I have Faith not Fear-The Gift of Gratitude Part 2

 

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Excerpt from the novel, I AM this Woman

I pray, to myself, everyday actually. This isn’t a new thing, I have being doing this since I was a little girl. Not really knowing who or what I was praying to, but just talking to someone who didn’t judge me or ask anything of me…just putting my thoughts out there into the ether. As I got older and the world around me got a little crazier, to say the least, I started inquiring about faith, beliefs, others religions and what that meant to people. The majority would say it was their place of peace, of comfort and community.

When I was finishing my arts degree I met a young lady who was proudly Greek. I was on my own at the time over Easter and she had asked if I would like to partake in their midnight mass. Curious and excited to dress up I walked up the path to her and her communities Greek Orthodox Church. There were hundreds of people, beautifully turned out and tables laden with food. Glowing candles were held in our hands as we walked the streets for the Easter Passover. Children giggling and glowing that they were up way past their bedtime. But there was something else, there was a feeling of oneness that is very hard to find and connect with.

Needless to say I didn’t become Greek Orthodox, but that beauitful spirit of that night never left. The prayers were done, the mutual greeting and shaking of hands and then we were back off into the world of competition, daily grind and lonliness. If there was ever a time to convert I suppose it would have been then.

I have been to many churches since that time, in fact all of my children have been baptised and have received the Holy Sacraments within the Catholic church. They were given a faith, something I wanted very much for myself. A place in the time of a storm that will open it’s doors and not question why you are there.

My strength comes from my core belief in my faith, the one that has always been in my little pocket. I take it out when times are hard and because I have been doing this for so many years it is like breathing, you know your doing it but you don’t question it.

My family never baptised me, it never dawned on me that they hadn’t, it was only when my first sibling arrived and he was baptised that I questioned it.

When I asked about it the response was, ‘We thought we would let you decide when you grew up?’ Being a child of the late 60’s, maybe this was her breaking free from society and along with it, burning bras. Whatever the reason it left me feeling not as grounded or connected as those that had been, those being my siblings. It was like their own private secret society and I hadn’t been a thought into that process.

Years later on I fell in love with a man of great faith, he watched as I attended church with my children, as I happily agreed to go to Easter Mass. He showed me the sacraments and the reconciliation as well as taught me that the church is dark, and clouded within it’s own dramas. This we all know, I for one have questioned many times why those men need to wear fuchsia hats and more diamonds and gold than Elizabeth Taylor, God rest her soul.

As I travelled and lived abroad I watched all different faiths, and their customs. When living in Dubai the Mosque call to prayer would sing out five times a day, it was a slight hum and actually became very comforting that they would take the time to just reflect. In Scotland, Sunday Mass was always a huge turnout and the Priests were knowledgeable, aware of the world’s strife, and openly aware with the dysfunction of it’s institution. It was refreshing to say the least and it made me remember when I was little and it was simpler, to just be at one with your thoughts, worries, concerns and hopes.

Living in Canada there was a strong Indian community, the elders would dance and chant and smudge (burning sage), I loved it, I love all of it. We need grounding, a community and a moment when all is right with the world and our world within. To observe so many faiths from within I have been very blessed. Currently I live in a Buddhist country, and on my wedding we lived in a monastery for a week. That was a week of getting back to my own base, no words were spoken, no eye contact was made, and the eating area was separated into male and female areas. By the 3rd day the monkey chatter in my mind had stopped and I could see.

One day I would like to visit the Vatican. Why not, it’s all of our history. I am married to a man who sees no borders of any religious type. It is refreshing, he is Catholic and loves his faith, but in truth he loves them all. He has studied the Quran, and he once tried to become a priest at the age of 14. He stands for his faith yet sees it’s faults, but they all have them. Like people, faiths can falter.

My own baptism eventually happened for me. I wanted to be apart of my children’s community, of my husbands love, and what had clearly been a search for me for many years. Years before when I was in counseling with my high school, the councilor when hearing of what I had been thru asked, “How do you get up every morning and be able to smile?” I looked at him, straight into his eyes, “Because everyday is a new day, you just have to believe that, you just have to have faith”. I too was 16 when I announced that out loud. At 47, that thought process has not changed.

