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After the Abusive Relationship - Remedies for What Next: Do What You Love

domestic violence consulting expert


By Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Leaving an abusive relationship is more like leaving your life because often one has to walk away from their home and family...and friends, simply to get their safety and well-being back. Then once on the other side of the abusive relationship, many say “Now what?”


Here’s What’s Next: Do What You Love


Find some activity that when you do it, you long to do more of it. This is what you’re “called” to do. And when you do, you not only serve yourself, you serve all those needing the answers you give, the problems you solve, the light you shine.


When I was a doctoral student at Northwestern University, I presented my dissertation research idea to my graduate committee. One by one they questioned...getting me to describe my longing with greater and greater clarity. You see, in the beginning, I was talking about it in circles without actually saying want I wanted to study.


I was using words like “centering,” “relaxation” and the like. Even I was becoming bored with my own gibberish. Something in me said, if you are going to be doing a two-year (full-time) experimental study, you better be interested in and committed to the subject.


And the word “meditation” leaped out of me. One very stately professor said, “You belong in the theology department.” I knew that wasn’t going to happen as I was in the last stretch of completing my doctoral studies in psychology.


Another professor said, it was too “abstract” for a traditional university. So I forced myself to draw down to the table language that bridged the esoteric with the nuts and bolts of academic science. And the more and more I spoke, the more enlivened I became.


The Tension and the Excitement Were Growing…and Then


The head of the committee, who was also Dean of the Department at the time said, “I don’t really know want it is you wish to show, but I do know that is what you need to be studying.”


Not all agreed to allow my experimental mission. So I offered to do it on my own as a “trial.” I said, “I’ll design and conduct the study, and then collect the data. And if you like what the statistical analysis reveals, I’ll write it up.” We all agreed that this was fair.


Do What You Love for Yourself and for Those You Will Serve


Not only did my study with the Chicago Police show that meditation increases the effectiveness of psychotherapy, but I went on to provide the same intervention to thousands of people over the next 25 years. And the positive results they obtained make me shiver when I reflect on the last quarter of a century as a whole.


If you find what you love, you not only owe it to yourself to do it, you owe it to all those who will be waiting in line to benefit from your efforts. Do what you love.

You and those you serve will be happy you did. If you want help while in or after an abusive relationship, contact us at Contact Us for Healing Abuse. Dr. Jeanne King helps domestic violence survivors and their advocates recognize, end and heal the aftermath of abusive relationships.

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©Copyright 2008 Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King. Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant.