Ah! Today is a great day! It is always a good sign when I stumble across life-affirming quotes. I never quite know where I will be led moment-to-moment, who I will meet or how things will turn out… but I keep an open-minded optimism alive in my heart that the right people and resources will inevitably come my way.
So let me share some of the quotes that are speaking to me today:
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Ronald Dahl
“It is right that you should begin again every day. There is no better way to complete the spiritual life than to be ever beginning it over again.” St. Francis de Sales
“If a man does his best, what else is there?” General George S. Patton
Do you want to know the best part about these collected quotes? As I am helping my mother pack up her house in order to move, I have come across all of the journals I have written and stored throughout my life — beginning in Kindergarten. Instead of never touching them again, as I just finished the last page of my moleskine on my birthday last week and am thus currently journal-less, I have decided to continue writing in the empty pages that remain.
So I found this beautiful journal of quotes I began when I was twelve and have just kept adding to it. It’s a lot of fun, like a collaboration with not-yet-teen Karen; a beautiful dance of intuition and affirmation.
What beloved quotes that you enjoy need to be added to this journal?
My husband means the world to me. He is my rock, my protector, my counsel, my confidant. He works tirelessly and selflessly to the very best of his abilities to be a man of action and to live the Gospel. That is where this post needs to begin. I care so much for his wellbeing — and my children’s! — that I would go to the ends of the earth to find the best ways of living and eating that benefit him.
That being said, I obviously want my husband to live a long, happy and healthy life. Sometimes it feels like we don’t share this goal! I think the majority of wives reading this know that if we left our men up to their own devices their diets, routines and sleeping habits would be less-than-ideal… you know, the very things that keep our bodies and minds functioning well. Somehow our men understand that race cars need maintenance and special race fuel, and yet their bodies will be just fine if neglected. That is where we come in.
As wives and mothers, we are the gatekeepers of our homes. It is our first job and duty to perform this function well. We wear many hats to make this happen: timekeeper, secretary, teacher, cook, chauffeur, doctor, nurse, masseuse, personal stylist, maid, seamstress, nutritionist, mama bear (because some situations require claws), entertainer, etc. I mean really, the list can go on and on. But the fruits of our labor are unlike any other profession. The rewards are literally other worldly. You are the caretakers of precious, unique souls. It is worth getting your hands on any tool, resource, book, video, etc. that can help you fulfill this vocation to the best of your ability.
When I began oiling it didn’t take me long to realize that these little amber bottles were full of the real deal — the stuff pharmaceutical companies and perfumieries try to replicate in laboratories and market as life changing, when really it’s just a cheap replication of the original. I like to learn at a rapid rate. Input, input, input! I was devouring books about the chemistry of oils, the best ways to use them, why they work and how to make them work better for my family. They are so versatile that the possibilities seem endless. I still have so much more to learn.
Much like my husband, who enjoys the depth of automotive culture and engineering information, wouldn’t try to teach me about the nitty-gritty of his hobbies, it would have been foolish of me to try to “educate” him about mine. The greatest thing about our relationship is that we let each other thrive in our respective strong points, and help each other in our weak areas.
My husband has always trusted me and my intuition, as well as my research, when it comes to our health, wellness, and lifestyle. What a huge honor! But also a huge responsibility. This means I set the standard and he follows suit. I better know what I’m doing!
The more I researched the more it felt right in my heart to shuck the status quo and actively pursue wellness. And I really had to combat self-doubt, fears, and other people’s skepticism! You gotta do what’s right for YOUR family, not what other people want you to do!
That being said, we have a marriage infused with mutual respect. My husband never doubted or mocked me. He eats what I cook (okay, he was pretty mad that one time I only made sautéed cabbage with capers for dinner) without complaint. He drinks what I put in front of him, and takes the capsules I give to him without worry. What a beautiful, (mostly) harmonious, symbiotic relationship of trust.
How did I begin? How can you, too, assist your husband in wellness?
• I used everything first. And I used them on my baby second. If hubby could see the benefits I was getting from the products, he’s more apt to be game to use them on himself even if it is just to placate me. Plus the allure of Lady Sclareol, Joy, Vetiver, Orange and some of the other hyper-feminine oils that I was wearing most definitely helped. Yes, really. 😏😏
• I didn’t bother him with the nitty gritty. Just like he doesn’t put me on his garage body roller thingy (come to find out they’re called ‘creepers’) and force me to learn about transistors and sprockets (I don’t even know how to give a proper example), I don’t involve him in the ordering, and I don’t make the products stressful or complicated.
• We own a farm. My husband does all of the hard labor, and there is a lot of it, under the grueling sun with Oklahoma allergies assaulting his poor sinuses the whole time. What’s the first way I got oils on him? I began massaging him at the end of the day with a drop of PanAway in a puddle of OrthoSport massage oil. Boy howdy, did that make a difference on both his aching muscles AND in our marriage.
• I bought him his own bottle of Bergamot. I had smelled Shutran and didn’t like it much. But when a friend told me about her husband, who sounded very similar to my own, who heralded Bergamot as his can’t-do-without oil, I immediately ordered one. I think the consideration was special to him. He could claim it as his own, decide when and where to apply it, and not have me mommying or nagging him. Aaaaand he smells delicious.
• I dispense the products for him. I have a tiny little 2oz. jar that I fill up with NingXia Red and just set in front of him while he’s in a meeting or preparing for his day. Sometimes if I know he hasn’t slept, and he’s pushing himself too hard I’ll give him another 2oz. midday. Thirty minutes before a meal I give him a Digest & Cleanse. I have intentions behind all of it. I know which products to give him and why. This is a main reason why he trusts me to do so; I don’t go about this all willy nilly!
• I respect his dignity and free will. If he tells me he didn’t like burping up DiGize all day because I gave it to him in a capsule, I listen to him and figure out a different way to get it on and/or in his body. If he doesn’t like the smell of Dream Catcher, I’ll apply it to his feet instead of his neck (and then enjoy listening to him snore in the deepest of sleeps, hallelujah).
• I actively pursued “ditching & switching” everything gross in our household. The “medicine” cabinet was purged. The weird bright blue dish soap (and lots of other soaps — including our once-beloved Mrss Meyer’s hand soap, lotions and house cleaners) were donated. I made it my priority to have a chemical-free, safe home. Now when he washes dishes (or his hands) with the Thieves soaps, not only is he safe and clean, but he is absorbing the EOs from the soaps through his skin. Boom. #allthebergamot
• I apply the oils to him lovingly and confidently. There is zero skepticism or sniggering when I anoint his forehead with Idaho Blue Spruce, or when we work on emotional release alarm points, or during Raindrop Therapy. I strive to maintain a respectful, calm and assured environment. God and I know the benefits he’s receiving. That’s good enough for me.
• Consistency. I don’t waiver. When I know something works, I keep using it. And if there are specific body systems that need work, I do some research, formulate a plan, order what I need (because Essential Rewards gets me 25% back anything I spend) and do the damn thing.
So that’s that. We are now both enjoying an oily wellness lifestyle. No, he hasn’t completely replaced his morning coffee with NingXia Nitro and he doesn’t reach for my oil box like he does his tool box. And that’s okay, because that’s who he is! That’s why I am his wife, his compliment. I let him be him, but I still guide the direction of our family’s wellness because it is that important. We only get one body and one life. This isn’t something to ignore mindlessnessly and hope it works out. And Lord knows we weren’t made to settle for poor health — if your body is crying out via symptoms like headaches, low energy, less than ideal moods, rashes, indigestion, etc. it is time for a tune up (NOT a prescription)!!
Remember how I mentioned Bergamot? I had no idea how powerful the emotional and mental properties of this oil would be. It did have powerful effects on my husband — to the point that if he was in an off mood I would catch myself saying “did you wear your Bergamot today?” to which sometimes he would admit he forgot to put it on. So if you too have an overworked, meticulous, type-A loved once in your life, know that Bergamot helps with anxiety, agitation, stress and depression. Just saying.
