Tuesday, March 29, 2011

STRESS! and other issues...

It is amazing how fickle our human  minds are. Throw a bad week at us and we forget how blessed we are and concentrate on how stressed we are. I admit that I have had a bad week. My precious son was hospitalized. The softball sized abscess in his abdomen was a form of peritonitis, and we have not found the cause yet, so even though we are home, we have return trips scheduled.

Of course, he is not insured. He aged off my insurance last year. So, we had to go to the ER that would take him with no insurance. The poor people hospital. The ER was scary, after a wait of several hours to see a doctor, we were first told he might have a ruptured appendix. We were in the ER for 12 long hours before they decided to admit him rather than operate on him. Then 3 days of tests, finally a procedure to drain the abscess.

As you might imagine, none of this was easy for my son. He does not communicate well with strangers. He does not tolerate touch well, and he does not do well with scratchy fabric like that of a hospital gown. All of his senses were over stimulated. 

We get discharged from the hospital, and I spend way too much money at the pharmacy, filling the 7 prescriptions we were given.I am worried that I will be a month behind on the mortgage come the first of the month, and now I don't have enough to pay my insurance premium.

Let's add guilt to the mixture. Guilt that I did not ask the right questions, and so my son was in pain for several days as the infection in his abdomen grew. Guilt that I can't work anymore. Guilt that I have been mired in grief for my husband. Guilt. Reinforced several times, in different ways.

Pain. Yes, stress raises my pain level. But, I can't take the medication for breakthrough pain. It makes me drowsy, and I have to be available for my son. So, I am trying to breathe through the pain when the next shoe drops...My dear friend dies. Someone I am close too. I just talked to her last week. New guilt, I didn't have a chance to call her this week.

OK, I am starting to feel foolish. I am the same person who writes about faith, and choices, and HOPE. I am the same person that has heard God since she was 4 years old. Trusted God to provide all of her life. How can I be this stressed out? How can I be this afraid?

The human brain. Experts only understand a small percentage of what it is capable of. Right now, I can tell you it is capable of focusing on the problems so single mindedly that I can't hear the song in my spirit. I can hear the song in my head...
Make the world go away,
Get it off of my shoulders!!

But the song in my spirit, that one is quieter, and I will have to choose to hear it.Choose to breathe through the fear about my sons health, the worry about our financial situation, the grief of losing a good friend, and the guilt I feel in all of these situations.

I don't have the answer this morning, but I do have the choice to not let myself be overwhelmed by it all.I can choose to breathe, I can choose to beleive that God is in control. I may question why all of this is happening, but i know that as often as I would cry " why me?" the answer would still be the same, "Why not me?" Would I wish any of these things on anyone? NO.

Today I choose to continue to believe. I choose to have faith. 

Deep breath. I can do this. In honor of my dear friend, whose favorite advice was "Never let anyone steal your peace." I CHOOSE to reclaim my peace.

What a week!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Nurse Mommy: Win a Fantastic Blog Makeover from Visual Serendipity!

The Nurse Mommy: Win a Fantastic Blog Makeover from Visual Serendipity!

March 24,1997 A LOVE Story

It was a beautiful day. The kind of spring day that we wish they all could be. Bright sunshine, about 60 degrees. I had been to a meeting and after my friend dropped me off I remembered that William needed something for school the next day. It was the perfect day for a walk, so I decided I would walk to the neighborhood store. As I was walking down the street I looked up and this tall thin man was cutting across the street diagonally. He was going to end right in front of me. My mind immediately started searching for a reason, but this was not someone I knew. He walked up to me and said "I have been trying to get up the nerve to talk to you for six months. You're the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." I laughed. It definitely was not a pick up line I had ever heard before. But when I laughed I saw his eyes, and he meant it! "Excuse me?" was all I could say. He said it again, "I've been trying to get up the nerve to talk to you. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." I am still kind of speechless, and I say "Thank you, I guess." He goes on to explain that he lives at the bottom of the hill and he sees me walk my son to the school bus every day. He has tried a couple of times to speak to me, but he was too nervous. But when he saw me walking down the street today he told himself it was now or never, and he crossed the street. I was prepared to continue walking, but he kept talking. He told me how he had just got out of rehab 4 days earlier, and that he was on his way home from putting in job applications. Well, I had been clean and sober for 16 years and the friend of Bill W. in me wouldn't let me just ignore him. I told him I had to go to the store, but if he was still in the park at the end of the street when I got back I would talk to him. He was there, we talked for 2 hours that afternoon, and every day after that.
Such a simple act, crossing the street. No big deal. But in that simple act of walking across the street the world would never be the same. In that moment our lives became eternally joined, entwined. We would never again make a decision without discussing it or considering the impact it would have on the other one.We would never again think of ourselves as Bill or EstherBelle. From that moment on we were BillandEstherBelle.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lemon Drops

