old songs and healing from grief

OLD SONGS in a NEW LIGHT

OLD SONGS in a NEW LIGHT   Have you ever heard old songs in a new light? I was given the opportunity to attend a small concert given by three gents! It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. One of the songs performed was James Taylor’s “Your Smiling Face”. I used to like listening to James Taylor. Somewhere along the line, certain music became painful for me to hear. The emotions that arose were not welcomed. It had been years since I listened to James Taylor or any of my old time favorite artists. Here I was at this gathering listening to an old song – a favorite of mine – and I was smiling. Music that was used during the abuse by Tom M. (my former husband and perpetrator) was, of course, triggering. I avoided listening to those songs for a long time. That was understandable. Yet, songs that used to bring me solace or happiness also brought sadness. Many old songs of my high school and college days (or shortly after) reminded me of several long-term, close, and special friendships that were no longer in existence or barely alive. These songs – such as “You’ve Got a Friend” (Carole ...
PTSD forever?

DOES PTSD LAST FOREVER?

DOES PTSD LAST FOREVER?   PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) … Our society is now familiar with the term. Many people still identify Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with war veterans. More people do also realize and acknowledge that any trauma victim may suffer from PTSD. My readers know that I dealt with Complex PTSD. This was due to the decades of abuse and torture that I endured from birth to almost 47 years of age. Amazingly, I have healed immensely. Pastoral counseling, therapy, NeurOptimal Neurofeedback, a women’s support group (WINGS Foundation) for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and a deep spiritual connection contributed to this healing. Two of my favorite books on the subject of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and trauma are: “THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE:  BRAIN, MIND, AND BODY IN THE HEALING OF TRAUMA” by Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D. and “TRAUMA and RECOVERY: The aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror” by Judith Herman, M.D. Herman’s words on torture, etc. are illuminating. I found this book to be tremendously helpful. In fact, I shared my reflections on parts of Herman’s book on my original website that I wrote before my trial for custodial ...
seeking silence

SILENCE SEEKER

 SILENCE SEEKER   Life has been more stressful of late. I find myself seeking solitude and silence. My mind is tired as well as my body. I want the world to move a bit slower so I can catch up with all the activity and concerns. One day after crossing off items on my to-do-list, I stopped for a cappuccino. A local paper, the Boulder Weekly, includes a weekly horoscope. These horoscopes are frequently written in an interesting manner. The readings may provoke thought. Part of the reading for my sign included: “(As you know, the world is crammed with so much noise and frenzy that it can be hard to hear yourself think – or even feel.) With Healing Silence, you bask in a sanctuary of sweet nothingness for as long as you need to. Please try it sometime soon. Wrap yourself in the luxurious void of Healing Silence.” – Boulder Weekly, March 23, 2017 This week’s horoscope hit the nail on the head. A Healing Silence – Yes, that is what I desired and needed. Two days earlier, I listened to a reflection by Terry Hershey. It resonated with me. I had not heard of Terry Hershey before ...
jobs - are you frustrated?

JOBS – ARE YOU FRUSTRATED?

JOBS – ARE YOU FRUSTRATED?   Jobs are quite important to most of us. We need to work to support ourselves and often our family members. Work can also give us a purpose on a deeper level, if we are fortunate. Are you frustrated because your job does not pay a living wage? Are you frustrated because you cannot find a job? Does your frustration lie in knowing friends who are working quite hard and are quite underpaid? Are friends or acquaintances being forced to retire early and often without benefits? Have you noticed big shifts in our society? Elizabeth Gilbert answered a question of the day in a January Facebook post. The question was “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?” In her reply, she divided life into four categories. They are: hobby, job, career, and vocation. Today I will focus on jobs. In future posts, I will write about the other ones. (https://www.facebook.com/GilbertLiz/posts/948792035202912:0?__mref=message_bubble) Gilbert’s article is interesting and thought-provoking. She writes: “You don’t need to love your job: you just need to have a job and do it with respect. Of course, if you absolutely hate your job, by all means look for another one, but try to ...
adventure: leaving your comfort zone

ADVENTURE: LEAVING YOUR COMFORT ZONE

ADVENTURE: LEAVING YOUR COMFORT ZONE   Adventure, which requires you to leave your comfort zone, may be easy or difficult for you. How do you definite adventure? One of Mirriam Webster’s definitions for adventure is “an exciting or remarkable experience”.  Adventure can come in small or grand sizes. It can include newness, experiencing something different, or leaving your comfort zone. Many people live in their comfort zones with no desire to experience new people, places or things. Life though often and eventually brings change. These changes may include life bigger transitions such as death, illness, loss of job, etc. These experiences force individuals out of their comfort zones. My recommendation or suggestion is to leave one’s comfort zone willingly in small or even bigger ways. This free choice exercises a muscle-of-sorts – an “I am flexible” muscle. Think for a minute or two or three. What would be an adventure for you?  If you are accustomed to leaving your comfort zone, you may choose larger types of life situations as adventurous. If leaving your safety zone scares you; doing so in small ways may fit the bill. I recently received a henna tattoo on my forearm. It was a mini-adventure ...
resolutions gone?

