crush to something from a previous relationship that scarred you. You are always entitled to feel what you want, but you’re not necessarily entitled to act how you want. If that was the case, we would all be comatose idiots. The point of a relationship is to grow with one another. Lacking in honesty and communication is not going to allow someone to understand you.

Think of it like a team sport. If you’re playing soccer, or football, you can’t do great if your team doesn’t communicate with you how they’re going to play. You can’t win that way. You usually have some indication that says “Hey! Pass the ball to me!” and then you have to trust this person to make a goal or not lose the ball. An if they do, you don’t kick them off your team, you just tell them to practice harder next time.

FIGHTING

A healthy relationship has fighting. Did you know? Just because you disagree about a minor thing and bicker about it all day, isn’t the end of the world. This is normal. This is part of communicating. Fighting about a small thing can keep bigger issues from arising. If the issue keeps happening, well, it’s time to move on. Compromising is a huge deal in any relationship. And don’t be a pushover or a yes-man. It’s more fun to have differences. It keeps you growing. Plus, you shouldn’t be afraid to be who you are around the person you want to potentially spend forever with.

Of course, if you’re fighting ALL the time. And things are getting bad physically, then leave. Fights should be resolved quickly and end with smiles. There should never be an aftermath to a fight painted on anyone’s skin, walls, or mind. Abuse is bad.

*****

Yes, I did all these annoying things once in my life. I watched friends do all these things. Leave fairytales for the books. It has only been recent that people get married according to feelings and not arrangements. But a relationship is an arrangement. Not a feeling. Gooey tummies are a feeling. And feelings do not last forever. They are temporary, and that is why a relationship shouldn’t be based off a feeling. Love is a feeling and an action.  You may not always feel the LOVE but you can always act in it from the kindness of your heart.

There is so much more I could say but I’m so unsure of how to put it all into words. Please forgive me if I wasn’t clear or missed some points.

photo from Learn Religions

Diary Entry: Wrong Mass Readings

The last two masses Daniel and I have gone to have had the wrong readings. I wondered if maybe we should leave that mass to go to a later one; if then we would be getting the correct reading, but I thought that God must have wanted all of us in this room to experience the wrong reading.

We stayed and listened. This past Sunday, we got the gospel reading about Lazarus being raised from the dead. The priest was excited about it because it’s one of his favorites. He began passionately talking about how Jesus let this dead man out of the tomb after four days and told another to unwrap his cloths.

Father explained that this unwrapping was Jesus’ way of saying he brought this man back from the dead permanently, and the unwrapping of the cloths was a sign of a new beginning, of letting go of your past, to walk out of your own tomb because you have been raised from the dead through Christ.

There was a lot more he said, and he said it so well, but I couldn’t give it justice if I tried to repeat it here. I did take away that I need to drop the past completely, and live in the present and reach for the future. Which is something I needed to have thrown my way.

I have such a problem with letting the past control me. Letting go of the past is one of those things that’s a lot easier said than done. Memories can be good or bad, but the world has moved on and changed. Those memories aren’t today. You can either learn from it and forget it, or can get stuck in the nostalgia of it all. One is staying in the tomb, the other is walking out.

My Favorite Spring Things

Spring is around the corner! And I want to talk about four cute Spring things that I love about Spring!

First, we have to get through March. It comes in like a Lion (threatening our precious town with the rising river level) and goes out like a lamb indicating the beginning of spring!

LAMBS


But we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
    will give thanks to you forever;
    from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Psalm 79:13

Lambs were used as sacrifices back in the days of the Old testament until Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins. The perfect sacrifice. “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

Lambs are adorable! When I see them I’m reminded of the greatest sacrifice, our shepherd, and innocence and purity.

CLOVERS


“So I turned with all my heart to the Lord my God, and he looked down on my lowliness and had mercy on my youthful ignorance. He guarded me before I knew him, and before I came to wisdom and could distinguish between good and evil. He protected me and consoled me as a father does for his son.” St. Patrick


During one of our last RCIA meetings I picked some blooms of clovers and weaved them into a bracelet like I used to do on the playground in elementary school. The clover’s three leaves are a symbol of the Holy Trinity.

I love seeing the green patches of clovers growing all over the place during this time. They’re bright and seem to glow in the sun, especially during sunset.

