When it comes to the end of every year, so many stop and ponder their last year and make resolutions and or plans for the new one. We all do it to some degree … I think. I do. Except this year, I am pondering past years – plural.
This morning I was messaging with a friend about healing from my past and it caused me to pause and really step back and take note at just how far I’ve come. For those who don’t know me well, my abuser was my own mother. She has not been in my life for 14 years. Abuse of any kind is an awful, awful thing. It can show us what evil looks like. But on the other side, it teaches us how painful it is and how painful it is to inflict that kind of pain on another soul, and this tends to, through healing and letting go, make us more compassionate, more empathetic and much less tolerant of any kind of abuse or wrongs done to people.
These are some of the things I’ve learned in my life – things that were painful to learn at the time, but has become wisdom that I now cherish greatly:
1. Love is not earned. It is not jealous or envious, nor does it keep a record of wrongs.
2. You cannot, no matter how hard you try, make someone love you. You just can’t.
3. Children need respect too.
4. Children are not owned, they are God-lent. He has a better plan for them than you do.
5. The tongue can speak life or it can speak death. Choose life.
6. Lying – as in being a false witness or defaming someone by lying – is NEVER okay.
7. Self-love is NOT the same as being selfish or self-centred.
8. Brutally ridiculing and or humiliating someone and then saying, “I’m just joking,” is NOT joking.
9. Berating someone will not make them change – it just makes them feel worse about themselves.
10. Belittling someone else makes you look worse than the person you’re belittling.
11. NO person is worthless.
12. Every person IS worthy of kindness.
13. Everyone deserves to be respected for the people they are, which does not always translate to respecting what they do.
14. Don’t expect people to be who they are not – accept them as they are, flaws and all.
15. No matter how much someone loves you, it does not mean that they will change to be who you want them to be.
16. Just because they are your kids does not mean you have the right to bully, manipulate, berate, humiliate or belittle them for any reason, especially for submission. They will lose all respect for you, maybe even hate you.
17. Sometimes, standing up for what is right can often leave us standing alone – and that’s an okay place to be – there is peace there.
18. Putting up with being abused repeatedly is never okay.
19. You have every right to defend yourself.
20. Sometimes it takes more strength to leave a bad situation/relationship than stay in one.
21. Be careful judging people – you can never know what they have been through that has made them who they are, or why they do the things they do.
22. Be kind – you have no idea what things people might be going through.
23. Lies, yours or others’ lies about you, can keep you in bondage.
24. There will be a lot of great loves in your life – but the one that counts is having God’s love. Jesus is the way. He is the only thing you can take with you into eternity.
25. The way to freedom from abuse is to start by telling at least one person. Just one. It will make all the difference in the world.
26. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will break my heart.” ~ unknown
27. Light and Truth expel darkness and lies.
28. In the absence of truth, lies reign.
29. Honouring one’s parents does not mean revering them while they abuse you.
30. Honouring one’s parents doesn’t mean they own you.
31. Honouring one’s parents does not mean you have to do everything they want you to do when you’re an adult.
32. “For most of my life, I believed that peace was the absence of conflict … ” – such a lie!!!!
33. “Make sure everybody in your ‘boat’ is rowing and not drilling holes when you’re not looking. Know your circle.” ~ unknown
34. Don’t waste your time living a life that someone else thinks you should be living.
35. Tell the truth, even if your voice shakes and your heart races.
36. “It doesn’t matter if someone shoots you down consciously or unconsciously … you still die inside.” ~ Jay Carter
37. Love has power in it … it binds, not tears; it emancipates, not incarcerates. ~ Risé Brette
38. If you’re going to apologize – own it, don’t mess it up with an excuse. (i.e. ‘yeah, but you did ….’) If it has ‘yeah, but you …’ in it – it is not an apology!
39. “Moving on doesn’t mean you’ve stopped caring; it means you can’t change it.” ~ Rick Warren
40. “By plucking her petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore
41. “Sometimes you just have to stop watering silk flowers.” ~ unknown
42. How lies permeate whole families: “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will all believe it.” Adolph Hitler said that.
43. “Real love is when you can make really stupid mistakes – and you’re still loved, still wanted … and that is freaking amazing to me!! … As a child I was conditioned to believe that if you made mistakes, it meant rejection, it meant ‘no love for you.’ … Core lies – not the truth you thought it was.” ~ Risé Brette
44. You will learn more about someone more by their actions than their words. Weigh the words with their actions … actions always, always speak the loudest. Words can be lies, actions tend to reflect truth.
45. Emotional abuse in one sentence: “The combination of frozen shoulder towards you while they’re being overly kind to the rest of the world” – Johan
46. I used to second guess EVERYTHING I did as a wife and mother, I was always on guard to not repeat the heritage of abuse passed on to me … but as the healing took root, I came to feel much more confident as a wife and a mom … and as a woman.
47. Be careful how to treat people, especially kids … your actions say everything. Attempt at all costs for your words and actions to be in sync. They count.
48. Never make promises you don’t intend to keep or can’t keep!
49. Betraying someone’s confidence is never ever okay.
50. Love is a verb, an action word … love is something you do regardless of how you feel.
And here is a quote that I hope to live more and more as we head into 2014:
“Today, a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.” ~ Ninon de Lencios
Abuse can steal an awful lot from you leaving you destitute and broken, but breaking away from it, with God by your side, blesses you with so much more – He restores and mends the broken places and so much wisdom is gained from tearing down the lies and replacing them with truth, especially His truth … and I don’t know about you, but I am going to move into 2014 as if its inviting me to cherish it. I hope it shows.
May your New Year be full of hope of goodness and beauty and wonderment!
~ Saoirse Quill