Monthly Archives: December 2011

There’s a Reason it is called "Eve" – Christmas Love for all my Soul Sisters (and Soul Brothas, too!)

Merry Christmas! It’s time to get your Girl On!!

I have never not been the rabidly charged and insanely jubilant Anti-Cheerleader, especially when it comes to all things “Girl.” Because we have all been through marked and life changing stuff lately, I thought that it would be appropriate to bid you all a couple of good Christmas wishes, Girl Style, and let you know what exactly it is that a Girl wishes for on Christmas…

While it may not be the merriest of Christmases for a lot of us, there are a few things that I need to say to you all, and I thought that this would be the best way to do it…


Today I woke up to the thought in my head that we all need to prepare for the year ahead, and I do not mean to prepare yourselves for something horrible to happen – even though something horrible can happen. I want you all to think and dwell on everything that you have been given by Spirit in 2011, and I want you to think about all that you lost during that time, and now I want you to think that it is not a bad thing that these things happened.

You’ve gotta start thinking about all those perceived losses as the Hand of God wiping away your muck, taking all of your worn out ideals and presumptions that no longer fit anymore and think that God gave them to the local Thrift store. You have to have faith in everything that you do and you have to see yourself as a diamond in the rough. Right now your nerves are raw, your body, weary, your mind tired of all the bad things that it has processed.

All the tears that you cried, and all the arguments you had, and all the crap that you were doled out this past year was not without purpose. You were meant to go through it all. You were meant to learn.

Merry Freakin’ Christmas, folks! You are now smarter than you were at this same time last year. (And you thought it was just going to be another drama-filled Christmas…not hardly, and not even close…)

 “Get Your Girl On”


I want you all to think about what it is that you have been through these last 12 months, and when you do, don’t cry. Don’t cry for lost time, and neither for all of the pain that was caused by someone else, pain meant for you to feel and to carry, but certainly not yours alone to deal with. Think about how angry you have been, how many times you cried and how many times you looked to the sky and asked God if this was all there was for you. Think about every argument, every loss, every tiny little thing that you have gone through and be grateful for it all because without it, you would not be who you are now.

The greatest gift that we have to give to ourselves this year is the acceptance that we may have come into 2011 weak, insignificant to another, confused and not really caring to learn more than we already did. We started out impatient with no direction and no idea of where it is that we want to be, but in the months that passed you did not realize that you have changed and all the changes were for your own good. You were made stronger by the adversities in your life that were not your cause, and you have been made into the Goddess You Are now because of it all.

If you were called names, belittled, told who you are, told that you are unworthy, useless, pathetic, anything that is not Truth, take heed and know, NOW, that you were once a diamond in the rough, once a mere piece of earthy green jade that looked more like a glistening rock that needed to be washed more than anything else.
But now look at ya – now you shine brighter than the diamond that was hard to see through the blackness of the coal, are more lustrous than any other jade known, and it shows.

Today walk out into the brightness of the Sun and see your shadow for the very first time all over again. Look into the eyes of those people who call you “Mama” and see there, too, the beauty that is You. Look into your heart, into your Soul, and never mind what it was that you were told about anything ugly, anything not conducive to bringing out that brightness that is You. You are the one who makes this year the merriest of all, and  you are the one who makes it beautiful. Get on out there into the great big world and strut your stuff, all of it, all at one time, because you earned it, darlin’, you really earned it.

Take a stare at the mirror and see there that you have changed and see too that the changes were right, were needed, were the gift that you gave yourself the day you decided that you have had enough of someone else telling you your worth, your abilities and talents, who you are and what you will always ever be. You are Who makes your world great, and you are who makes your world shine, and you are the one whose place in the world is in manifest, so go on out into it and make your Oscar Night entrance, and know that it is the greatest gift that you have ever been given.

Don’t go for second best….put your Love to the test… (You’ve gotta Love Madonna !! ) and get out there and be of good cheer, spread Joy and Love everyone with whom you have an encounter, no matter how brief or odd…don’t settle for less than what you deserve, and make sure to it that everyone else knows that this is your own gift to yourself – the gifts of strength, self-Love, beauty and day-dreaming.

