Inner strength lives inside each of us. So many times we feel we are without any inner strength,that our confidence doesn’t lift us high enough.  Confidence comes from within. If we believe in ourselves we will become more and more confident. 

     Our confidence was “shot down” when we were children, living  in a world of abuse. They stole our confidence, stole our self-esteem. We were vulnerable, believed all the hurtful things said to us. We lived with this right up into our adult life, always believing we weren’t good enough, we were failures. Believing it was our fault that these things happened to us. 

     How wrong we were.  Many of us who have healed for the most part know that this is a fallacy. It was never our fault. We were innocent.  As adults many of us can see that. We know we were stuck in a place we had no control of.  But now, we are i control, we can begin to build ourselves up.  Be confident in our abilities. Able now to find our inner strength, believing in ourselves. Free to be in control, mot let the abuser be in control any longer.

     Reach deep inside, find that inner strength, it’s there waiting for you to grab hold and believe in yourself, believe that you are worthy of so much!!

pizap (18).jpg


The way you look at life, determines how you will live it.  As you journey through your healing, there will often be times when you feel you can’t go on, where you let the negatives take over and stamp out all the positives that ever helped you along the way. Having an attitude of being positive helps in so many ways, the way you feel inside, the way you look to others etc. If you choose to take the detour and live in a negative mindset, your healing journey will be forever long.  You will feel down more than up, you will wear a frown and a sad face, even though on the outside you may appear to others as happy, you yourself know that on the inside you are feeling poorly. Find that positive, one small positive feeling will lead to a “snowball effect.” Your world will become more in tune if you can look at the world with a positive attitude. Fight the negatives, see the blueness in the sky, listen to the birds chirp, feel the warmth of the sun on your face, these are all positives, let it turn you around little by little, and your healing journey will feel like you are on the road to a better place, to a better you.  You are worth it. Be positive, be happy!!! 16665899_10158298730120232_605249053230998178_o


With Michal Madison
Both Michal and I believe in this so much. What or who you are on the outside, is not important. What is important is who you are on the inside. No one should discriminate because of how a person looks, the gender, race, etc. Our looks define us!! We are all unique individuals. That’s what makes the “world go round.” My prose I think says it all!!!


Define yourself
Go against the grain.
Embrace your inner passion for life.
Don’t succumb to others expectations.
Find your own way.
Become a unique individual.
Let your dreams unfold.
Express yourself with confidence.
Shatter the glass ceiling.
Be bold.
Be a risk taker!!
Others will follow.
Aspiring to your own dreams
will pave the way.
Be the change for our future.
Break through judgements of others
showing who you truly are.
Most importantly, be true to yourself!!
Believe in who you are.
Your talents are important.
Your cultural uniqueness is
a gift from Creator.
All races are equal in the eyes of God.
No matter your ethnic background
Black, White, Asian, etc.
be a part in ending discrimination!!
Be inclusive.
Embrace everyone.
Taking away ethnicity breaks one’s spirit.
Diversity is powerful. Fulfilling.
Set a precedent for all cultures.
End stereotyping.
Go beyond what others see.
Discover your own biases that distort truth,
blinding you to who you truly are
and who others are.
Be a part of tearing down the walls separating us by race, religion,
gender, sexual orientation.
Never confine yourself, or anyone else to a defined class.
We can all broaden our horizons.
Looks on the outside should
never mask what is on the inside.
Your true value is who you are INSIDE!!
Never let condescending attitudes
break you.
Never let others defeat you.
Strive to meet challenges with dignity, grace & integrity.
Allow conflict to make you stronger.
Push forward with determination.
Be courageous.
Be different.
Be yourself!!

Prose by Mary Graziano©2016

Fabulous Watercolour painting
by my wonderful friend
Michal Madison
copyright 2016




pizap.com14806190448821.jpgHow often do we feel negatives more than positives within our lives?  Too often!!! I can honestly say for myself that l was always negative.  Never thinking I could achieve what I wanted to do.  So many years past by, stuck, feeling down.  Changes can happen.  Through much therapy, help with my depression, I learned how to be more positive in my life decisions.  

