Tuesday, August 26, 2014

That Shade.

I love travel---there is no feeling like going to a place you have never been before and yet finding pieces of me in the scenery and life in an unfamiliar place.

I've been back in the United States for two months now and yet.....that blue of the Mediterranean Sea continues to soak in my soul.  One of the three lovely ladies I traveled with asked us what we could call that shade of blue that the deep water is; none of us could come up with a proper word (though one of them did try just the word blue and we giggled about that).

One of my favorite parts of being on the island Santorini was walking through the stone and marble walkways of Oia.  There is a central square that provides a great space to look out at the cliffs and into that deep shade of blue.  I found myself pausing every time I was in this square, trying to capture this moment as long as I could.  My eyes could not stop pouring over that blue; I felt like I was at the edge of the universe.

Coming home, my heart ached to be back in that place of infinite deep blue and views of the wide open water (dotted with other islands and a volcano, of course).  I want to share with you, reader, a poem that my Greece-sick heart wrote a week or so after arriving back in Berkeley.

That Shade
You are the blue
I am blue.
You are deep, cobalt current
Pure and dark,
the concept of your mystery
is a given.

You are the blue
as I am the blue.
I am the bubbly, leaping turquoise
lapping eagerly unto the sand,
pulled back into your consistent
layers of the Truth.

Together, we hold the pieces of blue.
You are constant unchanging,
I am the fickle and decaying.
Yet you hold unto me in that
deep, cobalt blue
You are my anchor and author
You are my blue.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pains and Dreams.

 The world has been zoned in on the Middle East and I feel as if there is a collective heart yearning for peace during these past weeks.

I spent my Saturday night at Temple Beth El in San Mateo for a Ramadan Iftar worship service (the daily breaking of the fast during the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar).  I sat in this room amongst people wearing prayer shawls,collars, yamakas, taqiyahs: all of us singing Jewish hymns and soaking in the silence that hopes for peace.  My soul shook as I heard the Muslim call to prayer ring through the air.  We called for gratitude and we left empty air to hear the word of God in that space.

One of the Jewish men shared a poem written by a 13 year old girl who lives in Israel; the words that continue to ring in my ears is the demand of: "What do I want from you, God? I ask for peace, and only peace."

Thought I'd share a poem I wrote last week after ruminating over this general feeling of anxiety and pain that is echoing through the miles and miles that separate me in Berkeley from Israel, Gaza, and Syria.

The Space Between (7/20/2014)

Here we are,
You. And. Me.
In a situation that you and I must
pretend to one another is unique.
(yet it is always the same)
You and I come ready with clenched muscles,
prepared to lose all that You and I have for this.
You and I believe that we are doing justice
and holding tightly to the hands of the people we love.
It feels like I face you head on,
I swear I can feel the sting of your glare.
I drip with hatred; You ooze with rage.
(it is always the same)
I am here. You are there.
It feels like I know you with the concrete evidence
of the savageness of your people,
I have seen your type walk through my neighborhoods
and you have seen me in your hometown
Yet it's not me that you see:
You see the opaque judgements and built-up labels
of the people who shed the blood of your people.
I see that You have stepped on ground that belongs to me
and shattered the future I dream for my children.
(the dreams and pain are the same)
I see You and You see Me
but not really.
(it is always the same)
I see your eyes but I don't feel your heart,
You see my mouth but You don't hear my breath,
The space between You and I crackles with the differences;
The only thing we can agree upon is that we want to massacre
(it is always the same)
The undercurrent we miss is the furious beating of our hearts
for the familiar streets we call home together,
and the loved ones we cling to,
and the dreams we want to live in to,
(we are the same)
Here we are,
You. And. Me.
Eager for the worst pain for the other,
Hopeful for our own future,
forgetting that my pain is yours and your dream is mine.
(it is always the same).

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Complete with Bike+Dress.

Complete with Bike+Dress

Two wheels whizzing down;
Toes curved around my sandals
holding unto the pedals,
holding unto life.

The world is wide open
beckoning the winds of the four corners
to clash and move around each other.
The deep Bay water welcomes and invites in
the blue hue of the sky.

The orange silk of my dress
wriggling around my skin
with a constant thrill of the threat
that the soft fabric covering me
will flip up to expose thigh.

