When I first learned about female genital mutilation, it was sometime in the 90’s. I went to an art installation. I later read about it through Planned Parenthood’s international newsletter. I saw terrible photos of little girls in kitchens with a person wielding some sort of machete, I think it was. Those images disturbed me to no end. Children should have rights. The rights of their parents to protect and safeguard their well-being. They should be listened to and respected, but the parents should be the adults, who teach right from wrong. Parents should be teaching values, educating the child, providing them with their basic needs.Continue reading
Sugar and spice and everything nice…Mother Goose nursery Rhyme
Hardly! Though it is a beautiful thing, to hear nursery rhymes, and other fairy tales as a child. I remember how lovely these worlds seemed and how I wanted to be in them. It is up to the parent to help transition the child, into the realities of life once they hit puberty. Unfortunately, in a traumatic household, the child figures it out for themselves.
Recently, I turned 60 years old. I took a trip with a good friend of mine, another therapist, for four days. She is 73. Her job was to help me transition into my sixth decade. I perceived this birthday as one that would cause a lot of depression and anguish for me. It did not. The reason for this was that I was not alone. I had built up a strong female support system in the past year. They are all in my age group or older and they all resonated with what I felt like. On my big day, they sang songs, sent cards, they all made a point of congratulating me in their own special way. There is nothing like having strong, trustworthy, faithful female friends during a time of need. It is part of what being a woman is all about.Continue reading
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Romans 12:2 NIV
Three years ago this month, I picked up a gun for the first time. I wanted to impress or get the attention of the man who taught me. I don’t have the man anymore but I still have the gun.
I was afraid of guns, prior to learning about them. I came from a holistic framework that if I had one, I would invite trouble toward me. I still believe this so I keep a conscious mindset in respect to owning a gun and how I will carry myself in the world.Continue reading
Now your just somebody that I used to know.Gotye (A song about a narcissistic partner)
Many times in my office I hear this from women “My boyfriend/husband is/was gaslighting me.” I will respond by saying “So, he was trying to make you believe something that didn’t really happen?” Often times they will say “Well, no.” Sometimes they have looked this up and are very clear what it means. The term Gaslighting originated from the 1944 film “Gaslight,” starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. In this film, the husband (who would actually be diagnosed with Anti-Social Personality Disorder) is trying to make his wife believe she is going insane. For purposes of the title, he “goes out” for the day/evening, though he is actually going into the attic and he dims the light switches in his wife’s bedroom, so that only she sees this and not the housekeepers. He also moves pictures on the wall, hides a watch that he gives to his wife, many, many other things. This is Gaslighting. Making someone believe something happened that did not. It could be the statement of a pathological liar, in which case this is a reality they believe, or it could be like Charles Boyer’s character where he is purposely setting up the stage to torment his victim.Continue reading
By Germayne B. Tizzano, Ph.D.
On earth, there are earth angels; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
I met a few while facing my death.