We can only do one can make us change, they CAN give us the tools to help us achieve what we want out of life, but it is up to each of us to really want it.  The past is the past, don’t look back, look forward. Look at what you can do, what you want to do.The years fly by, and if you stay stuck in the negative, you will never know what you can and can’t do.  Don’t let others keep you down.  Believe in yourself, you CAN do anything you set your mind to.  Believe in the power of POSITIVITY!!!  mg..©2016


How often do we face struggles in our lives? Ready to give up? Thinking it will never get better?  We all think this way, and when we are in our struggles, we only think with a negative mindset.  Things never do last forever, our life’s struggles will dissipate eventually.  We have to believe, and hang on to that hope of it ending, bringing us peace again. The power of believing is a very strong word. If we don’t believe, what do we have left?  How do we move on?  No one ever said life would be easy, we just need to have faith in ourselves in our higher power, whatever you believe in.  Learn to breathe, slowly, meditate, bring calmness during your time of struggles. Most importantly…Believe. ❤

2016-08-06 14.35.15




In nature animals trudge on,
never giving up. Meeting many adversities
in their lives, but, no matter what the cost
they continue on, with determination
to see the rising sun of new dawn,
knowing their courage helped them
reach their final destination.
Be amazed at the beauty
surrounding you.
Time to be positive, a time to renew.
Life, is an arduous journey.
One we must all travel.
You can live it to the fullest,
with a positive attitude or,
face it with negativity
which makes life gruelling!!
Meet it with determination,
have the potential to see it through.
To reach your goals, your dreams,
they CAN come alive!!
Seek joy, embrace living.
There is no room
for negative thoughts!!
We must trudge onward,
like the animals in nature.
Their journey is on survival,
hoping they live to see tomorrow.
Your dreams, your journey
is whatever you want out of life.
Giving up is too easy,
face each day with tenacity!!
Follow your heart, your soul.
Above all, your dreams.
Move forward, each step,
helping to bring you closer to
Embrace the Journey.

Prose by Mary Graziano ©
Revised June 10, 2016

Beautiful watercolour painting & title
Embrace the Journey
By my fabulous, wonderful friend & artist
Michal Madison


     We all have an “inner child” within us. As survivors of child abuse, often times our inner child is silent, afraid, hiding in the background, because of the abuse that happened to us, we have not had the chance to live our young lives as happy, go-lucky children.  We may have blocked out what happened and continued on our life’s journey pretending that nothing happened.  I for one did that.  But, our “inner child” is hurting, wanting to be able to come out from the darkness, but is not comfortable in doing so. She/he lives inside us in fear, fear of being hurt all over again.  To help our “inner child” come out from the deep abyss, we need to talk to her/him., let them know that it is safe, if you have healed from your abuse as an adult, and you yourself know that it is safe to tell your inner child this.  As we tell her/him that they are now free, that the monster can’t hurt them anymore, there may be a lot of resistance from your inner child in believing you.  Trust has been broken, now we must mend the fence, and bring that trust forward.  With a lot of love, understanding, your inner child, will hopefully start to open up to you, trusting that you are their safety net.  Play, colour, read fun stories to your inner child.  These are things that you may as a child not been able to do.  Together you will grow into one person again.  A survivor, she/he will smile again, feel free to explore your world with you, as a survivor/thriver/warrior.  

“I won’t let the demons hurt you, I will be your guiding light, to protect you and always love you, in the darkness of the night.”  

     I spoke these words to my inner child in my healing from abuse, it took quite awhile to get her to trust me, but now we are one, happy, living the life that was robbed from us as  children. Never to be abused again. To help others in their own healing journey.  Take your inner child by the hand, lead her to safety, your safety, be free, to live the rest of your life in peace..Hugs and Love to all. Mary Graziano© June, 2016



Mary Graziano Shared Michal Madison Art10993125_659908937465490_8234415553837526151_n
My eyes speak with sadness. 
For the crippled spirit.
My eyes share compassion. 
To those lost within.
My eyes share kindness. 
When kindness eluded.
My eyes speak with tears. 
When fear cripples their voices.
My eyes share understanding. 
For the pain they feel.
My eyes speak of hope. 
Lifting those disheartened.
My eyes share strength. 
For the weakened spirit.
My eyes speak of positives.
When negative mindset takes over.
My eyes share visions. 
Of rising up. Not falling.
My eyes speak with courage. 
Helping others move forward.
My eyes share joy. 
No more emotionless eyes.
My eyes speak of grace. 
Love. Respect for oneself.
My eyes share empowerment. 
Giving resilience to thrive.
My eyes speak of Creator’s. 
Immeasurable love.
My eyes share gratitude. 
Of making it through.
My eyes speak new beginnings. 
Never give up.
My eyes share kindness. 
To lighten a heavy heart.
My eyes speak with many emotions.
Sealed are my lips.
No words need be spoken.
Prose by Mary Graziano ©2015
Revised May 6, 2016
Beautiful watercolour painting &
By my incredibly talented, friend
Michal Madison



