Love is Patient

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So it has been a while since I have been able to share my One Word Challenge.  I assure you that doesn’t go without many lessons in between.  I have been learning so much about myself and about others.  I have been learning about loving interactions as well as what love truly mean.  Love is not always a lovey-dovey feeling where you are constantly wanting to make-out with the person.  Love is not always liking the person either.  Love has its share of hardships and struggles, but love is always a choice.

There are many times to which I have felt I cannot truly love a person because they have hurt me so greatly.  Well the fact of the matter is, I too have hurt myself greatly.  It is a two way street and if I was truly going to hold myself accountable for something I did, not the other party, then I need to own up to it.  Honesty.  A big dose of honesty.  I have realized though in being honest with myself it makes everything clearer in a seemingly cloudy situation.  Relationships you see can be quite messy if you allow them to be.

Love is pretty limitless and straight forward you see.  It is our misconception to what WE think love is that makes it messy.  Can we actually conceptualize love?  I think we can start this journey by first and foremost choosing to love.  It is a paradox.  By choosing something we don’t fully understand–it seems a bit absurd.  We know what it takes to love by the examples set by those who have gone before us.  Take for an instant Jesus.  This man died for me.  If you look at the events surrounding His life, He set an example of complete and total love.  Look at who His best friends were.  They were sinners like you and I.  They were those who were cast aside, deemed unworthy of normal folks, and most of all looked down upon.  Sinners that didn’t deserve the attention of the others.  He surrounded those individuals with love.  You see, when it comes down to it, we are ALL sinners.  It is in our human nature.  We are always going to hurt ourselves and others.  Always.  So what do we do to start this journey of love?

1. Pray.  Pray fervently.  Learn who God is.  Learn who you are in God.  That is where you will really learn to grow in focus and in purpose.  Here too is where you will learn about your vocation (your duty and calling in this life).

2. Learn to integrate God into every decision you make.  If it is not out of love for God, rethink your decision.  This is where we give up our selfish ways.  We surrender our wants and desires for God’s Will for us.  Let go of anything holding us back.  Remember WWJD bracelets?  A constant reminder of our actions?  This is a really hard step.  It is extremely hard to fight against selfishness as it is written in our human DNA.

3. Talk to God about those who have hurt you.  Learn to love through forgiveness.  As you forgive others, God will forgive you.  That is an important part to this puzzle.  This becomes easier as you will grow in understanding toward others through forgiveness.  I have learned in this step a lot of times the person hurting is a misdirection their hurt on to you.  For right, wrong, or the other reason–we should try to see that and love them despite their hurtful actions.

4. Be honest with yourself.  If you know you are struggling with something….something embarrassing.  Something that you could never tell a soul about or you might just die.  Well guess what?  God already knows what you did.  It takes something of true humility to be completely honest with yourself and lay it all out there.  It takes true humility to own up and make up for what you have done.  It changes you.  It simplifies your decisions.  It makes things more clear.

It takes a lot of love.  I have chosen to love without placing limits on myself.  I have chosen to never hold back my love for anyone.  Love puts others needs before our own needs.  That one is a really hard one.  I will never stop witnessing to the love that God shows me each day….or trying to witness to that love.  I will never stop trying my hardest to demonstrate that same love to others.  I am not going to lie though and tell you I have mastered it because I am far from perfect.  It is hard being patient with my 14-year-old brother when he is being a 14-year-old annoying boy.  It is hard for me to love my sister when she is being dramatic about the rules my parents are placing when she can’t use my mom’s phone after 10pm.  It is hard to love friends who cannot tell you to your face they are moving and let you find out via Facebook.  It is so hard not yelling, screaming, keeping it all in perspective when it seems like hell has broken loose.  It is hard loving those who drive you bonkers!

It is hard to love your siblings all the time, but I am asked to love them regardless.  It is hard loving your coworkers when they purposely push your buttons just to see how far they can push until you break.  Love doesn’t break.  Love stays cool and keeps it in perspective.  Love overlooks all of the petty small things.  Love looks deep into the heart of the individual and connects continually.  Love makes all things possible.