(( Be honest. Do these OOC brackets look familiar to you? ))
][ Or maybe these, if you had a sort of stylish flair, like me? ][
Do the words sparring, flaxen-colored hair and clan roster ring any bells? No? Then you were never in an online roleplaying community. Good for you. For the rest of you reading who know what I’m talking about, this is for you. This is my coming out post.
Somewhere today, between trying on borrowed wench costumes to wear to the Renaissance Fair this weekend in celebration of my sister-in-law’s birthday, and listening to a podcast about “glow kids”, as coined by Nicholas Kardaras, to describe those of us who have been held in the grips of screen addiction at young ages, my inner child was brought out of all her shame. My secret, forgotten love affair with Interview With A Vampire was also re-ignited. But that’s beside the point. The shame reveal is the meaty stuff (slight pun intended).
In the mid to late nineties, AOL had the convenient marketing habit of ritually sending out CD-ROMs of installation software in the mail so that you, too, could get online. I had been given a computer in my playroom at the ripe age of nine, and already knew how to set up an account for free, giving me wide access to the entire internet. As an outsider in real life forums like school and neighborhood cliques, what appealed to me were the chatrooms that I stumbled upon. The A/S/L chatrooms with their mindless chatter never appealed to me. I traded a few pictures with some weird people, but this wasn’t intriguing or fun. But then I found my niche: a bunch of wordy, artistic introverts who also had an interest in the dark sides of fantasy. I still haven’t quite explored why this interest stuck with me… it’s most definitely worth giving some thought to. But we’ll save the psychoanalysis for another post.
I really don’t remember anything about roleplaying culture as a whole. I don’t remember stumbling into wizards and dragons world and deciding that wasn’t for me. I assume that nine-year-old me found the first chatroom, read the scripts, caught on and stayed for awhile until she mustered up the courage to join in. And the people of the chatroom were more than happy to accept me as one of them (albeit they had no idea of my real age). Our particular dark fantasy involved vampires. Who knew they’d be so popular over ten years later!
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, these are writing games. Basically you would write out the descriptions and actions of your character and the people around you would respond in similar fashion. The writing within the group that I chose was actually pretty amazing. You had to have a high level of descriptive vocabulary, type fast, and stay sharp or you were easily picked on. The setting was mostly of a medieval to renaissance time, and a common entrance would look something like this:
:: Lacey VePiras crept in the silence of the night, pausing behind shadow-crested tree trunks as her nimble, naked feet touched the cold earth. Ivory skin glowing in the moonlight, her raven-colored hair cascaded down upon her shoulders in flawless ringlet fashion, framing her piercing green eyes. They flickered brightly as she spotted the inn, aglow with candlelit and camaraderie. Wrapping her cloak closer to her bodice, she moved quickly until she reached the door, pushing against the great weight of the oak until she found her way inside. ::
The better your entrance, the better the game. The reactions were priceless, exciting, and completely unscripted. You never knew what would happen but it felt as thrilling, I would assume, as the actual life experience.
I ended up joining the VePiras clan, my would-be group of friends for the next two years. I might be exaggerating, as time seems to stretch out longer when you’re so young. It might have only been a handful of months. But those friendships were the least judgmental, freeing, fun and exhilarating relationships I had ever had. Even the drama seemed more real and enticing than any of the ridiculous squabbles of my every day.
If you haven’t figured it out already, this pastime was fraught with problems that now, as a parent, I am appalled about. Immorality, perversion, occultism and escapism, plus the whole “dark arts” thing. And remember, I said NINE YEARS OLD. I was exposed to many words, relationships and paradigms no child should ever witness let alone adopt as acceptable.
And before you start judging my parents, you must know that all of this was happening unbeknownst to my family.
I was left largely to my own devices, and for much of my childhood that worked. I spent a lot of alone time riding on my bike, going horseback riding lessons, playing with Barbies in my upstairs playroom, jumping on my trampoline, reading and creating fantastical scenarios in our formal dining room in which I was prince, princess, villain and servant all rolled into one. I enjoyed weeks at summer camp and loved being outside. However, my family was rapidly devolving into crisis by the time I was eight or nine. My dad had moved away to find work in Texas. My sister, who is nine years my senior, was headed off to college. My mother was an executive for a big corporation and traveled a lot. Eventually it came out that my dad was cheating on my mom (ironically with a woman he met online), and I was privy to every awful detail of the affair. My parents then proceeded with a divorce, one awkward trip to Texas was made, and in 2001 I saw my dad for the last time until my wedding day. I had no extended family, no friends, and a handful of babysitters who never stayed more than a year. I just kind of rolled with the punches, completely unaware of just how much internal damage was being done.
Amidst all of this, I broke my arm in a trampoline accident. Unable to keep up with horseback riding, my mother sold my beloved thoroughbred horse Eli, who I competed and won ribbons with at horse shows. I had outgrown Barbies, so my playroom was outfitted with an orange iMac, a Nintendo 64 and a GIANT big screen TV.I eventually moved my mattress into my playroom and stayed up all hours of the night watching Howard Stern and Wild On E! Then I was introduced to AOL, and the limitless screen name accounts I could create, and it was game on. Pandora’s Box had been opened.
The fateful night my mom learned of my obsessive little secret, horrified doesn’t even begin to describe her reaction. It was in the early hours of the morning. I don’t know what prompted her to get up and check on me, but there she found me entranced in front of the glow of my computer, clickety-clacking away. She silently stood over my shoulder and read every word. By this time I had gotten myself into some very, very inappropriate interactions and the worst “game” I was acting out was unfolding in front of her eyes.
By the next morning the internet was cancelled. My entire world, the only friends I had ever known, completely gone. I had been cut off.
It’s hard to describe here in writing how I reacted without seeming exaggeratory. Having also, later in my teenage years, been through addiction rehabilitation for drugs, it is no misreport to say that little eleven-year-old me went through a very physical, mental and emotional withdrawal process. I vividly remember being curled up in a ball on my playroom floor, my body aching and twitching as I sobbed. The worst part about this is that no one knew how much this meant to me. And I had no one to try to explain that to anyway.
In sixth grade, now nearing 12 years old, I tried to take the game into real life. I had a few friends at my public middle school who were freaks like me, into fantasy with little supervision. I mean, I was the girl in class who, during free time, would read the dictionary… and I was pretty proud about that. I created a clan roster for us — we had warriors, spies, healers… I don’t quite remember what else, but in hindsight it really meant nothing. It was all a make-believe game, but with truly dangerous undertones. I named the group Vitae Holocaust which, to me, had a literal translation of life-blood massacre. Remember, in my online gaming community we were vampires, so blood and death were major themes. The group was quickly renamed Vitae Hatred due to the unintentional antisemitic rhetoric. We were eleven-year-old misguided weirdos, not racist bigots.
This wasn’t all bad. I made real-life friends and we wrote our own language (“changa, meh sup” meant “charmed, I’m sure”). But those friends then introduced me to other real-life oddities like the ouija board, and Rocky Horror Picture Show. By the end of sixth grade I was completely into the culture of both Metallica and the Warped Tour. By seventh grade I was engaged in terrible self-destructive habits. By the end of eighth grade I was completely submersed in the local hardcore and metal music scenes, engaging in debauchery. And by the end of freshman year I had a stacked-high record of psychiatric stints including two therapeutic boarding schools and a bootcamp-wilderness program. Talk about gateway to landslide.
If your jaw hasn’t completely dropped off your face yet, or if your disgust with me has neared its maximum capacity, there is a reason I am confessing all of this. Okay, maybe part of it is pure catharsis. This is my blog after all. I guess, until today, I just thought I was all alone with my dark, shameful secret; or that maybe no one would believe me if I ever told them; or that even if they believed me they could never grasp the gravity of what the RPG games and community meant to me… they wouldn’t understand that there was good speckled amongst all the bad. Those online friends developed my creativity, taught me how to write, how to type, and embrace my imagination. Just like when you’re immersed in a good fiction book, you can learn a lot by reading harrowing fight scenes, or timeless, tragic love stories from a renowned author. Stephenie Meyer and E. L. James are talentless compared to the people I was writing alongside.