Take it upon yourself today to make sure to it that this time next year, you remember that you Shine like the Sun, are mysterious like the phases of the Moon, are more able to do things than you were last year, and now you are all you need to be at this time in your life, so as to move on, to move forward, to Be Who You Are.

The World Awaits….Mele Kalikimaka

I Love You All !!
Rox

(Rev. Roxanne Cottell is a Freelance Writer, Speaker and Spiritual Counselor residing in Southern California. For inquires regarding the Ka Wahine ‘Ui dance program for survivors of domestic abuse,or any other inquiries. send an email by clicking this link . Her latest book, “Goddesses, Priestesses and Queens” can be purchased at lulu.com and amazon.com) 

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"The Greatest of These is Love…" (1 Corinthians 13:13)

The greatest gift another can receive from us is our Love

I just finished writing my other blog  and find that the one thing that survivors of domestic abuse are very unsure of is being able to Love fully again.

Let me tell you one thing, folks – no one is not ever capable of not Loving completely, no matter what or who. We were designed with the capacity to Love, with the capacity to give that Love, and it does not matter how many times we are beaten, literally or figuratively, the one fact that remains and will always remain is that no matter how much we want to believe that we are not lovable, no matter how many times we tell ourselves that we will not ever trust another person again for as long as we each live, there is not one person on the planet who is void of the ability to Love.

The Ability to Love


We, at one point, believe that we are not lovable, believe that we are somehow the only person on the planet who is not getting the Love we deserve and the one person on the planet who was meant as the poster child for who has been abused. NO ONE NEEDS to be abused, but it happens a whole lot, and in the time that it takes for someone to beat out of us the idea that we do not need Love from many sources we are at the point where we believe there is no return.

When speaking of Love, there is no such thing as a point of no return – Love is always returned, maybe not by the person who we try to Love and who we want to Love us, but from the rest of the planetary Tribe we are all an important part of. And when it comes to that point, it is the time that we find a way to involve ourselves with something outside of ourselves so as to give to the world the thing that lives within us.

Love.

There is no gift quite like it

This time of year we are bombarded with mail and emails and pop-ups and people at our door who are soliciting donations for various causes. And of course I would encourage anyone to give what they can, but when you can’t give something tangible, give something that you can give all the time, without needing to stand in line to pay for it, and give something that is guaranteed to come back to you.

We are convinced by others that we are not worthy to receive what it is that we need, and if we believe this we end up with nothing, or what seems like nothing, but there is always our inborn capacity for Love.

Give of your Self – find a cause to support...


In all the years that I have been in this marriage with this now dying man, I never really understood why it was that I felt like I was not doing enough. The truth was that I was doing plenty for him and nothing for me. When the first AIDSWalk that he knew about my participation was about to start, he gave me so much grief for it and badmouthed me to the point of not being able to think straight. Then one morning I woke up and looked at him and saw that it is not because he is a homophobe, not because he is choosing ignorance over common sense, that we was like this, but because it was something that he was not willing to know more about, and what he was not willing to know more about was the idea of giving of one’s self through time and effort.

To people who have no cause to support, theirs is a world which is black and white, cut and dry, and there is no such thing as being able to give without also expecting to receive something tangible in return. This man knows that though I love my tangible goodies, I am someone who Loves and Loves giving intangible gifts. It is no wonder that I do what I do for my job – I Love people, and I Love communicating with people, and I Love to give people things that they can feel but cannot touch.

In short, I Love to Love others, and my Life is about giving it freely to those most in need of it. It is my cause, to be here in this Life to Love others by teaching them and including them in how they heal from the brokenness of their own lives so that they can go on with Life with their heads and hearts vibrating in unison, lending to the greater Whole of Life itself.

If what you have been through in Life has taught you anything at all, I hope that it is the knowledge that you are Loved, are lovable, and that you have a lot of Love to give, not just to one person, but to the world at large. By joining a cause, you give yourself an avenue through which you can work out your imbalance of wanting to Love but not being able to or wanting to show it or give it to the person to whom you entrusted your Self to and then later found that you judged them incorrectly. Where you feel like there is nothing, there is something and that something is Love and the nothing that you feel is just there to remind you to get out there in the great big world and start giving it away…

You can do it. You can be your own cause until another one comes along that needs your brand of Love!!

