This is Personal, Raw, and Real. I Won’t Apologize

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I don’t even know how to begin what I am about to write. I guess the only thing I can do is just start and see where I end up. I woke up this morning, and something inside of me just broke open. I am shaking my head right now because life is just so nuts. Before I go any further, I just want to make one thing clear. I am not writing this for attention. I don’t need sympathy, and I don’t want pity. I am writing this post because, at the moment, it is the only way to get this out.

I am writing this post because I am a mother. I brought children into this world, and they are the greatest gift I have ever received. I might not remember what I ate yesterday, but I remember the smiles on the faces of every single one of my babies when they were born. My children are my heartbeat and the greatest gifts I have ever had.

I lost my firstborn child when he was 20. As the oldest of five children, he was the one who helped out when I needed more hands than the two I have. The kids and I were a surviving unit. As a mother of five kids on my own, I truly did not know how I was going to make it, but I did. Unfortunately, I had to give up my son. God took him. How that happened is still pretty much a mystery.

I’m going to get to my point here. I have another son and three daughters. We have all gone on with life, but we have all been hurting inside. The loss of a child or sibling is a severe pain to bear, especially after all we survived together. I still remember my younger son’s face the day of my firstborn’s funeral. He loved his brother so much. They were ten years apart, so my son’s brother was the only other male he could look up to in a house full of females. I will never forget the day my son’s big smile turned into tears. I am not sure what my heart was broken about more; losing a son or watching my other son hurt too much. All of my children have hurt, but I feel like my younger son hurt even more for some reason.

He accepted drugs in response to his pain. I’m sure his pain was numbed for the moment, but a drug and alcohol addiction that evolved out of control occurred. It is hard for a mother to watch her child harm his life, but I know no matter how much I have ever hurt, he has hurt more. His addiction landed him a prison sentence, which he has done most of.

He was placed in a state prison he should never have been in due to the risk of becoming ill with a disease that comes from the soil in that region. He has been very sick. I know he feels like he will never recover. He has fallen in his cell due to weakness, has had pneumonia, has hardly been able to be in sunlight, has been at risk of being hurt by others, and has been subjected to the trickery of those who cost him more prison time.

I want you to know this has all been a helpless feeling; to have a child, who is an adult, go through the things my son has endured. Yes, he has done a lot to himself, but he sure did not lack help in the addiction department. Addiction does not survive alone. It always has its accomplices. I am a minister and a believer of a higher power whom I call God. So, therefore, I have prayed as hard as any mother could possibly pray. My son remains sick, fearful, and not able to even deal with the addiction he went to prison for. People go to prison because of a crime they committed as discipline for that crime. They call it rehabilitation, but that does not happen, at least not from what I have seen. Regardless of what any individual has done, they do not go to prison to become sick with a disease they will never recover from. I have written to the President of the United States. I have written to the governor’s office of the state. I have written to the ombudsman of the prison system. I have written the state’s congressional representative, the state senator for that region, and those I thought might help. I have contacted an advocacy group on my son’s behalf and even the medical department of the prison he is in.

Nothing seems to help. So I keep on praying, sounding like I am alright, and moving on with life, telling myself that faith is going to have to be enough. I have isolated myself personally because of the painful part inside of me just can not take one more person hurting me. Yet life goes on. I tell myself I have to keep on going, and the rest has to be left up to God.

As I said, this morning, I broke. It’s not like I have not cried before because I have. I have cried loudly and out of pain, frustration, and anger. I want to tell you something. I absolutely HATE drugs and addictions. I have watched the people I love the most have their lives destroyed by drugs and alcohol. I don’t know the reasons why, but some can handle them, and some just can not. I think it is all a toss of the genetic wheel, maybe with a little human pain thrown in for good measure.

I dedicated my life to helping others, teaching others, showing what faith is, teaching lessons, and learning more so I can teach, counsel, and do more. We all have a purpose. Right now, at this very moment, I am the one who needs help. I need my son to receive the care he needs and the attention he needs to get out of that dingy prison cell and be helped into a life he can thrive in. I think right here; I might add that I have not been able to hug my son in 8 years. He has been locked up for most of those years, and the time before that, he was addicted. I left the state. My mother’s heart can’t take any more from anyone at any time.

