Thursday, January 31, 2008

Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics Played Major Roles In My Recovery From Incest

"Facing the past as it may surface in my life today doesn't mean I have to stay stuck in it. I can let the healing power of the program (Al-Anon) help me feel my old, buried emotions and then put them where they belong---in the past. Coming to terms with my history and letting go of it does not deny what happened. Instead, it allows me to enjoy today and to move into the future, unencumbered by the weight of ancient emotions." p. 27, Hope for Today, Al-Anon Family Groups, hope for families and friends of alcoholics, 2002.

Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) played a major part in my recovery process. Thanks to both of these groups the full flood gates of memories and words opened for me. For the first time in my life, I started talking about the incest. I learned to be honest and vulnerable with myself and others thanks to those two groups.

If I had to pick just one piece of advice to give to other survivors, it would be to find a support group that is open to listening to you talk about your experiences. Talk it all out until it is out in the open and out of your body. We carry so much of the abuse in our thoughts and in our bodies. Sometimes the body even carries memories that we have forgotten or denied.

I talked about the abuse for several years before my feelings returned. In talking, I learned to let myself trust myself and others. Trust is a really big issue with incest survivors.

Some people probably thought that I would never shut up about the abuse. Talking was what I needed to do. Others do not realize the pressure of being silent when you are hurting. I was like a pressure cooker waiting to explode. I believe that pressure cooker feeling is why some of the abused go on to abuse. I don't state that as an excuse. There are way too many of us who don't become abusers. What I have learned is that most of those who become abusers were abused themselves as children.

Most of the people in my groups were patient enough and loving enough to not make judgments and to listen to me as I talked it all out into the Light. Some weren't as patient or even kind. What I discovered was that most of the people that were impatient with me talking about the incest had their own unresolved issues that they were in denial of. When you are in denial, it makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to listen compassionately to others talk about their issues.

For awhile, my words flowed out of me like a run-away flood washing over everything in its path. I had held the words in for so long, they had to reach a crest before they could be controlled. Al-Anon and ACA were safe places for me to do that. Thanks to the safeness of talking with those people, I started to feel again. One particular Al-Anon meeting I remember going to and telling everyone that I didn't want to say anything that night, I just wanted to cry. Because of their generosity of spirit, I cried for the whole hour. I will always be grateful to those two groups for the release of words and feelings that they allowed me to do.

While I was going to meetings, I was also reading and absorbing all of the new ways of looking at my world. I learned new ideas such as detachment, trust and acceptance. I learned about denial and enabling. I learned how to take care of myself and that I had needs. I learned that control is only an illusion. I was so out of control that the more I tried to control my world and everything in it, the more out of control I became. I learned about progress, not perfection. I learned about a God of my understanding that loved me unconditionally and was ok with me being angry at Him.

Some of the Al-Anon slogans that I learned to use that helped me release old patterns of behavior were:
Let go and let God.
Easy does it.
First things first.
Just for today.
One day at a time.
Keep an open mind.
Live and let live.
Listen and learn.
Let it begin with me.

All of these slogans provided me with necessary tools to make changes in me. I also learned that I couldn't change anybody else. I learned to take responsibility for my own life and most important of all I learned that I had choices.

The night that I really got the message that I could make choices started out with me wanting to go to an Al-Anon meeting and I couldn't find a ride to take me to the meeting. I didn't drive yet. That was still a few years away. I realized that I had the choice to stay home or I could choose to hire a taxi to take me to the meeting. I called and asked what it cost and then gave them my address. I went to the meeting with a smile on my face. I had taken my life into my own hands that night with a really small decision to call a taxi. It was a small event with enormous dividends. For the first time, I really got that I could make choices and not be afraid.

