Why Is Life So Difficult

Facing Life’s Challenges

Written by Randi G. Fine

Have you ever asked yourself, “What am I doing all this for?  Why is life such a struggle? What am I accomplishing?'”

I believe we are souls housed within a human body; eternal souls living a physical, human experience who are each fulfilling a contract we made with ourselves before reincarnating. The purpose of the contract was to experience life with all its trials, tribulations, joys, successes, and sorrow; to face all obstacles with great determination, and to persevere until we overcome each and every one of them.

Adversity only exists in the physical world. Painful as it may seem, I believe its purpose is to accelerate our soul growth.

That belief motivates me, no matter the degree of challenge, to constantly grow and evolve. It is what gives me the courage to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when I cannot see where I am going. I view every hurdle placed before me as a contractual obligation to face and overcome for my highest and best good.

You may be thinking, “That’s impossible, I would have never chosen the challenges  life has presented to me.” I believe you did make that choice, because beyond your earthly facade you are a remarkable, courageous, highly motivated soul. You possess the utmost ability to face, address, and overcome all of your challenges.

Life is about growing, learning, and evolving. I do not believe it ends here, but that it is merely a brief segment of our eternal life. We forever reap the rewards of all efforts put forth during this life; a life that may feel prolonged but is truly only a blip in time.

So the next time you question the meaning behind the challenges in your life, remind yourself that you are an eternal, remarkable, courageous being and your purpose is greater than you can ever fathom.

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Narcissists Lie But Your Intuition Never Does

Narcissists Lie But Your Intuition Never Does

Narcissistic Abuse Expert Randi Fine talks about the importance of trusting your intuition when you are in a manipulative, abuse relationship.

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As I Began to Love Myself

As I Began To Love Myself

Written by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is AUTHENTICITY.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it RESPECT.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it MATURITY.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.  Today I call it SELF-CONFIDENCE.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.  Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it SIMPLICITY.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself.  At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is LOVE OF ONESELF.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is MODESTY.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future.  Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it FULFILLMENT.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick.  But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection WISDOM OF THE HEART.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS LIFE!

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Simple Stress Reliever


A Simple Lesson on Stress

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading a stress management workshop. In her hand was a raised glass of water. The attendees all suspected that she was going to ask the question “Is this glass half empty or half full?” They were all surprised when instead she asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Various people called out answers from the audience, the guesses ranging from “8 ounces” to “20 ounces.”

The young lady replied, “Actually the absolute weight does not matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute it is not a problem. If I hold it for an hour I will have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day my arm will probably need medical attention. In each case the glass has the same weight but the longer I hold it the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “That is the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we will not be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, stress has to be put down for a while and we have to rest before carrying it again. When we are refreshed we can more easily carry our burdens.”

She gave the following advice: “Every evening as early as you can manage to do it lay your stress and all your burdens to rest. Do not carry them throughout the evening and into the night. They will still be there tomorrow if you want to pick them up again.”

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Domestic Abuse Quote

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Domestic Abuse From Seduction to Survival Part Three

Domestic Abuse and Violence

From Seduction to Survival, Part Three

Written by Randi G. Fine

Domestic abuse creates a complex emotional and psychological syndrome in victims that makes their reality very difficult to accept. Victims believe that if they do and say all the right things, the person who loved and treated them well in the beginning of the relationship will return. When their abusers apologize and promise to be different, their hope that everything will change is reinforced.

Fear is a major factor that keeps victims stuck in abusive relationships. They may fear for their life or the lives of those they care about. They may fear having to survive on their own; where they will live or what they’ll do for money. They may fear losing their children or putting them through the trauma of divorce.

Victims often remain in abuse relationships out of shame. They don’t want anyone to know about the embarrassing situation they’re in. Those who observe particular religions or of certain cultures that prohibit divorce may feel compelled to stay and preserve the sanctity of marriage. In some cases victims grew up surrounded by violence in the home and the abusive relationship seems normal to them.

Domestic abuse and violence affects more than just the victims. Children who witness abuse are victims too; the abuse predisposes them for emotional and social problems throughout their lives. Adult victims, so caught up in their own survival, may fail to see the danger to others in the household. Once they are aware that other loved ones are suffering too they are more likely to get help. If you see that children or other family members are being adversely impacted, speak up.

