single moment of joy

A SINGLE MOMENT of JOY

A SINGLE MOMENT OF JOY   As I write this, the weather is sunny and warm. Tomorrow winter returns. A single day of warmth in the midst of a cold winter can remind us that spring will arrive. In the same way, a single moment of joy in the midst of a bad day, or deep sadness, or seemingly never-ending grief, or general malaise may remind us that goodness exists and that more joy is to come. Today I attended a workshop. During the break, a familiar face appeared next to mine. I do not know this person well; but, we keep seeing each other in various places around town. I was given the opportunity to listen to a small snapshot of her recent life story. It contained loss. The particulars are not important for this post. She shared a small glimpse into her journey of faith. As she mentioned the subject of joy, tears welled up in my eyes. Her eyes then shared tears also. Joy! Joy is such an intense emotion … such a glorious feeling that defies definition. Joy exists! There were times in my past when I did not know if I would ever feel joy ...
new beginning 2016

A NEW BEGINNING

A NEW BEGINNING   Today is the final day of 2015. Will you spend this evening looking back at the previous year or years? Are you willing to let go of what was? Are you willing to not dwell on what wasn’t?  Isn’t it interesting how many of us make resolutions for the upcoming year? In reality, each day is a new beginning. As a culture, a new year does represent a new beginning for each of us. It is the time to reflect on the past year and to make plans for the future. How will you make 2016 better?  Do you want your life to be different in 2016? What are your dreams and desires for this brand new year? Have you repeatedly attempted to change the same problems? Are you stuck? Does fear holds you back from making real change occur in your life or within yourself? A friend sent me an e-mail that contained a quotation that may be attributed to Thomas Jefferson. I had never heard of it. Since then, I have seen the quotation in several places. It is funny how that works. Synchronicity, I wonder. “If you want something you've never had, you ...
peace

PASSION for PEACE

PASSION FOR PEACE   It may appear obvious that I have a passion for peace! My e-mail address and my website title contain the word “peace”. I write of seeking silence within myself. It is in that silence that I am able to reach a deeper and more intense level of peace. The depth sometimes carries over to my everyday life. Where did I get this desire for peace? Was I born with it? As a child, I hated when voices were raised or when anger was apparent to me in the silent actions or facial expressions of those around me. I became an excellent detector of a person being upset. As a little girl, I soon found I could not soothe anyone’s anger or frustration. My best bet was to become invisible. I did not take on a caretaker role or a co-dependent role of trying to make it all better – not overtly. I became as quiet I could. It seemed best not to draw any attention to myself. My skills used to being invisible became quite good. Nothing mattered though. Invisibility did not work. I was still used and abused. Peace only existed when I was able ...
silence and solitude

SILENCE and SOLITUDE as SELF CARE and SELF COMPASSION

SILENCE and SOLITUDE as SELF CARE and SELF COMPASSION   The past week has been emotionally-charged. My mind and heart seek refuge in silence and solitude. As a survivor of trauma and a life coach for survivors of childhood sexual abuse as well as other forms of abuse and torture, I know to be aware of my past trauma experiences possibly affecting my present daily life. This awareness helps. Retreating into silence and solitude when needed is a form of self care and self compassion. A question I ask myself is, “Would a person who has not suffered serious trauma react similarly?” In other words, is my reaction a “normal” one? As my healing process progressed and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms lessened, I discovered I reacted and acted in a healthier manner. In fact, I handled last week’s emotionally-charged challenges with calmness and finesse. Oh, I was not perfect! That is okay. I am grateful for my reactions and actions to last weeks’ stressors. It shows me how I am thriving! Life’s difficult experiences occurred to those around me. I, as a witness and team member, supported others. My strength and calmness benefitted them. It was a ...
single life after domestic violence or abuse or torture

SINGLE LIFE as a SURVIVOR of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and OTHER FORMS of ABUSE or TORTURE

SINGLE LIFE as a SURVIVOR of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and OTHER FORMS of ABUSE or TORTURE   Are you now living the single life as a survivor of domestic violence and/or other forms of abuse or torture? How do you view the single life? Are you afraid to enter into a romantic, loving relationship with someone? Are you jumping from one romantic relationship to another (even though these relationships are not healthy ones for you)? Are you afraid to be alone? What are your fears? This topic was brought to mind because of the deep loneliness I feel at times. A friend and spiritual mentor sent me a few quotations on loneliness in response to an e-mail I sent her. These quotations were: “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” – Maya Angelou “The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone.” – Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven “There is the solitude of suffering, when you go through darkness that is lonely, intense, and terrible. Words become powerless to express your pain; what others hear from your words is so ...
freedom after speaking of abuse and/or torture

FREEDOM TO SPEAK OF THE ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE

FREEDOM TO SPEAK OF THE ABUSE AND/OR TORTURE   When was the first time you felt the freedom to speak of the incest, rape, abuse and/or torture you experienced? Did you always recall the abuse or did you put it aside, repress it, or deny it until you were forced to face the truth or until you were safe and strong enough to do so? If you always remembered the abuse or are in a current abusive domestic violence relationship or relationship with abuse of any kind, sharing your story with someone is the first step to healing. To those, like me, who repressed our pasts (of sexual abuse, incest, human trafficking, physical abuse, ritual abuse, and/or torture); we had to awaken to ourselves. Individuals have asked me how I can be so open with my life’s story. Some have questioned the relief I feel after sharing my extensive history of abuse, incest, and torture. This post will begin to answer those inquiries. At age 45, I began to recover bits and pieces of my gruesome past. These memories arrived almost always when I was alone. Fortunately, I was in therapy at the time I started letting the abuse return ...

WHY DO WE LOVE THE PERPETRATOR? HOW CAN WE LOVE THE ABUSER?

WHY DO WE LOVE THE PERPETRATOR? HOW CAN WE LOVE THE ABUSER? Initially I fell in love with the idea of love – the romantic Prince Charming who rescues me, the modern day abused Cinderella. At the age of 20, Tom M. (also at the age of 20) initially filled the boxes that needed to be checked for me (also at the age of 20): Roses Poetry Gazing into each other’s eyes Wanting to spend all his time with me (a red flag I did not recognize) Dinner and wine And More … Oh, I so wanted to be loved and to love. My family-of-origin could not receive love from me. How can you honestly receive love from an object you abuse and torture? You see, no one wanted my gift of love; and, I was a child filled with the yearning to love and be loved. The quote below intrigues me: “There is yet another illusion, that it is important to be respectable, to be loved and appreciated, to be important. Many say we have a natural urge to be loved and appreciated, to belong. That’s false. Drop this illusion and you will find happiness. We have a natural urge ...