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Joseph G Langen

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Blogs by Joseph G Langen

Chats with Calliope
4/30/2010 12:07:10 PM
Crime Victims and Spirituality
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


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 ďawakening to the goodness and joy for which you were created.Ē

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 donít appreciate people trying to help us feel better. Nor do we turn to God initially for comfort. Many of us become angry at God: ďWhy 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 Godís point of view as if we could read Godís mind. Just because we try to think logically, we expect God to be logical too. If we canít 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 doesnít 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 donít have the physical, mental or spiritual energy to live in the past as well as in the present. We canít 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 Godís 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.


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More Blogs by Joseph G Langen
• Chats with Calliope: Sliding Otter News - Saturday, October 23, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Tuesday, October 19, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Saturday, October 02, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Sunday, September 12, 2010
• Chats with Calliopd - Monday, August 30, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Monday, August 16, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Friday, August 06, 2010
• Chats with Calliope- Releasing My Friend John - Monday, July 26, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Monday, July 19, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Saturday, July 10, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Tuesday, July 06, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Thursday, June 24, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Saturday, June 19, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Friday, June 18, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Saturday, June 05, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Friday, May 28, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Monday, May 24, 2010
• Sliding Otter News - Saturday, May 22, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Friday, May 14, 2010
• Sliding Otter News - Saturday, May 08, 2010
•  Chats with Calliope - Friday, April 30, 2010  
• Chats with Calliope - Monday, April 26, 2010
• Sliding Otter News - Saturday, April 24, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Monday, April 12, 2010
• Sliding Otter News - Saturday, April 10, 2010
• Chats with Calliope - Friday, April 09, 2010
• Conversations with Calliope - Tuesday, April 06, 2010
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• Conversations with Calliope - Monday, March 29, 2010
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• Conversations with Calliope- - Thursday, May 14, 2009
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• Conversations with Calliope- - Friday, May 08, 2009
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• Conversations with Calliope - Wednesday, May 06, 2009
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• Conversations with Calliope - Monday, May 04, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Saturday, May 02, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Friday, May 01, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Thursday, April 30, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Wednesday, April 29, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Friday, April 24, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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• Conversations with Calliope - Friday, April 17, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Thursday, April 16, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Wednesday, April 15, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Tuesday, April 14, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Monday, April 13, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Saturday, April 11, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Thursday, April 09, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Wednesday, April 08, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Tuesday, April 07, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Monday, April 06, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Friday, April 03, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Thursday, April 02, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Wednesday, April 01, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Tuesday, March 31, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Monday, March 30, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Saturday, March 28, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Friday, March 27, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Thursday, March 26, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Wednesday, March 25, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Tuesday, March 24, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Monday, March 23, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Saturday, March 21, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Friday, March 20, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Wednesday, March 18, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Tuesday, March 17, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Monday, March 16, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Saturday, March 14, 2009
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• Conversations with Calliope - Monday, March 09, 2009
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• Conversations with Calliope - Thursday, March 05, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Wednesday, March 04, 2009
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• Conversations with Calliope - Saturday, February 28, 2009
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• Conversations with Calliope - Monday, February 16, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Wednesday, February 04, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Tuesday, February 03, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Monday, February 02, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Saturday, January 31, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Friday, January 30, 2009
• Conversations with Calliope - Thursday, January 29, 2009


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