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Pro Choice & Pro Life???

Pro-Choice & Pro-Life Is it possible to be Pro-Choice and Pro-Life at the same time? I’ve been pondering this dilemma ever since I returned to the Roman Catholic Church.

For years I’ve been uncomfortable with the way most pro-lifer’s addressed abortion. For one thing it was shaming and lacked mercy. Thank you God that’s not happening as much. I feel strongly that we need to spend more time developing ways not only to help women with unplanned pregnancy but we need to find ways to promote the help that is available. I also think it’s a waste of time, energy and money fighting Roe versus Wade. It’s not going to go away and I think that’s a good thing.

Even Pope Francis said we shouldn’t be talking about abortion so much. Everyone knows what the church teaches.

Let’s stop fighting, form a united front and go to work on this challenge with a positive and loving attitude. Having said that here are more of my thoughts on the subject Pro-Choice.

Pro-choice for me is about bodily integrity which as defined by Wikipedia is the inviolability of the physical body and emphasizes the importance of personal autonomy and the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies. It considers the violation of bodily integrity as an unethical infringement, intrusive, and possibly criminal.

Another way it’s defined is: “Being able to move freely from place to place; being able to be secure against violent assault, including sexual assault … having opportunities for sexual satisfaction and for choice in matters of reproduction”

Until 1993 (that’s just 22 years ago) in all fifty states, marital rape was not criminalized. Women could not refuse sex to her husband and could not sue for sexual harassment of any kind.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 94 years ago: Women did not have the right to vote or serve on a jury in the United States. I just saw the preview of a new movie coming out in October called “Suffragette!” It’s based on a true story about women in England in the early 20th Century fighting for their rights. They are called foot soldiers of the early feminist movement. They were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality – their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives. It’s heartbreaking and inspirational. I must to see when it comes out in October.

Although we are still fighting for equal rights with men in the work place in the early days discrimination in the workplace was rampant. If women were able to get the job they wanted they were given clothing and weight requirements to adhere to and they could be fired if they broke these rules. Also they could be fired if they were pregnant. I remember when air line stewardess had to be certain height, weight and age in order to work for an airline. 1956 I was a clerk for Metropolitan Life Insurance and they forced me to leave when I was 5 month pregnant.

For many years women were not allowed in the military. But…. women served as nurses without the benefits of the GI Bill. And for many years very bright women were denied Ivy League Education. And single woman were denied credit cards.

So why do I want to support Pro-Choice? Although we have a long way to go, we have worked very hard to achieve the rights we have today. So I think no matter what a woman chooses to do with her body is between her and her God.

Stealing, killing, defrauding and misrepresenting all reflect “moral” values and we have laws that punish people who break these laws. However, there’s that whole other category of morality that can’t be legislated. We all have a different sense of ethical responsibility related to our own personal moral values and we have the right to live our lives and make choices directed by our informed conscience in these matters.

We need to have mercy on the women that choose abortion and more importantly put our mercy into action. Our work is to find creative, loving, supportive ways to educate women so they are better able to make wise choices. And…..more importantly when they don’t make wise choices or are victims of their circumstances, it’s our job to love them through the difficult situations they find themselves in. Although we do have organizations like Birthright and Planned Parenthood that provide support for women with unplanned pregnancies, most people don’t know the kind of support they offer.

Although their are several differances between Birthright and Planned Parenhood the main difference between Birthright and Planned Parenthood is that Birthright does not do abortions. However what most people don’t realize is that Planned Parenthood does a lot more for the general health and well being of women and sometimes men… than they do abortions. Three percent of their clients have abortions. Hundreds of thousand of women are helped with other health issues. Go to their web-sites, you will be amazed. Birthright is available to help women with unplanned pregnancies 24/7 with a hotline handled by trained volunteer personnel on the phone. 1-800-550-4900. They offer many services….check them out on the web at Birthright.org

I am strongly led to write about this because I have a gut feeling that if pro-choice is taken away it will spill into other areas of women’s rights and for me that’s unthinkable. Let’s stop fighting and come together to help each other. We need less anti approaches to this dilemma and more promotion for alternatives to abortion. More help for women who find themselves with unplanned pregnancies. Letting them choose no matter what.

