Change the lens of which you are looking through…

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In today’s society where glamour is instant and false ideas of perfection are easily attained through filters, apps and social media the truth of who we are is no longer valued. Everyone’s highlight reel is a constant misconception that life is perfect and your self-worth is based on your posts, likes, tweets and what is socially pinned. What I have realized is that no matter how hard I try to reach perfection I always pale in measuring up to the world’s beauty mirror and I get distracted and fail to see God’s beauty in me. 

For far too long I spent many minutes, hours and days hating what I saw in the mirror. When I looked at my reflection all I could see is my fears, flaws and failures. I am slowly becoming comfortable in my own skin and not giving into the world’s definition of beauty.

When we realize that God sees us through eyes of love we are profoundly healed. When we begin to see others through God’s eyes of love, we bring healing and blessing to them. To be seen and loved, and to absorb the reality of that love, is to know ourselves for who we really are. And to know this is to be freed from self condemnation. To know this is to be made whole. We are made in the image of God. God says we are lovely and beloved, we are His.

When we strive to be everyone else but the person God created, then we are giving control to those things that control our perspectives in life.  When we are anchored in the truth of Christ, we give the Holy Spirit control in what matters most in our life.  When we start to see the vision that God has for each of us our identity takes on the shape by our Maker and not by the world.  That’s an image social media and magazines will never reflect.

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Daily Quote…

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I spent many years putting on the facade that my life was perfect and I was afraid to show who I truly was. It wasn’t until I realized that the things I spent hiding behind my mask has made me who I am. My experiences, failures, struggles, joys and triumphs are what other people want to know about me. They don’t want the pretend and fake life that everything is perfect because they too have experiences that set them a part and make them unique. We all have a story and when we start to share we get to know some pretty amazing people in the world. Don’t be afraid to be YOU!

Dear Younger Me…

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If I could tell you anything this is what I would say….
If only you could only see what I see today. There is beauty that lies in your soul that has always been there.
You have always had a gentle heart and nothing will ever take that from you.
I know you have been hurt in the most horrendous of ways and I know you have felt pain that no human should bare.
You must see that the feelings you carry of your life being a mistake are lies from the enemy.
I know what you needed growing up was to feel loved, valued, safe and cherished.
I’m sorry that you felt none of those things but I want to tell you that one day you will.
All your doubts, all your fears, all your hurt and all your tears will be for something greater then you can ever imagine.
Your story will be a beacon of light in the darkest of situations and your faith will give hope to those who have lost theirs.
Those awful things that were done to you don’t define you, they don’t give you your sense of worth and you are NOT to blame.
That shame and guilt belongs to them.
God has called you beautiful and He gave you this life for a reason. You are His precious creation!
You have been redeemed by the ultimate Father and He will never leave you nor forsake you.
When you feel like your losing the battle and your heart is at war remember that what they took from you is not who you are.
Don’t let those who have hurt you and robbed you of your childhood, have your future too.
You will rejoice one day that instead of staying in bondage to the lies you will find freedom in your scars.
I will be there to always catch your tears,
I will be there to love you through your pain
I will be there to hold you through your healing
and I will be there to comfort you in your shame.
You are me and I am you!
~Anonymous~
Memoirs of a Broken Woman Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MemoirsofaBW/

You are Priceless!

If you are not being treated with love and respect, check your price tag. Perhaps you have marked yourself down. It’s YOU who tells people what you are worth by what you accept. Get off the clearance rack & get behind the glass where the valuables are kept! Learn to value yourself, more! If you don’t, no one else will!

Why women go back?

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It takes a woman on average of 7 to 9 times to successfully leave an abusive relationship. The most terrifying and dangerous time in a domestic violence situation is when a woman decides to leave. Many women of domestic violence are killed each year by their partners after they have left their abuser. Leaving, itself, can be a dangerous process. Leaving requires strategic planning and legal intervention measures to safeguard a woman and her children. Victims know their abusers better than anyone and if they are fearful of leaving, they are scared for a very important reason.
In most cases a form of isolation has been prevalent throughout the relationship so that the victim feels alone and has a lack of support from others. For many abusers this is the time that the violence, threats and financial abuse escalates even more. The abusers sense they are losing control and will grasp at anything to keep it. Anything from withholding access to bank accounts, vehicles and using children as a way to keep the victim from leaving. For the victims/survivors the fear of the unknown in the outside world can be intimidating and brings the feelings of not being able to provide for themselves and their children. For some they have been isolated from family and friends for so long and may not live in the same state anymore.

