Gifts with Strings

Moonlit shadows cross my view

As I dream in a pleasant place

Glistening bright with curiosity’s embrace

All thoughts of reality, I must erase

And fill my mind with pleasant times

I sleep with help from the doctor’s gift

A tiny pearl that soothes my soul

And leads me closer to an uncertain goal

Within a room with a tapestry of memory

As it fades within the pearl’s center

For a night of peace and comfort

Though I also know beyond my serenity

That one day upon the streets I’ll stroll

And the devil’s hand will take its toll

As the gift I thought pleased my mind

Turns into the monster I will find

As I look into the mirror and state,

Some gifts have strings attached

Some gifts are not free

Why me?


Break free from the strings that bind you

And never look back so they won’t find you

Live in a world with warming waves

That splash gently upon the human race

Refreshing your mind from the pearl’s grasp

And always emit a smile from your caring face

Resonate

Resonate

Jacob Vinson

Alone gain tonight

A cold hand touches mine

Sensation follows throughout

And reaches my lonely mind

It says to me in a dreary tone

Forget your worries, forget your pain

Dig into the rhythm, do your walk of fame

Dance through the fire, dancing toward the sky

Dance into a memory, and the vision begins to die

Forget your worries, kill your pain

Dig into the rhythm, do your walk of fame

The deception, the hate

They resonate

I wait the day that I can feel

The touch from a warm hand

Forget your worries, kill your pain

Dig into the rhythm, do your walk of fame

The deception, the hate

They resonate

Love and war,

They both grow and fall

So I dig into the rhythm

And soon I’ll have it all

At Last

Douse the flame in my heart

I’ll heat it right back up

But you can do it yourself

With only the blink of your eyes

Unknowing and clever, I see you

But never know what you hide

I’ll still follow your eyes

I’ll ride against the wind

I’ll play the game and take the fall

Tarnish the burning of my love

Crush the dreams of my future

The big fish eats the little one

It’s okay now, I won’t worry

I’m by your side through it all

Cause I can’t stand to stay cold

I won’t stand to be alone

In this depressing, cruel world

It’s time to take away the atrophy

Time to take away my mistakes

Where I can finally take the step towards

Compassion, love, dreams, and hope

So that one day when the light breaks

The uneasy and shady clouds in my mind

I may be, at last

Genuinely and truly

Tearless and passionately

Happy

Cling to Singing Souls

Cling to Singing Souls

Jacob Vinson

Cling to singing souls

They are our last hope

Our only hope

That our lives do not wither away

For otherwise we would never sing

Never laugh or cry

Live only to die

Cling to singing souls

So that you may sing forever

In a symphony of life and death

After death there are no tears

No worries, or even fears

But nothing lives without hope

Hope that we all may cling

To an ancient soul that sings

And live forever, to sing and shout

Beyond time and space

Yet, I often wonder what will happen

Once I have completed my journey beyond life

Will I like it there, or will I want to go back?

Back to the place I was born, to do it over again?

Only time will tell if my beliefs will fail

But I will continue searching

For that one singing soul

That will show me the way

Through the clouds we will fly

Knowing that we are all connected

The living and the dead

Cling to singing souls

Respect the lives they once had

To one day dance among them

In abysmall fields of light

Domestic Violence Awareness Day – Bloggers Unite

Domestic Violence Awareness Day

Domestic Violence Awareness Day

Domestic Violence Awareness Day – Bloggers Unite

Domestic Violence is a growing problem around the world; do your part to help save people from abuse.

If you feel you are in physical danger immediately call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-787-3224.

Cycle of violence

Domestic abuse falls into a common pattern, or cycle of violence: Cycle of violence

  • Abuse — The abuser lashes out with aggressive or violent behavior. The abuse is a power play designed to show the victim “who is boss.”
  • Guilt — After the abusive episode, the abuser feels guilt, but not over what he’s done to the victim. The guilt is over the possibility of being caught and facing consequences.
  • Rationalization or excuses — The abuser rationalizes what he’s done. He may come up with a string of excuses or blame the victim for his own abusive behavior—anything to shift responsibility from himself.
  • “Normal” behavior — The abuser does everything he can to regain control and keep the victim in the relationship. He may act as if nothing has happened, or he may turn on the charm. This peaceful honeymoon phase may give the victim hope that the abuser has really changed this time.
  • Fantasy and planning — The abuser begins to fantasize about abusing his victim again, spending a lot of time thinking about what she’s done wrong and how he’ll make her pay. Then he makes a plan for turning the fantasy of abuse into reality.
  • Set-up — The abuser sets up the victim and puts his plan in motion, creating a situation where he can justify abusing her.

