Powerful! Results of bullying, and knowing they were WRONG

To This Day Project – Shane Koyczan

A poignant poem read with amazing feeling, and animated.

Please share this with others who think they are the only ones hurt this way.

Together we can heal.

Great advice on feeling better

these guys are so awesome, and spreading awesomeness around the world!

How are you helping people be awesome this year?

Forgiveness – when does it help healing?

I have been asked many times over the years if forgiveness is necessary for emotional healing. My quick answer is: self-forgivness is necessary, forgiving others is not.

Forgiveness helps when you no longer need the anger to keep you safe… 


Anger is a very useful emotion. It fuels our actions to keep us safe, and to push destructive people away. Forgiveness is counter-productive, in my opinion, when the person continues the harmful behavior.

I find that once someone is safe, and well away from danger that forgiveness can be helpful, although is not necessary for healing. I have forgiven some people who have caused me trauma in the past. Usually, after they change their behavior. Some others I have forgiven because I realized that they were doing the best they could.

However, expressing anger also helps change freeze responses in our bodies. Anger can help us change self-negating patterns into self-care patterns. Don’t let an eagerness for forgiveness get in the way of righteous anger. Righteous anger is when we have a full right to be angry and the anger can help us create a better life for ourselves and others.


Even self-forgiveness may not come easily. Sometimes I need to change a behavior before I can forgive myself for having done it. Particularly behaviors that hurt others.

Ironically, I’ve found that the hardest things to forgive myself for was being powerless when someone else was hurting me. Just accepting that I can be that powerless at any point in life can be very difficult. When I have been able to forgive myself “for being human” this way I heal faster and become stronger.

Essentially, you have to use your own inner wisdom to decide when forgiveness is right for you.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  • Am I safer and healthier after forgiving? 
  • Am I now ready to let go of this anger and defensiveness?
  • What do I still blame myself for that objectively wasn’t my fault?
  • Where do I blame others when objectively I can see that it wasn’t really their fault?
  • Is someone sincerely asking for forgiveness and is acting in a respectful way to me now?


Bob Faw interviewed about Vital Cycles and how trauma survivors heal

Listen in to an inspiring conversation (interview) with three positive change consultants who volunteer helping those who’ve suffered trauma to transform their lives.

Two wonderful women from Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) interviewed me this evening. What a delight to talk about how people can transform trauma and create vital cycles in their lives.

Powerful learning on her healing journey

This is a posting from a Vital Cycles group member.

In the two years I’ve been working on my healing I’ve learned so much.

I can sometimes see what triggers me and why. And I can choose to leave the room or situation, or change the channel on TV. I can now realize that what has happened to me is not my fault… it’s those that hurt me. And no wonder I feel like I live in hell. Who wouldn’t? I know my anger is really intense. I feel a lot of pain and sadness. I know when the memories are coming in, and it’s ok to sit and feel that pain and cry some of it out… even though it hurts to be there. It’s ok to talk about it now to my therapist, they can’t hurt me anymore. And I will be listened to and believed. I can accept I have been abused and mistreated by the people who were supposed to love me. I mistakenly learned to think of that as love. That’s not ok, but I accept it. And it’s also ok if some days I don’t feel any of this acceptance and struggle to get through my day. It’s ok to be stuck feeling that I’m in hell too. All I can do is the best I can do. It’s hard work and I’m far from done.

It’s amazing how much I’ve changed. All of you, Vital Cycles, and my wonderful therapist have helped me so much. Thank you for listening …   🙂


Healing Principles:Celebration

Learning to appreciate the delights of the moment invigorates our lives
with joy.”-Vital Cycles Healing Principles

The “principles of healing”; while named and individually explained, are intertwined in many ways. In the reading on Celebration it states, “We need to consciously shift the focus and recognize the good things in our lives today.” By doing so we embrace another healing principle; Empowerment. A ‘conscious shift’ is a choice…and it is our ability to make decisions about how we view our lives that helps us heal.

Many of us have achieved this; from time to time in one way or manner, throughout the course of our lives.

This healing principle is not simply something achieved, and finished in one single shift, choice, or action; but through a series of adjustments.

Some people; in the beginning of their healing, have difficulty in visualizing how they can celebrate when there are so many challenges being faced. It is easy to be overwhelmed at times and to question and criticize oneself for what has NOT been done…or what has not happened YET.

