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The Essence of Child Abuse


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http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mrol/2014/10/01/child-abuselesson-or-legacy

Originally posted on Essence of Inanna:

childabuse11

The Essence of Child Abuse

The love of a child grows deep and strong from the day they arrive into this world. They cry for you, they hug you, they snuggle with you and they love you deeply. At any time and place you as a parent can do no wrong. How long can that continue until they realize they are not receiving the love they expel?

Why does one abuse their children? Why do people feel it is a necessary component for discipline? Can abuse be a good thing? There are so many aspects of abuse that should be explored; the possible said good and bad.

There are a child’s view and an adult view on the topic. As a child there is pain on levels of not feeling loved, feeling hated, not worth living, bad, incompetent, and stupid. Some children become determined and enraged where the amount of…

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Where Do Broken Hearts Go?

 

Where do broken hearts go? This Whitney Houston song came to me today; I loved her music, but it was the next line that spoke to me…”When they can’t find their way home”.

Today while I was out running errands, trying to figure out what to have for lunch…clinching my water bottle like it was my life line…I stumbled across today’s blessing.

Something caught the corner of my eye, I saw a young woman, in her early twenties. She was dressed neatly, nothing extravagant or too simple. I smiled at her; then I proceeded to watch her go through a trash can and dig. After I took a moment to absorb this; I thought maybe she was collecting aluminum cans, or even maybe looking for change that someone threw away unintentionally. I was saddened…as I watched this beautiful woman dig out of the trash can, a McDonald’s cup. She took off the lid, to look inside. She placed the lid and straw back on the cup and drank whatever was inside of it. I could feel my heart breaking, for her, and then for myself…having watched it.

I looked at her for a moment too long, and as she looked at me…a single tear fell down her face. There really is nothing more sad than a single tear…even deep sobs don’t bother me as much. They are the tears that say…I’ve been holding on as long as I can…and I just need to let go. My eyes swelled with tears. She came up to me and told me that I had a beautiful smile…and all at once we had a matching tear. I reached for my sealed bottle of SmartWater, feeling thankful that I had not yet opened it. I told her that I am always telling my husband that he doesn’t drink enough water and handed it to her…along with whatever lunch money I had in my hand, no longer caring about my lunch.

She smiled and said…your heart is probably the only thing larger than your smile. We both laughed. This light came across her face, as if it was the first time she had seen laughter in a while. She went on to say I was angelic, and even that statement brought tears to my eyes. She wished me well and we walked away from one another.

I have thought about her constantly since the meeting. I wonder how she will eat tonight, or if she even will eat tonight. I wondered how this happened to her. I prayed silently and out loud for her…for all of us.

Where do broken hearts go…when they can’t find their way home?

This was my blessing of the day…

I think that most of us may not feel angelic…I know that I don’t always feel that way. I fall short. I don’t mean to…and I always feel badly afterwards. I, like most, am flawed. I can be selfish and short on patience. But, today…I loved this woman. I loved her strength…and she loved me back, even though it wasn’t expected from either one of us.

We can do better, I thought. No, I can do better. Yes, I can.

My message for this day, be patient and forgiving of yourself. If you cannot forgive yourself, how can anyone trust that you will forgive them? Be patient, we are all works in progress. Remember that looks are deceiving, this woman looked like no homeless or indigent person…I had ever envisioned in my mind. Everyone is fighting some war…we don’t have to be a part of that.

Try a little tenderness; we all have battle scars. Wouldn’t be better if we didn’t crack open one another’s wounds with our words or maliciousness?

Where do broken hearts go? They go to a most loving Creator and that Creator sends them to one of us. It is the fact that even WE are so loved that we are given the opportunity to be tender with complete strangers.

Today…be the bandage and not the gash…which may heal the broken hearts, which find their way to our souls.