Merchandising is a science. We are treated to the theories on a daily basis. Why is that cereal on the lower shelf,and the other one on the top shelf. Why is that product next to this product on the display. All ways to tempt us to buy things that we hadn't gone shopping for in the first place. There you are, attempting to navigate the grocery aisle and in your way is a display of something. We've all fallen under the spell of an item we never imagined we needed until some merchandiser worked their magic.

Yesterday, I fell under the spell of one of those incongruently placed displays, and yes, I bought an item that I wasn't thinking of until that moment. But this time I think it must have been a nudge from Sacred Spirit that caused the grocery manager to drop that shipper in that spot. Right there at the end of the laundry detergent/dish soap aisle was a display of small bags of hard candies. Butterscotch, peppermints, and shining as if a spotlight was turned on them, a 4 ounce bag of lemon drops.I reached out and picked up the bag of lemon drops, put the bag in my basket and brought it home with me. This morning, as I sat down to work, I popped a lemon drop in my mouth and was instantly transported from a day of dreary weather and tedious chores to summer days of childhood and the unconditional love of a most amazing woman.

My favorite Auntie loved lemon drops. She carried a bag in her purse and had a bag in the car.Trips with her meant that you would be offered a lemon drop. In fact, you never knew when she would pull the bag out of her purse and offer them around, but you knew that she would.She loved the sweet and sour, there were days that she only kept the drop in her  mouth until the sugar was gone. As kids we cringed when we knew that perhaps she had sucked the sugar off the drops, I think she let us believe that to keep us on our toes.

In that way, isn't life like a lemon drop. Wonderful days with nothing but sweetness, and days that make us pucker from the sour, but the days that are the most important I think are those days that are like that moment when the lemon drop is an exquisite combination of both.

My Auntie was the glue that kept our family together. She taught the most important lessons in the way she lived her life every day. She loved each of us unconditionally, even those of us who weren't particularly lovable. She survived horrible tragedy in her life, and reveled in her blessings. She taught us how to forgive by being forgiving. She forgave some pretty unforgivable things.

She knew great loss. She was pregnant six times. All of her pregnancies were apparently normal pregnancies, lasting the full nine months. But only 2 of her children survived past the first 24 hours of life. Her second child, and her sixth child. How does a woman manage to be pregnant fearing that her baby will die? Of course, in our present time, we have medical technology that can tell us what is happening with our pregnancy. How much harder would it be to know that the child you are loving will not survive. I know young women who have gone through that, and I can't even imagine the strength involved. I asked her how she was able to keep trying, and she just looked at me and said her living daughters were worth it.

She knew great pain, both physical and emotional. Her arms were scarred from burns suffered in girlhood. She was participating in a school Christmas program, and her sleeves caught fire as she placed an ornament on the tree. Trees were lit by candles in her childhood. She suffered months of pain and recovery from  the second and third degree burns on such a large part of her body. Yet, when inevitably a child would point to the scars and ask "Auntie, why do you look like that." She would share how she was burned, but then she would share lovely stories of how her big brother fed her bananas against the doctors orders. She acknowledged that there was pain, but she chose to remember the loving care of her family.

She knew betrayal. She was divorced after 35 years. For reasons the rest of us never understood, her husband left her for another woman. Auntie had forgiven him over and over for being unfaithful. At one point he had an affair with one of her sisters. She forgave him, and she forgave her sister.None of us children had an idea of these things. When, as an adult I brought her my problems,she would never tell me what I ought to do, but  she would share the stories from her life, showing me that life is always about choices. She chose to forgive her husbands affairs because she was a woman of a different time. Had she been a woman of  my generation, she may have had more options and made different choices. But, she was a woman of her generation,and she chose to stay. In her mind it was more important that he was a good provider and good father. She knew that people were imperfect, and felt that he loved her the best he knew how. She remarried a few years later, and had over 20 years with her second husband,who loved her and treated her as if she were a great gift.