The last three weeks, I have gone to an Al-Anon meeting with a friend of mine. She wanted to go but didn't want to go on her own. I agreed. I told the group on Wednesday night that I was glad that she had asked me to go with her. It feels like I am home. I feel such gratitude for the individuals of Al-Anon that were there for me when I didn't know who I was and didn't know that I was capable of making decisions on my own. I didn't know that I had choices. You can't imagine the freedom that comes with knowing you can make choices unless you have been there. My thanks go out to Al-Anon and ACA for being a major part in my recovery. I can truthfully say that Al-Anon and ACA saved my life, my sanity, and my marriage.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Stories Are A Point Of Reference

I got an email yesterday from a blogger friend, Deb Estep. I asked if I could share what she wrote to me. She said yes, so here it is.

"Hi Patricia,

This comment that you left at Andrea's blog is SO VERY HUGE to helping ME understand you, and every thing you write about on you blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have read about your being abused, and I will have to say that there have been moments when I have wondered .... IS Patricia stuck back there? PLEASE understand I've not thought that in a judgmental way, but one of concern for you.

I am wondering IF you might consider adding all these words to your ABOUT YOU page. I really think it is critical for a blog reader who might land on your blog, via a web search and then go check out your about page to learn more about you.

IT certainly was VERY critical information in helping me understand you... my friend. :)))))))


Here is what Deb wanted me to add to my About Me page:

"My stories are just a point of reference for who I am today. I don't go around identifying myself as all of my experiences. Before I started blogging, I had even stopped calling myself an Incest Survivor because that wasn't who I was any longer. I only do it now as a point of reference to offer what I have learned about myself because of the incest to others who might need the hope and the love that I have learned. We are all so much more than our experiences can define us as."

Thanks, Deb for your concern and for believing in me enough to reach out and tell me what you felt and thought. It says so much about the kind person that you are. I decided to share this in a post as well as put it in my About Me page. Deb has a blog of her own called Deb_Inside that you will find at .

My comment that caused Deb to write her comment to me you will find at the blog of Andrea Hess in the comment section of her article called "What's Your Story" found at . You will find an informative discussion in the comments at the end of the article that is well worth reading too.

My friend, Slade Roberson wrote his own article from his thoughts from Andrea's article. You will find Slade's article at . Slade's article is called "Spinning Your Story". Slade, thanks for the encouragement and support that you always give to me.

One of the best benefits of writing this blog has been the wonderful friends and readers that I have met through my writing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Blame Keeps You Stuck---Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series---Part 7

The Doubleday Dictionary For Home, School, and Office gives the definition of blame as:

1. To accuse of fault;
2. To find fault with; reproach;
3. To hold responsible for something undesirable.

Blame can keep you stuck in the abuse in two ways.

When I was a child and a young adult, I didn't tell anyone about the incest because I thought they would blame me and say the abuse was my fault. I was so afraid of being judged as bad that I kept the secret inside of me for many years after the abuse stopped.

In many ways, I was told that women were sex objects that drew the abuse to them. I didn't know any different. I grew up believing the there was something really, really wrong with me or men wouldn't treat me that way. I never thought I was pretty so that couldn't be what drew the abuse to me. I thought that there was something about me that was just inherently bad. I didn't know that I didn't deserve to be treated that way.

Today, I know better. Today, I have healthy boundaries. Today, I know that incest and child abuse in any form are never the fault of the child. Today, I know that the shame lies with the abuser, not the abused. Today, I have self-love and self-respect so that is how others treat me.

Another way to let blame keep you stuck in the abuse is when you make blaming your life story. You can get so caught up in what happened to you that you live in the past or you recreate it in your present by the choices that you make. If you are actively playing the victim role, you invite people into your life who will abuse you. What you expect from life, Life gives you. People will treat you the exact way that you expect them to.

Yes, I was sexually abused as a child. Yes, my abuser was at fault. Yes, I can make better choices in my life today. Yes, I can choose to walk away from people who want to abuse me today. Yes, I can build a better life for myself than I had as a child. Yes, I can allow hope, love and joy into my life. Yes, I can refuse to be a victim any longer. Yes, I can forgive myself and, if I choose, I can also forgive my abusers.