 


How Would You Want To Be Remembered

 

I have been waiting to write about the Ray Rice video. I didn’t want to allow my previous experience to cloud what I needed to say about this situation. Often we can carry our own baggage into other people’s situations and that is unfair. I took the time to give both of them the benefit of the doubt, and decided to focus on what should really matter. So today, I feel confident and comfortable with my thoughts and ideas.

There are dynamics that none of us may understand about Ray Rice and his, now-wife. We don’t know how loving they are now. We do not know if the violence has subsided or if it has escalated. We can only hope that it is something they have addressed and have worked to get past. It is none of my business and I sincerely wish the two of them well.

I think, as parents, we give our children the wrong ideas about violence. We will solidly teach our sons not to hit girls. Some will even tell their sons that they should not hit girls…no matter what! And our daughters will sit by idly and listen. While we may think that we are teaching our sons to be better men…what are we teaching our daughters? Often the biggest lessons we give our children….are those that go unspoken. If we teach our sons that it is not acceptable to hit girls…but teach them that we expect them to defend themselves against other boys…what are we teaching our daughters? Are we creating a war between the sexes? Wouldn’t we be better parents if we armed all of our children with love and the truth…rather than thoughts of retaliation or rage?

As a woman who has endured domestic violence, please know that I am not excusing any abuse at all. The abuse I endured was inexcusable; and I have to admit that after a while…it became a matter of wanting to get him before he got me. I knew that every day my life could have been ended…by the efforts of someone that held no value in life, in general. But we must take a different look at an old problem, we should be teaching ALL of our children that it is not okay to hit ANYONE. Simply because, it isn’t.

It isn’t okay to strike someone, simply because we cannot find effective means of communication; or because the person we are debating or arguing with cannot “get” where we are coming from. If the discussion gets so heated that we “need” to physically offend the other person…it’s time to take that long walk. Give yourself the gift of a break. Allow your soul time to heal your thoughts…because it will. Learn to let go of anything that you cannot control. Instead, worship nature and the beauty that surrounds you. Concentrate on minimizing your breathing process. Allow your heart rate to become normal. Think about the birds singing or the crickets chirping. Listen for the children’s laughter. Feel the rustling of leaves in your heart….remember that you can create the change.

We should teach our children better coping skills. We should teach the value of the time out….not as a punishment, but as a means of realigning ourselves with our souls. Often we allow our ego to override the thoughts our souls have set up for us. Keeping in mind that our souls are here to elevate us and anything less just weighs us down.

Do I think that Ray Rice should have hit, punched or spat on his, then fiancé? NO. I find great offense in the fact that, at least one time in his life, he felt that behavior was okay. I appreciated the televised conference where he took responsibility for his error in judgment. But, unfortunately, often the apology can come too late. An “I’m sorry”, will not matter when there is a funeral being planned. And while this was not the case with Ray Rice…1 in 3 women are battered to the point of death. And 835,000 men are assaulted by their spouses or girlfriends, every year.

It is my hope that we do not take either statistic lightly. It is not funny when men are the victims of domestic violence. There are, most likely, so many unreported cases of men being abused by women. There are many reasons for this. Perhaps he doesn’t want to feel like less than a man. He may not want to be ridiculed by the authorities. I have to think this is a possibility, because I have felt the same way when I reported my abuse. The police and even the police chief sort of brushed it off. I cannot imagine how difficult that would be for a man…and my heart aches for all victims of abuse. It is not and should not be acceptable for men or women to be verbally, emotionally or physically abused…it MUST stop.

We are accountable for our own actions and words. Why would we treat people in a way that we would go to war about…if it were our children we were talking about?

Well, I have great news, because we are talking about our children. Our children are assaulting one another and we have the power to make changes. We should treat everyone in such a way that we would want to be treated.

Encourage our children to speak verbally…and that does not mean to verbally assault one another. It means to learn to communicate, in a loving and thoughtful way. Will this always work? Probably not, but isn’t it at least worth the consideration? Our children are killing one another. They are maiming one another’s souls…with their vile verbiage.

