Voices of Victory Blog

When It Doesn’t Make Sense

Everything Happens for a Reason…

I know I have said this. I have mimed this expression, which others have said to me, and around me. Just as so many other thoughts have been inherited and embraced without question. Among the varied life lessons 2015 brought me, it is to be more comfortable questioning that which I have long embraced as truth. This expression, is just one of them.

Everything Happens for a Reason… or Does It?

Although well meaning when spoken, this phrase brings comfort to the one speaking vs. to the person receiving the words. When an individual is in a crisis, and circumstances simply do not make sense, it’s a natural inclination to bandage the issue. Uncomfortable issues such as sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and suicide get the biggest bandages. We wipe it off, by patting the hurting person’s shoulder; dab a little Everything Happens for a Reason ointment on and then cover it up so we don’t have to see it.

In reality, dabbing empty words on a festering wound and bandaging it up, will only lead to infection. Eventually, the bandage must be removed and the infection drained.

2015, 40+ years after my wounds were dabbed and covered, the bandage was unexpectedly ripped off. So many years of festering… Decades of rebandaging with a new dab of Everything Happens for a Reason… I was unaware of how deep the infection ran. No longer able to dab and rebandage, I started digging at the source of infection. It got messy. To say it was painful would be a great understatement. I became frustrated and irritable. Tears were ever present. I lashed out.

I sank into despair and depression. “How could this be happening to me? I already dealt with this issue.” I simply did not want to try anymore. I was so tired of the pain. Reasoning and rational thought took great effort. I wore my emotions on my sleeve. However, this is an exhausting place to be. (The mind of a victim.)

I’m not sure what shifted, but one day I recognized the state I was in and knew I needed someone else to guide me, to help me heal forward. I didn’t want to spend my days depressed and regressing from society. Deep in my soul a passionate fire to enlighten, equip and empower women was still burning. I made the choice to seek out a counselor.  I gave myself permission to begin healing without reservation and without apology.

This is a process, a journey. Some days are still difficult. Most days I embrace strength and actively choose that which brings me peace. I am quicker to recognize debilitating thoughts and replace them with affirming, thriving beliefs. For me, it is no longer accetable to use the truths, “someone violated me.” ” I was abused.” “This is just the way I am.” as excuses.  Daily, I am empowered to choose what I want to embrace. Therefore, I choose environments which help me heal and grow stronger.

2016 is fresh and new. I intend to keep my thoughts, my beliefs uppermost. No More! No More Silence! No More Excuses! No More Everything Happens for a Reason! No More Domestic Violence! No More Sexual Assault!

To once and for all take control and give voice to the countless other adults who were Children of Domestic Violence, CDV. To be loud and repetitive. To be the squeeky wheel. Because, sweeping Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault under the rug doesn’t mean they aren’t still happening. Because, wiping them off, dabbing Everything Happens for a Reason ointment on it and bandaging up the wound, DOES NOT help it heal.

Wounds need nurturing, attention and fresh air to heal.

So while 2015 has been a year filled with anguish, shifting and learning. It has also afforded me the opportunity to make choices. Choices that will leave a ripple of hope and healing for other survivors. Choices to find more gratitude, to color and find other ways to embrace creativity. Choices to journal and to share beauty more often. To Sparkle. leave a little sparkle

Together, we make a difference and learn to thrive. #BeSureToSparkle #ExcusesBegone! #IAmPriceless #SpeakBeautiful #YouAreMoreThanAble

Children of Domestic Violence  Although a couple of my details are misquoted in the following article, the overall truths are here: Survivor Story (shared from Regina's blog)


Sheryl, You Are Priceless

I was just reaching out to a few people regarding the upcoming I Am Priceless: Voices of Victory Over Violence  book when I came across this interview with #SherylUnderwood #SherylIsPriceless by #People writer, @I Am Priceless coverEmilyStrohm.

We all have a story. Sometimes, it includes tragedy, violence and unimaginable things. While we may not always be able to control what happens, we don’t have to let it define us or determine our future. Your story is something no one can take away from you and you can decide how it ends. You can write your own ending. You can inspire and share courage. You can give voice to those still finding their voice. Maybe laughter and helping others laugh is your gift. Oh, how we all need more laughter!