I Love You All!!
…Rox…


(Rev. Roxanne Cottell is a Freelance Writer, Speaker and Spiritual Counselor residing in Southern California. For inquires regarding the Ka Wahine ‘Ui dance program for survivors of domestic abuse,or any other inquiries. send an email by clicking this link . Her latest book, “Goddesses, Priestesses and Queens” can be purchased at lulu.com and amazon.com)  


Gratitude (Or "What Christmas is really all about")

Gratitude is hard when you think you have nothing to be grateful for

When it seems that you have had everything that matters to you stripped from your life, and when you believe that there is nothing left for yourself, Be Grateful.

Be Grateful, even for everything that someone else has put you through


As difficult as it may be for some of us to be grateful to the creeps who made us fear everything and everyone, namely them, it is good practice for healing to be able to forgive and to build an attitude of gratitude toward our oppressors, and it is because without them we know not the things that we are and have always been capable of. When I say be grateful, I really mean it, and I say it because it brings to you a feeling of peace, a feeling that you can get through everything and anything that comes your way.

Be grateful for the things that have been presented as challenges in your life, because without the challenges, we cannot ever know just how deep the well of strength is within us, how strong the person who we really are and who we really have been all along really is. Without oppressors in our lives we do not know what needs to be seen to and repaired, and we can never begin to heal without it. We can never begin to understand who we really are without something or someone there to tell us what they think we are, and what they think we are is so far removed from the reality of who we really are that once it is that we have been goaded, or hounded, or belittled, or even beaten, into knowing who we are, we never know and we can never return to it unless we are paying attention.

This is not my telling you that I am fine with the abuses that many have suffered, but it is to say that whatever happens to us is meant as a lesson, if not in trusting people we shouldn’t, then in trusting ourselves to know that we can rise above everything that we have been witness to, everything that we have been told we are but are not, everything that we see as mean and horrible and things that cripple the soul. Without the tears we cannot know the depth or the joy that laughter brings and can never really experience it because there is nothing to measure it against. Without the pain we can never know what feels right, and without the daggers sent straight to the middle of the soul of our hearts we can never find out that every heart, no matter how broken, has the propensity to heal.

Without the ugly things that visit our lives we cannot know the depth and the worth of the beauty which resides within us all.

Take the good, the bad, and the ugly, and you come up with something beautiful


If there is one that I am very familiar with it is the depth of the soul of a person who lives their lives outwardly, lives their lives as though the only thing that counts, that has ever counted, was what they could accomplish in the material world, but there is nothing in the material world that has roots in the material and no matter what anyone thinks, it never will and it is because all of those material goodies came from a thought – a good thought, or perhaps even a very bad one, but none the less, the soul is where everything starts, because the soul is where our most precious treasures really are.

No matter what ugliness is part of your life right now, as Polly Anna as it might seem, you can turn it into something beautiful, something that somewhere along the Path that you are on right now will culminate into being something gorgeous and real and permanent and yours – you just have to believe that it is, and most of all, you must first have gratitude for it, even as it is still in your mind and in manifest and lives only as an intention.

And speaking of intention, never forget that it is the intention of a thought, of a desire that matters most, and not the thing itself. It is often said and widely believed that it is not the reward as much as the journey to the reward that we all pine for, and in the case of being grateful it is the one thing that matters the most. The journey to wholeness is not one for the weak of heart, the meek of soul, but it is the journey that all abuse survivors eventually must take, for without the drive to want to further your life, and without the desire to see things in a different light, there is nothing else that will lift a person out of the pit of hell called their life at present moment than knowing that one truth. No journey has ever been taken without also taking the very first step. In this case, the first step is simply believing, which, in an abuse survivor’s world, is something that must be relearned as it, too, is stripped of us.