Lastly, allow me to say this: we are in a unique position to change things. We can begin to heal the damage that was done…but it cannot be done by carrying around the weight of thoughtless and careless people. We must step up and continue being the blueprint that others can follow. Be mindful of our thoughts and decisions. And before hitting another person…for whatever reason….be sure that we are prepared for the reaction and response to that decision.

Let us learn from the video of Ray Rice, if the actions of our lives were played out on video for the entire world to criticize and ridicule…would we be proud of our actions and reactions?

Live each day as if it is your last…how would you want to be remembered?

 

Join My Rays of Light Radio Tuesday Night at 10pm EST as we talk about this important issue

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mrol/2014/09/17/why-does-he-stay


We Are Ferguson

 

Some pain cannot be hidden, I have put off writing about the Ferguson, Missouri teen, Michael Brown…as long as I possible could.

Some pain is inevitable. I watched the video of the mothers of shooting victims: Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, and Sean Bell. I have written numerous times about Trayvon Martin and his assailant George Zimmerman. I have expressed my sadness and disappointment in the outcome of the Zimmerman trial. I have even written to George Zimmerman personally, in my blog.

I watched as these strong women flexed their heart muscles toward one another. I could feel the pain they are dealing with, deeply. I know, as was said by one of them, the pain never leaves you. I can understand how that would be true. These strong women are a reigning example to all of us. They reached out to one another, not because they weren’t still in pain…but because they understood the feeling of isolation that losing a child can bring. The compassion they showed was about women…just being moms. Remembering the days when their children were laughing and smiling; lighter times where such tragedies weren’t even in the back of their minds. I admire the love and unity they gave to one another.

As a mother myself, I feel deeply hurt by the death of Michael brown. I am hurt by anyone that would think, say or believe that his murder was okay. Because you see, for me, he was a child. He had a home. He had a family. He had a life separate from what we will hear about in the media. He had a unique smile and contagious laughter…even if his mom was the only one that experienced it. He is a part of humanity…and he always will be.

His death wasn’t unfortunate…for that term tends to lean toward the base word “luck”. Michael Brown was gunned down…and his assailant Darren Wilson will have to live with that fact. We may never know what the day held for Michael Brown or Darren Wilson, before they met that day. Maybe they were confronted by death already. Perhaps someone had harassed or bullied them. Perhaps they had taken all they could stand that day. Possibly, all the patience they could muster had been spent elsewhere. We may never know the truth about the events leading up to the tragic death of this angel.

But from this I can tell you two things:

Michael Brown was gunned down needlessly. And while he may be a statistic that we refer to…he is so much more. I hope that when we think of him; we remember his face. For those that were fortunate enough to have spoken to him…remember his voice and how his eyes sparkled when he laughed. Remember all the greater things about him; do not let the way he left this place be the only conversation about him. He had a soul and he touched all those who walked with him…he even touched those that walked past him. I pray that his family finds some peace. I hope that we, as a nation, can look on this angel lovingly…with respect to his memory.

The other thing I know is this:

Like George Zimmerman, Darren Wilson must learn how to live with the consequences of his actions. His family will have to learn how to move forward…for not unlike Zimmerman, Officer Darren Wilson will forever be known as the cop that shot that kid six times….dead. This will not be an easy process…it is not intended to be. I pray that Darren Wilson is also able to come to grips with the reality of his actions. It is my hope that we start setting more strict guidelines for our law enforcement officers. We are losing too many of our young black men and something must change.

As a mother, I can tell you that it wouldn’t matter to me if my child had been killed by a police officer, or a trash collector. A white man or an Asian woman. It would only matter that I have one less place to set for dinner.

There is probably nothing as strong as a mothers love for a child; I hope one day we can all learn to love in that way…intentionally. Let us not look at what happened in Ferguson as an incident…it is a pandemic.