The cool breeze bursting into my skin
It tickles me into delight,
it tickles me into giggles.

It's simple to hold no room for worries
with the sunshine pouring down
and my heart flying through the air.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Flow in Me as I Float in You

Loving Spirit,
Always a companion,
Hold me in the Dark and the Light,
Flow in me as I float in you,
Flow in me as I float in you,
Flow in me as I float in you.

The past two months my sense of daily spirituality has exploded.  There have been multiple factors that edged me out to the deep water of the Divine so that I could jump in.  The two main ones have been the course I'm immersed in this semester and the Twelve Step Program (specifically Overeaters Anonymous-OA).

I am an emotional overeater.  Before coming to OA sometimes I wouldn't even realize that I was feeling an emotion like loneliness, anger, sadness, grief---I would just feel hungry.  Instead of working with the emotion that was coursing through my body I would thoughtlessly search for the way to stuff down the feelings and eat.  No amount of food satisfies the deep emotional void; that's the trick of emotional eating.  One day it's just one bite and the next day it's 5 bites and the next day it's the whole container.  This is because there is no end or satiety when it comes to eating in order to deal with emotions.  Especially because overeating makes me feel guilty; the guilty feelings cycle into more gnawing "hunger."

When I started to understand this cycle of feelings--eat--guilt--eat more, I refrained from eating my feelings to push them down.  Then without my comfort then in comes the RAGE, the TEARS, and the LONELINESS.  It gets better to feel these things yet all the while I feel so uncontrollable.  My anger pulses through my arms and legs and it's much harder to pretend that it's not there.  I sometimes get so distracted by my anger in situation that I am unable to function normally in a social situation.  And you know what? How awesome is that?  I'm so grateful that I go to feeling the emotion instead of thinking "I am hungry."  Sometimes I'm rageful because I can't eat a particular food or if I'm at a BBQ and there are SO MANY FUCKING CHANCES to overeat.

But it's feeling more manageable with every day that I am focused on holding healthier eating habits.  I have no control or power when it comes to food; the only way I am able to manage is that I turn it over to God rather than hoping to control my obsession myself.  It is so freeing and so lovely to give it away and see that this is not a shameful thing to talk about but rather a piece of holding unto the truth of my life.

Every time I eat a meal or refrain from emotional eating, God is present.  Food is pieces of nutrients that are useful for my body, not magical containers of happiness.  With that in mind scones or fries or other trigger foods hold no weight in my decision of what to eat.  I need/want sustenance that tastes fresh and delicious.  God's love flows through me as I float in the waters of God's grace and God's sense of power.  Sometimes that love means being rageful and my hands balled up into fists; sometimes it means sitting down for a healthy meal with friends; sometimes it means smiling ear to ear when I'm biking in the sunshine.  It is all connected to my relationship to my Higher Power.

This semester I've been immersed in two amazing courses: Preaching and NeoPaganism Liturgy.  My preaching course is taught by a woman and is made up of 6 insightful, passionate women.  In this course I have transformed in the way that I conduct myself in worship as a leader.  I no longer simply say, "God, you have brought us out of the waters of darkness into new life" but say, "O GOD (breath), YOU have brought us OUT of the waters of darkness into NEW life."  Every word that is uttered in worship holds value; the way that we say things is monumental in carrying the message across to other people.  I am beginning to see how powerful it is to create a sacred space using my identity as a leader and showing vulnerability.  My raw emotions are much more vital than maintaining a professional appearance.  When I encounter leaders in church or daily life settings, I don't want to interact with a shiny person who looks put together; I want a leader to show their scars because it makes my scars real and ok to talk about as well.

NeoPaganism is course that includes spending time in a round Chapel with passionate, caring, knowledgeable people who discuss pagan traditions, Wicca, Radical Faeries, and a whole of information that I don't understand.  All of our readings and rituals in class pertain to having a personal experience with the Divine, whatever the Divine looks like.  I see the preciousness of taking time to notice how I am already a deeply spiritual person.

