Recovering The Self is a quarterly journal which explores the themes of recovery and healing through the lenses of poetry, memoir, opinion, essays, fiction, humor, art, media reviews and psychoeducation. Contributors to RTS Journal come from around the globe to deliver unique perspectives you won't find anywhere else!
The theme of Volume III, Number 4 is "Parenting & Families". Inside, we explore physical and mental aspects of this and several other areas of concern including:
... and much more!
This issue's contributors include:
"I highly recommend a subscription to this journal, Recovering the Self, for professionals who are in the counseling profession or who deal with crisis situations. Readers involved with the healing process will also really enjoy this journal and feel inspired to continue on. The topics covered in the first journal alone, will motivate you to continue reading books on the subject matter presented. Guaranteed."
--Paige Lovitt for Reader Views
Visit us online at www.RecoveringSelf.com
Published by Loving Healing Press www.LovingHealing.com
Periodicals : Literary - Journal
Self-Help : Personal Growth - Happiness
|Publisher:||Loving Healing Press|
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Read an Excerpt
Living in Oneness on Our Journey to Recovery
Barbara Sinor, Ph.D.
Are you living in Oneness? The state of Oneness is an awareness of All That Is unfolding as a consciousness within you. Oneness is a choice to sense a complete vision of who you are, right now, in this moment as you read each word. When we feel at-one with ourselves, our moment on Earth, our place in the cosmos, we are living in Oneness.
Oneness can be compared to Love. We all seek love. Love may manifest in different forms but true Love comes in knowing we can attain Oneness. John E. Welshons, a respected contemporary spiritual teacher and author, states, "The love we seek in relationships exists inside us. It is not something another person, or group of persons, feeds into us. It exists at the very core of our own being." When we begin to live in Oneness, we touch this core where only Love resides.
Welshons continues, "When we perceive ourselves as separate [from our Oneness], we are perceiving something that isn't real. Separateness is the source of our most painful and frustrating human experiences ... The only reason we don't feel [Love] all the time is that our minds get in the way. We choose fear rather than Love. We choose anger rather than equanimity." The good news is we have the powerful ability to make choices at any time in our lives. We have the gift of free will. Even when we believe we have no choices to move forward or away from fear, the past, unhappiness, addiction, or loss, there are always choices to do so if we look within and begin living in Oneness.
Letting go of the past to move into the present and the realm of Oneness requires an active choice to release any negative input that dictates you cannot have the positive reality you desire. Many still believe in the old philosophy which states, "You made your bed, now you must lie in it." These people truly believe they do not deserve to succeed in their life, that they have no choice but to follow their old path of suffering and hardship. You have the necessary tools to move beyond this type of negative outmoded patterning.
If you find yourself identifying with the above type of powerless thinking, make a conscious choice right now to release it. Write an affirmation of personal power in your journal, which allows you to let go of any negative ties with your ability to choose the present as you desire it to be. An example would be: I let go of restricting thoughts which limit my ability to move into the present and live in Oneness. When you have decided on the wording of your affirmation, post it to a mirror, the refrigerator, and inside your car. Take the action necessary to allow yourself the freedom to release any limitations which are holding you back from the present reality and living in Oneness.
As Welshons states in his most recent book One Soul, One Love, One Heart, "Understanding the truth of our Oneness is a core principle in the heart of most great spiritual traditions." This understanding requires that we move beyond our past programming and re-write, or re-create, it into loving experiences filled with understanding, compassion, and joy. This can be accomplished on a daily basis as a ritual, in meditation and prayer, or consciously choosing to use the power of our free will to move forward. Letting go of our past and the negative emotions attached to them will bring us closer to living in Oneness in our recovery and the ability to experience the Love which is all around us.
Speed Bumps on the Road to our Desires
The road to attracting and achieving our desires is not always a smooth one. Sometimes we suffer a few obstacles on the path and earn our desire. These obstacles can be painful and scarring ones and at that moment, we are unable to comprehend how these tragedies help us to attain that which we desire. The truth is when we set the law of attraction in motion, we aren't fully aware of the schematics the Universe has laid out in order for us to achieve our goal. Sometimes we must travel down the road less trodden, and we unwittingly learn and grow over the journey. This is where implicit faith comes into play. Faith that there is a bigger picture, a greater plan and during the darkest moments, is when we stay strong, positive, and focus on our desires and achieving them. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, so do we prevail through adversity and arrive at our destination, the achievement of our desire.
