What happened when we tested thousands of abandoned rape kits in Detroit | Kym Worthy

In 2009, 11,341 untested rape kits — some dating back to the 1980s — were found in an abandoned warehouse once used by the Detroit police to store evidence. When this scandal was uncovered, prosecutor Kym Worthy set a plan into action to get justice for the thousands of victims affected. In this powerful, eye-opening talk, Worthy explains how her office helped develop an innovative program to track and test these kits — and calls for a national effort to help solve the problem of stockpiled rape kits.
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The Difference Between Love, Lust, and Attachment: Why We Have It All Wrong

“Try not to confuse attachment with love. Attachment is about fear and dependency and has more to do with love of self than love of another.” ~Yasmin Mogahed

The feelings we get when meeting someone new are hard to understand at times. We have biopsychosocial and even spiritual responses and interactions with people we come into contact with.

We've all met someone and felt like we just want to be around them. They make us nervous (butterflies), we can't think straight, we're self-conscious, we just feel an overwhelming… pull toward them.

I have (like many before me) spent my life equating this experience with the very beginning stages of love or may even go as far as to proclaim this as “love at first sight.”

I did this because:

1. It didn't happen often. In years and years of dating and searching for “the right one,” I only got that intense experience a handful of times. So I equated that emotional reaction with the quality of the connection.

2. I felt like any and all ambivalence disappeared from my mind and emotions. I knew, in those moments, with those people, I wanted to be around them, I needed them in my life. The questioning of ” what do I really want?” seemed to fade into oblivion. Doubt seemed to disappear from my mind.

3. I felt extremely attracted to them. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. It wasn't purely lust, so it had to be more.

But what if I said, this isn't remotely real romantic love at all? What if I said this isn't lust either? What if I said books like Romeo and Juliet, The Notebook, Twilight, and many others alike, have gotten love completely and utterly wrong all along?

Now some of you may say, “Yeah, I knew that was all wrong.” But our culture and society were built on this deeply passionate idea of love and marriage—after all, they go together like a horse and carriage.

Our subconscious minds have been programmed to want that kind of big love, that kind of dedication, that kind of commitment. The kind that would play out like, you know, the movies.

I had this revelation recently after meeting someone and being overtaken by these emotions, for the first time in a while. I immediately went to the idea that maybe she is the one, maybe this is it. I couldn't think straight. I couldn't focus. I just wanted to be with her. I just wanted to be close to her.

Then I realized something quickly, while in the throes of my serendipitous fairy tale encounter: This was out of character for me at this point in my life.

I felt I couldn't be myself. I felt like I was out of control. My confidence was muddied by nerves. I felt like I had no say in what was happening between us and what was happening inside of me. Something else took over. I knew it wasn't purely lust and I knew, intuitively, it wasn't what love should feel like. So what was it?

After years of growth and work, I knew one thing for sure: Balance is the secret to life. So feeling incredibly unbalanced was a red flag to me. I dug deeper. I thought back to my training as a counselor, the presentations I had given on attachment theory, and the digging I had done on my own attachment schemas.

And I realized when I quieted all of those seemingly out of control, but elated feelings, the emotion that came to the forefront was, anxiety. Pure anxiety.

I thought back to every relationship or encounter that made me feel that way, and in an effort to get to the bottom of this, I desperately asked my higher self what they had in common—and it was clear right away.

They all ran away at some point. But to be more accurate, they were all emotionally and psychologically ambivalent or wave-like in their attachment orientation. This meaning, in the context of ambivalence, they went back and forth between being emotionally available and unavailable. Sure of what they want, then unsure and pull away.

Psychological ambivalence is defined as a state of having simultaneous conflicting reactions, beliefs, or feelings toward some object.

Attachment theory is far too in depth to dive into in this article, but in short: We all develop attachment patterns stemming from childhood relationships with our caregivers, and they are ever evolving throughout our teenage and adult years as we go head first through friendships and romantic relationships.

Wave-like tendencies, in regards to attachment, are typically characterized by swaying back and forth from anxiety to ambivalent states.