It’s a helpless feeling, having to be strong, moving on in life, and have this painful heartache inside that says life will never be alright again. Grief does not end when we bury our loved ones. I already know that love can not be healed. Love is love. What we do is keep our loved ones close in our hearts, and we come to understand the heart and soul of a human being is where heaven is because that is where we hold our dearest loves of our lives.

It’s a helpless feeling to have a son, a grown man now, locked in a cage where no one will help him. It appears that all that happens in our prison systems is to put drug addicts away until they become hard just to survive. Addiction is a disease that is passed down through genetics, and it is one that is systematically reinforced by others who are addicted or sell drugs. It’s a vicious cycle.

Of course, I have blamed myself. I know deep inside it is beyond my control, but I still blame myself. It does not help that others have blamed me too. It’s sickening; all of it. Our country needs more addiction recovery programs. We need to stop condemning those who are addicted by locking them up and throwing away the key and start teaching them how to live with an illness they did not ask for and yet have to live with. We all live with it. Sometimes we die with it.

I smile, I laugh, I have good things that happen in life. I have moved forward, but a massive part of me feels stuck and broken. I know this is how every mother feels when their child has struggled with an illness they can not control. It controls them. It controls everyone it touches. Believe me; it’s hell.

Thank you for putting up with my long written broken vomit. Excuse me here, but there is no other way I can describe it. For those of you who have gone through the same, I am sorry. I wish you the best solution possible and for healing. For those of you who have received my letters and cries and yet have done nothing, I am sorry for you.

Today, just Jenine

Valerian Root: Nature’s Anti-Anxiety Herb

Natural remedies are becoming increasingly popular as many move further from pharmaceutical drugs for relief. This has spawned interest in herbal remedies for many emotional and even physical problems.

One natural remedy for anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and to relax, has been valerian root. One of the more common ways to ingest this herb is through using it in tea, usually infused with other herbs. Some take it in capsule form but sipping tea sounds so much more appealing than just swallowing a large capsule of ground up root.

The only drawback, among some other things, is the smell! I feel like it smells like stinky feet. I know this does not make it very appealing, but it is the only way to describe it. Mixed in a tea with lemon balm or other herbs like chamomile can help curb the taste.

The therapeutic benefits are amazing. Valarian is very relaxing and will induce very restful sleep. For the most part, Valarian is very safe, but there are side effects. It can cause a groggy feeling the next day, headaches, sometimes insomnia in some people, and restlessness. The key is to make sure it is not mixed with other anti-anxiety drugs or anti-depressants, as the herb might magnify the drugs’ effects. Also, start with small amounts like a tea infusion and sip it to see how you feel. For many, it is a lifesaver!

** This information is not to take the place of medical advice. Please consult your physician before trying Valerian root and stop if there are any unwanted side effects.

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD.

JenineMarie.com

God’s Pressure Release Valve

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My mother always told me that tears are good for the soul, but why? There are several reasons tears are good for us. Let me give you a framework to begin with.

  1. They are a signal for God to release His goodness and power into our lives. John 16:20 tells us God will turn our tears into shouts of joy! What was meant for harm to us in this world will be changed and transformed into happiness and joy-filled moments. There is no promise we will be sorrow free. We are to expect to suffer. In the same respect, we are also to expect joy.
  2. God collects our tears. In Psalm 56:8, king David says God collects our tears in a bottle. This means God keeps careful track of all of the tears we shed, and at the right time, they will be released for us in the form of blessing.
  3. Tears help us to let go of emotional baggage and relieve stress. There is something powerful about releasing from our eyes. Whatever was clouding our vision will be cleared, and our way will be shown to us.
  4. Our tears bring hope through our joy. Not all tears are sorrowful. Some are joy-filled. When joyful tears are shed, hope is on the rise. With our tears, we give ourselves hope for today and tomorrow. We also show hope and compassion to those around us.

I’m not sure where or when it became terrible or wrong to cry. All of the prophets of old cried out to God and to others. We are a unit, and when one cries, we all cry. We don’t always see ourselves through the lens of our oneness, but the truth is, we are one. When we cry out, we cry out for ourselves and all. Our hearts are more than just a pumping muscle. We have a soulful heart that is a miracle creator should we choose to allow release and healing to happen. Don’t worry. God has this, and so do you!

