Joan Rivers Search For Truth, Goodness and Beauty Has Ended

From the movie "Joan Rivers; Piece of Work"

From the movie “Joan Rivers; Piece of Work”

Can We Talk? The pursuit of beauty has created an ever widening divorce between the physical and spiritual.  Is beauty truly only in the eye of the beholder or can something be beautiful regardless of our opinion?


Truth, goodness and beauty are referred to as transcendental because they transcend the limits of the places or times in which we live.  Each of these are rooted in “being” and are not contingent upon what religious beliefs you have or what culture you come from or what ideology you adhere to.

In fact, Truth, Goodness and Beauty are objective properties that that can be found in all creation.  So how can a person be so blind to the truth that they do harm and not good to themselves all for the sake of trying to become what they already are which is beautiful?  I believe it is because of the divorce that has taken place between the spiritual and physical realm.

The body makes visible the invisible reality of the person we see before us.  We are not just a material substance that can be nipped and tucked and implanted so as to “become” beautiful but rather we are a union of spirit and matter.  We are “embodied spirits” and our beauty exists whether we acknowledge it or not.

tatoo 1If the body makes visible the invisible than we understand that someone who modifies their bodies with piercings and tattoos has a spirit screaming to be seen and heard or is in fact could be so shattered that the modifications become a shield or costume to hide behind so that others will not truly “see” them.

 

What was Joan Rivers soul making visible to the world?  We know that she has had hundreds of plastic surgery procedures and has suffered with bulimia as well.  This is a serious identity issue that many women are struggling with and it starts with truth.  Our truth is being warped and manipulated into something very ugly.  It leads people to mutilate and abuse themselves until goodness is out of reach and beauty is unattainable.  For Joan, I would postulate that her truth was skewed. I would also postulate that she was deeply dissatisfied with herself and was a woman that desperately needed to hear that she was a unique and unrepeatable person made in the image and likeness of God and that her personhood was good.
Let’s us pray for the world to rediscover the true, the good and beautiful because ultimately that will lead us all to what we have been destined for.
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Her Oh Lord and Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her and May She Rest In Peace.

Letting Go

balloonAt first I thought going to a memorial service to say good-bye to Kolbe (the baby I just lost in miscarriage) was that last thing I would do.  The thought of making myself emotionally vulnerable and go back into the wound that I just wanted to walk away from was the least appealing idea to me.  Yet, when the priest at my Church texted to tell me that the cemetery that Kolbe was to be buried at had a memorial service being offered the very next week after losing my baby, it seemed to be an invitation from God. Either that or it was very coincidental that within a week of miscarrying there was a service being offered. Then he told me that the day it was offered was the very day we had a meeting scheduled anyways so he knew I would be free.

I have begun to see these kind of coincidences as ways in which God is gently nudging me in a particular direction.  They are painful nudges, but they are invitations that I have begun to understand as doors God the Father desires for me, His daughter to walk through because He want to take me deeper, closer and farther in my spiritual walk towards Him.

I can refuse these invitations, but I some how know if I do I will be staying right where I am.  A couple of years ago I began recognizing these invitations for the first time.  I did not realize that I was always being invited and had even accepted many of them.  Instead I had thought I was just “experiencing” deeper intimacy here and there, randomly.   Then it happened.  I was in Florida at a Healing Retreat dealing with the shit storm of what is my life and I heard the Holy Spirit prompt me to accept His invitation.  That is when I recognized that I am always being given invitations.  What do they look like? Usually they look very painful.  That particular night the invitation was clear.  “When I invite you, say yes.  If you do, I will heal you.  If you don’t, you will stay where you are.” The Holy Spirit was telling me that even when it was scary and felt like dying that if I trusted Him and said yes to whatever it was He was inviting me to, that on the other side of it I would find healing.  It is as if you are blind-folded and walking through traffic and someone is reaching their hand out on the other side telling you to walk toward them.  As scary as that felt, I still heard Him saying “Trust Me.”