This did not happen to a small town in Missouri…it happened to all of us; and it continues to happened all over the world. This is not a matter of them and us…no matter how the media portrays it. We must see ourselves through the eyes of our children, because they do not see race or religion. They do not see sex or money. Children only see each other for exactly who they are….which is why they smile and laugh all of the time.

We are not better; we are not worse…

We are Ferguson.

Award Time


AWARD TIME!!

the-lighthouse-award

very-inspiring-blogger-award

awsome-blossom-award

 

There is no greater honor, in my opinion, to be considered award worthy…by my fellow authors and bloggers. Today I wanted to thank http://oawritingspoemspaintings.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/nominated-for-three-awards-at-once-thank-you/

for thinking of me. I was nominated a few months ago, but health issues have kept me from accepting these 3 awards until now.

For the Lighthouse award, name 3 ways you like to help people:

  1. On our radio show, www.blogtalkradio.com/mrol , we are often trying to help our listeners. We continually attempt to shine light on large issues. It is an extreme pleasure to be a part of such a beautiful piece of humanities puzzle.
  2. I like to help people, when I can, through the writing. Both blogs and poetry give me great pleasure and joy to write. It is always a blessing if it helps anyone….even of only for one moment.
  3. We have our own charity that we are in the process of creating. We would also urge other people to get involved with their communities. The only way to stop the needless cycle of violence is o step up and scream, “No More”.

For the Inspiring Blogger Award, I have to name 7 trivial things about me:

  1. I LOVE the color purple!! (the actual color, not just the movie…lol)
  2. I have a few tattoos…lol.
  3. My proudest moment was when I became a mom.
  4. Sometimes when I watch the news…it makes me cry.
  5. I have written a poem in 5 minutes.
  6. I am happily married.
  7. I used to play concert violin.

My nominees:

http://www.essenceofinanna.wordpress.com

http://zyoshiko.wordpress.com/

http://blackbutterfly7.wordpress.com/

http://kemuntomayio.wordpress.com/

http://bridget158.wordpress.com/

There really are no solid rules here. Share what you choose…do what you love. I am honored at the nomination…and pleased to be able to share in this honor.

Light and Love to you all


braving the storm

Braving The Storm

 

Robin Williams did not kill himself; a powerful statement, I know, given all the information that we are privy to.

The depression that invaded him is what shortened his life in this place. The thing that most people don’t understand about suicide is that; it isn’t that the person doesn’t want to live…but, instead, that they don’t want to be in pain anymore. These types of pain, mental and physical, can be devastating; but just imagine how dire a situation would have to be, in order to cause a person to take their own life. Imagine being so bogged down in despair that you no longer want to breathe. Now imagine your oxygen supply being cut off…that is real pain.

Mental illness is real. It’s as real as diabetes or high blood pressure. But this topic goes without conversation. We don’t want anyone to think that we are crazy, after all. We have the opportunity to stand up and speak out, but sadly we sit quietly…hoping that no one will notice how withdrawn we have become. We avoid crowds, loved ones and basic necessities. This is a gradual downhill slope. We often don’t see it coming. Sometimes, we wish someone would notice; would see…us clearly; so we wouldn’t have to mask the pain

Depression starts out slowly, it is possible that it happens before the person living with it… even realizes it’s there. Like most things, when it starts slowly, we may not even understand the impact that it is having on us. Perhaps we haven’t left the house in an exceptionally long time; or we lock themselves in our room all day. This is not laziness, this is how the disease works. It preys on our weaknesses, until we feel like weakness is all that we have.

It can lead us to believe that nothing is as it seems…people, places, things…everything has now become suspicious. The dark cloud gets thicker…with fewer rays of light and love being able to infiltrate it. The sadness can be overwhelming, but for some reason we do our best to cover it up. After all, who would want to make someone else feel bad…over a situation that we should have had control over? Somehow we must have failed…the destructive thoughts that depression brings, can be exactly that…destructive.