Yes. It is true. With humility in mind, I write my story. I am writing this to my sister-friends. You, my dear friend – please read what I share. It is dire and not to be ignored. It is the difference between life and death. It is the difference between breath and spirit, and I met both Monday, April 11th, 2022. It was an uneventful morning. My grandkids. . .yes, I was thinking about them. We were going to go to swim lessons. Like every Monday afternoon, it is a special time. We play in the pool, laugh, swim underwater, and pretend to be an alligator in the shallow end—Rosie on my back. Isla is running from me as I growl like the short four-legged reptile. My day was scheduled. I needed to do my workout and prep for upcoming training. Life is good, I believe. Mike and I sit in the kitchen, sunlight streaming through the window. Just beyond, I see the pinkest cherry blossoms I have ever seen in our adolescent tree.Continue reading
“The Martha Mitchell Effect,” is a documentary you can see currently on Netflix. While watching this film, which shows her relationship to bringing down President Nixon, in the Watergate scandal, I began to glean some thoughts about her marriage as well. Martha was married to John Mitchell, appointed as Attorney General, under President Nixon. John was previously a law partner with Richard Nixon, before he became president. John and Martha were married until her death but were separated in 1973, as a result of the Watergate scandal. In fact, President Nixon, scapegoats Martha, in a David Frost interview, by saying that there would have been no Watergate, if it weren’t for Martha. As if she were the one who orchestrated the entire affair. President Nixon colluded with John Mitchell, and others in Watergate. During their cover-up, her husband ordered an ex-FBI agent to keep her silent. This involved kidnapping and violently assaulting Martha.Continue reading
For the longest time I have wanted to share publicly, my story of surviving this pandemic as a psychotherapist and a woman. I attempted to a couple of times and then took it down or never posted it. Today, I finished reading Dr. Mark McDonald’s book “United States of Fear: How America Fell Victim to a Mass Delusional Psychosis.” If a child/adult psychiatrist can be bold enough, as a medical doctor, to come forward well, what is stopping me?Continue reading
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse. Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you. Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.Proverbs 9:7-9
If Amber Heard imagined or expected that the #METOO movement would be there to back her, or feminists, or women in general, she was sadly mistaken in this tragic turn of events. Unfortunately, the narcissist always wins, or, at least, he is empowered to continue being who he is. Her path to redemption now, will only take place if she seeks solace through healing: with psychotherapy, meditation, supportive friends and taking time to herself.Continue reading
Oh God, unto whom all hearts lie open. Unto whom desire is eloquent and from whom no secret thing is hidden. Purify the thoughts of my heart by the outpouring of your spirit, that I may love you with a perfect love and praise you as you deserve. AmenThe Cloud of Unknowning
The discomfort you face, will lead to enlightenment. In the moment, when you feel such pain, try to remember this.
It is easy to let the ego win over and turn to anger, find solace in addiction or self-soothing that is going too far vs. taking care of the self. Ego wants to control the suffering but this is only a tease, a way of making you feel as if you are receiving justice. Ego gives you nothing but more pain, more time with the negative energy, more space in the connection with that bad occurrence, person, because you are unwilling to let go. Because you don’t want to let go of whatever you struggle with. Did you realize this? Your pain only lasts because you allow it to last. The minute you focus on letting go and letting God into your life, the pain will subside. You will grow. You will attain enlightenment.
Seven months ago, I began a devoted practice to centering prayer. It can also be called contemplative prayer. I learned about this on Insight Timer. I read the book “The Cloud of Unknowing,” who’s author is unknown. I read the book by Father Thomas Keating, “Open Mind, Open Heart,” which teaches centering prayer and explains what this is all about.
Open my heart, awaken my mind and cleanse my soulA daily prayer that I offer up before meditation
The devotion to this practice is sitting still for 20 minutes – 2x/day. You are listening for God, you are sitting with God, you are still and silent. What do you hear? Probably nothing. Maybe birds singing, a lawn mower in the distance, people talking on the street, chattering or racing thoughts going through your head. You say a word “Truth,” “Love,” “Justice,” “Intelligence,” “Help,” whatever word you choose to help bring you back into this space when your mind loses the silence. Jon Kabat-Zinn would say, when your mind wanders off a thousand times, bring it back a thousand times.
It does not matter that your mind wanders off, your body is still, you are quiet – in the sense that your body is not moving or doing anything, you are in a place of contemplation. If the thoughts come up, there is something there that God wants you to listen to and do something about.
Twenty minutes, two times a day seems so great to many. How much time do you waste on the computer? You have children but yet you still make time for this. If you are on the computer for 20 minutes or more, you have time for centering prayer. How much do you spend working out? How much time do you spend reading a book, listening to music, cleaning your house, etc… etc… If you have time for all of these things, you can make a space for centering prayer. Your life depends on it.
