Thursday, October 31, 2013

Where love begins

I first saw Teagan, my dog, from a distance.  She was living on a hill of dirt, chained to a makeshift dog house.  I was drawn to her circumstance and walked over to meet her.  I sat down next to her and she crawled into my lap, shaking and grateful.  We were bonded in that moment.

How did that instant connection and sense of love and belonging happen?  Teagan, who had been denied her freedom, had no reason to trust any person.  I actually was in a similar state. I was alone and experience had taught me to be cautious about connection and needing someone.   And yet, there it was; that sense that I needed her and she needed me.  And together we could fill that need.

As hard as we try to ignore it or deny it, we are created with a deep need to be loved and to love.  Love begins in the created heart.  It is a core part of us.  We are created with a need to connect to love and with the capacity to give love. The design was that our families would be the place of experiencing that accepting and nourishing love.  That doesn't always happen.

Families riddled with sex abuse distort and deny authentic love.  The victim is left to learn how to trust love, how to recognize authentic love and how to express it.  A tough assignment for sure!

Hope can be found in the fact that within your created heart and spirit is an imparted knowledge of what authentic love is.  When you do the challenging work of recognizing the distortion of love you experienced; acknowledge the pain of it and exchange the deceitful representation for the authentic reality, you can live out of where love begins.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Is it a Crime or a Public Health Issue?

How we use words makes all the difference in how we shape the world around us.  If you've been hanging with me for any length of time you already know that I ask questions to highlight how the words we use can set a direction or thought we didn't intend.

I'm known for challenging the use of the word prevention.  For me the word has a subtle undertone that says: "Sex abuse exists in our culture, but don't worry, I'm going to do everything I can to keep it from touching you." That means I have passively accepted that it exists. I use the term "Zero Tolerance" as that is what I'm after!

Now I'm spending time looking at how we "do" prevention.  The Center for Disease Control and other high visible agencies working on preventing sex abuse have said that sex abuse is a "public health issue".  Hmmmm.....I find some inherent difficulties in that framework.

Typically when I hear that something is a "public health issue", I'm programmed to believe that if I get the right medication, or shot or follow a prescription, I can get better. If I have not experienced this public health issue, then I have no need to pay attention or get involved. So, first, we haven't done a very good job of talking about "why" sex abuse is a public health issue.  I don't think the average person has any real clue about how sex abuse impacts the culture.

Secondly, the subtle message in a public health model is that whoever is involved in this public health issue will be the one who does what is necessary to "get better." They will get the shot or the prescription. They will fix it. This thinking keeps the collective community from seeing it as something we should all address. This framework allows for individualistic complacency and passivity, it does not build capacity for a community response.

Let's use stronger language! Why don't we call it what it is?  A CRIME!  A crime against the human spirit!  A crime against the possibility and potential of people!

When we call it what it is, perhaps we can ignite the movement to fight against it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm taking names!

I'm taking names and making a list!  And it's a good list!  Be encouraged! My last blog post focused on wrestling with why people are slow to respond to stopping sex abuse.  I took that discussion to Linked-In and have discovered a group of people who are passionate and ready to go!  Their names and their thoughts are now compiled.

The thoughts about "why" are enlightening and right on.  Fear, apathy, the Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde nature of those who abuse, cultural views of children and much more.  I'm pondering this list, looking for the connections and identifying tangible starting places. 

The sense of being powerless has permeated our culture.  The issues of our day seem to huge for us to address.  Fear partnes with denial and a culture of complacency develops.  And we believe the lie that there is nothing we can do.

We are not powerless!

We are a creative people!  We are a strong people!  We design the culture in which we live!

I am determined to gather these creative and strong people and ignite this movement! One major advantage of social media and the connections that develop is that suddenly a collective voice can organize across a nation.  Sense the strength in connecting this way!  Sense the power that will be unleashed!  We are organizing, getting focused and we are taking down this insidious presence!

Want your name on my list?  Just let me know!