Many people prior to entering recovery; or those of us who are in earlier stages of recovery (and for those temporarily reverting to an earlier phase of healing) initiate (or reignite) this ‘shift in consciousness’ by looking at the challenges in our lives, and thinking on how things could be worse. This simple mental choice, may lead to a slight feeling of appreciation.

For those so enmeshed with feelings of despair; that they are unable to see how things could be worse, turning to supportive people may provide hope that things can improve. By people sharing the struggles they have overcome; and celebrating their achievements, people can be a beacon of hope and inspiration.

Intertwined with celebration, is gratitude, appreciation, patience, a sense of empowerment, and joy. These positive feelings may nourish each other in a way which expands outward in positive ways as yet unknown. Being able to celebrate our achievements brings a sense of empowerment; and empowerment helps create the building block for our celebration. It is not a simple matter of cause and effect; because each aspect has an influence on another. It is not a one way street. The flow (or current) charging our healing goes both upstream(to our heads) and downstream (to our hearts ). Both the head and heart send messages towards taking positive action. Positive action leads to empowerment, which in turn can lead to celebration, which can energize us to take further action…which leads… etc, etc…

Light To Dark – healing journey

(Note: A member of Vital Cycles offers this hopeful and compelling writing to the healing community at large. This member was quick to point out that despite the first line, healing has indeed removed a vast majority of the pain that used to seem a permanent part of life.)




My pain is something you can’t take away from me


Joy was snatched away

Pleasure was contaminated

Security was destroyed

Self-love was mangled

Love was withheld or too costly

Identity was scrambled

      laden with tumultuous trauma

      imprinted with others’ shame, hatred and perversity

Childhood itself was desecrated, torn and in shambles


      What was I left with?

      What could I call my own?

      Who was I now?


Only my pain

      my seemingly unending sadness

      my self-loathing


Ha! Underneath the damage and destruction

      throughout the hell

      trauma and upheaval

            something lived

A small white light flickered

      awaiting the day

      awaiting the moment it was declared safe

            to emerge unshielded


By this time there were many layers

      deep, dark, and thick

      sticky, bloody

      overlapping and covering the light


      Walls had been built

      Traps had been set

      Mazes created

To protect that flame

      of pure self-love

      of oneness

      of wholeness


Somehow a belief emerges

I am

      more than my perceptions

      more than what my feelings tell me

      more than the immensity of garbage and vile refuse

            piled deep within

That, for some reason

      I deserve to be happy

      I deserve to find peace

      I deserve to heal

            to fling off the self-loathing beliefs

            to peel back the layers of garbage

            to air out the rancid and reeking areas within


I could change


I could emerge

      as a sleeping giant of light

      shaking off sleep

      pondering the horrific nightmares that still linger in my mind

      Wondering which is reality

            the beauty and light I remember before I slept

            or the scathing hell that made all seem darker, smaller, meaner

                        and dripping with the slime of shame.


My perception slips with the ease of years of routinized habit

      and all appears grimy again, weighty, arduous


I stand again

A foot in each land

The perception I adopt depending on the direction I turn my head

Both realities real enough

‘though I see the darkened world as illusory

      there is need to move in it

      essential changes are only possible by operating within its parameters

      using its rules and limitations

The dark world offers resistance

      precipitating agonizing movements

      which develop power

      incredible strength





The light world has no stimulus

      no arena

      for that kind of growth

Until I am strong enough, clear enough

      the dark world will draw me in

      pull me downwards

      imbue itself in my body

      necessitating increasing strength and clarity

      to move forward

            where my love

            my light

            leads me


I am led

To where I don’t know

Except, that once there

      I will move more powerfully and freely than ever I could have known

I will continue to seek pockets of darkness

      so small to my perception

I will move within them

      adopting the reality of their illusions

      in order to attain the growth

      which can be developed from within them


These bits of darkness

      they float suspended

      within the sustaining, golden, ethereal light

From afar they appear as sparkles

      adding diversity and beauty to the ether


After sufficient growth

This giant, of which I am

      will burst out of the ether

      discovering it is a clear giant awakening

      in a light world so bright and so clear

      emerging out of a world so gold and dingy

In this brighter world

      the light so bright as to barely be in a visible spectrum

      there are sparkles of gold

      pockets for the newly awakened giant to merge into and find growth



      I do not know

Process only

      do I know

And only by intuiting

      with senses not for this dark world



All is good

      yet, is it bad?

It is better

      or worse?


      or after?

Which way one turns

      and which world one is in

      defines the judgment










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