Where truth leads

For believers, God has the power to be everywhere and to do anything.

For non-believers, the question remains.

Where was God in all this victimization?

Each week seems to bring new accusations of sexual molestation, sexual harassment and sexual assault as more victims find their voice as evident now in the public revelation of Kevin Spacey’s alleged long standing behavior. Palms slapping foreheads. Fingers plugging ears. Eyes looking elsewhere. Mouths speaking words of disbelief to condemn both the accused and their victims.

But first ask, where were all the bystanders?

Spouse, parent, employer, coworker, colleague, or witness on the street, where were you? I’ll tell you where you were – dependent upon your own needs, your investment, your paycheck, and your unwillingness to get involved. It’s the ugliest of human betrayal.

Say you didn’t know. Say you didn’t believe. Say what you want.

Say whatever helps you sleep at night. You, bystanders who now crawl from underneath your rationalization, are not brave. You are not courageous. You are complicit. The only ones who are innocent are the ones who were being abused too.

“But let justice flow like a river and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24

See if you can sleep after reading these statistics

Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics
Victims and Perpetrators Research
Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on Victims

God’s ways are beyond human understanding

I’ll be honest. I struggled with that same question as unbelievers. Where was God in all my sexual abuse circumstances?

The struggle became even more apparent after losing a coveted career in 2009 due to the raping of the United States economy and American families. Bitterness moved in with shame and anxiety. All three capsizing me. On the edge of drowning, I faced what my memory did not want me to see.

“My soul is weak from waiting for you to save me. My hope is based on your word. My eyes have become strained from looking for your promise. I ask, “When will you comfort me?” ” Psalm 119:81-82

God was there

God sent angels, who unknowing of my internal struggles, helped me to see God’s light, hear God’s Word, and feel God’s love. Comforted, I accept who and where I am. God was  there and He is here now.

“He rescues suffering people through their suffering and opens their ears through distress.” Job 36:15

And what I have learned since is this… I will put my hope in God each, and every time over bystanders. I can’t make unbelievers believe, but I have heard God’s call. My struggles have equipped me to help bystanders do the right thing… to stand up and speak out against abuse of any kind to anyone or animal.

Truth

Peace,

The Blogging Owl

 

Reality Check

Getting personal

My mother hurt me to the core this past summer. A hurt cutting so deep that it opened-up once again childhood wounds that I had worked diligently to confront and heal over the past several years. I saw a new side of her, or rather a side, I tried not to see for a long time. And because of long standing childhood wounds and this last straw, my behavior had become a blaring, blinking, red danger light and it was becoming apparent in everything I was posting online, writing or journaling.

My attitude was becoming belligerent a result of coming from a place of anger and deep sadness. I was retreating more and more into a self-imposed exile away from family, friends, and even God.

Getting real

Attitudes are shaped by past and present experiences, perceptions, long standing exposure and repetitive feedback of those around us, particularly those who have raised us and who are closest to us. And our behavior is the result of that attitude that reinforces our beliefs of being bad, good, or worthy.

To make a long story short about the current state of my attitude, I was coping with my anger and emotions versus managing them. Coping, in my opinion, puts a person on the side of weakness instead of empowerment. I needed to get real about my current state of mind.

The outside world

We have become a divisive nation on almost every front and it seems to be getting only worse. I cannot control the world, but I can control what I see, hear, and read. Mind you, I am not putting my head in the sand, which was my own initial fear, but the fact of the matter comes down to these 3 questions I have had to step back and answer:

What do I stand for?

What I am unwilling to negotiate?

What are my core values and how are they being defined in my life?

My personal world

What’s in my control in my personal world just like in the outside world is a bit more daunting when personal slights can trigger emotions regarding long-standing issues. I began to realize how the outside world was feeding the negative experiences and perceptions I had of myself – a few of those auto-wind tapes from childhood I thought I had shredded had been left behind. My parents are who they are, but they have taught me many things, and in some instances how not to treat my own sons. But my parents are not the whole of who I am, their experiences are not the totality of my experiences, nor are they the sum of who I am as a person, a wife, as a mother, as a colleague, as a friend, and so on.

“Getting me” is the same as “getting the other person”

Take for example, University of Michigan coach, John Harbaugh’s response when his son came out as being gay and he immediately responded to his son, “Live your truth.”