Washing the dishes is a way of interacting with water that serves as a grounding element; I pray to my Loving Spirit as I swim laps in an outdoor pool.  I light a candle and sing some words in the warmth of the Light; I take time to sniff the beautiful roses that are scattered everywhere in Berkeley.  I soak my feet in salt water and let go of my angry feelings.  I meditate for a few minutes before going to bed because it centers me into sleep.  All of this is connecting me with God.  EXPLOSION of connecting the ways I am already working in the realm of the Divine here today.  The experience isn't perfect and the words of gratitude, demand, anger, and peace flow out so easily when I'm focused on moving through the experience of the Divine whether it's a traditional way of accessing God or not.  The point isn't in the labeling but in the feeling of moving out of my own worries and into the deep waters of acceptance and love.

Loving Spirit
You held me before I
even knew who I was to be
Flow in me as I float in you
Flow in me as I float in you
Flow in me as I float in  you.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Preaching in the Town that Never Was

 SPRING BREAK! Woohooo!!
I'm so happy to be able to spend some of my break in Los Alamos, New Mexico; this wonderful community of Bethelem Lutheran has supported me by giving me a scholarship to go to seminary.  Not only do they do that, but they were the place I first preached and washed people's feet last year on Maundy Thursday.  The Lloyd family from this church sends me a care package or a card every month because I am the student that they support.  If anyone from this church happens to be in the Bay Area, they come and take me out to dinner.  These people barely know me yet they smile at me like I am a long lost friend who has finally come home; this is a special place to visit and I am so grateful!
 I'm not only immersed in this church community while I'm here but I get a feel for the cultural context that is here in a town that literally only exists because of the Manhattan Project that was placed in the middle of the desert of New Mexico for scientists to test the atomic bomb.  Los Alamos is a town that is centrally focused on The Lab; a whole bunch of frugal, humble, and friendly scientists (ie geniuses) that are passionate about their work and also want to make a difference in this world.  This small town is so chock full talent and resources yet it struggles with many issues.  What does Los Alamos say for being a town and laboratory that was placed right on Indian land?  How does this place reconcile for making a space for a LOT of job opportunities for this area of New Mexico yet pushing Indians off of their land and also polluting the environment with harmful chemicals?  How do these brilliant scientists relate with the indigenous peoples as well as large Spanish-speaking populations in this area that were here long before The Lab and this Town That Never Was (it was a secret town during the Manhattan Project)?
Not only in terms of cultural context, but how does this town with the huge pressures that lay on the children's shoulders to be brilliant and go far in their careers?  This community has experienced quite a few suicides in recent years and are working on cultivating ways to show students and children how valuable they are outside of intellect, after-school activities, and getting into prestigious colleges.

I thought a lot about these issues the first time I was able to visit Los Alamos last year and I continue to hold all of these people in my heart as I am here once again.  Today I had the spectacular opportunity to get a tour of an Indian pueblo by a native, Ramos Sanchez, who is a very talented artists, World War II vet, and full of amazing stories that stand the test of time.
New Mexico: what a precious place to be today.  I hope that hearing the story of this place is helpful to you, dear reader, in some way.  I was privileged to be able to preach at a Lenten service for 4 of the congregations in Los Alamos that I'll share with you.  As always, thank you for reading, thank you for caring about me, thank you for being someone who reminds me that every day we are filled with God's love.

Romans 5:1-8

5 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Savior Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