RESOLUTIONS GONE?

RESOLUTIONS GONE?   Are the resolutions you made for 2017 forgotten or ignored? Did you resolve to make changes this year? Are you succeeding in keeping your resolutions? Ever notice in coffee shops how many people order coffee instead of flavored lattes in January? Many people buy less sweets, such as pastries and treats. Most likely New Year resolutions were made to lose weight or to eat healthy. Slowly, most individuals return to the sweet drinks that they favor. It makes me wonder how many individuals succeed in keeping the resolutions made and how long the success lasts. Resolutions can be made any time of the year and for any length you choose. It is possible to restart your day, your week, or your year. One lapse does not mean the entire day is a "failure". Begin it again! A setback can be quite temporary. Those who are Christians and participate in the Lenten season have a built-in second chance to keep any resolutions that were made for the new year. If they have not succeeded, Christians can start over on Ash Wednesday as Lent begin. It is easier to think, I will give up (fill in the blank) for ...
fear - what are you afraid of

FEAR – WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

FEAR – WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?   What do you fear? When you were a child, what were your fears? As a young adult, mature individual or older person, what were your fears? What are your fears now? Are they similar? One day as I was reading a book by Richard Rohr titled, “Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer”, I sat down with a piece of paper and pen. I wrote “What did I fear –“on the top of the page. I would suggest before you read any further – if time permits – that you take a blank piece of paper and write “What did I fear?” as the heading. Then sit, breathe, and let the words flow. Do not take a long time performing this exercise. If nothing comes to mind, no problem. How many of the items you feared occurred in your life? Of course, I was afraid on a daily basis that abuse or torture would occur. Unfortunately abuse was a given in my life. I did not even put it on my list. Here are a few of the items that made it to my fear list: Being alone, on the outskirts Being ...
endurance as love

ENDURANCE as LOVE

ENDURANCE as LOVE   Have you ever thought of endurance as love? Valentine’s Day is upon us. For many, it is a day to celebrate romantic love. Others give it the status of just another day. Some people celebrate the concept of love in general. Love is meant to be noticed and sometimes celebrated in big or in small ways. The writings of Hazrat Inayat Khan often resonate with me. Recently I reread an article titled, “Love, Human and Divine”. (See: http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/VII/VII_9.htm) “Every kind of power lies in this one thing which we call by the simple name: love. Charity, generosity, kindness, affection, endurance, tolerance, and patience – all these words are different aspects of one; they are different names of only one thing: love. Whether it is said, 'God is love,' or whatever name is given to it, all the names are the names of God; and yet every form of love, every name for love, has its own peculiar scope, has a peculiarity of its own. Love as kindness is one thing, love as tolerance is another, love as generosity is another, love as patience another; and yet from beginning to end it is just love. It is ...
age

AGE: DOES IT MATTER?

AGE: DOES IT MATTER?   What is your age? Does it matter? Does it matter to you or to others? How old or young do you feel? Do you looks coincide with your actual age? Recently, I turned a year older and became 60 years old. Six decades on this earth. I shared my birthday, my age, and wonderings about 60 years to others. This is not a normal topic of conversation for me. Usually birthdays are special, but no big thing. I also asked individuals of various ages if turning a certain age ever bothered them and why. Showing my vulnerability by sharing that turning 60 years old bothered me led to several interesting and thought-provoking conversations. I liked hearing people’s thoughts. The topic itself led individuals to examine their lives on a different level for a short time. Responses from others when I shared my age included: You don’t look 60. Congratulations! Sixty is the new 40. My discomfort with turning 60 years old had nothing to do with how I look. Guess I figure if I look older than 60, trauma aged me. If I look my age or younger, it is not because of anything special ...
synchronicity

SYNCHRONICITY: MOMENTS to PONDER

SYNCHRONICITY: MOMENTS to PONDER   Synchronicity offers us moments to ponder. Synchronicity is defined in the Webster Dictionary as: the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality —used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung. A few links that may be of interest to you on this subject are: http://www.voidspace.org.uk/psychology/jung_synchronicity.shtml  “Jung and Synchronicity – The Mystery of Chance” http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_synchronicity03.htm  “The Philosophical Concept of Synchronicity” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX_nMwYa-nw  “Carl Jung – Synchronicity” Recently an old childhood friend had been in my thoughts for a few months. Reminders of her and our friendship kept popping into my mind. I used Google to find her. One day, I sent her an e-mail. She responded immediately. Later that week, we connected twice via telephone. We had lost touch somewhere around 2000. There was much to share between two old friends. I told her my story … of the abuse in my past (in both my childhood and my marriage) … of becoming a protective parent to protect my daughter … of my trial and ...