Equally, love is patient seems to be a theme.  Love is patient, love is kind.  Love is being patient and kind with ourselves through the journey.  Love unites.  Love brings us out of our misery and what a beautiful blessing when we feel that love radiate from our soul.  What a beautiful notion to love all those who come in contact with whether that is an everyday occurrence, once a year thing or whatever it may be.  Love doesn’t mean you won’t get upset or angry.  Love doesn’t mean that you are going to like or agree with a person’s believes.  Love just means you are going to be available to help them at any given point if that is what you are asked to do.

When it comes down to it, love helps us get through a lot of bull-poo-poo.  It helps us work through our own problems and it helps us appreciate each and every creature or being there is.  It helps us more than we can realize.

Let us be brave enough to choose to love through our pains, sorrows, and hardships.  Let us love non-judgmentally.  Let us love without wavering.  Let us love as God loves us.

Hugs and blessings,
CatMan

21 Moments

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Today’s reflection on my pursuit of love comes with a few beautiful little finds…I think you might agree upon seeing them too!

1) http://twistedsifter.com/2013/05/humans-of-new-york-brandon-stanton/

2) http://thedailylove.com/how-to-let-a-man-know-you-are-interested-and-a-special-letter-to-men/

3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJeV9H8SGdg

As you can see, there are many ways to capture and express your feelings on love.  Love can be found in all forms.  Whether you are a stranger in NY, a man trying to help a brother out, and or expressing visually in the form of a video about your other half–love can be found just about everywhere!  It is moments like these above which remind us of how human we are and that no matter how much we try to express this feeling, it still is imperfect yet meaningful.

❤ CatMan

52-56: Monday and the Broken Vase

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Sorry it has been a while.  There has been a lot going on in my world.  I am coming to know just how beautiful imperfection is.  I have been releasing the skeletons from my closet in hopes to cleanse my heart and soul of the negative and such I don’t need.  I don’t desire to be held back or down any more.

For the record:  Monday-0 and CatMan-3.  I stopped myself from a major melt down this morning over a work project that I had to redo and it was frustrating.  I also broke my power cord for my computer to which I also had good luck there spending only $9 for a piece rather than $80 for the whole cord.  And I got a message across, pissed some people off, and I didn’t stress out about it.  WHOHOO!  I win x’s 3!

I have admitted to myself a few hard harsh facts.  Those will remain in private.  My heart over all feels better.   Yet, I still keep pressing on!  Even though we might feel like a broken vase, we can be repurposed and turn out just beautiful!  Take a look at what I mean: http://fab.com/sale/17991/?navEmail=1&utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=monday_daily_sale_list&utm_campaign=daily_sales_mailer&email_user=catie.manning%40yahoo.com

I allowed myself to feel like a broken vase until I realized “oh wait CatMan, you can pick yourself up and make yourself into something great!  Let’s get creative!”  Clearly, we are given several chances to be created into something beautiful. That is the power of forgiveness.  I am working through that right now.  So like this broken vase, I too have been put back together and I too can still feel beautiful even though I have been broken a few times.  God is the glue that keeps putting me back in such a way that is still usable to Him and presentable to society. He does this for each of us as He loves us dearly.  If He didn’t, I would still feel broken and a mess.

Love allows us to heal.  Love allows the holes to be filled in with seeds of hope and desire to be better than what we are right at this very moment.  Love makes everything beautiful possible even if we are just broken vases!

Have a great Monday!
CatMan

PS Mars and her lemon cake are expecting a baby!  Life is sweet!

Talents

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“Use what talents you possess–the woods would be very silent if no birds sand there except those that sang best.” Henry van Dyke

Why not identify our talents and use them?  We do not have to do everything,  but if one person follows through with their passions, dreams, and completes them while using their own God-given talents what a beautiful and wonderful world this would be.

Paint fumes and Pasta

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Today, my mom and I painted my whole room.  It looks beautiful.  It is like a tealy-greenish-blue.  Very summer like and beautiful.  Well what you are seeing below is all of the painted room.  What do you think?

🙂 Painted pretty...sigh

Can you believe all of this fit into one little room???? Yeah there will be some downsizing....