So now the other side of my dilemma and the main reason I’m Pro-Life is because I know in my heart of hearts that when that sperm fertilizes that egg, infused with the spirit of God, it is instantly a person. Within in the first few weeks the baby’s nervous system, brain, digestive system, ears, and arms begin to form. At 21 days the baby’s heart takes shape and begins to beat. By the time the mother is in her fifth month of pregnancy, the baby’s limbs are achieving their final proportions, eyelashes and eyebrows appear and the baby has grown to about 6.5 inches,

By the sixth month the baby is about 13 inches long. Abortions in California are allowed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, which is close to six months. Tell me that’s not a human being!!! I don’t buy it.

I wonder if the women, who are considering an abortion would read this progression of growth or even better watched a movie of the progression, would think twice about going ahead and destroying this life. Especially if she knew there was support for her through the pregnancy and after.

And I feel strongly that if after being educated about the progress of the fetus and doing our best to encourage her to have her baby, she still decides she wants to have an abortion then it’s up to us to make sure she gets the counseling she needs, and believe me she will need counseling at some point in her life. I have family members who have suffered immensely from the repercussions of having had abortions. Of course at the same time I would want this women to know that there’s a lot of help available and other choices rather than abortion.

But of course before all this could happen we have a lot of work to do to making sure that there is a lot of help available. My dream is that organizations like Planned Parenthood and Birthright will one day have a dialogue and merge their resources to benefit these women with unplanned pregnancies. I pray that together they can be a source of hope and healing. That’s the kind of world I see for the future.

P.S. In August I will be trained by Birthright to counsel women with unplanned pregnancy. I’m walking the walk not just talking the talk.

Remember to feed your soul!!!

Love, Anne

 

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Posted by on July 21, 2015 in Pro Choice & Pro Life

 

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The Light and Dark of Silence

May 18, 2015

I wrote the following essay a few years ago. In a way I’m stalling because what I really want to write about next is challenging and I’m trusting that when the time is write I’ll be able to find the courage to reveal my thoughts on a very delicate subject. So until then, in order to keep my commitment to myself to write at least once a month here’s my piece for May…

Mom’s life was filled with more pain than the average person endures in a life time. Mom being number seven in a family of nine children, probably left her emotionally starved in many ways. Then her mother and father died before she reached adolescence.

She was raised by her older siblings that married her off at a very young age. Five years later she ran away with my father pregnant with me. She divorced her husband, married my father, only to be faced with fear and confusion because she was being sexually harassed by her father in law and when she did not respond favorably he threaten to kill her and her children.

Ultimately the threats became a reality. In her arms she held her blood drenched 18 mo old, baby daughter, watching her fighting for life after being critically injured, which ended in death. My grandfather who went gun crazy wounded my mother, her sister and killed a friend, as well. All of this story I written in my essay about my grandfather called Block 152 Grave 19.

The reason I’m telling this story again is because of the following thoughts I’ve had about my relationship to my mother. You see, I often wonder if these are the things Mom was thinking about as she moved into her later years?

Often when I was with her, sometimes even while watching TV, I watched her staring off into space and would ask, “What are you thinking about Mom?” and her reply was always, “Oh nothing.” Her inability to share her inner most thoughts with me kept us apart even when we were together. I loved her very much and always wanted to hear her stories. I yearned to have intimate conversations with her, but “Oh nothing,” is all I got.