There is a story about a Zen Master and a boy who on his 14th birthday receives a horse as a gift. The villagers are happy for the boy and are heard saying,
'How wonderful the boy got a horse.'
The Zen Master simply responds, 'We'll see ...'
Later, sometime, the boy takes a spill off the horse and breaks his leg. The villagers are saddened for the boy and are heard saying, 'How terrible!' The Zen Master once again simply responds, 'We'll see ...'
Soon thereafter a war breaks out and all the young men from the village are recruited and forced to fight in the war. The only boy that isn't recruited is the one with the broken leg. At this point the villagers are heard saying, 'How wonderful!'
The Zen Master simply responds, 'We'll see.'
The fact is we don't always see the Universe's grand scheme but we have to believe there is one. To illustrate this point, let me share a real life example. Many readers will know who Phil Collins is, but few will be aware of his journey. Philip David Charles Collins was born in 1951 in Chiswick, London, and grew to be a world renowned singer, songwriter, drummer, keyboardist, and actor. He is best known for hits such as: "In The Air Tonight", "Sussudio", "Another Day In Paradise", "Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)", and "Easy Lover".
But this wasn't always the case. In the seventies, Phil was a drummer for the progressive rock band Genesis. During that decade, front man Peter Gabriel left the band, and critics and fans both believed that would be the end of the band since the iconic lead singer was irreplaceable. The band continued and searched for a lead singer but to no avail. Phil decided to 'have a go' and one by one, they completed all the tracks on the A Trick of the Tail album. The album reached the American top 40 and No.3 in the UK Charts. Rolling stones wrote, "Genesis has managed to turn the catastrophe of Gabriel's departure into their first broad-based American success."
They had proved critics and fans wrong and both Genesis and Collins continued to succeed. Unfortunately, the success took a strain on his married life and the band agreed to take a one-year hiatus so Phil could focus on his wife and kids. Sadly, this wasn't enough and they divorced. Collins became a recluse and lost himself into his song-writing. In the early eighties, Phil released his first solo album, Face Value, where he contributed his divorce as his influence. The response was magnificent! Collins went from strength to strength and sold records by the boat load. Phil was everywhere; not only was he performing with the biggest names in the industry but he was on television in hit shows like Miami Vice and even headlined the movie Buster.
Today, Phil Collins has achieved more than most and continues to do so. His list of accomplishments is never ending, but when he received that toy drum kit for Christmas, when he was five, did he know what was in store? In 1970, when Phil answered an ad for a drummer for the band, Genesis could he have imagined where that road would lead? When Peter Gabriel left in 1975, could Collins have imagined he would be the one to lead Genesis and prove the doubting world wrong? Could he have imagined his tragic divorce would be the catalyst to his solo success?
History is littered with stories like Phil's. Take for example Kurt Warner. The two time NFL MVP winner and Super Bowl winner used to stack shelves at a grocery store for $5.50 an hour and played Arena football.
Susan Boyle was laughed at when she came on stage during the show Britain's Got Talent. Once she started singing, Susan became an instant global sensation! From Leno to Letterman, Susan Boyle was the hottest topic at that time. As I write this, Susan is in the studios working on her first album with the infamous Simon Cowell.
The sultry Rosario Dawson is the daughter of a plumber and a construction worker who, in her youth, squatted in an abandoned building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. As a child, Rosario was spotted outside on a stoop by a talent scout and her journey to Hollywood Stardom began.