When you struggle with society, the chaos of the world, the Babylon which we have turned into – a hedonistic community of people who think of nothing but themselves. Fear, anger, torment, trauma, anxiety, frustration, feeling unloved/unwanted, without a consistent faith in some spiritual cleansing practice; you are nothing. You cling to a need for fantasy and self-soothing that will take your mind off of things and give you this delusion that you are happy and content. That your self-centered needs are being met. When we focus on just ourselves and are in denial that life has a timeline and that there is an end and that we have a responsibility to others, as well as ourselves, you get nothing. Maybe a few moments of pleasure but ultimately nothing but pain and emptiness inside.
Devotion to centering prayer gave me a place to go to, when I was in a dark place last year. No matter what, I continued. I made a promise to God that I would never give up, no matter what. In the aftermath, my life began to change. It wasn’t in the twenty minutes, nothing earth shattering has occurred – so far. By this I mean, I have had no conversation – as one might imagine you are seeking. I have had some experiences, but this is not something to explain out loud. I did ask once, for God to show me that He was there, by giving me a sign in meditation. My right arm suddenly became so heavy, I could not lift it. It wasn’t until I said “Thank you,” that it then began to go away. I didn’t say that though for a long time, because feeling it gave me such pleasure. In that moment, I needed to have some tangible experience and He indulged me.
If it weren’t for that dark place that another he, a more troubled soul, who is devoted to himself and his pain – if it weren’t for him pushing my buttons and twisting my heart around and then punching me in the gut (metaphorically), I might not have come to this place. Often, we go to God when we are in peril. I am grateful for the lesson I was given last year. This pain and suffering woke me up. I had been in a deep slumber for forty some years, in reality, my entire life. I had assumed that I had been awake a few other times, when I felt I had finally gotten it. Then another lesson would be put in front of me and I realized I was still asleep. Still following the same path, dissociating in life. If it weren’t for pain, how could we ever reach enlightenment? Not that you search for it, believe me, you will get it one way or another. Now, though, I have asked God to bring my lessons through intuitive wisdom.
And, this is the aftermath of centering prayer. In my awakened life, outside of those twenty minutes, I am speaking positively, openly, affirming, attracting goodness. I have prosperity, balance, love, friendship, abundance, wealth, health, and happiness. Most and more importantly than all of this, I have Intuitive Wisdom. God speaks to me through this wisdom as He is showing me things that I need to see and learn. Sometimes they are painful realizations about my past relationship and sometimes they are insights to share with my clients. Sometimes, I am just sitting still with others and not looking for things to upset me. Sometimes, I am listening to my listening of those around me and guided when to speak and when to not. I have never not felt loved or alone.
I love the Lord who listened to my voice in supplication. Who turned an ear to me on the day I called. Return my soul to your rest, the Lord has been very good to me. For my soul has been freed from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling. I shall walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.Psalm 116
Walking with the Lord, with my God, my unknowing, my patience and unconditional love and support, is my favorite line of all.
Note: There is an app for centering prayer that you can download and set up. I chose these quotes from the Cloud of Unknowing and Psalm 116 for my featured prayers to begin and end. I created my own individual prayer, which I mentioned here, so that I had my own voice to offer up to God. I do not claim any religion. I follow a solitary spiritual path, based on my study of World Religions, that has encompassed my entire adult life. Prior to that, it began intuitively but not consciously.
Prohibition taught us many things. If we take away something that someone wants and already has the right to have, they will get it anyway they can. The mafia took over and ran our streets. Abortion rights were given to women so that they didn’t have to go into a filthy hovel and have some woman or man cut them up and perform a “surgery” that many women died from. The same people who fight for Abortion rights are fighting for “gun violence” laws. Politicians, who don’t give a damn about people and are focused on winning elections have said the same stupid lines since Columbine. Women and men continue to have no respect for their bodies and continue to not use birth control and bring babies into the world that they have no business giving birth to. This is the argument. Listen. Read a history book.Continue reading