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April 30, 2010 - 4:18pm
posted by Joseph Langen in crime, spirituality, victims.

Sliding Otter News

 

April 30, 2010

 

Volume 2, Issue 10

~Your trauma is not who you are.
It is something that was done to you or happened to you~

Carol Anika Theill

 

Gull in Flight
Gull in Flight

What is spirituality? I read somewhere that defining spirituality is like trying to nail Jell-O to a tree. I have seen many definitions and found all of them wanting until I met Manny Fortes, a chemical dependency counselor some of you might remember. He defined spirituality as “awakening to the goodness and joy for which you were created.”

Goodness and joy are probably far from the mind of a recent crime victim. More prominent are anger, revenge, justice and feelings of betrayal. We don’t appreciate people trying to help us feel better. Nor do we turn to God initially for comfort. Many of us become angry at God: “Why did You do this? Why did you let this happen? Where were You when I needed You?

We try to make sense of it from God’s point of view as if we could read God’s mind. Just because we try to think logically, we expect God to be logical too. If we can’t figure it out, there must be something wrong with God. We look for someone to blame. God joins the usual suspects: society, people in general, our police system and the criminal justice system.

Some of us wallow in self pity for years, further victimizing ourselves in addition to what has already been done to us. This doesn’t make much sense when we think about it, does it? What are our alternatives? While sadness, anger and fear are common first reactions, do we want to spend the rest of our lives caught in these emotions. Given a choice, most of us do not.

What else can we do? Perhaps not much alone. We can take steps to prevent further trauma by learning how to protect ourselves and seeking legal or police protection. But then what? The rest of the work to be done is inside us. In addition to physical trauma, our spirit has most likely been damages as well. What can we do about that?

Spiritually, we have a choice of wrestling with God over who is to blame for our misfortune or asking God for help getting on with our lives. Approaching God alone can be difficult in such troubling times. Friends or clergy who understand our spirituality can help in our quest toward a spiritual resolution of our feelings with God.

We can start by asking God to help us release our feelings of anger, revenge and self pity. Next we can ask God to help us focus on the present rather than on the past. We don’t have the physical, mental or spiritual energy to live in the past as well as in the present. We can’t do anything about the past but there is plenty we can do about right now. Focus on your goodness and joy will follow.

Spiritual Life Lessons

  • Ask God to help you stay in the now.
  • Ask God’s help with forgiveness (letting go).
  • Find friends or clergy to help you keep going.
  • Help someone else who is struggling with their life.
  • List what is good about you and read it every day.


March 19, 2010 - 11:59am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, spirituality, victims.

 

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Nice to hear from you.
JOE: It’s nice to have some time for myself.
CALLIOPE: What’s going on?
JOE: I was asked to write an article about crime victims and spirituality.
CALLIOPE: I didn’t know you were an expert in this area.
JOE: I’m not, but then no one else seems to be either and the spirituality dimension is missing from the other considerations.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: I’ve started to research the topic and found some useful information. Now it is a matter of making it coherent.
CALLIOPE: Will you share it when it is finished?
JOE: I will have to wait until it is published first. Then I’d be glad to. Talk with you on Monday.

March 19, 2010 - 11:59am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, spirituality, victims.

 

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. Nice to hear from you.
JOE: It’s nice to have some time for myself.
CALLIOPE: What’s going on?
JOE: I was asked to write an article about crime victims and spirituality.
CALLIOPE: I didn’t know you were an expert in this area.
JOE: I’m not, but then no one else seems to be either and the spirituality dimension is missing from the other considerations.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: I’ve started to research the topic and found some useful information. Now it is a matter of making it coherent.
CALLIOPE: Will you share it when it is finished?
JOE: I will have to wait until it is published first. Then I’d be glad to. Talk with you on Monday.

November 25, 2009 - 6:41pm
Event Date and Time: 
December 9, 2009 - 6:35pm to December 25, 2009 - 6:35pm

Spiritual Wisdom Cover.jpg

 

October 12, 2009 - 8:42am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, wisdom, spirituality.


 

 Boston Twilight


(Boston Twilight)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How was your weekend?
JOE: Excellent. I spent it communing with nature and with people I enjoy being with.
CALLIOPE: Taking a break?
JOE: Not really. It's my way of refreshing myself and reconnecting with what really matters.
CALLIOPE: How does that affect your writing?
JOE: It gives me a sense of perspective on why I do what I do.
CALLIOPE: Could you be more specific?
JOE: Without a larger perspective it is easy to become lost in details and spin my wheels.
CALLIOPE: Tell me about your perspective.
JOE: I think we might have talked about it before. It has to do with my spiritual focus or context for living my life as well as for my writing.
CALLIOPE: I see.
JOE: My focus is on understanding life, my own and that of others, and sharing insights which occur to me.
CALLIOPE: Is that what you mean by wisdom.
JOE: Precisely. Now back to work. Talk with you tomorrow.

 

July 23, 2009 - 9:19am
posted by Joseph Langen in religion, spirituality.

 

 Amish Buggy

(Amish Buggy)
JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Excited.
CALLIOPE: On what account?
JOE: My brother from Honolulu is in town for a few days.
CALLIOPE: When did you see him last?
JOE: Last fall.
CALLIOPE: What plans do you have?
JOE: We had planned golf with another of my brothers this morning but the weather does not seem very cooperative.
CALLIOPE: So what else do you have planned?
JOE: He has become interested in Spiritus Christi Church which I recently started attending. We will visit some of its people to discuss their views.
CALLIOPE: Do you expect them to differ much from what you believe?
JOE: I'm not one much for dogma. I believe in God and try to act as a Christian but don't like to haggle about specific beliefs.
CALLIOPE: I'll be interested to see how it goes.
JOE: I'll let you know. We don't meet until Saturday. Talk with you tomorrow.

 

 

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