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The Way of the Eagle
Autobiography -abuse recovery. Written with raw self-honesty, it is the story about my efforts to break free from verbal, emotional and physical abuse. A must read!

I don’t remember where I got it, but I have a T-shirt that states, Your lips keep movingbut all I hear is Blah Blah Blah. Though it seems a little rude at first, it holds one of the small secrets in my stash of survival skills. It has to do with the difference between hearing (which I sometimes cannot avoid) and listening (in which I may choose to be selective).

Hearing comes though my ears while listening comes through my heart.

As much as possible I avoid being where I will be submitted to words I do not wish to hear, though that is not always feasible. When my ears are bombarded by unpleasant or distasteful utterances and I find no immediate escape route handy, I simply allow my heart to tune out. Because, when I consciously choose to listen, my brain rummages around for prior connections and experiences with which to decipher meaning –and therein lies an Achilles’ heel of sorts for me: a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength, that can actually or potentially lead to downfall.

Thanks, wise Wikipedia!

Without dwelling on it, I accept that I remain susceptible in this way though I have grown strong overall. In fact, learning how to rise above vulnerability has made me even stronger. A few years ago this understanding inspired me to write my poem below.

The Way of the Eagle


Have you ever seen an eagle,

Attacked by birds of prey—

With wings all hurt and bleeding

Trying in the air to stay?


Its victory’s not in battling,

For then can foes do harm—

Instead it flies still higher

Where other birds disarm.


Yes, eagles soar and spiral

Where other birds cannot—

When peril would assail them

More altitude is sought!


—Patricia Henderson Struntz