Clash of the Cultures

How many people have ended their relationship because of the culture differences? Never would I thought I would be in a situation where culture was an issue between me and the man I was seeing.
So I’ve been dating this amazing guy, whom I’m scared will turn out to be too good to be true, but that’s beside the point for the purpose of this posting. I feel something special for him and I’m so grateful God placed him in my life, but with everything good comes something bad, ours is: culture! He’s from Guatemala, and while we are both Hispanic, I can assure you there are many differences between the Cuban culture and the Guatemalan culture.
For example, there are words in my culture that are bad words but Cubans take it more lightly, and in Guatemala there are considered “very bad words”. Another issue is the use of formal versus informal; in other words “usted” and “señora” or “señor” versus “tu” and first name basis when it comes to relating to his parents and family. In Cuba, formalities were lost as a consequence of the revolution and everyone being “equal”. In Central and South American countries everyone is mr and mrs: very uncomfortable for Cubans. I am surely trying to adapt to this as I would not like this relationship to end over something trivial (at least I want to think it’s trivial) but it is not easy, and somewhat absurd by my standards. I don’t know if this will cause problems, hopefully when his family gets to relate to my family this will all be behind us. I’ve always imagined the mother of the man I dated and someday married to be my friend, and call her “mom”, it didn’t happen with my first husband, and by the looks of it it won’t happen with my new boyfriend. C’est la vie! I will have to adapt and move on.
God placed this wonderful Guatemalan man in my life, and I plan to keep him! Hahaha
At this moment my life I almost complete.
Changing the subject and adding some amazing news aside from the part that I’m dating someone, and it’s getting to be serious, I went to the Miami Beach the other day. I am delighted, excited, ecstatic to say that I was able to get in the water and I swam, floated and went under water. I had not been able to do that in 3 years! That was a major milestone for me in with my illness. God is renewing me in every possible way, and for that I am so grateful. I have been able to sleep for the past week without the need of pain killers. I just can’t thank God enough for this wonderful stage in my life where my health and love life are so amazingly synchronized.
For those out there that are suffering with pain, don’t lose hope. I never did. I continue with my daily struggle of finding complete healing from my illness, but God has been merciful and I’m so amazed by His presence in my life.

What is God trying to tell me?

A while ago something in my life changed. I dont know how to explain this, and I’m not really sure if I am ready to disclose this but it’s something that has confirmed God’s love for me. I am still dealing with the aftermath of my bitter separation, and most likely than not I am not ready to start anew because I’m getting to love me again, but God has placed someone there to help me in this, I think. I am so grateful that I am feeling things that were dead in me, and I hope that His message is much more profound than I believe it to be at this moment. I’m still trying to figure out what this means. I continue to need His guidance but I hope with all of my heart that this will bring me happiness.
The person that reads this, you know who you are, this is a way to express my gratitude towards you. This is all I’m able to give at this time because my heart was broken into little pieces and I’m still putting it back. Thank you for valuing the person I have become and for staying by my side. God has been so merciful with me, as He always is.
I continue to love my life here in Florida. I was so excited I got to spend a day at the beach in October, and it was an hour drive. So amazing! It’s great to walk out the door not scared of feeling pain in my bones. An amazing feeling to actually live and not just survive.

Blessings.

Always Learning

Lately I’ve been contemplating if making the move to FL was a wise decision, things have been going well but a few bumps along the road always makes me think if I made the right choice. There is not doubt in my mind that I am functional down here. I don’t have to hibernate when winter rolls around. For example, today October 5th it’s 84 degrees outside. I’m in heaven! In Maryland it’s 57degrees- not so great for this body. The fact that I can have a life and support myself gives me a lot of happiness. I have found a roommate under the most random circumstances; a sweet girl whom I know will be a good asset to my life. My plans of buying a house have been a bit shaky, but God always gives me a solution to my misery. The best message He sent me was today during mass in the second reading

Brothers and sisters:
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petitions, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you. –Philippians 4:6-9