We may feel like failures or perhaps we have stopped feeling altogether. We hide our war with this cruel enemy; which is perfectly content watching us self-destruct. And this is exactly what can and does happen….all too often.

We must open the floor for discussions when it comes to mental illness. We have to wash away the stigma attached to it and move upward and onward. Mental illness is nothing that we are responsible for…it happened to us…not because of us.

We must learn the warning signs and symptoms. We must, as family and friends, watch out for our loved ones. Ask questions and get involved. Leave no room for regret…but be aware that life is fragile. We have such a small window of opportunity when it comes to this disease.

For those people who feel the need to criticize and ridicule those who have succumbed to suicide…we will pray for you. I find no greater offense than speaking ill of the dead.

Let us not spend so much time and energy condemning those, like Robin Williams, who simply could not hold on anymore. Instead, let us celebrate their lives and the way that they loved us. There are far too many of us Braving The Storm.

Listen in at My Rays of Light Radio on Tuesday at 10pm EST

Memories To Keep


robin-williams

Memories To Keep

You made us laugh

Until we cried

Now we are left

To wonder why

Was it too much

This world of pain

As we ponder

Tears again

Sometimes the darkness

Can be so dooming

Leave us feeling alone

Don’t know what we are doing

Whatever the reason

You were brought to this end

We love and we thank you

You were like a long lost friend

I beg you all at this moment

Ask and get involved

Depression kills

Mystery solved

No place is safe

No person more susceptible

This illness is blinding

To all those we know

Rest in paradise

Our very funny friend

You kept us laughing

Until the very end

I wish we would have known

The smile masking the pain

Perhaps tomorrow

We would’ve seen you again

Life is too short

Love your loved ones deep

Before we are just left

With memories to keep

                                                ~LM Young

RIP Robin Williams…thanks for the memories

Embrace All Things


Embrace All Things

 

When I was diagnosed with Lupus, SLE, my entire world changed. This disease affects everyone differently…this is how it affected me.

 

The sun seemed to shine brighter.

The stars sparkled like diamonds.

The feathers on the birds in my neighborhood seemed more vibrant.

The sound of children’s laughter, in the park, made me laugh til I cried.

I held my family closer.

I said I love you…all the time.

 

During a time when no one would have said that I was wrong…to be bitter and angry; I selected a different path. I chose to take this circumstance and allow it to make me more aware of my surroundings. This devastating illness was trying to steal my life…and I knew that even if it won…my livelihood would be non-existent. I was determined not to fail. And in that moment I decided to start appreciating the little things and make Lupus have to fight for this body of mine.

We all get to choose how we live. Are we stopping to smell the flowers along the way? Are we mindful of our journey or are we just concentrating on the destination? Once my eyes were open to this beautiful world; I realized that I had been sleep walking through life. I had a new appreciation for this world. I felt like I had been given a huge gift…and I wasn’t going to waste a moment of it. I began smelling those flowers and praising the bees that help those flowers grow. I began singing in rain showers and even when a thunderstorm erupted….I praised that, as well; embracing the colors and sounds of the lightning and thunder.

In all of our lives we are faced with struggles, no matter how large or small they may be; be it grief, illness, homelessness, poverty or divorce. These are what I call “eye openers”. And the truth that I learned is this: What opens your eyes is less important than the fact that now your eyes are wide open.

We can now see more clearly. We can take the time to reclaim the joy that was always meant for us…in this life. But we must first try and let go of the circumstances or situations that brought us here. When we hold onto pain, such as this, we are holding ourselves back from victory.

The most difficult lesson we may ever learn is to be thankful and loving in all situations.

Remember we are not part of the bigger picture…we are the bigger picture. This is not referring to the ego…but to the ALL of everything. This prevents us from placing ourselves above or under anyone or anything else; because we are walking through this life together.

