This Will Help to Heal Hearts

Humans around the world have been shocked, saddened and feeling grief. We are all brothers and sisters and we share this one beautiful planet. We all feel pain and grief in the same way and we are grieving in our individual ways.


These barbaric attacks bring negative energy to this world we all share.  I heard this and it is one of my favorite songs and one Whitney Houston sang in the movie, the Bodyguard.  This young child has the ability to touch our hearts and lift them up some from pain and death. May God bless him during his life and may all feel the power of love as you listen to him.


Please take the love you feel and pass it on to someone else and may the Jihadists know we will rise up. We are the human race and we will oppose every negative thing they do. Also, as we love each other, we love them too. They are also God’s children and we are expected to love all of God’s children. Make no mistake, we will work to stop them in every move they make.  But love is still our best weapon, and we will use it against them, by loving them anyway.


Namaste, Barbara, the Idealistic Rebel







Survival of Abuse and other Traumas

So you made it. You left him or her. You won’t ever have to go through the fear and terror ever again. You stayed at the shelter for a couple of weeks and then they got you into a transitional living apartment where you are safe. He/she doesn’t have any idea where you are. All your abuser knows is that you are laying low. You and your children, if you have any, are safe and secure.


You are starting not to jump at every noise. You may even go on a date at some time again. But you still can close your eyes and see him hovering over you as he rapes and strangles you. He strangles you a little, not enough to kill you. The memories close in on you often when there is a certain smell, sound, when you think someone is following you. Your heart begins to race and you have to talk yourself down.


No matter what the abuse or other traumas in your life, they do effect you a lot. You will never again be the same person you were before. Neurologists say that the mind rewires itself after a trauma and we are never exactly the same person we were before. But you survived and this is a good thing.


Life doesn’t stop with surviving. You have to heal yourself. Some do it themselves, some block the trauma but it is still effecting them. Do you ever notice that someone will say something and you are immediately angry or you feel insecure? Or someone walks up to you and they are a little too close and you feel like you should run? This is all normal for someone who has been traumatized. Other people may not think so but I assure you that it is.


So, the first huge step is surviving your trauma. What about all of the memories of the trauma or abuse? What about the nightmares? A doctor can help you by deciding if you have PTSD or not. PTSD is pretty tough. I have PTSD. It developed after I found my husband dead. It was natural causes, a massive heart attack. I walked into a dark house and found him sitting at his desk in the study and he was gone. I will save you the remainder of the story. I had had other traumas earlier in life and this was the event which broke the camel’s back. I am not telling my story to gain sympathy. I just know how many victims have survived many traumas and it is hard work getting through them. Sometimes people help, sometimes they just stab you in the heart without knowing there is anything wrong.


So first survive, then begin to heal. There are many ways to do so and some will work for you and some will not. I read a quote many years ago, “Once you survive life, then you have to find a reason to live.” I have always lived with that in my heart. There are many reasons. Someone in your life needs you. Your job gives you much passion and joy. Your best friend can always sense your moods and doesn’t leave you alone to flounder. Children’s lives would be damaged if you committed suicide. Your job is to find your reason and declare it to the heavens.


Sometimes a spiritual path can help. Or a combination of several paths can be entwined together and you create  your own path which you have woven for yourself. The key to healing really is to find your meaning for life. A reason to live and keep living and heal and then you can thrive. Thriving would be the ultimate goal.


It also helps to remember that you are not the only one to suffer some type of trauma. Millions of people do whether they are abused, a tornado takes their house, a volcano erupts and covers their village with lava. Some are sold into slavery, some are convicted of a crime and go to prison knowing that they are really innocent. Some are cheated on by their spouse and some are not really loved by their family. Again, healing and therapy will help you to not shut down when the old tapes or the memories hit you. We are supposed to thrive in this life, so climb out of that hole and begin the job. Your experience will help many others cope with what is happening in their lives.


Forget anger, rage, and vengeance and look for your smile so you can share it with someone else. Read positive books. Allow yourself to feel joy and happiness because you do deserve it. No matter what anyone has told you or beat into you, you deserve all the good that life has to offer. You never walk alone and you need to remember that. Build and use your support system. They love you for the beautiful, shining star you are today. Never believe anyone who tells you negative things. Don’t tell yourself negative things. You are everything that is strong, wise, compassionate and kind. You can touch the lives of many people who need a kind word or a smile or an understanding pat on the shoulder.








Smokey Mountains. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Smokey Mountains. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The Journey of my Monday Morning Mind


Good morning, dear readers. I find myself thinking about those I miss. The people who are no longer there are the greatest loss of getting older. It is the anniversary of the passing of an old friend. John Lennon was in my dreams last night. I don’t know why and the plot isn’t clear, but it got me thinking of the rest of the Beatles.  That led me to George Harrison, and this interview George gave to VHI shows the authentic, real George Harrison. It, in my opinion, is a brilliant video.








This is a quiet homage to Whitney Houston and a prayer for her daughter, Bobbi Christine, now in a medically-induced coma.  May she come out of this with new strength and determination, and a clear knowing of how much her mother loved her.

To Heal the Whole

Let us be united,

Let us speak in harmony;

Let our minds apprehend alike.

Common be our prayer;

Common be the end of our assembly;

Common be our resolution;

Common be our deliberations.