We don’t always know what goes on behind closed doors. What we do know is what our observations tell us. Following is a list of domestic abuse and violence warning signs to be aware of:

  • Cut off or restricted from interactions with friends and family
  • Never without his or her partner
  • Has limited financial resources
  • Has frequent, “accidental” injuries
  • Dresses oddly or inappropriately and/or wears sunglasses all the time
  • Frequently absent from work or school
  • Often misses social engagements
  • Seems afraid of his or her partner
  • Constantly worried about pleasing the partner, never voices an opinion around the partner, and/or is always agreeing with whatever the partner says and does
  • Mentions the partner’s anger, possessiveness, and/or jealous temperament
  • Partner constantly checking in and/or demanding frequent reporting in

If you suspect that someone is a victim of domestic abuse or violence, get involved – don’t wait for the victim to ask for your help. You may feel as if it is none of your business, but your involvement may be the difference between the person’s life and death.

Victims may not want to talk about the abuse or may be in denial about the danger they’re in. They may be staying in the relationship as a survival strategy. Ask if something is wrong. Let them know that you are concerned about their safety. Point out the things you’ve noticed that are causing that concern. Tell them that you want to help them with whatever they’re going through and are available whenever they want to talk. Assure them that they can trust you.

Encourage and support abuse victims through the process. Don’t give advice, judge, pressure, or blame them. Reinforce that what they’re experiencing is not their fault. Be a good listener and validate their feelings. Let them know how valuable they are to their friends and family; that they deserve to be treated well and loved.

Offer to make calls to social service agencies, attorneys, and safe houses. Offer them a place to stay, money, or child care. Provide transportation so they can get out and get help.

Before the 1970’s, until a women’s movement shined a light on the domestic violence issue and increased public consciousness about it, there was a lack of understanding and very little help for victims. Today there are many domestic violence programs in most communities around the country that provide support for women and help them stay safe. These programs have victim service professionals that will assist women in navigating the process, advocate their case for them, and help them make a survival plan, whether or not they choose to stay in the relationship.

Since male domestic violence/abuse victims don’t have the same support systems or the abundance of available help that women do, their cases go largely unreported. Many men are embarrassed to report that they have been assaulted by a woman, and unless their injuries are serious will choose to just put up with it. Because society sees men as the aggressor, many men won’t fight back out of fear of being accused as the perpetrator of the violence.

In general, law enforcement tends to ignore or minimize the seriousness of men’s complaints. The judicial system often sides with women when these cases go to court. Many men report being treated the same way by domestic abuse hotlines. Fortunately there is an organization called SAFE,  “Stop Abuse for Everyone,” that promotes services for all victims and accountability for all perpetrators. Men may also find the specific help they need at HelpGuide.Org

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to everyone, no matter the situation, gender, or sexual preference, without judgment. They can be reached by calling 800-799-7233.

Reporting your abuse to the justice system may enrage your abuser and put you in more danger. Discuss your options, such as obtaining a restraining order, with a victim service professional first. Whether or not you choose to report your domestic violence incidents it’s a very good idea to document all evidence by saving emails and texts, or recordings and telephone messages. Take pictures of evidence or injuries. If possible get witness statements. You’ll need this proof if there are ever criminal proceedings filed by you or against you, or if there is a divorce or child custody hearing.

Domestic Abuse From Seduction to Survival Part One

Domestic Abuse From Seduction to Survival Part Two

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Domestic Abuse From Seduction to Survival Part Two

Domestic Abuse and Violence

From Seduction to Survival, Part Two

Written by Randi G. Fine

There isn’t any accurate way to predict who will abuse and who won’t. What we do know is that children who have grown up with abusive role models and learned that violence in a relationship is normal have a higher likelihood of becoming perpetrators themselves. And studies show that boys who witness abuse at home are seven times more likely to inflict abuse on others.

Wouldn’t it be great if potential domestic abusers wore a warning sign around their neck?  In a sense they do.

As you get to know someone watch out for the following red flags:

  • Low self-esteem – tends to belittle others to boost self confidence and feel more powerful
  • Selfish about getting own physical and emotional needs met
  • Too possessive – tends to isolate victims or invade their personal space too early in relationships
  • Involved in conflicts with others, often angry with someone, and/or starting fights
  • Addicted to drama – derive pleasure from constant chaos
  • Inappropriately quick to anger
  • History of using violence in the past and blaming others for causing it to happen
  • History of criminal offenses or scuffles with the law
  • Abusive or cruel to animals
  • Substance abuse
  • Poor or strained relationships with family members
  • History of problematic romantic relationships
  • Unmotivated, not working, or not going to school

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If red flags start flying do your homework. Investigate the person’s background and acknowledge its truth.