So here is what happened to me: Every time I met a beautiful and intriguing woman who radiated unavailability, my teenage, insecure, anxious self forced its way to the surface from the deepest caverns of my psyche.

This strong, out-of-control feeling I associated with love was just my own wave-like attachment schema thrown full throttle into anxiety mode.

On the surface, these relationships and connections felt right and felt amazing for me because my own tortured ambivalent nature seemed to fade away, and the intense energy taking place during this dynamic essentially acted like a high. But, on a deeper level, I felt utterly rooted and anchored in anxiety.

It was deceiving. I knew what books and movies portrayed true love and soul mates to be, and my brain automatically associated these strong emotions and interactions with those narratives.

From Victim of Love, to Empowered Co-Creator of Love

I realized that real true love is a choice; it isn't something that happens to us or triggers us. At the heart of empowerment is in fact choice. When we choose to have romantic relationships with the people that balance us, we are in control and empowered enough to choose and co-create, with that person, what that relationship will ultimately be.

We can alchemize and create relationship dynamics such as passion, dedication, and unconditional love—all of the fairy tale cues we yearn for. All accomplished by setting the intention to have that type of relationship and backing it up with actions that align with those intentions. But it must start from a space of feeling balanced in our love interests energy and presence.

In this moment of clarity I was able to realize literature and society had it all wrong. I had it all wrong. Big romantic love isn't this overpowering energetic force that takes us over and sweeps us off of our feet. It is something we intentionally choose to co-create, from a balanced place—with a partner who draws feelings of peace from within us, not anxiety or fear, and a partner we can be our most authentic self with.

So How Do You Make The Shift and Create Healthier Romantic Relationships?

1. Understand your attachment schema and piece your own patterns together.

There are plenty of books out there, the most helpful and well-rounded of them being Your Brain on Love, by Stan Tatkin.

2. Remember, awareness is the first step.

It won't stop you from feeling those intense emotions when you are around someone who triggers your attachment schemas, but it will empower you to make healthier choices about what role those people do or don't play in your life. We have been conditioned on multiple levels to seek overwhelming love; it isn't a habit we can break overnight.

3. Continue to become more aware, and heal your wounds any way you can.

Re-write the stories you've told yourself about what love is and what love is not that have held you back from having the type of relationship you really want. It takes time to reprogram the narrative and build real love from a balanced place, without more self-sabotage.

4. Balanced romantic relationships can start in a multitude of ways, but friendship seems to be
the most naturally balanced place to start from.

This doesn't mean force friends first, in an inorganic way; it just means listen and pay attention to how you feel when you are with that person.

5. Notice when you feel inner peace, joy, authenticity, vulnerability, and acceptance when in the
presence of someone.

Those are the sentiments and emotions felt when rooted in balance. Anxiety (butterflies), fear (please don't leave me), an anxious need to be with someone, and feeling like you need to be something or someone you aren't—those are the biggest indicators that you are not coming from a balanced place.

About Jeremy Scott Lambert

Jeremy is the author of The Everlasting Road, available on Amazon.com. You can learn more about him at www.JeremyScottLambert.com.

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Imagine Being Better Than Ever. for Reals.

I was on the phone with a friend who was in the middle of a healing crisis. She was suffering and tired, and so very tired of the suffering.

I pulled out the strongest medicine I had in my love tote and said:
This will be a distant memory someday.
You will actually be better than ever.

Imagine that.

Imagine that the unbearable bind will not only loosen its grip, but that you’ll fly—higher than ever.
Imagine that the heaviest pain will be alchemized into a light that makes you pure radiance.
Imagine from the pit of loneliness that you will know a union that puts your life on an axis of love.

A healer gave me this same medicine when I was crawling back to health: You’ll forget it was this bad. I had to stretch to believe her, but I imagined the future that I most deeply and wildly desired. I dared myself to go beyond the baseline of “well” and “recovered” and into the quantum field of truly better than ever.

The imaginal is where realities begin to form. Drop your very brightest vision to that space and walk toward it one faithful step—or quantum leap, at a time. @DanielleLaPorte (Click to Tweet!)

