Practicing Radical Acceptance

Go into the world, showing how much
He loves you
Walk in the world, in meaningful ways
He loves you

Every year at this time of year, without fail, I come back to LiveJournal. I keep thinking, “I wish I had done a better job. I wish I had catalogued my life more purposefully.” At least this year I had a few more months where part of what I was experiencing got posted at the time. 

But then, the other more practical part of my mind often chimes in that my calendar does a good enough job of sparking my memory about all the different experiences that I have had.  

It's kind of funny actually, I feel like I have a much better memory for events than I used to, but on the other hand I often say these days that my memory is like a sieve. It seems to be the opposite of what I experienced in college, but I suppose that stands to reason, since for the entirety of my college life, I was attempting to remember things by rote, in much the same way as I did during the rest of my primary education. For all of that time, however, I have always felt that it was extremely important for me to be able to remember what I consider to be my life. Not limited to facts, or even to events,  but to the experiences, emotions, and impressions that make up life. The purpose of the journal was always for myself to remember, even at the time of my life where many other people followed it. It was never really for anyone else. I made much of it public, sure, and at times I certainly considered that perhaps one day my own children would read it, or maybe my friends, if I die young. But still, that was always only one tiny part of what I was trying to do here.

Show me who You are and fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

At one point in my life I could always answer the question, “What do I want more than anything?”  I think that my younger self would probably be appalled at the fact that I am not entirely certain today what that answer is. I can certainly tell you a few things that I want, a few of the deepest desires that I have. Given the fact that I haven't achieved most of the goals that I had in mind when I was young, those old dreams are already written in these digital pages. I look forward to their resurrection, one day, for the deserving dreams. I have dreamed very big, but like most people in my generation, for some dreams, my ambition has exceeded the opportunities afforded me, and for others, they depend on more than what I can do. I can see my past self now huffing in disgust at my perceived failure. But she was a naive young woman, my past self. She hasn’t been through another decade of droughts of one kind or another when it seemed that plenty was already around the corner. She didn’t have as much grace to offer, and couldn’t receive it very well, either.

Walk in the world In merciful ways,
He loves you
Emmanuel on Earth
God with us on Earth

What I am approaching and do not necessarily know how to deal with, is that I am enough.  Trying is enough. Being is enough. The constant pursuit of virtue, not capital, is enough.  Constantly working on my health and fitness despite never quite losing the weight, still enough. One might think that the other failures to achieve could outweigh any of these simplicities, but  they simply can't.

So I find myself in a healthier place than I have ever been. It doesn’t hurt that our finances were much improved this year. There wasn’t near the amount of struggling or stress. I've been off of my depression medication for months now, with no big low points, just a new grasp of emotional control - one which doesn’t allow long term bottling, only expression. I am constantly practicing radical acceptance. 

To come full circle, part of that acceptance will have to be that this blog will never be what it once was,  that obsession with memory has long gone and been replaced by a quiet appreciation for all of them little moments that I truly experience with all of myself, and not just the dampened self that didn't quite know how to have emotions. It really did take a lot of therapy to get to the place where I can allow my emotions out, not to mention a complete change in my attitude towards suffering, brought about by a full, new Catholic philosophy on the subject. 

“Suffering teaches you how to love.”
- St. Gemma Galgani

Suffering cannot be eliminated, and certainly not by eliminating the one who may suffer, or who is suffering. But suffering can and should be alleviated where it is possible and right to do so - and we are all a part of that, when we choose to bear each others burdens - physical, emotional, financial, and every other kind. We serve each other in merciful ways. 

Yours is the body

The hands and the feet

And Yours are the eyes to look compassionately

To bless you and me

Bless you and me

He will bless you and me

I feel very blessed, even as I sit here, mostly dreamless. I have some ideas about my future, but given the track record, I’m just going to keep doing what’s in front of me to do and growing in virtue and hope and faith, even if its costly in some ways.

Despite the fact that 2019 was a really rough year in a lot of areas, I’m grateful for it. I’ve been changing, so much for the better, and faster since around 2017, I think. It’s not been easy but it has been positive, overall. 

I’ve also had a whole lot of fun. I’ve been mostly cataloguing my fun and creativity on Instagram for a few years now in photos. In a lot of ways it has replaced my old blogging habit, and I think I will need to practice some acceptance about what that means for this old skeleton of a thing.

Perhaps I will continue to blog here, in future, but I won’t feel guilty about it if I don’t anymore. There’s too much life to be lived to spend so much of it trying to remember the old bits. There’s always a new bit around the corner. 

Gratitude for Your grace

Thank You, every time You've led us through

Always, You are the fire in me


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