Archive for the ‘how to heal from abuse’ Category


Are Toleration’s standing in the way and blocking your Success!

My favorite time of the year is the week between Christmas and the New Year, during that time I decide what my major 3-4 goals will be for the following year. I had never really heard about setting goals until a little over 20 years ago, thanks to my younger sister who knew exactly what I needed to move on after my husband had been removed from my home. I was suddenly away from a man that I had begged God to free me from for years and now I sat alone with my four-year-old son. I was clueless about what to do next.

She had given me a 30-day program and I listened to each cassette and did the exercises in a notebook daily. Some days I would listen to 2 tapes as I could feel the changes in my mind.

“The powerful realization that I could control what I thought about was like discovering the reason for my life. It had never occurred to me that I could somehow control what I thought about and focused on.”

Like some of you that read my writing, you may have lived a life of daily, sometimes hourly survival.  When you live that way you never have the luxury to sit and reflect on what you really want your life to be, the current goal is surviving the day.

For me setting long-term goals was the furthest thing from my mind when I started the tape program so I was happy when the first thing that I was asked to do was to write down a list of things that I would no longer tolerate in my life.

What does setting Goals have to do with Toleration’s?

Let me tell you, you can have the best goals in place but if you are tolerating lots of what may seem like little things, you are using your focus, energy, and space in your brain that could be better spent on important things like YOUR GOALS!

Start thinking about what you are Tolerating right now!

Learn to Stop Tolerating what you don't want to start having what you do want

Toleration’s can take many forms, they can be physical actions that when you deal with them one time they are gone like:

  • Your cluttered office where you can’t find what you need quickly
  • A cluttered closet that makes you feel defeated each time you go into it
  • Laundry that you let pile up for weeks so you can’t find what you need
  • The hole in the wall that has been there for a year that if you spent 20 minutes taking care of it would be fixed
  • The car that has been broken down for months that you need to get to the junkyard (you see it every day you enter your home)

Tolerations can also be less tangible things that are taking up space in your mind like:

  • Being overweight and not taking any action to fix it
  • Dealing with chronic pain because you are not exercising or doing the things that help you feel better
  • Wasted days because you do not have a daily routine
  • Making excuses about why you haven’t started that business or written that book
  • Being in a negative mindset most days because you are not doing the things that help you stay positive

So what is the BENEFIT of removing Tolerations?

When you remove Tolerations, you are able to free up little pockets of space in your brain.  It may not sound like a big deal but if you add up all the big and little things that you are tolerating, you would be amazed at how much space you are taking up in your already full brain.

Take some of the examples above and imagine how it would feel to:

  • Find the things you need because you have a routine where you do a load of laundry every day!
  • Walk into your home every day without passing the broken down car in the driveway!
  • Find the clothing that you want to wear in your de-cluttered closet!
  • Waking up in a positive mindset ready to rock the day
  • Know you have a daily plan in place to help you lose weight and feel better!

Are your Tolerations standing in the way of your success, freedom, and peace of mind?

YES! The reason that I refer to Tolerations as taking up little pockets of space is that I am a visual gal and this helps me to see how I am wasting my energy on things that I don’t need to if I just took some action.

For example, the cluttered closet on the list is mine!  I am currently tolerating a very full closet, while this may not sound like a big toleration for you, every time I walk in the closet I feel a little overwhelmed. To avoid dealing with this toleration I grab the same 2-3 pieces of clothing that I wear pretty much every day and get dressed.

The good news is that once I am out of the closet this toleration no longer bothers me.  Or does it? 

For a long time, I did not realize it, but when I was laying in my bed, even when the closet door was shut, I knew that there was a mess right behind that door.  Now that little pocket in my brain, without my even realizing it was not just thinking about the mess, but reminding me of how many times I had said I was going to create a capsule wardrobe and get rid of the rest of the clothing I never wore.

This Toleration was causing me to feel defeated, even at a time when I thought it was not even on my mind!

Now I am not just struggling with a full closet, but the disappointment that I am not following through on something that would be beneficial for me. Get the idea, I’ve learned to just Tolerate it.

So, the big question is, why doesn’t she just clean out the darn closet?  Well, it isn’t life or death, it isn’t hurting anyone and it is not urgent.  So instead, I allow this non-urgent toleration to drain my energy.

So what is the BENEFIT of removing this toleration? It will help me in many ways, not just by allowing me to find clothing that I really love, but when I clear out that clutter, I allow myself more time for me and what I really want.

