Just watched “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” an HBO presentation on Hulu. I knew the story of her life from the medical perspective but I didn’t know the story from her family’s perspective. Her contributions to life is of global proportions. It is worth watching and not just for black people. I wondered while watching how many people who hate us have received life saving treatments made possible by the cells of Henrietta Lacks. I know there are more details not given in the movie. There always are.
This year my daughter and I resumed our gardening efforts. The shelter-in-place gave her and her husband time to plant their garden and it is flourishing. Mom and Dad are reaping the benefits too. I planted peppers and basil in pots.
I must admit that I cheated a little. I added the cucumbers and peppers to some existing pickle juice. But I expect to have good, zesty pickles never the less.
Recently I lost several friends. They have been my companions for over 25 years. We have seen the ups and downs and the short and long of it. Today I begin anew. Today I begin life without dreadlocks!
Tonight (Tuesday) I went back to the lab, finally. The last year or so I have been buying Plant-based meat substitutes, (that usually means processed soy). It is expensive and I discovered through experience, causes weight gain. I thought if they can make it so can I. Tonight was the night.
I decided to try making crumbles for tacos. I marinated TVP in a Mexican spiced marinade. I added vital wheat gluten and put it in a skillet to cook like ground beef. Added a little salt to taste.
The next part of the experiment was a homemade corn tortilla baked in a tostada shell. Once I began I discovered I didn’t have very much Masa. I ground corn meal but it wasn’t as fine as masa. I used it anyway. Worked out okay. Will be better next time.
So here is dinner. Homemade tostada shell with home cooked black beans, marinated homemade meatless crumbles, lettuce and tomato topped with nutritional yeast.
Homemade means from scratch.
This last week I have begun preparations for my church family’s annual Daniel Fast. I already lead a plant-based dietary lifestyle. So, what to do? I decided to go back to raw vegan meals, especially a week of smoothies.
Along with thoughts about food, I looked at my life this year. What would I change? What would I add? My assessment continually asked “But what have you done just for you?” I heard all my children’s voices asking, Mom what did you do for you?
I realize I have a difficult time to do for me. So I’ve decided to do more just for me in 2020. I now have to figure out what that looks like.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially the last few days. Have I really grown to love unconditionally?
You know I went back to the dictionary to see if I missed anything regarding “un”.
Un means not. When attached to a word it means not that. Un+Fair =unfair – not fair.
Un+conditionally =unconditionally – not conditionally. We, or maybe I should say I, think of no conditions, no strings attached. Could it mean more?
I looked at the statement my son Sam made: you can’t love unconditionally unless you know the condition the person is in or has. (My paraphrase). The context for the word condition changes. This doesnt’have anything to do with the strings attached but instead the state or situation the person is in. Could mean their character, their socioeconomic status, their health, or behavior. I thought about that. I don’t like liars. It would be easier to embrace someone with a possibly contagious disease than a liar. But that’s the condition of mental health they are in, their character.
Condition = liar
Uncondition = not liar
I am to love them as if the condition did not exist. Love them as if they weren’t liars.
To love unconditionally then means to love as if the condition you find so offensive was NOT. See past the condition and love them anyway. This doesn’t mean you accept or agree with wrong. It doesn’t mean you are blind to the condition. It means you see it and choose to love as if it wasn’t there.
I have to ask myself do I truly love some people unconditionally that I thought I did? Can I love racists, hatemongers, rapists, pedophiles, murderers, liars, and the like in my present “condition”? I still don’t like liars but can I love them anyway?
Loving unconditionally is loving as if the condition was NOT.
All year God has been teaching me the depth of His love and what He requires of me to give that kind of love to others. In April I submitted a post entitled #Love?. The content was about God’s definition of love. Since then I have been focused on how Pat would apply this level of understanding. Don’t get me wrong, these precepts I have known and taught for years. What has changed is my depth of understanding deep down in my spirit.
Tonight I listened to a spiritual son and daughter share a portion of their journey in learning what love really is. My son shared something he had learned in his journey that hit home to me. He said, “You cannot love someone unconditionally unless you know what their condition is.”
I am going to leave that right there and let you ruminate along with me.
Lying in bed this morning I looked back over my life. I do that sometimes to remind myself of the good things and the good times I have experienced. In the midst of those thoughts something unexpected happened. The thought came “Why just the good things. What about the bad things?”Now why would I want to do that? To learn. So I did.
It is said your behavior follows your thinking. I now see oftentimes your thinking follows your feelings and ignores facts. I discovered most of my bad decisions were made during a time of or were motivated by emotional pain. I really never looked at it like that but after some analysis it proved to be true. This was and is not wise. When you are hurting, it is likely you will only see the negative circumstances and the negative options. The flip side is also true. If you are on an emotonal high it is likely you will only see the good options. The lesson I learned for me this morning is
Remember to calm down, step back, get an emotional balance along with the facts and then
make your decision.
If you read my blog posts, please “like” them or “follow”. I have been told by some real friends that they read them but I never knew until this week. It is encouraging to know they are read. Now I don’t feel like a voice crying in the wilderness and unheard.
This week I have been trying to follow the doctor’s prescription, Rest. It wasn’t and isn’t easy.
I did get some things done toward organization. I feel good about that. Continuing in mental if not physical rest. Living and loving my black soil life.
August was a very stressful month. I didn’t know how stressful until a few days ago. But I’m getting a head of myself . Here’s the story.
Four and a half years ago my husband had a massive heart attack and our shared responsibilities became all mine and I became his primary caregiver. The stress created by all that has become so familiar that I didn’t realize I was stressed. Then August 2019 came.
Event 1 – husband began having difficulty breathing. Fluid had accumulated around his heart and lungs. His right foot was so swollen it looked like his ankles had tumors on each side. Water pills were prescribed but in the meantime there was the breathing issue. I rubbed Raven a Young Living Essential oil on his chest and put some in the diffuser. That helped but I still received interrupted sleep.
Event 2 – Trip to Alabama. I went to visit my uncle who has become debilitated. He insists on living alone to retain some independence. It was a 3 day turn around that was stress-filled. I functioned on adrenaline and caffeine. I did what I could in that short time to help him and to relieve some cconcerns my mother, his sister, had.
Event 3 – I began having chest pains. My left arm and hand began to tingle. Fear stepped up and said you are having a heart attack. I began to pray and declare that I was not. I didon’t have time to be sick. I absolutely refused and the pain worsened. Finally, I listened to my husband and ddaughter and went to urgent care who redirected me to emergency. After several test I was admitted for observation and more tests. All test were negative. My heart and lungs are healthy.The doctor told me whatever I was doing to keep doing it. I am healthy. Yes, Lord. STRESS was blamed for all my pain. The intensity crept up so I didn’t notice until it took control. I began massaging my feet at night with Peace and Calming oil and that helped me sleep.
This is how August ended. So how did September begin? With pain. I decided to exercise to begin relieving the stress. The next morning, September 2, I could not walk. Literally could not walk. So now I am fighting that pain. I need to exercise because I will not take a boat load of pills for the stress. I will continue with exercise, Stress Away essential oil and Peace & Calming Essential oil.
This is my time for ME!