If you miss or ignore the warning signs and get deeper in the relationship, the following behaviors will clearly identify someone as an abuser:

  • Never takes responsibility for his or her actions
  • Lashes out at you and then justifies actions by blaming you for creating the problem
  • Denies his or her mistakes
  • Insists that what you’ve seen, heard, or experienced never happened
  • Is extremely possessive and uncontrollably jealous
  • Falsely accuses you of flirting with others or cheating
  • Tells you how to dress and how to act
  • Monitors your weight and your food intake
  • Calls your cell phone constantly and/or insists on knowing who you are talking to when you’re on the phone
  • Has a short fuse, violent temper, and is destructive
  • Hurts you by destroying things that are personal or sentimental to you
  • Is selfish and disrespectful
  • Cheats on you, manipulates you, and lies to you
  • Insists that you have sex when you don’t want to or in ways that disgust you
  • Degrades you, calls you names, ignores you or your feelings, tells you you’re stupid, and/or tells you to shut up
  • Accentuates your flaws
  • Compares you to other partners
  • Humiliates you in front of other people
  • Threatens to hurt you, your family, or your pet
  • Tells you you’re wonderful one minute and then berates you shortly after
  • Say he or she can’t live without you and/or threatens to commit suicide if you leave

If you are being forced to exchange your rights, desires, and freedom of expression for your abuser’s mercy you are not in a relationship and this is not love.

Abuse is abuse; it is not acceptable no matter what the level. And you are not out of danger if you’ve yet to be physically assaulted. Emotional abuse often leads to physical violence.

Emotional abuse, abuse without battering, is no less damaging than physical abuse.  One leaves physical scars, the other leaves emotional scars.  One destroys from the outside in, the other destroys from the inside out.

Your situation cannot be compared to the situation of others as being better or worse, especially when it comes to physical violence. The risks of injury and death are the same whether you’ve been physically abused once or ten times. Studies show that abusers who assault once are likely to do it again.

If you recognize yourself as a victim of domestic abuse or domestic violence, your survival is at stake.  Don’t wait until you are maimed, killed or pushed to the point of retaliation.  You must enlist the help of those you can trust; family, friends, abuse hotlines, or special programs.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline has resources and references for everyone so that should be a first step whether you are a man or a woman.  The number to call is 1-800-799-SAFE or 1-800-799-7233.

Domestic Abuse From Seduction to Survival Part One

Domestic Abuse From Seduction to Survival Part Three

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Domestic Abuse From Seduction to Survival Part One

Domestic Abuse and Violence

From Seduction to Survival, Part One

Written by Randi G. Fine

One out of every four women will experience domestic abuse or domestic violence sometime in her life. Although women are more commonly victimized, roughly two out of every five domestic abuse victims are men. It does not discriminate; domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of gender, physical strength, sexual orientation, age, ethnic background, or income.

What sets domestic abuse and violence apart from other abusive or violent crimes is that it is perpetrated by someone who has a relationship with the victim; a family member, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a spouse or former spouse, the parent of a shared child, or someone the person has currently or recently lived with.

Any physical roughness, abuse or battery that happens in a domestic situation is categorized as domestic violence. The abuser may or may not beat up their victim, but they may use other acts of domestic violence such as pushing, shoving, yanking, restraining, or choking. Sexual abuse falls within that category. Forced sex, even with someone you have a consensual sexual relationship with, is an aggressive and violent act.  Being forced into unwanted, risky, or degrading sex is sexual abuse, no matter what the relationship happens to be.

Abuse that does not turn physical is called emotional abuse. Emotional abusers blame, intimidate, insult, threaten, and shame their victims to instill fear in them. As methods of control they may withhold money or scrutinize every penny of their victims’ spending.  They may restrict the use of the car to keep their victims from going out. They may forbid victims to work, or force them to work and then take all their money. They may control, restrict, or deny necessities like clothing, food, or medical care, or threaten to leave them homeless.