While your story is unique to you, it is precious and priceless. When you choose to overcome the tragedies and violence, you grow stronger. When you choose to speak out and #ShareYourMessage you declare #NoMoreSilence.

Maybe it is time for you to enlighten and equip others on this journey we call life. Maybe you are ready to enrich other’s lives and empower them to overcome the violence in their own lives. If so, we would love for you to join our community of authors and this unique book. Together, we are creating societal change. Simple details here: I Am Priceless  (shared from Regina's blog)

Regina’s Light, Yummy G-F Biscuits

By Regina Rowley | Dec 30, 2017

This recipe is for my friends who have long suffered through unflaky, tough, heavy biscuits and/or opting for none.  bon apetit! 2 C GF flour (I prefer Namaste brand) 1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if already in flour) 7 Tbsp finely ground almond flour/meal or dry milk powder 1.5 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking…

Read More

Wounded Warrior or Peaceful Warrior….

By Regina Rowley | Nov 30, 2017

Warrior: a person engaged in some struggle or conflict.  Wound: a mental or emotional hurt or blow.Hurt: to suffer pain or grief; to inflict pain.Peaceful: devoid of violence or force. There has been one breaking headline after another regarding survivors coming forward years and decades after sexual assaults, abuses and rapes. Many of the accused are well…

Read More

On Becoming a Gigi

By Regina Rowley | Nov 25, 2017

On Becoming a Gigi… There is no joy as profound as what I am currently experiencing. Elation, jubilation and the deepest gratitude. I have had my share of physical challenges through the years. Challenges which made me, as a young mother, re-evaluate life style choices. I wanted to be healthy and physically able to care…

Read More

Full Throttle “Crazy Making” Mode

By Regina Rowley | Nov 24, 2017

Yesterday was a lovely day! Yet, by the time I got home my mind was in full throttle “Crazy Making” mode. Overwhelming, all consuming and unfair thoughts. Maybe you relate? Read and comment if you do. You are not alone! “Is she mad at me?” “What did I do?” “She doesn’t like me right now.”…

Read More

Meditation: The What – Why – How…

By Regina Rowley | Nov 2, 2017

Meditation, what is it? Should I do it? How do I meditate? First, let me share why and how I came to the practice of meditation. When I first began my Yoga Teacher Training in 2015, I defined myself as a worn-out Type A personality. My life was a constant flow of working hard, working harder,…

Read More

Strategy for Transformation

By Regina Rowley | Aug 26, 2017

One of the biggest lessons I have been learning in recent years is the importance and application of self-compassion. Self-compassion is opposite of the hard-headed, hard-handed discipline I grew up with. Hard-headed discipline taught me to be critical and judgmental toward myself and others. It added to my shame, guilt and fear. Because of it,…

Read More

What is Yoga?

By Regina Rowley | Aug 20, 2017

What is Yoga? Yoga is a science-backed practice for relieving stress, calming the mind, and strengthening and opening the body. Who can benefit from Yoga… Anyone with any of the following: back pain, headaches, digestive issues, or insomnia… Everyone who ever felt overwhelmed or anxious…  Individuals who understand life will be more comfortable with a few, simple tools to help them feel…

Read More

I Am the Current

By Regina Rowley | Jun 20, 2017

Fellow yoga teacher and friend, Tori Palatas shared this poem on Instagram. When I first read her masterpiece I was struck with how much I related. Perhaps you do as well. It is our honor to feature her and her art on I Am Priceless. She did not provide a title so I chose one…

Read More

I Judged a Book by It’s Cover….

By Regina Rowley | Mar 29, 2017

2016 afforded me the privilege of completing my first 200 hours of yoga instructor training. I immediately began looking into training as a trauma informed instructor. After looking into several options, only to have the training cancel or their schedule conflict with mine, I came across Purple Dot Yoga Project and their specialized, trauma informed…

Read More