Tag Archives: fear

Some suitcases look just like yours….

please check luggage carefully…and some lives look just like what you thought you wanted. Open carefully and give back when necessary.

Recently, on a domestic trip, I grabbed the wrong suitcase from the luggage carousel and went to my hotel room.
The suitcase looked exactly like mine until I gave a closer look.

When I tried to open it, I saw that a zip tie had been used to secure the zippers.
Odd, I thought, but I just called down to Guest Services and they sent someone with a pair of scissors.

When the hotel staff member arrived he offered to also cut off the luggage tag and I told him, “Sure, go ahead.” How nice of him.

So now, I did not have the tag to check the name on the suitcase.

I laid the suitcase on the floor and then saw the “heavy” tag which, again, I thought was odd….I did not think it was that heavy. Perhaps I am just really strong!

Then I saw that the outer lining that protected the zipper was torn but I knew that my lining was perfect when I left home.

I opened the suitcase, MY suitcase, and WHOA……
A man’s belt and men’s shoes.
I slammed the suitcase SHUT and immediately called the airline.
I admitted my error, jumped into a taxi and WHEW, my suitcase was patiently waiting and I made the exchange.

The only question I asked was this, “Was the owner of this bag coming home? Did he at least get to go to a home stocked with lots of extra clothes?” She said, “Yes, this is home for him.” The airline person DID NOT even ask for my ID! It was clear to her from the whole story that the suitcase was indeed mine!

How can I turn this into a life lesson?

It took a night’s sleep for the lesson to form. Here goes!
Suppose that the suitcase represented a LIFE that I knowingly signed up for.
So let’s suppose marriage and being a married woman was the lot that was chosen.
How would I know IF the type of marriage (suitcase) was the kind that I signed up for?
I would have to live with the marriage for a while and see how it suited my values and desires.
I would do my best and be my best and respect my husband as I would hope he would respect me.

Suppose that I began to see signs of “Umm, this seems ODD.”
Much like the few times I thought ODD when I further inspected the luggage that was not mine.
I might begin to see that the “fabric” of my soul was being torn and ripped; much like the lining of the bag that I noticed was torn.
I might say, “Whoa, I came into this union whole and complete with good values and morals but now I see things that I did not see before.”
Perhaps, my spouse begins to cheat and get drunk and come home being belligerent. Perhaps, I keep making excuses and deny what I am seeing….a sign that things need to be addressed.

Next, I might be told that “women in this family do not __________.” This could be anything from talking to people outside the family or having to wear certain clothing, to not even showing your face when visitors arrive at your home.

I may continue to think… ODD, this is not the kind of restricted life for which I entered into legal contract!
Like the zip tie that I saw on the zippers that I did not put there, I may have again, not paid in depth attention to the first signs of a shrinking and bound life.

How about the “Heavy” sticker that I saw on the suitcase that was not mine? I may not realize that my feelings of self worth seem to be gone and my heart is heavy with grief. I may again, decide to ignore the signs that things are not what I want for my life.

Until, I take the time to actually OPEN the marriage and LOOK inside, I may NOT realize that what I am seeing is NOT what I want to have in my life.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes in “Women Who Run with Wolves” tells us that women who must break from a life that is not what they envisioned must “be able to see and STAND what they see.”

Able to See and Stand what you see!

What a powerful thought.

As far as the suitcase goes, I saw and I clearly understood that IT was not mine and I returned it.

In an abusive marriage, the woman MUST be able to open up her eyes and SEE very clearly that THIS ABUSE is NOT what she had agreed to and that she has been fooled.

Can she STAND to see the truth to save herself?

Please do not think that I am equating an abusive marriage with as simple a thing as a suitcase, I am not. I am only trying to tell you a story that would open up a few new windows in your soul, should you have to make a hard decision about your marriage or any relationship.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes also tells us that a woman MUST be able to answer a few questions and be ok with the responses.
One of these questions is, “What do I know deep in my ovarios that I wished I did not know?”
She refers to ovarios as the mythological part of the women that carries deep wisdom, where the seeds of knowledge are stored.