I am still very much in a funk…but, I must say this funk has allowed me to have a cleaner house that eventually will look 1000% better.  Much better huh?  Well that’s life…turning the music up and pressing on thru this madness called life!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XxBbcrs5KY

Something to look forward to….Super Woman and Nomad are going to be in town in just a week!  YAY!  I might have just tinkled a little bit…..shhhh!  Don’t tell anyone!  😉

Busy Bee…to blah

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It seems as though time is slipping away from me.  Any one else feeling like that?  Work seems to be killing me and this weather makes it easy for me to be in a funk….can summer come sooner please?  I feel like my creative juices are draining out my back-end. (now that’s a glorious visual!)

I must say, I am watching this National Championship with Butler vs. UConn and this is and has been an absolutely terrible game from both teams.  Butler has had some beautiful shots but, overall I am rather disappointed.  It happens.

I am taking my car in on Wednesday and I am very seriously thinking about telling them to give me a trade in value….10 year VW Bug for a 2010 Jetta…..your thoughts?

This was the most interesting thing I have found today:

 

The CatMan…

 

Firework

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Please listen while you read:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTfZXh427B0&feature=related

Today I feel empowered.  I am letting no one control how I think and how I feel.  I am my own person.  I am the invincible yet vulnerable CatMan.  I report to God and myself and nothing else really matters.  I feel beautiful.  I feel like I can concur the dismay of the world and love is what I have to share.

I am ready to set my world on fire!  I am ready to be what I am meant to be and my hearts all in!  Let my passions be known so that I can grow positively toward good!  Let me start first in my own live and let the good resonate throughout the world.

 

Give Love. Receive Love!

 

 

“If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire. Let the truth be your delight…proclaim it…but with a certain congeniality.”
— Saint Catherine of Siena

 

So remember followers:

….Baby you’re a firework!  Ignite the lights and let it shine….just own the night….like the 4th of July!….

SMILE, and have a wonderful day!!!

The CatMan

 

Feel like a circus animal?

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Some days I feel like a circus animal.  No not one of the cool ones like a lion…OR the elephant…or EVEN the bear!  Sometimes I feel like all I do is juggle.  I get to be the caged juggler.  How uncool is that??   I feel strapped down, locked away…like a damsel in distress…..swoon!  But all in all, I feel trapped in my office and to my desk.

Yesterday I got my quilt back.  I had a really awesome thought of taking all of my t-shirts from high school, finding someone else to do this for me of course, and then making a quilt!  My idea of making a quilt would include the magic Genie where all I would have to do is rub the lamp and up she comes!  TAH-DAH!  Here it is!  Well it sort of happened that way…I think.  Essentially, we have a client named Keepsake Threads (www.keepsakethreads.com) whom I had received an announcement that their new website was up and kickin’!  That’s when it hit me….I had to call and see what they could do for me.  They were easy to work with, very friendly and overall just a peach of a company!  Essentially, what they do is take articles of clothing from whatever (whether it be a deceased grandmother’s decorative hanky’s or your uncle’s funky ties OR in my case high school memories thru t-shirts!) and create it into some other form like a bear, scarf, quilt…or whatever you could think of!   I personally wanted a quilt.

Meeting was a breeze.  I literally had three full bags of t-shirts from cheerleading, gymnastics, track and some random ones from Saint’s Alive (my high school’s biggest fundraising event).  I talked briefly to the designer and gave her free reigns.  She is the designer, this is her job, and I felt like she had connected with me enough to provide a quality quilt.  Boy, did she ever!

 

Beautiful swirled gold backing with navy and white polka dotted fringing.

 

Here is an example of what the back of my quilt looks like.  Because Red was a predominant color she used that on the front and complimented it with the Navy and Gold (my high school colors).

 

Vanna White and Mix Master Mike (my little sister and brother)

 

I wish these pictures were bigger but, the detail work, the time and effort involved was such a pleasure to see.  They really did a great job at capturing my memories into a tangible item for me to use and keep.  What a completely amazing piece of art and comfort.

I was very pleased.  Currently, I am trying to juggle about 6 different projects, report to 10 different bosses, all a while keeping my sanity!  YES wishful thinking…I only pray that cheer practice this evening goes smoothly, sushi is not tainted, and the roads remain clear! (fingers crossed!)