Are any of these stories who I am today? No, I am not my story. I can use my story to help others if I choose to. I am. We all are so much more than our stories can ever tell. Don't let blaming keep you stuck in the abuse any longer.

I have been reading and commenting at some great blogs this week. I am going to share those with you today. I hope that you check them out and meet the wonderful people behind these blogs:

Andrea Hess writes an article called "What's Your Story" found at

Slade Roberson wrote an article called "The Stories That No Longer Serve You" found at

Matthew Spears at Loving Awareness wrote an article called "The Essence of Compassion Part 2" found at

SANCTUARY FOR THE ABUSED has an article called "Blame: One Painful Way of Defeating Yourself" found at . This is the January 2008 edition.

There are two Blog Carnivals that I also want to share with you:

Carnival Against Child Abuse---You will find the current carnival at . This is the January 2008 edition.

Carnival Against Sexual Violence 39---You will find the January 15, 2008 edition of this carnival at

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Surrender---Using A God Box

I recently read an article called How To Eliminate Worry written by Andrea Hess and found at .

I left a comment:
"Many years ago, a friend told me about her God Box. You make or use any box of your choice. You can decorate it all pretty or leave it plain. Mine was actually a metal can that I had and liked. What do you do with the box? When you have something that worries you, write it on a piece of paper. Fold the paper and put it in your God Box. Then you let go and ask God to handle it. At the end of the year, you get your God Box and read all of the pieces of paper that are in the Box. You will be surprised at how many are no longer problems simply because you let go of them and let God handle the problem."

Andrea's comment back to me:
"Patricia - I love that image of a 'God Box.' What I always am concerned about, though, is that fine line between appropriate surrender, and abdicating our responsibility as Creator of our experience. Any thoughts?"

My comment, in answer to Andrea's question:
"Andrea, I do believe in taking the appropriate action on my part before putting my problem in the God Box. I believe in taking responsibility for being a Co-Creator (with God) of my reality. Putting something in my God Box is so that I give God the space to do his part rather than worrying it to death and creating the opposite of what I want. The God Box gets ego out of the way. It stops any obessive behaviors from getting out of hand. Worry just makes the situation worse. Once it goes in the God Box, I am able to stop the worry. First, I do my part, then I turn it over to God for the results."

That is the end of my comments with Andrea. I did tell her that I would be doing this article. I have intended to do it for some time. This is one gift that I would like to share with my readers that was given to me by my friend Kathy White. Some of you have read about Kathy and may remember her name from one of my early articles called The Most Influencial Person---#3---Recovery. To read more about Kathy go to
This article is dedicated to her memory. The idea of doing a God Box is probably the best gift that Kathy ever gave me. It helped teach me the idea of surrender.

For an incest survivor, the idea of surrender is a difficult one to even think about, much less do. Surrender takes a lot of trust which incest survivors are usually short on. Surrender doesn't mean playing victim and doing nothing. It means doing whatever you can, in your power, to solve a problem and then surrendering or turning over the results to God. That is where the God Box comes in.

The process that I take in using my God Box is to do the necessary action to solve whatever my problem is, then write it down on a small piece of paper. Fold the paper and put it in my God Box. Say a prayer asking God to handle the results. Put the God Box away and forget about it until the next problem comes up. Then the process starts all over again. At the end of the year, you take out your God Box, open it and read all of the small pieces of paper that you put into it during the year. You will have forgotten some of the problems totally. Others you will remember, how once you got ego out of the way, the problems seem to just disappear. Others may still be something that is a problem. Put it back into the Box. Don't take it out of God's hands.

I haven't actually used my God Box in a long time. I surrender things a lot easier than I used to. Today I simply say a prayer and turn it over to God. The God Box was just a tool that I used to teach me to surrender and to trust God and myself.

My first year of using a God Box, I wasn't very good at surrender. I only put 4 things in it. The second year, I was a little better and had over 40 items in my God Box at the end of the year. The third year, I either did pretty good or had more problems or both. I had over 100 items that I released to God that year.