     Many of us have come a long way in our healing journey.  It has been a difficult rough road, with many twists and turns.  We persevered. Pushed through the debris, per say. Had many setbacks along the way.  In the beginning, we never thought we could make it. Thought of giving up. Why? Because if was easier to give up than pursue what was waiting for us at the end of the rainbow.  We cried, were depressed.  So many things filled our heads.  Questioning our own inner self. Self doubts, hating who we were. Telling ourselves we deserved what happened.  We must have asked for it or was a horrible child.  Feeling worthless inside ourselves. We held our secret in a vault deep inside our being. So no-one would ever find out our “dark secret.”  Maybe your abuser told you if you told he would hurt you even worse. He/she would kill everyone in the family.  By saying that, he/she knew you would keep the secret.  As a small child, you were scared, so scared. You kept quiet.

A small child. We were.  Alone. No-one to turn to. Feeling dirty.  Ashamed. This very secret burning in the bit of our stomach.  Everyday, we were left wondering when he/she would strike again.  When the hitting would start!! When the sexual abuse would begin, hurting us so badly.  Not understanding what was happening.  So many nights our pillows stained. Tears spewing down our faces. Knowing any moment that door would slowly open, the haunting figure of a monster would stand in the doorway.  For me, that was my fear.  I would pretend to sleep, covers pulled up close to me, hanging on to them for dear life.  Did that stop him?  No, he was strong, large hands, pulling the sheets down, reaching for me……So many of us have faced the same thing.

We were not bad.  We were children.  Innocent. Wishing our lives were different.  To be happy, well adjusted. That was not our destiny.  For some reason, we had to live through a life of horror.  Our world belonged to our abuser.  Not able to fight back. We dissociated, thinking of a happy place, where we were free, laughing, playing, Parents who loved us unconditionally.

We were crushed.  Beyond hope.  For those who believe. Praying to Our Creator. To release us from the bonds of abuse.  I know I prayed many times.  Never heard from God. As I got older I lost my faith and believed I must have deserved it, that our Creator abandoned me.

As we grew into adults, we led our lives.  Some may have taken the low road, drinking, becoming promiscuous, taking drugs etc.  Others, like myself held it deep inside.  Letting it fester like a volcano ready to explode at any time..And it did.  I finally had to let it out. That was the beginning of my healing.  I realized, I wasn’t a bad person.  I never deserved it, none of it from either parent.  The sexual abuse was not my fault. I am a good person. These are the words that help us heal.  Our abuser has no control over us any longer. We can say NO to abuse!!!  Therapy a God send.  You need to find a therapist that is right for you.  It may take many attempts to finding the one who understands what you have/are going through.  Never give up, keep searching.  Interview them.  There is one out there just right for you.  There are many different types of therapy. The 12 Step Program, has helped so many survivors.  I wish I had known about that 20 years ago, but…..

I was lucky to have a wonderful therapist named Cheryl, who understood all I went through.  I was with her for 17 years.  The day I went in for my appointment, she said to me, “I don’t think you need my help anymore. By what you tell me and what I read on your blog, you have finally gotten your wings.  You are helping others.”  I had shown Cheryl my blog, where I first started writing about my abuse with poetry.  Little did I even think that my poetry would help others in their own healing.  It was deep dark poetry about what I went through at that time in my life.  Now I write inspirational posts, to let others know they need to be more positive.  Cheryl shares my blog with her clients, for them to read and know that they are not alone.

Having a support system is something that will get you through. Either your spouse, or a close friend.  Someone you can trust. When I finally told my husband, he stood beside me all the way, never once doubting what I said to him. He didn’t want the details.  He believed me one hundred percent. Never doubting.

