WORKING TOGETHER TO CREATE AN ABUSE-FREE FUTURE
Publisher: Beverly Engel
I took a much-needed break from writing the ezine and from writing in general
last month. Every once in awhile I just don't feel inspired and last month was
one of those times. Instead of pushing myself to get something out I decided to
allow myself time to become re-inspired.
This month's article will seem like somewhat of a departure for me but you
will see how it is actually connected to all the work I do. Like many of you, I
have been touched and deeply troubled by the current violence in Lebanon and
Israel and the recent attempt to blow up planes flying from the UK to the US. It
is a very frightening and sad situation in addition to the Iraqi War and the
current situation in North Korea.
As some of you know, I am deeply involved with and committed to the idea that
meeting in circles offers us a source of wisdom, important lessons in patience,
tolerance, and compassion and an alternative to violence. Please note the
information and announcements regarding an upcoming circle training in the
Announcements section of this ezine. In the News from Beverly segment I include
announcements. Please feel free to send me announcements you feel readers will
find of interest. I cannot guarantee I can include them all but I will do my
best to include what I feel is relevant. I will also announce my own upcoming
workshops and books. I ask that you order books directly from
Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com as I do not sell
individual books directly to readers. If you would like to attend a workshop,
feel free to email me directly at
In the News from Beverly segment I include announcements. Please feel free to
send me announcements you feel readers will find of interest. I cannot guarantee
I can include them all but I will do my best to include what I feel is relevant.
I will also announce my own upcoming workshops and books. I ask that you order
books directly from Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com as I do not sell individual
books directly to readers. If you would like to attend a workshop, feel free to
email me directly at
Please forward this ezine to anyone you know who is interested in preventing
or healing childhood emotional, physical or sexual abuse or emotional, physical
or sexual abuse in adult relationships. If you are receiving this issue as a
forward, and would like your own no-cost subscription please follow the
instructions at the end of this newsletter.
reason. Thank you for trusting me with your personal information.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME.
With the current problems in the Middle East many of us are wondering if
there will ever be peace in that area. And many of us are despairing since
Peace on Earth seems way beyond our reach. But I believe there is hope as
long as there are many people focusing on doing what they can to create
peace in their own backyards. If each person took responsibility for
creating peace in his or her own heart, mind and spirit I think we could
create the miracle needed to create peace in the world.
Everyone realizes that achieving world peace would be a monumental
achievement. We all know it would require significant changes in the way our
governments are conducted. But it would also require each and every one of
us to make significant changes in the way we view those who have different
religions and ideologies, the way we assign responsibility for our actions
and the actions of others, and the way we conduct our daily lives.
At this point in our history not only does world peace seem improbable given
the political, economic and ideological climate in our world, but peace at home
seems to elude us. There has been a great deal of focus in our country on the
rampant violence that continues to blight our existence, violence that robs us
of precious loved ones, that ignites hatred and retaliation and that continues
to baffle and confuse us. For years we've been troubled by gang violence and in
the past several years we have experienced another reason to have concern for
our youth-the senseless school violence that has occurred. We continue to suffer
from racial violence, and hate crimes against homosexuals has been on the rise.
A good starting point is to ask ourselves the question posed by Rabbi Michael
Lerner, editor of Tikkun Magazine: "What is it in the way that we are living,
organizing our societies, and treating each other that makes violence plausible
to so many people?"
Part of the answer to this question must include the way we treat our children
and the way we allow our children to be treated. From my many years of study and
experience working with those who were abused or neglected as children, I have
learned that those who are mistreated perpetuate a culture of violence by either
becoming victims or victimizers. Research clearly shows that those who have been
abused either absorb abuse or pass it on. For example, we know that a majority
of those in prison for violent crimes were emotionally, physically or sexually
abused as children. We also know that those who were abused as children will
tend to either abuse their own children or to attract a mate who will abuse
their children. And we know that a majority of men who batter and women who are
battered by their spouses were abused as children.
Having made the connection between childhood abuse and adult abuse and
violence, we need only expand this knowledge to help us understand the violence
that occurs in our communities. Children who are neglected or abused are far
more likely to become either bullies in school or the victims of bullies and we
have learned that those who endured merciless taunting and bullying from other
children are often the ones who resort to violence.
It is not only abusive and neglectful parents who are
responsible for perpetuating our culture of violence but all of us who stand by
and allow this abuse and neglect to continue. We may tell ourselves that the
current violence has nothing to do with the way we treat our children or the way
we have refused to see the suffering of so many children, but this doesn't make
it true. Deep in our hearts many people know that our children are in deep
trouble and that unless we take steps toward helping them we will continue to
raise generations of violent children.