But today, when a friend posted this podcast in our local Catholic women’s forum, suddenly I felt a little less lonely and a little less embarrassed. I haven’t read “Glow Kids” yet, but as my husband and I still have yet to let our one-year-old even interact with any screen, it sounds right up my alley. Because of my past I am all too familiar with the pitfalls of technology, and I refuse to let my children be victims to the immoral garbage that many people now accept as “just the way it is”. My parents had the excuse of ignorance. They truly didn’t know what a threat the internet posed when they set that orange iMac in my playroom. But my generation, now parents themselves, should know better and remain vigilant against the evils of this modern age. It is not a time to shrug our shoulders and say “Welp, you know, he’s of that age” when our 11-year-olds stumble across pornography by typing some harmless phrase into Google.
What appealed to me was the explanation behind why I was drawn to that screen, that imaginary world, and those people. There was not only a social science explanation — the obvious route of escapism, want for control, acceptance, etc. — but a neuroscientific explanation in the the glow of those screens have a dopaminergic effect, meaning they release the chemicals in our brain that make us feel good. Kardaras makes the argument that some children (and adults) are more susceptible to this specific addiction than others, especially those who, like me, have difficult realities to face in their homes and would do anything to pretend it didn’t exist. Except now instead of acknowledging the danger that these screens present, parents readily give their children these devices as if they not only do no harm, but actually relay some kind of benefit.
It’s not just online script roleplaying that he’s talking about, by the way. We’re talking about most video games or interactive entertainment. World of Warcraft. Sims. FarmVille. Candy Crush.
While some families still find it perfectly acceptable that everyone gathered around the dinner table is interacting with their own personal, portable screens instead of discussing the day’s events, or that husbands and wives are glued to their screens in bed instead of building up intimacy, some of us see the implications of the implications. Technology like this will not bring us closer together. It is a wedge. I personally believe it is tantamount to parents giving their children drugs, while drugging themselves… but, hey, farmers felt that way initially about books.
And then there’s this book, on the other side, to remind us that there can be a silver lining. My high school English teacher gave us this to read back in 2006. He, too, however was an avid nerd (I say that with the highest degree of respect — this was and is still one of the more beloved, impactful teachers I have had) and probably was looking for something to validate his own world view. Aren’t we all?
Anyway, all of this to say, yes I know parts of this tale are horrific. And I’m still working out the kinks — lucky you, you get the rawest part of my thinking process in this blog, hearing breaking news straight from the junction of awareness and memory in my brain (common sense and privacy is somewhere up ahead on that road). But, nevertheless, it is a critical part of my life that I can no longer deny. To pretend it didn’t exist, or to deny that fantasy and online communities appeal to me, is to repress a creative, nerdy part of my heart that helps form my unique drumbeat. I also had a Xanga. And a LiveJournal. And a Deviant Art page. Online communities have dappled my life and oftentimes enriched it.
True, maybe this is because I wasn’t participating fully in the beauty that real life lived offers. And I didn’t have enriching real-life relationships that took front and center. However, now that I can see the good in both, tempering whichever passions become too great while avoiding the inherent immoral parts… I am SO, SO excited to partake in the Renaissance Fair this weekend (okay, and watch Interview With A Vampire)! Yes, I have a costume and yes it has a bodice. Judge on, common people! :: Skips off with a flip of her festive, glittery golden feather boa trailing off of her neck. ::
Have you ever been stopped in your tracks while realizing that your actions do not convey the values you profess? It’s a very unsettling feeling. For me, I try my hardest to refute the accusation because I simply cannot (will not) acknowledge that my character is flawed. This is such a destructive pattern. If the results you have been consistently getting throughout life — strife, arguments, superficiality, rejection, stress, etc. — are not in line with your desires — peace, happiness, wisdom. profound friendship, respect, etc. — it is time to take an honest look at what your role in these situations might be.
I was stopped dead in my tracks last night during a conversation with my husband. Once again we had found ourselves in a similar pattern, neither of us fully getting what we needed and becoming overwhelmingly frustrated about it. Literally, the conversation came to a screeching halt as I closed my eyes and prayed. I prayed for words, for clarity of thought, for a way out. And then I went to go lay our son down, giving us both a break from the intensity of the conversation and some time to reflect.
What we both desire, I daresay the goal of any profound relationship, especially marriage, is a safe respite from the world; a person to whom you can turn, during utter exasperation from the world’s chaos, to find truth, relief and peace. I needed to be able to acknowledge and reflect upon whatever I was doing — and this is the important part: whatever I am doing, not whatever he is doing — to perpetuate unwanted results.
My son was still being wide-awake, so as I waited for him to simmer down, I pulled random a book off of my bookshelf:
My favorite passage from this book is when Pope Francis expounds upon each line from the lyrical passage about love by Saint Paul about love — 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. This Bible passage is God’s exact directions on how to love well. And the fruit of loving well is what we all long for: happiness, fulfillment, peace, joy. But loving well isn’t innate. In fact, our human nature often leads us to self-centeredness, the opposite of true love! His words came in perfect timing as my heart was ready to receive them — and I would highly, HIGHLY recommend that you read Paragraphs 90-119 from Amoris Laetitia for yourself. You can read it here for free.
Here was my biggest take away, the thing that brought me running into my husband’s arms with deep contrition:
THAT is love. Letting my husband — and anyone else — be exactly who they are, especially when it’s the least convenient for me. Even though we are all flawed, and it’s particularly easy to want to fix the (particularly irritating) flaws of those around us, the relationship and the dignity of the person you are dealing with must always, always come first. If they don’t feel truly loved or respected by you it is an asinine assumption that they will take any advice you have to offer them anyway, which is a waste of both your and their time and energy. That was my fatal flaw while trying to tell me husband what I needed (me, me, me).
You can gently teach people what you want from them, or how you wanted to be treated by them, by modeling it. You’ve probably heard “actions speak louder than words”, or “talk is cheap”, or “preach the Gospel at all times; if necessary, use words.” I had heard these things but never actually applied them to my life. I would constantly, stupidly, fall in the same trap of using assertive language peppered with suggestions or even admonishments. And every time I would leave these conversations with a bad taste in my mouth, like the person I spoke to didn’t enjoy our conversation or like I had won a Pyrrhic victory. It didn’t feel like the happy labor of planting seeds. Because I wasn’t. What I was doing was trying to steal their free will and force them into what I thought was right for them, which ultimately assaults not only their intelligence but their dignity. The better path, I have found, is one of meekness.
The thing is, we can all agree with and profess these sort of niceties spoken by Mother Teresa and St. Francis of Assisi when we’re not in the heat of the moment. But these very things were meant to be applied precisely when it’s the hardest to apply them… when everything in you wants to lash out, or shut down, or hide, or scream. Everything about those (most natural) reactions is about you and what you think you need. It is not others-focused, or on the consequences of how those actions will make the person on the receiving end feel. And ultimately, all of those reactions are destructive. Creation, and all that is good, comes from the Creator. The Creator, by His very nature, does not destroy. If you are participating in destruction, you cannot simulateously be participating in His goodness. Even if you think you’re doing it for a noble reason.
And let us not forget: the timetable upon which people grow and change is not ours to control. We are not the convictor. Only God can restore the blind to sight. It is pure ego to think that through argument and persuasion we can forcibly pry someone’s heart and mind open. What foolishness. And yet I have fallen into this trap so many times. What might actually lead them there is the love you can give to them that they may not yet have experienced. You know they know hatred, condescension, criticism, etc. You have the golden opportunity to show them harmony, empathy, and hope. Wow!
