Some Good and Bad Things…

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(The Pixabay image above doesn’t have anything to do with the subject of the blog post, but I thought it was cool-looking!)

Things have been busy lately. A few good things have happened and a few not-so-good things have happened. Here is a short summary:

  • My husband was sick over the weekend with a fever, chills, and body aches and yesterday I started running a fever. Still not feeling well today, but I have a doctor’s visit already scheduled for this evening, so I guess that is good timing.
  • I finally heard from my mom the other day after a month of hearing nothing. I guess she wasn’t upset or mad or anything after all, she just had neglected to call me back like she had said she would. At least she did apologize. I think she genuinely meant it too.
  • I have become kind of obsessed with reborn dolls! I ordered my third doll from Paradise Galleries the other day and am excited to receive her! I’m not sure if this is just my latent maternal instincts coming out to play since I never had a child of my own or what, but it is a comforting and fun hobby. Having an excuse to shop for adorable baby stuff is awesome lol.
  • The weather is finally stabilizing somewhat and becoming nice most days! So happy about that! I don’t like the cold!
  • After a few weeks of being uninspired entirely with my art, I have gotten a bit of interest back in it lately and am enjoying making fun little collages.
  • Even though my last therapy session made me feel pretty crappy the day I had it, a couple things the therapist said have stuck with me and might help in the long run. One thing I keep thinking about is how the therapist said it was “interesting and not weird” how I have such an interest in toys and other “child-like” things. I have always felt kind of ashamed for liking “kids stuff” as an adult, whether it be toys, books, movies, or whatnot, but maybe I have been judging myself too harshly for just having unusual interests. I can be extremely obsessive about those interests, but when you have Asperger’s, that kind of comes with the territory.
  • Anxiety and depression have been high (as always) but I’m still here! I’m still fighting for the kind of life I want, even if I do make missteps here and there.
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My New Year’s Intentions for 2015

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Happy soon-to-be New Year everyone! Around this time of year, I always like to pause and assess my life. I decide what is going good, what I need to leave behind and what I might want to work on. I don’t like to make “New Year’s resolutions” because that phrasing to me seems to have guilt built into it. When people make New Year’s resolutions, they tend to feel guilty if they fail or make a mistake and eventually just give up. I like the phrase “New Year’s intentions” better because it doesn’t have that stigma to it and to me, intentions are about trying to do the right thing. Sure, we all mess up and even epically fail sometimes, but as long as we keep getting up and trying, I don’t think we truly ever lose.

So here are my three New Year’s intentions for 2015 –

1. Focus on health. I have many health problems that I can’t do anything about, however, I do have control over some of my health and unfortunately, I often ignore the importance of taking care of myself. So for 2015 I plan to try to exercise at least 3-4 times a week (even if I can only do light exercise like walking and yoga). I will not push myself too hard or make myself do things that cause real pain, but I can try to work within my physical limitations. I will also try to eat better. I won’t force myself to give up things I love (like chocolate), but I will try to consciously pick out more fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy grains at the grocery store (because if I buy healthier foods, I will eat healthier foods).

2. Be more social. A few years ago I had to be more social. But now that I work at home, have taken a break from fostering kids and my husband resigned from being a youth pastor, I don’t have to be social. I can hole up at home and be a hermit. To some extent I have done that. We still go to church, but now that my husband isn’t working for a church we get to pick and choose what to be involved in instead of having it decided for us – which is great, except that I have to remember to actively look for things to do and ways to serve. It is far too easy to ignore social activities because I feel that I am not socially proficient. Sometimes I get kind of depressed seeing how easy it is for others to connect with people and make friends. I just don’t have that kind of personality.

Having Asperger’s Syndrome can make socializing uncomfortable and awkward, but I still want to make a difference in people’s lives. I want to care about others and have them care in return. The only way I can do that is to make myself reach out more. So this year I hope to reach out more to others, whether it be by saying a simple “hello” and learning someone’s name or by making myself go out a little more often, even when it is easier to stay home and veg out on the couch.

3. Stop letting people hurt me. In the past few years there have been a few people who hurt me deeply. They may not even realize they hurt me (in fact some of them think I deserve to be treated badly and have said so). In most cases, they were people who never really got to know me and then misinterpreted things I said or did. Instead of approaching me and clarifying what upset them, they either shut me out entirely or told other people a lot of bad stuff about me which isn’t actually true. By the time I knew there was really an issue, damage had already been done. I tried to work things out with some of them and find out what I did to upset them, but I was either ignored or told everything was my fault.