The God Box is a great tool for learning about surrender. It also taught me that I didn't have to carry everything on my shoulders. I am not in control of the world. I am not even in control of my little bit of the world. Guess what? The world didn't fall apart because I was able to surrender control. Control could be a whole other article. Not today.

Kathy, thanks for teaching me about surrendering and God Boxes.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Faith Is A Knowing

"Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive." Matthew 21:22

"Faith is not believing that God can,
it is knowing that God will." - a wall plaque that I read this week in the home of a new friend.

I guess that I have always had faith in God, according to the two quotes above. Even as a small child, I knew He existed and was in my heart. To me, He was never "out there". He was never separate from me. I came into this life knowing this. I used to question this knowing. I have decided that it was a gift that I brought forward into this lifetime, a gift that I no longer question.

Do you have any knowings that have always been with you? You don't know why or how they came to be with you. They just are. These knowings are real and unshakeable.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

With Love, Man Is God--- Sathya Sai Baba

The book With Love Man Is God is written by Samuel H. Sandweiss, M. D., Birth Day Publishing Company, San Diego, California, USA, 2004.

"A Word To The Reader
Sai Baba is referred to as Sathya Sai Baba, Sai Baba, Sai, Baba, and Swami. The Sanskrit word Sathya means absolute truth, Sai means divine mother, and Baba mean divine father. Swami is a name of respect and affection."

As Doctor Sandweiss does, most devotees, including me, use these names interchangeably.

page 141, "Swami then asked, 'Do you think I am God?' . . . . . Swami continued, 'Yes, I am God, and so are you! There is no difference.' Swami went on to say, 'I did not come here for you to worship me. Worship God in any form or in the formless, as you choose, but worship Him fully.' . . ."

This is one of the things that I love about Sathya Sai Baba. He doesn't insist that his way is the only way. He doesn't insist that he is God and we are below him. He says we are equals. The difference, as he points out, is that he remembers that he is God and we have forgotten. He wants us to remember. He knows that there is more than one path to God. He says whether we are Christian, Buddhist, Muslem, Mormon or members of any other religion doesn't matter. They are all paths to God. Somewhere I read that Swami says all religions lead to God. He tells us to take whatever path is necessary for us to reach God.

page 24, "I soon learned that in response to his devotees' many questions, he (Sathya Sai Baba) directs us to look inside ourselves for answers. To the most pressing question, 'Who are you?' he answers, 'How can you know who I am when you don't even know who you are? When you know who you are, you will know everything.' When asked if he is God, he gives an extraordinary answer, 'Yes, and so are you; you are also divine! The difference is that I know it and you do not. Look inside and find your divine nature.' "

Most of us do not know who we are. For me, that is the most important searching of my life, to find out who am I. It is an ongoing journey for me. I catch glimpses. On my first trip to India, I had my first three day migraine. Nothing I did or my friends did would make it go away. In desparation, I sat up in the early morning hours and started a conversation in my head with Swami. What he told me was that the headache would go away when he was ready and not before. (Illnesses are usually part of the healing process that goes on for devotees when they first arrive at the ashram. It is a way of releasing karma.) At that point, I stopped struggling and went with the flow. At one point, I asked if the conversation and the voices were just part of my imagination or was the conversation really happening. I am a bit of a sceptic. The voice said, "It does not matter. All voices are mine." All voices are those of God because we are all God. Later, that day the migraine went away. I believe it happened because I stopped resisting the process.

page 32, "In the history of mankind, there have been those glorious moments when God has responded to the prayers of the good and has granted peace and safety to the forlorn. An Avatar appears who protects and saves, as voiced by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita 5,000 years ago. 'Whenever disharmony overwhelms the world, the Lord will incarnate in human form to establish the modes of earning peace and to re-educate the human community in the paths of peace.' It has happened again."