Yet, once we have it back ( I refer to it as my “Girl Mojo”), there is nothing and no one who can stop us. Nothing. Not one person. It is this way because we have used the Spiritual muscles built up by hurtful words and action taken against us, and it is this that carries us through to our highest learning. It is the experience as an abused person that prompts us to become survivors, and once we are survivors, we then become fighters, and in our case, the fighter never does not reign victorious. We go from being just a survivor to being a reigning and victorious Soul with a heart and mind to match, and by my count, that is a lot to be grateful for. We find that we can handle almost anything that comes our way, and if we cannot handle it at that very moment, we know that our moment will come. It is not a matter of if, anymore, not in the case of the survivor of domestic abuse and violence, but rather and only, when.

It is Beautiful to be Grateful…

A person living in the Light of Love and with Gratitude in their heart is a person who has begun the Journey to healing. If we can manage to rise above the anger, above the shame and above the remnants of what we thought our lives should have been, we can manage to see to it that everything in our lives brought us to this point, to this place where we can stand atop the proverbial mountain, look out onto the world that is our lives, and see that we have much to be grateful for, see that we are not so without that we cannot manage to also see to it that we are a better beacon of Light than we are a purveyor of the darkness. Abuse survivors live their lives shrouded in darkness that is not their own but becomes theirs once it is that someone whose darkness is not bigger, but whose darkness is backed by all the power that they have within them.

People who have survived such things have not used every bit of what they were granted at birth, and in so knowing this cannot use it if they do not realize that they have it. We all have it, and once we can take hold of and harness it, there is nothing that we cannot do – not one damned thing, and this is the most beautiful and most important thing about Gratitude.

Gratitude is a Light unto its own. It sheds light on the things that are of importance to us, and breaks us free of the belief that we want more than we deserve, and we do not realize that wanting is different than desiring. Want leaves us feeling empty, but desire fills us with hope and banishes the fear which has permeated the Light within us for too long. When we can be filled with Gratitude our lives begin to change.

So, be in the Light that is Gratitude – YOUR Light that is Gratitude, and find within the one Christmas gift that has been yours all along…

I Love You All…
…Rox…


(Rev. Roxanne Cottell is a Freelance Writer, Speaker and Spiritual Counselor residing in Southern California. For inquires regarding the Ka Wahine ‘Ui dance program for survivors of domestic abuse,or any other inquiries. send an email by clicking this link . Her latest book, “Goddesses, Priestesses and Queens” can be purchased at lulu.com and amazon.com) 


Learning to Trust again, to Love again takes a lot of Soul Work

“It’s like the wind…I can’t see it, but I can feel it…” (Victoria Kristine White)

It is a rare occasion when I will quote another person’s words, but it was this young woman named Victoria,a woman with whom I am only familiar in a Facebook kind of way. Yet, her post this evening sent my being stuck for words a bit of a kick in the ass, and I know what it is that I wanted to tell you all, and yes, it relates to all that we have, as survivors, been through.

Regaining our sense of trust in others begins with our own ability in our sense of Trust, not only in ourselves, but also with the Soul, with the Spirit which guides us and with the idea that everything in the world, other than what you see materially, begins with a thought, and this does include those things which can be counted as ‘intangible.’ It would be cliche’ for me to write something about Christmas, but in trying to keep with the whole  holiday spirit, I guess this would be an attempt at my reminding people that we cannot know how to give anything to anyone until we can first give ourselves a chance to grow. If we do not allow ourselves to grow, we will not be able to heal, and if we cannot heal, we cannot trust, and if we cannot trust, we can never really truly know how to Love again, no, not even ourselves. While this is a very ugly thought, it is the truth of the matter.

It took a lot for me to trust, as well it should have, because trust is the thing that is the hardest for people to rebuild within themselves. Mistrust is where doubt is created, and the first person we doubt is never someone else, but only ourselves, and we project it out onto other people, this feeling that we cannot let go of, at least not right away. It is too hard to let go sometimes, because we know that the risk is too great. Risk is what got us into the messes that we found ourselves in and it will be the trust that we will rebuild within that will help us to climb out of the despair that has enclosed us in a shell that might look like us, might act like us, might technically be us, but it is so not who we really are.

