Those of us whose lives have been marred by sexual trauma face challenges that many in the population simply cannot comprehend ~ the worst in my mind being the corrosive shame we suffer because of the evil actions of our perpetrators.  The words If only are haunting words and can lead to feelings of loss and regret. Nevertheless, if suffering is our best teacher and I maintain that it is, how can we then reframe our pain in such a way that we become more large spitted as a result?  This poem is an effort on my part to avoid self pity ~ an emotion I can easily slip into.  By putting my own experience in a larger context,  I hope to become a greater spiritual force for good in a world torn apart by human suffering..

When I awoke today
there was a thin pinkish orange strip of magic hovering across the morning sky
and for a moment I was completely lost in the beauty of the world
and the blessed blessedness of my privileged life.
I looked at my pup Fulton and tried to explain how fortunate we are.
You, I said as he wagged his tail in anticipation of a treat,
you could have been a mutt on a street in Calcutta: alone and hungry.
And I ~ well I,  God help me, I could have been a Syrian mother  
reliving the never ending day she knelt in ashes holding her dying baby.
But instead ~ here we are literally living a dream
where nightmares are fewer and fewer between.
But this other world is the larger world we live in
where joy and pain and loss and gain
coincide at every turn.
How to respond to this inexplicable randomness?
Surely, we must fiercely love each other ~ nothing less.