Looks like a pile of trash yes? No matter how many times you look at it or stare at it, it still looks like a pile of dirty tissues.
Look at photo number 2.
See something peeking out? Look closely. It’s a gold bracelet.
There are two lessons here: Lesson One: NEVER wrap your jewelry in tissue paper for “ safe keeping.” Better to stuff it in your shoe so when you go to put them on, you will feel the sharp edge. Better yet put it in a safe or on your body! Lesson Two: What looks like garbage to you may hold treasures for another. Let’s not judge what others hold precious, they have their reasons. Better to ask and be curious in a kind way.
There was a time when I used to buy flowers and hang them upside down for them to dry. I had a notion that I could have a small business making dried floral arrangements. This illusion did not last long.
These days I buy beautiful flowers and rush home to put them in water to keep them fresh. I take pains to prepare the water. I use a few drops of chlorine or a crushed baby aspirin in the water and I lovingly arrange the stems. I change out the water and try to make the flowers last as long as I can.
I realize that taking loving care of the flowers with preparing the water is a lot like raising children. We try to give them an environment where they will thrive and bloom and grow up to be strong and kind. We pay close attention to how we behave around them, except for when we don’t.
If we live in an environment where there is violence, be it emotional or verbal or physical, and we pretend that it does not affect our kids, we are deluding ourselves. This year on valentine day if you get flowers or buy them yourself, ask yourself if you care if they live or die.
If you don’t care then just throw them away.
If you do care, notice how much attention you give to them.
Our kids are our precious blossoms and they need nurturing and pretending that violence is not affecting them is lying to ourselves. Take a step back and access the situation and ask for help if you need it. It’s not easy to look at what’s really happening and making a few changes, but I guarantee you that it’s worth the time and effort.
Can I tell you a secret?
Well, after I tell you, it’s no longer a secret! Here it is…I AM SICK of saying the same thing.
The ONLY thing that remains crucial to the health and welfare of the world and that is END VIOLENCE to WOMEN and GIRLS.Are you sick and tired of reading these messages from me? I would expect that you are. It’s Ok..I know you don’t mean you are sick and tired of me as a person.
If you are reading this, you probably like me. Know that I am also sick and tired of asking people to dissect their lives and find the ways where the violence is silent and insipid.
What areas? Here are just a few…Telling your daughter to lose weight because no boys will like her. Telling your self boys will be boys.Allowing your spouse to disrespect you.Allowing yourself to accept disrespect. Making excuses for religious institutions to treat women as second class citizens. Repeating lies like “ she must have been asking for it, look at how she was dressed” when you see or read about sexual and physical violence.
I could go on and on, but you are smart enough to get the idea. Take an action to end violence, please.
You may want to get your journal out and take some notes as Indrani asks some important questions in this episode. Are you thinking about making a change in your life? What feelings come up for you during the change process? What does change mean to you?
00:00 Introduction 01:49 What do you feel when undergoing change? What is change necessary? 03:35 When change needs to be birthed 05:26 Using your energy to fight back against change 07:59 Ask others about the change they see in you 10:25 Understand that change is a constant 13:00 Writing exercise – Change means… 15:20 Outro
This episode Indrani shares a personal story about problems with a “non-huggable” coat, being surprised by the perfect dress, and how saying “NO” to the little things and setting small boundaries is the key to making big changes to your relationships. Indrani also shares an awareness exercise you can use to observe your own boundaries and where you need to be saying “NO” in your daily life.
Sheryl Sandberg wrote this book after husband died suddenly. The book explores how Sheryl and her children recover and rebound from the horrible event while building their reslience, finding greater meaning, and gaining a greater appreciation for their lives. This is part two of a longer discussion where Indrani, Amy, Stacie, and Jeremie share their takeaways from reading the book and how you can apply Sheryl’s lessons to the daily challenges you are experiencing at work and in your personal life.
Sheryl Sandberg wrote this book after husband died suddenly. The book explores how Sheryl and her children recover and rebound from the horrible event while building their reslience, finding greater meaning, and gaining a greater appreciation for their lives. In this episode Indrani, Amy, Stacie, and Jeremie share their takeaways from reading the book and how you can apply Sheryl’s lessons to the daily challenges you are experiencing at work and in your personal life.