First, you must remember

The first thing that you must remember is that you learned how to mistrust people and that just as you learned how to do that, like much else, you will have to relearn trust. It is a sad truth that abuse survivors end up going through more than we bargained for when all is said and done, but the beautiful part in all of this is that you get to pick how you want to come back, and you get to practice talking to people, practice not talking about you so much that you give away more than you even have for yourself. It took me these last three  years to come back to me, to know and to reinvent me, and it has been a bitch of a time doing so, but it has also been a great time that offered me the opportunity to grow into this outrageous, fiery, passionate person who is full of Spirit and is deeper than the very recesses of the Soul within. This is who I am. This is who I have always been, and I Love Me, just as you should also be so inclined to Love You.

“…don’t you even worry pretty darlin’, ’cause you’ll find Love again, I Know…” (Tesla, “Love Song”)
The thing that I am asked all the time by other survivors of domestic violence is if I am scared to Love another person, and to that question I simply explain that I never lost Love for people and that Love is the thing that will carry you through everything and anything and will always be the thing that you will find will heal you faster and better than everything else.

When a person is abused by another person who has promised to Love them and that person chooses to fracture the trust that an abuse survivor has built up, it is hard to imagine that there is any Love there at all, but there is, and the Love that remains is the Love which has always been within ourselves. If we continue to believe that the Love we deserve is outside of us, we will always be chasing it, and we all know what happens when we chase something or someone – they run. They run like fire burns old newspaper – fast. The reason that we chase is because there within us is the person we were the last time we thought we had to go out into the world to find what already lived within us. We were made from Love, which means that we do not have to chase it because it exists within us and never will die.

Love does not die, even the shattered remnants of what it was that we were told and shown was Love from someone who themselves could not fathom Love because to them Love equals ownership. Love and trust are not borne out of a need for someone else to control who we are – yes, I said need. We seek the approval from someone outside ourselves to validate us, and all we get is the version of ourselves that someone else wanted or wants and is never really the person who we know we are, and the person who we know we are is the best person we can hope to even think to be because it is ourselves in our truest essence. There is nothing quite more beautiful than a person – a woman – who knows who she is and who is confident in herself, who Loves all of herself, even her quirks and the little things makes us who we each are.

It is not only the Romantic sort of Love that I am telling you about


Love is the highest form of respect that anyone can show another person. It was a long time before I could even think to tell anyone that I Loved them, but these days, after a whole lot of work on myself, it is a daily thing for me to tell someone that they are cared for, that even if it seems that they are unlovable, that I Love them, and when I say it, I mean it.

Yet, being able to tell another person you Love them takes a lot of trust. You must trust that you can give that piece of your Self away and you must trust your Self not to get hurt when they do not say it back – not everyone is comfortable or feels safe saying that they Love someone, anyone, and even if they don’t say it, you know it because like Ms. White posted, Love is very much like the wind- you cannot see it, but you can surely feel it, and that is what matters the very most. It is important that we realize this about us, that we are able to Love, and that we are able to Love from the moment that we are brought into this life. Because someone else takes away the Love that we have for them, chips it away by being horrible to us, it does not mean that the Love within us dies. Love does not die. It is like Light – you can have all the darkness in the world and it can engulf you, but once the tiniest sliver of Light is shone, there is no more darkness. This is what Love does.

Illumination

Love illuminates our Selves, and with that illumination we are able to Light the world with the flame within which is our true selves. Once we have illuminated who we are and once it is that we have seen, through that illumination, our own flaws and imperfections is when we can know within that we have reached a point where we never thought we would ever be again. While there will still be much work to do, and while it will be that no one but us can reclaim that piece, it is a freedom like no other to no longer fear that we are not able to Love or to be Loved.

Being someone else’s victim hurts in many ways, but being able to come back to who we are is like water for a thirsty person. Love drenches us in its healing nature and brings to the surface the ugliness that we have allowed to rule us and it sets the standard for who we want to be and who we want to grow into. Being abused makes us shrink into ourselves, makes us believe that this is all we will ever be – defeated, bruised, Spiritually maimed and scarred in the soul. Yet knowing that scars mean that healing has taken place is the salve that brings us back to Life, back to who we are, and makes us know that everything is going to be alright.

