“Identify”

Whew, what a crazy week. Lets start there. It must have just been me, but it felt like this week was just not going to end…. But it did, and now after getting dishes done, and cleaning up the house for my Mom’s visit this weekend… I can sit down for a few minutes and reflect on this whirlwind week, and opine on something that is fascinating to me…. so, here it goes…

So, last Saturday happened to be the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, for all my Catholic friends out there. The patron Saint of the Lost, and of lost items. So fitting seeing that there are so many people coming out and “identifying” themselves as other races, genders, etc. I know I am going to catch a lot of criticism for writing this, but I see some consistent things going on with this world. There is a true lack of self-worth, self-confidence, and people are missing a true sense of purpose in life, along with a very clear lack of any religious values.

I really believe that these individuals are lost, and have no guide posts in their lives. I know the feeling very well, because I was there. It was only for the grace of God that I continued my journey on this Earth, becoming stronger in the individual that I am. There was a point in life where all I wanted to do was fit in. All I wanted was to be accepted, not necessarily for who I was, but for what the group thought I should be. It was so important to me to just belong, rather than actually having people like me for myself. I would not come to know anything different until later on in life. I am still learning to love myself, which is where it all starts.

The turning point in my life was literally the lowest point. The dark days in Georgia. Its the part of my life I am least proud and most thankful for. It started as just a small inkling of something in my heart. This was me being called to God. The difference is that at that point I was able to start listening to myself. I had two weeks in solitary confinement, and I was able to start listening to myself, instead of the voices of everyone else around me. It is very possible that the people around me meant well, but they were driving me slowing away from myself. At least that is how I see it now, in the 20/20 rear view mirror.

It is still not perfect for me but, in the years later, I would come to know what those little callings were….. God calling me to come to Church. There was a long period where I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to see it, nor did I want to act on the calling. In those times, I struggled. Even now, when I let myself get caught up in the world, I struggle. I attribute it all to God’s grace, and how he is the one in control, not me. I have learned, and am still learning how to give it all to God.

Then we take a look at the world. This world is slipping farther and farther away from the calling. With everything happening so fast, we tend to forget we need quiet moments. We need to stop and evaluate everything…. even if we are considered high profile in this world. It’s o.k. to ask for spiritual help, and it’s o.k. to have wavering thoughts on everything. What is not o.k. is not being happy with who we came into this world as. It is our job to learn to love…. ourselves and our neighbors for who we are in he world.. not who we “identify” more with. I am Catholic because I believe the doctrine is truth, not because I “identify” with the Pope. So, with the insights I have gained in my life, and with the intersessions of St. Anthony, I pray that everyone can find themselves, and learn to love themselves for who they are, not what they think the world wants them to be, but for who they are in the world.

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