Tag Archives: healing

If I could punch a hole in the darkness of depression.

You are not alone copyI had something else planned for today’s post.

Expect the unexpected and you will not be disappointed.

A woman sent me a tweet with a link to a video she created to raise awareness of eating disorders and to inspire people in their recovery journey of breaking free from ED.

Lilac Sheer uses song, animation and her own story of recovery from ED to drive home an important message — There is another path. There is help. You are not alone.

And in her note I was reminded. I am not alone.

There are no coincidences. I needed to hear Lilac’s words. I needed to see through the darkness of my fear to the light of hope always present in our human connection.

Yesterday I had a conversation with someone trapped in the darkness of depression’s cloying mass. I wanted to cry. To scream. To punch out the darkness so the light could get through to them. I wanted to run after them and pull on their arms and force them to turn around. I wanted to shout at them so they could hear me. Don’t go so deep. Don’t take that path. Look. Come this way. Here is the light. Here is love waiting to embrace you.

But I am not that powerful. I cannot punch holes into the darkness consuming another’s mind and being. I cannot make someone hear my words when darkness is blocking out all sound of Love, hope, and joy.

I can only hold space in the light of my heart so that where our space connects, it is only Love they feel between us even when it is love they most fear.

I can listen with a loving heart. Hear with loving ears. Speak with loving words.

I cannot change another’s path. I can illuminate my path to shine fiercely, brightly, lovingly. I can shine my light into the darkness so that they do not feel so all alone, so scared and small.

And I can let them know, as Lilac Sheer did for me, you are not alone in the darkness. I will stand with you. I will hold space for you. I will be with you. Fierce. Loving. Radiating with the light of hope that beyond the darkness you will feel and see and know the light entering on your next breath and the next. So that no matter how deep the darkness feels you know deeper within you, deeper than the darkness — Love is always present. Love is always with you.

I may not be able to punch holes into the darkness, but I can hold space for the light to shine through. Always.

Please take the time to watch Lilac Sheer’s amazing video animated by the very talented Natalie Biegaj.

Punch a hole into the darkness — Like it. Share it. Let those trapped in depression’s cloak of darkness or struggling to free themselves from ED’s killing embrace know, they are not alone. None of us are.

 

Speaking the Truth is not always a cake walk

On the second weekend of the Choices journey, (Givers 1) we talk about the 6 points of power:

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Speak the Truth
  3. Be Responsible for YOUR Life (be accountable)
  4. Ask for what you want
  5. Keep YOUR Agreements
  6. Create Value in ALL things

Speaking the Truth can be challenging. For me, the fear of rejection, my fear that someone won’t like me, or will be angry with what I have to say kept me from speaking up and standing comfortably with my boundaries intact. Because my boundaries used to be so weak and permeable, I continually compromised on my truth and subsequently, lived someone else’s truth. In that process, I became more fearful, not less.

For me, speaking my truth is about lovingly standing my ground without fearing the other person’s reactions. I am not responsible for how people respond. I trust myself to be responsible for and with my words. I trust others to be responsible as well. My trust is not based on their actions, but on my ability to discern how their words and actions affect me. When I respond negatively to someone, it is not a reflection of them. It is something in me that is creating that response. My responsibility is to honour what it is in me by taking appropriate action. It is my responsibility to be true to my values, principles and beliefs.

When I speak my truth, I do not have the right to hurt nor harm someone else. My truth is not a stick with which I bludgeon others. My truth is not a knife with which to spear someone else’s heart in order to open them up to me.

My truth is a reflection of me. How I speak it is a reflection of who I am, my values, principles and beliefs.

When I am angry, my truth reflects my emotion, not my being. I have the right to my anger, I never have the right to be cruel.

Several years ago I managed an organization where the principle was extremely abusive. He believed that it was okay to berate staff, to scream and yell for what he wanted, to threaten dire consequences when he didn’t get it.

I didn’t believe the same things.

For six months, I worked hard to keep staff from feeling the brunt of this man’s abusive behaviour. One of the things I did was organize a two day retreat with the core team to facilitate healing and communication. At the retreat, the principle committed to stop yelling, cursing and belittling staff. I committed to staying on board — with a caveat — if the behaviour continued, I would resign.

One day, shortly after the retreat, the principle started shouting and swearing at the staff in a meeting. I stood up and said, I do not accept this behaviour and I left.

In that instance of speaking my truth I was responsible for my actions and words. My truth was, I do not accept abusive behaviour. I could not change the man. I could not determine whether or not others chose to remain under his abuse. I was not that powerful. My power was in my capacity to make the changes I needed to honour my truth.

