January 20, 2019
The body stores memories such as injuries. This is not something I have ever studied. For me, it’s intuitive; I am a very feeling person; at times, I can feel other people’s pains and I can “feel” places very well.
Because our bodies are connected to our brains, our relationships, our psyche, our environment, what effects one will affect the other.
Usually these feelings are triggered whenever I bang my body, or I re-injure an old injury or even when I get a massage. My body will quickly let me know or remind me this is an old injury or hurt. I feel every childhood bicycle fall, rough housing episode, broken bone, car accident, insult, abuse, humiliation, berate, belittle, discouragement, failure, weighing me down; the list goes on and on.
I open my heart and place it on a platter for you, not because I am boasting, far from it, but because I have nothing to hide and feel we are only as sick as our secrets. And, just maybe you can learn from my experiences. I’ll share a few ways these have manifested in my thinking and added weight to my body figuratively and literally.
I learned a long time ago that my weight issues had little to do with what I ate……..but more with what was eating me! My brain is aware of the correlation between emotional abuse and poor body image. I used food as a protection. I understand theoretically…….but putting my understanding into practice is where I have difficulty! But, my Lord is gently helping me understand this. As I purge pains the weight is released.
I have always known how blessed I am and have been very grateful to my Lord. And, most importantly Thank Him for “all” of my experiences. They have made me the strong God-loving woman I am today. I once had an acquaintance who apologetically told me she was so sorry I had had such a hard life, since I had worked in the fields when I was young. I immediately explained to her that I did not want her to feel sorry for me. I was enriched by all of my experiences; even the not so good ones. In fact, I wish more young people had similar experiences to working in the fields, canneries or any other job that is difficult. It develops a good work ethic. Which is what my family was trying to teach us. And, just perhaps we wouldn’t have a such a confused generation of entitled spoiled brats, living with their guilt-ridden parents in their 30’s!
There was dysfunctionality in our family. My family did not have the proper skills or tools to discipline us; and used screaming, profanity and corporal punishment on us. Children do not have rights or a voice in the Mexican culture; they are to be seen, but not heard. Although, as we grew older my immediate family dynamics changed; since we mainly had a female dominated family structure. But, much of the damage had already been done that does not simply go away!
I knew at a very young age I needed help, which I wrote about in my post titled Rain of Tears/Lluvia de Lagrimas, dated January 18, 2019. I don’t profess to have had all the answers, I didn’t have a well scripted plan. But, I was very sure of several things; I had to remove myself from my family (at least for awhile) and my hometown of Huron. Once again my intuition told me.
What my family did have was common sense and they loved us. Keep in mind my Mama and all her siblings had been born in Chicago. I am not making excuses for Mi Mamá, but her highest level of education was 7th grade. Mi Abuelita, Elena spoke, wrote and read perfect English. We were a typical Chicano family with all its saga of comedy and tragedy immersed with a sprinkle of home remedies, folklore and curandismo. And, maybe a little chisme.
On a side note the reason I am so opposed to teenagers having babies is that plain and simple they are not prepared! My own Mama had me when she was only 16 years old. She had not been mothered properly by her Mama. Therefore how could she be expected to mother us properly and the cycle continues.
Everywhere around me I saw the same dysfunctions being repeated over and over. I’m not endorsing this. It’s just that no one realized they were doing wrong, since everyone was doing the same by following the same patterns and cycles of “learned helplessness” that had been passed from generation to generation. The tragedy of it all is I don’t think things have changed much in my hometown. I in fact, recently had a conversation with a family member who still frequents our hometown and things may be worse now. Taken over by outsiders, gangs and drugs and all the evils that come with that.
I saw the cycle keep repeating itself; of teenage girls having babies and being ill-prepared to raise children. Of not being married and not having the support required from a husband. Of husband’s beating their wives. Of alcohol and drug abuse. Of being on government assistance. The list goes on and on.
All the while I desired to break away from the traditional stereotypical role of a Chicana woman.