Even now I am having a hard time articulating the intense fear and reservation that still accompanies his invitations.  That invitation in Florida, the one that opened my eyes to see that I am always being invited, changed my life.  I call it my undoing because I was undone, but then I was made new.  

I heard the invitation to walk into the loss of this baby when it would be so much easier to just continue marching forward and get on with my life.  It is so easy to do with all of the things on my calendar.  I could easily slip away from it all and just try to forget.  Yet, here I was standing in a cemetery listening to poems being read out loud by other women who just lost their babies.  The most beautiful part of the ceremony was the moment the woman there handed me a purple balloon in honor of Kolbe.  As it was placed in my hands the tears slipped out of my eyes and down my face.  To hold something in my hands that was for Kolbe broke open the stones I had tried to put around the wound in my heart to keep from feeling the loss.  One of my most favorite songs ever started playing as we were invited to say goodbye in our own private way.

I watched  a mother and three children each take a balloon and tie a note to the string.  They released their balloons together and I watched as she kneeled on the ground holding her children and watching with them as the balloons rose in the air carrying their little notes with them.

Looking back at my own balloon I closed my eyes for a brief moment and I swear I saw Kolbe holding hands with his siblings in heaven, laughing and running chasing after the balloons like children do.  Then I did what I must always do  when I am going to accept an invitation sent to me from God my Father.  I let go.

If It Be Your Will

blake embraceI love this image by William Blake because it speaks of what it means to unite oneself and ones desires to the will of God.  It speaks of reconciliation and of union.  I love the pose of the man as it is reminiscent of the cross, with his hands extended in such a way.  The body speaks a language and this man’s body is saying to me that while he realizes the suffering, the cross that comes when he opens himself to God there is a peace and resting that takes place by allowing God to embrace him.  The fulfillment of all desire can only happen if we unite our desires to that of God’s for us. Knowing this is one thing, knowing it as an experience is and entirely different thing.
Earlier this week I had a song playing through my mind.  It’s a Leonard Cohen tune called “Waiting For a Miracle.” Listening to Leonard if feels as if time slows down just a little bit and my mind quiets down.  It calms me, it transports me out of the chaos of a given moment into an interior life that feels like prayer.  St. Frances said when we sing we pray twice so perhaps music is it’s own form of prayer.  “Waiting For a Miracle” says it all.
I was waiting for a miracle to come.  The way Leonard sings it, with such gentle melancholy expresses the tenderness of desire to have what I want, yet at the same time expresses the sadness of knowing that it would take a miracle.  There is no begging or pleading, just a hope and desire for it.  This has been my hearts song for the past week.
This morning I woke up with another Leonard Cohen song singing itself into my mind.  I had to smile because I felt it was a grace from God that caused it to sing me awake. It was my first thought as I opened my eyes.
“If It Be Your Will” is a song that I have loved for many years.  It is a song I have sung in times where I desired to embrace the will of God and not my own and I prayed for his grace to be poured into me so that I could desire it.  The part that says;
“If it be your will
That I speak no more 
And my voice be still 
As it was before 
I will speak no more 
I shall abide until 
I am spoken for 
If it be your will”
Became a prayer of sorts as I struggled with attacks from people that took it upon themselves to try and destroy my speaking career.   I know that God has the only power to do anything.  This song is my new prayer as I have transitioned into the hardest part of this miscarriage.  I am still waiting, but not for a miracle to come, but for a miracle of life that was created inside of me to make it’s way out.  It is the hardest for me because I wonder what I will see or worse, that I will miss him or her and flush her away.  That is why it’s hardest.  I just want this part to be done so I can transition to healing.
When I reached for my phone this morning I saw the tweet of Pope Francis. As if to affirm that the song that was sung to me as I awoke was indeed inspired by the Holy Spirit, his “tweet” spoke of God’s will being my own.
“The one who listens attentively to the Word of God and truly prays, always asks the Lord: what is your will for me?” Pope Francis
I can thank God for transitioning my heart this morning by a gift of His grace.  I truly know that I want what He wants. I know there has been nothing wasted, a soul will exist for all eternity and his/her name is Kolbe and will be praying me into heaven.
I realized early on in this process that I could offer this suffering to God.  I solidified this during the mass yesterday when I offered my body as a living sacrifice.  I offered my body as an altar upon which to offer this miscarriage as a spiritual sacrifice to God and asked for Mary to give the graces to her priests who offer themselves daily without ever being able to hold the results in their arms.  I asked for the gift of spiritual motherhood to the priests in my life, that I would love them as Mary does.  That I would see them as my sons that need a mother to pray for them, to love them and offer prayers and sufferings for their protection.  I usually never help distribute communion, but I was inspired to do so.
I felt inspired to offer communion and felt the love of my heart being poured out to every person who approached Jesus.  I found myself looking deeply into each persons eyes as they came forward and felt a deep merciful love of Mary in me flow out to them.  I did not look at them as they approached, I would see them.  I would see their goodness and longing and desire to be filled and offer them the living God that is the only thing that can fill that void.
I am in a good place today.  God is Good, all the time, God is Good.