Once we begin to recognize that we are not part of the universe…but we ARE the universe; we will see life differently. Life doesn’t happen TO us…it happens WITH us. If we can allow ourselves to find joy in all circumstances, then we can find our truer purpose in life.

I could easily be angry with Lupus. I could cry all the time; as the pain I live with is often unbearable, but I bear it. This illness and several other obstacles have since tried to derail me; but I continue being thankful. I have learned to embrace all things.

 

It Really Matters


It Really Matters

 

Love is never wrong

Love is seldom right

It just is…like the air we breathe. It exists… Love surrounds us, always. And like the air we breathe in and out; we will always breathe it in…we cannot live without it. Think about that for a minute.

If we were to decide we are never going to BREATHE again…like we often do with the concept of love…we would be rendered unconscious. Our body needs air…our soul needs love…and not just the romantic love…but all-ness. Loving all things…all of the time. Every single person, every blade of grass was created with this in mind. None matter more or less, to our Source. We, as humans, may have developed an “I” mind state. This is important to me…or that isn’t important. These judgments take us away from our core…or All-ness.

No measure of how much, or enough; no counting minutes and hours, as if there is a dead line. Notice how we never see an animal worried about time or space. We never experience nervous anxiety from animals, no staring at a clock…or even the sun….as it would be a natural keeper of time. Humans are the only beings in creation that creates its own stressors…making time or lost time a part of those stressors.

Love teaches us that memories, not moments are the true gems in life. We must set aside our pre-conceived notions about who and what love is. We rarely ponder what air REALLY is, except to think about keeping it clean, so that we can survive. Love is very similar. It does not require a lot of thought…for love simply is. Like air, however, we must keep it clean and pure. Again, we are talking about All-Ness…not simply intimate love or lust.

Love becomes so many things, the number is infinite. Love restores our soul, gives us back our esteem, teaches, preaches, accepts, and wraps itself up in all things…large and small.

It teaches us gratitude. Being gracious helps elevate us to our next destination, in life. Being thankful tells us that time has no use here. The minutes hours and days of space don’t matter as much as the inhaling and exhaling of our Creator’s love. The movement of the hands on a watch or the shade given from a sundial…is pale by comparison.

We must learn to be mindful in our speech and actions. Stay connected to your soul, by being aware of where your mind goes, when you are day dreaming. Stay awake, in this life. Do not allow tragedies and things that hurt our eyes and hearts; to keep us from reaching out to one another. When this cycle starts it is very difficult to stop it. When we turn off our inner light, because something was difficult to our senses…our soul starts dying…our light doused with water. It is, in fact, these difficult things that awaken us. These experiences allow our spirit to be re-kindled. These times are intended to splash cold water on our faces…take advantage of that opportunity.

Participate in your own life; and know that your life touches others, as well. You can be that torch that leads the way, or you can choose to go cold. Too many of us spend our days sleep walking and when we start waking up…it frightens us and we then desire sleep again. We must be mindful of ourselves and our minds. And when we feel our inner self traveling to the past…we must find a way to come back into what is now. The past should only be used as a learning tool. It’s okay to think about it…but remember that no matter how much thought you give it…it will never change.

Our souls mourn for the dead who still breathe; once love has been stricken from us…we die. We must participate in our own lives. We have a duty to uphold what our ancestors have created for us. We must respect and honor that rite of passage…and when that happens…real change will begin. Let us only hold onto the things that matter…here and now…air, love, life and a pure soul are all that really matter.

 

If You Ever


If You Ever

If you ever fall in love

Let it be in her eyes

The way they sparkle

Stars in a midnight sky

If you ever fall in love

Let it be the way she smiles

Like no one has ever seen

You be loved in quite a while

If you ever fall in love

Notice the tears she drops

And hold her heart always

In fact don’t ever stop

If you ever fall in love

Tell her every day

She is the one

She is the way

If you ever fall in love

It’s something you would miss

And perhaps you would desire

To write a poem such as this

                           ~LM Young

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