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

JenineMarie.com

Do You Live in a Vacuum With Your Words and Actions?

Quite a few times I have talked about how thoughts and words have power to create our lives. The symbolism for this is in the bible when God spoke the world into existence. Before there were words from God, there were thoughts from God. God is spirit, pure consciousness, has personality and presence.

Our thoughts and therefore words can create a sort of vacuum in our lives that begin to feel like a clogged drain. I can attest to clogged plumbing because that is what I have experienced lately in our home. Exactly like a clogged drain our thoughts and words clog up our lives and create a vacuum of what will eventually return to us. Just like a clogged drain filled with sludge and mess, a bunch of negative, hurtful thoughts and words can clog our lives with a bunch of messy issues.

The good news is, it is easy to recognize a clogged drain. It begins to build up and spew out water and everything with it onto the floor or counter. We can also recognize a clogged life. If we have done nothing but stuff sludge into life it will eventually show up as a mess spilling all out into our lives, going every place it can enter.

For a clogged drain we can use a plunger, pull out the mess, and let the vacuum seal free up the water for a more clear and clean emptying out. For a clogged life we can allow the universal vacuum to unclog the negative experiences we have by being more kind, more positive, more faith filled, and more compassionate. The big unclog also includes truth. Unfortunately, what people don’t know will not always hurt them, but it will hurt you. Living a lie is a clogged drain.

First and foremost, we have to love ourselves. If that is not happening this is where the first clog is. Beyond loving ourselves we need to guard our words. God tells us that the issues of life spill out through our words. This even means our tone, our slander, our gossip, our meanness, and so on. This also means our joy, our compliments, our compassion, and our love. The best way to unclog a messy life is to watch the flood gate of our thoughts and keep an ear out for the words we speak.

The lesson here: If you don’t want sludge coming out in your life then don’t put sludge into it. This also means your mind. Whatever you feed it, will eventually come out of it. The company you keep can also influence your life in a good way or negative way. Negative garbage will attract more negative garbage. Time for the garbage disposal. Give your life a royal flush and give yourself a break. This is an inside job, so don’t put this on anyone else. Your life might affect others close to you, but your personal experience only depends on YOU.

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

JenineMarie.com

“From Out of These Ashes: The Phoenix”

In mythology, the phoenix is symbolic of moving from parts of life that are dying, then rising to a new birth. Depending on our culture, we identify with this powerful bird in many different ways, but all represent dying and rising. In Christianity, the bird can represent death and resurrection, or in ancient Greece, it can represent burning away in flames, then rising again into regeneration.

All of life seems to follow this pattern of dying and regeneration. The fall brings shedding of leaves, dying of grasses, and winter preparation in the animal world. For people, dying and rising can represent the letting go of a life we had in exchange for a life we desire. Or the phoenix can represent a burying of what is already dead then anticipating the birth of what shall renew.

Regardless of how we see this powerful symbolic bird, change is inevitable. Sometimes we have a choice as to what dies, but sometimes we don’t have that choice. Our choice is within how we regenerate. When our bodies die, we hope to reunite with the spark that is God. When parts of our lives must die, our choice is to how we are going to rise.

Therefore, our life plays out according to the choices we make when the moment is offered. Shall we continue to die with the flames and embers of a life that is not moving onward? Or shall we rise in the beauty and transformation that a new opportunity of metamorphosis brings us? Again, the choices are ours. I will make this more personal: the choice is yours!

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

JenineMarie.com

How We Find Peace in the Moment and Bring Out Joy

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For a very long time, I was a seeker of peace. After all, peace is what I was taught to pursue. To me, having peace meant happiness. Even more profound, having peace meant going beyond happiness and into joy. I have come to realize that joy is peace expressed. When inner peace overtakes the soul, we have joy and joy-filled responses to the world around us.

It’s a lot like genuinely being in love; the world can be falling around us, and we don’t care that much. True peace is the same. When we have it, we know it because the world can be in utter crisis, and we still have the expression of peace: joy.