Life is not as easy as returning a suitcase that belongs to someone else.
It does not have to be as horrific as living with an abuser or predator either.
The choice is that of the one being abused.
The abused MUST be able to stand what she is seeing and make plans to save her life.
The abuser is NOT the one with the internal power.
The ABUSED has the internal power and she has to be willing to look into the darkness and see what only SHE can see.

Be brave and be strong and ASK for help.
Love and light,

Rape is about violence, not sex….

gloria_steinem_via outlookindia.com

“So we who share values across parts of the globe need each other all the more now. I have hope because I’ve seen huge changes. And besides, hope is a form of planning.” Gloria Steinem

Click here to read more excerpts from this article…an interview with feminist writer and social activist, Gloria Steinem. 

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted and is in need of support, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

Are you living in a cage?

beautiful-bird-cage-photography via weheartit“Even a golden cage is still a cage.” – Indrani

Are you living in a cage at all in some way, in your life or business?

No matter how good things might seem on the outside, or to others, only you can know if your heart is in a cage.

What is no longer an active “yes”, that you’re not saying “no” to? That is a cage, too.

What “no” are you needing to say and what is the “yes” that gets to pop up if you are brave enough to do that?

And if you look closely, is the cage you’re in really so golden? When you really open your eyes, and discover the cage is actually just a plain metal one, what does that do to release you to fly free?

As fearful as it may be to be bold and do the uncertain thing, if you tell the truth to yourself, you will hear that you are afraid anyway sitting on your perch doing nothing or little.

Which would you prefer – to be free and afraid, or afraid inside a cage?

Fuel enough to burn through gravity!

rocket-launchHave you ever seen a shuttle lift off?

From what I have read, shuttles use over half of their fuel supply to break out of the earth’s gravitational pull.
After the shuttle breaks free, the fuel usage drops significantly.
If there is not enough combustion and the propulsion does not quite allow the shuttle to break out then all that initial work, all that burning will be for naught!
The shuttle will fall back down and shatter.

I like this metaphor for looking at what it takes to leave an abuser.
In order to leave, you have to have some initial fuel. Perhaps it’s a threat that you finally believe. Perhaps it’s yet another physical attack. Something fuels you to run for your life.
If you do not have the reserves of fuel to help you to stay gone (breaking free of the gravitational pull of the abuser) you will fall right back into their pull and burn up, all over again!

What are those reserves of fuel?

Those reserves are LOVE for yourself and your children.
Those reserves are finally realizing that your abuser tells you LIES!

The lies are that you are worthless, that you cannot survive without them, that you will live under a bridge or that NO ONE could ever love you.

Lies… All LIES!

The deeper you dig to find YOUR truths the better chance you have to stay gone to continue to free yourself of the gravitational pull of the abuser.

Abusers, like gravity, like to pull you DOWN.
They do not like you to move and think on your own. If they want you to think, they will TELL you what to think, when to think and how long to think it.
Abusers like to see themselves as mind readers, as purveyors of Truth!
The world revolves around them and the only thing that matters is what they believe to be so.
Read this former blog post, Bricks are for building and get an insight into some real life abuse.

How do you reserve enough fuel so that you can stay gone?
Some of the things you can do are:

  • TALK to professionals about your abuse.
  • Gather information on how abuse and abusers work.
  • Begin to identify the pattern in your abuse. 1. Event 2. Abuse 3. Honeymoon** 4. Apologies

**Note that in this 3rd stage, The Honeymoon Stage, is when the gravitational pull to go back to the abuse is strongest. You WANT to believe that he means it THIS time. You want to believe that he WILL never hit or rape or threaten you again. Oh, how you LONG to believe it. Beware of this gravitational pull.

All abuse follows this formula.
Sometimes the time frame between the stages varies from minutes to hours to days and even months. I have also seen the stages take years, but it still follows this formula. The abuse is still present.

Keep notes (in a VERY safe place) and note how many things you are being accused of. Ask yourself if you are really that powerful as to make those things all happen.
If indeed you WERE that powerful, would you not make the abuser stop hurting you?

You cannot fight this fight alone. It takes a whole team of qualified engineers and staff personnel to safely send that shuttle off into space. You need a team of qualified people to help you to blast away and more importantly, stay away.

