No child should live in constant fear…..
This is the song of abuse.
Abuse is cyclical. Life is “good” and then there is an event, some supposed affront….then comes the violence, whether physical, verbal or both.
The cycle can be tracked. You can plot it on a calendar, just like a woman’s cycle.
The span of time between events can vary, but the “affront” will always be followed by violence. The abuser will always have VERY good reasons, why they were left without recourse, but to strike out.
It will be words like, “Look what you made me do.” Or “You always do this and I have no choice.”
One of the saddest and most telling stories I recently heard while in India was about a woman who had been set on fire by her husband. While in the rickshaw going to the hospital, the man fell at her feet crying that he was sorry but it was her fault for whatever she had done. He begged her not to tell the police that he had done it.
She lied to the hospital and to the police and she said it was an accident. She took the entire brunt of the incident, the physical torture, the emotional torture and the blame. She thought that he would “love” her more, since she showed how strong she was.
What she did not realize was that he cannot love.
If he was capable of love he would never have burned her.
He was only concerned with NOT being caught and put in jail.
This story is gruesome, and it is sad and you may be tempted to say “ah, my story is nothing like this.”
Be careful of dismissing this too quickly, as it holds many lessons for us.
It tells us to be aware of the cycles.
It tells us to have faith and courage in OUR TRUTH.
It tells us to be strong in our convictions.
Most of all, it tells us to allow the authorities to do their jobs.
What secrets are you holding?
What wrongs are you accepting blame for that were not your fault?
Who are you letting off the hook by making YET another excuse for their poor behavior?
Silence like a cancer grows.
Remove the cancers.
Love and light,
I was recently on a flight and saw the movie A Thousand Words, it was funny and introspective at the same time.
I did not expect introspection from Eddie Murphy.
The premise of the movie (spoiler alert) is that Eddie Murphy’s character has 1000 words left and when he reached this quota, he will die.
There is an outer manifestation of this which is a tree in his back yard that loses a leaf with every word he speaks.
He loses three words (and three leaves) if he says “I love you.”
This becomes very problematic not only at work, but with his wife, to whom he cannot express his love because he does not want to die.
If he writes a word, the leaves also fall.
Ok, so it’s a movie and it all works out in the end!
BUT, what if it could be true?
Do you know how many words you have left?
This of course presupposes that you know how many years you have and you know how many words you will speak each day.
A daunting mathematical problem!
How many years do I have left?
I know not.
I have this moment.
What I choose to say in this moment can be uplifting or off putting.
It can be humorous or humorless.
It can be stated without judgment or it can be accusatory.
I can whisper or shout.
I have a plethora of choices.
How do I decide?
I have to KNOW who I am and how I want to show up in the world.
I have to know ME!
I have to be true to me.
I have to fight the lethargy that comes with everyday living and the urge to be “fed up” with knowing myself. I have to be ON.
That takes at first a conscious decision to be true to me, then it becomes like breathing.
It becomes a living testament to the William Shakespeare quote “to thine own self be true.”
I must live, To MY own self be true.
I recently had someone forward me a text that they received from another person.
This person just sent the text. They did not say what they wanted me to do with it.
I had to wonder, what should I do here? Should I ignore it, therefore ignore the person who sent it to me?
Should I comment?
I chose to comment, but with humor.
Why? Because I have chosen to try and find the lesson or the humor in my experiences.
How did the recipient take it? I do not know!
What did I accomplish?
Only being true to “MY OWN SELF.”
It’s a long and winding road, indeed.
Love & light,
“Hello story my old friend
I’ve come to fondle you again
Because your lies have me trapped in
The same old paths that are in my brain
And the stories, never give me any peace, any peace,
Wishing for the sounds of silence”
Ok, so I am not a real lyricist…. but I do pretend to be one once in a while.
My teacher and mentor Dr. Martha Beck, tells us that we all have a tendency to ‘story fondle.’ You know, telling the same dramatic story over and over again and looking for people to agree and to commiserate. If someone challenges our story, we tend to become defensive and lash out or sulk in a corner.
How DARE they not believe us?
Who do they think they are?
What right do they have to say that my truth may in fact be just a story?
Ask yourself this, have you told many someones the same story over and over?
Why do you feel compelled to repeat old stories?
Ask yourself, “Do these stories bring me joy?”
I know whereof I speak, I have used this technique, and it only kept me stuck.
I got tired of being stuck.
The only way I could free myself was to consciously not tell the story. Not ever.
I did vent in therapy where I could get some insight, but other than that I started to create new themes.
It is not easy to step out of the story.
The stories are familiar, and on a strange level…even comforting.
You know every word, where to place charged emphasis and where to shed a tear.
We are academy award winners in our own plays.
Do you need a different way?
Are you tired of being angry and sad?
Change the stories.
Make them comedic monologues instead of dramas.
Put on a costume and tell the story from that character’s point of view.
Tell the story with a fake accent and crack yourself up.
Do something different.
If you don’t, who will?
Love and light,
I was at a meeting recently and one of the ladies offered something sad about a parent’s death. The look on her face clearly said “I am in pain, I don’t expect anyone to fix it, I am just sharing and I just need an ear”. Clearly, at least to me.
What happened then was not uncommon, but for the first time I was able to observe and to notice what was happening in the woman who shared.
Woman A piped up with “You think that’s bad, when my parent died….blah blah blah” (read oneupmanship).
Woman B piped in with a louder voice and said “Well, it’s just stuff, right?” (read dismissal).
