5-18 Powell's City of Books, World's Largest Indie Bookstore by Judith Ashley and Sarah Raplee

Friday, December 7, 2018

Freedom: Sever The Thread

Judith Ashley is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.

December is Potpourri month which means the Genre-istas can talk about anything they want to.

What do I want to share?

Just that most of the women (and some men) I know have done some deep level work within themselves. They’ve assessed their lives, identified something they want to change and followed the thread back to the precipitating event or scenario.

Would you be surprised if that precipitating event was one where they were victimized? Abused? Was a situation that was fraught with peril? A situation that even though they escaped, has tentacles slipping through their lives that affect them today?

Time to Sever The Tentacles from Our Past
I’m writing this post in early October so I’ve no idea what the outcome of the mid-term elections will be. And while there is political turmoil and social upheaval in the United States at this time, I’m writing this post as a commentary on more than the past few weeks. I’m writing about 2018, a year that has found many of us searching for the good, the positive, the beauty in the world around us.

And in that search we’ve faced some truths about our life. We’ve made some decisions. I know I’ve become more active locally and now serve on the Board of my Neighborhood Association. I’ve made a point to get out into my neighborhood where I’ve lived for over forty years and meet my neighbors.

Hours into the dark of night, I’ve remembered negative scenarios from my past and struggled to find a way to neutralize them. It was during one of those nights that I saw the connection between an early decision I made and my relationships – to this day. A time-frame that spans over 50 years!

How freeing! Seeing the relationship between the past and the present was so helpful.

Reminding myself that I’m no longer 20 or 21 or even 25 means I no longer have to live my life as if the vulnerability I felt at that time was still true.

How freeing to find that thread and follow it through my life to the present–––and then sever the connection.

What does your Shrunken, shriveled hose look like?
It reminded me of the newfangled hose I bought last spring. Although this is not a 100% accurate analogy, it will suffice.

The hose’s appearance when coiled in its container is deceptive. Hook it up, turn it on and it stretches as it fills and fills and fills–reaching across the deck to water faraway bushes.

But when I turn the water off, it shrinks, deflates and soon shrivels.

That is the visual I hold when I sever the thread. It shrivels and I’m left with who I am today, the product of all those scenarios, those events, those incidents but I’m no longer tied to them. They no longer have the power to influence my choices today.

The Sacred Women’s Circle stories are about women who make the choice to leave doubts and fears behind and reach for, claim the love they want in their lives. Their journeys are often fraught with peril, with risk, with pain but they can see, just out of their reach, their goal.

In order to reach it, to have that love, they must risk that moment when they free fall, when they let go of the past, the hurts, the doubts and reach for their future.

May you find the strength and courage to reach for your future if not in this moment then in 2019.

Learn more about Judith's The Sacred Women’s Circle series at

Follow Judith on Twitter: JudithAshley19

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© 2018 Judith Ashley


Lynn Lovegreen said...

Thoughtful post, Judith. A good metaphor to use for this concept....

Barbara Rae Robinson said...

So true, Judith. The decisions we made when younger no longer apply. We need to stand tall and meet our challenges with renewed courage and insight. We are different people. Since I'm a future oriented person, I'm not finding this too difficult. I'm looking ahead to where I want to be ten or so years from now. And not letting my past control my future.

Judith Ashley said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Lynn.

Judith Ashley said...

Barb, even though I most likely have less future ahead of me than past, I also see myself as someone who is looking forward to tomorrow both literally and figuratively.Glad to be on this writing journey with you.

Maggie Lynch said...

I do believe the past shapes us both in good ways and unhelpful ways. Certainly trauma can make us more afraid. Sometimes that is helpful in the same way that learning a stove is hot makes us not touch an open flame. In other ways, as you pointed out in your example, it is not helpful if it is stopping us from going where we want to go now.

You is the analogy of strings and I liked the hose concept. I use the analogy of tapes (which show my age because many people never lived with a tape recorder). Younger people might better relate to MP3 files (like a favorite song) that play all the time.

I always think of my lessons in the past as being on a tape recorder that keeps playing in my head or comes on automatically whenever I consider trying/doing something new. For example, I had the tape in my head that I shouldn't show my feelings or admit to certain emotions such as anger or sadness. This came from an early incident in my childhood and it took me until well into my 30's before I could not only admit to such emotions but embrace them. I threw out those tapes in my head. :)

But I also have many wonderful tapes in my head--like the one that says I can be anyone I want, accomplish anything I want if I'm willing to put in the work. That tape, from my parents, is what got me through college on my own, several careers, and even now to being an author. I'm keeping that tape. :)

Thanks for always sharing these moments and for writing them for all of us to see.

Judith Ashley said...

Maggie, You are 100% correct that we do have tapes that we want to keep. My parents encouraged my brothers and me to go after what we wanted and that we drive, determination and perseverance we could accomplish anything. I do believe that is true to this day. My only Caveat is something you write about in your post on 2019 being the year of Partners. That is to determine if you Want to do it and if it is the Most Effective way to get to your goal. I've found this past year that there are things I can do and I have done them and I'd rather pay someone (think format my books) than take the time to do it myself.