Are you a victim?

Blueprints for Healing: Emerging from Survivorship

by | Dec 13, 2018

“Dear God, Light of all People, come into my life, shining so brightly that I can never not feel Your warmth, and can never not see my own life in Your Light”

~Dr. Wesley Avram

Holidays can be emotionally challenging for anyone …even years after one has left an abusive situation (sometimes even when one is in a stable  new relationship). For heaven’s sake, holidays can trigger all manner of sad memories from way back in childhood or from feeling the loss of a loved one. One does not have to have known domestic violence to feel less than “Ho, Ho, Ho “at this “merriest time of the year.” I get it…I’ve been there.  However, over the years I have found ways to cope and eventually find amazing joy and ways to share my joy that brings me such an abundance of happiness  that it swells and envelopes those around me. It can enfold dear ones or people whom I barely know.

In these final days counting down to Christmas and just following the Hanukkah, season, people of many other different faith traditions come together to celebrate  and reflect upon core beliefs, traditions and the meaning of family. Here below is my list of ways to find joy while coping with regret or sadness.

Be gentle with yourself. Practice a great deal of self-love with positive affirmations of your worthiness and value.
God’s light shines upon your path and, if you will allow it, will guide you to that sacred place deep within you where silence dwells. The GPS to this sacred space is through silence. This means removing yourself from the  chaos of the holidays to make room for the listening. Listen for deep peace  to overcome the clanking, busy and boisterous sounds that we surround  ourselves with daily (the music, TV, FaceTiming, noisy, clatter of our lives). Find a quiet place and just be.
Promise yourself to be honest in your remembering. It is normal to only turn to memories of the sentimental “good times” of the past. Remember how you came to be in the crisis state of abuse. Be careful not to allow loneliness or sadness to cloud your judgement. Abusers tend to use holidays to prey on your emotions. Stay strong in your resolve to break the cycle. Stay safe!
Reach out. If you are struggling with feelings of remorse or regret, reach out for help to a crisis hotline or trusted confidant to help restore your faith and strength to stay on the path to personal wholeness.
Reach out to help someone else. This is the key. Move beyond your personal struggles to see where you might help another—volunteer to serve meals in a homeless shelter. Give a token gift to a shut-in. Call a friend that you haven’t connected with in a while. Read a story to a child. Find a place  of worship and ask how you can help. There is always someone who needs a smiling face to lift their day. Smile at the clerk behind the counter. Spread joy. It is contagious.
Avoid being around or over indulging in alcohol and avoid drugs at all cost.Holidays are not the time to let down your guard. I have found these two types of substances are very often the main trigger to finding oneself back in a domestic violence situation. Healing CANNOT take place while you are using.These habits are the single most frequent reason why women in shelter find themselves back in abusive situations. In my work, I see it over and over again!
Family. If your family of origin was less than a Hallmark movie ideal, create your own. That’s right, begin to gather people who ONLY ACT IN YOUR BEST INTEREST to become your friends. Make it your job to seek out this type of person. If your family of origin is toxic—stay clear of them. Family is someone who cares, cherishes and watches out for you and your children—always! Try saying this prayer: Almighty God, show me the light in those around me today.
There is a reason that candles play an important part in most religious services.Light a candle and remember that the Divine Light that lives within you can transform your night into day and guide you to make wise and loving choices both now and throughout the years ahead. Be still.

My prayers for a blessed holiday season surround and enfold you.

Love,

Carol

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