I Grieve

Martin Hudáček’s sculpture entitled “Memorial for Unborn Children

Martin Hudáček’s sculpture entitled “Memorial for Unborn Children

SUNDAY, MAY 3:40PM

Before reading this post please listen to The Song “I Grieve” By Peter Gabriel. You can listen to it while you read my blog as it will open in a separate tab.  This song as it embodies the emotions that I am experiencing.  It captures the moment of my life that I am living, right now.  The lyrics are so perfect…  There is something beautiful and something so raw about embracing life even when it means that we embrace the intensity of suffering, sadness and grief.

I am working through my emotions as I experience this miscarriage by journaling here on my blog.  I have a hard time with allowing myself to cry, to feel.  It is easier to numb myself.  I have become quite good at.  When I wrote the last two posts the flood gates opened in a way that I realized I needed.  I only realized it after I opened to feeling the pain. It almost seems like I am not supposed to be grieving.  Some of the questions I get like “how far along are you” is just code for “your not far enough along to be so upset.”

I was almost ready to numb myself through this but then I realized that I really am hurting and if I don’t face into that hurt it is going to come out sideways.  It always does.   Rather than stay in denial, or turn to anger as a means to control my pain,  I am choosing to embrace the pain that comes from feeling everything, talking about it and processing it in the moment.  It hurts.  I still find I cannot stay in the moment with my feelings and allow myself the grief that is just below the surface because life does go on, and on and on and on.  My children need me, my house has chores and there is work to be done.  I keep having to push down the sadness and disappointment and grief.

I will keep updating this one post as I document the process of losing Kolbe.  If you are just happening upon this blog post then you can read the first two posts by clicking the links.  The first one, “I’m Having a Miscarriage” and “Deep Sorrow”  will get you up to speed and I will put headers of the day and or times of the new entries…

Where am I at right now? Well, this image helps to make that clear. Right now I am angry at my body and I feel very alone.

baby miscarriage

I am angry with my body for failing to protect this precious little person. I feel alone because not everyone sees a miscarriage as the loss of a child.  Instead it seems to be viewed as the way the body discards babies that were possibly genetically inferior and “for the best.”  I don’t know why I am miscarrying but I do know that the reality is that I am losing a baby.

So where am I at in the process today? I am still waiting. I have a terrible back-ache, I am cramping but as of right now I am still waiting for my body to complete this process it seems to have committed itself to.  There is light spotting of pinkish brown mucus. It  reminds me of when I would go into labor. The first stage was losing the mucus plug.   It was so exciting to see that process begin  because it meant the long wait to have a baby was finally going to be over.  It signaled that very soon, a baby would be placed into my arms.  It signaled that a process was starting.  It was a sign indicating that a process had begun in which the result would be my child leaving my body.