I am not saying to grin and bear every offense from every person. We are also called to prudence and discernment; are have the right to defend our own dignity. You, by your inherent nature, not by any merit or status or beauty or anything worldly, have profound value. You are worthy of honor and respect. So when someone has crossed that line — like in my last post where I was dealing with someone who laughed derisively at me, or used profanity, and spoke accusations and untruths into my heart — that is a time to step away from that conversation and probably away from that relationship, at least until safe boundaries are established and/or respected. But in the case of a person that earnestly attempts to consistently love you well, is not doing harm but just not living up to what you expect of them… that is a time for selfless abandon. That is a time for true love.
It is not the easy road, my friends. Many tears are shed as God refines all of the ugliness that is within me. But I’d rather suffer with Him, trusting in this transformative process, than stay the way I am, getting the same results that leave me perpetually unhappy. Truly, His peace is other worldly. His way IS the way. If you ask for guidance, He will guide you. And without His guidance you will stay lost.
You might be asking, what about all the times you selflessly laid yourself out there just to be trodden upon? The time you apologized and it got you no where? The humiliation you experienced when you exposed your vulnerabilities just to betrayed or hurt or mocked? I give you these words of consolation:
You live for an audience of One. If you strive to live and love the best that you possibly can to please God, you cannot fail. Your successes might not look like the world’s traditional definition of success… they might be subtle victories of the heart. Those are the victories that come with a trophy of true happiness and sustaining peace.
No one did it perfectly except God-made-man himself, therefore do not to despair when you fail! But do make honest reparations where reparations are due. When I was gently reminded about true love and patience in that book last night, I knew immediately that I had wronged my husband (and a few other people! Oh the shame!), and knew immediately that I had to — tail between my legs — make it right. It was in the power of my husband’s will to reject me. He could have said he didn’t forgive me. That would’ve hurt me to the core! But you cannot control the reactions of others. You can only listen to your conscience (mine is in the process of being formed, so if you, neither, got that as a child, come join the bandwagon!) and do what’s right, even when it hurts or it’s unfair and even when it’s scary or lonely.
For any of you secularists, the Christian verbiage I use might make you roll your eyes, but there really isn’t another way to talk about it without sounding hokey, so just bear with me. The great part about relying upon Jesus is that I know any hurt or injustice I am feeling, He has suffered through first. He was a real, living person. Not a fairy tale. Not a fiction character. A historical figure who suffered deep injustices, persecution, selflessness and rejection. He was murdered by the very people He wanted to be most loved by, the people He most wanted to teach and lead to happiness. I can apologize to someone, even in the face of potential rejection or derision, because He was rejected first. The Truth supports me. I did what I could do, and let the other person have their own free will, with which they can do irreparable harm to my heart. But I do it fearlessly because they cannot kill the supernatural love that I have within me. It will be painful, but I will survive it and most likely be all the better for it. He knows how to sit with me during these trials because he knows them better than anyone. His presence is true consolation. No human on earth could offer me the same comfort.
Lastly, I will leave you with a fantastic quote by one of my most favorite thinkers of all time, G.K. Chesterton. I rely on these amazing people of antiquity who have fought the good battle because they too whisper “you’re not alone. You can do this. You’re right, it’s not easy. But it’s also not wrong.”:
I am a novice at many things. Lest I have lead anyone to believe that I know exactly what I’m doing, I should make it clear that I am attempting this whole “life” thing as if seeing through new eyes. It takes courage, humility, resilience and resolve. Sometimes I do things poorly and I learn from my mistakes. But the important thing is that I keep going and keep close to God along the way.
In fact, I can’t help but relate to my one year old son as he is learning to walk. Once he got the mechanics down, it was more about faith, confidence, and getting up after falling down than learning perfect technique. That is how I, too, feel while learning the art of tact, self-control and handling emotions.
Yesterday was a difficult day. It didn’t start out that way, but after a perturbing phone call it became difficult.
When you’ve taken medication for 10+ years, you forget how powerful emotions can be, and the effects they can have on your physiology. You have to re-learn how to negotiate the troubled waters without running away from them. What happened was apparently so upsetting to me that (without my permission, I might add) my flight or flight response kicked in. After being hung up on, I broke out in a cold sweat, my breath was shallow, and I felt sick. These are symptoms of a deeper issue, in a response to fear. I knew I needed to get my body back to homeostasis and peace.
When you’re going through a panic attack — I didn’t even realize that’s what it was at first — you have little control over how the physical symptoms manifest. No one wants to allow it to happen. It’s uncomfortable. It’s scary. It’s maybe even embarrassing. An earlier version of me would’ve done anything to escape feeling this way, from numbing the physical discomfort to compartmentalizing, avoiding or repressing the emotions and thoughts that were causing the physical symptoms. But yesterday I faced it head on. And it is understandably the road less traveled, as it took me the better half of my day.
Plus it was simply exhausting. As I was able to control my mind, slowing my heart rate and my breathing, the emotional and mental fallout began. And I still had responsibilities to tend to — remember, I own two businesses and am the mother of a one year old! — so moping around and licking my wounds just wasn’t a possibility. Although I did miss my exit while driving because I was so lost in thought.
I read in a parenting book recently that asking ‘why’ tends to further complicate things for a child when they are experiencing strong emotions because on top of dealing with the emotions, they are now being asked to pinpoint the cause of them — which can be really hard to figure out! I found that to be true. The more I racked my brain for answers, the more I felt confused, unsure of myself and lost.
I wanted to document in this post what I ended up doing to cope with the situation. I didn’t just want to “feel better”. I truly wanted to suss out right from wrong and feel firmly convicted about the decisions I made, and how I could handle these situations going forward. This is also about being a person worthy of imitation: how will I teach my son to interact with less-than-savory people, or how to know when to humbly acknowledge that he is in the wrong or when he should be unshakingly firm in his convictions? By living it. By figuring it out.
I discussed the situation with three or four people I know and trust– whose logic isn’t faulty, whose faith is firm, who are reasonable and who know me well. I knew I could rely on their advice (and as a sanguine temperament, talking these things out gives me a huge amount of relief. This is also one of the best ways for me to form my thoughts).
I cried. I experienced the emotions. And it was hard, and they hurt. But reality is what it is. Shying away from them won’t change the reality.
I consulted my dictionary and a few books to help me better articulate what I was experiencing. I needed to know what exactly triggered this reaction — derision, profanity, inconsideration, disrespect, etc. — to know how to protect myself from it in the future. I love my Merrium-Webster dictionary app because it lets me favorite words (which is fun to look back through in hindsight to see what I was working through as I learned and grew along the journey).
Prayer. So much prayer. Prayer for humility, prayer for guidance, prayer for clarity. Intercessory prayer from my favorite saints. Intercessory prayer from friends, family and even a local Catholic Women’s Facebook group! I had to give an application to a friend who stopped by the store. She was on a phone all but mouthed “Is everything okay?” When I said “Just pray for me!” she put down her phone, wrapped her arms around me and reminded me that when we are in the darkest valleys, we are only visiting. As she prayed I cried and was so grateful for her love. What courage, what selflessness!
G.K. Chesterton once said “”The human brain is a machine for coming to conclusions; if it cannot come to conclusions it is rusty.” I must need some WD40 in my noggin because the self-questioning was the most grueling part. What was my responsibility? What was theirs? What is judgement versus knowing by inference? What does forgiveness look like? What do boundaries look like? How do I move forward from here? Exhausting. There is a time to solve problems, but then there is a time to acknowledge that you just don’t have the required tools or resources to understand the complexities of life at the moment. And that’s okay. Learning to submit and sit comfortably amidst the unknown is a new lesson for me. I don’t need to know everything. It was revelatory.
Oils. A friend of mine and I just happened to cross paths yesterday so I was able to use some of her Feeling Kit oils — Forgiveness, Present Time, Release, Inner Child. Afterward my brain kind of felt funny. All of the questions stopped and I felt wholly submerged in the emotional turmoil but removed from it instead of being controlled by it. Still wasn’t the most comfortable state that I’d prefer to be in.