From what I have gathered just by observing my own life, and maybe some others, true peace comes from living in the moment. The moment can be filled with torrential seas and churning emotions. Our answer is to be still during that churning moment. Jesus taught us when the boat begins to rock in the storm, our response is “Peace be still.” Being still in the torrential moment is the answer to peace. I determine to do nothing except breathe for that moment. Each moment passes as they always do. Not one moment can be captured and held.

So, we let that torrential moment pass and allow peace to flood into us and eventually out of us. We will enable the breath of the moment to fill us with tranquil thoughts and, ultimately, peace during our bodies’ surge of uncertainty. Pursuing this type of peace takes practice because we have to override our instincts to react and act. In truth, our actions can wait for the torrential moment to pass on by; and it will.

“Trust and allow” are words that always have echoed into my spirit after a torrential moment has surged up to haunt me, overtake me, or wreck me. The reality is, the world can wait, people can wait, and life’s issues can wait for one sacred moment when peace will expand inside. Let’s make a pact with ourselves to survive the next torrential moment with a breath, with peace, and with dignity. The peace gate might take a few moments or more to open. So our solution is to sit, not to keep our eyes on the storm surge, but to focus on peace entering into us with breath and with life.

This is the body’s medicine for the soul. Breathing in peace and getting into the habit of continually doing this will save a great deal of heartache and allow healing to begin within the wounds that are begging to be exposed and healed. Let’s heal ourselves while there is time on earth. We can do this! It’s not hard. All it takes is the dedication to wanting to live a more peaceful, serene, and joy-filled life!

Remember, you influence the rest of the world around you. Being in peace and having joy-filled responses will heal you and heal those you influence.

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

JenineMarie.com

All Things in Life Have Flux and Flexibility

One amazing thing about life and our universe is its flexibility. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “All is flux, nothing stays still.” Life flexibility works by learning to be bendable like the palm tree. The great palm will take gale-force winds and yet will only bend but not break. This is the type of flexibility it takes to not break within any new process.

Life is just that; a process. If you stay the course, don’t give up, and remember to stay flexible, you will make your destination. Our flux in this world is inevitable. We can make it intentional or leave our lives to chance and the flux of the universe.

Don’t leave things to chance and remember to bend. Those who know how to bend will not break in the process.

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

JenineMarie.com

When Life Goes Down the Rabbit Hole: Do These Things!

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When life begs to bring us down the rabbit hole of discouragement, we can do a few things. One thing to do is to lose control. You heard me! Lose it. To lose control is to let go of the need to control the outcome of any situation. The second thing you can do is pick your battles. There are many things any of us can battle in this life, but the key to winning is to know the ones to fight and the ones to just let fall by the wayside. Fight the battles that give you meaning when you win them. Take a nice long assessment of what provides meaning in your life and then aspire to that. When you determine what that is, then fight with all you have. You will win because it is something that touches your heart. One more thing is to be grateful when you are on the side of goodness, and love wins out. Show your gratitude for all you have been granted, no matter how hard you had to fight for it. Don’t let yourself sink into despair. If you are unraveled, then allow yourself to do so all the way. Once the outer layer is off you, your heart will be revealed to you, and you will understand why your fight has been so very worth it! Love yourself for the great person you are. You are fabulous, and there is no one like you, even when you have just lost your last nerve and went on a rant that went on for days! YOU are entitled to a rant now and then. When the dust settles, your life will look different to you. You will be alright!

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

JenineMarie.com

Why Give So Much Power to Government Official’s Hearts?

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No matter who is in the White House or an elected official, it almost seems like the people of the United States of America care more about what government officials have in their hearts than their hearts. Over the last several years, I have witnessed more hatred spewed out over political issues and parties than I have ever seen since I have been on this earth. I know I am not the lone ranger here. I know others see this too, yet many still decide that hatred spewed out will somehow validate some standard they want to uphold.

Honestly, no matter what party any one person belongs to, if elected officials and the party are the one focus in that person’s heart, their power has been given over to that official. Why are the American people surrendering their power to those who work for us? “We are the people” is thrown out of the picture when any elected official becomes the focus of our hearts.