Woman C chimed in with “Oh poor you” (read pity).
I kept looking at the face of the woman in pain and she got really stiff and then completely shut down, as she hugged her arms across her chest tighter and tighter. It was fascinating and sad. I was fascinated at how much information she was giving with her facial expressions and body language and equally stumped as to how the other women were completely oblivious to her. I was also saddened as to the reactions of the other women. They seemed to have been trapped in a world where their opinions were the only ones that accounted for anything.
These women are all very good friends. Each one thought that they were supporting their friend. But each one had their one agenda and that was to make her feel better by making her problem seem less significant.
We all do this, without even thinking. What she needed was an empathetic ear. This was not empathy.
According to Arn Ivey, Paul Pederson and Mary Ivey, empathy is defined as “the ability to perceive a situation from the other person’s perspective. To see, hear, feel the unique world of the other.”
Brene Brown tells us that “real empathy takes more than words- it takes work….Our words are only as effective as our ability to be genuinely present and engage with someone as she tells her story.”
Further Dr. Brown describes empathy as “the skill or ability to tap into our own experiences in order to connect with an experience someone is relating to us.”
Some ways to communicate true empathy could look something like…
“You must feel really bad about that” or
“That must have really hurt you” or
“I see that you are hurt by that”
None of the above, attempts to fix.
None of the above, places our perspective on the other or negates what the other is feeling.
All of the above, places the person in pain as the focus.
The next time someone offers you the chance to show empathy, take it as a gift to you. That person is giving you a unique opportunity to practice a skill so lacking in our world.
Love and light
I can learn how to build a plane.
I can get piano lessons.
I can learn how to yodel.
I can teach myself Chinese.
Everything, right? Is that true?
NO, it is not.
I cannot access my inner wisdom with Google.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a site called www.intuition.source?
HaHa! Maybe Google will steal that idea!
Yes, I want a .source.
We have .tv and .net and .com and .org and .edu and .gov etc so I want a .source.
Should we feel “Crap! Then what’s a person to do?”
NO NO NO… I have the answer (read this sentence in a southern preacher voice)
YES my friends I haaavvveee the AAAnnnsweer.
Drum roll please…..
You already have a .source.
You have it within you.
There is an internal wisdom that most of us ignore.
This wisdom sometimes comes as a soft whisper, sometimes a moving picture in your head, or maybe a gut feeling. All of these ways are soft knowings of what your next best step needs to be.
These “knowings” are never judgmental shouts as in “you idiot you should’ve blah blah blah”
The knowings are comforting, even though they may be the biggest risk you ever took in your life.
To access this gift, just get quiet.
Try meditating, or prayer, or a silent walk.
Try a day of total silence; put this on your e mail responder and on your telephone messages.
You have much to gain and nothing to lose…
.source is waiting
This year in Houston, we have a very bad drought. I read that in East Texas, they have been in drought for 3 years. I am saddened for the animals and the trees. People can always seem to find water.
What would happen if it was just the opposite? What if it rained NON STOP for 3 years? What if it rained NON STOP for months on end? It would be called Monsoon. Many parts of the world manage to get through their yearly Monsoon, but not without loss and heart ache. Houses get swept away, human and animal lives are lost, and a host of other tragedies occur.
What happens when life sends you a FLOOD of a different kind? Emotional floods. Floods that sweep through your heart and up end all that you held sound and solid?
Maybe that looks like a loved one passing at the same time that you lose your job. Or maybe it looks like the youngest child leaving for college and your spouse declares that they want a divorce? Or maybe it looks like you are in the hospital awaiting surgery and then the spouse walks in asking for a divorce? It has happened!
When these waves of emotion begin to crash all around you, do not try to swim… just float. DO NOTHING! This too will pass. It always does, it really always does.
Ask instead these questions:
1. What do you know for sure?
2. What can you be grateful for in this moment?
3. Who can you call to share/weep/sigh/scream to?
4. How can you REST inside of the turmoil and wait for the lessons?
5. DO NOTHING.
If you still have some time to read a great poem about emotional flooding… search for THE GUEST HOUSE BY RUMI.
Love and Light and Resting
Blaring music, TV’s spouting out news 24/7, ipods, cell phones, people talking with really nothing to say… its as if the world is coming down around us, suffocating our ability to hear the truth and peace that lies within us.
Silence allows expansion, to hear the breath, become aware of the rise and fall of the body with the breath. Quiet yourself to feel the pulsing of the blood moving through your body which is an incredible creation in and of itself. Become aware of physical tensions, breath through it and see if you can let it go. Once you are beyond physical body in the silence, you can start sensing the energy of the world outside of your body.
The silences brings awareness, to ourselves, and that we are part of something much bigger than the noise around us.
Silence is golden. Stop and take time to hear the silence.
L – Let go of what others expect of you. Make your own rules. Take your power without permission.
E – Engage with the messages from your body… Easy as 123.
1- accept that your body has wisdom.
2- allow your behaviors to first do no harm to your own self.
3- believe that joy and happiness are your birth rights.
A – Allow yourself to feel the discomfort of Fear Regret Hurt Guilt. Feel these and other emotions deeply and freely without judging yourself. New life comes from birthing pain… Allow the pain so your new life can be birthed. What new thing will be birthed in you today.
D – Decide to chart your own course. Find and follow your purpose. We all have a divine purpose and you KNOW what it is. Sit in silence each day for about 10 minutes and allow the whisperings of your purpose to surface. It wants to, but the noise of your everyday life keeps it silent.