My favorite auntie was every one's favorite.She was the favorite sister to each of her siblings.My father was her oldest brother, and he loved and admired her.He was the brother who fed her bananas when the doctored told him they weren't good for her, and it turned out the doctor was wrong. Loving unconditionally was her greatest gift to all of us. It seemed like she took in those of us in her family who were most flawed, and took care of us in such a way that we became better people. We learned from her how to love, how to forgive, and that life is always about choosing to do the best you  know how in each moment, and if you make a bad choice it doesn't keep you from making a better choice the next moment.She taught us that forgiving wasn't about who was right and who was wrong. That when you forgive you give up the right to be right, and you simply offer grace and love.She taught us that life is like a lemon drop. Some days it is sweet, some days it is sour, and if you keep it in your mouth long enough you will be rewarded with that moment when it is the perfect combination of both!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

An Old Irish Blessing

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!


Sometimes I will dash off a blog post in a matter of minutes, as I did with the last post. Most times I will have a blog post in draft for weeks because I am rewriting, choosing just the right words in each sentence. Words are important.

Words are important whether we are typing them, speaking them or thinking them. So, I have chosen to attempt in all instances to choose good words. I am trying to make my speech more positive in all matters. I do believe that when we speak something we are sending the words out into the universe. So, I am attempting to be aware in the moment of whether I am sending out positive or negative words.

Do you remember that schoolyard taunt...
Sticks and stones will break my bones
But words will never hurt me!

Well, it's just not true. Words do hurt, probably more than the sticks and stones. So I find that I try to choose my words carefully. But, even though I try, sometimes negative words will crop into our lexicon almost without our knowledge. Raising a child with autism has helped me be very conscious of the words I choose as my son will take things very literally. I can remember a time when he was young that he was getting in trouble for something-I don't remember what but i do remember that his defense was "But you did not tell me there was a rule about that!" I am certain that I probably thought it was implied in one of the rules I had told him about, but he takes words very literally most of the time, so he didn't realize that the rule covered this particular transgression.So, we made a new rule that covered it.

Early in my relationship with Mr. Bill, he had a bit of a tendency, he had a major tendency towards road rage.If someone cut him off on the freeway it was a major transgression and he would yell, and swear, and rant , and swear-he was a Marine, need I go on? Immediately the energy inside the car would change and become negative and angry and hate filled. You could feel it, it felt bad. It was upsetting for me. I am very sensitive to bad energy,and so I would try to get him to calm down. After a while, it worked. He finally understood, I was the only one who could hear him, and so it felt like he was swearing at me. I knew he wasn't, but a car is a contained space, and the negative energy filled it quickly, so that it felt personal.

Then, when I was driving by myself one day, I noticed how often I used the word hate in my thinking.Someone would tailgate me and I would say, "I hate when someone does that". I would get close to an intersection where I had a bad experience once and I would think "Oh, I hate this intersection." How easily negative energy slips into our thinking. I practice meditation, and I practice living in the moment, so in that moment I was practicing hate. What an epiphany that was for me.

Hate...is not one of the things I want to put out into the world. As I am prone to do with a word I started looking up the definition, grabbed my thesaurus and checked for synonyms and antonyms. I started thinking about the times the word slips into my thinking and the times I use the word. Hate is an intense passionate emotion. Is this the emotion I want surrounding me?

So, I made it my intention to catch myself when the negative words, such as hate, came into my thinking. It became my practice to change the words I used. I was appalled at how many times a day the word appeared in my thoughts or speaking. Oh, the things I said were seemingly innocent. I rarely pointed the word at persons, usually at an object or situation. Lid too tight on a jar, "I hate that!" I left a book on the wrong shelf, "I hate it when I do that!" Just this morning, time to put my dentures in "I hate these things." I caught the word,and changed it. I choose to not put out negative energy.

I have had Christian friends who tell me I am too 'new age' to be a Christian because I worry about things like what energy is surrounding me. Yes, I cleanse the energy of a space whenever I am going to spend time there. When I stay in a hotel or motel, the first thing i do is cleanse the energy. I think it makes a difference in how I feel and how others feel when they are around me.If I make an effort to remain surrounded by positive energy I think it makes it easier for others to see Spirit in me.

