You got it Katie, and thanks. A few years ago I did a speech for a group of women veterans during which I pointed out that those things that happen to us aren’t for us at all, but to make us useful. That’s a tough pill to swallow for most. However, unless I use those events to put steel in my backbone, I am forever at the mercy of that memory. I am doing some extremely deep work right now and one of the pieces is that we have to fill out a great many forms that list instigating events in our lives. That tended to unearth a great many long-buried memories, but here’s the piece: Whether I like it or not isn’t the issue. Whether it makes me uncomfortable is. That tells me that there is something important here. I had to bury so many things in my 20s and 30s to survive, but those things have a habit of festering beneath the surface like toxic waste under a garden. Doesn’t matter what you plant, there is something evil that will inevitably be leached into the leaves of your most precious flowers. Frankly, some of these memories absolutely shocked me, like this one. That kind of thing can overwhelm if you’ve not done some very serious personal work. And that goes straight to your point: not everyone can look into their dragon’s eyes. That’s my Chinese horoscope, and my house is full of them. In fact, a sculptor friend created a piece of me holding a baby dragon in my arms, and that animal’s claws and my hand are intertwined. If we do not learn to love that which makes us stronger, then we will indeed burn. I am determined to ride mine.

If we can only focus on crying victim, there is nothing to be done. If we blame all men for what bad men do, we are part of the problem. If we can use what has happened to give us compassion, and a voice, there is a great deal to be done. I can only speak to my own experience here. I am no victim. What happened was shitty. But it doesn’t define who I am. It gave me quite the obstacle. I can sit and cry woe is me on one side of it or figure out a way to get the hell over the thing. Then I can teach others how. And that, to my mind, is the whole point. How can I use what I have learned, what I’ve been through, to be useful to someone else? That is the price I pay for my perspective. I very much appreciate your comments. Lot of wisdom in them.

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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