Adoration. I had my husband accompany me to adoration at St. John’s Chapel of Peace. More crying.
I went to a friend’s graduation party and just set it all aside. It was marvelous. This was an Oklahoma-style BBQ gathering where everyone brings a lawn chair and slurps watermelon juice down their shirts. I played t-ball with my son and husband. We all danced. These are people who aren’t contrived, controlled by vanity or pomp. They don’t seek out controversy and they aren’t out to prove anything. It was just freeing and beautiful. Wholly refreshing.
Good sleep. My husband so lovingly put (more) oils on me and rubbed the tenseness out of my muscles. I woke up without the burdensome rain cloud of yesterday and enjoyed a fantastic local parade where I danced on a float with my son while wearing a rose dress. My soul was jubilant!
Give the offenders to God, shake the dust and carry on. Squash any remaining negative sentiments with prayer.
Without a firm foothold of knowing who I am, I could believe anything someone might suggest about me. I actually got out a yellow notepad and wrote all of the accusations down, just to make sure if any of it was true that I could look at my vices at face value and work on them. But ultimately there is a loving way to communicate with someone you care about. There is a modicum of respect and tact that convey love. And there is nothing wrong for standing up for your values and setting boundaries for what you will and will not tolerate. Sometimes people will resent those constraints, but that’s not ultimately your problem.
Most people don’t like to be disliked or misunderstood, and therefore we crumble under the pressure of our bullies… which, afterward, makes us feel ashamed for our cowardice and lack of integrity. I am done with that. Sometimes you need to take a stand… to fearlessly and unshakingly seize your voice of authority while defending what is right and decrying what is wrong. What you hold as valuable is worth not only respect, which the people who care about you will give you, but protection.
Unity is indeed beautiful, but not when it’s a foolish, pyrrhic act of ingenuity.
Recently I have solicited the advice of a few friends about the ethics of navigating both discipleship and relationship marketing with grace. In each, I have determined, I must create boundaries and heart lines lest I recklessly, albeit unintentionally, destroy relationships in the pursuit of my goals of empowering others and setting them free.
I don’t believe anyone intentionally sets out to be the seedy person who consciously peddles something unethically, or who lacks integrity in their message, or who doesn’t care about the goals of the people they’re attempting to persuade. Although there are people of ill will, I do not believe most network marketers or disciples of Christ mean to be self-centered or destructive.
I do believe that people, who in their zeal to share their passion with others about what they’ve discovered to be life-changing, alienate those who have different beliefs or seemingly closed minds.
Lest you wonder why I’m grouping together network marketing and discipleship, I truly have found much overlap between educating people about essential oils and educating people about true happiness in Jesus Christ.
Therefore, the finger I’m shaking in the shame-shame manner is actually directed at myself. I recently read, “eccentricities can be charming if accompanied by competence, but are pretentious and annoying when they precede it.”
As I am a rather eccentric person with strong convictions, I appreciate the grace and patience extended to me by true friends as I gain competence. Those that know me know I like to make a decision, jump in with both feet, and adjust as necessary as new information is presented. I believe in right and wrong, and will always (sometimes ferociously) defend what I believe is right. I am very direct and I don’t apologize for what I believe in.
This propensity, when unchecked, ends up acting as social sandpaper — you know, the pretentious and annoying part. I think I sometimes accidentally convey that if someone differs in opinion from me that we can’t get along, that I don’t respect them, or worse, that I think I’m better than them.
Originally as I was writing this post, I followed my last thought with “Even if that is not how I see myself, if that’s the message people are picking up then it’s me who is erring in some way.” But upon reflection I think I disagree. As much as I enjoy being an inclusive, harmonious force of good, there are people out there who have belief systems that don’t merit my respect, “a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.” by definition.
If you are trying to convince me and others about a harmful agenda that, in its nature, is not “good or valuable”, I cannot respect or go along with what you are saying. I also have a hard time respecting those who obstinately refuse to stretch their boundaries, to learn and grow, as if what they know in their limited knowledge is the end all be all. I find it egotistical and delusional. And I especially have a hard time respecting anyone who judges a sojourner as ‘weird’ or ‘uncool’ or as a blemish on their social standing. These are people who don’t allow the eccentric room to expand. I don’t appreciate the feeling of intellectual or creative claustrophobia.
Don’t get me wrong. When I am confronted with someone who tells me I am “anti-medicine”, or “hateful” or any other attribute that I most definitely do not want to be perceived as, it gives me pause to reflect. What methods of communication am I employing that aren’t being well-received? What language have I used? Was there a more tactful way to say that? Did I really need to share that — what was my goal? But another part of me asks whose responsibility is it — am I responsible for how people encounter me? How much of that is in my control? What would I have to sacrifice to gain their approval?
When I began my Mama B vlog one of my greater fears was rejection… that people wouldn’t like what I had to say, that I would be misperceived, that I would lose the respect of my peers and that they’d — gasp! — delete me from Facebook, etc. I took the leap, however, 1) because I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to do so and 2) because no one benefits from my fear when it keeps me from sharing Truth. I have always, from a young age, been in positions of leadership. When I abandon myself to fear of rejection, I don’t lead well.
That, and I can’t control people’s ignorance. Either they will verify their assumptions, or they won’t.
However, when the Facebook deletions came along it still stung. I didn’t like being gossiped about. I didn’t like not having the opportunity to make it right. All of this just really made me squirm. It was the proverbial grit to my pearl.
For the ones who were willing to bat ideas back and forth with me both in private messages and public forum, I was so grateful. I learned a lot about respect, constructive dialogue and boundaries. I gleaned a different perspective of myself. I’m still not really sure how to reconcile the uncomfortable parts, like “if you’re pro-this, then you’re anti-that”. Well, yes. I can’t be both on both teams and I won’t try. If there’s a war between good and evil, right and wrong, truth and lies, I want there to be zero equivocation about which team I’m on. That plight seems to hurts some people’s feelings.
I believe humans are multidimensional, resilient and made for higher thinking. I think deleting someone from Facebook is a cop out. I imagine the great Greek thinkers, gathered to discuss ideas, when suddenly one idea presented rubs a person the wrong way and in turn he says “Oh yeah?! Well… I delete you from Facebook!” And storms off. Developing our minds is not as tidy or cut and dry as we’d sometimes like it to be. It requires community, a give and take. Backing out from the discourse entirely is cowardice, in my opinion.
“Although sometimes backing out is also self-preservation,” the little voice in my head protests, “there is a time and a place for everything.”
(For the record, I’m about as anti-medicine as is one of my great heroes, Dr. William Osler.)
I have an excellent example of emotional release in action, so I thought I’d share to give anyone reading some insight as to how it can manifest.
Recently I had been scanning for Aroma Life — a blend of Cypress, Marjoram, Helichrysum and Ylang Ylang — which I don’t yet have in my oil cabinet. Using the only similar oils I do have, I’ve tried to recreate the effects of Aroma Life with what I have on hand: Joy — a blend containing Ylang Ylang — and Marjoram. Inhaling them, wearing them topically on my wrists and neck, etc.
I’ve also been scanning for Lime. So I’ve been making FANTASTIC cherry-limeade dupes using Knudsen’s juice, purified water and 3 drops of lime. Delicious.
And lastly I’ve been scanning for Idaho Blue Spruce. I love the smell of this oil, so I put a few drops in my hands, rub them together and inhale deeply. I’ve also been applying it to my wrists.
But even after a few days of this routine I kept scanning for these three oils. I knew what this meant. Once before I kept having a repeat oil on my scan until I used it on specific reflex points for emotional release. And then I didn’t scan for it any more.