I have had a great deal of love and support sent to me after writing, ‘I am just waiting on a train’. I thank you. I am grateful for this, and grateful to the people that have been my strength. There is one though that has been here, thru all of this. Thru my nightmares, my losses and when I just couldn’t get out of bed. When all I had was getting lesser by the day, he still stood there, on guard, fighting off the wolves.

After our coffee date that day, he gave me a limited edition of his first book, ‘Fighting Your Demons’. He then told he was going to head out for that day and just left me with that book. His concerns were that I wouldn’t want to see him after reading it, as in there was a whole lot of truth within those pages. And so that is exactly what he did.

I read it, twice. Inside was a life, a big one. I am not sure that any one person I have met before or since has met with one if not all of these experiences. Later that afternoon, there was a knock at my door. He had a fresh haircut, a packed bag and said so, “Your coming with me, because I am on a journey and I am moving this way quick, can you handle it?”

‘Yeah’, I prayed to myself, I got this.

I AM this woman, who are you?

https://www.amazon.com/FIGHTING-YOUR-DEMONS-Mastering-Courage-ebook/dp/B01HLYVF0Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467256246&sr=8-1&keywords=fighting+your+demons#nav-subnav

Have Faith not Fear

LXo

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Meeting Denny, The Gift of Gratitude Part One

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In 2008 I was sitting in a classroom on a Friday morning, it was 8:45am and the class was to start for 9am, sharp. By sharp I mean I was sitting in a class of personal trainers who’s job it is to be there before their clients. If anything as a trainer you are always 15 minutes early. As I looked around the large room, I counted the chairs and noticed it was to be a full session albiet two chairs were empty. Must have cancelled I thought. My chair was on the other side of the horsehoe style set up and next to me was a trainer from the Gold coast and beside him an empty chair. Everyone was exchanging pleasantries and names while the instructor was organizing our days agenda, as 9am arrived the door flew open and a man burst thru the doors with the biggest smile on his face.

Without a breathe he went onto explain why he was late, his mornings adventure with his son, his speeding ticket to prove he was trying his hardest to be on time, all with a scottish brogue to add to the chaos. To be honest, it was quite funny and as the teacher smiled and said not to worry, she asked him to take a seat. There were two seats remaining, one just in front of the door he just burst into and the other all the way on the other side of the room. I noticed he scanned the area quickly and instead of taking the convenient chair, he excused himself vivaciously as he manouvered past 25 chairs and trainers to sit just on the other side of me.

‘Hi, my name is Denny’, and with that same gregacious smile he extended his hand to the trainer beside me and then leaned around. ‘Sorry man, I just arrived back from the war and civvie life has some adjusting.’

As it would be, myself, the Gold Coast trainer and Denny were teamed up for that 2 day course to do all of our skills and training together. They were fun, it was a great course and I met heaps of people that weekend. By the close on Sunday night myself and the 38 trainers were a tight nit group of entreprenurial, healthy, energetic minds. What we all want to be around in our lives. Business cards were exchanged, phone numbers and email addresses and I put them in my Filo-fax as reference for working with this crew somehwere in the future. And my scottish friend Denny, he was heading out on a plane to thailand. He was also in the process of starting to write his first book and he was enjoying his newly found single life. I wished him well in his travels and his leap into the world of writing. ‘All the best’, I said and I never heard or saw him again until two years later.

 

2010

I was unpacking my boxes into a newly leased house. I had been seperated from my husband for sometime and was just starting to get the kids and my business back on track. The internet and phone in this old home were dodgy to say the least, in order to get telephone reception I had to stand in the middle of the street outside to hear slight murmurings and cackles. This day in between packing I was checking on my emails. A message came thru from a Denny Denholm, a book launch called Fighting Your Demons. Somewhere in the back of my head I remembered a man from years before who had said he was going to write a book. But for the life of me I couldn’t remember what he looked like, where he was from was also sketchy, but what the heck I sent him an email back congratulating him and stating that that is a huge effort, one to write it but two to actually put it all together.

An email came back almost instantly, ‘Is this Lisa?, Lisa Hotbod?. At this time I had been in the local newspaper and had been doing a lot around the community. So I didn’t take much notice that maybe that’s how he knew me. But then the email came back, we met years ago on that course, I was the one who was really late!

