Monthly Archives: October 2014

Share Your Story


Share your story and help someone else. All of us have a story to tell and those stories can actually help someone else. Have you overcome an illness, tragedy, near death experience, loss of a job or any number of other adversities? Then share your story. Tell it as only you can. It could save a life or give someone hope who’s been feeling hopeless.

This past Saturday September 25th I had the opportunity to share my story along with 5 other beautiful ladies at the Don’t Just Survive T. H. R. I. V. E. Women’s Conference in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This event the brainchild of Ms. Darlene Sheardon of NURevelations LLC truly touched the hearts of those in attendance.

From comments I heard afterwards I believe there are some that will not look at domestic violence, abuse or sexual assault the same way. For me I was humbled in the presence of some really awesome woman who with God’s Grace are able to bare open parts of themselves others may seek to hide.  Our common bond makes us sisters and we love and care for each other.

Our stories of not just surviving but thriving can only help others who may feel they are all alone with no where to turn. I believe we have dispelled that myth and put those in need on a path to healing and thriving.

If you’re reading this today and need to get to safety for yourself and/or your children be certain to have a plan. For help on developing that plan a great resource can be found at  Transforming Junk Into Jewels .  There you can get your free copy of Exit Action Plan: 10 Steps for Leaving an Abusive Relationship. In it you’ll find helpful tools and tips for you to follow. And once you’ve made that transition please seek help. There are groups and individual counseling available to help you move forward and leave the baggage of the past behind. Then share your story so that another can find the courage and be inspired to move from darkness to light.

 

Why Me?


That’s a question all of us at one time or another has uttered. Ironically It’s rarely if ever done so when good things happen. So why is that? Have we somehow convinced ourselves that we should be insulated from tragedy, discord, unhappiness, strife or change?

Before I matured I counted myself in this group as well. There were times I wondered why did I have to endure the pain of rape, shame, betrayal, divorce, loss of my parents and other loved ones. Now that I’m a mature individual (not age but understanding) I get it.

All of it has combined to play a significant role in the person I have become, I’m more patient, empathetic, giving, trusting, forgiving and nurturing. In addition I’ve become outspoken on issues I hold dear to me. This not only includes domestic violence but also cancer (breast cancer), child abuse and healthy living just to name a few.

As I think of these I can recall an incident in my history in which I was personally affected by them and these experiences molded me to be the person I am today. As much as there’s a part of me that wishes I had not had to go through them the other part of me is grateful for it has given me a reason to be vigilant and think about others instead of thinking the world revolves around me.

If you dig deep enough you too can find meaning, lessons and uncover a passion as a direct result of your experiences. As long as you’re a part of this big world called the human race instead of lamenting, “Why me?”, let today be the day your say, “Why Not me?”

Say Yes to Yourself


Yes, sOscar Hugging Janice-Huch a simple little word. Yet it holds tremendous power. During this month of Domestic Violence Awareness, stop for a moment and say YES to yourself.

Say Yes, I’m worthy to be loved unconditionally.

 

Say Yes, to being touched by loving protective hands.

Say Yes to having eyes filled with love, respect and honor being cast upon you.

Say Yes to joy in your heart when your name is spoken from the lips of one who regards you as a precious and cherished part of themselves.

Say Yes to walks in the rain and picnics in the park.

Say Yes to growing closer until you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins because you’re so in tuned to each other and only want the best for each other.

Say Yes to a husband, wife or child who when you’re not at your best will come and give you a hug just because.

Say Yes to sunny days and peaceful nights.

Say Yes to a faith beyond your understanding.

Say Yes to cold lemonade, sweet iced tea, homemade ice cream and milk chocolate candy with a surprise inside.

Say Yes to flowers sent to adorn your desk.

Say Yes to a gentle kiss upon your forehead that makes your stomach quiver from excitement.

Say Yes to a smile that warms you to your toes.

Say Yes to God’s Love but most of all Say Yes  to loving yourself beyond measure.

Now walk in that Love and watch the positive energy gravitate to you. Say Yes I deserve this and so much more. I won’t settle for less because today I say Yes to Me!

 

 

Does Love Supposed to Hurt?


With this being Domestic Violence Awareness Month I’ve had this question asked by young and old, men and women. My response to that is, ‘if you love yourself would you harm yourself?”. That’s your answer. 100% of the time your response should be no. Then if you wouldn’t harm yourself and you love you why would you entertain the thought that love is supposed to hurt?