My understanding of the word Avatar is that it means that God comes to earth in human form to remind us of who we are. Krishna, Rama and Sai Baba are all known as Avatars in India. My first experience of Krishna was during my first visit to India. We were at Kodaikanal, a mountain station south of Bangalore. Swami often goes there during the hottest days of the Indian summers. At the time, Swami did not have an ashram built in Kodaikanal. We sat outside of his residence for darshan twice a day. Usually you sit in line for one to three hours waiting for Swami to come out of his residence for darshan. I like to do two activities while I am waiting. I love to watch the women and children surrounding me. I have always been an avid people watcher.

The other activity is to meditate. During one of those meditations, this figure with a huge, swirling, black cape was suddenly surrounding me completely in his energy. I immediately decided that the dark energy must mean that doom and gloom were coming my way in the near future. I told Swami that with his help, I would handle whatever came my way. I didn't tell anyone about this disturbing meditation until a few days later.

We were blessed on this trip to have an older Indian friend with us on this trip. Ma, as she asked all of us to call her, had been a devotee of Krishna before she became a Sai devotee. As she shared her experiences with Krishna, she mentioned his black energy. That is when I told her about my meditation experience. She told me that I was also a Krishna devotee and that he was back in my life. After a sigh of relief (no doom and gloom), I was happy to be open to more experiences with Krishna. The next day, Swami even gave his approval. He was talking to a lady who had a black eye. She had been stung by a bee. Swami asks her, "Bee Black?" What I heard him say was "Be black." He was telling me, through his conversation with another woman that it was ok and not to be afraid to be open to the Krishna energy. Swami often has conversations like this one where he is talking to all who hear his words. We each get what we need out of the overheard conversations. This is part of his magic. He truly speaks to all of us if we would only listen.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

This Is The Year That My Dreams Come True!

The Daily Word for January 1, 2008 says "This is the year that my dreams come true! This is the year! These words from a beloved poem invite me to eagerly welcome the new year: 'Wonderful, wonderful, fortunate you, This is the year that your dreams come true!'
This is the year that my dreams do come true as I am blessed with life-celebrating opportunities. Some at first may appear to be happenstance. Yet I know that they have come to me by divine appointment.
This is the year that expectations flow from my vision of good. I am an active participant in the joy-filled life of me!
This is the year that I move forward with zeal and enthusiasm, giving and receiving, committing to purposeful, rewarding goals.
This is the year that brings happiness, a year that I will live to bless. Wonderful, wonderful, fortunate me, for this is the year that my dreams come true!"

Today in church was my third time this week to run across this poem. In addition to church and reading the above message on January 1, a friend also emailed me this poem in a New Year's Day card. I decided to write about the significance of this poem to me. It holds a special place in my heart because it was the favorite poem of my dear friend Carol Ann Meadows.

Carol was the person that introduced me to the concept of Master Minding. Four of us got together and formed a Master Mind Group. We would read the poem (I will have to find a copy of the whole poem and share it here later.) to remind us that anything is possible with the help of God and a positive attitude. Before this week, I had not been reminded of this poem since our last Master Mind group met the week before Carol died on December 1, 2005. I can hear Carol's voice as she recited this poem. She believed it with all of her heart. She believed that we create every single part of our world. She is the one who taught me about Unity.

All I can say is, "Ok, Carol, you have my attention." I know that this year will be the one that I create for myself. I know that 2008 is truly going to be the glorious year that I have been wishing for everyone including myself. It is more than a wish. It is a reality that I choose to create. Does that mean there will be no challenges? Not at all. Challenges are how we grow. So have a glorious 2008, I intend to.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Seven Random And Weird Things

I was tagged by Andrea Hess at Empowered Soul found at .

Before I share my seven weird things about me that you don't know, here are the rules of this game of tag:

1. Link to the person's blog who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. List seven random and or weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog.

Here are my seven random and weird things about me that you might now know:

1. I played the french horn in fifth and seventh grades---these are the only two years that I signed up for Band. I was never any good and was always the last chair. I love anything to do with music.

