It's never too late to begin the healing process from childhood sexual abuse. It's never too early to fall in love with the person God created you to be. Long ago someone made a choice to take away your innocence, but today that someone can't touch your freedom to heal.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Hardest Word

"I don't know what else to say." She said. The confusion in her aging gray eyes surrendered. "I'm sorry."

"That's all I ever wanted to hear...all I ever wanted from you." She responded as she brushed away her tears and the final traces of mascara from her eyes. Her fingers, once clenched, began to relax. Emotions that had once held her captive began to loosen their grip. And she was another step closer to becoming the woman she was meant to be, empowered by a five letter word spoken in love.

I think Elton John made a valid observation of human nature in his song hit song entitled: "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word."

I've made an observation as I've listened to the hearts of survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The word sorry, spoken by those who were in a position to protect the victim (mother, father, older sibling, grandparent, etc...), seems to be a healing word, even if the one in position to protect had no idea the abuse had occurred until years later in the survivor's life. I'm sorry, offered in complete sincerity, can say more than any excuse given.

I'm sorry says: I regret that I wasn't there to protect you. You deserved to be protected. I mourn with you. What happened was wrong. I believe you.

We may not always be there for the ones we love when they need us. In fact, we won't. We can't; it's not humanly possible. But we can sit with them, look into their eyes with tears in our own, and help them take another step toward healing. Sorry doesn't have to be the hardest word.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Next Thing

She had buried two husbands. I thought she had something to say about how to survive through grief so I listened.

"Do the next thing." She said. "That's what you do. Each day you just do the next thing."

I thought her advice was too simplistic, almost cold to those hurting in her midst. Yet who am I to argue with a woman who has buried two husbands when I haven't buried one. I'm not that stupid and hopefully not that arrogant.

Grief stinks! I've smelled enough of it in my life to know I don't ever want to smell it again, but I don't have that option. To live life is to encounter grief. Whether it's death, the loss of a dream, or childhood innocence, grief comes in all forms, shapes, and sizes. It shows up when I least expect it, and makes me want to run for cover, push it away, ignore its existence, or do anything but look into its ugly face.

But there's the other side of grief. It's what happens when the tears begin to decrease and healing comes into view. Then I realize that grief, although disguised as a villain, isn't really the ugly schmuck I've perceived it to be. The stench of grief dissipates and like the air after a spring rain, it beckons me to take another breath. Grief is a healer.

I don't know what you're grieving today. Maybe nothing and that is good. We need days, months and years like that. But at some point there will be something...maybe something new, maybe something old that deserves your attention. Don't run from the tears, and while you're crying remember, there will be a tomorrow and an opportunity to do the next thing.
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