But her silence was filled with words…. unspoken words that screamed at me about the pain of her life. The untold stories all haunted me and still do when I remember those times I spent with her. Silence with her was not sweet and did not feel holy. This silence for me was dark. It was cold and distant, out of reach, untouchable and stiff like the ironing board that she used to iron everything. This silence filled with unanswered questions, questions I didn’t think to ask, or maybe, on some level, I knew better than to ask, makes me sad.

Her silence went deep within her mind but it touched my heart and haunts me to this day. For years this pain came between me and who I wanted to be. For years and at times even now, there is a hangover of painful silence that is difficult to heal, as I struggle to sit and write when I don’t know what to say—knowing that to sit is to remember the silence, her silence, my silence, like a pact we made from the same place that her mind touched my heart.

My saving Grace is that I yearn to be in, and keep returning to the light of silence, that place where all is known, where truth lives and triumphs. That place where I let go and let writing happen. That place that trusts my inner knowing. That place that knows I’m already here, that I have arrived, that I am writing.

Silence in the light is radiant like a morning sun and bright as the evening moon at it’s fullest. It’s bright as the fluffy white cloud of unknowing full of hope and peace and joy. In this place the words fall off my fingers, on to the keyboard, and into the world, revealing all I need to know and do. I’m centered, full of joy and working, writing, knowing that I’m just an instrument, that God is my companion in this endeavor to keep telling the truth, and that “All is Possible With God.” I use to eat compulsively over all this. Today I sit, feel the pain and write.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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FAITH….

November 7, 2013

I really want to get back into the habit of blogging on a regular basis. I am strongly led to commit to writing at least once a week or at least post something.  I know that this will challenge me especially with the holidays approaching but in a pinch, I have many things that I’ve written and can post so we can stay in touch on a regular basis. May God continue to bless each one of you and may God continue to grant me the willingness to write. AMEN!!!

Faith

What is faith? Yeah….. just what is faith and how do we become faith full or should I say full of faith. Well we don’t become full of faith we already are full of faith and we operate from that place in many ways with out thinking about it at all.

Every time we sit in a chair we have faith that that chair is safe to sit in. Every time we put a letter in the mail box or for that matter every time we send an e-mail we trust that our message will arrive where we sent it. Every time we put a key in the ignition of our car and turn that key, we trust and have faith in the cars ability to start and get us to where we are going. I’m sure if you stop and think about this you’ll find other areas of faith in your life.

Faith for me is a God given gift. I think we can agree that faith is a gift that we use all the time without thinking. But I also think that faith is a gift from God waiting to be opened more fully and consciously lived.

So how do we open this gift of faith more fully? We open this gift of faith with the act of surrender. I bet you are thinking WHAT??? SURRENDER!!!

Well what I mean by surrender is really very simple. Surrender as I understand it means to simply take our attention off of the challenges in our life and put our attention on God. Surrender for me is the key. With surrender every opportunity is filled with the possibility of experiencing the Grace of God. Grace requires we take the risk of Faith. I think about the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and how Indiana Jones stepped out the window in faith that the help he needed would be there and low and behold there appears a beam of light that met his foot in time to provide him with what he needed to get away from the people chasing him. For me that’s an exaggerated example of taking a risk but sometimes the risks we need to take are as challenging. Surrender lifts us above, the appearances of our circumstances, and brings us peace. It gives us the light beam we need to move forward in our lives.

Unlike most gifts the more you use this gift the more you have available. It doesn’t fade, become tarnished or wear out. The more you exercise it the more you use it, the more it grows and matures.

Faith is the gift that keeps on giving. Out of faith comes the gifts of the spirit….the gifts of peace, love and joy.

There are many ways we can turn off the worry station in our heads. One is simply to talk to God. God is a good listener so tell God exactly what is on your mind. No holds barred. Just by talking to God you are opening up the gift of faith and before you know it the thoughts in your head have changed. Remember to feed your soul and I guarantee you that your faith will grow.

