Monthly Archives: October 2011


Tips For Sisterhood in Challenging Times 1

 As we embark upon Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence awareness month, it is important to understand friendships and sisterhood. As a survivor of very difficult times, I don't take for granted having someone that I can honestly and truthfully confide in; a person that I know will have my back no matter what, and will support me through it all. I did not have all of the support of a friend during my challenging times, and it was very challenging to get from one day to the next. I vowed that when I was able, I would be a friend to the friendless or help those that needed the support of a friend to get through challenging times.

Friends help you dream big, they understand your vision, and they strive to help you bring that vision to life. They support you when you need it most, and bring smiles to your face. Friends don't take you or your time for granted, but they respect that your time is just as precious as their own. They are just like husbands because they are there in sickness and health, for richer or poorer and usually until death parts you.

Words cannot express the love that is felt knowing that you have a  friend who will stick with you through your difficult times in life. A real friend will be there no matter where you are, who you're with or what you are doing. They can go for months without talking to you, but a phone call will change that and it would  be just like you spoke yesterday. 

Here are a few tips for being that friend in need and friend indeed: 
 

  • Phone Call- If you know of someone that is experiencing challenging times; call her. A positive phone conversation will usually help her feel better.
  • A Card and a Visit- If you have the time, visit her and take a card. You can pick up a card for $1 or 2 for $1 from the dollar store. It is the thought that counts and she will appreciate it sincerely.
  • Gift Bag/Basket- For under $20, you can put together a nice gift bag or basket with items from the dollar store, and it would be a nice way to brighten someone's day.
  • E-Greeting- Sending an e-greeting card is a great way to brighten a friend's day.
  • Have A Girls Night In- Inviting your friend over for a girls night in would be a great way to pick a funny movie, fix a pizza and have some great laughter.
  • Write a Note- Sending a hand written note on some cute writing paper would be a great way to brighter their day when the mail is opened.
  • Cook Dinner- Ask your friend if you can stop by and cook dinner. Sometimes the body and mind are tired when you are going through challenges. A great break would be to have someone else cook dinner.
  • House Cleaning- Offer to clean the house for your friend. Just getting a break from everyday things is a nice way to help your friend feel better.
  • Stroll- Sometimes taking a walk with a friend when no words are spoken, speaks loud and clear. Sometimes the pain is too great to talk about, but knowing that you can walk/sit with your friend and just be quiet is support enough.
  • Ask- Just ask your friend what you can do to serve them during this time. Knowing someone wants to help and support them during challenging times is a blessing.

Remember that not all people have the support of friends in challenging times. Be willing to be a friend to someone in need, and help bring light into their seemingly dark places. Support awareness of domestic abuse, sexual abuse and breast cancer.

National Breast Cancer Awareness: http://nbcam.org/

Domestic Violence Education: http://www.vawnet.org/ 

 


Empowerment after Domestic Abuse

Once upon a time, I was angry, bruised and broken.

I followed the example of so many other women out there, who believed that they've found love, only to discover pain. The pain of wondering why he hit you, or said those hurtful words to you, or better yet, why you're spending yet another Valentine 's Day emotionally alone.

You may not be alone in the sense that you don't have a person there, but alone in that you've been held hostage in the prison of your own mind. You believe that there is no escape from your broken situation, so you're in solitary confinement.

And there is no early parole.

I lived a life of mental solitary confinement when I was in a relationship with an alcoholic.

My life took a downward spiral daily, yet I was in denial about the verbal abuse, mental abuse, and often physical abuse.

I could not see beyond those five words that he often used after he hurt me, "but I love you, though." For some reason, those words felt so good to my ringing ears and aching heart; that phrase even seemed to dry my tears.

While I knew in my heart and mind that I needed to get away from this person, it was something about those words that made me feel accepted, cared for, appreciated and connected, if only for a brief moment.

And brief moments they were.

I was called a "sweetie" one minute, and a "whore" the next. I was pretty one minute and ugly the next.

This was almost a daily routine that played itself out in front of the eyes and ears of my two small children. How could I allow them to go through this, too? Was I being selfish, or was it fear? Fear of letting go; fear of being alone, fear of taking a step forward; fear of the unknown; it was just fear.

I was tired of the lies, cheating, and insults that killed my spirit.

One day, I realized that I had to get out.

I needed to hear words that would speak life into my spirit. And those five stupid words, "but I love you, though," began to make me cringe every time I heard them.

I wanted real love.

And in order to experience real love for myself, I had to take a chance on me, and that meant getting out.

Over time, I found the courage to leave, after daily talks with myself about how important I was to me, to the world, to my children, and to God.

I began to value my worth more and more each day.

I closed my ears to the negativity he spewed. My inner woman filtered his negative words and spun them in a positive way that spoke life into me.

Those words of life finally convinced me to move from the mental solitary confinement of my mind.

I even learned to forgive during that process, as hard as it was, because I didn't want anything to hinder my progress.

Over time, that Angry Woman melted away. That Mentally Confined Woman melted away, too.

I realized that my value, self-efficacy, and self-acceptance (including my flaws), were far too important to allow those ridiculous five words, "but I love you, though," to hold me hostage.

Today, I am no longer that "Angry Woman," but I am grace, courage, wisdom, strength and a flowing sea of knowledge that seems to sail on this new course that I have chosen for my life.

And on this Valentine's Day, I encourage you tell yourself how much you are loved, appreciated, cared for, and connected.

You are a Fabulous, Awesome, Wonderful & Amazing (F.A.W.A) woman.

Your life is golden.

Own it.

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