Traveling Home for the Holidays by @TruthIsHers

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As a therapist and trauma recovery coach, I encounter many hurting people in the landscape of life, especially during the holiday season. This time of year seems to magnify the pain that some carry inside from the path they have travelled. They just want to go home, to that place of peace, calm and respite. Instead, they feel metaphorically lost without a map or even enough money for a lousy bus token to take them home once they figure out which way to travel. They might feel ashamed, hopeless, or defeated. Hungry, tired, and lost the most they wish for is the slightest amount of shelter from life’s storms during this holiday season, a chance to regroup and get their bearings.

Sometimes passersby flick judgment upon them like a burning cigarette butt. Others walk by them and look away, offering no help. Or they kick up a dirty puddle of advice in the form of trite platitudes.

I have been there. Lost. Alone. Broken. To be honest there are still days I’m not sure I’m headed in the right direction. And more often than not I travel alone, by choice because my past has not taught me many good lessons about the safety and dependability of other human beings. But I’m not as broken as I used to be. I have more resources and treasures stored inside myself than I have ever had before.

On my journey I encounter other lost spirits, searching for shelter, direction, and hope. Unfortunately, no one’s path is the same as mine. To take them with me would be fruitless. They have their own road, which is as unfamiliar and foreign to me as mine is to them. I can’t even be certain we’re headed to the same destination. I’ve never been to my home, that place of peace, love, and contentment where I am restless and anguished no more. Their destination might be miles from my own.

So I can’t show them the way. My heart feels the vibration of their fear and pain. I see the brokenness in their eyes. I would do anything for the magical power of wishing them home.

The most I can do is take their hands in my own and tell them, “If I knew your way home I would take you there. I would carry you, safe and tucked away because I know you are tired and hurting. But I don’t know the way to your home. I can stay with you here though. Share with you what I have. Let you rest while I look over you. We will wait together. Until you are better. Until someone who knows your home comes to fetch you. Until my resources are exhausted.”

We can’t help everyone. I don’t even see all of those who need help. Life rushes by us or our focus is in another direction. But those who are squarely in our path are part of journey. We are meant to help them, and doing so will teach us lessons we need to learn.

Sometimes I’m low on resources myself and don’t have much to offer. I can, though, always sit down beside them so they aren’t alone. We can always listen. Sometimes those two things are all they need to gather the strength to continue their journey.

Many of my greatest moments in life have come when four or five of us, all lost and hurting, stumble across one another and choose to gather together for a time. We share our resources, our stories, our voices and our hearts. Nothing renews my spirit more than knowing I’m not alone in my struggles and stumbles.

Sometimes, I grow weary of seeing others stroll by me with ease and assurance, especially during the holidays when my pain seems to be so great. I watch them looking as though they have never known a day filled with fear, unhappiness, or struggle. They seem to live in a different universe than I do. And I don’t know how to get from mine to the glory of theirs. Gathering with others who are open about their broken places centers me again. It renews my knowing that I belong, I am enough, and I am worthy of love.

No one knows the path of my journey. No one knows my way home. And I cannot guide anyone else on their journey. But we can all steady each other, shelter each other, and listen to one another. Even if we are still struggling to put on our own oxygen mask we can sit down beside each other. That simple act says “I see you. You aren’t alone”.

I don’t want you to put me in your pocket and carry me on your journey. I want to go on my own. Sometimes I might need a little help. When you see me lost and broken please really do see me. Sit with me, hold my hand, and hear my words. I will do the same when I see you hurting and alone. In concert we will enable one another to all reach home for the holidays.

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.
Broken Pieces is still going strong, #1 on Amazon’s Women’s (paid) Poetry list. Pick up a copy today, or one for a friend. Broken Places will be out by Christmas from Booktrope.
Don’t miss Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter and sign up today here!  
All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2014 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.

Where To Find Content When You Just Don’t Care

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Shocking news out this week: we are not perfect beings. I know. What the fuck? I want to speak to the manager.

We have meltdowns, some more publicly than others (see my latest Huffington Post article on NYTimes bestselling author Ayelet Waldman’s most unfortunate Twitter rant because they failed to choose her for their 100 Most Notable Books of 2014), and hopefully some of us learn, or at least learn to move the hell on. Want to know what helps me focus when I just don’t care? Let’s deconstruct.

THE FOUR AGREEMENTS

In working with authors and clients, I recommend reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz — it’s a short little book full of practical wisdom. For writers (or any kind of artist-person or well, person-person), the most important agreement is this: don’t take anything personally. People think I have a third eye when I say that. Crazy woman! How can we not take it personally when someone calls us stupid or says our book is awful?

But I don’t. Because it says so much more about that person and their perceptions and life experience than it does about me. Maybe it’s a way to fool ourselves, but so what? It works. Maybe it’s the same as Madonna’s blunt lyric in Human Nature: “I’m not your bitch, don’t hang your shit on me.” All I know is, it’s a way to cope with the sting and move on, and maybe that’s not a bad thing.

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QUOTES AND SHIT 

I avoided sharing quotes for THE longest time, because I felt that inspirational BS was just that — a bunch of rainbows and unicorns that amounted to jack. And for what it’s worth, I still think that. However, I now share poetry quotes and the occasional empowerment or feminism quote that resonate with me. Quotes that you don’t see very often (I hope). I also share quotes from my own work, or from other writes that I enjoy. Call it ‘soft marketing’ or whatever — mostly it’s about sharing my work and the work of others — quotes that makes us think.

I’ve found the best quotes on Pinterest and Goodreads — Pinterest is easy because many quotes are already in a visual format. Simply pin and share, or schedule them in using Hootsuite or Buffer. However, you do have to be careful. Sometimes, a quote is mis-attributed or not attributed at all which, as a writer, is a total no-no. I only pick quotes that are given attribution, and heads up, if it sounds too modern for say, Einstein or Darwin to have said ‘hustle,’ it is. Skip it.