2. I have a weird sense of humor that can sometimes lean toward being sarcastic or mischievous. I love the mischievous little imp that peaks her head out sometimes. I have learned to control the sarcasm so no one gets hurt by it.

3. My dream is to one of these days go up in a hot air balloon even though I am afraid of heights. I will probably spend most of the ride sitting in the bottom of the basket holding on for dear life with a white knuckled grip on the nearest object or person. The idea of the rising above the world in a hot air balloon seems like the ultimate idea of flying free. I love feeling the wind blowing in my face.

4. I have always wanted to see Alaska and Australia. When I was a kid, I read all of Jack London's books about Alaska. My favorite book (by another author) was Silver Chief, Dog of the North. I am not sure exactly why I am attracted to Australia. I do know I love the spoken accent. Maybe it was a past life in both places.

5. I spent a lot of my early childhood years living with my maternal grandmother and my Uncle Albert who lived with her. They took care of each other. I got the whooping cough when I was two years old. The doctor told my parents that I needed to be separated from them so that my baby brother wouldn't get it too. I went to stay with my Grandma and Uncle Albert. I remember, as young as I was, the coughing attacks that I thought would never end. Uncle Albert spent some time in Army during World War II. One of my favorite memories of him was every morning he would drink his coffee in what I now know is how they drank it in England. He would pour his coffee from his cup into his saucer and blow on it to cool it before drinking it. He would always try to share his coffee with me but I thought it was too bitter at the time. I was probably spoiled rotten by the two of them.

6. The first Christmas that I remember was when I was five years old. My Grandma helped me write out a list of what I wanted from Santa Claus. We pinned the note to the couch. The next morning the list was gone and everything that I had asked for was there next to the couch. The only thing that I remember that was on the list was a play iron and ironing board that I got.

7. I am terrified of flying in an airplane. A part of me says that there is no way that an airplane can fly. They are too big and too heavy. I would have been one of those people that laughed at the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. (Hey, maybe I was there. There's my weird sense of humor coming out.) My first airplane flight lasted 22 hours---my first trip to India in 1998.

Andrea, thanks, I really enjoyed coming up with this list. Here's my random list of seven bloggers that I am tagging:

1. Slade Roberson at Shift Your Spirits and Spiritual Blogging found at .
Slade, I told you that I would tag you. (That mischievous sense of humor of mine at work.)

2. Deb Estep at Deb_Inside found at .

3. Matthew Spears at Loving Awareness found at .

4. Albert Foong at Urban Monk found at .

5. Stephen Hobson at Adversity University found at .

6. Craig Harper found at .

7. Vitor Bosshard at Fractal Forest found at .

Writing this list has been fun. I hope each of my seven people that I tagged will join me in the fun.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2007 In Review

I have been thinking about this article for a couple of days deciding exactly what I wanted to include. 2007 has been such a wonderful/difficult year full of emotions and challenges, full of new friendships and letting go of old friendships, moving forward and looking backward.

If I had to come up with one word to envelope the entire year, it would have to be compassion. I ended the year with joining a meme on Survivor Needs inspired by Marj aka Thriver over at . I also wrote a recent article called Compassion, The Ultimate Act of Love as a part of the Spread the Love Now! Group Writing Project sponsored by The Three Monks. You can check out their blogs by going to my article at . You can also check out my other two articles that I wrote about compassion by clicking on the word Compassion under Categories on the right side of the blog page. For those of you who are receiving this as an email, you will need to visit my blog at . If you haven't actually visited my blog, please do so.

What have I written about on my blog this year?

The categories with the most included in them are Influencial People which has six articles, each written about someone special in my life. If you haven't read any of these articles, you are missing out by not meeting these people who have played a very important part in me becoming who I am today.