As the quote from Francis of Assisi reminds us...Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.

What energy surrounds you? Are you aware of it? Do you make it your intention to make the kinds of choices with the words you choose to keep your energy positive?Do those who come into contact with you on a daily basis see Spirit in you, or is the negative energy of the words you think and speak keeping the Spirit in you hidden?

Today, as you go through your day, you can make it a habit to catch negative word and replace them. The car that cuts you off, ask Most High to bless the driver today. The dentures that annoy, thank Most High for the ability to eat and smile. The positive energy will shine brighter, and send love farther when you work on the energy you give off. The world needs our positive energy more than ever. People are surrounded by problems, and fear seems to be the main energy these days. But, we  know that Love wins, and so when we add positive energy by simply being there, we help Love to win. We preach the gospel at all times Whit the energies we choose for our day.

Choose love, loves energy feels awesome.

Peace and Blessings,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mea Culpa WARNING this is just a rant!

Disclaimer: This was brought on by a political discussion on facebook. For those who do not know this I am a Progressive Liberal Democrat in my political beliefs. I am usually told I am not a Christian, but i would describe myself as a Progressive Liberal Christian if pressed.

I just read this on a friends page-the discussion was political- and I swear, I honestly am still crying....

"Thousands of people die because they cannot afford health insurance." What a flipped-over perspective. No, thousands of people die because they are sick. Meanwhile, millions of people get well because they can afford health insurance which pays for the *privilege* of healthcare. (Remember, the default state of the world does not contain any healthcare. Humans created healthcare, which means there is a cost associated with it that someone must pay. A person has no more right to a pharmaceutical company's lifesaving chemo treatment than my neighbor has a right to the contents of my medicine cabinet.)
 How did we as a society get to the place where I honestly am feeling like perhaps I should just commit suicide for the good of my neighbors or of the state? (Don't worry, I will feel better in a few minutes! I'll be angry then I will forgive myself and others, then I will put these folks in my prayers) How did evil get this much of a stranglehold on folks psyche? I lost my husband to a drunk driver, and since have lost everything else to medical bills and prescription costs. How dare I continue to live in a world where I got sick? Or had the audacity to give birth a developmentally challenged child. Why don't they just put us in the boxcars now???
This excerpt was just a small part of the rant, and I know we have all seen them before.Truthfully, it could have been written by any one of number of people I consider friends. I am blessed in that I have an incredibly strong faith, granted it is feeling stretched and tested right now, but I  remember a link[search YouTube for 'Thom Hartmann: A 99'er trashes the American dream and welcomes death'] that was going around the internet a few weeks ago about the gentleman that didn't know that life is good and chose to end his life instead? How many do you think are being led to that decision by the hate that is being spewed by their neighbors? I can feel Spirit welling up in me, weeping with me, and perhaps today is a good day to worry about these things. As we start the season leading up to the most glorious story, the holiday that SHOULD be the biggest and most important day on the calendar, we must do everything we can to make sure that love wins. Resurrection power is available and we should be looking forward to that as we ponder this day.

I honestly feel some days like the man in the Thom Hartman report. I feel as if it would be better to end it all, as I am not a productive citizen of this country right now. I am sorry that I am not able to work anymore. I loved my job, I really did. I worked in a grocery store, not where I thought I would end my working years, but I was really good at what I did, and I had the opportunity to touch lives every day. It was where Spirit directed me,and where I was able to minister the love of God on a daily basis.

I love my God with all my heart, all my mind, and all my spirit. Since I was 4 years old I have listened to the voice that tells me where I am needed. I have trusted that through many different ways my God would provide for me. I have saved, like a smart person, but since my husband was killed and I was injured,I  have used up all of the savings to pay doctor bills and buy the meds I need.

I did not mean to get a rare neurological disease. HONEST! I remember sitting with my husband the morning of his last day and discussing our plans for the future. We had dreams like everyone else. He had been unemployed for 5 months. He was denied unemployment benefits, so we were not a drag on society, we muddled through by drawing down our savings. He was starting his new job that day, and he was so happy. He loved to work. He loved providing for his family. He had dreams of our being financially stable again, so that I could work less as my disease progressed. I was going to work less, and go back to school for a year to become certified in another profession. One I could do from home, sitting in a wheelchair.We had plans and dreams. After all, we lived in the heart of the country, we believed in "The American Dream" We worked hard, we met challenges head on, and we climbed back up every time we got knocked down.He was the proudest hardest working man I knew, and he trusted in his ability to take care of his family. Whenever I would get stressed out about things, he would say to me "Will money fix it? Because, I am going to make more money, have another paycheck soon." We spent a lovely hour discussing our plans and dreams.