I’m talking about Transformation, by the way. I had diffused it, anointed my forehead with it, put it on my body for a couple months, but I kept scanning for it. Finally, after I had been on an emotional release kick during an intense detox, I was in the middle of a conversation with my husband about being on the verge of giving all this oily stuff up when my right hand began to hurt. It was a specific point in the middle of my palm that I could point to. I had noticed it recently but didn’t think much of it. This time I decided that it couldn’t hurt to look at the alarm points in Dr. Carol Mein’s emotional release workbook, which I had next to me on the couch. The spot that was throbbing was “ego”.
That didn’t mean anything to me. Ego? Huh? So I flip to another page, look at ego. The emotion attached to it is “commitment”, and the oil to use is “Transformation”. I was stunned. I was literally mid-conversation, bawling my eyes out about that very topic. And as soon as I worked on the alarm point with the oil, resolved to commit myself to the things that work and guide me to the goals in my life, my hand stopped hurting AND I stopped scanning for Transformation. I kid you not.
Anyway, I digress.
I had been told by another oily friend that Idaho Blue Spruce was a particularly powerful essential oil to use for handling toxic emotions involving trauma. Just do a Google Image search on the oil to see some of the graphics other users have made. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
The problem is that it’s not in Dr. Mein’s emotional release workbook. So there is no specific emotion attributed to it and therefore no affirmation to resolve whatever the IBS is working on. The best I could find was to apply it to the center of my forehead near the hairline and on the top of my foot underneath my big toe and second toe. And then just pray and let its super megahertz powers work their magic.
As I was applying the IBS, my right hip began to hurt while I was bent over. Like right on the bone. So, what the heck, I go ahead and look that up to. The emotion is “rigidity”. The opposite side of “rigidity” is “amusement” and the way out (that you say aloud) is “it’s a cosmic game”. The alarm point I was feeling in my hip, where you apply to oil (peppermint) was “heavy metals”. I literally laughed as I applied it and let rigidity go. As I was heavily medicated with psychotropics such as Lithium — and ultimately suffered a medication-induced seizure because of improper diagnosis and overmedication — this seemed appropriate and necessary.
By the way, lest you think I am some gullible weirdo with zero intellectual capacity, your assumption would be incorrect. Well, I most certainly am a weirdo, but only in the best ways — that is I live my life authentically and unabashedly. I wish I didn’t care about your opinion but that’s a lie. It scares me to be thought of as anything less than what I am, or to have my intentions misconstrued, even by strangers in a faceless audience. I just want to reach through the screen and tell everyone reading this “YOU MUST BELIEVE ME! THIS IS NOTHING SHORT OF MIRACULOUS!”. But alas, you will have to believe what you want at the right time.
The alarm point for Lime is the lung, and it dealt with being unmotivated, something I was most certainly ready to let go of. I said aloud the night before that I have found my true calling and passion in life: to be of service to everyone around me in any way I can, and to follow the way of Christ. Period. Everything else either falls in line with that, or it doesn’t.
It was the emotion connected to Aroma Life that really hit home: aloneness. The alarm point is the heart protector. Sometimes, when life literally takes me aback, or a friend is telling a heart-wrenching story, I naturally place my open hand over my chest, right where the alarm points for the heart protector is. Your physical heart and all of the symbolism attributed to hearts (think Valentine’s Day, love, romance, vulnerability) and the spirituality attributed to hearts (look up Sacred Heart) are not as disconnected as you would think. Matthew 15:18 reminds us “the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart.”
So, I worked on all of those points last night, prayed about them and then went to sleep.
Today I woke up in a funk. One of those take-it-easy kind of days, where I let Jackson nurse for his entire nap while we snuggled on the couch and I read. I had planned on a playdate with a good girlfriend who I haven’t seen in a few months, which I thought about canceling but I knew I should keep my word. We met through Bible study and have a lot of the same interests (and dietary restrictions — meaning she made sugarless, gluten-free cookies for me that I could eat!!! Good thing I went, right?!). She was with me at the beginning of this transformational process and wanted to know how the story has unfurled.
At some point she mentioned navigating a relationship with someone who she can’t fully trust, who is manipulative and self-centered, and how difficult that has been for her because she’s never been in this situation before. I was floored. “Wait. You mean.. you haven’t encountered these kinds of relationships? Never before? In your whole life?”
They were the only types of relationships I had ever known amongst friends and family until just recently. Toxic, hurtful and/or unstable relationships. Within minutes my heart was showing it’s colors through my words, and I was telling her random bits about my past that I hadn’t thought about in a long time. Very personal, very hurtful situations that if I watched a stranger undergo in a movie, I would shed tears over. I said it all in a quite removed fashion, however, very matter of factly. There were no tears shed. I’ve become good at distancing myself from the emotional reality of my story, and the story itself. Compartmentalizing has been my survival.
But as I pondered them in my heart on the drive home, this cloud descended upon me. I tried to focus on my work, on upcoming events, burying myself in the tech world of Facebook, but it wasn’t fulfilling. Something was amiss.
That evening, over dinner, I spilled my heart out to my husband who patiently listened as I cried into my mashed potatoes and roast chicken. I would jump from scene to scene from my life, mostly reciting times of intense betrayal and rejection. Some lamentations were generalities, some memories of elementary school, some from teenage years. Some of it was cliche (which is a fear of mine) but all of it was valid. I cried for the little girl who didn’t deserve any of it. I cried for my tender heart who, in my nature, only wanted to love and be loved, and was met with cruelty. I cried for who I might have been, all of the painful, self-destructive decisions I made that could’ve been avoided, if I had someone, especially a father, who would have reaffirmed my worth to me every day. Or if I would’ve been taught from day one that my self-worth is not rooted in my physical beauty, my accomplishments, perfectionism, school grades, social status achieve or any other worldly ideal, but in the simple fact that I am fearfully and wonderfully created by the King of Kings who calls me His beloved. How different it all could have been if I had known God from the get-go.
My heart broke so early on in my life that I didn’t even recognize it as heartbreak until tonight.
Now was not the time to say “but everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for my hardships”. My intellectual brain knows that. Now is also not the time to nitpick my own responsiblity in these situations, or how they could have been avoided, or how people across the world over have it worse, or to just get over it. This wasn’t the time for my intellectual brain to take center stage. Now was the time to allow my limbic system a safe space to breathe, to release, to feel deep pity for the injustices I suffered as a child, teenager and young woman… and for how things should’ve been, could’ve been if heaven were on earth. But alas, this is the world and it is sadly fallen. And tears are most definitely appropriate for that reality.
Almost immediately I felt relief. My shoulders dropped. I could smile. I took a few big sighs. I finished my mashed potatoes and ate some greek yogurt with frozen blueberries to help me overcome a craving for ice cream (any time I experience emotional distress I crave ice cream. Can someone explain it to me??). I moved on.
Might there be more still to release? Probably. More and more will come to the surface. I have many years of trauma to work through. I might scan for Idaho Blue Spruce and Aroma Life for months! Who knows?!
Update: today, the morning after writing this blog post, I woke up feeling refreshed and revived, wanting to pray, listen to music and dance. I love these mornings. My heart is filled with such gratitude!
This is what I want for everyone. The way there might seem weird or unconventional. But the fact of the matter it works — the oils, the alarm points, the way through Jesus Christ. It all works. How badly would you seek freedom from pain? To what lengths would you go? To the depths of substance abuse or self-harm? Promiscuity? Suicide? Because I tried that end of the spectrum. There is nothing but death and destruction there. There is relief. I have found it. Now I will spread it to the ends of the earth, no matter what it takes. Truth is truth, friends. And these are truly life or death matters.
I’ll admit, I feel a little ashamed about the thoughts I let loose a few days ago. Not because they happened, but why they happened.
I am currently helping ease my husband’s poison ivy outbreak using essential oils. What it has taught me is that consistency is key. Although these are powerful substances, reapplication up to four times a day has been necessary to see and feel improvement.
When I wrote my last follow up, I wasn’t practicing what I preached. I wasn’t doing what I knew I needed to do to keep myself elevated, even though I was writing about it. I had been slacking on abstaining from sugar since Easter; I wasn’t applying my oils regularly; and I was in the throes of PMS, something that I’m still becoming aware of as the symptoms change each month and even at a year post-partum I am still getting to know my ever-changing body.
