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I Am a bit early in our weekly blog topics..but needed to share.
Some incredibly hurtful things can be said...some incredibly hurtful things can occur..but I couldn't bare to Hold On to an expired feeling anymore.
Today I made the decision to forgive.
It was choice. How do I know It was a choice??...because The option was sitting right Next to resentment. In fact, resentment And Forgiveness talked...
Resentment said "I'm going to keep reminding you Of all The líes, all The pain, dissapointment, And grief, SOO much to The point anger, hate, bitterness tuck you in at night; than wake you up to do It all over again The Next Day. You'll Still be able to Live your life, but just know I'm always going to be here, occupying some space (not too much) just a little in your mind, some More in your heart, and If you try hard enough to Hold On to me...you just might feel It deep down in your bones.."
Forgiveness responded saying "I wish I could remember what you JUST said...but The truth is, I Forgave you before you even started talking, so whatever you choose to do, or say...whatever you bring to The table doesn't affect me.. I already made reservations to save Room for growth, Love, success, Joy, And PEACE from all Of that. And to be honest, The way my future is set Up...I just Don't have time to Hold a spot for you in my life.
I came to realize that dating Resentment for so long helped to only validate my hurt feelings, And not edify what i know to be true.
Continuing to befriend And entertain resentment was only robbing me of every moment I could be enjoying with Forgiveness...
I choose to Love me More than what's ever said, what's ever happenned...TODAY is a CHOICE I make towards loving The Parts Of me that have been attacked, manipulated, misused, abandoned, líed to...And taken for granted.
Who will you choose?
It's healing time.
Devin Marie & Cristal Lowe
New blog post for this Week coming soon! 💗
The rhetoric for most individuals who survive ANY tragedy is most always described as "victim".
By definition the term victim is described as:
1.a person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency:a victim of an automobile accident.
2.a person who is deceived or cheated, asby his or her own emotions orignorance, by the dishonesty of others,or by some impersonal agency:a victim of misplaced confidence; thevictim of a swindler; a victim of anoptical illusion.
Did I suffer? Yes...both physically, emotionally, mentally....did I feel I was cheated? Yes, not only by the person I befriended in school who took advantage of me, but also by a system in law that couldn't protect me from seeing my attacker again, or by the school system that did little to ensure my safety in and out of classroom.
While pressing charges I was described in police documents as a " victim". "The victim wants to press charges" the victim needs help processing a restraining order" "the victim..."
Was all I heard, was the only word I could take with me after having the case dropped due to "lack of sufficient evidence".
I was crushed, I was deeply angry and bitter, I looked at this system and felt more victimized than before. Was ALL this even worth it? I went through hours of questioning by police, underwent a rape kit (a series of examination of the body including DNA sampling, photographs of body, vaginal examination)
And then the case...just...dropped.
That it. End of story?
Was this going to be MY story?
Six years later I CHOSE to reclaim my experience--for me, I took the initiative by seeking an identity in Jesus Christ. In that moment I realized I'm NOT a Victim despite what was written about me, I survived something, I chose to keep pursuing my life after this!
The journey from victim to survivor has been an uphill battle. Be sure when you undergo ANYTHING that was meant to "kill, steal, or destroy you" you do your BEST to not internalize that experience. REMEMBERING from last week; "you are NOT rape" you are not what happened to you. "It"did happen; but you are not "it".
Unlike the definition for "victim" I choose to identify my existence in the present as a survivor; as do I address OTHER SURVIVORS of their existence.
By validating that YES what you went through was more anyone should have to go through...
BUT you are still HERE.
By definition survivor means you have survived. To survive requires an action. An active pursuit to
If you are reading this... You May not have chosen the words used to describe who you Really are, you may not have been able to choose your experiences, but you can choose to reclaim them; develop new meaning for whatever It is you have gone through. This takes work. This takes patience. This takes Love. So no matter what Step your on, keep going. And know we are choosing to survive with you..
Let's heal together.
With Love and solidarity,
Devin and Cristal
Before telling anyone about being raped my freshman year of college, I was living in fear. I walked around trying to conceal the burden that kept me from enjoying my life as a young adult.
One evening, Cristal and her husband invited me to dinner and a movie. After the movie, Cristal pulled me aside and said "I don't know why I'm telling you this...but a few years ago I was raped by a close friend I trusted. God knows what we go through even if we don't..." She gave me a hug. I said "thank you." And we parted ways.
I was shocked...but at peace all at the same time. I never spoke to Cristal about my experience but I was compelled to tell her over the phone once I got home later that evening.
Cristal has been and continues to be part of my healing circle, and someone I consider a sister.
She has been an ample part of my healing and encouraged me in the process of telling my family and finishing school. I've had other's help me along the way---the reaffirmed so much hope & purpose in my life.
So we ask you today...
Whose in your circle?? I don't know HOW many times I've thrown my own pity party and no one was invited...except...OTHER broken people.
While you heal, from the whys in life...("why did this have to happen to me? Why didn't God intervene? Why do bad things happen to good people?") take an inventory of the people around you.