I'm not familiar with many of you but am so grateful to be here in this community tonight. I'm Kaitlin Winter-Eulberg and I am a seminarian in Berkeley, CA; I'm a very grateful recipient of the Hayes Memorial Scholarship from Bethelem Lutheran Church here in Los Alamos, NM. One of the first thing I'd like to share to help you all understand a bit of me is that I am not only a pastor's kid, but both of my parents are ordained ministers in the Lutheran church. This means that I have been dragged to many a church event. In high school, my mom took me to a campus ministry supper and bible study event at a house where Christian college students would live and volunteer. I distinctly remember meeting another pastor there who greeted me in saying: “Good to meet you today. Isn't this day wonderful? Everyday we are filled with God's love.” This man laughed as he spoke these words and people around us said that this was his standard greeting for everyone, every day. I don't remember that man's name or even his face but I certainly remember his words.
As we hear this passage of Romans, what does it mean to boast in the hope of sharing God's goodness? When I first hear the word boast, my thoughts do not go to “Yes, boast; that's it! I should be boasting!” Within our cultural context, boasting can be seen as focusing on our own deeds and puffing ourselves up to something bigger than we are. My own understanding of boasting is when we tell a story not to share it with someone else but rather to hear the words out in the air and so other people know how awesome we are. Yet, this text calls us to boast not of our accomplishments but boast of the abundant grace of God. Boasting no longer is about puffing ourselves up to be deflated by the trials of life, but we boast of the foundation that cannot be shaken. We share the story: for God so loved this world that God took on a human body as Jesus. Jesus walked on this earth just as we do and suffered like we do as he died on a cross, showing us that there is no limit to God's love for us. We are vessels in which God pours and pours and pours love; this steady stream of grace is constant and never ending. It does not matter whether we are kind or hurtful or even boasting about ourselves instead of God. God pours love through us so that we can spread the joy of the freedom that we have as we stand on God's grace. Even as we are humans who cannot hold unto or understand the ultimate truth of God, this Romans passage states that God has proven the love that God has for us in the story of Jesus Christ dying for us even as we are a people of sin that focus on worldly treasures. Even in our sinful nature, we are called to pause and say: “Isn't this day wonderful? Everyday we are filled with God's love.”
This Romans passage not only calls for us to boast of God's love but also that we are to boast in our suffering. What does it look like to boast in suffering? I imagine that speaking about our suffering upfront can be vulnerable place to be and that it helps take the burden of holding our suffering alone. One of the most touching pieces of Jesus' death for me is that I know that God has suffered through pains of which I cannot comprehend. Jesus has taken on all of the suffering and walks through death into new life; whatever pain and hurt I am experiencing, I know that Jesus is present. This does not make our grief and hurt and pain go away but rather shows us that we are never alone; we are all together in this world that has been embraced in love by God.
This passage speaks out towards suffering in that is produces endurance, character, and hope. This part stops me in my tracks because it carries a progression that begins with suffering, as if suffering is necessary to understand hope. This holds a whisper of the concept that the suffering we all experience is supposed to happen so that we may grow into hope. The painful experiences that we grip tightly do not make sense and there are deep wounds that were not meant to be there. Suffering is not supposed to happen but rather, it is here and we all are holding pieces of hurt whether old or new, huge or small. What do we do with this pain and grief?
The suffering takes shape in our lives and the question this passage focuses on is what can we do with our suffering. We share our story and our pains so we see that we are all together working towards the reminder of hope and love that God constantly pours into us. We boast of our suffering in order that we see that our place is here with each other and that our hope lies not in ourselves but in the gracious love of God. We boast of the love that God gives in our words and deeds. We are called to look at each other and say: “Isn't this day wonderful? Everyday we are filled with God's love.” We are called to take the hands of the person next to us and share the love and energy that God continues to pour into us every day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Perspectives of the City.

 It took a few days on the streets to fall completely out of love with San Francisco. The City had been a playground for late nights dancing, long days of walking to “see the sights,” and places to spend money for a piece of luxury. Now I was faced with the dichotomies of the beautiful, shiny buildings and the shit that actually paves the streets.

Like many, I bought into the fantasy of the heart of San Francisco. I imagine the City as this slinky woman in a sparkly dress that speaks in a husky voice: “Come to me and I will hold you; I will kiss your wounds and made it all well.” Lady Francisca whispers to the lonely outsiders and offers a mild climate with a comforting bosom on which the hurting can rest their heads. This lady points to the sparkling blue Bay, the rust colored arches of the Golden Gate, and the mysterious fog as the environment where souls can be restored. But here's the thing: Lady Francisca is bullshit.

Lady Francisca has deep, sharp claws that will sink into your pocketbooks and flesh until you are dried up. Lady Francisca offers you a few hits to kick back and relax until your brain is obsessed with the next fix and the fix is no longer a kind gesture but a demanding fist. This mystical place of hippie love, space for all, and progressive politics pays close attention to the color of your skin: if your skin is not white, it does not matter if you were born here or work hard or have dreams.