Find your team.
Refill your fuel reserves.
Blast away.
Stay away.
Far away, until you love yourself SO much, that you will never again believe the lies.

Love and light,

Feeling like a puppet? CUT the strings, one at a time…

SONY DSCWhen I was in Russia a few years ago on a clown trip, I went to an hour long puppet show.
I really enjoyed that show. The puppets were exquisitely made and the puppeteer had finely honed his craft over 20 years.
This week, as I listen to some of my clients tell me about things they MUST do to make their husbands happy, I felt that I was right back at the puppet show. I could see their husbands pull the strings making them do a dance that made them feel ill, uncomfortable and compromised.

One particular story stands out:
A wife is “made” to be a voyeur while her husband engages in various sexual behaviors with other women.
She is told that at least he is respecting her by not asking her to “do it” with other men.
She feels relieved that she does not have to take other lovers, and she feels violently ill when she has to be the observer. She also feels love for her husband.

This is NOT an easy situation. She is in a sad and painful place.
It seems to me that she is the chief and most important puppet in his puppet show.
If the wife really wants to change the extra circular activities that happen in her life, she can ONLY change her OWN behaviors.
But she loves him.

I can hear you say, “What will he do?”

The short answer is he will do whatever he wants to do.
He has life exactly as he wants it.
She, on the other hand, has a life that has become disgusting to her.
She can only change her actions.
One of the first things she can do is decide which parts of her married life she can still stomach.
She then HAS to get some professional counseling for breaking the news to her husband.
She can find FREE help at various women’s shelters in her local area. In the Houston area, there is an organization called Houston Galveston Institute and they even offer FREE counseling help on Saturdays. No appointment necessary.

She can create a new life. She can even create a new marriage. But it must begin with creating a new sense of self respect.
She can kick start the whole process by making a short list of all the good things she sees in herself.
She can keep adding some positives to her list every day.
She is going to have to remind herself on a daily basis that she is worthy of respect from others and respect from herself.

If you know someone who can use some of the small steps in this blog, please pass it on to her.
You can also tell her to sign up for 5 minutes to happiness, and she will get an e-course that will help her to discover the inner strengths that she has.
Love and light,

P.S. As she gets stronger, she will be able to CUT the strings in her mind and she will find freedom.

The FULL COURT PRESS… You CAN stand up to them!

Do you know what the phrase “full court press” means?

My novice understanding of basketball tells me it’s when the opposing team exports most of its players to guard your players the whole length of the court. Especially the greatest players on your team like the one who scores a lot or the one who is the 3 point expert…the player most like a young Michael Jordan. I think that Michael Jordan was the recipient of many a “full court press”.

When faced with the wrath of the opposing team, one must use all of one’s wiles and wits. One must pull every trick out of the hat…make any move, even if it seems counter intuitive. It’s either make a move (a swift move), find someone to pass the ball to or just go for the shot anyway, before the ref blows the whistle that you’ve held the ball too long.

Ok, big deal, why should you care about the theory of the full court press?

So glad you asked!

Let’s use our eagle eyes to zoom out from the basketball court and soar way above our lives and take some close looks at the predicaments that we have gotten ourselves into.

When you were a kid and another kid hurt you, did you want, even long for, your parents to come to your rescue? If the answer is yes, then you longed for the full court family press to save you because you could not save yourself. You wanted your team to surround you and help you to navigate the challenge at hand.

Did your parents ever go to your school to stand with you against an unfair accusation by a teacher? If so, you were the recipient of the Full Court Press. You see the full court press does not always work the way you want it to. You may not get the teacher to admit that they were wrong BUT you will have seen that your family came to your aid and that may be all that you needed. You were NOT being blamed by your people, only by the opposing team. Your people had your back!

The full court press can work in the exact opposite way.

Take for example, your spouse hits you, so bad that you had to go to the hospital. The doctor BY LAW must report alleged domestic violence. The police begin to question you and you finally break down and all the secrets come tumbling out. The secrets of many years can no longer be held in.

Be aware that the Full Court Family Press is about to be UNLEASHED on you. The press will probably be from the side of the battering spouse, maybe even the battered spouse side may jump in.