Another category which has the most number of articles is that of gratitude. Again, click on the word Gratitude under Categories on the right side of the blog page. Gratitude is a very important subject to me. It is one of the things that keeps me grounded, connected and humble. There has always been something that I could find to be grateful for in my life even at the lowest points. An Attitude of Gratitude is a great way to live your life. Nothing can keep you down for long when you are in a place of feeling grateful. Why look at what you don't have, when you can be grateful for what you do have. I believe it is especially important to acknowledge the people that you are grateful to. People are the ones that make the difference. Gratitude is a much more joyful place to be than the victim role. Even when I am in the middle of emotional turmoil, as I have been for the past two months, I can still find that I am grateful for the challenges of life because their presence means that I am growing.

The most important and most difficult articles that I have written this year are those from my Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series. There are eight articles posted in that series. Those eight plus eight others are also included under the Category Incest. These are the articles that I have used to revisit my past, my childhood with all of its emotional turmoil of fear, rage, sadness and tears.

Why would I choose to revisit and stir up all of that?
Revisiting that gives me the opportunity to share all of the ways that I have healed from the childhood of abuse. Revisiting that gives me the opportunity to open the eyes of others that might be closed to the abuse of a child that they know. I also get the opportunity to share with other survivors the hope for their own healing and a compassion that can only come from someone who has been there. When you know that someone else has shared your journey, the words of compassion and caring mean so much more. Some people will tell you to just get over it without realizing, if it were that easy, we would have done it long ago.

That brings me to my next group of articles that you will find under the Category of Forgiveness. You will find six articles listed under Forgiveness that I wrote in 2007. I am so grateful that I have reached a point in my life that I could actually do true forgiveness. Some people never reach that point. For them, they are ok with not doing forgiveness. I hope that by sharing my own journey through to forgiveness that maybe someone else can reach that step. I recently read an article written by another sexual abuse survivor that was still in that "I am too rageful to want to do anything except hurt (KILL) my abusers." I remember being in that place myself. Then I was in a place of not knowing how to forgive and beating myself up for not being able to do it. Don't abuse yourself because you aren't there yet. It took me over thiry years to get there. Hopefully by sharing my journey to forgiveness, someone else can get there in less time than I did.

My highlight of the year, you will find written about in the articles under the Category of India. I was blessed with the abundance to financially be able to take a trip to India September 24-October 15, 2007. This was my third trip to India to visit Sathya Sai Baba. Some time in 2008, I will write some more articles on my visit and some background about Sai Baba for my readers that know nothing about this great spiritual teacher. Some of you will say, but you call yourself a Christian. Yes, I do. I don't see any conflict of interest there. Being a Sai Baba devotee enhances my Christian beliefs. Sai Baba himself says for us to stay home and worship God in whatever form we are comfortable with. He says we are all God. He remembers more about being God than we do. We all have the same ability to live life to its fullest, if we just remember Who we are.

Looking back through the year that this blog has been in existence, I have decided to choose some of my favorite articles to share with you. You will find a list of your favorites listed to the right on the blog page listed under Most Popular Posts. These are my favorites from each month.

My very first article that I posted on this blog was on June 1, 2007. The title of my favorite article for June 2007 was Three Of My Past Life Experiences. You will find it posted at . This one is your least favorite. I know it really stretches the beliefs of a lot of people. When I wrote the article, I knew it would. I even said as much in the article. All I ask is that you be willing to be open to the possibility of past lives and reincarnation. That is all any of us can do with new experiences. I didn't always believe in reincarnation. My views over the past ten years have changed.

During July, I built on my Favorite People series of articles with writing articles 2-5. It would be difficult for me to choose which of those is my favorite. I love them all. Your favorite was #4 which I called The Most Influencial Person---#4---Birth Of A Dream which I wrote as a tribute to my friend Slade Roberson who gave me the encouragement and know how to start this blog in the first place. The book, The Secret, was very popular at this time also because it touched on The Law Of Attraction which is still very popular on the internet. I wrote several articles on The Secret during July. The first of those articles and probably my favorite for July was The Secret---Loving Yourself which you will find at .