The journey to our desire will teach us lessons and allow us to grow. It may not be easy but it is one we can weather and our faith and belief are our guiding light. Perhaps we do have to kiss some frogs before finding our prince. Maybe we need to suffer through a divorce before finding that ideal partner. Even worse, maybe we have to gain from the lessons of a miscarriage before we receive the perfect child for us. Who knows, maybe some of us need to be photographed without our underwear by the paparazzi so we remember to wear some panties! Whatever the example, the growth from the experience only equips us to treat our desire aptly when we receive it. It is an essential part of the process of achieving our desires. In some ways, the journey is the destination.
Ours is another success story. The Universe had and still has a plan for Phil, Kurt, Susan, Rosario, and it has one for us too. Like them, we too shall rise from the ashes, we too shall prevail. We too shall achieve and accomplish. How do we know this? Because it's all part of the plan and like the Zen Master, you'll see.
Surviving the Darkness
Sometimes I think back to my childhood. I'm not sure why at times I think of the happy moments and, at times, I think of the darkness that surrounded me. There were happy moments, and plenty of them. There were lots of children to play with, many parties with family and friends, lots of good, authentic Italian food, singing with my mother and sisters, and lots of time around the dinner table. In some of my memories, these moments could have been a Hallmark movie. But in every one of them, as happy as I may have been, I was scared. Being scared accompanied every emotion I felt, in every situation I was in. No matter where I was or who I was with, inside my soul, there was fear.
Many years later, I faced this fear. I took a journey down a long, scary, difficult road. I had to. Living in fear is not really living at all. I am one of the lucky ones who survived and rose above the adversity that was forced upon me. I am not talking about physical survival. I was never in danger of actually dying. It was my soul, my spirit, my self. This darkness tried so hard to destroy these things. It had the power to do so. But I survived.
The darkness I mention came to me in the form of abuse; child sexual abuse, to be precise. I hate those words, and I hate them even more when I am talking about myself and my own experiences. I try to imagine what someone who hasn't experienced this must feel when reading them. Does it make them want to stop reading? I would understand. But for me, it is a reality that I tried to escape for many years. Trust me when I tell you that ignoring these words does not make them go away. In fact, it gives them power. The only way I was able to defeat the damage that was done to me by the actions described in these horrible words was to face them. I had to hear it first. I was told by my counselor, "you are an Adult Survivor of Incest". I never applied those words to myself before. But there they were, preceded by "you are", and no longer was I able to ignore them. The first time I said them was to my sister. She let out a long, loud sigh. She heard it the way I did. The words were ugly, and embarrassing. And worst of all, they defined my childhood and the family I grew up in. These words are what my writing is about; child sexual abuse, incest, and the darkness that encompasses its victims. And finally, it is about survival.
One of the most important things I have learned through my awareness and healing is the high level of misunderstanding that society has for incest. It is hardly talked about, at least not in any productive way. Society thinks that we need to catch the predators and lock them away, and the problem will be solved. I do agree that all perpetrators of this horrible crime need to be punished, and much more severely than our laws today impose. But I have noticed, over the years, that most people think of the pedophile predators that lurk in playgrounds snatching up strange children and victimizing them. These predators are every parent's worst fear, myself included. But the type of victim I was would never be on the news. Incest is almost never on the news. It is not newsworthy. Society sees victims of incest as part of a disturbed family, and this family should fix its own problems, that is, if they even hear about them. Sadly, when they do, there are no rallies, no news conferences, and no community involvement. The public is not as concerned because "other" children are supposedly not at risk. Not only is this not true, it is a great injustice to these victims. You cannot even begin to imagine the ways they suffer in this situation. This does not come upon them suddenly in the middle of a normal day. It is a normal day. It is their life. And their concerned parents are not out looking for them and pleading with the public to help them find their child, or stopping the predator from ever hurting them again. Their parents are either abusing them or allowing them to be abused. There is nobody to help them, unless they talk.
Most families that are involved in incest often look normal from the outside. This is another reason for the misunderstandings. And the victims themselves do whatever is necessary to maintain that look of normalcy. Otherwise, their secret might be discovered, and they too, along with their family, would likely be shunned. What a shame all this is! I didn't realize how sad I would feel writing that reality. This is the main reason that victims do not reach out for help. Not only are they often children when the abuse is occurring, they are part of the abusive unit. They are part of this "family". The word "incest" itself is defined using the word "family".