I felt/feel very strongly about breaking generational patterns and chains. So that we do not repeat these cycles of generational curses. And the only way is through the salvation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This redemption comes as we understand that the root of our problems is in the spiritual realm. As we apply God’s Word and power to our lives, and we choose to walk in righteousness and obedience to God, the chains of bondage will be broken. The freedom we have longed for can become reality!
This Prayer is for Making the Initial Full Surrender
In the name of Jesus, I am now willing to place my body, my soul, my spirit, and my entire life into Your hands. I now ask that You place me into Your perfect will for my life. From this moment on, I will choose to stay fully surrendered to You all the days of my life, and will allow You to lead and direct my life in the direction that You will want it to go in.
Thank You Father.
Thank You Jesus.
Thank You Holy Spirit.”
I have always said loud and clear and full heartedly believe that there is much beauty in the Mexican culture we need to keep and cultivate; our music, our art, and the “healthy” unity of family. But, there are ugly things in our culture also, we need to rid ourselves of; high rates of alcoholism, mental illness, sexual abuse, incest and domestic violence to name a few.
And, I will say again as I purge these pains with my Lord guiding me, I feel lighter.
I could write for days on my need to collect. But, what I will say is that I first started collecting out of necessity (or so I justified it that way). But, somewhere along the way the collecting got out of control and had a life of it’s own. It started controlling me! And, anything that controls you cannot be good. I was brought up poor. Initially, I would frequent thrift shops to shop economically for a need. I became very familiar with thrift shop products and prices. I was very attracted to a “vintage theme.” I started studying certain items, enhanced my negotiating skills and wanted to broaden my horizons. Let’s just say I became very good at my craft. I did not only limit myself to thrift shops, I frequented swap meet (pulgas) yard sales and antique stores also (which expanded to Europe also). Several years later when I started working and had money I would buy antique dishes, silver, jewelry, vintage linens, vintage books, albums, perfume bottles, Native American baskets, etc., at these thrift shops, that I had become well known at. At first I bought everything that interested me, in time I became more selective and only collected certain items and colors as I refined my tastes. My possessions were overtaking my life and not bringing me happiness, but weighing me down! I needed a larger home to keep my “stuff.”
Sometime around 1978, while living in Santa Maria, California, a friend posed a hypothetical question, “if you could only pack what fits in your car, what would you pack?” This question was the impetus to plant the “seed.” Although, it didn’t stop me from continuing my obsession! My justification was that I had not had pretty things growing up and now I deserved them.
Another revelation that soon revealed itself to me, was that the more I gave the more I received.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8.
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
A few years later I left Santa Maria and moved to the Central Coast where I found a new arena of treasures and antiques in Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, Cayucos, Creston and the surrounding area. I quickly learned that every area has different “flavors.”I collected for over 35 years. I’d sell some pieces and buy others as my tastes changed.
When Augie and I started talking about moving to Texas, I knew I needed to get rid of “stuff” and purge. And I did. I not only had a home to clear out we also had a business full of stuff including some collectibles. My rule was, I was only going to keep it, if I absolutely luved it. Of course I stopped collecting, which had really slowed down for me, around 2000. I was too busy running our business.I gifted some of my treasures to my sisters. I quickly learned that people do not want your “stuff” even if it’s free. I had a few yard sales (which I dislike) and I sold some to other collectors. When we take a step back to evaluate our head space and our home space I realized that there was a lot of extraneous “stuff” in these two realms that really did not benefit me. And once I got over the initial resistance to clearing out this stuff I realize that it feels amazing to let go of it and be more free. I became lighter and had more space.Releasing material objects is freeing!
Matthew 6:19-21 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I don’t want the big house, the land, the pool, the car, I don’t want or need the material things. May God be glorified in what He has given us. I am a sinner saved by Grace.
I know in my head and heart that all I need is Christ, He is my all, my everything. Without Him I’m hopeless and dying in every way. With Him I have every spiritual blessing, I have a sure future in heaven, I have strength here and now.I want to walk in the joy and peace that come from living lives of humble obedience to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Thank you, Father
Abrazos y Besos