 

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Uplifting one another and LENT:

Uplifting one another and LENT:

February 15, 2015 & February 16, 2013

UPLIFTING ONE ANOTHER. All I want to say about that right now is that we are unable to uplift another person unless we uplift ourselves first. By that I mean we need to feed our souls on a regular basis. I do that by spending time alone, praying and meditating. I read uplifting literature and over the years I’ve learned to pay close attention to the way my mind rattles on and on about what I should or shouldn’t do and not allow that conversation to go anywhere except in one ear and out the other. With these disciplines in place we are guided to uplift others in powerful ways. Ways that will touch their hearts and minds and make a difference in their world and yours. More about this at another time. Lent is the perfect time to ask for the strength to put into practice those disciplines above. Many people are practicing and praying at this time so this is a very powerful time for change. So here’s my take on Lent for me this year.

 

LENT: While walking and praying on Wednesday morning I asked, “Lord what would you have me do for lent? The answer I got was, “Just keep doing what you are doing with these slight adjustments:

 

Eat a little less, drink a little less, talk a little less, watch less TV, read more, pray more, write more, listen more and be as kind and generous as possible. In all of this be kind to yourself and remember you can not do all this on your own and when you fall short….pick yourself up and keep on going, accepting who you are and how you do what you do. I love the way God speaks to me….always reminding me I need to minister to myself first and foremost.

 

I was going to come back to writing yesterday but never made it. I know that what God is asking me to do is perfect for me at this time. I was reassured this a.m. when the prayer for today was, “Strengthen us  in our lenten practices.” By the Grace of God I will continue on this lenten road, trusting all the way that what I’m doing will always need God Grace to help me stay on the straight and narrow way of living in Christ. I don’t get to do it perfectly. It’s like all practices in my life I move forward, move slightly backwards or off to the side and by the Grace of God I am restored to center and move forward once again. It’s this kind of moving forward that works for me. Just like my giving up compulsive overeating. When I fell short of what my mind told me I had to do, I just moved forward never looking back with regret, just moving forward as best I could. Oh yes, I would admit what I did, ask for forgiveness but then I moved on. So I’m not going to do lent perfectly because I don’t do anything perfectly. Persistence is my goal, determination is what drives me and all of this is by the Grace of God. I pray that what I share is uplifting and useful to you.

I love all of you with all my heart and so does God!!!

 

Remember to Feed Your Soul

 

Anne

 

February 16, 2013

 

Well my resolve went out the window last night so now I’m working at uplifting myself. Praying and asking to be strengthened in my resolve to eat less. I really blew it last night. I decided to see a movie I was not interested in but knew that Bob wanted to see it. That was a big mistake. We saw “Zero Dark Thirty.” There’s way too much violence for me and it was based on a true story. I will never subject myself to another movie like that again. I don’t really know what I was thinking. Anyway I came home and was very tired but stayed up and watched a TV Program. Big mistake, I was tempted and succumbed to it and boy did I blow it. So now I’m letting it all go. This morning I fed my soul, reading an praying with scripture. Then I wrote all the details in my journal and now I’m telling you about it. So now my prayer is, Lord please strengthen my commitment to this holy season and grant me the knowledge to do your will, grant me the wisdom to know what you mean by, doing less of somethings and doing more of what is really important. AMEN!!!

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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God IS Love!!! Love IS a Choice!!!

September 27 2012

This morning I’m filled with the awareness of God’s love for us. Jesus’ message is all about love. Most of the people of His time did not get it and we know how the clergy of His time felt about it all. They were so threatened by his message of love they made it their job to stop Him. They were very comfortable following the rules. Follow the rules is what they wanted him to do. He calmed the waters when the boat was in a storm but he rocked the boat more often than not on the land. They did not like that at all.

Jesus’ message lives on…..but it’s evident to me that most people today don’t get it either. Just imagine what this world could be like if we all knew we were loved just the way we are and if each of us would live our lives from that place and love one another.