As you go through your recovery from abuse, have a mindset of positives. Leave the negatives behind.  Know that there is a rainbow out there waiting for you to reach it.  It takes time, but it will happen.  Tell your inner child that she/he is loved.  Is safe. Play with your inner child.  Colour with them.  Read stories to them.  Do things that you as a child were never able to do.  Your inner child will begin to trust you, will realize that they an come out from the deep abyss. Not needing to hide away any longer.  The monster who destroyed their self esteem/your self esteem is not longer able to hold you prisoner in his/her lies and deceits.

So many sexual abuse survivors have shared so many similarities.  Know that you are not alone. We share a lot of the same thoughts and feelings.  That’s why it’s so important to change your mindset, be more positive as you take your healing steps.  You are worth it!!!Don’t ever let anyone make you doubt that.  One thing that I realized just within the past few years is that our Creator never left me.  He was always there, I just never heard him.  I chose to ignore.  Creator loves us, and would never abandon us even in our darkest times.  There is a reason for everything, even the worst of what we went through.  I think for me going through what I did, brought me to where I am today. Helping others with my writing. Inspiring others with positives, uplifting them to believing they too can move forward, leave the past behind.  Our past is just that the past. We don’t live there any more.                   


Believe in HOPE.
Hope is courage.
Giving you will.
To fight the depths.
Of your inner self.
Freeing your mind.
Of any negativity.
Slowly creeping in.
Believe in DREAMS.
Dreams take you.
To another place.
Brings hope.
For a better tomorrow.
Reach for your dreams.
It’s possible.
To accomplish whatever.
You set your mind to.
Never give up.

Prose/Watercolour by
Mary Graziano© April 4, 2016


Marilyn Van Derbur

Marilyn is a incest survivor, former Miss America, writer, speaker, and an inspiration to so many abuse victims. She was a special guest on Naasca Blogtalk radio tonight. Ms. Van Derbur, describes, in detail, her healing process after 13 years of incest. “I wrote the book,” she says, “not because I want someone to learn more about me but so readers can learn more about themselves. And so that loved ones can better understand the brutal recovery process and never again say, ‘just get over it’.” She continues, “The pain ends, I promise .. IF you do the ‘work’ of healing. A loving, long-term relationship and grounded well, adjusted children await you.” Marilyn is an outstanding speaker and motivator. As a childhood incest survivor, she has devoted much of her adult life to raising national awareness and understanding of sexual abuse and its long-term effects. In 1989 her family funded an adult incest survivor program in Denver, and in 1993 she co-founded two national not-for-profit organizations dedicated to public education and strengthening laws protecting victims of sexual abuse. For her tireless work in the area of childhood sexual trauma awareness Marilyn has received many awards and much recognition including, the “Exceptional Achievement in Public Service from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Washington D.C.”. Since her story of incest became public, Marilyn has spoken in over 500 cities and answered tens of thousands of letters and emails from survivors looking to her for support.



Dance my pretty ballerina
As you spin your past away,
Turn around and free yourself
Dance and dance all day.

Shed the past, it will ease the pain
Your fire within will explode,
Brilliant colours of happiness
As the past within will erode.

Artwork Title and some words
Belong to Michal Madison
Written by Mary Graziano
February 8, 2013

“just keep dancing!”~ when i first painted this i thought ‘this rainbow is bleeding’… but then i saw the torso of a ballerina, who no matter what happens, just keeps dancing! & as she dances, she sheds the past with its pain and discovers her own brilliant colors bursting forth from within! ~michal madison

Michal Madison Art's photo.



 As survivors of childhood abuse, we often think that we are now free from our nightmares.  How so very wrong this is.  WE can go along for a long time and think that we are “nightmare  free”, then all of a sudden, we go to bed, fall asleep and it starts  all over again.  It feels so wrong, so crippling.  We are caught by the demons of the night.  Abusing us all over again, we can’t struggle to free ourselves, we are in it for the duration of the horrible nightmare, we can’t escape, the demons have won.

These nightmares are so very real, grabbing hold of our very being our very soul, reliving the past, the abuser again sabotaged our lives.  When we awake, we are frightened, we are feeling trapped again crying out for help, to be rid of the demons that destroyed us once before and are now trying to destroy us again, little by little, piece by piece.

 Why do we let them control us?  Even in our sleep?  We need to take a deep look inside ourselves, and help ourselves to realize that “it’s just a nightmare, it can’t hurt us.”  Oh how many times I have said that to a victim and survivor.  We can’t let the demons control our lives day in and day out.