I felt like that was for me because anxiety has been close to my heart lately.
I shall not lose faith, I shall continue trusting Him because through Him all things are possible.
Lately, He has been teaching me about me as a person and how much I’ve matured but at the same time how much farther I have to go.
The first thing I need to do is value the person I am. I am learning that people come and go into your life when you need them, but not all are meant to stay. I found a quote that states:

“Your value doesn’t decrease by someone’s inability to see your worth” –anonymous

Not everyone is capable of valuing another person’s virtues. I married a person like that. So, I know that this is a definite possibility.
There are a few things happening in my life that I would rather keep for me at this point, but I am definitely hoping that God will take me exactly to where I will find my happiness.

Blessings to you all! Happy Sunday!

Lupus Nightmare

I was wondering if any of my other lupus readers go through what I went through yesterday. This happens to me every once in a while, but it had not happen to me since April or May of this year. I am still trying to figure out what brings on these attacks that leave me defenseless and absolutely miserable.
I woke up yesterday with my body feeling achy and uncomfortable. I went downstairs to have breakfast; eggs and kefir. I could not finish it. I felt like throwing up. I quickly stopped eating and went to sit on the couch. I lasted there about 10 minutes before I had the strength to go up to my room and rest. By the time I reached my bedroom I was barely able to walk, very fatigued, and extremely cold. The house temperature was 79 or 80, and I felt so cold I started shivering. I don’t know how I had the strength to get in bed, cover myself and sleep. My feet were cold the entire time I slept, but not freezing cold as they were before putting my socks on and covering myself. God was definitely with me because in instances like these my dad or mom would usually help me get in bed. I slept for about 4 hours waking up ever so often feeling tired and feeling the latent pain even when I swallowed. After my nap, I woke up not feeling cold, but I felt like I had a fever, I suppose it must have been all of the covers and comforters I was under. I took a nice long hot shower and by 6 pm I was able to start my day or night in this case. I had very little strength though and felt tired- sleepy. I went to bed early but did not fall asleep until 11pm. Today I feel much better, almost as If yesterday was a distant memory.
I wonder what it is that causes this to happen to me. The night before I experienced a strong emotion and stress. I have been over working although I am trying to cut back on that. I just feel that this will be a sporadic thing that I will have to deal with as long as I live. I continue to drink a lot of water, and when I feel like I explained above the only thing my body asks for is water-lots and lots of water! I continue to eat gluten free, little sugar, little milk, and I try to sleep at least 10 hours a night. Does this happen to anyone else? Please let me know your experience.

Blessings.
Miriam

Humans & Love

Sometimes I sit for hours wondering if when a person says “I love you” whether it be in a romantic relationship or friendship, if the person is willing to abide by what those words entail. It is with much sadness that I have come to the understanding that most people don’t. Lately, I’ve been faced with the rough reality that people too often say “I love you” but their pride seems to be more important than that love they feel.
I have always been of the opinion that pride cannot be more important than loving someone. Granted- I was not always like this. There was a time when I would rather lose a person than say “I’m sorry” or try and process the situation. In fact, I lost people because of it, but looking back I guess they lost me too because relationships are a two way street. Maybe I’m abnormal or maybe I’ve been hit enough in life that I’ve learned that we were given this life to live it and love it to the fullest because once it’s our turn to meet the Creator we can live with regrets of the things we “should” have done. That’s what Albert Ellis talked about in his theory that people use “I should…” or I “would…” instead of saying “I did” We live our lives so worried about preserving our pride or keeping a certain stature that we forget what living is about.
I often ask myself what humans were placed on earth to do: it’s a given that we all have this strong need to be loved, not said by me, but my many theorists in the field of psychology. I can honestly say that all humans crave this and the ones who don’t have some sort of mental illness. The Bible even speaks about humans and the need for loving and nurturing others.
I don’t know if I more often than not make a big deal over things that are really not that important. But if there is something I have tried to teach myself and I think I’m succeeding at it is never allow a misunderstanding to pass and try and fix it. I try to surround myself with people who have the same values as me. I have allowed too many people to invade my life, use me and discard me. The people who are a part of my life at this moment have proved they deserve to be there. I only wished that those same people that are in my life would be less proud and more “love”. But I guess we must learn to take people with the good and the bad: part of learning to live.