LAUGH OUT LOUD MOMENT:  Freaked myself out with my own shadow last night (I saw it in the moon light–as you can tell I am a big chicken…)

 

This would be THIS GIRL!! (pointing to myself!)

 

 

CYNICAL MOMENT:  Facebook stalking last night…someone I was talking to changed their status to single?  Does this mean they want to date the CatMan?  Or use her for her beautiful body?  Does he want a relationship?  AHHH the suspense is killing me!

BEAUTIFUL MOMENT:  Receiving a birthday cake from a friend and getting to blow out my b-day candles a whole 3 days sooner!  YAY!

 

TOTALLY made my day! Happy b-day to meeee!

 

 

LAZY MOMENT: right now……….3…..2……..1………..OK I am done now.

POSITIVE MOMENTUM MOMENT:  Telling three more people about my fundraising endeavors for our Special Olympics Polar Plunge 2011!  I am so excited!  Anyone want to come visit and plunge with me??

 

Today has been slow but sure.  But isn’t it the slow and steady that win the race?  I am keeping with that philosophy.  Being patient will pay off and prevent me from looking like a dumb butt.  I am convinced.

I am going to leave you all and go eat my cake!  Have a beautiful Thursday!!

CatMan

PS: Remember to smile!  You never know when a warm happy smile might make the difference for a friend, fellow co-worker, or random stranger!  Give Love.  Receive Love.

 

awww see now you are all warm and fuzzy inside!

 

 

Shattered “Joy”

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So today I realized that it has been a while since I have written.  Mind you a lot has happened between now and the last time I was on…and just to add to the chaos…I realized that the next day I have free is Wed!  CRAZY.

Well, I was making beautiful ornaments for my friend’s christmas gifts and I used Peebo on them.  Peebo is a special paint used to paint on glass, then you bake it and it seals it from chipping!  Really some cool little stuff.

I was talking to one of my girlfriend’s on the phone as I was trying to place these little bulbs in the oven when out of no where one of them dropped…dead little indian!  My favorite of favorite ones shattered as I was getting ready to put it in the oven!  It was JOY!  Joy bounced on the linoleum, then bounced one more than crashed.  FAIL.  I kind of laughed at the irony.  But, never to completely lose hope I pressed on…

Next semi-humorous thing that happened to the “less than joyful CatMan”, I was sitting on my couch watching T.V.  I was in a Sangria mood.  Oh how tasty it was!  Well…I was texting and drinking (not smart if you can’t walk and talk and chew gum at the same time!) so I set my drink down on the corner of the chair’s arm and proceeded to dump it all on top of me!  Seriously?  ALL OVER MY CELL PHONE!  Upon cussing up a storm, I took a deep breath and realized my phone just was jealous that I was drinking it all!  I took the phone and dabbed it off, took a shower, then sat back down and finished my show.

 

maybe I should invest?

 

 

As if things couldn’t get any better?  Just wait…it does!

Now.  I feel this whole little period for me is a test.  Just then I get a text message from and old friend “just wanting to say hi!”.   Grrrr….so being the nice cordial person I am…I said hello back.  We exchanged words then I politely told him to buzz off…I was very proud of myself!  Joy at this very moment was restored.  It was like the clouds parted and God spoke to me “GREAT JOB, CatMan!” A big smile was brought to my face.

Last night was the last test that I was given.  My sister and I were creating Rosaries for Christmas gifts.  For those of you who don’t know what a Rosary is…it is a meditation tool and devotional to Our Lady.  It is a very powerful prayer.  So we bought this set.  Neither one of us has made jewelry mind you…and we were really struggling there in the beginning.  I then suggested having a drink!  We drank hot cocoa and peppermint schnapps and proceeded to dig in to the project.  Once we figured it out, it wasn’t so bad…however when it was all said and done: 2 glasses of hot cocoa drink, 2 decade’s in, one spill, one minor gash on the finger, and one movie down …we finally just laughed at our frustration!  It actually was quite comical at how pathetic we looked.  We did enjoy each other’s company though.  🙂

All in all, even despite the shattering of joy, we can still find humor in our dismay.  If you can’t find laughter then what good is it anyway??

The CatMan