  Looking deep into myself, as a survivor of incest/emotional/physical abuse, I need to tell myself I am not that little girl any more, he can’t control me now.  That little girl is all grown up.  Tell my inner child that we are now one, that together we are stronger than the demons, that we have the say as to who controls our body, our mind.  It is up to us.  By doing this we can become strong, we will see that the demons can’t hurt us any more.  I was devastated that I had these nightmares.  I didn’t think as a survivor that I would have these nightmares again and again, that they were gone never to return.  

 Even as a survivor we are still healing, still climbing to the top of that mountain.  We will struggle with different aspects of our abuse, but we have the control now, not the demons that try and overtake our nights.  I realize now how wrong I  was, to put myself down, that I wasn’t strong enough to face these nightmares, but I AM strong enough.  I have the control. I just didn’t see it.   My inner self and I are one now. Together we can stand tall.  We have the control. Never again will anyone abuse me!!!

written by Mary Graziano ©Revised Feb. 14/16




Flashbacks take us back to the past.  Takes us to a place where we feel trapped.  We envision the trauma that affected us so much that to us it feels so very real, as if we are reliving the abuse all over again. Visually, we see the abuse happening, we feel it in our every fibre of our being, we hurt all over again. 

 The demons have woken up, taking over our minds again, recapturing us, removing us from the present and again taking away our self-esteem that we had started to build up again.

 Scared, and defeated, we often feel that sometimes we can’t come back to the present quick enough.  WE stay frozen, reliving over and over again all the abuse that stole our innocence, or in the case of Domestic Abuse stole so much of a person’s self respect and self-worth, leaving them feeling “nothing.”

 Our self-worth and self-esteem have been destroyed, leaving us vulnerable to the demons who destroyed it.  We often cannot break free of the flashbacks, whether it was one flashback in particular, or more than one.

 We need to realize that the flashbacks that consume us are not going to hurt us any more.  We need to let it come, realize it is there, and then say “Ok, you can now leave, you can’t hurt me any more, I am now free of you.  You were my demon, but now you are NOTHING.”

 We need to remember to always be kind to ourselves as we are healing, remind ourselves that we are worth so much, that we are a loving person, a beautiful person, one who has survived abuse, one who is now free from the abuse that invaded our bodies, our minds and our souls..Don’t let the demons who abused you win…make them small, so that they can’t hurt us any more..You are the winner, because you came through the abuse whether it was from childhood abuse, like I came through, or Domestic abuse, we are all winners, we are all SURVIVORS!!!!!

Mary Graziano ©October 16, 2012 copyrighted


Via Svava Brooks:

Svava was a guest on our Naasca Blogtalk Radio show tonight. She has done a tremendous job of letting other survivors know that they are not alone, and offers so much hope, information on her blog and in her speaking engagements.Here below is a great place to learn more about trauma and healing. Healing our own bodies, which is so very important.


Registration is open now for the Journey to the Heart Summit!!

It is full of good news!! I’ve interviewed over 20 experts on trauma and healing. If you follow the link you can see who the experts are.

In this summit I am interviewing the wonderful Dr. Peter A. Levine, the developer of the Somatic Experiencing™. He also wrote Waking the Tiger a wonderful book about trauma and the body.

It was a true privilege to talk to Dr. Levine and I am excited for all of you to hear it soon. My favorite part about Dr. Levine is the amount of hope he shares with his work. There is much hope!!

“I believe that we humans have the innate capacity not only to heal ourselves, but our world, from the debilitating effects of stress, overwhelm and trauma.” Peter A. Levine, Ph.D.

That is inspiring isn’t it!! Love it!



Important I am.
In this sweet child’s life.
Watching her grow.
Moving forward.
Absorbing positives.
Flowing her way.
Encouraging words.
Helping to mold her life.
To expand horizons.
Build confidence.
Unleashing potential.
To help growth.
Letting her know.
Her life has meaning.
Purpose. To follow.
Every dream imaginable.
Able am I.
To share such joy.
When that one day.
Truly comes.
A child thrives.
By profound influences.
Given them.
No put downs.
No judgement.
Only kindness.
Helping to wipe a tear.
To be assuring.
Loving. Caring. Proud.
My heart warms.
Seeing her
Eyes of emerald green.
Emanate with Love.
Trust. Faith.
My actions.
My words.
In the eyes.
Of one.
Small child.