The Full Cycle of Domestic Violence

A man abuses his partner. After he hits her, he experiences self-directed guilt. He says, “I’m sorry for hurting you.” What he does not say is, “Because I might get caught.” He then rationalizes his behavior by saying that his partner is having an affair with someone. He tells her “If you weren’t such a worthless whore I wouldn’t have to hit you.” He then acts contrite, reassuring her that he will not hurt her again. He then fantasizes and reflects on past abuse and how he will hurt her again. He plans on telling her to go to the store to get some groceries. What he withholds from her is that she has a certain amount of time to do the shopping. When she is held up in traffic and is a few minutes late, he feels completely justified in assaulting her because “you’re having an affair with the store clerk.” He has just set her up.

Source: Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Service

Your abuser’s apologies and loving gestures in between the episodes of abuse can make it difficult to leave. He may make you believe that you are the only person who can help him, that things will be different this time, and that he truly loves you. However, the dangers of staying are real.

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence and even murder. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. No one deserves this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need.

Signs of an abusive relationship

There are many signs of an abusive relationship. The most significant sign is fear of your partner. Other signs include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.

To determine whether your relationship is abusive, answer the questions in the table below. The more “yes” answers, the more likely it is that you’re in an abusive relationship.

SIGNS OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP
Your Inner Thoughts and Feeling Your Partner’s Belittling Behavior
Do you:

  • feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
  • avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
  • feel that you can’t do anything right for your partner?
  • believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
  • wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
  • feel emotionally numb or helpless?
Does your partner:

  • humiliate, criticize, or yell at you?
  • treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
  • ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
  • blame you for his own abusive behavior?
  • see you as property or a sex object, rather than as a person?
Your Partner’s Violent Behavior or Threats Your Partner’s Controlling Behavior
Does your partner:

  • have a bad and unpredictable temper?
  • hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • threaten to take your children away or harm them?
  • threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
  • force you to have sex?
  • destroy your belongings?
Does your partner:

  • act excessively jealous and possessive?
  • control where you go or what you do?
  • keep you from seeing your friends or family?
  • limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
  • constantly check up on you?

Types of domestic violence and abuse

There are different types of domestic abuse, including emotional, physical, sexual, and economic abuse. Many abusers behave in ways that include more than one type of domestic abuse, and the boundaries between some of these behaviors may overlap.

Emotional or psychological abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse can be verbal or nonverbal. Its aim is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. If you’re the victim of emotional abuse, you may feel that there is no way out of the relationship, or that without your abusive partner you have nothing. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behavior also fall under emotional abuse. Additionally, abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence.

You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. But, the scars of emotional abuse are very real, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse—sometimes even more so. Furthermore, emotional abuse usually worsens over time, often escalating to physical battery.

Physical abuse

When people talk about domestic violence, they are often referring to the physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner. Physical abuse is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. There’s a broad range of behaviors that come under the heading of physical abuse, including hitting, grabbing, choking, throwing things, and assault with a weapon.

Physical assault or battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside or outside of the family. The police have the power and authority to protect you from physical attack.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is common in abusive relationships. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, between one-third and one-half of all battered women are raped by their partners at least once during their relationship. Any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence. Furthermore, women whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.

Economic or financial abuse

Remember, an abuser’s goal is to control you, and he will frequently hurt you to do that. In addition to hurting you emotionally and physically, an abusive partner may also hurt you in the pocketbook. Economic of financial abuse includes:

  • Controlling the finances.
  • Withholding money or credit cards.
  • Giving you an allowance.
  • Making you account for every penny you spend.
  • Stealing from you or taking your money.
  • Exploiting your assets for personal gain.
  • Withholding basic necessities (food, clothes, medications, shelter).
  • Preventing you from working or choosing your own career.
  • Sabotaging your job (making you miss work, calling constantly)

Domestic violence warning signs

Take Precautions

Call 911 or the police in your community if you suspect a case of domestic violence.

It’s impossible to know with certainty what goes on behind closed doors, but there are some telltale signs and symptoms of domestic violence and abuse. If you witness a number of warning signs in a friend, family member, or co-worker, you can reasonably suspect domestic abuse.

  • Frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”
  • Frequent and sudden absences from work or school
  • Frequent, harassing phone calls from the partner
  • Fear of the partner, references to the partner’s anger
  • Personality changes (e.g. an outgoing woman becomes withdrawn)
  • Excessive fear of conflict
  • Submissive behavior, lack of assertiveness
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Insufficient resources to live (money, credit cards, car) Domestic Violence and Abuse: Help, Treatment, Intervention, and Prevention
  • Depression, crying, low self-esteem

Reporting suspected domestic abuse is important. If you’re afraid of getting involved, remember that the report is confidential and everything possible will be done to protect your privacy. You don’t have to give your name, and your suspicions will be investigated before anyone is taken into custody. Most important, you can protect the victim from further harm by calling for help.

Stretching & Stress

Stretching & Stress

When you see a cat doing an outrageous stretch that makes you chuckle, you may not realize these stretches are important for its health. Likewise, regularly stretching your own muscles improves flexibility; prevents muscle stiffness, strain and soreness; and leaves you feeling refreshed.

Because stretching improves blood flow throughout your body, it’s important for muscular health, and it’s the cheapest way to relieve stress. Taking just 15 minutes out of your day to stretch can be incredibly therapeutic — both for your muscles and your mental well-being.

If you sit in front of a computer most of the day, you not only face the mental stresses of your day, you can build up extreme tension in your back, neck and shoulder muscles. It’s important to take a few minutes every couple of hours to stretch — you’ll feel more productive and alert, and you’ll feel less stress.

Here’s a simple stretch you can do in your office to relieve tension and stress. Stand with your feet together and your arms at your side. Slowly exhale, and bend your body at the waist allowing your head and arms to hang loosely toward the ground (your upper body should be completely relaxed, as though your arms, neck, shoulders and torso have “gone limp”). Stay in that position until you have completely exhaled the air from your lungs. As you inhale, slowly stack one vertebra on top of another to stand up straight. When you get to your shoulder area, gently roll your shoulders back and very slowly straighten your neck until your head is upright. Then slowly exhale through your mouth. Not only does this simple stretch refresh all parts of your body, it encourages proper posture and opens your chest cavity for optimal breathing.

It’s important to listen to your body as you stretch. If a particular motion is painful, make the necessary modifications so you don’t over-exert yourself. Keep at it, because the more you stretch, the easier it gets, and the more flexible you’ll become. (Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.)

Make That Change

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Man in the Mirror by Micheal Jackson

I’m gonna make a change,
for once im my life
It’s gonna feel real good,
gonna make a diference
Gonna make it right…

As I, turn up the collar on
my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
with not enought to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard,
a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya’ know
‘Cause they got nowhere to go
That’s why I want you to know

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It’s time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me,
pretending that they’re not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya’ see
‘Cause they got no place to be
That’s why I’m starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways – ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that..
(Take a look at yourself and then make that..)
CHANGE!

I’m starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror – Oh yeah!)
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you wanna make the world a better place)

(Take a look at yourself and then make the change)
(You gotta get it right, while you got the time)
(‘Cause when you close your heart)
You can’t close your… your mind!
(Then you close your… mind!)
That man, that man, that man, that man
With the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror, oh yeah!)
That man, that man, that man,
I’m asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
You know… that man
No message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna m
ake the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself and then make the change
(Take a look at yourself and then make the change)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah
(Ooooh…)
Oh no, no no…

I’m gonna make a change
It’s gonna feel real good!
Come on!
(Change…)
Just lift yourself
You know
You’ve got to stop it,
Yourself!
(Yeah! – Make that change!)
I’ve got to make that change, today!
Hoo!
(Man in the mirror)
You got to
You got to not let yourself…
brother…

(Yeah! – Make that change!)
You know – I’ve got to get
that man, that man…
(Man in the mirror)
You’ve got to
You’ve got to move! Come on!
Come on!
You got to…
Stand up! Stand up! Stand up!
(Yeah! – Make that change)
Stand up and lift yourself, now!
(Man in the mirror)
Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!
Aaow!
(Yeah! – Make that change!)
Gonna make that change…
come on!
You know it!

This song is indeed about people suffering and the cruelty of the world, but it goes way deeper.  It says the only way that you can change the world is if to change yourself! Why is it that we care more about Paris Hilton in jail than the child soldier in Uganda? Why is it that it’s more important to watch the Grammy’s than to go on an AIDS walk? Ultimately, we have to face ourselves and change our attitudes for the world to be a better place. If we as a society were more sympathetic to others around us, if we put others first before ourselves, then with that, a change will occur.

You know it!
You know it!
You know it…
(Change…)
Make that change.

Man in the Mirror MP3