VIDEOS 

Facebook and Twitter love videos. You’ll get more shares from those than just about anything else. But what to share beyond a cat video?

I don’t like sharing what everyone else is sharing. Everyone loves Buzzfeed and Upworthy and they are great sites, no doubt. But I want cool stuff, things that 50K other people haven’t already seen. Where to go?

Here are some cool alternative sites with neat stuff (I especially like aplus.com):

http://www.tubesurfers.com/

http://www.viralnova.com/

http://news.distractify.com/

http://aplus.com/

So on those days when you’re not feeling perfect, visit a few of these sites and feel good, get tingly, and share something that makes you focus on something besides that zit the size of Mount Rushmore on your chin or the fact that your boss is a jerk. None of that will matter next week, right?

Keep moving forward and stuff.

 

Sign up for my newsletter and never miss a post again! I will never share your email and that’s a promise. Follow me on Twitter @RachelintheOC or @BadRedheadMedia for social media, branding, or marketing help. Increase your blog traffic by participating in #MondayBlogs (a Twitter meme I created to share posts on Mondays — no book promo) and entering my free feature giveaway.
Broken Pieces is still going strong, #1 on Amazon’s Women’s (paid) Poetry list. Pick up a copy today, or one for a friend. Broken Places will be out by Christmas from Booktrope.
Don’t miss Author Social Media Boot Camp! Take a look: group sessions for authors on a budget. Now you too can get affordable, effective help FAST! Follow @ASMBootCamp on Twitter and sign up today here!  And don’t miss it: special ‘CRASH COURSE’ Webinar with Rachel on Thursday, 12/11 at 6pm PST. Get your book ready to sell for the holiday. Sign up here now! Just $57.
All content copyrighted unless otherwise specified. © 2014 by Rachel Thompson, author. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to use short quotes provided a link back to this page and proper attribution is given to me as the original author.
Image: Unsplash.com

#MondayBlogs Giveaway December 2014

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Since I created #MondayBlogs in late 2012, even I'm shocked at what an amazing success it has become! Thousands participate each week, generating more than 5,000 tweets! And it is because of all of you that we can say that with a lot of pride and a … [Continue reading]

The Holidays Aren’t Joyous for Everyone by @TruthIsHers

The Holidays Aren’t Joyous for Everyone

I can’t believe Thanksgiving has already passed us by, and Christmas is only twenty-five days away! How did that happen? I still have so very much to do before I’m ready for cookie baking and tree trimming. I need to grab these days by the tail and … [Continue reading]

Giving Back

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We take a lot from each other throughout the year: Can you buy my book? Review my book? Tweet this for me? Share this post? It's all part of 'selling' in this new virtual world. Well, now I'm turning all that upside down and giving … [Continue reading]

The Survivor’s Journey to Discovering True by @TruthIsHers

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In early 2014 the Twitter community participating in the weekly #SexAbuseChat declared their motto to be #NoMoreShame. We had realized the power of sharing our stories in a safe, supportive environment. Coming together every week in our chat we … [Continue reading]

#MondayBlogs Giveaway November 2014

MB-FINAL-LOGO-KLM

Since I created #MondayBlogs in late 2012, even I'm shocked at what an amazing success it has become! Thousands participate each week, generating more than 5,000 tweets! And it is because of all of you that we can say that with a lot of pride and a … [Continue reading]

I’m Not Broken! I’m More Than a Survivor, I’m a Lifer! by guest @aleishagore

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Please welcome to the blog director and producer of Chocolate is Not Better than Sex and author Aleisha Gore as she shares her story. Aleisha has a powerful message that I hope will encourage and empower other survivors. *Trigger Warning*  A … [Continue reading]

Help us Celebrate the First #NoMoreShame November!

NoMoreShame November

In January 2014 #SexAbuseChat, a Twitter chat for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, was born. Survivors from around the world logged onto the chat to provide each other with compassion, understanding, and encouragement. The chat became a way … [Continue reading]

The Other Side of Words — An Excerpt from ‘Broken Places’

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I'm sooooo close to finishing my latest book of essays and poetry Broken Places (set for release before Christmas from Booktrope). Yay! Today I'm sharing an excerpt about ... well, you tell me. I'd love your thoughts. Pick up Broken Pieces today … [Continue reading]

Why I Chose the Title “Feminist” by 14yo guest Makena McElroy

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Today we have a very special guest, 14-year-old Makena McElroy has me speechless. What a brain! Please welcome her to the blog and be sure to check out her article "Young Voices | A 14-Year-Old's Look at Rape Culture" on Sweatpants & Coffee. … [Continue reading]

What Can We Learn from the Stephen Collins Case? by @TruthIsHers

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Trigger Warning: This post discusses child sexual abuse. Those sensitive to this topic need to exercise both caution and good self-care if they choose to read it. Last week the internet exploded with the news that actor Stephen Collins had … [Continue reading]

The Day I Became Anne Frank by Guest Sarah Fader (@osnsmom)

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Please welcome Huffington Post blogger and Stigma Fighters leader Sarah Fader to the blog today as she shares her story of battling depression.  When I was a teenager, I began struggling with anxiety and depression. I would wake up to my heart … [Continue reading]

Saturated by guest Sarafina Bianco (@FinaBianco)

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Please welcome author and domestic violence survivor Sarafina Bianco to the blog as she shares her story of abuse, suffering, and finally rebuilding.  *Trigger Warning* It’s been five years since I left the house on Sunset, but it seems like it … [Continue reading]

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