People carry spirits and different type of energy that is cultivates over a lifetime Of experiences. Days, hours, minutes all compiled into one being can influence you to be better or keep falling into The traps Of life.
I'm not saying what has happenned to you was YOUR fault. But I Don't believe in coincidences..If I did I'd be forced to look at my life and think all I have gone through was all "wrong place, wrong time".
It takes More Faith to believe in the spotinuity Of life than in a God that says in
Romans 8:18-23For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
That GLORY that God wants to reveal to us must Mean that It is ALREADY there. Inside Of us, If God said "Glory which Shall be discovered in us...that would require us to SEEK And FIND our Anwser, solution, or reason for these present times somewhere outside Of us. Outside Of our circles.
If they are FOR you, they'll promote you.
If they are against you, they'll try to demote you in your progress Of that reveal.
Pray for discernment. Many people And places are seasonal And once they stop aiding in your growth, they are like weeds in a garden you've taken so long to cultívate from your life; they are space fillers, whose only purpose is to keep you from The beauty That's already there...Don't be afraid to pluck some out... Give yourself permission to grow.🌱
Let's heal together.
With love and solidarity,
Devin Marie & Cristal Lowe.
"....You are more than what happened to you."
This is often hard to grasp..so often we fixate our identities with what we have gone through whether good or bad.
The issue in relying solely on this fact as an actual identifier is that these moments are never lasting.
Often, in moments of Trauma we have a natural tendency to relive that moment even after time passes. Doctors and psychologists call this post tamatic stress disorder or PTSD.
Sounds, smells, literally any one of your senses can be triggered to make you feel like you're reliving that experience.
Many people find outlets with coping with trauma(emotional, mental, or physical)
For me, prayer, and something I call "peace-practices"
Peace practices include writing, dance, prayer, being by water (beach runs are my favorite!!)
In these moments of peace practices I did for what worked in the moment, in order to heal from a "moment" i Had to make new ones that validated my feelings while not allowing them to control me!
It's not so much about getting over The fact that It happenned...no one can change that. We can't rewind The clock And do It all over again.
Someone once told me "...What happenned to you was very real. The pain, The embaressment, Shame And hurt are all very real...but YOU are NOT rape as real as that pain is; you are not "It". He took advantage Of your Body but do not succumb to The idea that he took advantage Of your spirit."
And with that...let's remind ourselves that what we go through in life is not ALL that we are. Letting go Of that Notion Will leave Room for you to experience who you Really are because Of moments that were meant to destroy you but only made you stronger.
You are More....
Let's heal together.
Topic this Week is on Forgiveness. We all know Of It...but are we ACTIVELY forgiving? And what does It actually mean to do so?
Regardless Of The matter; Big or small...without Forgiveness we remain stuck;
Stuck in that moment, stuck in that feeling, stuck in The grip Of that experience or what that person caused. I'm not saying this process is easy, but it is necessaryto Live life Fully!
Pain hurts. Whether that pain is being experienced physically, mentally, or emotionally. The pain May actually last Past The moment Of intital trauma. Imagine stubbing your pinky toe on the corner Of your bed. You can walk away from that corner, you can even walk out Of that Room; but your toe More than likely Will continue to throb And ache. What am I getting at?
A LOT Of us are willing to go Back to that corner, yell, maybe damage the bed all together in hopes Of avenging ourselves or getting Back at that "thing".
Cristal Lowe: "Forgiving someone else to have self peace and be able to truly love your self to start a healing process."
Devin Marie: "I have had to forgive sometimes every day after the pain of sexual assault. I had to come to terms with the pain, why it hurt me, and ultimately how is this hurt going to control my life? There were many steps I took to get to the place where I can say I have forgiven him. The individual who assaulted me. Does forgiving him mean What he did wasn't wrong? No. It means that what he did wasn't going to dictate how I treated myself or others as I move on in my life."
And that's the thing, I don't know if I was ready to move on from what happened. For the first few years I had attached so much of myself to him, to that night, to everything associated with the rape; that I lost who I was." My identity was directly affiliated with my pain. I was afraid that if I let go of that pain, I would be letting go of me too." --DM
I mirrored WHO I was with WHAT happened to me. I didn't see myself as beautiful, I didn't love myself, I thought myself to be weak. But God reminded me there is a difference between BEING weak and living weak-minded. I thought, if I can conquer that...I can finally move on.
To be weak minded means to harbor thoughts that promote weak behavior.
I was done self-sabtagoing Everything Gold because I feared It would eventually hurt me.
When a negativa thought about myself, that person, that moment accord i inmediately said to myself, "i know that hurt you, this was not your fault, you are here NOW. I forgive you, because I Love me More!"
These affirmations though small eventually became a reality; even if it took me a while to believe I forgave; I reminded myself it wasn't for them, it was for me, and I deserved to live a full life without the shackles of resentment, because that's what they are... A way to restrict movement to love myself, and be loved in return.--DM
So forgive and in return love fully! Not for them, not because what they did doesn't matter, not because it will take WHAT they did away, but because your worth it! You are worth the chance.
Let's heal together.
Cristal Lowe and Devin Marie
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