I realize that many of us grew up in dysfunctional homes in which verbal and physical abuse was the norm. Just because it’s what you saw doesn’t mean it’s right. Of course rewiring your thinking will take work but it is worth it. Settling for less than what you deserve is not an option therefore put in the work to uplift your self-esteem. Redefine your boundaries so that you do not allow negativity to dictate your thoughts and actions.

How? Start by letting go of the past and redesigning your future. Easy? Of course not! Doable? Absolutely! You have to take the first step and that step is acknowledging that you are worthy of true unconditional healthy love.  Find a quiet room and sit down with pen and paper and describe your ideal relationship. Be specific leave nothing to chance. Now ask yourself, “Am I in this type of relationship now?” If the answer is no then you have two choices. 1. Have a conversation with the other party or 2. if you already know that it’s a lost cause then it’s time to put an exit strategy into place.

In the first choice there’s the opportunity to make changes that are beneficial for both parties. Lack of communication leaves the door open for misunderstanding, mistrust and unhappiness. Set aside time to really talk. Turn off the radio, video games, sports, news, television and cell phones. Pour a glass of wine or a fresh cup of coffee and talk. I mean really talk. Be sure it’s a 2 way street, this means one listens while the other speaks. Listen intently, give eye contact and have an open demeanor. Crossed arms signals your defenses are up and you’re only half listening. Then acknowledge any areas you may need to improve upon. It could be as simple as having a date night. But it could also mean you may need a third party to help you. In either case the goal is to renew, reignite and rekindle a relationship that’s been limping along. That is if you’ve both decided it’s worth saving!

On the other hand if you know it’s time to leave then be wise and plan your exit. You can find an excellent e-book Exit Action Plan: 10 Steps to Leaving an Abusive Relationship to help you with that at www.transformingjunkintojewels.com. Even if your relationship is not an abusive one the tips inside are still useful. Having a plan is essential for success. Once you’ve extricated yourself don’t jump right into another relationship. Love yourself enough to give yourself time to heal and rediscover the unique individual you lost.

We all heal at different levels so don’t compare your situation to anyone else. You’ll know without any doubt when you’re ready to try again. Next time don’t repeat the same mistakes listen to that quiet inner voice when it signals something is not right. Guard your heart and only give it when you know it will be love, appreciated and cherished. Above all remember to ask yourself, “Does Love Supposed to Hurt?”

 

Making a Difference Many One Steps at a Time


Oftentimes people feel as if there’s nothing they can do to make a difference in an issue they may feel passionate about. Today I want to remind you that is not the case. Think of it as filling a 50 gallon drum with water using a tablespoon. One person can definitely fill that drum, it may take them a good while but can can be done. On the other hand if you had a thousand people with tablespoons that drum can be filled a lot quicker and in the process those thousand people have an opportunity to get to know each other, laugh while filling that drum and encourage each other to finish.

Now replace the drum with an organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of women affected by domestic violence and replace the tablespoon with $1.00. No matter how you look at it filling that organization $1.00 at a time is going to take a very long time but a collective group of people pooling their $1.00 can fill a need that organization has in order for the organization to meet the needs of the people they serve.

This was never more evident than this past Saturday when Fresh Start for Women celebrated 10 years of serving the community as an all-volunteer organization. Having so many past participants to come back to say thank you or to serve in a volunteer capacity was a welcome sight. In addition having members of the community come out to enjoy good food listen to great music featuring Ms. Marsha DuPree and the Sweet Soul Jazz Masters capped off an evening that had many items available to bid on.

It’s rare that a small nonprofit is recognized for its work so on this occasion Fresh Start for Women received a congratulatory letter from Governor Deal as well as a letter from DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May. In addition DeKalb County declared September 27, 2014 as Fresh Start for Women Day.All of this just goes to show the small strives made by the organization when counted together becomes a big impact. Fresh Start for Women has never had a large budget but it has not prevent it from making a difference in the lives of 365 women and 68 teen girls.

Money raised on Saturday will help with the “You Are a Precious Jewel” program for teen girls 13 – 17 developed to serve as a catalyst to keep girls from falling prey to teen violence, abuse and sexual assault by encouraging them to be the very best they can be and not be defined by any circumstance.

Want to learn more about the organization visit: www.freshstartforwomen.org. We are fast approaching the end of 2014 a time when many begin to look for organizations worthy of being supported. This year won’t you consider a small nonprofit? They do make a difference and so can you one step at a time. After all Fresh Start for Women has proven that for the past 10 years.