Maybe my lack of social skills in some areas caused the problems…or maybe they never really liked me to begin with. I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve allowed these people to make me feel bad about myself and wonder if I am unlikable. It really dealt a blow to my self-esteem in some ways. At this point, I want to build my ability to trust others again. I want to not let a little meanness or misunderstanding hold me back anymore. I have already chosen to consciously forgive, now I want to let myself learn from any mistakes that were made and move on.

So there you have it, my list of intentions for the coming year. What would you like to change or work on this year?

Is suicide an unforgivable sin? A bit of hope for those left behind.

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I am feeling impressed tonight to share something very personal….which is kind of odd because what I feel I should share actually happened over a year ago. However, I just feel very strongly that I am being asked to share this and hope that maybe it will help someone somewhere who is dealing with the loss of a loved one due to suicide.

Now, first off, I want to say that coming from a conservative Christian family, I was always taught that suicide was a sin that would get you sent straight to hell. It was murder and since you would die from the action before you could repent of it, you were out of luck if you later regretted it. Personally, I always doubted this belief, but when my sister committed suicide almost two years ago, these thoughts did make me worry about what would happen to her. I hoped and prayed that God would have mercy on her since she had been in horrible physical, emotional and mental pain at the time of her overdosing, but I didn’t really know what she was thinking or feeling the night she took far too many pills and then went to bed never to wake up again. I still wonder if she really knew she would die from her actions or was just desperate to rid herself of the pain, but I don’t know for sure and probably never will.

Anyhow, the incident that really affected me and made me feel that she was ok happened about 6 months or so after her death. I had already dreamed of her many times, odd dreams of doing routine stuff like shopping together or fighting like when we were kids. None of my dreams of her were realistic or made sense in the waking world…until the night I went to sleep and had the following dream:

When the dream began, my sister and I met in a huge hall or maybe an entranceway to some building that I didn’t recognize. When we saw each other, it was like we could communicate telepathically. I knew she was dead. She knew she was dead. Both of us knew how she had died and what it had done to those she left behind. She apologized to me, the most heartfelt apology I have ever gotten. She explained how she never meant to hurt me or her other loved ones. She admitted that she made a huge mistake and regretted it.

At that point, I asked her what had happened to her. I will never forget her answer. She told me that God was so much more loving and forgiving than we could even imagine. That God forgave her and was giving her a chance to work it out and try to make things better. It shocked me to hear these things since my sister wasn’t a Christian or religious in the conventional sense. She had always had curiosity about God, but had pushed religion away due to the strict and overly judgemental religious upbringing we had as kids. She never explained exactly what God was having her do, but just that he was giving her the opportunity to make up for her mistakes in some way.

At that point, we hugged and it felt so good. It felt like her. It smelled like her. I had all the senses that I normally have while awake. After we hugged, she just kind of dissolved into light and was gone and the dream ended. In the morning, when I awoke, I can not even describe the kind of relief this experience gave me. It brought me closure and gave me the chance to say goodbye. To me, it will always be more than a dream, but I realize it is easy to be skeptical when you haven’t experienced something like this yourself. Anyhow, I just hope that maybe this simple but meaningful experience of mine may encourage or comfort others going through similar things. Please feel free to leave a message below if you have anything to say on this topic.

My Apology to God

During meditation time tonight, I got to thinking about forgiveness and love and ended up writing down a letter to God, in which I expressed all the things that are on my heart. The letter ended up taking the form of an apology…both for the things that I think I personally have done (willfully or unknowingly) and that the human race as a whole does. Of course, I know I have left much out, there is no way I could compile even a list of all the mistakes I’ve made, let alone the whole world, but I think this is a beginning…

Dear God,

I’m sorry that sometimes we are all just plain idiots.

I’m sorry that we often misrepresent you, without even meaning to.

I’m sorry that we fail to understand and apply even the simplest of your teachings, but have no trouble arguing about every little thing.

I’m sorry that we often ignore you, or even insult you.

I’m sorry that we try to make you fit into our own image or idea instead of really getting to know you.

I’m sorry that we are quick to anger, but slow to love.

But most of all –

I’m sorry that we have often trashed your beloved creation and not even cared.