August started with the article What Good Will You Allow God To Do Through You? which you will find at . This was the month that I started writing my Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series. This series started out with a warning. Warning: Reading the following series may be injurious to your peace of mind. They are intended to be. Without knowledge, we cannot prevent child abuse from happening. Go beyond this point at your own risk. Join me for the painful, frightening, emotional, freeing journey. I am very appreciative of your response to all of these articles. Your comments have told me that my purpose in writing these is being accomplished. How many more articles will be included in this series? At this point, I don't know. You will know as soon as I do. As long as the words continue to flow, the articles will come. Of course, that is true for the whole blog, isn't it?

In August, Priscilla Palmer started a monumental task of posting the names of the personal development blogs that existed on the internet. You will find her list posted at . I have found some really great blogs by going through her list.

Probably my favorite article that I wrote in August came from the inspiration of Carol Ann Meadows, a dear friend whose death on December 1, 2005, I was still grieving this December. The article is called What Other People Think About You Is None Of Your Business. You will find this article at .

In September, I was up to Part 5 of my Incest May Be A Part Of My Life Series writing about the effects of Family Secrets. I wrote Part 6 which was Mixed Emotions Keep The Hurt Alive and then didn't write any thing else until a week later. I had been posting articles on Wednesdays and Sundays before September 16. I wanted the next article to be about forgiveness. Forgiven Is For You, Not The Other Person is the most difficult post that I have written so far so I will call that my favorite for September. You will find this article at . The next article that I wrote practically wrote itself. I could hardly get the words typed fast enough after struggling so much with the first article on forgiveness. This article I called Prelude To Forgiveness. You can find it at . These two articles should probably be reversed in the order that they were written but the emotions needed to be felt by me in Forgiveness Is For You, Not The Other Person before I could write either article.

September ended in pre-travel jitters which I expressed in my first four articles about India and Sathya Sai Baba.

October began with me being in India with no assess to a computer. My first article for October was posted on October 20 less than a week after I got home from India. My favorite article in October was called Expectations---India Trip found at . For this article, I borrowed a journal article that I wrote on the 22-hour airplane flight to Bangalore, India on September 24. I wanted to share with my readers what my expectations of the trip were before hand and how much better was what the Universe created for me during the trip. You would be amazed at how many blessings can come from the most severe sinus infection that I have ever had. You will have to read my articles listed under the India Category to find out.

November was a month of revelation after revelation for me. Most of them I wrote about in my November articles. For those articles, you can click on November 2007 under Blog Archives on the right side of the page of my blog. It is a difficult decision to decide which is my favorite from First Darshan In The Ashram---India Trip, Let's Talk About Spirit Guides Teleconference With Andrea Hess and Slade Roberson, and Compassion Begins With Me. Just click on November 2007 and you can read all three. If you haven't checked out the blogs of Slade Roberson found at and Andrea Hess at http://www.empoweredsould/blog/ , please do. They are just two of the wonderful new friends that I have made online this year through blogging.

December brought me back to writing about my incest issues and back in touch with my feelings which I talked about in Cry When You Need To and Feelings. In December I won a drawing that Paula Kawal had on her blog . I wrote about that free session in the article Journey Within Coaching Session With Paula Kawal. That article gave me some relief from the emotional rollercoaster that I was experiencing in December. You will find that article at . Probably my favorite article that I wrote in December would probably be my shortest also. Are You Judging Others As Less Spiritual Than You? is found at . This is about a very valuable lesson that my husband and my higher self taught me several years ago.

I have completed 2007 with 3,246 views by readers of the 69 articles that I have written in the past six months of blogging. I have between 60-76 subscribers daily to my blog. I thank each and every one of you for subscribing or just visiting my blog. I know my figures are small and for the time that I have been blogging, I am pleased with the audience that I have slowly and steadily built around my blog. For me, 2007 has been a challenging year of completion. A friend of mine who is into numerology says that the year 2007 was a year of completion for everybody and that 2008 is a year of new beginnings. I look forward to 2008 with anticipation for what will come. I know that we will all have a glorious 2008. Thanks for sharing my journey.