Blessings.

My Crazy Mind

It’s funny that I’ve been giving therapy to a variety of clients everyday for the past 2 1/2 months. I have to admit that giving therapy is a way to give yourself therapy. I am definitely learning from the things I tell my clients. During these moments I realize that it’s very different to learn something to pass a class as opposed to learn something to actually put it into practice.
I think back to when I first started in my masters programs and how little I knew about life and conflict resolution, rules of arguing, thinking distortions, etc. God has a way of showing us and giving us the things we need when we need them. However, even though God gave me the opportunity to learn these things, he also gave me free- will and my free- will took me to do the opposite of the the things I was learning; I was never capable of using them in my marriage. I used to spend hours lamenting the decisions, the words, the tones used when arguing with my ex husband. I would find myself blaming me for all the wrong things that happened in my marriage, and it took me a long time to realize that a marriage is of two people and if there is a need to blame then we are both to blame.
Now I’m lying in bed thinking that tomorrow is his birthday, and I can’t help but wonder what he will do. It’s important that my readers now that I pray for my ex- husband every night. I pray that he finds God and that he find himself and what he needs in order to be happy because he is not. The Bible says to pray for your enemies because that’s the hardest thing to do, and even though I don’t consider my ex my enemy I know that he does consider me his enemy, so I pray from him and I pray for me.
I’m also having these thoughts hanging over my head about the things I need to do with my life. Everything is money and I can’t help but feel overwhelmed since I don’t make too much of that. I wanted to get a part time job where I could gain more experience but that’s a hard thing to find here in FL. I’m hoping God will give me a way out of my problems, as He always does.
I really have felt pressure lately due to so many things that are happening in my life. It’s hard not to have a person to support and just listen. But I know God has something wonderful for me. I must believe it as it helps me keep going ; it gives meaning to my life.

The Unexpected Pleasantries

Good Morning Folks.

I’ve been thinking lately that I have not taken the time to write, probably because my life has been so chaotic that I barely have time to sit down and just relax. Something that, of course, my fellow lupus sufferers know it is a necessity not a luxury for us. As you may imagine, I’ve been dealing with physical pain caused mainly by stress. Yuppee for stress! Such an amazing bodily reaction to adversities God created in us. I guess it doesn’t make sense to complain because humans have the capacity to let go of stress or live with and in it. The idea of free-will as God so graciously bestowed upon us.

Anyway, I recently had to move from my apartment, for reasons that I would rather keep to myself (because we never know who could find my blog) I had to leave and quickly find a new home, a home that will only be available until November, so I am currently looking for another place to live. Between finding a place to live, work (which has been picking up lately), cleaning, grocery shopping, paying bills, cooking, nightly and daily prayers for loved ones who are sick, etc. I’ve been swamped! I guess I’m complaining about the fact that I am finally an adult, not just in age but in responsibility. I have been able to hold my own, but these stressors don’t come without lupus pain. The much dreaded lupus pain, the one that doesn’t let you sleep at night or the one that makes you feel miserable about yourself and to a certain extent makes you doubt if life is meant to be lived this way or not. But I guess this would be an appropriate time to use that old saying, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”.

On the bright side, I have found some truly amazing people. People at work whom have really showed me that God is merciful, people whom pray for me, whom listen and whom care. I really can not complain in that aspect. God always sends me messages through various people, and sometimes I grasp it right away and other times it takes me a little while. The people who took me in when I arrive in Florida, they continue to be a blessing to me. I am not sure what God has in store for me for the next few months, but it’s not my job to know, my job is to cherish Him, pray to Him, and let Him guide me.

Today, I am trying to relax and to feel better because tomorrow is the start of yet another busy week. Thank God I have the capacity both physically and mentally to take on another day.