But the type of victim I was would never be on the news. Incest is almost never on the news. It is not newsworthy.
What a different life I may have had if I had been free to reach out for help. What a different life many people in my family would have had; I am not the only victim, as one almost never is. And even if you are not a direct victim of the abuse, the whole family suffers. How could it not? The damage of one member of a unit is bound to affect everyone. In a different way, of course, but it does affect them.
I was abused by my oldest brother, who was abused by priests, one of them being my uncle, who was likely abused by his uncles, also priests, and some of them quite high up in their hierarchy. This is part of the darkness - the generational effect of incest. From the moment a child is born into a family that has been affected, they are learning to live in this darkness. They are learning to look the other way. They are learning to comply with things they know don't feel right. They are learning to keep secrets. They will do this into adulthood when they will conveniently pretend nothing bad happened. Often, they never face the darkness; they try to ignore it, and never learn to step out of it. If this happens, they spend their adulthood hiding from it. In doing so, they will someday create a whole new generation of darkness.
I call it darkness for many reasons. The first thing I think of when I look back to my experiences is the true presence of evil. Because of the priests' involvement in my particular case, religion was an issue. My brother was so angry, and rightly so. He took much of his anger out on God, and the rest on his victims. Priest abuse becomes complicated because of what they are supposed to stand for. They are supposed to be our link to God. They clearly are not a link to the God I know. Parents trust them with their children because they were taught to believe that these men are good role models, and why shouldn't they believe it? They are supposedly appointed by God to serve Him. This is where blind faith becomes complicated, and dangerous.
Excerpted from "Recovering the Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing Vol. III, No. 1 January 2011"
Copyright © 2011 Loving Healing Press, Inc..
Excerpted by permission of Loving Healing Press, Inc..
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Table of Contents
On Your Journey of Recovery from Abuse by Jackie Friedrikson,
When Forgiveness Healed a Little Girl's Wounded Self by Shaima Ahammed,
The Loving Messenger by Bonnie Spence,
A True Survivor by Sweta Srivastava Vikram,
Free At Last by Linda Irene Silfies,
The Grace of Forgiveness by Kat Fasano-Nicotera,
Overcoming Abuse — The Truth About You by Carmela,
Language and Culture,
The 'F Word' by Candy Czernicki,
Couples – Reconnecting and Recovering from Sexual Abuse by Holli Kenley,
Pitfalls of Therapy for Victims of Abuse by Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.,
The Three Forms of Closure by Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.,
A Wonderful Girl and Her Horrible Problem by Eva Prohosky and Terri Forehand, RN,
Suicide Saga by Cathy Harris,
Healing Childhood Abuse by Barbara Sinor,
Turning Page by Marjorie McKinnon,
Giovannina by Michelle Mercurio,
In The Heart of The Eyes by Steve Sonntag,
Wisdom to Wellness — Maureen Minnehan Jones on MO Therapy by Ernest Dempsey,
Sharon Wallace on Surviving Abuse by Tyler R. Tichelaar,
Finding it the Hard Way, Zen: Sarah Jane by Candide Massocki,
Going through the Motions by Curtesa Richardson,
Great Expectations by Sharon Wallace,
Day After Night,
Codependent No More,
Help Yourself For Teens,
The Flute Player,
A Passing Thought,
Some Days Are Like This by Christine Stark,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found this issue of Recovering The Self to be just as interesting (if not more) as the first issue. It has a great selection of book and film reviews, as well as interesting articles on abuse recovery and stress management. I particularly enjoyed the "veterans" article. Very interesting!!! I highly recommend this issue of RTS.