Another part of the answer is the fact that we have allowed so
many people to live in poverty while others flaunt their wealth. We may tell
ourselves that our ability to close our ears when told that one out of every
three people on this planet does not have enough food, and that one billion are
literally starving has nothing to do with the terrorist attacks that have
blighted our nation and the world. But when children are raised in circumstances
where no one is there to take care of them, or where they live by begging or
selling their bodies in prostitution, where they are treated as though they are
less valuable and deserving of respect because they are part of some despised
nation or ethnic group, we will continue to produce a world-wide population of
people who are either violently angry or unable to take care of themselves. We
will also continue to produce people who are poisoned with envy as they observe
on a daily basis how much more others have than they do. This envy will
inevitably turn to hate as they realize that those who have so much more don't
seem to deserve it or to appreciate what they have.
Poverty and the neglect and abuse of the children of the world
are only two of the reasons for our violent world. There are many others,
the fact that we are out of touch with ourselves-out of touch
with our feelings and our own faults and shortcomings;
our intolerance of those who are different from us;
our inability to listen to others and to feel the pain of
our insistence on being "right" instead of being willing to
listen with open hearts and open minds to those who have opposing views;
the fact that we continue to expose our children to excessive
violence on television and in movies;
our willingness to continue supporting a media that extols the
rich and beautiful and that makes everyone who is not economically successful
and conventionally "beautiful" feel bad about themselves;
continuing to teach our children by word and example to only
"look out for number one" instead of teaching them empathy and compassion for
How We Begin To Achieve Peace On Earth
Peace begins within each individual. It begins by each
person coming to appreciate the differences between people instead of
fearing them. It begins with each person committing to the values of
tolerance, empathy and compassion. Most important, peace begins when each
person comes to know, deep in their heart, that the things they despise,
fear and hate in others are qualities that lie buried deep inside
Peace begins in each family. It begins by each parent taking responsibility
for breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect that has been passed down from
generation to generation. It begins when each parent comes to view his or
her children as unique individuals who have the right to their feelings,
preferences and perceptions. It begins when family members learn to really
listen to one another, to apologize to one another and to forgive one
another. The reason people become violent is the same reason they become
abusive-because they have been abused, because they have been ignored,
because they have been shamed. When we stop the neglect and abuse in our
families, we take one giant step toward stopping the violence in our
Peace begins in our community. It begins when we teach our
children to accept the differences between people and when we model this
acceptance in our daily lives. It begins when we no longer continue to believe
that our church, our political party, our beliefs are superior to those of
others. It begins when we agree to meet in small discussion groups or circles to
discuss our differences and to create solutions to our problems. It begins when
we view a child=s anti-social actions as a cry for help and when we support a
system in which first time offenders are asked to take responsibility for their
actions, gain empathy for those they have harmed and make reparations instead of
being merely being punished.
Peace begins in our country when we refuse to be divided because
of our political beliefs. It begins when we start to have respect for the
differences that make us such a rich country, when diversity is celebrated
instead of scorned. It begins when we recognize that we are perpetuating
violence with our strong-arm tactics throughout the world and when we begin to
understand that the violence we project into the world through our movies and
our music is bound to come back to us like a returning boomerang. Peace begins
when we recognize that it is pure arrogance to assume that our way is the only
way and that those in other countries who have different beliefs are wrong. It
begins when we learn to listen to the views of those from other countries and
other cultures and when we open our hearts to take in their views.
Peace in the world will come when we all treat one another as an
equal, no better or worse than we are. It will come when we are no longer
threatened by our differences because we are able to communicate our ideas
freely and listen to one another with open hearts and open minds. It will come
when we stop judging others for being selfish, cruel, controlling,
narrow-minded, power-hungry, violent, and tyrannical and recognize that we are
guilty of the same faults and shortcomings. It will come when we turn ourselves
into a society in which social justice, love, and compassion are so prevalent
that violence becomes only a distant memory.
Many people believe that this is one of those pivotal moments in
history when we can change the world for the better if we bring wisdom actively
to the for and apply it with diligence and clarity and if we engage in deep
dialogue for the purpose of what Rumi has called, looking for the "root of the
root" of our collective selves. Many spiritual teachings point to this as a time
of great change and redemption.
There is a song that says, "We will have peace because we must."
Because of continual terrorist attacks, the war in Iraq and now the escalating
situation between Israel and Lebanon more and more people are forced to face how
bad things have become. It has caused many to enter a period of reflection, to
get back in touch with our common humanity. It will no doubt encourage many more
people to join the efforts for peace.