I walked the streets and peered into the corners of this City of “Free Love” and found how many prices there are to pay to reside here. I saw the distrust in the eyes of faces that were hardened by years of judgement and being pushed out of their homes by the Bay. I saw the “affordable” high-rise lofts in the Filmore that replaced beloved neighborhoods of many African-Americans. I heard about the many years that Chinese immigrants and Chinese-Americans were kept inside the walls of Chinatown, not allowed to become a part of the community of San Francisco. I felt the desperation leaking out of people's voices as they whispered, then spoke, then yelled to be heard and seen from their spot on the streetcorner.

I lowered my eyes in shame as I waited in line to get food, use a restroom, or be able to sit down somewhere. There is nothing I could do to make myself not a young woman with shiny teeth and innocent eyes that glaringly told people that I did not know or understand the streets. My eyes deadened with exhaustion from sleeping on church floors and pews, walking for miles, and holding in pee, but that exhaustion didn't change that after 3 weeks of being immersed in the streets of San Francisco, I got to go home. As I walked the streets littered with trash, I knew that there were a few coins and bills in my bag that could pay my way into any coffeeshop or bar. What a luxury, to know that if worse came to worst, there were so many safety nets lined up for me to fall into. How terrifying to see that those nets can easily be broken apart into useless pieces of fabric.

The first days walking in San Francisco as a “cultural immerser” I felt myself on edge. My back was tightened, waiting for the sting of something or someone. The only person that was attacking me at that moment was myself; the fear held all of my ability to connect with others. I immediately felt changes as I boldly strolled down a darkened street as a night minister: I wanted to be seen and I wanted for people to talk to me. Every pair of eyes that I made eye contact with was someone that I could acknowledge, give a nod to, or maybe have a conversation with. I met the people that I would call the real Lady Franciscas: the night ministers who embrace those on the street who are hungry for comfort and a listening ear.

As I settled into being a person who walked the streets of San Francisco for hours each day, my eyes were opened in new ways. The people on the streets, whether they were hurriedly walking to an appointment, full-on running to catch the BART or bus, or sitting on a stoop while calling out for money, these people did not seem like strangers to me. I saw the fear in the eyes of young women walking down a dark street, I saw the seemingly powerful confidence of a suit-clad person walking with a cell phone. I watched many people pass by and ignore people that were sitting or standing on the sidewalk, asking for change. I have been that person that walked right by a person hoping for interaction; I have been an active part of this system of overlooking the real humanness of people in this city that we say we love so much. Rather than being a part of the system, I stepped back and saw all of these people as opportunities to learn more.

I walked past a man sitting on the street who was yelling out for someone to hear him: “ANYONE? DO YOU HAVE CHANGE?” His face was twisted in anguish as he called out to the people that quickly passed by who avoided his eyes. As more people encountered him and did not acknowledge his presence, his voice rose and fell in desperation. I looked over towards him and our eyes locked. 

The man's face changed so instantaneously that I was in shock. His desperation and anger melted away into a smile that creased the skin around his eyes. He gave me a thumbs up as I asked him how his night was going; I told him I hoped he could find some warmth that night. He waved goodbye and with that broad smile, said, “Thank you, bless you and enjoy your night!” I was astounded by the sudden happiness that lept off of him as I took a few seconds to glance over at him. It seemed like there was a hunger that was running deeper than the need for a bite to eat or a warm, safe place to sit: he was deeply yearning for someone to see him as a person. This man gave me hope that night in the city that had been exposed to me as bleak, greedy, and cold.

The shiny lights of Lady Francisca still don't entice me the same that they once did. Yet I learned how to love San Francisco again from a man with a toothless smile who sat down with me at a senior citizen luncheon. This quiet guy talked me through his daily routine of begging for coffee each morning and then walking around the neighborhoods of San Francisco. He spoke of his favorite spots to view the rolling hills of San Francisco and the best benches to rest on for an hour or so. He described the Presidio's green trees with a fondness and familiarity; he advised about the best times to see the sun shine just right on the Golden Gate Bridge. After describing all of these beauties in the city, he said, “You know, every single place in this city holds so many perspectives; it just depends where and how you are looking at it.”

I can look at San Francisco from the eyes of a guarded woman walking alone in a darkened street; I can see this city from the eyes of a business person hurrying about their day. But I choose to see this Foggy City by the Bay from that man's gentle and caring eyes: I see the fog silently rolling in through the buildings or the sun shining on the pavement that is worn from walking. I see this City with tired feet and with a heart that is turned towards hope.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Calling it by Name.