You may be pressed and pressured with words like;

He didn’t mean it.

What did you do to upset him?

What kind of mother are you to put your children’s father in jail?

What kind of wife are you to not know how to make your family happy?

What will the rest of the family say?

What will the priest/imam/rabbi/guru/scientologist say?

When you start being barraged by the Full court press, whose only goal is to get you to go back to being abused in silence, you MUST find someone on the outside that you can “send the ball” to.

This will be someone who wants to help you live a life of JOY.

This will be someone who understands your pain.

This will be someone who has your back.

The Full Court Press to repress your rights to a peaceful life may NEVER go away.

They may vow to make your life miserable and spread rumors about you throughout the town/village/Internet.

You cannot control their actions. You can only control your own actions.

So suit up and look around. Identify those on YOUR team and give them a heads up that you may be calling on them.

Gather your team slowly and purposefully. Don’t accept people who make you feel bad even when things are good. These people may not be able to hold your pain and be a part of your full court.

I hope this got you thinking about who is REALLY on your team.

You deserve a wonderful team.


Love and light,


Dancing with Wild Abandon

WomanDancingonPorch via chatelaine.comI had seen her many times during the past few months. She is small and cute and always smiling.

For some reason, she always hugged me as soon as she saw me and we exchanged pleasantries.

When she danced in Zumba her hair flew, her hips spoke volumes and her arms were as expressive as the rest of the Latin lovelies in the class. She used her hair as another appendage and her golden locks flew every which way.

I always admired her ability to move fluidly and effortlessly, as I stomped about and pretended to be effortless also.

A few days ago, she lingered a little longer and I asked what she did when she was not in Zumba. She said she had two little ones, ages 2 and 5 and she takes care of them. I was surprised since she seemed to be 16 years old!

We talked a few more minutes and she asked, “You work in shelters?”

I replied, “Yes, I do.”

Without erasing her smile she said, “I was in a shelter in 2011.”

I am not easily surprised and I usually am not in “work” mode when at Zumba.

I paused and said, “The same man or another man?”

She said, “The same man.”

She continued, “He is not so bad these days.”

Then she said, “That is why I dance, to forget.”

She walked away with a sweet “Bye.”

I looked at her as she left, wanting to run to her and say I will always be here for you.

I could not, she did not ask me for my help.

I took comfort in knowing that she felt comfortable enough to speak her truth and that she has found a way to forget and deal with her pain.

Cardio for her heart…Zumba now holds a whole new meaning for me.


Love and Light,


Bricks are for building….NOT throwing at people!


one brick at a time via faithlifewomenI was having a lazy morning the other day and as I flipped through channels I came across one of those Judge shows.
I don’t remember who the judge was BUT I do remember what the case was.

Woman: He threw a brick at my car and broke my windshield.
Man: She made me do it, because she makes me so mad.
Judge: Tell me exactly what happened, Sir.
Man: She is always running around and makes me so jealous and she is always going out at night……
Judge to woman: Tell me Ma’am, do you go out a lot at night?
Woman: Yes your Honor, I am a party planner and I have to stay at the event. I have been doing this for 3 years and I keep telling him that I am not fooling around….

I could not believe what I was hearing…right in front of me was the unraveling of a relationship because of raging jealousy and out of
control anger. This woman was lucky that this man had not already maimed or killed her.

The woman said she had seen this out of control anger but kept trying to reason with him.

She kept telling him how faithful she was and he just never believes her.


All of the signs were there and she did not add them up, UNTIL the shit hit the fan…the BRICK hit THE CAR!

Thankfully the brick did NOT hit her!

Abuse starts and ends the same way:
1. Incident sets the abuser off
2. The act of abuse
3. The honeymoon phase.

Yes, it is that easy… there is always a trigger, the actual violence and the “Oh baby, I am so sorry”…

It is not so easy to leave, and that makes the abuser gain strength.
The longer you stay the more strength the abuser gains.

If someone is throwing, hitting, slapping, raping, dragging, cuffing, etc…try to get out.

Call the National Hotline…1-800-799-SAFE or visit http://www.thehotline.org/

Love and light,