I have promised so many that I would start blogging regularly and I just keep letting other things get in the way, so with the summer here, I hope to change that. This past week I had the opportunity to speak both at the Chainbreakers Foundation and at an LDS enrichment night. Today, I want to blog about the things I learned from these wonderful opportunities.
We all create cycles in our lives, some healthy, others, not so healthy. After studying the topic, I have learned that there are cycles in my own life that I definitely need to work on. But I have also learned that no matter how unhealthy a cycle is, there is always a way to break it. There are two ways we can look at it. We can see ourselves as a victim of our circumstances, or as a survivor. I looked up the definition of these two words and I was intrigued by their definitions. A victim is someone who has been injured, destroyed, or sacrificed by the actions of an outside force. A survivor is someone who lives on, who continues to prosper and function, someone who withstands. The definition of withstand is to stand up against, to firmly oppose, and the archaic definition: to stop or obstruct the course of.
With these definitions, I would like to shout loud and clear, that I am a survivor. My mother was a survivor. Although my mother didn't stop the cycle of silence (she left that for me) she did stop the cycle of abuse that had been passed down in my family for generations. She did not perpetuate the cycle and become an abuser herself and because of her sacrifice, I never had to experience the difficulties she experienced as a child. Just as my mother stopped the cycle of abuse, I have stopped the cycle of silence. I am no longer chained to the past by a cycle that has been perpetuated for decades. The cycle stops now, with me, and I will never let it control me again.
I hope that others can hear the call and stop the cycles in their own lives, especially the cycle of silence. Whether it's mental illness, abuse, addiction, or any number of other secrets that carry social stigmas, stop the cycle of silence and start talking. Together we stand strong and the more we talk about it, the more people start learning and the more people learn, the more the world understands. Understanding brings healing and peace. Love yourself enough to share your burdens with others, do not carry them alone. And love your children enough to end the cycle with you so that they don't have to one day carry your burden on their shoulders. God is love. Trust in God and live.