With frequent and extreme high/low mood swings it appears as if domestic abusers have two different personalities. They may be sweet, generous, and loving one minute, and then suddenly begin degrading their victim, bursting into anger, or becoming violent. But in most cases these abusers are not mentally unsound. They are often demonstrating learned behaviors.

The violence and abuse is not loss of control, but rather a deliberate attempt to dominate, gain power over, and control someone. Anything can fuel the fire.

To find out if you are in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you afraid of your partner most of the time?
  • Do you feel tied down, crowded, or confined?
  • Does your abuser demand your constant attention or frequent sex?
  • Are you unhappy or crying a lot?
  • Do you walk on eggshells or avoid certain topics to keep the peace?
  • Do you knock yourself out trying to please your partner believing that you can love the person enough to fix the problem…and is it never enough?
  • Do you ever make excuses for your abuser or attempt to minimize the seriousness of your situation? Do you choose to live in denial?
  • Are you treated like a child, a possession, or a servant?
  • Do you blame yourself for creating the problems that led to your abuse, or believe that you deserve the mistreatment?
  • Do you feel helpless and hopeless; that there is no way out of your relationship?
  • Do you feel like you can’t survive emotionally, financially, or physically without the relationship?
  • Is your partner a substance abuser who becomes more abusive when he or she is under the influence?
  • Have you turned to substance abuse, an eating disorder, or another addiction as a way to cope with your situation?
  • Has the abuse escalated over time?
  • Are you afraid to leave your abuser for fear of what he or she will do to you, your children, your family, or your pets? Are you afraid your abuser will commit suicide if you do?

Abusers use tactics to isolate victims from their support systems, wear them down, and erode their self-confidence. After being constantly told that they are worthless, ugly, and stupid, victims begin to believe it. Over time they lose the ability to perceive themselves as having any value and come to believe that they deserve the abuse. Believing they are defective, that no one else will want them, they feel hopelessly stuck in the relationship.

Methods of intimidation are used to scare victims into submission. Abusers may do violent acts or display weapons in front of their victims to send the message that the consequence for not obeying is cruel and unusual punishment. Threats of violence may be directed at victims, loved ones, friends, and family pets.

Victims are threatened to keep them from leaving or reporting the abuse to authorities.  They may threaten to file false charges against their victim or to falsely report them for child abuse.

The cycle of abuse runs in predictable patterns:

  1.  Abusers verbally or physically lash out; a power play to show victims that they are in charge.
  2. Abusers feel guilty, not for what they have done to their victims, but for fear that they will get in trouble for doing it. They begin rationalizing their behavior and making excuses. Victims are blamed so abusers don’t have to take responsibility for their actions.
  3. Abusers do whatever they can to restore a sense of normalcy to the relationship; to give victims hope that they’ll change. There is an outpouring of love, apologies, and regrets offered to their victims. They beg for forgiveness and promise to never hurt their victims again. They promise to get help for their problem.
  4. Abusers get caught up in thoughts of what their victims have done wrong. They fantasize and plan ways to punish them. Victims are deliberately set up to fail in some way so there is justification for the punishment.

After repeatedly being threatened, subjected to violence, intimidated, and demeaned, victims lose their sense of self. Constantly kept on edge, frightened, and off-balance they suffer anxiety, hyper vigilance, and/or emotional numbness. Consistently  told that they’re not experiencing what they think they’re experiencing they lose the ability to trust their perceptions. They feel as if they are losing their minds.

The physical, emotional, and psychological abuse profoundly impacts their ability to function in their day to day life.  Their sleep may be restless or they may have nightmares. Depression and/or suicidal thoughts take over. They may withdraw from life out of shame, embarrassment, and hopelessness.

Domestic Abuse From Seduction to Survival Part Two

Domestic Abuse From Seduction to Survival Part Three

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Unhealthy Guilt

Unhealthy Guilt

Often times we may feel guilty and obsess over something we said or did. We believe others hold it against us or judge us. In many cases people did not notice our words or actions, quickly forgot about them, or were not the least bit affected by them. Still we punish ourselves and may carry that baggage throughout our entire life, never knowing that the only person we ever hurt was our self. ~Randi  G. Fine

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Rumi Gratitude Poem


Guest House

An Inspiring Poem About Gratitude

Written by 13th Century Persian poet, Rumi

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

My Thanksgiving Gratitude Message to You 2018

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