Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Invitation by Oriah

by Oriah

It doesn't interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn't interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon...
I want to know
if you have touched
the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn't interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Excerpted from The Invitation, by Oriah
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Heart Sees

 Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.

Wake Up to Live
with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Microcosm to Penn State Child Sex Abuse

The Microcosm to Penn State Child Sex Abuse
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

Wolverton writes in The Chronicles of Higher Education stating that according to the 267-page independent report released on July 12th 2012,

“A reverence for football was largely to blame for a series of missteps by to Pennsylvania State University administrators in failing to report repeated allegations of child sex abuse by Jerry Sandusky” (2012).

In addition to this,

“Two Penn State officials—Graham B. Spanier, the university's former president, and Joe Paterno, the revered coach—took the brunt of criticism in the report. They and other top leaders displayed a "total disregard for the safety and welfare" of children, the report says, and hid critical facts from authorities about the alleged abuses.”[. . . ]“The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized,” Mr. Freeh said (2012).

The report further concluded that said officials and other top leaders refrained from coming forward to “avoid the consequences of bad publicity.”

In addition to the revealed material, a comment was made in regards to why sex abused children respond the way they do. 

“I wonder how much of the "pay[ing] dearly throughout their lives through issues of trust, self-esteem, etc." is a result of the activity itself and how much is a result of a societal "abuse infrastructure" with a vested interest in making sure that the child knows that they are supposed have such issues and through the whole massive majesty of the Child Services bureaucracy and the judicial system making it clear that the only acceptable response on the child's part is self-loathing and hatred toward the others. Carefully cultivating the child's "victimhood" by those with a vested interest in perpetuating such a culture of victimhood is as unfortunate as any other aspect of this whole situation” (Eveland, 2012).

Not only were these children being ignored during the heinous crime of sexual abuse for 14 long years, we now have Eveland, an organizational and clinical psychologist, stating that society is conditioning children to be victims of these heinous sex crimes and to respond with self-loathing and hatred toward others.  Where is the understanding?  Is Eveland saying that children that undergo sexual abuse surface unscathed, and that it is only social conditioning causing their feeling to turn them into a “culture of victimhood?”  Penn states victims as well as many other abused children don’t get heard the first, second, or even third and fourth time; and, when (or if) the crime is finally exposed, the children don’t get heard once again because apparently society has conditioned this cognitive process into their minds.  A view like this shuts the abused child down.  Rather than the abused child express his/her inner pain, he/she is taught that what she/he feels is wrong, and that it has been socially conditioned into her/him to feel or think this way.  Where is the justice for the child with a statement such as this?  First, a child is ignored of his/her complaints of sex abuse.  Second, a child is ignored of his/her complaints of self-loathing and hatred.

For many years, children and women have been socialized to keep their voices quiet.  As a result, sex crimes were rarely reported.  If they were reported, the children and women were questioned in courts to the point of twisting evidence so that they were to blame for the cause of the crime.  As a result, children and women did not come forward because they could not endure a second blast of shame.  With courage and persistence, women and their children finally overcame this archaic and male dominating social system.  Finally, sex abused children and women were able to begin the process of healing because they came forward and expressed the psychological damage these crimes cause.

Penn State’s child sex abuse is a microcosm to many families around the world experiencing sex crimes but go unnoticed.  The Joe Paterno’s and the Graham B. Spanier’s are also some of the parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, brothers, and sisters that turn a blind eye to the sex crimes that occur under their noses.  To demonstrate, many sex abused children around the world don’t belong to a high profile university. Neither do they live with big-named officials, presidents, or leaders.  What Penn State’s officials and leaders have in common with many average families that experience sex crimes is that they refrain from coming forward to avoid the consequences of bad publicity whether it be with mass media for Pen State or the local community for the family.  What they don’t have in common is that the individuals from Penn State that committed perjury and failed to report suspected abuse were at minimum brought to court.  The individuals that had a total disregard for the safety and welfare of the children came under “scathing public criticism,” resigned, discredited, and/or fired.  Additionally, Penn State’s victims were acknowledged for what had happened.  The people that chose to turn a blind eye to the sex crimes had minor penalties but at least some.  There was no question; there had to be consequences for such a huge organization prominent in the public eye.  On the other hand, it’s very different for the small families with children of sex crimes.  Many aren’t noticed, acknowledged, or understood at all.   

The shame of this tragedy is that children continue to remain in the dark unnoticed and forgotten when it comes to these atrocious sex crimes.  Then we have educated professionals that state an unambiguously clear-cut  point-of-view that could radically push back these children to their shaded lives.

When I birthed my children I received a Canadian Health Passport from the Ministry of Health for each child.  Within the cover, the United Nations Declares 10 Rights of the Child, the first one being the right to affection, love, and understanding.

Penn State’s Culture of Reverence Led to ‘Total Disregard’ for Children’s Safety. (2012,
July 12). The Chronicles of Higher Education. Retrieved September 16, 2012, from

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What One Can Feel When Excluded from a Game

What One Can Feel When Excluded from a Game
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Persons who were excluded from participating in a game showed a similar pattern of brain activation (in the right ventral prefrontal cortex) as participants experiencing physical pain measured by fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging).  Something to think about.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh