“Anxiety Does Not Empty Tomorrow of Its Sorrows; It Empties Today of Its Strength.” -Alexander McLaren
Sometimes on your travel through hell, you meet people who think they are in heaven, because of their cleverness and ability to get away with things. Travel past them, because they don’t understand who they have become, and never will. These types of people feel justified in revenge and will never learn mercy or forgiveness because they live by comparison. They are the people that don’t care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They don’t understand that their deity is not rejoicing with them because of their actions, rather he is trying to free them from their insecurities, by softening their heart. They would rather put out your light than find their own. They don’t have the ability to see beyond the false sense of happiness they get from destroying others. You know what happiness is, and it isn’t this. Don’t see their success as their deliverance. It is a mask of vindication which has no audience, other than their own kind. They have joined countless others that call themselves “survivors”. They believe that they are entitled to win because life didn’t go as planned for them. You are not like them. You were not meant to stay in hell and follow their belief system. You were bound for greatness. You were born to help them by leading. Rise up and be the light home. You were given the gift to see the truth. They will have an army of people that are like them and you are going to feel alone. However, your family in heaven stands beside you now. They are your strength and as countless as the stars. It is time to let go!
Your Guardian Angel”
―Shannon L. Alder
“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ―Jane Austen
“Margaret Atwood, the Canadian novelist, once asked a group of women at a university why they felt threatened by men. The women said they were afraid of being beaten, raped, or killed by men. She then asked a group of men why they felt threatened by women. They said they were afraid women would laugh at them.” ―Molly Ivins
*Reading this makes me incredibly sad, and a little angry.
Growing up in an abusive home, I was never truly afraid of my father. Most of his threats were empty and the few times he came close enough to possibly hurting my mother or brother, I would physically intervene and put them behind me. I was nine/ten/eleven, and I never once thought that protecting them was wrong. One day he pushed too far and I knocked him on his ass. I was already well into my teens at that point. Eventually, my mother was afraid I’d kill him, which is ultimately what gave her the strength to begin the process of leaving him.
People used to ask my mother all the time if she was afraid for me. “Aren’t you worried or afraid of the guys she dates trying to take advantage or harm her?” Her response was, “Nope. They should be more afraid of her. Just because they’re taller or weigh more doesn’t mean she isn’t prepared to take them down. I trust her judgment.” This conversation came up a little too often with her colleagues and friends. It played into the gender roles that are “expected”; hell, they still are. Telling a group of women she trusted me to make the right decisions and take someone out, if need be, was quite alarming to these privileged individuals whose daughters moved across the country (or to another country, entirely) to get away from their overbearing behavior. Not all girls/women are delicate little flowers. Some of us know better, and aren’t into being treated in such a manner. I will stare a man down if he acts like I can’t do things without assistance. If I need an assist, I will ask for it, but I dislike presumptions of weakness.
Why do we, as a society, (still) act like women, by proxy, are automatically victims? Why do women feel victimized enough to say these are their fears of men? Those are very big fears for women to have. They should be concerns, as opposed to fears. It makes me question who these women are and what they’ve already experienced in order to feel this way.
Yes, I know women who have been raped and sexually assaulted, and many of them blame themselves. They are often too afraid to report the incident and between the police and the legal system, they are failed by both from start to finish. This is NOT acceptable. We cannot blame ourselves for the actions of violent men. While I’m on the subject, why aren’t men smart enough to stop fearing whether or not they will be laughed at when their true fear is being rejected? Why do men think they’re owed sex because you agreed to have dinner with them? There’s no meal on this planet that is deserving of sex as a “reward” or as “payment”. Get the fuck out of here with that thought process! Obviously, not all men view it this way. There are good men in this world, but far too many do think like this. We have to keep educating both men and women regarding these matters.
Gender roles are changing, but not enough. I am the first one to suggest that women take self-defense classes. I was lucky enough to be one of the only females in a family full of men. I can shoot straight, throw straight, and put a three hundred pound man on the ground with just a few moves. When people were concerned for my safety as a writer, I had to tell them this, and they were shocked. If you can learn something that will give you peace of mind, I encourage it and support you.