According to C. R. Snyder, hope is the trilogy of goals, pathways and agency.
Brene Brown says, “Hope happens when we can set goals, have the tenacity and perseverance to pursue those goals, and believe in our own abilities to act.” In other words we choose to say something, do something and be something.
Aristotle says, “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.”
Lots of people who witness abuse choose this trilogy… Do nothing, say nothing, be invisible.
The Buddhist saying, “what we resist, persists” applies here as well. When we resist naming our hurts, when we resist new pathways out of the pain, when we resist claiming our agency… the old pains and stuckness of thought and deed will persist.
Snyder says that “hope is learned.”
If we did not learn hope in our families of origin we must teach it to ourselves as we age and mature. We must, it is not an option.
Brene Brown says, “We have to resist and unlearn old habits and the tendency to give up when things get tough.”
I know I have quoted everyone here, but they say it so much better than I ever could.
I would love to know:
What old habit or hurt do you need to unlearn in your life so you can teach yourself hope?
She was only 16 or 17 years old. I had just given a short presentation to a group of students and I asked for questions.
She was brave.
She asked what she could do after she had been beaten, and still had to stay in the house.
My heart hurt for her. I knew her pain at a cellular level. I knew her well. I WAS her. I remember being beaten so badly and having welts all over my body, and having to dry my tears. I was told to “go wash your face and when you come out I better not see any crying, you asked for that beating.”
Of course, dear reader, I did not ask for any beating. I had made some childish mistake and I was whipped like I had murdered someone. I remember going to the bathroom, and I was not allowed to shut the door, the abuser needed to “see” that I was not going to have any more “crocodile tears.” I had to suck up all my pain and come out smiling like a good girl. This behavior lasted well into my 50’s.
Don’t let them see you cry those crocodile tears. “They don’t care “…was the voice in my head.
To this day, I still have a hard time owning my pure emotion and I have to fight really hard to not push them down, allow them to morph into anger or rage, or blame. It will probably be a life long lesson. Some days I win and some days I lose.
I told the young lady to try to find a place of solitude in her home and tell herself that one day, she will be out of the house and the abuse will stop.
She could not tell her parents, her parents would be angrier that she “embarrassed the family,” and she would be beaten even more. I told her to use school as a respite. I wish I had someone to tell these things to me. I did not. I had no one to tell me that the abuser was wrong, even though they were caregivers, and said they were beating me because they loved me.
They were wrong. They were telling lies.
We do not hurt what we claim to love.
I deserved love and attention and guidance, not rage and anger and beatings. I have a clear memory of being about 12 years old and kneeling at the side of my bed, praying. My abuser came into the room and asked what I was praying for, and I said for strength. The abuser was pleased.
Yes, I was praying for strength, but strength to live in my hellhole called my childhood.
If I could not get the strength, I prayed that God would take me that night because I could not go on. I was praying to die, at 12 years old. I was not taken, so I guess I got the strength …… and that strength has been parlayed into the work I do now. We are resilient beings. We can stand a lot of pain. If you are in a hellacious situation, and you are an adult, reach out to your local shelter for confidential help. Even if you don’t leave, there are services you can access. They can help you with a plan.
There are people who care that you are in pain.
If you know a child living in a hellacious home, try to be a point of comfort to that child. They need to know you will keep their confidences and that you are a safe place to lay some burdens.
Be that safe place for someone. Someone needs you.
The look of love
The look of fear
The look of contempt
Those looks you hate?
It may not be their fault.
It may be because of the choices you made, the choices WE made as parents of these incredible children we have been given.
As a child, sustaining repeated and persistent abuse, I had a significant thought…
Why did you have me?
This took many other word forms such as:
Why did you have a child?
Why did you have another child?
I am not blaming the way children turn out on their caregivers; I am reminding caregivers to make better choices so that we can say that we tried our very best when our children have the “looks” that are “cringeworthy.”
We must try our best every minute of every day.
It is on us. Every ONE of us. All the time.
Love and light,
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Your donation will be used towards eradicating gender violence, training community leaders and sharing behaviour-change tools with people who are ready to leave violence behind and create a brighter, more peaceful world.