Prose by Mary Graziano©2015
Revised November 20, 2015

Beautiful watercolour painting
Title “One Small Child”
By my wonderful, artistic friend
Michal Madison©2015

Michal Madison Art's photo.
Michal Madison Art

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove… but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
Forest E. Witcraft

“One Small Child”
watercolor by Michal Madison ©2015
Thank you for sharing!~mm


We all heal in different ways, we need to reach out to our feelings, feel and really concentrate on what it is that is hiding inside of us. There are so many ways to move forward, to accept that what happened to us was horrible, was not our fault. But we have to really pay attention to what our inner self is telling us, listen to our inner child who may be crying because she/he is scared to face the past still, even if it happened so many years before. Open your heart to your feelings. I am struggling with this right now, been a long hard week for me, and I know I don’t say anything here in the group about it, but I am human, I have things that bother me, just l like many of you do also.
Voicing how we feel is very hard for many of us, as we have been programmed from a child to not talk about anything, so what do we
do? We shut down. I know I did, and I still do to this very day.

We need to love ourselves, and that is sometimes hard to do, when you feel that you hate yourself for feeling the way you are. And learning to love yourself is so hard to do, because we never knew how to do that as a child. Just living day to day, trying to stay away from our abuser, how did we get to love ourselves. I hated myself for what happened. I hated everything about me, hated the thought that I was adopted, hated my real parents for leaving me, even though I didn’t know the reason why. So how could I love myself? Do you feel that way also? Yes, for the most part I am healed, but still have some work to do.

And this is what you also have to decide for yourselves, that its ok to feel, its ok to say ” hey Im struggling here, and need some help.” There is nothing wrong with getting help. Write down your feelings, write down how you feel about yourself, about why you are hurting inside, then go through them one by one, hopefully it will clear up some of the things that are stuck in your mind. We all have new memories that are going to pop up, and when we are ready to face them our mind will let us know. Grab hold of your inner child and tell her/him that they are safe, nothing is going to hurt them ever again. God Bless everyone, and thank you for listening. 

written by Mary Graziano©


By Mary E Graziano on Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 7:49pm


Being kind to yourself first, then to others, let go of that person that once was.  BE WHO YOU ARE NOW!!!  Moving toward becoming a survivor.   Become brave within yourself, and then you can find  that confidence.  Begin to trust yourself, trust who you really are….

Your world will finally open up to you in many ways you never knew existed.

Embrace it, see it, feel it.  All the right answers are not always there for us when we really need it the most. We are often afraid to experiene something we all hate. Fear!!!

Standing up for yourself is facing your fears.  Don’t wait for someone to come along and give you permission to live your life, live it your way…

Don’t let others push you around, you are your own person, and need to remember that.  Fear makes us want to run away from a situation, and sometimes for safety reasons, we need to run.  But we often stay locked up in the past, fear of moving on, to the unknown.  The past is where our abuser lived, and  for many, still lives inside our heads, keeping a person  prisoner of the past, not knowing how to turn the situation around and say “GO TO HELL, I’M NOT AFRAID OF YOU ANYMORE.”  Instead they let the abuse still continue to win inside of themselves, thinking that they can’t heal, they are always going to be under the “spell” of their abuser.  But it doesn’t  have to be that way.  This is where courage comes into play.

Courage doesn’t come from outside, it comes from within, but sometimes you just haven’t realized it, you have to learn to find it again.  It takes Courage to leave the past behind, to close that door, lock it and walk away to live in the present, where you belong.  This is where your life can change for the better.  You don’t belong in that past anymore, yes it was horrific, immensely broke you, took away your spirit, your self worth, everything about you, and even your will to live at times.  But it doesn’t mean you have to keep living there.  

So find that Courage, it is there, buried deep within.  Grab hold, take charge of yourself and your Courage will come forward to help you become who you really are, releasing you from the clutches of the past, to live in the now, and to enjoy your future the way it should be and to become 

The real you ~ 

By Mary Graziano ©

re-edited  Aug. 29, 2013


     Loving ourselves is something that we find hard to do.  So often we are only thinking of the negative things about ourselves.  What about the positives?  If you stop and think for on minute of one positive, one thing you have done, then you can start doing this every day.  Push aside the negative thinking.  Be happy in who you are.  We are not perfect no-one is, and if anyone tells you that they are, then they are only fooling themselves.  Your thoughts are what keeps you either feeling good about yourself or upset, angry with yourself.  How many times do we tell ourselves we are not worthy, are stupid etc.  Really start thinking about what you say to you, then try and turn it around.

