|Posted on February 8, 2017 at 6:30 PM|
Let go of the past. It’s a hard thing to do.
Lately I’ve tried to listen and be super-conscious of the people around me and what they are actually saying. I’m amazed by how many people continuously put themselves down for the mistakes they’ve made in the past.
Have we beaten ourselves up enough? Let’s go ahead, and give ourselves one more swift kick, one more good slap, and then, well, we just gotta let it go.
Let’s use the past only to learn from our mistakes and move on.
Let’s think of the past only in gratitude for lessons learned, experience gained, and things accomplished.
Let’s turn our heads and thoughts to the present. Let’s really “see” what is happening right in front of us. Is the sun shining? Is the sky blue? Did someone just smile at you in line at the store?
Let’s really listen to the sounds going on right now. Is there a child giggling? A bird singing, a bell ringing, a song playing on the radio? People laughing, car horn beeping, computer keys clicking? TV blaring?
Let’s learn how to be really present in what is going on in our lives this very moment, and the next and the next.
Let’s let go of any stressing about the future too.
Let go of the past. It’s a hard thing to do. Lately I’ve tried to listen and be super-co
|Posted on July 30, 2016 at 8:00 AM|
She gasped, her jaw dropping. “How can you say that?” Shelley stared incredulously at her husband. “I brought it on myself? Are you kidding me?”
He shrugged. “You go walking around in those tight exercise shorts, just begging some guy to have his way with you. Now that it's happened you want sympathy from me.”
“I can't believe you can turn this on me. I’m not the criminal here.”
“Admit it, Shelley, if you didn't think you shared some of the guilt why didn't you go to the police right away?”
She shook her head as the tears began to fall anew. “I– I was confused. I needed to get home before Bree came home from school. I needed to pick the boys up from after-school. I wanted to wait for you to get home. I needed you, Robert.” Wiping her face on her sleeve, she looked back up at him expectantly.
His mouth taut, he rolled his eyes. “Well, come on, then. Let’s go. You’ve waited so long they probably won’t believe you now. I’m not even sure I do.”
“Oh my God, are you saying I made this up?”
He shrugged again. “How did he subdue you? Did he hit you? Where are the bruises?”
Shelley could feel the blood drain from her face and she thought she might pass out. She hadn’t fought. Not much anyway. She’d frozen.
Shaking her head, she raised her eyes to her husband. “He, he pushed me down. He was so strong.” Noting her husband’s raised eyebrows she threw her hands in the air. “Do you think I’m doing this for attention?”
“Just get dressed and let’s go,” he answered as he turned to leave the bedroom.
She watched the door close. He didn't slam it. He never slammed anything. He was perfect. Mr. Perfect. She laid back across the bed, staring up at the ceiling. The sense of utter and complete loneliness threatened to engulf her. She'd thought she’d tell her husband what had transpired and he’d take her in his arms, hold her, comfort her, promise her everything would get better. Instead, he was acting like a total prick. She wanted to hate him, but she couldn’t let herself. After all, he was the father of her children.
But, oh, Robert, I needed you. I need someone. The emptiness of that thought jolted her. Had Robert ever been there for her when she needed him? Had her own parents? Her brothers? In so many ways, she suddenly realized, she was alone in the world.
Shelley rose and went to the window. It was dark outside now and with the light on behind her she could see nothing but her own image. Staring at her reflection, she mentally fought down the emotions, but the self hatred kept surfacing. I didn't even fight. I just laid there and let him do it. God, how weak. And now I'm standing here crying because my own husband doesn't even care.
She pulled the edge of her shirt up to wipe her tears then eyed herself in the glass once more. So what am I gonna do now? Am I gonna just lie down and take it? I already did that once today, she thought sarcastically, giving a slightly hysterical chuckle. Getting a grip, she shook her head. Why do I allow him to treat me like dirt? He treats me like I’m nothing.
And it struck her, penetrating her brain and lodging there. I don’t have to stick around and take this. I deserve more than this. I don’t have to stay. What makes me think I’m stuck here? I’m not. I can leave him. That would surprise you, wouldn't it, Robert? She sniffed, stood up straight, her mind now racing with the powerful ideas springing to life.
She realized she’d never really stopped to question how she feels. She’d simply been moving through life like it was a chore, her head down, obediently placing one foot in front of the other. She asked herself now, what do I feel? The answer was obvious. Miserable. She was miserable. And she’d been miserable for a long time. It reminded her of the time she’d been hiking with some friends as a teen and there was this pain in her foot. She’d walked with that pain most of the day before getting the idea to finally sit down and see what the heck is the problem. She’d taken off her shoe to find a small rock. Why hadn’t she looked earlier instead of walking all day with that pain? It was like a light going on. Robert had been a rock in her shoe, a source of pain and discomfort in her life. How did I let this go on for so long?
