Yesterday I gave my presentation, Victor not Victim, a Woman's journey away from abuse, to a group of victim advocates.
Yesterday, I found myself drifting back into that time, remembering facets of that journey I had forgotten until now.
But maybe not.
The mind is a powerful tool. It holds information, sifts through it, sorts it, stores it in disparate parts of the brain until such time as we can or cannot deal with it.
Last night, at the Dale Carnegie Course I take every Thursday evening, we had to give a 2 minute presentation on something we've accomplished that makes us proud of ourselves. I hadn't intended to use the writing of The Dandelion Spirit as my event, but found myself pulling it together into 2 minutes.
Last night, in giving my presentation, I gained clarity on why I talk about abuse, why I share my story, why I do what I do.
I want to make a difference. I want to inspire people to live beautiful lives today -- regardless of what brought them here.
In telling the story of my fall from grace, and my rising up from the ashes of that descent into hell to live my life passionately, fearlessly and freely today, I acknowledge that the past is gone. It's over. Finished. I can learn from it, grow from it, change from it -- but I cannot change the past. Utlimately, it is not the past that makes a difference in my life today. It's what I do today that makes the difference. It's who I am, how I live my life in this moment that creates the beautiful life I deserve.
When I was speaking with the group of victim advocates yesterday I told them about my experiences with the justice system and Corrections Canada. Everyone was superb, I told them. They supported me. Treated me with dignity. Gave me encouragement when I needed it, even when I didn't heed it. I told them about a police officer I met early on in that relationship the first time I tried to break free. He told me that what Conrad was doing wasn't love -- "Love shouldn't hurt so much you want to die," he said.
At the time, I didn't heed the officer's words. But they stayed with me. When I was released from that hell, his words surfaced and reminded me of the truth -- what Conrad had done had nothing to do with me, and nothing to do with love. What he had done wasn't about me. What I do, what I did at the time -- had everything to do with me. It was my responsibility to ensure that what I did was a reflection of me. It was my responsibility to heal so that I could live a life free of abuse -- and free of the fear that what was then could once again be now.
Three years after hearing them, that officer's words resonated. They gave me courage. They helped me make sense of something that didn't make sense at all.
I told the victim advocates yesterday that while it may seem the people with whom they work don't 'get it', they need to know that their words and what they do, has power. Their words resonate somewhere within each person with whom they speak. Their power may not manifest itself today, but somewhere down the road, that person will hear their words and feel encouraged, feel safe, feel understood.
When I write here, when I speak, I cannot know the impact of my words. I can only speak my truth and know that what I am doing is important for me. It is part of my purpose.
I want to make a difference.
I can't end abuse in someone else's life. I can't change an abuser from what he or she is doing. I can, however, end abuse in my life -- and I can live by my example. When I stand true to my principles, when I uphold my values and beliefs, I do not need to compromise on my truth. I do not need to conform to someone else's belief they know what is best for me.
In making a difference in my own life, I believe I inspire others to do the same. I believe I make a difference.
The question is: Where ae you holding onto the past for fear the present will never be different? do you make a difference in your life today?