Leaving is a process and many times the victim/survivor returns many times before she permanently leaves her abuser. The first, second and third time a victim/survivor leaves it may be an attempt for the abuser to get help and hope to work things out. Victims/survivors want to believe that their abuser loves them and will change so they are willing to give it another try. It may go well for a while and the abuse will subside but statistics reveal that an abuser will likely return to their abusive ways. Financial stability is another reason why many women go back to their abusers. If a woman hasn’t worked in many years she may feel that she cannot support herself and or her children. Women in abusive relationships don’t always have high self-esteem or self-confidence, and this makes leaving a relationship more difficult.
The fourth, fifth and sixth attempts to leave may result in acquiring available resources, housing, childcare, legal help and buy some time to put a support system in place for when she is ready to leave for good. Abusers are very manipulative and deceiving they know how to plead with the victim to stay insisting that they will change. The judgement attached to women returning to violent relationships is the reason why women do not come forward about their dangerous relationships, causing them to be further isolated from the outside world and rely on her abuser. Women hold on to the idea that these men will change because they weren’t always abusive. Maybe he will go back to how he used to be. Setting boundaries after leaving an abuser can be a daunting and almost an impossible task for some. For far too long boundaries have been set for them so creating a new standard of boundaries can be difficult.
Things you can do:
EDUCATE YOURSELF so you can help EDUCATE THEM. Victims cannot see how bad it really is and sometimes think this abuse is NORMAL because maybe they grew up in abusive homes.
Do not ask why.
Do not judge.
Do not isolate/abandon someone in a bad relationship.
Do not compare your situation or someone else’s situation to others. Every type of abuse escalates. Some  are worse than others because it’s been going on longer or just have escalated quicker.

I AM WORTH IT….Part 2

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When I finally got away from his clenches, I vowed that I would fight for changes in my life and save myself.    I would sit and look in the mirror and pinch myself, touch my face and wonder where did I go?   How do I get myself back?   How does a 14-year-old girl save herself from hell!

I wrote in my journal over and over again…  You are worth it…You are worth it…    I did this every day. I would look at those words and something deep inside of me started brewing.  I knew one day it would be better.  I would live a great life in spite of all that has happened to me.  I was determined never to give up!

I went on to live with my grandparents and my sick mother.  Life was complicated and hard.    I was running from my past demons that I hid from the world, trying to keep my head above water and survive this madness.    As time went by, I did just that, I survived.    I pushed through high school, and a one-year secretarial program.  I was determined to make it.

There were so many bumps and bruises along the way, so many set backs, flash backs fighting my inner demons every single day, but my mind set would always go back to that paper…   “I AM WORTH IT”.

I kept on pushing, I kept on going….

I now look back at all that heartache and treachery and what it took for me to get here, and I feel blessed.     I am proud of the woman that I have become.    It has been a long and winding road, and my husband came along for the ride, blindly supporting me, as he had no clue as to the deep pain inside my head.   Those flashbacks, those moments when I felt frozen in time.   It felt like I was in a plastic bag that was cloudy and I was fighting my way out as I was suffocating.  The pain, OH the pain.

I did seek counseling more than once and I was diagnosed with PTSD.   Through out this process I always worked hard at keeping my demons at bay, but that was not the answer.    After the death of my father, all the old feeling came rushing back in like a tidal wave, and I had to face them once and for all.   Be the fierce warrior that I was meant to be, that was the thoughts in my mind!!

So that is what I did.  I faced them all, and battled them down to the ground putting them to rest.   In this process of healing I journaled all of my thoughts, memories and feelings.   This would later become my book.   The Unspoken Truth, A Memoir is a detailed looked into my life from the age of six on up to adulthood.      My book was just released in October and I could not be more proud and happy to have made it.

In the process of my writing, I healed.    I forgave, and I moved forward leaving that old baggage to the wayside once and for all.

I am now living a full and happy life with my family.   Is life hectic? YES it is, we have kids in the house!  I have never felt more alive and free in all my life.      I am whole, well as whole as I can be.  Yes, there will always be that small part of me that will hurt, my battle scars of the past, but I look at them as my personal medal of honor for making it.

Writing my book was my way of giving back, and being that VOICE for those who are still not there yet!   I say YET because you can get there, with hard work and dedication to yourself, you can achieve what I have, HEALING.

My name is Lisa Zarcone, and I am a survivor and better yet a thriver!

God Bless all of you on your personal journey to freedom.