I hope everyone had a beautiful Easter weekend!
Due to an acting shoot on Wednesday, sadly I couldn’t make it home this year. But even though I wasn’t able to be in Ohio with my family, I still had a great weekend with my friends and my special gentleman.
We went to Good Friday service (IN PERSON!!), hosted an Easter brunch on Saturday with our friends, and spent the day outside with his family on Sunday. So starting off this week, my heart is absolutely full. And I hope yours is too!
We have now officially entered Spring, and with that comes spring cleaning…which, I may or may not be partaking in…haha We’ll see how busy this week gets with work, my shoot, this blog, etc.
However, INTERNAL spring cleaning, THAT I am all on board with!
It just feels like we’re sloughing off the winter, the quarantine, COVID (God willing), and hopefully, much of the negativity that has brewed and swelled up societally during lockdown. And so I’m jumping on the band wagon with the three mindsets I’m bringing with me into spring.
1.) Listen more, talk less.
Now, I’ve always considered myself a “good listener.” But one of the things that I’ve found since starting to mindfully and safely socialize post-quarantine, is that finally being able to be around people again, I’m like a puppy just let out of its cage for the first time! I’m scampering all over the room, tail wagging, jumping up on people, licking their faces (ok not really…), and just SO EXCITED TO BE AROUND OTHER PEOPLE! And, as is comfortable for many ENFP’s…I want to just talk, talk, talk, talk, talk….because I haven’t been able to for over a year!
But what I’ve been really trying to work on in the last month or so, is to listen more, and talk less. Sure, I feel like I’ve got a lot to say…but so does everyone else! Some are just not as shamelessly gung-ho about spewing every thought that crosses their mind, like this extrovert.
But there is a beauty in listening. It is an art form. Allowing others to talk, process, vent, share their joys – it’s a beautiful thing, and it’s how you foster a healthy relationship. Especially right now, during this current climate where things are changing so rapidly, everyone’s got anxieties, everyone is going through something — whether its work related, health related, family related, love life related, mental health related — people need a listening ear. And it’s a beautiful thing to be able to be that for a friend.
And bonus: God will often speak through the words of others. So…double whammy.
2.) Love Selflessly
If there’s one thing we’ve taken away from Easter Weekend, it’s the incredible, selfless love of Jesus. Looking upon Him, hanging on the Cross, we see that sacrificial love poured out in every drop of blood, every bead of sweat, every cell of his beaten, tortured body.
We are called to live and love like Jesus.
St. Thomas Acquinas reminds us that to love is to will and choose the good of another.
I think, with how cooped up we’ve been in the quarantine, and the scarcity mindset that produces, it can be really easy to slip into a self-centered existence. ‘Oh well I want to do this or that, I want to do what’s best for me, I want to put my self first.’
But that is the exact opposite of the call we’ve been commissioned. We’ve been instructed to love. Period. Love our neighbors, our friends and family, our enemies, and even the people who are the hardest to love.
Love looks a lot of different ways, but it always comes from the same source: Jesus.
This spring, I want to love what God loves. I want to love in ways that are difficult. Loving in ways that make me uncomfortable. Whether that is putting my own needs second, or loving through acting on behalf of a marginalized group, or giving of my time and loving the environment given to us by Jesus, I want to die to self and love how Jesus loved, and be an instrument to help others get to Heaven.
3.) See with eyes of gratitude.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to cultivate a spirit of gratitude this spring.
Something I’ve been wrestling with recently, coming off of quarantine, is almost this spirit of entitlement. Like: I’ve been locked up for a year…I DESERVE a vacation. Or I’ve survived lockdown, I’ve earned this splurge – this experience – this XYZ.
Or conversely, it’s easy to harbor a spirit of resentment….After a year in quarantine, restaurants are ONLY operating at 25%?! Come on! Or — Jeez, I know restaurants are struggling and are running with a skeleton staff, but COME ON! I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR MY FOOD FOREVER!
I want to step into this new phase with eyes of gratitude. Recognizing how blessed I am to be able to be doing any of these things at all! When it comes right down to it: I’ve got my health, my family is healthy, I have incredible friends, I’ve been able to weather the COVID storm mentally, socially, with a job and my happiness intact.
The fact is, life post-quarantine (and truthfully, in general) is a privilege. The vaccine is a medical miracle, it is such a gift that restaurants have figured out how to accommodate guests safely, and are taking the necessary precautions to do so. Relationships have been tested and tried. The emotional/spiritual challenges have cultivated a mental fortitude, and people have learned to adapt and adjust on the fly.
When we view the world through a lens that everything is a gift, given to us by a generous and loving Father, it changes things. It changes you. Gratitude is the foundation of joy. It breeds contentment. Humility. Growth. And in an interesting way, it opens up your mind to possibilities and opportunities, that only by recognizing and appreciating that which you already have, can you multiply those blessings into new ones.
So there you go.
Spring 2021…I’m feelin’ it, people. It’s going to be a great spring. I’m puttin’ it out there, and I invite you to join me to make it the best one yet!
Praying for you!
And just as a quick aside: If you missed last Thursday’s post, I shared my talk from the conference in Erie! You can watch it here below — and you can find the annotated time stamps with a break down of the talk good!
0:55 – Caralyn’s talk begins
5:29 – History leading up to anorexia (how/why it developed)
9:38 – Is anorexia about being “Skinny?”
15:26 – The depths of the disease
18:08 – Spiritual Warfare & Eating Disorders/ “THE LIE”/ The Voice of “E.D.”
22:20 – The Intervention
26:02 – Inpatient Treatment
27:36 – A Demon Released
32:28 – Jesus’ Breakthrough/The Start of True Recovery
36:45 – The secret to a sustained recovery
42:38 – Caralyn’s Emotional Breakdown on Stage (I AM HER)
45:05 – How to truly heal from anorexia
47:04 – The beginning of BeautyBeyondBones ministry
47:30 – Why she wrote BLOOM
48:47 – The big takeaway from the talk (and also where the lights went out haha)
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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