This month I was hit hard with hunger, lethargy, irritability, and feeling down. I like to be a motivated, go-get-um kind of person, so when I feel defeated or stuck, everything else becomes a little darker. Instead of responding proactively, I took no action. In fact, I let fear creep in. I wondered if this was the return of depression — all I wanted to do was sleep and eat! — and I started to feel like a failure.
Instead of countering it how I mentioned in my last post, in ways I know concretely work to alleviate these burdens, I gave into despair and complacency. You know when you should do something but you don’t.. and you know what the outcome will be but you (irrationally and delusionally) say to yourself “well, maybe it won’t be like that”, but it always is? Yeah. That was me, on the merry-go-round of insanity.
When I realized this I redoubled my efforts to be proactive — not to write about it, but to do it. I packed up the honey nut bars I made that, when sitting on the counter I was tempted to pick at all day in my hungry state (I justified making them because it’s one of Kelly Brogan’s recipes and relatively healthy… but the honest truth is honey still wreaks havoc in me as much as cane sugar does. I know. Sad.). I reached out to my upline for Mineral Essence, which she had on hand, because I had been scanning for it on the iTovi (read what I’m talking about here). I redoubled my efforts to learn about what successful oily people, and certain saints do to up my inspiration which resolidified my faith in the amazing collection of knowledge, armor and arsenal I have built over the past few months. I had even stopped my daily prayer! That’s where it really takes a toll. Then I listened to my intuition about which oils I should be using and used them.
For the past two days, I am happy to say, I have been chipper, optimistic, energized and back to go-gettin-em!
I want to pause and say a word of thanks. The gratitude in my heart is sometimes so overwhelming no words can convey the sweeping emotion behind it. If it weren’t for people like Jan Collins, Mollie Moses, Laura Hopkins, and Debra Raybern — my upline Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Royal Crown Diamond respectively — and those cross lines who are so generous that they open their knowledge to “team Young Living” instead of hoarding it for their downline alone — I’m talking about you, Sara Wallace, Kari Friedman, Kari Rae, Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton — I wouldn’t have any of this information to empower myself with. They have all held my hands and showed me the ropes. The resources God has laid at my feet have been truly astonishing and he’s done so in the most unsuspecting ways.
I was telling my husband last night that as I read more about my religion and more about Essential Oil, and the respective lifestyles of each, the more they validate one another. Those people I just mentioned above walk the talk of each and are liable to the misunderstanding and ignorance of onlookers for both their vocations in faith and in their line of work. I am here to tell you that God is working within these people and within these products. It is a beautiful, edifying dance that has been so validating, so encouraging, that my heart just sings. And yes, at times it too is hard for me to believe it all. But I must — and must share about it — because I have seen and experienced it all first hand. You can have this too.
So. Back to solutions. One of the greatest things these oils have offered me is phytoestrogens. My entire life I have been testosterone-dominant. I could never seem to tap into the feminine energy that came to other women so effortlessly. As I have learned more about true, internal woman strength through my religion, I have yearned to transform into the woman I am called to be.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” -Matthew 7:7
(Interesting side note… as I looked up that Bible passage, my phone slipped and clicked the arrow backward, to the passage before it:
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” -Mt. 7:6
It leads me to pause and reflect about how much I really should share with you all regarding my walk, which truly has been sacred. Nothing is coincidental!)
Ever since I began using the EO blends Lady Sclareol and Joy I have just felt… ladylike. I have been drawn closer to the things that appeal to the feminine mystique inside of me: daydreaming about future babies and writing their names down, decorating the house, playing hostess, tending to my husband, managing my home well, and, to put this politely, embrace my prowling tigress. 🐯
A friend sent me this saying her Venezuelan grandmother could have written it. Even a couple months ago I would’ve been repulsed at these tips, as if women were subservient and bent to the beckon of their men. Today I am grateful for these tips and I employ them in my house. Why? Because it takes a strong woman to be a servant. Because I love my husband and I want peace for him. Because the state of our home really matters to him. And because he would suffer silently, but never say a word about what he needed — a wife to tend to him — because he wouldn’t want to burden me. Okay, okay there might be a pride issue hiding in there too.
I’ve always wanted to be this woman. Fear kept me away from my goals as I sneered at others who recognized what they truly wanted and went for it. Never again!
A few books I would recommend that snapped me back into my daily routine:
Gentle Babies by Debra Reybern
Conquering Toxic Emotions by Rhonda Favano
My Life With The Saints by James Martin
What are your reminders that keep you walking the good path?
I have said before that I do my best to follow the breadcrumb trail God leaves for me. I come to him daily — sometimes hourly — for my daily bread, and He has not led me astray yet.
As I yearned for deeper understanding, and as He’s readied me to receive it, the doors have been opened effortlessly. I no longer feel like I’m clawing to get what I desire. When what I desire is aligned with His will, who He has called me to be and what He has called me to do, it is like the universe opens up and delivers to me the right people, circumstances, invitations and resources. It has been nothing short of miraculous to witness.
I have shared with you about my iTovi scans before. I marveled over the accuracy at which the results conveyed my lifestyle choices, emotions, thoughts, physical needs. As I used the products it suggested I was even more awestruck at the results I was seeing because they were truly tailored to the frequencies my body was emitting. It was like the ‘bespoke fit’ I’ve mentioned that was the catalyst for this blog!
In fact, I was so impressed that I purchased my own iTovi, not to build my YL business but for personal use on myself, friends and family. Since it has arrived I have witnessed some truly amazing results when working with people on their scans.
Most people want to debunk why they’re scanning for what. And I enjoy that aspect too. The more awareness we can cultivate, the more education we can seek, the more growth we can sustain. So I wanted to give you all a peek at three scans and play a “why the products correspond with the person scanning” game — this is NOT medical diagnostics, just some deductive reasoning done with the friends and family requesting scans!
This is a scan of a 21-year-old male. His work schedule fluctuates but tends to include night shifts so his sleep patterns are off. His diet is mainly composed of fast food and soda. He spends the majority of his waking hours, when not at work, secluded, playing video games, and he has mysterious open sores on his legs and other uncomfortable areas. He has a very sweet but nervous demeanor, a sheepish smile and deep circles under his eyes. He also struggles with blemishes.
It is always a little saddening when I see SARA come up in the results, especially when it could resolve the most biopoints. SARA stands for “Sexual Abuse Ritual Abuse”, and was created with the specific intention of clearing toxic emotions surrounding abuse. This friend is carrying around so much extra weight with whatever emotional traumas he has encountered that it is all he can do to function. When all of your energy is sucked up by something like that, you have little reserves left over to truly thrive — to pursue your dreams, or creative endeavors or friendships. I can speak about this competently because I too have lived it. By scanning for SARA, iTovi is telling me that if we worked on emotional release using that essential oil blend we could potentially resolve 53 biopoints — energy blockades — that would be finally be freed up.
The result for Elemi wasn’t too surprising because of the skin difficulties he’s been having. Elemi is traditionally used for supporting healthy skin function, especially in areas that are difficult and not responding to other oils. It is in the same family as Frankincense and historically was used as an ingredient in ointments for hundreds of years.
Many of my recent scans have been popping up with both Elemi, Ledum and some sort of EO or product related to rest — like Valerian, RutaVala or SleepEssence. Ledum is very supportive of the lymphatic and endocrine system. Diet, lifestyle and discomfort all point to a lot of built up toxins and imbalanced hormones which you can see manifest in a myriad of ways but not uncommonly in acne, problems with weight management, sluggishness, brain fog. To top it all off, many lifestyles today aren’t restful, and don’t allow for the time it takes to heal and rejuvenate the body. We’re overtaxing our bodies and then surprised when they start to protest!
Cypress is wonderfully supportive of the circulatory system. You should do some research about the benefits of this one.