Eighteen hours later a young woman who had had way too  much to drink chose to drive home.Three short hours later the Highway Patrolman rang my doorbell, and our world turned upside down.  

I never meant to be a widow, for my son to be an orphan. NEVER!I never meant to be sick, I never meant to get to this place where I would be forced to apply for help. NEVER! God has provided for us always, but I am not sure that God can get through the type of thinking is being evidenced in the rants I am reading on facebook and elsewhere these days. I am not sure there are enough people who are hearing God anymore. The 'god' of this world considers me disposable.In this country, in this time, I am not a person who deserves to continue living.I am broke, and sick, and I can't afford insurance anymore. I can't afford my house payment, or a tank of gas even. So I do not, according to this friend of a friend on facebook,DESERVE help. I would not be so upset right now, except this friend of a friend represents the majority of opinions I am reading.

So, to my Conservative friends I apologize.I am so sorry that my precious son and  I have become ones of 'the least of these'.I am very sorry that I am older, and sicker and poorer than I ever thought was possible. I did not mean for any of this to happen.

To my Liberal Progressive friends, I am sorry that I have not been strong enough, that I have not fought harder,prayed longer, stood up more visibly for the God I love. I will attempt to do better, even as I feel my ability to fight slipping away from me.

I am starting to feel calmer, starting to think I should delete this. But I can hear Spirit telling me to publish my rant, and so I will. I will pray for the friends of my friend, and I will pray for each of us, no matter which side of the arguments we live on.

This is my confession before this world- Life is good, even when life is hard, and scary. Life is good.There is a God, and this God expects certain things of us. This God that I believe in doesn't require all that much...Micah 6:8 And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God...

I know that I am doing my best to fulfill those requirements. I firmly believe as the 13th century Christian Mystic Julian of Norwich did that "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well..."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Today is Sunday, and for many it is a day of rest. When I was working I chose Sunday and Wednesday as my days off. I think most of  my co-workers thought that i chose those days to attend religious services. But that isn't why. I chose those days because my husband was off on the weekend, Saturday and Sunday and I wanted to have a day off with my family. But I chose to work on Saturday so that my husband and  my son could have a day together, and my husband could choose to have some 'me time' and I chose to be off on Wednesday so that my son and I could have that day together and I could find some 'me time'. It worked out perfectly for our family. From those choices came the tradition that is still celebrated by my son and I. We call it Library Day. In our house Library day is still on Wednesday. Just out of habit.

Now on Library day we do much more than go to the Library, although that is the most important thing we do. We also run a few errands-that midweek stop at the grocery for milk, fresh produce, etc. We occasionally have a lunch date, and I have Mom time. Mom time means that I am allowed to choose what is watched on TV, or if the TV is even turned on-I am not a big TV watcher so many Wednesdays it isn't. Now you  may wonder since I am no longer working, why we choose to still have a Library day. I think it is because for us traditions are important.

I think that creating traditions is an important thing for everyone. Traditions are a way of keeping alive memories, a way of celebrating who and what you are and where you have come from. Do you have traditions in your life? Most of us have traditions that we reach for once a year or so. Those tied to days like Christmas, or Easter, or Halloween. Those traditions that decree this is the way we do it because this is the way we have always done it. Those are important, but smaller traditions are important to. Having a Library day every week gives us something to look forward to. Even when life is beating up on us, we know that we have a time to look forward to. It is always important to have something good to look forward to. We know that no mater what is happening, on Wednesdays we take time out to spend time together. I will take time for myself, giving my son time for his interests.

I have other habits that I would consider traditional for me. It is my habit to wake up just before sunrise. In the warm months of the year, I will spend that time on the deck, sharing with the birds and squirrels that time in the morning when brother sun is changing night time into daytime. I love that time of day. Just before you can see the sun break over the horizon the birds send up a wonderful cacophony of song that signals the suns arrival. It is a time of praise and worship with all of creation.I look forward to this time of day. Even when life is at its most difficult, that moment in the morning says to me that all shall  be well, and I am free to join with the winged ones in exulting our Creator at the start of a new day.Sing praises to the One who created it all.