Recovering the Self: A Journal of Hope and HealingVolume II, Number 1January 2010Edited by: Ernest DempseyPublished by: Loving Healing PressISBN: 978-1-932690-83-5Recovering the Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing is the title of this quarterly journal created to explore the themes of recovery and healing through the use of various media. Each quarterly journal includes poetry, memoir, essays, fiction, psycho-education, humor and reviews. This specific issue covers topics that include recovery from an eating disorder, parenting, culture and ethnicity, abuse recovery, stress management, AIDS orphans and more. The contributors to this issue have a wide variety of life experience, education, outlooks and beliefs. I found each offering to be heartfelt, and all contained useful advice and insight. I learned something from each of the contributors, and my time reading was well and usefully spent. Submissions for future quarterly journals are accepted on an ongoing basis; and I look forward to reading future volumes of this well written journal. Yearly subscriptions are available, as well as purchase of individual issues. I think anyone with interest in psychology or simply any aspect of recovery would benefit from the variety of talented contributors. Something I find especially attractive about this journal is that it is not written with an eye towards just the professional reader, but anyone who is undergoing recovery from a trauma or impacted family members, coworkers or friends. They would gain useful insight and understanding.
Interesting book with some good tips. Took no time to read once I settled down and started it.
This is not a book, but the first issue of a journal. As one would expect, the various entries are of various quality. Some items are scholarly in tone, while others are much more personal. The poetry and fiction are generally good, though there was nothing in those pages that are likely to be award winners. The number closes with a series of reviews of books and movies. These seemed generally well done, though since I haven't read or seen the works under review, I cannot really comment on how well they reviewed the works.The journal itself is professional looking. The cover is glossy with a full color painting on the front. Interior pages are printed on nice paper. There are few pictures or illustrations, and adding more might be a way of strengthening future numbers and volumes. Overall, it is a journal that shows some promise.
I love the open source/open space concept of this journal, which the editor expects to publish quarterly. It encompasses all the areas I think need more traffic in the public dialogue: recovery, transformation, hope, healing, forgiveness, awareness, perspective, inclusiveness, community, and love. In that it was assembled using the contributions of a cross-section of our neighbors, it has an uneven quality, but that's to be expected. It's a good attempt, a good collaboration.
I made the mistake of reading the other reviews while I was waiting for it to arrive. But I agree it was not what I was expecting when i signed up for it. Nor is it clear what sort of a target audience it is aimed at. While a book of short articles by people who have recovered themselves, could be inspiring, I'm not sure it works as a journal, with repeated issues. I see there is now Vol. II, No 1 (strange numbering) issued in January 2010. It seems to me that there is a limit to the number of stories you can read at a time, even if dipped into now and then.My copy also came with "Love Each Day" billed "40 true inspirational stories". I could only read a few before the inspiration got lost on me.However, there have been times of my life, when life was more of a struggle for me, when I would have valued these stories more. And the recommendation of writing your own story is definitely a good one.
Recovering the Self is a collection of articles, poetry and other forms of short writing. The journal focused on personal tragedy and how different individuals dealt with problems. Some turned to God, some to friends and family and others sought comfort in medicinal form. There were a couple of pieces that I was truly amazed at! I wondered how they coped so well. If I were there shoes how would I have dealt? In one story a man loses his wife and almost his children to Genocide. Another article deals with forgiveness of someone who ended a loved ones life. The pieces covered almost every coping mechanism for stress such as anger, substance abuse, grief (depression) and hope. I didn¿t remember if denial appeared in any piece.I enjoyed reading this journal. I wished some of the articles were longer because it seems just I really got into it the piece was done. Many times I was left wondering ok how does the story end what happened next? I don¿t usually read journals but this wasn¿t a bad one to get into. I don¿t know if I would read the next volume simply because it is not my favorite genre. Even though it isn¿t my normal reading preference it was worth reading! Several times I was on the verge of crying. Some stories made me grateful for the life I have. I would recommend this journal to anyone suffering a tragedy. Maybe they would become inspired by a piece. The journal might also give them ideas how to deal with the circumstance at hand.
Slightly bemused by this journal. Outwardly it looks as though it will interesting and provide beneficial advice as to healing. Instead it is a hotchpotch of essays, fiction, poetry and reviews. It seems to have no 'audience', it doesn't truly cover healing (unless you find true life stories insightful), but neither is it aimed at an academical level. I was disappointed, but others may find this type of journal useful.