Inside me there was a voice that wanted to scream at this individual and rant and rave and really tear a strip off of him in front of his staff. While the momentary relief of doing that might have made me feel good, the truth is — that behaviour would have compromised my values, principles and beliefs.

I value courteous behaviour. I value common decency. I value respect.

I stand true to myself when I step lightly through each moment with dignity, grace and respect. When the footprints I leave are filled with love and do not become potholes for others to fall into.

I believe I am responsible for every thought, word I speak, action I take.

I believe I am responsible for my own happiness. And I trust others to be responsible for theirs.

I believe the world is a place of infinite possibility and beauty.

I believe it is up to me to create it in my own life and to lovingly share my light so that the world around me is illuminated with love that will inspire others to step joyfully through their days — regardless of the weather.

When I stand comfortably in my truth, I am standing in love. In love, I do not hurt others. I do not retaliate unkindly. I lovingly state what is true for me, and do not give myself up to make their truth mine.

There are no boundaries to speaking truth as long as we remember, there is truth in everything, but not all things are true. In our truth is the only place we can stand to live free of fear that our truth is not enough.

We are enough.

In all our truth.

***************

Thank you RH for the inspiration for today’s blog.

Ain’t no power in feelin’ sorry!

The lovely Elizabeth who writes at Almost Spring, posted a comment on Monday’s blog. She asks: “In regard to feeling compassion for your abuser, is that sympathy as in feeling sorry as you would for someone with an illness, or is it empathy in fully understanding WHY?”

Her question triggered an immediate fissure of disquiet within me. The phrase “feeling sorry for…” sets off alarm bells. It triggers memories of my past that do not sit well with me.

I love triggers! I get to look at them, explore them and then, set myself free.

When my youngest daughter was about five or six years old she had significant back pain. Doctors, numerous tests, twice yearly MRIs didn’t solve it.

Irish dancing did.

At least, that’s my belief.

But that isn’t what triggered my feelings of disquiet this morning. What triggered them was the memory of my mother saying, “Poor Lele. I feel so sorry for her.” She would repeat this, whenever we got together. Say it again and again. It drove me crazy!

Ugh!

I hate that. Seriously I do. Okay. Hate is a strong word. I strongly dislike when someone says, “I feel sorry for….” or, “Poor you, blah blah blah.”

I feel powerless in sorriness! And believe me, when your five-year old daughter is in constant pain and there are no answers as to why, feeling sorry and powerless just doesn’t cut it.

Eventually, the doctors did label her distress with a word I couldn’t spell let alone pronounce. Didn’t make the pain go away, but it did give me a label to focus on, to beat up, and to try to stuff into a box of my understanding.

Label in hand, I let go of ‘why’ and worked with my daughter to not let the label circumscribe her life. (which is where the Irish Dance came in and the subsequent years of ballet and jazz and every kind of dance she could imagine — the dance strengthened, and stretched, her muscles, improved her posture and in the movement, overrode the pain with grace and litheness that continues to enhance her life today.)

My biggest fear at the time was that my daughter would grow up believing she was ‘sick’ or different, even ‘sorry’. I couldn’t change the label and I definitely didn’t want her to believe she was dis-empowered by her disease. I wanted her to know she was powerful beyond her wildest imaginings.

I forbid my mother to say it.

It didn’t work.

It is part of her make-up. Her way of expressing sympathy and support. It is her way.

It’s not mine.

So when Elizabeth asked, ” is that sympathy as in feeling sorry as you would for someone with an illness,” my mind leaped to that  ‘No Way!’ place, as I began to back pedal through memory to ensure I wasn’t wallowing in feeling sorry for someone else.

And now I’m smiling. And laughing at myself.

The answer is so simple.

I don’t feel sorry for him. That would dis-empower him and the universe. Feeling sorry for him would be to say he has no ability to manage his own actions, no capacity for change. No place for miracles in his life.

Like me, like you, like all of us, he deserves miracles. It’s his choice whether he chooses to open up to his own power, and the gifts of the universe, or not.

And I have nothing to do with his choices.

What I have to do with are mine — how I look at the past. How I chose to let what happened then, affect me now. And I choose to let it affect me, in Love.

I choose to breathe through Love into those spaces where discord, angst, pain and sorrow once consumed me. I choose to stand in Love and trust in the Universe to always be there, to always support, applaud and make possible our wildest dreams come true. I choose to believe in the wonder and awe of humankind. I choose to believe in the essential nature of our magnificence.

I choose not to ‘feel sorry’ for someone else. I choose to see their brilliance, their capacity and courage and ability and power to deal with whatever life has given them without my heaping ‘sorriness’ onto their back. They don’t need my sorry. They need my belief in their power. They deserve my absolute conviction that we are capable of creating miracles in our lives because, we are, each and every one of us, powerful, magnificent, miracles of Life. The Divine expression of amazing grace.

