For women who have experienced abuse, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to feel good about ourselves. Often the negative energy of our Inner Critic gets us feeling down so we lose sight of our “happy ending” and return to a “victim” stage of mind.
The anger and pain we feel from our past struggles will consume us and drag us down into despair, depression and hopelessness. Feeling little positive energy, we will find it hard to face our present problems or see a way out of them. That’s why when a woman has been in an abusive relationship or a victim of a sexual assault, she can’t always see a bright future ahead of her.
But once we leave that relationship or move through the crisis of an assault, we have a better chance of getting out of negativity and into a new, freer and more open space. There we can fuel our lives with positive energy and move beyond what has happened to us in the past. One way I find to do that is by making contact with the Happy Person Inside You, your Inner Wisdom. That part of us, untouched by all that has happened, is always positive and can see a bright, productive future for us and our children as thrivers, not just survivors of violence, abuse and trauma.
The Exercise: Feeling Gratitude!
So if you are on this journey from victim to survivor to thriver with me, here’s a great way for you to conjure up positive thoughts and emotions like joy, happiness and peace and use them to create a momentum that will propel you forward into a new, glorious part of your life.
Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. — Denis Waitley
I love this quote because it reminds me in order to supercharge your journey to thriving by appreciating the good things in your life, we need to make a list!
What do you love? What are you grateful for in your life right now?
What are you looking forward to? What do you want to open up to in the future?
I call this exercise The List of Threes — short and sweet! Don’t worry! You can repeat items on any list below.
The List of Threes
PROMPT: Make a list in threes for each of the following.
Three Things I Love:
Three Things I Am Grateful for:
Three Things I Am Looking Forward to:
Five Years from Now, Three Things I Want in My Life:
Take a look at the list you made from the prompts above and consider the following:
Did anything on the list surprise you? Why?
Did you repeat anything on more than one list?
What didn’t appear on the list that you thought might?
Do you feel any better about what’s good in your life now?
Next, write more in your journal about how gratitude is expanding your life to create a feeling of abundance.
Try these prompts: “I appreciate…” “I never expected that…” “Today, I celebrate…”
All right! What you have is the beginning of what some call a “gratitude journal.” Commit to writing every day — morning, noon or night whatever time of the day works best for you — about the good things in your life. Start with the prompt — “Today I’m grateful for…” or “The best part of my day today was…” or “I love my life because…”
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow – Melodie Beattie
Do you find that when you feel grateful and appreciative of the good around you, everything in your life suddenly feels like it is more than enough? That there is a an overflow of goodness in your life? If so, then what you are feeling is ABUNDANCE! That’s true because feeling abundant can come from gratitude and vice versa. One can lead from the other over and over again.
One of the things I have learned in my life is not necessarily to ask for wealth and all of its pitfalls, but for abundance. Abundance is more than just having a lot of money. It is an emotional state of mind that lets you see how so many things in your life are coming from a place of plenty and prosperity and for that you are grateful. Holding that feeling, you allow more good things to flow into your life – good attracts more good!
Here’s an exercise that can build and create abundance for you.
The Exercise: Creating Abundance
PROMPT: Write words that describe what abundance means for you. Here’s a sample list
ABUNDANCE IS . . .
Freedom, Passion, Peace, Faith, Home, Mobility, Love, Security,
Good Job, Good Health, Good Times, Stability, Giving Back to Others,
Family, Friends, Connection, Full, Glow, Self-Love
Now let’s create some affirmations you can use every day to bring abundance in your life!
PROMPT: Write abundance affirmations in your journal. Here’s a sample list.
MY ABUNDANCE AFFIRMATIONS ARE . . .
I am open and ready to attract abundance in my life.
I release any negative feelings about money.
I am focused on prosperity and opportunity.
I am wealthy beyond measure.
I live a full and fulfilling life!
I am prosperous, generous and kind.
My heart is full.
I have more love and contentment than I ever imagined.
I understand my purpose, and I open my heart for good.
I am courageous, wild, and free!
I am a thriver!
Remember my “working definition” of thriver that I share in all my workshops, books and materials? I call it a “working” definition because I don’t think we have made it big enough yet!
A thriver is a happy, self-confident and productive individual who believes she
has a prosperous life ahead of her. She is primed to follow her dreams, go back
to school, find a new job, start her own business or write her story.
She believes in herself and in her future so much that she will not return to an abusive
relationship. She speaks knowledgeably and confidently about her experiences
and is not stuck in her anger or need for revenge. Living well is her best revenge!
Wow! With that frame of mind, you’ll quickly move into abundance that flows from gratitude and self-love to experience a new, exciting part of your life.
I AM A WOMAN OF POWER
When I combine feelings of gratitude with those of abundance, I find that I can push through my fears and limiting beliefs about myself to manifest a life of power and purpose. On those days, I am not only a thriver but also truly a woman of power.
Here’s how I have described it.
I am a woman of power whose mission in life is to be a catalyst
for change for victims of violence against women.
Today I celebrate my life by building a community of strong, independent, productive
women who have survived abuse and are thriving in well-being, love, and joy.
May you find your power and purpose in this time of Thanksgiving with much gratitude and great abundance!
We are thrivers!
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The above exercises are excerpted from two of Susan’s books,
For more about Susan’s free workshops for survivors, visit www.MyAvengingAngel.com.