Personal traditions can help us get through the hard times. It is always easier to get through a difficult situation hen you have something to look forward to. Something that reminds you that life has not always been this hard. Remind you that there have been good days,and give you reason to look forward to good things to come. Personal traditions can be as simple as spending quiet time Sunday morning reading the paper, or having a day reserved for heading to the library with your son. Traditions, a reminder that life is good.That our Creator is here with us. A reminder that Life is Good, God is Good, All is well.

Just some things I was thinking about on this quiet Sunday morning. Wishing you all a time of reflection today.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

But, you don't understand....

Back when I used to travel around giving motivational talks to women's groups (something I would love to do again!) I would talk about how you can overcome any obstacle and work towards your goals. Now a lot of times I would be talking to weight loss groups. See, I have weighed as much as 490 pounds in my life, and recently only weighed 251 pounds. So, I know a lot about weight loss. I have lost over 150 pounds 9 times in the last 25 years. Oh yes, I am the QUEEN of weight loss, I have just never quite mastered how to keep it off until recently. I am a work in progress.

But I digress...
I would talk about overcoming and dreaming and working towards your goals, and then I usually was able to take questions. INVARIABLY the first person whose hand went up started off by saying "But you don't understand how hard my life is. I can't...[fill in the blank with positive action] because...[fill in the blank with life complication]..."
My answer to those kinds of issues was usually something along the lines of "Find us a blackboard and we will write your problems on one side and my problems on the other side and I guarantee my list is longer." Now that was not said to make the person feel bad for me, it was said to make the person stop and think. Because my next question would be "What one step can you take even though your life is complicated?" Because there just aren't enough complications in life to keep you from taking a step. It doesn't matter what size step you are able to take, it only matters that you can take a step.As I have often said, every step you take, large or small,any direction, is a step AWAY from where  you used to be.Even if a step takes you backwards, it is away from where you are. Sometimes we need to go back to find our way.

So, are you telling me that I don't have to tackle my problems all at once? I just have to take one step? Yes, that is what I am telling you.One step is all you have to take. The problem that a lot of us have is that we are perfectionists. Do you know someone who procrastinates? they are probably a perfectionist. Perfectionists often have an all or nothing mentality, if they can't do it all perfectly they would rather not do anything. A lot of women with weight issues-men too, I suppose, but I've never been a man so I can't speak to that-a lot of women with weight issues fall into that perfectionist category. We see it over and over.

We set a day in the near future-next Monday-when we are going to start our new diet. We will be making all the right choices, and we will not give into temptation one time.Then, we get excited, and we make plans for how we are going to never go back to our old ways. Then Monday comes-it's a law that diets start on Monday, right?- and we manage to get through a day or two, maybe even a week or two, but inevitably we break one of our RULES and we feel defeated. So then, with our all or nothing thinking we give up. Then we beat ourselves up emotionally and spiritually, because we aren't able to stick to some arbitrary plan. We are failures.

Except we're not. We aren't failures, we have just failed to plan for success.We have in our heads all of these wrong thinking ideas. We think that we are second class citizens, not deserving of the very best in life because our weight doesn't match the numbers on some chart, or we don't wear the same size dress as some photoshopped air brushed model. We think that if we did reach that mythical weight, or size, everything in our lives would magically change. Our hard life will become easy. When the truth is we will just have starved our body into submission for a bit. We find that life is still hard, and that means we didn't do it perfectly, so we stop doing it at all, and we gain the weight back.

What we really need to learn is that we are not the enemy, food is not the enemy. The wrong ideas that we latch onto are the enemy. So, we must come to that place where we choose to let go of the thinking that keeps us prisoners to the all or nothing thinking. We can learn that we have choices, and that we can use those choices to take the steps necessary to come into a more balanced, loving view of ourselves. We have the choice to take that one step, even though our life is complicated.

When we choose to believe that we are worthy, and we choose to take a step, we have truly started a journey to wellness and wholeness. A place where we can come into a healthy relationship with food, a healthy relationship with our bodies, and with ourselves.A place where we know that even if we stumble along the way, we can choose to take that step again.We can do it, it isn't easy, but we can find our path to wellness. One choice, one step at a time.