It means the same thing today but there is no joy in it for me.   There is only grief.  So I will walk into that.  I will grieve.

Deep Sorrow

Deep sorrow is emanating from within me as I fear every visit to the rest room.

It is 11:36pm and this final visit to the “John” tells me that Kolbe is leaving my body.

As more brown substance is wiped away, I take an overnight feminine napkin from my drawer. I realize this may be his or her final resting place. So sad am I that as I peel the paper off the adhesive and apply it to my undergarments, I watch as my tears soak it before the blood that will surely be there by morning.

Mary, please comfort me , I’m drowning…

I’m having a miscarriage

This may be a bit of a difficult blog post to follow over the next few days but I’m finding that I need to use this blog to sort out my emotions during this inevitable miscarriage.

That’s right, I’m going to lose my child. Before I know if he or she is a he or she I am faced with the reality that I will never hold this child in arms not will it suckle at my breasts.

Science has revealed the future to me and I have mixed emotions about knowing that sooner rather than later this pregnancy will be ending.

Last week I went to have blood drawn to check the HCG levels in my blood. This test detects a level of a specific hormone that a newly conceived child produces after it implants in the uterus.

This hormone is the same hormone that darkens the second line on a urine test indicating pregnancy. If that hormone decreases rather than increases, it indicates that miscarriage is inevitable.

I found out 4 days ago that my levels decreased, a lot. The exact words from my doctor were;

“Dear Christina
I am sorry to half to tell you but this is not a viable pregnancy. Your quants have dropped and we need to have you stop all progesterone. You should be able to miscarry on your own by simply stopping the progesterone. It can take A few weeks but with the low quants I do not suspect it will take long if you have not already noted bleeding.

Things to be concerned about are very brisk bleeding, increased abd pain, fever, fould smelling discharge for which you need an acute evaluation
We do need to follow the quants down to normal
I would recheck next week Monday

I will keep you in prayer during this time
Love and prayers

Michelle”

I have a great Doctor, but it’s still hard to deal with, knowing I’m going to lose this baby.

I’m still waiting. The only sign of miscarriage this far is that just now, about 5 minutes ago I saw a tiny bit of pink and brown tinged colored mucus. Is this it? Is it beginning? Please Jesus, help me to bear this weight. It’s so painful. I’m grieving the impending loss of Kolbe, the name I’ve given this child. If it was a boy, I wanted to name him “Maximillian Kolbe” if a girl, Claira Kolbe. So it seems fitting, to call my son or daughter by his or her name, Kolbe.

I wonder if you are already with Jesus or if you are still hanging on, waiting with me as the numbers drop low enough till finally you can no longer hold on. I love you Kolbe, your omit and Opi, your brother and two other siblings cannot wait to meet you. Until then, know how very much I will miss you.
Mommy

You Are Not a Disorder, You Are a Person

original art by Christina King

original art by Christina King

You are not a disorder, you are a person.

We are body, soul and spirit.  We must bring healing to our own “Trinitarian” being (in the sense of being body, soul and spirit).   Traditional therapy either wants to give pharmaceuticals or just discuss and manage symptoms of anxiety, thoughts or behavioral issues or perhaps to do all three but not to actually bring healing and restoration for the “whole” person.

Christ says He makes all things new. He promises us healing. Was He lying? Are we expecting too much? Are we giving the cross or God too much power?  I say no.  I say we do not expect enough. I believe Christ really has the power to work miracles.  In fact, He worked miracles of healing and told the apostles that they would do all of the things He did and more! We are called to bring healing and deliverance to those in misery, to be a sign of His power.  Christ desires to restore us.  Our healing is to be a visible sign to the world that our God is an awesome God and that He Reigns in Heaven and on earth.  He makes us whole.  I believe he wants to heal our emotions and our memories, not just our bodies.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things pass away; behold, he is made new.” 2 Cor 5:17

We are not disorders.  I believe many people who have been sexually abused or experienced traumatic childhoods like I did are actually dealing with identity wounds that distort their ability to know themselves and to know God. Being abused has a very real and powerful effect on shaping our identity.  To merely dismiss that and label someone as being “disordered” is, in my opinion, causing more damage and in a sense, keeps their pain and cries for help unheard.

