Archives for posts with tag: hugs


Image courtesy of amenic181/

Well, here I sit again in self-imposed isolation listening to the noise of the snow plow break apart the stillness that envelops the neighborhood. The school across the street is quiet and empty. My dogs have no children to bark at as they pass by our yard. Yesterday’s frozen precipitation is, of course, still hanging around and challenging outdoor movement from place to place.

In some ways, the quiet stillness accompanied by the “tick-tock” of the clock on the wall is like being in the presence of an old and comfortable friend.  This friend gives me permission to be lazy, to be productive, to be creative—-to be “me” in any way I choose. That brings a smile to my lips—-in typing that last sentence I realized I always have the opportunity to choose how I want to exist in any moment.

Today I choose to wrap myself in God’s love and to make choices that are healthy for me. I have no deadlines, no appointments, no obligations, and no list of things I have to do. I am left with the choice to do what I must to survive my reality—–and that is to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand him.  In the beginning of my recovery this turning things over 12 step stuff was just “a phrase often repeated.” Now after all these years and many miracles later this “turning over” comes from my heart, and  I enjoy releasing my will and my life to God. Of course, I still have times when I stubbornly hang on to my futile self-centered attempts to control, but even then I find myself begrudgingly handing things over to him.

I have started practicing a new ritual in my life. It is one of my early morning rituals, and it is much more meaningful than making coffee or cooking bacon.  I walk to my dining room, face the east, and look at a framed counted-cross stitch my mother did for me. I am looking at the words my mother so painstakingly spelled out:  1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. These special words describe God’s love for me and for everyone. Then I bow and release my “will and life” to God. In return, as I fold my arms in front of my chest, I literally feel God wrapping his arms around me and hugging me. Prayer and personal, private sacred words—-words that affirm and represent the love shared between God and myself—–are very important components of this early morning ritual. This ritual is both comforting and powerful. It puts my day “on track” and keeps my soul and heart open to God.  It empowers me to follow God’s will rather than my own throughout the day.

As I sit typing in this quiet stillness, I am not alone.  God is by my side; his presence is here. My four dogs are relaxed, warm, and sleeping, and I am happy.

Christmas Cookies

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/

Well, I’ve done it again. I’ve set my moral-emotional barometer all “a-twitter.” I just made the mistake of reading all the “think like I  do or else you’re wrong, stupid, evil, etc.” messages that I could stand  on Facebook before I gave up and started writing this. Why do we have to spread hate and ill-will when we are put on this earth to love one another? I even fell into posting a response to one that reminded those that were commenting that it is up to God to judge rather than ourselves. After I posted, I realized I’d fallen into the “got to have the last word trap” that made me just another judging, condemning, ill-will spreading person who thinks my thoughts and opinions are superior.

Maybe it is time for me to take a serious look at why I spend so much time perusing Facebook/social media. On it I find spiritually uplifting messages, beautiful photos, poems full of beauty and wisdom, prayers, and friendly messages of support. I post an invitation to read my daily blogs on Facebook, and I maintain my church’s Facebook site with a daily prayers and bible verses. There is, obviously, positive material of value on Facebook. It is what lies between the positive highlights that hurts my soul—–yet I read most of it. Why? I realize I have both good and evil in my soul. Reading the hurtful, negative, judgmental things feeds the evil that lurks in my soul, and I still choose to read them. Am I looking for  a false self “jolt” of erroneously feeling superior? Do I like getting upset and feeling indignant?

And, then, there are the posted recipes for all the yummy foods—–foods that would eventually kill me were I to start eating them again. Do they trigger compulsive eating relapses? Not yet. Does my mouth water? Sometimes. Luckily, the craving is short lived because I re-frame my thoughts around “following through” what would happen if I gave into temptation. Then there are the jokes about drinking. I should be able to realize it is normal for normal people to joke about drinking desires——after all, I am certainly used to recovering alcoholics joking about drinking consequences.  These pro-drinking Facebook posts are teaching me to accept I am not normal, but other people are and I need to accept it. All of the luscious recipes should be doing a similar thing rather than making my mouth water. I hate to admit it, but I am still copying, pasting, and saving some of those tempting recipes. It as if part of me still buys into the fantasy that I “will be normal” someday and be able to eat like “regular people”—–whatever that is.

I have recently been privileged to learn  something important about the behavior and emotions I sometimes experience when those I am with are offered a special food treat as a token of warmth and hospitality—-a token I have to refuse for health-related reasons.  If I catch myself feeling sorry for myself or feeling left out because I am a diabetic and can’t partake I am sometimes able to realize what I am really missing is the emotional intent of the gift I have to decline. A good friend recently offered me a friendly hug at just such a time. It was exactly what I needed. Thanks to that insight, I am learning to thank people for their thoughtfulness and to ask them for a hug instead if it feels appropriate to do so.

Loosely summarized, today’s topic is  handling “Christmas Cookies” that are irritating or bothersome for some reason or another during this busy season. May all your “Christmas Cookies” be  filled with love and peace rather than symbolic of minor little irritating things. May God bless and keep you.