Have we forgotten what this nation was founded upon? If “We the People” have established anything, then we, the people, should be the ones who set the tone and heart of this nation. Having hearts filled with hatred, spewing out nastiness, and putting down others does not demonstrate any love for our country, let alone its people. God instructed us, a house divided will not stand. That means a nation divided will not stand either.  

Have we forgotten the heart of the people determines the strength of a nation? Who will have the heart to support small businesses in this country to make sure they survive and thrive? Who will feed those who are hungry, give to those who are struggling, or lend and not borrow? We are those who make this country great or not great. We are those who decide where our loving hearts begin, and hatred ends. We are the ones who massively can create goodness in this country or tear it down.

Why are we arguing over who is in the White House or who is not when we are the people who truly make up the heart of this nation? If we think hatred is present, inequality is not being addressed, or oppressed people, why not start with ourselves? If we have more than we need, why hold on to what we have when someone else might need it? If our hearts have love to give, then why not give it to someone who has hatred brewing in theirs?

We make or break our own country and humanity as it stands. Are we going to allow politicians to set our day, create what is in our hearts, or feed our nation? Let us think about this before it’s too late and hatred takes over. I mean, meditate, pray, and put action to goodness that is in our hearts.

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, Phd.

832-484-8306

JenineMarie.com

Do an Honest Assessment of Yourself

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It’s not unusual for me to receive messages while in my sleep. I often wake up with them rolling around in my brain. I do not want to assume I know where they came from. I guess any answer can do. Information can be coming from God, angels, my higher self, or any other spiritual avenue. I am at the point of not even questioning how things happen with me or how I know or hear things. I just know it does, and that is good enough for me.

Honesty has been the theme of the morning as I drink my morning coffee. It is so important to take an honest assessment of one’s self. As I reflect on some incidents of the past that occurred in my life, my heart feels relieved. Honesty does two things:

  1. One is to give us a clear assessment of who we are as people. Honesty can reveal the deep inner issues we need to deal with and process through. Sometimes we need to forgive ourselves, and sometimes we need to confess our wrongdoing. God has control over that, and it’s between the individual and God.
  2. Honesty can also reveal the things that happened and were not our fault. When this happens, it is a great relief. Take the time to forgive others but also take the time to breathe in truth and comfort. When honesty reveals other people’s wrongdoing we have taken upon ourselves, it is time to let it all go. We are never responsible for other people’s actions, no matter how close they might be to us. Sometimes we are punished for what others have done because they are close to us. If the influence is in the family, then we have no choice. Our families are ours for a lifetime to learn, grow, and understand how to forgive.

When honestly brings us to the things we were punished for that others have done, it is time to forgive ourselves for holding onto the shame or guilt of it all. Society has a way of determining fault and pointing fingers when fingers should be pointed back at them. Usually, when finger-pointing happens, it is because they are the ones who need to process honesty.

When it comes to judging other people, think of these things first; Moses murdered, Noah got naked and drunk, prophets ran from their calling, women were treated as possessions and abandoned by powerful men whom “God had called.” We are not perfect beings. The point is God loves us anyway, and we are still a part of God. The heart is what matters. Each person reflected in biblical writings did wrong things. Well, I guess not Jesus. Aside from Him, we are all in the same rocky boat.

We might as well be honest with ourselves. Take a deep inventory of who you are, what you have done, and do it in the presence of God. Meditate on it and forgive yourself. You can not be forgiven for things you will never admit. No one is there except you and God or whatever angels are allowed to be there for you. Alright, you might have some crossed over loved ones present. I like to think the family is always with us. So, be honest with yourself today. It’s called taking moral inventory. Forgive yourself and ask for forgiveness of things you have done. Then be relieved and start each day again clear from all of those things you lie to yourself about because you don’t want to admit them to anyone. We all have those things. So it is alright.

Take the moral dumper and after you do, as I said, forgive yourself, ask God to forgive you, and move onward clear and clean. Being honest with ourselves is the way we are washed. Close your eyes and allow forgiveness, mercy, and grace to flow over you like a river. Take time for tears because they cleanse the soul. Your life will be freer because of it. Don’t wait on this. You are too important to let it go. In all honesty, you are worth it!

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

https://jeninemarie.com