I realize we can categorize and diagnose and give our psychological disorders a name but what good is it to give it a name if you do not understand it enough to help bring healing?

identity wounds Many of our disorders come from identity wounds. How do we get identity wounds? We get them when our true identity is distorted by shame. It may sound contradictory to say there is such a thing as “good shame” but in fact there is good shame and bad shame.

Good shame is felt when we are separating ourselves from God as well as others in a selfish way.  It “prickles” our conscience and in this way it helps us to address a something we are doing that we know is wrong so that we can self-correct.  This “prickling” of conscience is from our awareness that we have just separated ourselves from what is good and true.  This not only helps us shape our morality but it also protects our self-respect.  When we feel “good shame” we become aware that we have lost our innocence, motivates us to correct ourselves and turns us back to what we know is good.

Bad shame is more of an emotional torment and sickness to our very soul.  It is what begins to poison and divide us from within our whole self. All of us have shortcomings and when they are used to ridicule us or to inflict “bad shame”, we tend to believe the lie that we are bad or unworthy and this new “truth” sears into our heart, mind and soul.  We believe the lie that we are inferior, unworthy, undeserving and bad to the bone.  Bad shame causes us to despair separating us from our only cure to what ails us, which is God’s mercy.

The inflicting of this debilitating shame comes from those closest to us and causes the deepest of wounds. When we are children, our beliefs are being shaped, especially our beliefs about who we are as persons. If the message we get is that we are bad or unlovable, it can become our identity.  Identity wounds distort our ability to love ourselves, to love others and to love or know God.

the worse thing we can do to a person with identity wounds is to give them an identity as being “disordered”.

borderline Personality Disorder

 

Lets think about the word “disorders” through the lens of Theology of the Body.  For something to be disordered it has to have been rightly ordered but then gotten twisted up.  When the John Paul II wrote about Original Man he reminds us that in Genesis that Adam was naked without shame.  He had no desire or intention to use Eve as an object of pleasure for his own selfish needs or wants.  They were both subjects of God and saw one another as persons.  When sin entered the garden they were no longer seeing one another as subjects but as objects.  They covered their “private parts” of their bodies in shame.

 

What was good and right became disordered due to sin.  This is the reality of the world we live in.  If this is true then we see we are all disordered in one way or another.  If we are all disordered in some way how helpful is it to give a person made in the image and likeness of God a label of being disordered as if this is their identity or who they are as a person? I am guessing it could be potentially destructive and could create further woundedness.  Let’s call disorders what they truly are, which is distortions of truth from which we base our lives and relationships upon.

We are complex human beings.  The teachings of Theology of the Body helps us to get a bigger picture as to who we are as persons and how we are made to love and be loved as self-gift whereas psychology bases “truth” in disorders or distortions.

Our experiences in and through our bodies shape our understandings and beliefs and those beliefs can bind us up.  We act on our beliefs and if those beliefs are disordered it goes to follow that so too may our actions be disordered. For example when I experienced the trauma of being sexually abused it created a deep wound that penetrated my identity, which distorted my whole “person”. Psychology may have helped me to understand the distortions and behaviors but Theology of The Body helped me to understand my wounds and their effect on my identity. It was this distorted identity that shaped my beliefs and those beliefs caused me to make the choices in my life that I did.

body

Looking at someone’s whole person, body, mind, emotions, memories, spirit etc is what needs to happen if we want a person to reclaim their greatness.  Seeing the whole person as opposed to a disorder is what gives true hope for healing.  Anything else merely treats a part of a person.  Christ comes to make all things new, not part of things new.

For information on finding freedom and healing with what is labeled as “Borderline Personality Disorder” order my book on LuLu