It jared a memory but not much else, my life had been incredibly busy and meeting people had not been apart of it. It was work, kids, work, kids. We exchanged phone numbers and when he called I was in the middle of the street trying to make out his accent so I could understand that he wanted to meet for coffee when he got back. Or something like that, as the line was crackling he finished off with Saturday, your studio 10am.

But that was also 3 weeks away and Christmas was coming, too much I thought but I agreed and wished him well.

 

Christmas came and went, it was the first one as a single Mom. My friends were amazing, I didn’t have much money but the love shown to me during this difficult time was magic. New Years came and went and my studio started to pick up again. New years resolutions to get fit with me were adding up, by the Saturday morning of what was to be a coffee date I hadn’t had a lot of time to think about this now mystery man. 10:10 arrived, he was late…hmmmm, wait a minute this is starting to seem really familiar. As I looked to my client who was in for a coffee if this ‘guy’ was a no show, the doors burst open. In walked the most beautiful smile, gregacious laugh and for the first time in too many years to count, I was home.

Fighting Your Demons….the Gift of Gratitude, Part Two

https://www.amazon.com/FIGHTING-YOUR-DEMONS-Mastering-Courage-ebook/dp/B01HLYVF0Q/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1467008872&sr=1-1&keywords=Fighting+your+Demons

 

I AM just waiting on a train

An excerpt from the book I am this woman…..

 

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Just a few weeks ago I discovered a hidden SMS message on FaceBook that had been sent to me over a year ago.

I can tell you now, looking back on the discovery(hindsight is golden) that it was one of those ‘movie moments’. You know, when the train doors slide open, and you have a choice, to get on or not. The choice of getting on from the audiences point of view is obvious, but instead we seem to choose to stay on the cold lonely platform. I am guilty of  choosing the latter too many times, this time I was getting on that train.

I was in the middle of checking emails and not being the most-savviest person on the planet with my iPhone skills, I had overlooked a whole section of SMS’s. There were about 15 in the bank, but only one caught my interest. The message was written with a shy tone, cautious, but yet direct.

It was from my first husbands, first girlfriend and fiancé.

They had been high school sweethearts over 25 years ago. I had never met her before in all of my time in Australia, nor being married for 19 years, and to be honest, never really heard much about her. Like all high school romances, I had thought it was left in the pages of their yearbook.

I don’t know why I didn’t see  her message before, maybe the timing wasn’t meant for me to see it then but a few things were at play that day. Let’s just say the stars were all aligning, but not in a glorious Milky Way moment, more like a catastrophic parade of meteorites heading for Planet Blonde.

I recognized her name from the past, and then realized that maybe she hadn’t known ‘our ex’ was no longer living. I felt obliged to contact her, and of course a little curious as this was literally a blast from his past, and from all accounts, nothing to do with me.

However, the second reason was because her words were chillingly close to the bone, as to how accurate her description of what had happened to me over 19 years of marriage, reflected in what she had claimed to be her experience.

Her name was A, she typed thru messenger. She hoped I was all right, that my daughter was ok, and that she had been concerned all these years for my safety. She had hoped he had turned into a good man; and the last line, ‘she had been plagued all her life worrying for me and what she hoped I had not gone thru’.

The surreal part is I received this in late 2015, yet he had died 3 years previous and secondly a lot of work has gone into my growth and moving on.So why now, why after all these years did it have to come back.  I had managed to put all of the past behind me. But here is the rub, the past can’t be put to rest until you deal with it…all of it.

So, with a heavy heart, I have to bring back the past in order for me to succeed in my present.

Please note, I AM not a victim, I AM a survivor, I AM that daughter, I AM that divorcee, I AM that widower, I AM this strong, I AM a body of those experiences.

If this is not spoken about and I AM not able to share my experiences,as dark as they may be then how can I help someone out there who is going thru the exact circumstances and is overwhelmed in their isolation and can’t see their way out?

Maybe that SMS was a sign to say hey, you have had plenty of time to let others know, to help those when others doubt them.  For I have been doubted, called a liar, blamed and yet still had to grovel for those peoples affections.  Yes, it is hurtful to read but not as painful as receiving it.  And without my truth, that this happened to me, then how are we going to stand up for ourselves and say, enough is enough?

I to have had all this pain and not to be able to show others that pain just equals more pain.  Hurt people hurt people, sad people share sadness all the time.  I am here to share knowledge, personal experience and how to grow from it without the guilt or societies branding.

