Friends who are survivors of sexual or domestic violence or love someone who is...this is a first for me. I was in Chicago for a few days recently to record the audio edition of my forthcoming book, Healing the Wounds of Sexual Abuse: Reading the Bible with Survivors. The book will be out next month and is an updated version of We Were the Least of These. Writing this book, teaching on this subject, companioning others as they heal, and now recording the book and telling the stories in my own voice have been significant pathways for deeper healing in my life.
Other gentle, long term, ongoing means of healing grace have included:
--an array of practices to care for and be in touch with embodied life, such as getting enough sleep, walking in the forest, enjoying healthy food, hard physical labor (lugging those bags of chicken feed takes effort), and active play. I just resumed ice skating after too many years away from that sport!
--contemplative prayer and mindfulness, which for me can be summed up this way: show up, pay attention, cooperate with God, release the outcome
--practicing daily gratitude and forgiveness, which remove the toxins of shame and contempt and paralysis that are put into us by violence
--living in healthy community, which is the place where we help each other become fully alive, which is how St. Irenaeus defined the glory of God
I give thanks today for every person, animal, and situation that have been and continue to be God's way of making all things new in my life.