Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Greatness after hatred

Welcome. It is an honor to have you visit with me. I tell my stories of my years living in domestic violence below in the Dark Corner. But more than those stories, greater than those stories, is the hope and the belief that we are all brave. That everyone needs a little courage, a shared perspective to remind us of how amazing a brave life is! Welcome.

I was in Walmart a couple days ago, my kids were tired, I was tired. Whining commenced- from all of us! And then I noticed, there was no music on- none. It was almost Christmas time and there were no carols actually no music at all. I looked at my youngest, such grumpiness- kicking at her sister she fussed. I started to sing jingle bells. My children looked at me, they knew that song, they wondered what I was doing.... and then their eyes softened. They began to sing with me, some with words and the younger with just sounds.  I thought about being embarrassed but sheesh- the whining fit throwing that was the alternative was far worse! And so we sang. When we finished, one of my daughters shouted, yes shouted in her shrill little girl voice, "AGAIN! AGAIN!" Everyone in our vicinity turned to watch.... And so... I busted out with Jingle Bells again! Only a couple of people shot grumpy narrow glares at us. I didn't care at that point. I had remembered that I was teaching my children to be brave, teaching my children to look for fun and good instead of complaining, teaching myself to not worry about what other people think. 
You see, I have a purpose here, with my children but also in this life. At time it feels like greatness is busting out of me. Its there that I just take a deep breath and choose to be brave. This isn't because of me. If you've read any of my stories you will know that. I'm not even sure what my greatness is. Did it matter to someone that I sang in the store? Do my words reach my children? Is my intent and perspective important? HOLY COW!!! Those are not my questions. The answers aren't mine to have. I just am impelled to let this strength, this power, these bold and crazy ideas out. Greatness, Bravery... it comes from whom we come from. The connection of meeting a stranger's eyes and sharing a moment, a knowing look or a smile, a truthful conversation or generosity can change a perspective, change the course of a life or a way of being. Don't be afraid to be big. Take care of the impressions that you have of yourself, to see yourself as you are- there isn't enough time set before us to do otherwise. There is no normal, no small life. Live real, live boldly. Be BRAVE!

Dark Corner
He told me I had ten seconds to straighten up. He didn't need to express what he would do to me if I didn't comply... I was well aware of the heaviness and quickness of his feet, his hands. But... my mind went blank. I honestly didn't know what I was doing to straighten up from. My eyes looked back and forth, searching- as if I'd see something in front of me that would clue me into my bad behavior. His hand struck my face. And..... He told me I was lying. How could I agree with that? He took my frantic fear and not meeting his eyes as a sign of guilt. He hit my back. I felt his fury. Hatred, anger, a deep darkness struck me again and again. My backbone burned each time he found it with his hand. My right thigh stung, tears hit the floor. He told me to go to the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror. He told me to look at myself. My eyes were swollen with tears, my face was red, my hair disheveled.... He instructed me to tell the truth to myself. My heart and my head told me that there was no safe way out of this. From the bathroom, in front of the mirror, standing and shaking I was oppressed with the magnitude of hate. Like so many other days I cowered. I couldn't keep myself, his hate had too much fuel that day. 

I don't cower anymore. I'm not always happy, not always brave, not always thrilled with how things turn out. But it has been proven to me that who I am, what I do and how I chose to live should come from me- not anyone else. My dear friend sent me a magnet for Christmas that said, "Dance as though no one is watching you, Love as though you have never been hurt before, Sing as though no one can hear you, Live as though heaven is on earth." Souza
Can you do that? If you have the freedom to chose to live those sentiments DO! If you don't have the freedom to make that choice, if you are controlled, hurt... please please get help. 

Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. More often, the abuser is a member of her own family. 
Domestic violence is ugly. The prevalence of it is disgusting. Live, be Brave because you can!