Words to Live By

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How many people in your life would qualify as the “A-word”? You know those people who are nasty and manipulative and selfish, the people who are only interested in what’s in it for them. And I label them as abusers. (What word were you thinking of?) They aren’t necessarily punching you or sexually assaulting you, but their behavior is abusive on the emotional and mental levels.

Sometimes I wonder if trauma survivors are more prone to come across abusers. I wonder if there is a sign on my back that says, “I was horribly mistreated by my parents so that makes me more likely to succumb to your nasty bullying behavior.” (That message may be a little long.) And while I could spend hours, even days, feeling victimized all over again, I know I have to look at this from a different perspective. It is not possible to change the abusers. It is not possible to avoid the abusers entirely. While I am proud to say I have learned to set better boundaries, the abusers will always be around. I have to understand how I am reacting to them internally. My reaction must change. Nothing else can. Continue reading

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The Five People I Have Met on My Recovery Journey

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I have read countless books on self-actualization, self-realization and spiritual awareness.  I have done hundreds of hours of yoga, pranayama (breathing practices) and meditation.  I have worked with therapists, energy workers, acupuncturists and a million body workers.  All of this has been helpful, even critical, to my recovery.

One of the primary spiritual premises I have heard is that the universe will give me exactly what I need.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  In my early years of recovery, I thought that had something to do with the physical world.  Of course, as a trauma survivor, it was pretty hard to believe.  Actually, I didn’t believe it.  Or at least, I didn’t believe it applied to me.

Now, I look at it differently.  Now, I know it isn’t about providing me a vehicle when mine breaks down.  It isn’t about making my life more convenient.  It is about providing me with the motivation to change my inner world, because the only way to recover is to change from the inside out. Continue reading