Our behavior is determined by our beliefs, either our ability (or inability) to express ourselves and talk about problems comes from our individual frame of references. And are we each open to communicating with each other in a supportive atmosphere? If social media has taught us anything is that making a simple statement to putting our laundry out on the Internet is ripe for ridicule. Whether it is social media or my personal interactions, I am going to live my truth and try to abide by my motto that I developed years ago which is….

The 4 R’s – Resist Reaction Let Reason Rule:

• What is the motive behind my behavior?
• Are my words or my behavior, according to my principles, or they in response to the other person?
• What is my intention with my interactions with others?

Recognizing the danger signals:

Can I?

• Actively listen?
• Acknowledge the other person’s position?
• Accept the other person’s perspective?
• Avoid accusations?
• Move on in grace, knowing my values may not be honored or accepted?

Final note

Whatever that “TRUTH” is even if it is never shared with or honored by another, may we all resist to control, blame, judge, misinform or be indifferent to one another.

Reality check

I’m still in my imposed self-exile working on being positive, kind, and more importantly, healing myself and trying to help others thrive.

Peace

 

RPSM.Org: What it Means to Me – A Series #5

The Blogging Owl has been granted permission from Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan to promote their new series, “What it Means to Me.”

Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

This is the third post in series of reflections from the inmate trainers in their own words on what it meant to them to train a dog rescued by Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan.

Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

Founded in 2007, RPSM has made a serious effort to effectively aid in the reduction of euthanasia rates at many animal shelters. In 2008, the RPSM Correctional Companion Program began. In a partnership with the Coldwater Prison Complex, RPSM endeavors to find homes for dogs in shelters that would otherwise be euthanized. Dogs selected for the Companion Program are carefully screened for temperament, trainability, and adaptability. They are fully vaccinated, spayed or neutered prior to enrollment in the program. Once they arrive at the complex, they are assigned to specially trained inmates who are responsible for their training and day to day care. Upon completion of the program, the dogs are ready to receive a canine good citizen certificate (CGC) and available for adoption in an approved home.

Rpsm

To me, RPSM means being able to make a difference in life.

Being able to make a difference in the lives of animals who have only known the worst of humanity, and what it means to love a dog.

My outlook on rescue dogs has changed because I learned that you can teach an old dog new tricks lol. But being able to go from underdog to wonder dog I think is amazing. I’ve seen dogs go from having no life in their eyes to the beginning of a twinkle, a spark of hope. It’s opened a whole new world to me.

Anything I can do, I want to do to make a difference.

The best success story from when a dog came in and when it left I think would be Daisy the wiener dog. I remember when she first came in, her confidence was very low and she was very apprehensive, but seeing her come out of her shell was a job. And learning new things from the work put in was a fun experience. She taught me how to use my voice (Good Girl, Great Job).

A dog that has changed me or meant a lot to me, I want to say Reuben, but if it wasn’t for the things I learned from Levi and Daisy, I don’t think it would have been possible to have had any success stories to tell. Levi changed my understanding. It made me consider what dogs want, and not what I think they want. He made me dig deeper into learning how they think and coming up with ways to help them. He also made me dig deeper into myself and the energy I produce, and how contagious it can be. Levi gave me the drive and motivation to push further.

Written by Prison Inmate Dog Trainer

How you can donate to RPSM.org

Amazon Wishlist

AMAZON WISHLIST FOR REFURBISHED PETS OF SOUTHERN MICHIGAN

Press the link above and to see what you can donate today to Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan.

Amazon Smile

Amazon Smile & choose Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan as Your Charity!

“AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.”

Andy’s Paw Prints

20265104_10155398644416093_6353855520424634057_n

 

Andy’s Paw Prints creates custom pet portraits from your pet photos and donates 25% of their profit from every portrait sale to help animals in need. Make sure when you order to select Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan on your order form to receive the donation. You can check out all their styles and get more information at http://www.andyspawprints.

 

Go to the Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan to foster, adopt, and donate!

I was introduced to RPSM.org five years ago when my family adopted Barkley LeRoy and Penelope Louise, “Penny.” My experience was chronicled in my blog post, Writing Their Stories, on March 23, 2016.

The Blogging Owl