So please, bare witness, but don’t bare sadness, or despair, read for hope, truth and knowing that we are not alone.

My Living Hell

I was groomed from an early age. Trust has never been my strong suit.

Groomed from an early age by my uncle Herbie, from what I can recall 8yrs old to finally having the strength to stop him at the age of 16.

My mother knew, I told her over many years; her response was to get drunk and chase me with an axe thru my bedroom door, beat me or burn me. I have all scars to prove it, outwardly and inwardly.

Thankfully my stepfather had put locks on my door only a few weeks before the big finale, or it could have gotten really ugly. I left that day and didn’t look back for nearly 25 years!

To say my childhood environment reflected what was going on behind the scenes was the sinister part, for the house was always clean, there was food and I was clothed. My mother’s attention to detail, her fantastic taste in design and her immaculate presentation of her many houses did not reflect the pain.

There was pain, a lot of it. From beatings after school, to burns on my body, my mother’s drunken ranting’s were always followed with beatings, pulling hair, being punched or kicked. Accusing me of sleeping with her second husband, let’s just say the list does get bigger but you get the general idea. And the end result was always the same; she couldn’t remember that she had done it. Here is where the ‘blame game’ starts. I felt responsible for every punch, every bruise and every grooming experience. I blamed myself for the treatment my ‘family’ gave me. After all it was me who made them do what they did, right?

I know, I don’t look like anything could have happened to me. But it did, they did it and then  I blamed myself for it happening…every single day. But I left that behind; I put it in my past and just walked away. Dusted myself off, and made way for my future, a bright one. I wanted my life to be so bright like a glowing ball of sunshine, that anyone who came near me would feel my radiant glow of love and not want to hurt me. I wanted that so much.

The problem was though; that my past was still there and my first hand knowledge of ‘love’ was that it came from either a fist or a fuck.

The lady at the other end of that SMS was not to know that she had opened my Pandora’s box. Please note, it wasn’t her fault, she has had her own battles all her life, and I hope she can be at ease now, and know that I am thankful for her strength in reaching out.

I was 21 when I married. Looking back a child bride. He was from the other side of the world, a world away from rejection, ignorance and plain hate. Or so I thought.

My next 19 years were to be a repeat performance of my childhood. Physical and emotional abuse. The thing is bruises heal but words; words stay forever in your mind. And he was great with his words.

But one day those words didn’t hurt anymore, the sting in them was still there, but the indifference to them had set in. I was realizing my self-worth in the phrases of a childhood nursery rhyme, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me’.

And so I left, again. I AM that mother who left her children with that hu-MAN, this will always be my guilt and sadness. At the time all I could think about was my survival and once that was established, then I was in a place that I could save us all. Sadly it hasn’t been that way.

Since this woman contacted me, I have had to regroup and look at all of my actions that led me into these situations.

I AM not accountable to those steps that were laid down for me by those who failed me in my past. I take great responsibility in creating new steps, with big giant leaps.

I chased those demons down and fought thru it, but not without help. Help came in strange ways and also in undeniable, downright spiritual ways too. As soon as I had decided that enough was enough, those train doors started to slide open and the boogeyman wasn’t there anymore.

I AM now well informed about what I will stand for in my life. Who I let be near me, and how I want to be treated. Simply. With Love

The night before I left my yet again abusive situation, I sat down outside on the steps and wrote down on a tiny piece of paper what I wanted out of my life. Not what I owe someone, not what I can do for them to make them happy but what I needed for me to fulfil my journey.  I realised that if you are truly loved, then the above doesn’t happen to you, if it is happening then get the hell out.  Find a way.  It’s all scary, but the scariest part is that you could still be there.

Dear Lxo

I AM in LOVE, I AM strong, I AM happy, I AM a rebel, I AM a traveller, I AM empowered, I AM a cougar, I AM raw, I AM an Artist,  I AM that Mother and my door is always open.

I AM this WOMAN, and the past is now just that…

My 11 Affirmations to Warrior Heaven – Forever Strong in Love †

 

**If you are a victim of #childabuse, #sexualassault, #parentalalienation, #domesticviolence #incest #mentalabuse #physicalabuse please reach out, to someone, anyone, me….

The more we  can bring awareness and stop the taboo of talking about these subjects the more the ‘System of Silence Stops.

LXO