There’s a popular quote that says, “Here’s to strong women. May we know them, be them, and raise them.”
No one is questioning the strength of men, but the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual strength of women is challenged daily. I’m used to being underestimated. By men, and by other women. But I’m not bothered about it for myself. I am bothered by it for other women. And to be fair, I am also bothered by good men being accused of things they haven’t done. Yes, we should believe men & women when they are brave enough to report something awful, but people are still innocent until proven guilty in the United States. Except Harvey Weinstein. He makes the Devil seem like a kindhearted concept.
Do you have anything to add to what I’ve said? If so, please leave your comments below.
Copyright ©2020 by Lisa Marino and Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
“People are going to come into your life, and God is going to use them to help you. To them you’re insignificant and don’t matter. They are not going to understand you, or even see the point of why God had you hang in there with them for so long. Remember this: Sometimes meeting someone has nothing to do with what you can provide for him or her and everything to do with what God needs you to recognize in that person. If you didn’t understand the message, God will keep sending the same person or situation into your life.” ―Shannon L. Alder
“Those who love much, do much and accomplish much, and whatever is done with love is done well…. Love is the best and noblest thing in the human heart, especially when it is tested by life as gold is tested by fire. Happy is he who has loved much, and although he may have wavered and doubted, he has kept that divine spark alive and returned to what was in the beginning and ever shall be.
If only one keeps loving faithfully what is truly worth loving and does not squander one’s love on trivial and insignificant and meaningless things then one will gradually obtain more light and grow stronger.”
―Vincent van Gogh
I’m not a good actor, ask anyone who truly knows me. I don’t excel at faking things with bullshit, smiles, and pretend laughter in an attempt to project that “Everything’s great.” When people try that with me, I wonder what they’re trying to prove by lying.
This morning, I was on that ledge. I’m not off of it, and I might never be. Everything in me was trying to push forward and plan my day, which had been planned for weeks, but my body was screaming at me to stay put. My best friend talked me down and reminded me that it’s okay to cancel if I don’t feel I can do something. So after hoping medication would help (it didn’t), I made four calls and cancelled my appointments. Part of me felt immense guilt (I rarely cancel on anyone. Especially last minute. It’s even more rare for me to cancel a medical appointment, or in this case, two.), but another part felt calmer. I’m still NOT okay. I just know that when I feel immense dread, I have to listen to my body and my intuition. Whatever Higher Power intervened on my behalf today, despite making me feel like a basket case, did the right thing. If pushing makes you question your safety, LISTEN. My intuition is NEVER wrong. It has kept me alive during natural disasters, and one unexplained disaster. You can be strong and smart, and still say, “Not today.”
These next few days, I’m going to try to be calm and focus on me. I need the break. I need quality sleep and to not be in physical or mental agony. It’s OKAY to not be okay. I lead by example. You should try it.
copyright © 2012-2019 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. Excerpts and quotes from the material also require consent. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws. Further protection is under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Sometimes, I wish I still had an ounce of faith left to believe all of the positive things I post. I’m trying, but I’m also suffering and fighting, and when you’re going through all of that, faith is hard to come by. But someplace, somewhere, hope resides.
Today is my sixth anniversary on WordPress. I can’t believe how far I’ve come since sitting down on a particularly benign day, and saying “Why not?” It was a harmless move and thought, and I can say I am BLESSED to have remained friends with several people who first started following me on my original blog. It remains up, but hasn’t been active in a few years because I’ve been here, working, writing, sharing, thinking, and making new friends and better memories.
This is one of my major priorities; writing and sharing things I feel are important to share with all of you. 2018 was an enormous challenge for me, but I am looking ahead and trying to manifest more positivity than ever before. I’m the same person, but I’m growing and I want to be able to share that growth.