Published four times per year, ¿Recovering the Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing¿ is ultimately a celebration of the human spirit¿s resilience to the myriad and excruciatingly difficult hurdles thrown at us during our lifetimes. It is also a testament of the surprising goodness in people. For the April 2011¿s Volume 3, Number 2, Editor Ernest Dempsey compiles stories, poems, and book excerpts from 31 different authors and includes six reviews of various books and movies. With such categories as Inspirational, Language and Culture, Humor, Memoir, Education, Emergency, Travel, and Family, there is something for just about anyone to enjoy. The stories contained in this issue of ¿Recovering the Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing¿ are touching and deeply personal. Some of the authors describe their own or even witnessed trials and how they¿ve managed to overcome them despite the overwhelming and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Others describe what it¿s like to live with or treat those with a personality or mental disorder or even horrific abuse. Still others simply put pen to paper and detail their private pain, perhaps as a way to heal. Heartfelt and moving, each page transports the reader into the author¿s own world; some accounts leave the reader with a newfound understanding of disabilities or hardships, some will leave a smile on your face, and others bring on the tears. ¿Recovering the Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing¿ explores the human spirit at a depth at which many of us are not accustomed. With only some very minor editing errors, the readings are raw, full of emotion and strength, and inspirational. I felt a connection with each writer as they described their experiences, whether on the brink of a breaking point or in the midst of an empowering epiphany. I also liked that I¿d seen some of these writers in other forums. For example, I¿d read a book on narcissism which referenced Sam Vaknin, I¿ve enjoyed George W. Doherty¿s work during my studies in emergency management, and I¿ve read or reviewed books authored by Tami Brady and Nancy Wesson, respectively. If you are looking for something profound that will pull on your heartstrings, look no further than this journal.Reviewed by Vicki Landes, author of ¿Europe for the Senses ¿ A Photographic Journal¿
This journal (Vol.1, No.1) encompasses themes full of hope, suffering, forgiveness, and peace; all subconsciously demonstrative in execution toward the development of a new substantial self- there are no self- help steps here. I must preface by stating that I came across Recovering the Self for the sheer purpose of reviewing it only to be face to face with my own self awareness that self victimization is as acute as any other oppression. I was feeling more or less self-assured before reading this journal when I started reading a story about forgiveness aloud to my mother and found myself choked up unable to confidently finish. This journal mainly addresses the severity of life difficulty with such encumbrances as the loss of a child, suffering from breast or prostate cancer, homosexuality; not the everyday woes of “normalcy” (and I say that in a truly literal manner). What I love about these journals is the compilation of multiple genres: non-fiction, poetry, fiction, film (in the 2012 edition) etc. making it easy for readers of many followings to connect and recover their own self even if by surprise.
Recovering The Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing (Vol. 1, No.1) Author: Ernest Dempsey (Editor) Publisher: Loving Healing Press ISBN: 978-1-932690-09-5 This is the premier issue of Loving Healing Press' quarterly journal "Recovering The Self, A Journal of Hope and Healing. This excellent publication contains a wide variety of articles, poems, fiction, humor, book reviews and book excerpts. This information is provided by numerous well known authorities in the fields of psychology, metaphysics, social work and counseling. Specific works in the this volume include: Victims No More by Barbara Sinor, PhD; an article to inspire the reader to let go of past programming and thought processes and recreate life to reach the successes desired. Frank A. Gerbode, M.D., shares his professional insight into the theory of resilience and why some people seem to be more resilient when faced with trauma and/or stress. He discusses the use of Traumatic Incident Reduction (TIR) to work through the situation and build resilience. An article written by Sam Vaknin (author of 10 books about personality disorders and abuse in relationships) is entitled Sex, Gender and Personality Disorders. It takes an interesting look at gender identity and sexual preferences and whether thay have a specific genetic predisposition, along with a revealing look at the gender disparity found in diagnosing personality disorders. Interesting and insightful, with excellent quotes from key literature.. Dr. Janet Hall contributes the article "Helping Children Traumatized by Disaster" a well-done source of information to help children dealing with a variety of traumatic experiences. I look forward to reading additional volumes of Recovering The Self. This anthology truly offers much useful and thought-provoking information.