Monday, March 25, 2013

Those who trespass against us

Just in time for Easter LOL.

This prayer hit a chord within me-

Its the "Forgive those who Trespass Against Us" part that really hit me.

I felt unsure about saying it because I didnt think (still am not sure) if I could ever forgive those who robbed me. They took away more than physical things that were mine- I could care less about those compared with my sense of peace and security- which I have still not regained.
I asked a priest about this- Forgive those who trespass against us!? But Father- what if there is something that has been done to you which you just cannot seem to forgive?

He told me it takes time, and it is something we may struggle with all of our lives, but that bitterness against these people is the work of the Devil and if we are always trying to find a way to forgive then we are working towards good, towards what God would want. If He can forgive us all for all of our sins then surely I could find a way to forgive two strangers of the wrong they committed against me. I do not know their situation, or anything about why they made the choice to do this to me.

I guess my problem is Ive turned it into a choice. At this stage its more that I dont want to forgive them. Forgiveness has become synonymous with pretending it didnt happen and theres no way in my mind that I can let such an injustice occur. I know, it's something else I need to work on.

There is an old saying- "hate the sin not the sinner". But how in this type of situation do you separate the two?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stress is a very bad thing

Dwelling on Stressful Events can Increase Inflammation

A new study published by Ohio University shows that dwelling on events you consider stressful can increase inflammation.
(High levels of inflammation are implicated in numerous health concerns ranging from Arthritis and Asthma to Cancer and Heart disease).

The study looks at a group of people. They make them give a speech as though interviewing for a position. Half are made to talk about how they think they did, while the other half are asked about other things that have nothing to do with the speech or interview. C-reactive protein which is a known marker of inflammation is then measured in both groups. The group which was made to continue to think about their performance had higher levels of C-reactive protein than their peer group which was allowed to forgot about the experience.

Now personally, I dont think this is a great experimental design. You may have individuals within both groups that are more or less likely to dwell on things as part of their normal actions- whether theyre prompted by the individuals administering the test or not. I for one know that its not just possible, but common for some people (Yes I am admitting to being one of those people) to be able to remain focused on all of their perceived screw ups while still being able to maintain an amiable conversation. So I am going to take this all with a grain of salt.

However, I think this study still likely holds a kernel of truth- and in that case.... I am SO screwed.

Personally, its hard for me not to dwell on stressful events- I think theres one in particular that is probably glaringly obvious for any of you who have read more than one entry on this blog. (insert awkward grin). In school I stressed myself out studying the two days before a test (because seriously- why would anyone waste time studying further ahead than that), or writing papers the weekend before/ day it was due (depending on required length of course) and then I would continue to drive myself crazy about them until I got back my grades. Its seemed minuscule at the time, but is very similar to the type of event mentioned in this study.

Ive known for quite sometime that this is something I need to work on. For the simplistic as well as the more serious stressful events in life.

...In the meantime- maybe I should start taking an anti-inflammatory regularly.

How do you manage stress?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Trouble with everything

So did you hear the most recent incident that has me running for the hills?

13 people injured in drive-by shooting in NW DC.
"Authorities say people in two cars opened fire on a crowd in the 1200 block of N. Capitol Street around 2:10 a.m."

Really!? just frekin standing around after leaving a bar and someone drives by and starts shooting.  How many times have we all just stood outside a bar after leaving- saying goodbye to friends, figuring out rides and grabbing a taxi.
Now dont get me wrong- this bar is near NoMa, which is in no sense of the word the safest place in DC- but its supposed to be one of those areas that is supposedly getting better.
This and my own incident make me very skeptical of "such and such neighborhood is on the rise" comments that all my friends who live in DC always make. I have two friends from work who live less than a few miles from this place. (Thanks for the invites over to your places for parties, but yea I think Ill stay safe at home in Arlington).

On a related note- My federal 'client' (The PhD who Im doing research for) invited our whole group out for a 'science meeting about our project' at a bar on 8th street in SE DC. I couldnt go :(. I just couldnt make myself face that area. 8th street was where we always went to dinner when I lived in Eastern Market. The bar is mere blocks away from where I was robbed. I just cannot make myself go back there, Considering it's been almost 2 years since then Im wondering if I ever will be able to. (Which is sad to some degree because Ted's Bulletin is down there and they have this cool old fashioned 'soda shoppe' with fantastic adult milkshakes!) There are other good restaurants there but alot of them also have locations in VA so no other issues. Amusing that the thing im most worried about missing out on is food!!

Also.... I almost injured my roommate this morning. (I wont even go into the fact that he leaves the door unlocked while he's in his bedroom with the door mostly closed and headphones on so he can talk sh*t to 12 year olds while playing video games- I could rant about that for hours). Apparently he also thinks that climbing out the patio and then back in at 5:45am when he's not even usually awake and while im in the bathroom about to jump in the shower is a good idea. Obviously my first thought- Break In! EEEKKKK!  and Im only wearing a robe- double eeekkk!! 
But apparently he just needed to use the restroom. Stupid 2Bd/1Bth apartments- almost gave me a heart attack.