I felt angry the first time I heard the term "overeater."  My mother had sat the 15 year-old me down and calmly asked if I was an overeater.  I felt such a mixture of emotions in that minute:  She had noticed my eating habits? My eating habits were abnormal?  How dare she name it outright?  Is that what I was? I had no clue.  I remember making a face of confusion/disgust and clearly stating, "No!"  Which is a typical response of an immature girl who doesn't want to be called out on her shit.  It is even a typical response I hear from people and tell myself often; outright denial of our deepest fears is so much easier to do than face them head on.

But here I am, bearing the reality of my life.

I know that I have an unhealthy relationship with food.  I remember quite clearly a day in 5th grade choir when we celebrated a special occasion with a pizza party.  I thought to myself as we waited for the pizza to arrive:  "I hope there is enough for me to have 3 pieces of pizza; I will not be happy unless I eat 3 pieces."  Hold up: WHAT?  Happiness= an arbitrary amount of food?

But there it was, my emotions already inexplicably wrapped around what I would be able to eat.  I think of that day and I want to hide my face in shame.  How did this happen to me?  Why do I think this way?  Why am I unable to control myself and why am I not able to eat normally?  What is wrong with me?  I could play the mind games of negative self talk forever (in fact, I often do) but it doesn't get me anywhere.

I am not often aware of the way that I negatively impact my view of my body and how I destroy it with my unhealthy relationship with food.  I find myself often tugging at my clothes as if begging them to fit or even more fantastical, wishing that my body was not what it is.  This is a conscious and subconscious stream of thought; these thoughts are so prevalent that I lose track of where my hunger comes from.

There are so many reasons that I feel "hungry": 1) My body needs nutrition; 2) It's the normal time to eat so I should; 3) I feel shitty/lonely/depressed/anxious/whatever so therefore I should eat; 4) I hate my body and myself so self-destruction to keep that hate going comes in the form of eating; 5) I think that food can fill the deep void of emptiness that comes from not accepting myself; 6) Free food is near so I should gorge on that because it's free, as if there is a scarcity of food in my path.

Here's the ultimate truth: There is a deep hole in my soul that I attempt to fill with food and negative self-talk about my body.  I've gone through many fantasies in my head about a time in my life in which I will not obsess about whether I'm allowed to eat a delicious treat, socialize normally with food, enjoy food until I am full, and so many more scenarios.  I dream of enjoying running and looking amazing in a pair of jeans.  I've built so many houses of self esteem in other ways, like using humor and friendliness to make myself feel as if I deserve to be loved/adored.  I'm a master at prettying myself up with coordinating and brightly colored outfits with dresses, scarves, jewelry.  And the truth is that I do have many gifts and I am a person that holds a lot of love on her sleeve.  I'm not looking for pity about my self-hatred by writing this on a public blog, but rather to bare another part of me that I desperately try to hide from myself and others.  I need to hold myself accountable for the things that I so wish were not true: I am not a normal eater.  I often do not know when to stop eating and I engage in a lot of guilt/ negative self talk about eating.  My obsession with food is overwhelmingly powerful and I am done floundering alone.

I attended my first Overeaters Anonymous (OA) meeting this week.  It was absolutely terrifying to be in a space where I knew no one and had to be honest with people about their and my coping mechanisms around food.  I told a tiny part of my story and I cried because this deep void goes so deep; it reaches to the core of my being.  It feels like my unhealthy relationship with myself will never end and that there is no where to go but down.  But being honest and paying attention to the ways that I self-destruct with demanding so much of myself whilst indulging and compulsively eating food is a tiptoe in the right direction.  I hope to notice the triggers in which I feel hungry because my emotions and to journal about the feelings rather than entering into a cycle of unhealthy compulsive eating.  I want to pay attention to my trigger foods as well as situations that make it hard for me to be healthy.

I'm currently full of questions about how to do this, especially as a young, social woman who wants to still be actively engaged the communities that I love.  I know that I am in a stressful situation as a student with lots of TO DOs and little time to spare.  But there is always time to prioritize what I really care about.  And what I deeply need/want to care about is myself and my own health.

This is scary and frustrating and all consuming.  Thanks for reading and being a support for my journey.

God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.