Alike be our feelings;

Unified be our hearts,

Common be our intentions;

Perfect be our unity.   —From the Rig Veda, Hindu scripture



This is not thinking about humans being carbon copies of each other but that we all unify around love, kindness, compassion, gratitude and forgiveness. No matter what country you live in or what religion or spiritual path you follow, no matter your skin color, we are all one. Our planet is not divided. It is whole and beautiful, though damaged due to our not being good stewards. It is us who have divided, sectioned off, and formed boundaries out of human blood. For this is a big part of what war accomplishes.


We are in a time of great imbalance on our planet, and again we have no other planet. Mother Earth is reflecting the imbalance within ourselves. We need to heal humankind. There is no one who does not have their own inner traumas and psychological problems. We are not separate from this wonderful planet. We are totally  part of the living Earth, and we must recognize that isolated health is an illusion. Healing ourselves and working  to resolve the contradictions in the human-Earth ecology is the same work. And it is work, hope and love that will bring us to success.


All healing involves making whole again. For many people who have lived with violence or trauma, they feel it is just them and the rest of the world is whole and mentally healthy. I have heard this many hundreds of times from patients. This leads them to feel marginalized and not part of the mainstream. In truth, we all need healing of one sort or another. We all need each other.


All healing involves making ourselves and our world whole again. We need to resolve the contradictions that exist between self and other, body and spirit, mind and nature.


We need to relearn that we belong to the whole. We need to know that we are not encapsulated, self-enclosed entities, but we are fields of energy integrated with the environment.


Everything we do transforms and reshapes the world. Because our actions can destroy, they can also heal. There is no distinction between our physical lives and the work of our spirits.




  Like it or not, we are all one beautiful, intelligent species

Mother Earth

Mother Earth 

Is Gratitude Trivial?

I saw the Neurologist this morning. We had an unusual conversation. We talked about gratitude. I learned some interesting facts. Most of our conversation was taking place around the concepts of past, present and future. They are doing more and more research on the way the mind works.


I think this is a very important direction for neurology  to go into. So little is really known about how our minds work. How do each of us learn best?  How do we survive trauma and violence? What can we learn about how to deal with mental illness and the part it plays in violence in our world? Why are some people drawn to violence and some completely repulsed.


They know some victims of violence, have a brain that rewrites itself. It goes around the areas damaged by the pain, trauma and fear in the past. But do they all rewrite the same? Probably not, because some abused children become serial killers and some are good citizens who care about others.


Writing is one thing that scientists suggest as a way to deal with the traumas in our lives. When you sit down to write and put pen to paper, what comes out is the real truth and sometimes what we aren’t aware of on a conscious level. Free writing is putting pen to paper and just write without stopping. Write for thirty minutes. If you hit a block, write stuck, stuck, stuck until the words begin to flow again.


Scientists are doing case studies about going back to basics. To start at the very beginning. To go into a meditative state. Breathe in and out slowly and put your awareness on how the breath flows, how your heart is beating and how your lungs are taking in air and pushing used air out. As you finish the outbreath and are beginning to take your next in breath say thank you with an open heart. The thank you is for the fact that your body works. There may be parts that are not working right, but the basics work. Your body will take you where you need to go. Even if it constantly hurts, it is still working and you are here. So thank you is all that is required from you. It is pretty easy, yet it effects your mind and how your subconscious works.


The subconscious mind lets go of pain, trauma and fear. The future becomes brighter and manageable. The scientists have determined that chromosomes elongate and we begin to feel younger. I don’t think any of us would mind feeling younger.

Namaste to everyone.





Feeling a little bit younger is good.

Feeling a little bit younger is good.



The Wounded Warrior Project



For a pacifist, dealing with the concept of soldiers is difficult. When I was young  and protesting the Vietnam War, I learned that though I object to war it is not the fault of the soldiers. We abandoned the Vietnam soldiers when they came home. We didn’t get what they had gone through and that they were doing the best they could in the circumstances. When Bush Sr. began the Gulf War, I sat on the floor in front of the TV crying. I was crying for all of the innocent people who would be victims of this war. I cried about all sons and daughters who would give their lives. All the parents who would be devastated.


Now, I see our children coming home and I see the damage that has been done to them. I can’t think about the purpose of these wars. I now know that we have to take care of the injured. The innocent citizens and our children. Today, the Wounded Warrior Project is a wonderful way for us to help the young people who are coming home damaged in body and mind. I don’t think about what happened but what they are dealing with now back at home.


One of my dearest friends’ sons did two tours in Iraq. I was freaked of course. He was shot and the Army called and told his parents, but also mentioned they didn’t know where he was.  I am sure every parent would understand  their emotions at this news. I contacted a university professor I am good friends with and she contacted a Colonel she knew. He explained that they probably knew but weren’t saying. In reality, he spent days at the Iraqi airport. He was then sent to Germany for surgery. He is home now and is doing well, but will not talk about what happened to him.


So keep an open mind and heart towards all the young people as they come home. We sent them away after teaching them how to kill. Now we are asking these young men and women to come home and pick up their lives as workers, husbands, wives, parents as if nothing had happened to them in the middle years. Our young people are damaged and they need to know they are appreciated, They need to know that we are here for them. And that America is willing to help them heal and that their healing is important to us. You can help with the Wounded Warrior Project if you want to. You can help someone’s son or daughter heal physically and mentally.