and three other women sat on the floor of her apartment in one of the worst apartment complexes in Atlanta. They were questioning what happened in their recent pasts, and what was going on in their present lives. Their soul searching led to the founding of the , an organization, with Islamic roots, dedicated to domestic violence awareness, prevention, intervention and advocacy. The cause is personal to Hadayai: She is now happily married, in a secure loving relationship, but it wasn’t always so. The successful businesswoman and writer, is determined to provide a way for others to overcome the challenges of abuse. She is determined to help them heal and one of the ways she reaches out is through her radio show, The Healing Hour.
I vaguely knew the story and purpose of the Healing Hour when I was asked to speak. Yet, in preparing for my talk, I did not include Lori’s prayer or SueBE’s . Instead, I chose to recite a line from : “Is it Godly and grounded to try to defy the gravity of limitations, and admit that you want a life of big, bright service? “ I felt compelled to talk to my host about empowerment, opportunity and a better tomorrow. Little Susie Sunshine… was it honest or cowardly for me to shy away from the topic of abuse?
I know less than nothing about domestic violence. It’s not that battered women are absent from my community, on the contrary. My cousin Rachel works for , where she and her colleagues are kept very busy. I am blessed to have not been personally touched by domestic violence, so it’s easier for me to wear blinders around the issue. My heart breaks when I hear the stories Hadayai and Rachel deal with on a daily basis. But there are many, who are better informed and more equipped to help heal, by offering sound advice, compassion and understanding, to women affected by domestic violence.
I learned something valuable from the Healing Hour and reflecting on my experience as a guest. It’s OK to stick with what I know. I don’t always have to weigh in on every topic. I can add more to conversation by sharing what I do know about: the power of prayer. I know, without additional research or fact-finding; Muslims, Christians, Jews and women of all faiths, pray for the same things. We pray for security, safety, prosperity, healthy minds and healthy bodies. We praise a higher power and we praise our inner power. We pray for lucky breaks, good intuition and reliable relationships. We pray to appreciate where we’re at, and to recognize where we’re going. We pray for peace of mind and one big collective peace that begin with prayer.
Stand beside me as I look at my grief,
for innocence lost
and childhood stolen.
Help me hold my grief.
Help me honor my grief.
Help me let my grief go.
Take my hand as I look at my rage,
for his maddening persistence,
violating the boundaries he knew were there.
Help me hold my rage.
Help me honor my rage.
Help me let my rage go.
Wrap me in Your arms as I look at my loneliness,
for years of aching in silence,
imagining that my emotional isolation
was for a greater good.
Help me hold my loneliness.
Help me honor my loneliness.
Help me let my loneliness go.
Fill and surround me,
give me the strength to
finally look at the little girl I was,
the one I try not to resent for her silence,
for her timidity,
the one with wide eyes
and an aching heart,
trying so hard to love the best way she knows how.
Teach me now to love like You,
that I might be strong enough
to hold the little girl.
To honor the little girl.
To let the little girl go.