Respect is love. If someone doesn’t treat you with dignity and respect, walk away. Their behavior has absolutely nothing to do with your worth as a person. It has everything to do with the values instilled in them by their parents. They’re looking for love just like you are. They just haven’t learned yet what real love looks like because nobody taught them properly.
Eve Ensler tells the story of how her father physically, sexually, and emotionally abused her and how these experiences shaped her world view in Insecure at Last: Losing It in Our Security Obsessed World. The central premise of her book is that striving for security does not, in fact, protect us. We must rescue ourselves. Peace will come from securing basic human rights and from making our end goals compassion and honoring all people.
Marilyn Stanton, my guardian angel at the Watseka, IL Public Library, recommended this book to me. It is one of my favorites. I hope y’all will read it and decide to make lots of quilts for Shalom Bayit’s clients. “Persian pickle” is an old-fashioned term for paisley scraps used in making quilts, and the Persian Pickle Club is the name of the quilting bee at the heart of the story.
The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self by Julia Cameron is a fabulous book and a 12-week fantastic experience. I’ve done the course twice. At the end of my first course, the other participants created a protection circle for me. It was a life-altering experience to be in the middle of the circle surrounded by the strength of unconditional love and powerful prayers.
Marie C. Wilson introduced me to Eve Ensler. She is founder of the The White House Project which is all about helping and coaching women to achieve dreams of leadership by becoming our phenomenal best.
Anna Quindlen captured the heart and soul of every woman who has ever tasted the bitter fruit of abuse: “It’s like he stole my soul.” (page 219) She deftly navigated the undercurrents of domestic violence. She powerfully demonstrated how our society and legal system enable both the abuser and his/her victim to continue destructive behavior patterns. She turned a bright spotlight on the Patty Bancrofts of the world who seek to control rather than empower women. She threw down the gauntlet to families everywhere who rear women to be helpless doormats and condone the vicious conduct of men through their silence. She painted a sensitive portrait of the shattered innocence of a child caught in the crossfire. In short, Anna Quindlen turned over every rock and examined the mass of maggots hiding underneath.
You may have seen Tyler Perry’s movies. You probably don’t know that his comedy comes from his efforts to lift himself up from where you are right now. Madea was his alter-ego who helped him survive, thrive, find joy, and become outrageously wealthy.
People experiencing domestic violence need to be encircled with protection.