She drew a deep cleansing breath. This is about to change. Right here. Right now. I have a right to be happy. I am NOT going to just take it anymore. She wasn't sure if her thoughts were aimed at her husband or at the man who had stolen her dignity earlier that day. Actually, she acknowledged, both men had accomplished the same thing.
“I have a right to be happy,” she said aloud this time, and she realized as she spoke the words a transformation came over her. Declaring her intentions aloud not only felt really good, but seemed to spawn some magical occurrence. She felt exhilarated and strong and suddenly had a rock-hard resolve to obtain a goal.
The door opened briskly. “What are you doing? I said to get ready to go.”
What I’m doing, she thought as she slipped on her shoes, is waking up.
|Posted on July 26, 2016 at 3:35 PM|
I want to keep up my blog. Seriously, I do. But there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I need to do. Then... I read a "blog" about using what you've already written several ways. For example, write your speech, use part of it as a video and also in your blog. I've struggled a bit, even with that, so I was thinking of material I already had, and of course, my books came to mind. So, this will be an experiment of sorts. Let me see what happens if I post parts of my books, not very long parts at all, as a blog post. Should I post them randomly, or in order, as a book? I'm not sure, but maybe someone will have an opinion. So then, what follows is the opening scene in Dandelions Never Die. It was a gruesome time for our Shelley and unfortunately, a time too many women know all too well.
Shelley struggled desperately against the large hand braced against her chest, pressing her down into the soft bed of pine straw. She whimpered as she strove to free herself from his grasp. Even though she fought with every ounce of strength in her body, it seemed he held her down effortlessly. How could he be that strong? Or maybe it was how could she be so weak?
“Oh yeah, that's it. Fight me, baby.”
His words brought her efforts to an immediate halt. Resisting was futile. Tears welled in her eyes as she accepted her fate. It was really going to happen. This wasn’t some news story on TV. It’s really happening and it’s happening to her, here, now, in the bright sunlight.
No one would’ve held this man suspect. He wore expensively tailored slacks and shirt, a businessman by all appearances, who'd struck up a friendly conversation with her as she'd walked in the middle of the afternoon. She hadn't questioned it. Several regulars walked the peaceful paths of the nature preserve during their lunch hour to breathe fresh air and grab some exercise. “A nice walk after lunch before returning to the drudgery of the office.” That's what he'd said. She'd smiled at him, commented on the beautiful weather.
“What? That's it?” he asked, derision in his voice. “That’s all the fight you got? That's because you want it. Secretly, you know you do. All women do. I know your secrets. How does that make you feel? Huh?”
Her entire body trembling with fear, she looked up into his glazed eyes, hoping to see a shred of compassion. “Please– please don't do this,” she begged. “Please don't.” Her voice whined, as if that of a child's and she hated it. She hated him. Mostly though, she hated herself for being weak, for sounding so pitiful and for begging.
Shelley frantically tried to think, searching her mind for some small bit of information she may have picked up on TV or in a magazine about self-defense. But nothing came. Should she fight or be passive? Which one would preserve her life? My life! For the first time the thought crossed her dazed mind that she might not live through this. Oh God, is this guy crazy enough to kill me? What can I do? She had no time to decide.
His hands tore at her shirt and she did nothing. He ripped away at her shorts and she did nothing. Groped her bared skin, and still, she did nothing. And for many minutes, after he left her in a heap on the bed of pine straw, she did nothing.
Slowly, her mind began functioning again, her first cognizant thought being that she was indeed, still alive. The second was of her kids. The two youngest were in after school care and would be okay until she arrived, but her eldest would be home from school soon and wondering where she was.
Brain numb and hands shaking, she struggled to her feet and began gathering the remnants of her clothing– and her mind. She dressed, holding her shirt closed in her fist and began the frightful walk back to civilization along the path of the nature trail she’d taken. A trail that should’ve been safe in the middle of the day. A trail to which the local school brought children on field trips. A trail she’d once loved to walk and breathe in the rich aroma of earth and trees and flowers. Now, a trail where a complete stranger had assaulted a woman in broad daylight. Her stomach turned. Assaulted in a public park in broad daylight. There was shame in that and she felt it deep within her soul.