If we can believe that we can trust ourselves to do anything, then we should also believe that we will be able to Love again, in every way imaginable, and that what we asked for in the past has come and gone and now we can Love the person we have grown to become. We can take the ugliness, the hurt, the anger and the pain and turn it into the beautiful thing that we have become. We can turn someone else’s trash and the rubble of what was and what became of us in to a beautiful piece of art, original and raw and primal and screaming from the inside, out.

We can choose to be who we are and we can choose to Love who we have become, and we can do all this all on our own. Yes, it will take time, and yes, you will cry like a woman in mourning, and yes, you will feel cleansed and brand new. One day you will wake up and just know….

One day, you will just know…it is like the wind…you know it is there, and you know it because you can see the evidence in the birds which fight it in flight, and even though you cannot see the wind, you can feel it.

So, too, is the nature of Love. You know it is there. You cannot see it.

You can feel it.

I Love You All …
…Rox…

(Rev. Roxanne Cottell is a Freelance Writer, Speaker and Spiritual Counselor residing in Southern California. For inquires regarding the Ka Wahine ‘Ui dance program for survivors of domestic abuse,or any other inquiries. send an email by clicking this link . Her latest book, “Goddesses, Priestesses and Queens” can be purchased at lulu.com and amazon.com)


Time Heals

Setting our sights only on the hurt we have suffered impedes our healing

Pisces people are fabulous martyrs. I know. I am one. On the other side of that martyrdom is someone who is strong and vibrant and full of both Spirit and Life and someone who is literally aching to experience the healing needed to survive all the things that they have been through, and I promise you that what they have been through is a whole lot.

If we are left only to ponder the reasons that anyone would want to hurt us we end up trying to find the corner in a circular room. There is no reason good enough to hurt anyone intentionally. No matter what kind of abuse it is – regardless if it is physical or emotional –  there is not a good enough reason to put hands on another person. The abuse begins subtly, can be a passing glance of disapproval or distaste, can be a remark made in regards to what a victim looks like (I always heard that I was a whore because I wore make up, did my hair, liked having my nails done, got waxed…you know…being a girl…I enjoyed it then as much as I do now), can be about their level of intellect, can be anything at all so long as it pertains to what must be done, according to the attacker, by the victim to make them more acceptable and lovable by the person who tries to change you.

There is no level that will be acceptable and there never will be. Once you stop doing all the things that you are told bothers your attacker, and once it is that you have changed everything outwardly they begin the cycle again and this time the damage is not something that can be see (yet) but can be felt and will be known by those who have known you longer than your attacker has. They begin to chip away at the self-existence that is built up, and they start an all out war on who you are, and this is where the real damage begins because the only and the very next thing that happens are the physical beatings. It all happens over time. First you are coerced into not being lovely to look at, then you are manipulated into a pattern of thinking that causes you to react to their words as though they were the words of God himself. Once you are changed both inside and outside, there is nothing left other than the physical beatings which are always the victims fault, at least and according to the person doling out the physical terror on their victim.

I tend to think of my  husband’s fate as a Karmic debt being forcibly repaid by him through his losing his life at his very own hands. Only a moron would basically turn their back on their family, decide early on that since they feel that the system owes them something for all the time they put into it that they are now entitled to whatever it is that they feel they are owed, would choose, after having had a major heart attack and then having had open heart surgery, to continue to smoke, to eat like a pig, to be angry all the time, to live their lives with the bitterness that is them to be in charge of their lives.. This is the mantra of the abuser, that they are owed, that they live their lives at a deficit and that everyone within their own circle of social contact somehow is indebted to them for something. In my case it is because he simply did his job and, by his own demanding it, I stayed home with the children and raised them, doing what I had always done – I wrote – books, ghostwriting, marketing and ad materials, basically anything that I was tasked with and contracted for – and I danced, performed, choreographed, taught (and now use as a healing tool with other women with “beauty” issues that cannot be fixed with the help of make up or cosmetic surgeon) hula, and yes, he tried like hell to make me see hula as yet one more island girl’s way of ensnaring another white man into her den of iniquity.