Blessings.

Life in Florida

I’ve been absent for a while but I haven’t forgotten that I have a blog and most importantly readers of my blog. I apologize for being away for so long, but life has had it’s unexpected turns of events although I live them happily just because life is without a doubt better in Florida.
My apartment is no longer empty! It has a couch and 3 other seats, the decoration is black and white, it kind of reminds me of a hotel. Maybe I’m looking at it with my love goggles on, but I’m happy nonetheless. My mom is an exquisite designer. I’m happy she has that talent so I can use it. Hehe.
My day consist of work. That’s what I do Monday through Friday. My mom was staying with me for a while and we barely spent time together. That made me feel guilty considering the fact she was here visiting me. Now she’s gone and I miss her like crazy!! She’ll be back soon though after her lovely 8 day cruise with my dad. I’ll get to enjoy them for a few days until they head back to good old Maryland.
What can I say about the events in my life that have kept me away for so long? For starters I have been thinking about looking for a place to live that I can call my own once my lease is up. Trying to go down the road of the life long debt that all Americans go through- buying my first home! Yes. Nothing yet but with God’s help hopefully I’ll find something nice.
I have gotten to know a few people down here and while some have turned out to be complete letdowns, I have met some truly amazing people. People of God, and what else is more amazing than that? I still haven’t found a parish down here, although I’m hoping my catechist will contact me soon.
I continue to love my life down here. God continues to be merciful and teaches me something new everyday.

God Bless.

Today

As I sit in my new apartment with just my TV, computer and bed, I feel extremely happy! I am in a reminiscing mood where I am thankful to my parents for sacrificing being with their family to give my brother and me a better life. What better day to be thankful and to acknowledge that than on Independence Day? A beautiful holiday we Americans celebrate! :-) I’m grateful to God because He has given me this new life, and sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that I was miserable, lonely, heartbroken and so much more about 6 months ago.

I am creating a life here in Florida, and I couldn’t ask for a better one. The only thing I am missing as of now is having my parents a bit closer, but that will happen in time and at the right time. Nevertheless, I’m grateful I have them in my life and that they will always be there for me and I will always be there for them.

When I arrived in Florida less than a month ago, I was taken in by a couple that have been friends with my parents for about 40 years. They treated me and continue to treat me better than some of my family. This is how my experience in Florida started. Could I have asked for anything better? From the beginning God was welcoming me in this life change. As He continues to do say with every passing day.

I am loving my new job! It’s rewarding, and what I love the most is that God is with me every second of everyday. I have never felt so comfortable and secure in a job as I do in this one. God is showering me with blessings. I really can’t complain. He has really proven to me that:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

He gave me the strength through the adversities and is now giving me a whole new life that is better than I could have ever expected. God has been merciful with me and for that I am forever grateful.

So with this posting all I want to do is rejoice and remind you that He is there. He is always there, and accepting that or not is part of life.

Many Blessings.

Starting Over

It’s amazing the feeling one feels when a divorce is finalized. After all of the struggle, the tears, the begging, suffering and depressive moods, I can honestly say this should have happened sooner. I wasn’t present today when my divorce was finalized by a judge. I am in Florida and the divorce took place in Maryland. I was represented by my lawyer, my ex husband gave his testimony accompanied by his lawyer. My lawyer told me what his testimony was, and all I could and can think is, how did I remain married to this man for so long? He’s ruthless and unscrupulous; a complete failure as a man, husband and as a human being. But those feelings are normal, I suppose, after such a disharmonious end to this marriage.
But on a lighter note, I am grateful that I was not there today. I’m grateful for being where I am. I have been welcomed by a caring and giving family that has known me practically my entire life. The thing that’s amazing to me is a childhood friend that confessed he had always held me in a special place in his heart. I dont think there is much else to say about that, except that comment made my day.
My life is starting now. What I thought was my life was only an experience, an experience that showed me many things among them the will to continue looking for a better me. God has been merciful with me, and for that I thank Him everyday.