And when faced with situations where I have no control to change what another does (which is kinda always ’cause I can’t change another, I can only work on me :)), I choose to not dive into asking why does he do that? The why will always lead me back to the inexplicable. And trying to figure out his why, keeps my light from shining in my own life.

I choose instead to accept, it is who he is in this moment right now and what he is doing does not fit with my life — and let my thinking, and him, go. And as I do, I release myself from wishing and hoping and feeling sorry for another. I dissolve into Love. In Love I celebrate the capacity for change inherent in each of us. In Love I am released from feeling responsible for anyone else’s life but mine.

Thank you Elizabeth. Your question triggered my exploration of what is true for me. Your beauty inspired my heart to grow in Love.

 

 

 

Making a Difference: Cyber-communities (Guest Blog)

I first met CZ almost nine years ago in an internet forum for survivors of abuse and encounters of the narcissistic and psychopathic kind. She was witty, wise, articulate and oh so real. Her generosity of spirit helped hundreds and hundreds of men and women heal from the wounds of battle in relationships of the not so very nice kind.

When MSN changed its forum template and CZ set off to explore the world of building her own sites. She knew how vital and important these sharing and caring spaces were for people coming out from under the web of deceit psychopaths and narcissists wove into their lives. She knew she needed to keep making a difference if people were to find healing and peace in the past.

Her efforts gave birth to her website:  The Narcissistic Continuum and several blogs including the Web of Narcissism (WON) Forum. Her efforts and generosity of spirit have also given birth to a friendship that I value and treasure, even though we’ve never met, in person. After 9 years of online sharing and emails, I know CZ is an amazing Woman of Worth. A real WOW!

Thank you CZ for sharing your brilliance here and thank you for all you to do make a difference in the world everyday. Your difference shines!

******************************************************************

Making a Difference:  Cyber-communities  

by CZ

Feigning remorse he said, “Sorry to steal your best years by leaving when you’re old.” Feigning dignity I replied, “Don’t even kid yourself. You didn’t get my best years. You got my worst.”

It was a turning point for me, this brief exchange between two people who had married at nineteen…divorcing at fifty. I had been skydiving black holes for months, free falling into hopelessness. That is how it felt being disconnected from the comfort of a thirty-four year marriage, the reassurance of family ties, the grace of worth transferred, even in the pretense of love.

In case I didn’t hear him the first time, he repeated, “Stealing…best years…you’re old,” and I don’t know what happened to me! I don’t. Something deep inside myself refused to believe his words. Something inside myself said, “You are a daughter of God!” I know this sounds dramatic, even romantic; yet to me, it was divine intervention. A grounding realization that no one is replaceable, not even a housewife. No one is worthless, not even an unemployed, replaced housewife. My life had value and meaning, perhaps even more so with age. This sure knowledge affirmed that each of us has a purpose to serve in the web of life. And our service to others needn’t be spectacular or newsworthy. In fact, anonymity might serve me well.

My soon-to-be-x-husband left for his self-determined future, fame and fortune sure to be his claim. Instead of focusing on him, I focused on me, connecting the repetitive themes of my life from one maturing decade to another. I hadn’t placed much value on my traditional skills, my community-building-and-serving-others skills. I didn’t even think of my self as having skills. Building intimate relationships is what I learned as a girl. Ho-hum, who cares, don’t all women do that? I had matured into a woman with an open door for teen-agers in need of a surrogate mom (just as goodly women provided for my rebel teens); a woman with casseroles and jell-o, cushy armchairs and china teacups, less worried about my hair than community welfare.

An older woman with an eye out for people in trouble, people in need. A woman who listened. A woman who cared. I had done my preparatory work creating a meaningful, connected life. It was time to put my skills to greater use organizing a healing community. I needed a website, a living room, and a keyboard.

Each morning (I won’t add “at the crack of dawn” because sometimes I get up at the “crack of noon”), I log in to the Web of Narcissism and connect with people who are suffering, people who have lost everything including self-respect. They feel broken and powerless, humiliated and vulnerable. But I know they are stronger than they feel, more valuable than they realize, more worthy than they believe.

I trust in the power of human connections to heal our wounds simply by listening and talking with one another. Chit-chatting. Tete-a-tete-ing. Being honest about our lives. Keeping it real. So, I serve cyber-tea in china cups in lovely chintz-covered cyber-living rooms and wait for the healing to begin—a most natural process, indeed.

Shhhhhhh…listen. Do you hear the chattering of an Internet message board? If you do, look carefully. You are witnessing the mystery of lives unfolding. Their best is yet to be.