But he did not succeed at it. I would not let him. I still will not let him. He cannot take this from me again.
And now he is not long for this world , just as he said he would not be, and just as I have always known and believed.

Time Heals

Time heals. As time passes and memories fade we find that we are no longer the people we were so many years ago when there were blackened eyes and hairline fractures, when there were excuses made for behavior not befitting of a pig as it wallows in its own filth, when there were days filled with terror and nights filled with tears. Gone are the days where I would spend the entirety of a day trying to find a way to make this person see me the way that I knew I was – fine and capable of being my own person, no matter what he thought.

Here we are, the memories of a grimace before the blow, of 17 years long gone, and the voice which was silenced by a choice not made by me but forced upon me through being stalked, being belittled, being all the things in his eyes that I knew I was not. He’d never bothered one time to see me as I really am, and he still thinks that I am a little too weird for “acceptable” society, but if I bothered to let his words and his idiocy be what still ruled me, I might still be that timid little twit who was willing to please him to make him happy which eventually was a requirement needed to please him to keep myself safe. These days, it is the altruist in me, the Piscean nature, that damned Certificate of Ordination and the degrees in health sciences alongside the certificates in wellness that cause me to allow him his last days to be spent with his children. I am hurt, but I am not horrible. I am no longer as angry as I was,but it is all still there, the memories, as though I can watch them on my television screen. It is all like a long and drawn out miniseries that took too long to come to an end.

I have grown since that time and know well now that I have always been safe, always been nurtured by the Light of Love and the Infinite Universe, have always known that God has always had me. He must. If He didn’t I might not be here. I might be a statistic that is a far grimmer shade of gray. I might be in traction permanently. I might be an addict. I might be …anything that I am not truly.

But I am not. I am not any of those things that this man whose last name I share, with whom I share three marvelously Spiritual children, with whom I have shared history, an address, a car….with now whom I share only history, but not much else. I find now that after all these years, it was never me who was damaged and I was not damaged until after he damaged me.

Now I am scarred, but scarred means that to some degree, I am also healed, because the scar is the evidence that the wound that once was there has healed.

Scarred….scarred is good..

I Love You All!

Rox…

(Rev. Roxanne Cottell is a Freelance Writer, Speaker and Spiritual Counselor residing in Southern California. For inquires regarding the Ka Wahine ‘Ui dance program for survivors of domestic abuse,or any other inquiries. send an email by clicking this link . Her latest book, “Goddesses, Priestesses and Queens” can be purchased at lulu.com and amazon.com)


A long, dark night of the Soul – the Pandora’s Box of Spirit

Being abused in any manner and by any person is awful…it is the Dark Night of the Soul…

I like to think that I have a pretty good grip of reality at present time. Self discovery happens to us when we very least expect for it to, and in the lives of those who can call themselves “survivor,” it is nothing for us to be able to reach back into the past where it was dark and ugly and recall the times in our lives when it seemed like life was one long dark night of the Soul.

Dark Night of the Soul

We all go through times when it seems that there is nothing in life that will permeate the darkness of our Selves. In the case of those of us who have suffered needlessly at the hands of another, whether it is your spouse, other family members, a friend or perhaps a coworker or employer – anyone, really – the dark night can last for years and years and we end up spiraling into the miry stickiness of not being able to see any light in the soul whatsoever, including the proverbial light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. It seems at that point that we are so alone and so very deep into the darkness that we cannot see our way out of it.

Abuse victims and survivors know well the conditions of our lives warrant that much of it is meant as a dark night, as a time when we are meant to rise above what it is that we have been through and to feel every little bit of the pain that seems as though will never end. The Dark Night of the Soul is meant to help us stretch ourselves to the limits so that we can emerge brand new, like a baby chick emerges from an egg and how a butterfly stretches itself out of its cocoon.

Being a survivor of such travesties means that you have been through this dark night, that you have made it through it and that you are better and stronger for the experience. This is not to say that it is ok that you had to go through all of what you or I did, and neither is it to say that you deserved any of it, but only that we go through what we do because there are things about ourselves that we do not know, that we need to know, and experiencing tragedy – namely tragedy which no one else hears about until one of us opens our mouths and says something – is the only way that we will ever learn it.