In times of crisis people tend to put aside their petty differences for the
common good. During times of crisis people also want to know what they can do to
help. There is something that each one of us can do to create peace. We must
start by examining the way we make enemies out of our loved ones, how we view
our mates as opponents rather than allies, and how we teach our children to be
either victims or victimizers. Then we must closely examine the ways we treat
those who are different and our own tendency to judge and exclude others. Once
we have cleaned up our own psyches and our own homes we can expand our efforts
by becoming Ambassadors of Peace in our communities. By becoming role models for
others, including our children, we can have a powerful effect on the world. By
introducing and advocating dialogues and circles in our communities we can begin
to really hear and understand one another and begin to end dissension and
prejudice. By learning about alternatives to violence such as mediation,
conflict resolution and restorative justice we can heal our wounds and replace
revenge with justice.
We are not powerless to change our violent world. Each of us is
capable of making real changes in the way we live our lives-changes that can
make a significant contribution to changing the world.
“Never doubt that a small group of
thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the
only thing that ever has.”
I AM RECEIVING A LOT OF
POSITIVE EMAILS ABOUT MY LATEST BOOK
Emotional Self: A POWERFUL PROGRAM TO HELP YOU RAISE YOUR
SELF-ESTEEM, QUIET YOUR INNER CRITIC AND OVERCOME YOUR SHAME.
HERE ARE A FEW EXAMPLES
"Thank you for writing Healing Your Emotional Self. I had a terrible problem
with low self-esteem and self-criticism. Your book helped me to understand
where these problems came from and gave me specific steps I could take to
heal the damage of my childhood and begin to feel better about myself."
"I've read all your books on emotional abuse and they've all helped me in
my healing process but this one is the best yet! For the first time I really
understand why I am the way I am! Thank you Beverly for continuing to write
such important books."
IF YOU WERE EMOTIONALLY ABUSED OR NEGLECTED AS A CHILD THIS BOOK WILL
HELP YOU HEAL YOUR WOUNDS, EMOTIONALLY SEPARATE FROM YOUR PARENTS, AND STOP
TREATING YOURSELF THE WAY YOUR PARENTS TREATED YOU.
WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
INTERGENERATIONAL CONVERSATIONS-If you live in San Luis Obispo and are
interested in learning from those younger or older than yourself and helping
to bridge the gap between generations, go to
information on where we will be meeting. We meet every third Wednesday from
4:30 to 6:30.
TWO FUND RAISING WORKSHOPS FOR SAN LUIS OBISPO'S WOMEN'S PRESS:
HOW TO CREATE AND SUSTAIN A WOMEN'S CIRCLE
Conducted by Beverly Engel and Shana Ross
Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006 12-4
Old Pacheco Elementary School
165 Grand Ave.
San Luis Obispo, CA
$20 Donation to benefit the Women's Press
Call (805) 528-7544 for more information
SLO WOMEN'S PRESS PRESENTS:
A Powerful Process for Reviewing, Re-Envisioning and
Re-Creating the Second Half of Your Life
Are you a woman age 40 or older who is looking for a new
direction or a new start to your life? Are you overwhelmed by the changes
Or are you feeling inspired and creative but can't find your passion?
If so, you are cordially invited to a powerful transformation process
designed specifically for women.
Weekend of October 28 and 29, 2006
* Discover major themes and patterns in your life that can
lead you to your life purpose
* Learn innovative techniques to help you re-envision how you want to live
the rest of your life
* Identify the obstacles and limiting beliefs and behaviors that prevent you
from moving forward and living a joyous life
* Discover powerful tools that will help you to move more creatively into
the future-to create your personal renaissance by fulfilling undeveloped
parts of yourself.
Beverly Engel, M.F.T. has been a psychotherapist and workshop leader for
30 years. She is internationally recognized as an expert in women's issues
and relationships and is the author of 18 self-help books, many of which
have been bestsellers. She has shared her expertise on many national
television programs, including: Oprah, CNN, Sally Jesse Raphael, Ricki Lake
and Starting Over.
Heather Mendel: is a speech and hearing therapist, spiritual director,
calligraphic artist, writer and storyteller. She has facilitated
spirituality groups for women for the past 15 years. Her book, Towards
Freedom, has been well received nationally and abroad. She is a guest
speaker in many local venues and a guest lecturer each semester at Cal Poly,
in the area of women's spirituality.
* For a full description of the weekend, cost, location and a
pre-registration form, go to
www.womenspress-slo.org or call: (805) 528-7544
I hope you enjoyed this issue of Working Together to Create an Abuse-Free
To find out more about Beverly Engel, go to
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