Clear our your head by writing down everything you are currently Tolerating

First, take out a sheet of paper (if you join my list below you will get your Free Goal Setting Worksheets and Checklists with Toleration listing) or open your computer and write down everything that you can think of that you are tolerating.

This list should not be confused with a normal to do a list like do the laundry, clean the house or go shopping, this should be one time things, that if you removed them or rather stopped Tolerating them, you would be more successful.

Pick Your Top 3 Tolerations to Focus on

Next, go through your list of Toleration’s and pick the top 3 things that if completed, would take a weight off your shoulders and create a sense of excitement for you to move down the list.  Keep this list handy, once you complete 1 toleration, you will pick another one so that you always keep focused on removing 3 at a time.

Next, write the Top 3 Tolerations on the top of a page

Next, underneath each Toleration write why you will no longer tolerate that thing, be clear on how if it was removed your life would change, Clarity is King.

For example, back to my overflowing closet, my why is: I know if this was removed from my life I would feel lighter, I would be able to open my closet and find something to wear that I really liked and made me feel good quickly.  Once I got dressed the overflowing closet would no longer be on my mind. This Toleration would be removed from my mind.

Finally, write what you will do to remove this Toleration from your life.

My plan: I have a plan in place that every day I spend just a few minutes sorting in my closet.  I have started in one spot and am working my way around.  It doesn’t sound like much but each day I do this I may remove a piece or 2 of clothing and find something I had forgotten about.  I have already donated a big box of clothing and gotten rid of a few other things.  The best news is that even though this project will take some time to complete, I no longer have the toleration taking up space in my mind most days as I know I have a plan to remove it.

So why don’t I just take a weekend and clear out the entire close?  I have tried this in the past, it becomes too overwhelming and I end up just putting pretty much everything back in place just to be done with it.

Please share

To help others who are working to remove Tolerations from their life please share what 3 top tolerations you will remove from your life starting today.

Once I feel confident these items are no longer a Toleration I will move on to other ones. My current Top 3 Tolerations as of this writing are:

  1. Cluttered closet (working on little bits daily)
  2. Lack of daily focus (I have created routines and review them first thing each morning)
  3. Not writing on a regular basis: (my routine – work on a piece of writing like this daily, even if for just a few minutes)

If you are working on your Tolerations and are ready to focus on your Top Goals grab your Free Goal Setting Worksheets and Daily Checklists to help you Succeed when you join my list at www..ReBeccaBurns.com.

Don’t forget to leave a comment with the list of your current Top 3 Tolerations and how you will remove them!

ReBeccaBurns.com eMpowering Women


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Today I was reviewing advice online to help rebuild self-esteem after abuse and the article linked below was to the point, don’t try to fix everything, be patient with yourself.

Be patient with yourself. Think about how you’d treat a best friend who had just been through the same situation. You likely wouldn’t tell them to “get over it already.” Let yourself take as much time as you need to sort through your emotions, feel what you need to feel and slowly come back to a positive outlook on the future.

The linked site offers a ton of resources such as forums and groups to support you in the aftermath of abuse, for teens and adults. My goal is to provide you with resources and this looks like a pretty good one. To read the rest of the article click here Rebuilding Your Self-Esteem after abuse.

I wrote this poem years ago and still read it daily to stay inspired and focused:

Dream Focused

Look at nothing else
Put on all your blinders
Or what you want you will lose sight
Concentration is important
Even though it may not seem
If you wish to have what you want in life
You must focus on the dream
Live it
Feel it
Be it
or nothing you will have
For those without a dream in life
Wander down the path
Someday you will feel frightened
Lost and all alone
Close your eyes and search your soul
For something to pull you through
A memory
A dream
A promise of tomorrow
The fate is in store for you must first be thought by You!

If you have a site that offers support or know of one please share it in the comments, we are here to help each other heal, if not, what was the point of all of this?

Free Printable of Poem ready to frame – click here!

Love & Peace,


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“Everyone agrees it’s important to live in the moment, but the problem is how,” says Ellen Langer, a psychologist at Harvard and author of Mindfulness. “When people are not in the moment, they’re not there to know that they’re not there.” Overriding the distraction reflex and awakening to the present takes intentionality and practice.

Living in the Moment - I finally realized why I struggled living in the moment after domestic violenceDo you struggle to live in the moment?

Are you safe and away from abuse but still struggle to stop and smell the flowers?

You are not alone, for many, myself included, letting your guard down and enjoying simple things can be a struggle after years of domestic violence. Most times you feel like you are doing everything that you can to avoid living in the moment by thinking about the past or thinking about what you are not doing or need to do for your future.

Definition of Living in the moment—also called mindfulness—is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present. 

I am very aware that I struggle to stop and smell the flowers as the saying goes, “living in the moment.”  Tonight in a moment of inner reflection I realized why I struggle to live in the moment.  This sudden epiphany happened while doing one of my regular calming rituals which is taking a scalding hot bath to the glow of any resemblance of a candle, could be a fake one, real one, doesn’t matter, just the glow is what I am looking for.

Do you struggle to stop and smell the flowers after domestic violence or trauma

Anyway, tonight I put the candle on the side of my tub, shut off the lights and stepped into my sanctuary of bubbles. I know I really need this me time when I have gone the extra mile and added some bubbles.  Just like the glow of the candle, as far as the bubbles I don’t care where they come from either, could be some shampoo, just something about the bubbles helps put my mind in that relaxing, stress-free place.

When I take a bath like this, I am totally living in the moment.

I have one of those minds that never stops thinking, so here I am, laying in my hot bath and thinking about how much I was really enjoying this moment as the hot water started to work on my tense muscles and the candle, darkroom, and bubbles started to work on relaxing my mind.

Of course, my brain was overthinking and I realized that other than the clarity of a hot bath like this, I struggled with being fully present and living in the moment, pretty much most days.

Then it hit me full force like a punch in the gut why I am this way, as a child I lived in abuse and was surviving moment to moment, and then later in my marriage, which was the most traumatic time of my life as I didn’t know what level of violence was in store for me today, I was again, surviving moment to moment. 

There were days I can still remember when I drove home from work sick to my stomach, wondering what I was about to come home to. I would often stop at a pay-phone (no cell phone then) and call the Domestic Violence Hotline. Sad to think that I had the number memorized in those days. I would just vent to the poor lady on the phone that I was terrified I would die today. She would beg me not to go home but I would thank her for letting me vent and I would hang up and head home.

Each time I entered my home I was living in the moment wondering, when I turned the knob was he going to come at me drunk or when I was washing the dishes later would I be struck from behind with a cast iron pan or turn to see an ax at my back.

Now, this was living in the moment!

I now wonder if because I had to live that way for the sake of my survival do I almost now struggle living in the moment.
Does this make sense to you?

[bctt tweet=”I was so living in the fear of the moment for so long that now I wonder if because I had to live that way for the sake of my survival do I almost now struggle living in the moment. Does this make sense?” username=”rebeccaburnsorg”]

If I were fully living in the moment now, they are great happy moments. I have been safe physically for many years.  I have a loving man that was meant for me, a great family, health, food (fell in love with a man that loves to cook and is amazing – put that on your list of must-haves) and a roof over our head and dreams of an amazing future.

Out of everything on that list, feeling safe and being able to sleep without fear of the monster in the closet means more than anything.

The reason that I wanted to share my inner struggle with living in the moment isn’t to hear, “poor me,” but to help you understand why you too may struggle with living in the moment once you are free from abuse. I know I can’t be the only one to struggle with this, you may not have suffered abuse but we all have reasons we struggle to enjoy the moment.

Even if you are out of the abuse and you are safe and not worried about being terrorized you may struggle to live in the moment. Especially the really good ones as you may fear they won’t last.

Please share if you still struggle to live in the moment or what you have done to overcome this. Just having this moment of clarity on why I struggle to live in the moment has helped me to be more fully present.  Like they say, “you can’t change what you don’t know.”  I know this has been true for me.

How can you learn to live in the moment now? 

  • Give your full focus on the task you are doing. Enjoy little things from doing the dishes to sitting in the sun for a few minutes.
  • Learn to love and appreciate what you have learned to live in the moment.
  • Be kind to yourself. Don’t try to be perfect. It will take time to really living in the moment.  If I can do this, so can you!
  • It may sound silly but create morning rituals, this has really helped me

The biggest thing that has helped me is my morning ritual of enjoying my coffee in bed. I have learned to really appreciate that time and the taste of my coffee, I then pray and say what I am grateful for. During this time I really focus on my enjoyment of the moment.  Creating rituals to pull me into the moment as I enter a situation and being conscious of this has really helped me.

ReBeccaBurns.com eMpowering Women

Living in the Moment - I finally realized why I struggled to live in the moment after domestic violenceLiving in the Moment - I finally realized why I struggled to live in the moment after domestic violence

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