We begin to see in our mind that what we are at the time we are being treated like garbage that even as our fear is what has kept us safe,  it is our soul which cries. We did not know that this person with whom we have forged a bond would be so terrible to us, and we hope upon everything that it is a phase and that it will pass, and it never does, and we sink deeper into the depths of our darkness. We wish for the light, but the light is far in the distance and not reachable by us. No matter how much we try, we can never seem to get out of the blue feeling which permeates our lives. We feel like we have opened the gates of hell, have opened and peered into Pandora’s Box, and now, because of our actions we are made to pay, Karmically, for things that we could not have ever imagined as being part of our everyday lives.

It is that feeling one gets when they see a card reader and the card pulled is the Death card, only at the time we are not aware that this particular card denotes change and not actual death. It is like waking up in the middle of the same bad dream for months on end where all you want to do is be able to sleep and then wake up and look forward to something, anything, being easier to deal with than what is the normalcy in an abuse victim’s daily life. The Dark Night of the Soul is meant to teach us, to mold us, to help us shed the unwanted and unneeded pieces of our Selves that were placed there by someone else’s need to control you.

I know this. I lived it. I still live it, but the coughed up pieces of lung tend to help ease me. However, we are not all privy to an early widowhood, not all strong enough to take legal action, not who we are for real, enough to carry us through whatever it is that Spirit is trying to help us grow through.

The Cold Loneliness of the Dark Night of the Soul

Abuse survivors look back to where they have been and can see where it was and more, WHY it was that they chose to stop the maddening cycle of self abuse, and we look back and take a long pause, long enough to stare into the eyes of the child we were and realize that the time we’d spent in our own private purgatory was spent not realizing that everyone experiences turmoil and that what we’d been through was much like our very own personal experience with the Devil himself.

Well meaning loved ones remind us that “there are always plenty of fish in the sea” of Life, that we will meet another person, one who will turn the hurt into the scar that proves we have healed, and then we take a look at who we have become and accept that we never needed anyone else – all we really needed was ourselves and our ability to make it through this, the Dark Night of the Soul.

It takes but one moment for us to change our lives by changing our perspective of things. 

It is hard to imagine that someone in the throes of what can be thought and assumed as being the “end” result of an overblown ego that there is a way out and that the way out is not a physical way out, at least not at the beginning when we think and believe and know that being hurt is not something that we can deal with for a long time, that we should never have been hurt to begin with, that what we are going through or what we have been through was somehow for our own benefit. Maybe it’s a bad way of putting it but at the moment is the only way that comes to mind, that we were chosen to experience such a horrible Dark Night of the Soul at the hands of another for a reason and a purpose – our higher purpose.

Yet this is where the fear in us prompts us to try hard to see ourselves out of a situation that we did not ask to be placed in but that we very dearly need a way out of. The first thing that abuse survivors need to understand that just like smoking cigarettes or becoming addicted to pills, addicted to anything, really, so, too, have we become addicted to wanting to get from our attackers that which we know we will not – approval, real Love, support, caring and the things that all those dreams of love and happiness are made of. We go through the usual feelings of guilt and shame, and then one day we find ourselves tired of the guilt someone else gave to us and sick to death of feeling the weight of shame that does not belong to us. We find ourselves restless and at that point are fully aware of the fact that this mess has become ours to clean up, starting with our very selves.

We see to it that as our soul ails, it is not without that which it needs to become, again, the thing that it was meant to be in each of us.

That one thing is whole…we pine to become Whole again, and the only way to get to Wholeness is to travel the Path we have chosen as our own, even through the Darkest Nights of the Soul…

I Love You All !!

Rox…

(Rev. Roxanne Cottell is a Freelance Writer, Speaker and Spiritual Counselor residing in Southern California. For inquires regarding the Ka Wahine ‘Ui dance program for survivors of domestic abuse,or any other inquiries. send an email by clicking this link . Her latest book, “Goddesses, Priestesses and Queens” can be purchased at lulu.com and amazon.com)


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