I think the most important message is that God loves us and wants to love others through us. For me that’s where it starts. What makes it so real for me is that I’ve experienced trying to love unconditionally on my own and have failed every time. My love for others without the realization that it is God loving them and not me ends up being unhealthy love.

God is the doer. The part of me that is one with God is the part of me that loves God, that loves others and that loves my enemies. That’s what God is…..God is love. Of myself I am nothing. In God, all things are possible.

For me, God is the doer, God is the initiator, God is the one who seduces me in my unworthiness. It’s all about God’s initiative! Our work is about giving that love back to the world. Our work is about letting God work through us, letting God use us in loving ways to be active witnesses of God’s love to the world.

If we could really grasp that God lives in each one of us and that we are intimately loved by God and that God wants to express through us I wonder what we would accomplish. If we could just let go and let God guide us and show us the way, we would be amazed at what would happen. I am amazed often!!!

Are you willing to let go of all your old ideas? Most people in the bible were afraid to let go. Are you afraid to let go? Well I’m here to hold your hand to encourage and support you. I’m also willing to let God love you through me, until you are ready to surrender. Surrender is what is required to be free to love in a way that will change the world.

Surrender simply means to take your attention off of the world’s discord and put your attention on God. See God all around you, in the trees, the flowers, in the clouds, in the homeless person on the street, in your husband, in your wife, in your children, in your life. God is everywhere and in everyone. Look for God and you will see God everywhere. That’s surrender! AMEN!!!

I can hear you now, “This is too hard! ‘I can’t do what you are asking Anne!’ Well in the 12 step program we are told, “To act as if!” ‘To fake it ‘til make it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Love is the prize.

I can’t prove this to you…..only you can prove it for yourselves.

Remember to Feed Your Soul……Seeing God everywhere is a way to feed your soul…..and for me it’s the only way to live.

Love and Blessings Galore,

Anne

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Love….Life depends on it!!!

September 12, 2012

Love as if your life depended on it…..because it does.

I am called to take love to another level. I’m not talking about physical love I’m talking about the Divine Love that we are made of. I know that I was created in and out of love and my work today is to live in that love and let everything I do and say come from that place.

This is a tall order but my experience tells me that when a notion is placed in my mind and heart I will be given whatever is needed to fulfill it.

I am called to establish myself in Love and then all that’s needed and all that will serve the people around me will be revealed and provided. I can not do this without first loving myself.

Acceptance is key for me. Accepting that of myself I am nothing knowing that I live and breath and have my being in Divine Love and…. that Love wants to express through me. I know that with Love all things are possible.

I have to set aside all my old ideas about love and be willing for it to continue to teach me. Mistakes are part of the learning process. I’m never expected to do this perfectly. I can not do anything perfectly but in Love all that happens is used for the highest and best of results.

My part is to pay attention to what and how I speak. The art of being present is the most difficult thing to do in this world. There are many, many distractions. All distractions start in the mind. So I’m doing my best to pay attention to what I’m thinking. When I’m distracted and my mind wants to take me on a judgmental or negative thinking trip, I stop as soon as I realize what is happening change my thoughts and pray instead.

I recently saw the movie “Beautiful Mind.” In John Nash’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech he acknowledges his wife for her unconditional love that was powerful enough to support him to be a functioning schizophrenic, genius mathematician. He said it was her love that helped him live with and avoid being distracted by the demons that only he could see. Now that’s the power of love in action in a very powerful way.

Well thank God I don’t have anyone with schizophrenia in my life but let’s face it relationships are difficult at times. My work is always to lovingly look at myself and ask, “What’s my part in this?”  “What is this situation, this person mirroring for me?” “What do I have to do to heal this situation?  and “How do I do this without compromising my love for myself?” That’s what I’m up to these days. I fall short often but I just remember that the Saints in our world have fallen many times, the difference between us and them is that they just keep picking themselves up and keep on keeping on. AMEN!!

I pray you have a loving day and of course…..remember to feed your soul

Love,

Anne

 

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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