Life throws curves at us all the time.  Life is not easy, but we have to make the best of it.  We don’t live in a perfect world, these curves along the way can help you grow, help you become a better YOU.  Let go of the “what ifs” we all do it, but does it get us anywhere?  Thinking or dreaming of a better life, won’t get you there, you have to have to do it, act on it.  How else are you going to achieve it.

By loving yourself, others will become to love you.  Loving yourself, helps you to love others because if you don’t know how to love, how can you love another person?  We all make mistakes, that’s how we learn, but when we put ourselves down for what we did wrong, we are only hurting ourselves.  Others can walk away from us when they hear our negativity, but we can never walk away.  We are it., we live with ourselves, we need to love who you are inside, in your soul, reach deep, tell yourself how awesome you really are.  I know how hard this is to do, I find it hard to love myself.

Being a survivor of child abuse, it is often ingrained in us that we are not worthy, we are nothing.  We believe it, and live it everyday.  But it is not true.  I realize now that I’m not stupid, I can achieve anything I set my mind to.  Living in fear during my childhood and teen years takes your self-esteem down to the very bottom of that abyss, leaves you stranded in the negative thoughts.  I wondered what I ever did wrong, why I was being punished.  I believed all the things said to me, but you know, it wasn’t true.  We were fed lies, we were abused, and felt we deserved it.  The abuser was the one that took away our inner self.  Now we need to find it again, and it all comes down to learning to love ourselves.

That little child in each of us suffered tremendously, locked her/himself up tightly, to keep safe, but didn’t feel love for themselves from others.  That continued on as we grew.  I never saw the potential inside myself to be who I wanted to be.  To succeed in my dreams.  I always wanted to be a nurse, but was told that I wasn’t smart enough.  I couldn’t go on to University or collage, so I struggled though high school, got my diploma and went out and found a job.  Nursing was pushed out of my mind.  Today, I know I could have done it, but it took all these years to really realize that I shouldn’t have listened, I should have at least tried, and if I didn’t succeed, then that was my decision to at least try.  Now I regret it so much.

To learn to really love ourselves, we need to reach our inner child, it all starts there.  We need to be gentle with her/him, and by doing that we are being gentle with ourselves.  Take the time to sit when all is quiet, talk to your inner child, say loving things to them.  Your inner child hasn’t heard kind words, praise, those are words that are not in their vocabulary.  But by doing that we are acknowledging our own person, our adult self.  You will start to realize that being kind to your own self, will start to make you feel a warmth inside.  Compassion for others is so easy for us to show, but to show that same compassion for ourselves, is foreign to us.

Loving ourselves is hard work, loving that inner child is hard to do also.  Many may not even believe that our inner child exists, but they are there, just hidden away until someone comes and sets them free.  Frightened by the past, they are insecure, unloved and feel abandoned.  And as our adult selves we feel that also.  We may push it away and think everything is fine, and on the outside to others, it may seem fine, but if you really thing about it, is it?  To most others, I seem perfectly fine, happy, content with  myself, laughing, but inside my gut feelings are still hidden away.  For the most part I have opened up and let most of those feelings out, but I still hold many inside.  Why? because I think I still am not loving enough of me.  Sometimes I don’t care about my feelings, I don’t care enough to do something about it.  But I need to care about me first, and we all need to.  Today, I try and be more positive with myself, sometimes I fail at it, but I am trying and that is all that matters.  My inner child, at most feels happier today than she ever has.  She is no longer hidden, no longer afraid to venture outside her “box” and can smile, laugh, but also has those dark days, where she wants to stay hidden.  I have and we all have those days, but its just a day, because tomorrow comes along, and can change that mindset, to a positive one.  Each day will never be the same as the day before.  We as adults need to stop letting others tell making our decisions for us, it’s time for us to make our own decisions, our own goals.  It’s our choice not theirs.  You decide what you want in life, and you decide if you want to love yourself or keep on hating yourself ~ One thing I know is that we are all worth it, we are uniquely our own person, so accept it ~

Love who you are….Give yourself a hug, tell yourself you matter, first, second and third..

Written by Mary Graziano©2014