DEW


Moses said this about the tribes of Joseph: “May their land be blessed by the LORD with the precious gift of dew from the heavens and water from beneath the earth.”
Deuteronomy 33:13

It refreshing to see dew comeback after winter. Somehow the little drops bring a sort of freshness to the spring mornings. Dew fertilizes the plants and helps them grew. That’s a blessing some of us may take for granted.

EASTER


“According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
1 Peter 1:3

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. I love celebrating Jesus’s rise from the dead and participating in the Paschal Triduum.

Easter also has beautiful pastel colors that we associate with the whole spring season. I love all the Easter eggs and bunnies and chicks. I love Easter egg hunting with Isla and getting her Easter dresses.

There are a ton more things I love about Spring! If you you want to share your favorite things about spring, please comment them below! Post pictures too! ♥

Diary Entry: Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday

I’m a Louisiana girl, living in a Louisiana world. Yet I’ve never been to a Nawlins Mardi Gras parade.

Fat Tuesday! Today is Fat Tuesday because tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. Us Catholics fast all day tomorrow! It’s one of the two days we fast fast. Fast fast meaning we don’t eat (or if you choose to, you eat 1/4 -or something- of your normal portions). So today, we feast!

Because it’s the last day before lent…so we make ourselves fat by enjoying the last day before the 40 days of fasting. FAT Tuesday. Get it?

Anyways, I have no real interest in the Mardi Gras parade, but I am curious about the celebration. I’m from North Louisiana. Here, us Catholics aren’t as abundant as down south. So Mardi Gras is not celebrated on Fat Tuesday, but rather a random Saturday (two weeks ago for us). The parade here is cool. It’s a great night with friends. A great way to restock on cups. We have King Cake and the like.

I think some people do crawfish too. I’m not a fan of crawfish, mostly because they make my stomach hurt and kill me a lot like lobster does because I’m allergic to the two red crustaceans…the two wonderfully delicious crustaceans…..

I don’t think I’ll be doing anything special today. Just homework. I have a lot I need to do while I’m on break. And then a trip to adoration if I find someone to watch Isla for me.

Diary Entry: Lent!

As much time as I have had to think about what I ought to give up for Lent you would think I would be prepared. But I’m not. I have one day left and I’m still waiting for the right thing to pop into my head.

Many people give up social media or some sort of food. But I can’t bring myself to give up social media, because I hardly am on the thing anyways. But now that I’m trying to be more active on it so I can try and make it into a job, I don’t think I need to give it up. If I really wanted to, it wouldn’t be much of a challenge for me anyways.

As for food…. I have done this before in an extreme way. I gave up meat for the whole 40 days. It was my first lent and I wanted to make it hard on myself so I could experience fasting in all its glory…. if that makes any sense. But fasting from a food was simpler then because I wasn’t at a weight I don’t like…so there wasn’t any ulterior motive.

Last Lent I gave up sweets with the intent for it to help me be healthier and hopefully lose weight. It didn’t make me feel proud of myself, but I stuck with it till the end (and I will admit that it was a big struggle for me). I promised myself I would do something this year that will give me the full impact I desire. Understanding that I can live without something and sacrifice anything for God without any ulterior motives.

I have so much I could give up, but there is so much I need for school that I also enjoy. For example….reading. But I have to read for class. I could tweak it to reading for pleasure…. but all reading is pleasurable to me. I don’t want to give up any foods because I want to lose weight. So I thought maybe I would like to give up talking about my weight for 40 days…. but I need to continue my Friday updates.

I want to give up something I love. Something that isn’t a sin. I want to go to adoration tomorrow and pray about it. God would know exactly what I should sacrifice.

Speaking of adoration.

I have decided that I will go to adoration once a week, and I will also pray a certain prayer every night. For almsgiving, I may use social media to my advantage. I’ll share a quote or prayer every morning on Facebook when I wake up.

If you’re not Catholic or religious and are curious about Lent I’ll share with you really fast. Lent is for Fasting, Praying, and Almsgiving. It’s a time of renewing ourselves and our faith. Like a spiritual spring cleaning.

It’s my favorite time of year because it gives a meaning to every waking moment. You have to be aware of yourself and constantly thinking about God. Then Easter comes and the Mass is so beautiful!! And if you’re fasting from a food….feasting is glorious.