One of my all time favorite books is called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. If you never read another book of self discovery, read this one. A dear friend gave me this book a few years after I was out of the abuse. It is set up to read a quote and then one page for the day, something to inspire you and make you think. I read that book front to back for over five years. I would finish the book, then a month of so later pick it back up and start all over again. Each you I was growing so when I read the same thing again it meant something different. I grew more each time I read this book.
One day I have this book to a friend in need, knowing how much it had already helped me. For years I thought of getting the book again but I didn’t. After all, I had read it to death, so I had thought. Every now and then I thought of the book then pushed it out of my mind. Today I had taken my son to a used bookstore to find a book he wanted. As I browsed the self help section for I love those types of books for they not only help me but they help me to help others, there it was. The shelves were covered with books but the pink hard cover book that I speak of seemed to jump off the shelf at me. I immediately pulled it off the shelf. I knew I stood before this book for a reason today. I was so happy I my life I just needed to be reminded of what was important, me.
I would buy all women this book if I could but I ask that you do this one gift for yourself and buy it. I am sure you can find a copy cheap at a bookstore or online at Amazon. Once you read the book I encourage you to share it with other. Do not my any means give them your copy for you too will want to read it over and over as you will feel your growth each time. Buy them a copy they will thank you.
Today I wanted to share with you what Ms. Breathnach wrote on for January 5th as it jumped off the page at me. The quote at the top of this page read:
The Woman You Were Meant to Be – Many women today feel a sadness we cannot name. Though we accomplish much of what we set out to do, we sense that something is missing in our lives and – fruitlessly – search “out there” for the answers. What’s often wrong is that we are disconnected from an authentic sense of self. This quote was written by Emily Hancock.
The Simple Abundance chapter asks have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered who that was looking back at you? I wanted to share with you how I overcame looking away from the mirror. Chances are as I continue to read this book it may have been a lesson from Sarah but today I am not sure.
I remember when I could not look at myself in the mirror and barely looked up as I washed my face, maybe out of shame for who was looking back at me. We can lie to others but we can never lie to ourselves. I had laid enough guilt on my heart to stop it from beating, after all, I was the one that was supposed protect my son and I allowed him to stay in a home with a man that abused me. I married this man, I invited him back after he had tried to kill me. I, I, I. It was all me, the lady that couldn’t even look herself in the eye.
I had read a lesson somewhere that encouraged me to look myself in the eye for ten seconds or more. I was to stare in the mirror and count. Honestly, I would look away before I had counted to three at first. I did this lesson everyday until finally, weeks, maybe even months later I was able to look myself square in the eye. It took months of healing with assistance from self help books and tapes for me to be able to stare down that wounded lady in the mirror. Once I was finally able to face myself, I began to forgive the woman in me that had let all this happen. Everyone tells you to forgive the abuser, that part was easier for me, I had forgiven him years before I could even think of forgiving myself.
Finally, I was able to look at my reflection in the mirror and smile and tried to do so every morning for at least ten seconds as a reminder of who was in control of my life. It has been many years since I have allowed anyone to disrespect me or to physically or mentally abuse me. That will never happened again, the end. I have finally stopped reading self help healing books and moved on to inspirational books that help me set goals and live the life of my dreams. For me this was a true measure of my success. I never asked for money or fame in my life, I just wanted to be able to look at the woman in the mirror and like who I saw.
I encourage you to try this lesson. Each day look in the mirror and stare deep into your soul through your eyes until the count of ten. Don’t fret if you can’t, try again the next day. Eventually, once you can get past ten you will slowly begin to realize that you deserve to be forgiven too. Once you forgive yourself, nothing else will matter. I feel it is not really forgiveness of the abuser that is needed to heal and move on, it is the forgiveness of oneself, at least I found this to be true for me.
Let me know how this lesson has helped you too.
Love & Peace,