I have multiple novels in progress. I am going to be finalizing the final draft for a romance novel soon. I am going to revisit the Dark Urban Fantasy series (eight books, laid out) and see if I can complete the first two in the series. It’s better to be over-prepared as a writer, as opposed to under-prepared, and forced into a 6-8 months completion deadline when you’ve only got 10-15% of book two laid out. Book one is the foundation and every time I read the manuscript, I feel like I’m sitting in a bookstore, immersed in someone else’s characters. When I reach the end and my name is there, it still shocks me. Maybe 2019 will bring me more literature surprises I never imagined possible.
Last Friday, Global Healthy Living Foundation and Fifty State Network called me to do Media Outreach. I returned the call and missed the call back, so I ended up e-mailing my contact there. Let me first say that this position is as a patient advocate. This is still a relatively new field, so not everyone who advocates has gone to law school or has a degree in nursing, etc. Is this something I’d be interested in pursuing from a “Go back to school” perspective? No. I feel like I have an incredibly solid hand on things as a pain patient, and a refreshing perspective. I have a powerful voice I’m not afraid to use, either.
My contact is incredibly impressed with me, but when I received his e-mail reply, I read it twice and was immediately annoyed. It felt like another organization only too happy to take advantage of my contacts, intelligence, knowledge, and business sense. Smart people do NOT like or respect being used, so I haven’t replied. If that’s how it feels, then I am accurate in my assessment. I’m sorry, but if you want to have me consult, assist, or do anything that involves using all of my talents, I expect to be paid for it. I can’t dumb myself down or allow people to take, take, take and leave me unable to grow. In turn, I have decided to reach out to some local advocacy groups, even if I temporarily intern for a while, because I know that all I have to do is impress the right person. I can’t tell you how many times I have impressed someone and gotten into something new, simply by being myself. I wish it were always as simple as that, but it isn’t. I firmly believe the right doors WILL open this time. The ones that don’t might very well be kicked down, but that’s one part of me which often makes an impression on others.
If you search hard enough, opportunities will present themselves. However, I don’t want to advocate full-time. I want to achieve the goals I set for myself. Most of them are centered around writing and the others are centered around breaking out of my comfort zone. Perhaps I’m already halfway there.
I can’t believe this year is near its end. I feel like we were just saying goodbye to 2017. Tempus fugit! Pretty soon, we won’t even be able to talk about cold weather (I’ve been kind of obsessed with the way it has been affecting me.). For me, each year is about hitting goals and making sure I grow as a person. This year I have rid myself of toxic people and energy that was of no service to that growth. Interestingly enough, supportive friends stepped up where flakes were left in the dust, and I’m incredibly grateful and appreciative for the friendships that have been built on true foundations. In friendship, no one wants to be used, either, and I was definitely being used. No more.
Thank you to everyone who reads my work, who clicks LIKE, who clicks FOLLOW, and who shares me with friends, family, etc. Thank you for the comments and e-mails. But most importantly, thank you for taking time out of your day to read my work. The Internet is a vast place, and I feel honored whenever someone new follows me or whenever someone sends me an e-mail and tells me how much something I wrote impacted their life. Those are treasured, precious moments that I keep in my heart each day.
When I sat down to write this, I was already feeling incredibly lost, depressed, overwhelmed, unhappy, and dark. These are normally things I would only discuss with my doctor. He got an earful yesterday, and instead of making me feel bad (Far too many doctors dismiss me and look at me like I’m crazy for being concerned for my own health. That’s a clear sign you need a new doctor!), he told me multiple times “You’re not crazy. You’re not losing your mind. You’re going through a lot of rough things, and we’re going to figure out how to fix that, together.” He was clearly a lion tamer in a past life.). But as the words began to flow tonight, a smile appeared on my face and the negative feelings lifted, even if only temporarily.
There is so much more to my story, to my journey, to my life. More than I probably know. But ultimately, the majority of my gratitude goes out to my readers. You’re all amazing, kind, supportive, and I hope we will continue to laugh together, cry together, and be real for many more years to come.
Thank you all SO much. I’m not much of a hugger, but consider yourselves all hugged tight tonight.
copyright 2018 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. All written work may not be re-posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under United States and International copyright laws. Additional protection is covered under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.