Lastly I thought it was so sweet that he scanned for Valor II. This young man is at the prime of his life! His biopoints are literally requesting aide in what his heart longs for — what every 21-year-old male could use: confidence, courage, self-empowerment, self-esteem, inspiration, balance.
This scan is from a bubbly, intelligent 15-year-old girl who plays music in an orchestra. She buries herself in her phone often, but it takes little to coerce her to be social. She makes off remarks about things being lame but hopes you don’t agree with her. Her diet is high in sugar and junk food, including pop.
Why is Dragon Time so significant? Because it was blended for her! Do a google image search for Dragon Time essential oil and you tell me what woman wouldn’t want to give their 15-year-old selves a bottle. Hint: the name of the blend is a reference to particular times of the month women turn into dragons. Not only teens benefit, of course. I love Clary Sage, Fennel, Marjoram and Jasmine as a postpartum mama.
Not only is there already Marjoram in Dragon Time, but she’s scanning for it separately as well. That’s some major Marjoram! Excellent for endocrine support, the Romans called Marjoram “the happy herb”. Remember, your endocrine system is responsible for monthly cycles as well.
How sweet that she’s scanning for Friends. If you haven’t heard of the Oola wheel yet, today is your lucky day. We won’t go into in depth here, but it’s all about balance. The Infused 7 kit of “oola”-enhancing blends help support whatever area in your life — Family, Faith, Friends, Field, Fitness, Finance, and Fun — needs it most. Of course a 15-year-old girl would scan for Friends!
The next three oils are toxin-battling warriors. I use Cistus on my lower back to support my urinary system while drinking lots and lots of water. Spearmint and Melrose work on behalf of the lymphatic system.
Lastly, Relieve It is great for lower back discomfort. Hmm, when, as a woman do I feel lower back discomfort? It’s also a great blend post-workout.
This scan is so feminine and age-appropriate. I love it.
This is a scan from a friend in her sixties whose mother sadly just passed away. This is a prime example of what Rhonda Favano exemplifies in her book “Conquering Toxic Emotions“, where emotional distress is undeniably linked to our physiological responses.
The other two scans we looked at predominately showed oils that support specific body system functioning — and this one does too, as you see the Elemi and Ledum once again. Most even more important for this friend is an emotionally supportive oil: Forgiveness. Like SARA, the blend Forgiveness was made to support healthy emotional release. The singles list in this blend are staggering — rose, Angelica, melissa, sandalwood, bergamot… do some research of your own about the individual oils that make up Forgiveness. It’s truly a special, and powerful blend.
My friend then scans for two supplements made by Young Living. Oh, you thought we only had essential oils?! YL is a lifestyle, friends. We want everything back in harmony. Many of the supplements do have essential oils within them. CortiStop is particularly supportive of the glandular systems in women. What do our bodies produce lots of when we’re under stress? Cortisol. CortiStop. Hmmmm.
PD 80/20 — pregnenolone and DHEA, two substances that decline naturally as you age. Look em up, especially you women readers.
If you haven’t been following my blog at all, you’re probably thoroughly confused. Scan? iTovi? Oils? Huh?
Hopefully you’re also intrigued. Curiosity is what got me where I am!
iTovi is a biofeedback scanner built around bioimpedence technology. Like the FitBit bracelets or any other device that gives you real time info about your body. I have synced my device with my Young Living inventory and your body responds to which product it shares a frequency with — and therefore would most likely benefit from. It’s proven, accurate and so much fun. My 11-month-old son, husband and myself hey scanned daily.
If you’re a YL member and interested in getting one of these bad boys for yourself, please consider using my link! If you’re not a YL member yet, head over to their website and use my sponsor/enroller number (3690470) to sign up.
One emotion I’ve been working on is outrage. We are called to peace and outrage is anything but peace.
In order to work on it, I needed to reflect more on what inclines me toward outrage. Injustice, maltreatment, immorality… but it wasn’t the big blocks that would unhinge me. It was when people wouldn’t listen to me or take my advice, or when what I believed would be mocked or scoffed at. I would just get furious because I knew what I was saying was true and I wanted them desperately to hear it.
Well, I’m done being desperate.
Jackson and I are working our way through the book of Matthew and I was really struck by the parable of the sower. If you aren’t familiar, look up Matthew 13:1 — the original parable — and Matthew 13:36 — the explanation of the parable to his apostles. I would especially encourage you to do so if you are a non-believer, because Jesus is talking about you.
A parable is figurative speech that demands reflection for understanding. Only those who are prepared to explore its meaning can come to know it. God gives further understanding to those who accept the revealed mystery, and for those who reject it he takes understanding away from them.
So if in your own earthly wisdom you think you’ve sussed it all out, or you have disregarded us believers as sans raison, think again. We may walk by faith but we are grounded in reason.
Another time I would succumb to outrage is when people would obstinately refuse to reflect, especially about grave decisions — the big stuff. Instead of mulling it over they have made up their minds in minutes! Or they are so comfortable in their everyday that the impending decisions can wait.
As you can tell by my blog, reflection is utterly ingrained in my nature. In all of our natures, really, if we make time for it. Look at all of the great thinkers throughout history and their accomplishments. You simply can’t achieve what you alone are called to if you aren’t taking the time to develop who you are. If you are a slave to your own schedule or what other people demand of you or to productivity or to your paycheck, you’re not living out your unique story. I just wanted to shake people and yell “you’re not just a cog in a wheel! Snap out of autopilot!”
If you are indeed created by a Creator for a specific purpose, you won’t function well without acknowledging your Creator or getting to know him and his plan. Once you acknowledge him, worship comes easy — you are so overwhelmed and ingratiated that you want to give him thanks any way that you can. It’s just a natural unfolding.
What the Bible reveals to us is that anything that irks us Christ encountered first. And he handled it with grace, charity and peace. Here in Matthew he has empowered his listeners to make a decision and he accepts their decision. There is, therefore, 4 types of listeners:
1) Those who never accept the word of the kingdom
2) Those who believe for awhile but fall away because of persecution
3) Those who believe, but in whom the word is choked out by worldly anxiety and seduction of riches
4) Those who respond to the word and produce fruit abundantly
He doesn’t then despair. He also doesn’t become outraged by the people that refuse to hear what he’s saying — and what he’s saying is truly a life or death matter! He just keeps doing what he came to earth to do: heal the sick, instruct the ignorant, love people, spread Truth. He wants people to have his peace and life in abundance, but if they refuse to hear, repent and change that is not his burden.
I become frustrated because I was once one of the very people I’m talking about! A complete nonbeliever who decried the Bible as “one of the greatest fiction books of all time”. I was angry. I was ignorant. And anyone trying to teach me about Truth, their words fell upon deaf ears. I didn’t understand what shame was or how it manifested. My conscience was unformed. And I was so utterly unhappy and alone; anything but peaceful. I was in true pain, mentally, emotionally and spiritually… but I didn’t know how to articulate that. In the past few years as I have come to know Christ — who He really is and who I believe He is — everything has changed. Truly, as it is said in Matthew “to anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” It isn’t mean or retaliatory. It just is the way it is. And I have truly experienced it.
That’s why it is so important to me to try to share what I have found with other non-believers. Open your minds, let down your defenses. Us followers have nothing earthly to gain through your exploration. The original disciples believed in their convictions about the risen Christ unto death. And we’re not just talking about their martyrdom — they were mocked, beaten, and persecuted throughout their entire lives and then died painful deaths in a refusal to betray their Lord and God. That’s really saying something.
What do you believe in so strongly that you would give your entire life for? For me, that is the peace, joy and understanding I have found in Christ’s Church. I never want to live without Him again.
A really simple, easy-to-read book about who Christ is is “Made For More” by Curtis Martin. Martin helps you determine for yourself who Christ was and what exactly went down.
These questions are really worth setting aside some time to reflect upon and make a decision about. But ultimately it’s up to you to determine which of the four listeners you’ll be.