Better than ever,

Danielle LaPorte

Danielle LaPorte is an invited member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, a group who, in Oprah Winfrey’s words, “is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters.” She is author of White Hot Truth: Clarity for keeping it real on your spiritual path—from one seeker to another. The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map: A Guide To Creating Goals With Soul—the book that has been translated into 8 languages, evolved into a yearly day planner system, a top 10 iTunes app, and an international workshop program with licensed facilitators in 15 countries.

Named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes, millions of visitors go to DanielleLaPorte.com every month for her daily #Truthbombs and what’s been called “the best place online for kickass spirituality.” A speaker, a poet, a painter, and a former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, Entrepreneur Magazine calls Danielle, “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” Her charities of choice are Eve Ensler’s VDay: a global movement to end violence against women and girls, and charity: water, setting out to bring safe drinking water to everyone in the world. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her favourite philosopher, her son. You can find her @daniellelaporte and just about everywhere on social media.

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The post Imagine Being Better Than Ever. for Reals. appeared first on Positively Positive.

Tips to Stop Negative Self-Talk Once & for All

Researchers estimate that we think about 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day – and that about 80% of those thoughts are negative. That is a crazy amount of negative self-talk!

What is Negative Self-Talk?

We spend so much time telling ourselves that we’re not good enough, smart enough, talented enough, or thin enough.

We tell ourselves that we don’t deserve the things we want.

Or that the things we want to have or experience will never happen, and even if they do, they will be disappointing

Our negative self-talk affects us in a very powerful way.

If we think something is possible, we’re more likely to make the effort to achieve it. If we think it’s impossible, we won’t even bother trying.

If we think we are a good person who deserves to live a life we love, we will create that life. But, if we think we are undeserving or not capable enough, we will sabotage our own efforts without even realizing it.

Studies show that your thoughts also have a physical impact on your body. Take polygraph tests (commonly referred to as lie detector tests), for example.

They demonstrate how your thoughts directly influence your blood pressure, muscle tension, temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, even how much your hands sweat. Those are some pretty significant physical reactions to our thoughts!

Effects of Negative Self-Talk

When you experience the effects of negative thoughts – such as thoughts that create the emotional states of fear, anger, anxiety, guilt, shame, or regret:

  • The muscles in your body actually become weaker.
  • Your stress levels go up.
  • You experience changes in your biochemistry and hormone levels, and you may even suffer from gastrointestinal or digestive problems among other physical symptoms.

Studies also show that negative people tend to be more depressed and are generally less satisfied with life.

In contrast, when you experience positive thoughts, you flood your brain with endorphins, which helps you relax so you are more alert and centered.

Not only that, positive thinking increases your experience of pleasure while reducing physical pain.

And as a result, you’re far more likely to be confident, optimistic, and motivated to do what it takes to achieve your goals.

How to Stop Negative Self-Talk

But for some people, shifting their negative thoughts to positive ones is easier said than done.

Some people have a lifelong habit of seeing the bad in everything, including themselves. They might try to justify their negativity by pointing out everything bad that’s happening in the world and saying they are “just being realistic.”

But in reality, all they’re doing is mentally sabotaging themselves.

The good news is, you are ultimately in control of your thoughts – because you are the source of them!

That means you can learn to consciously choose to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones that will make your life better. Not all negative thoughts are the result of your inner critic run wild.

There are other types of negative thinking, that if you can learn to identify them and counter them, you can create a happier, more successful and more fulfilling life.

Negative Self-Talk Examples – And How to Overcome Them

I’d like to share five of the main types of negative thinking – so you can recognize them when they happen and then consciously choose to replace them with something more positive.

1. “Always or Never” Thinking

This is when you find yourself thinking in terms of always, never, every time, everyone, no one, and so on.

For example, thoughts like, “I will never get a raise,” or, “Nobody cares about me,” or, “I always screw up, no matter what.”

This type of thinking is not only detrimental to your happiness, it’s not based in reality. It’s not true that NO ONE cares about you, or that you will NEVER get a raise.

Well, that last one might be true if you never do the necessary work to get a raise. But then you’re the one who is creating that situation. Which means that you can change it.

It’s not an absolute given.

2. “Focusing on the Negative” Thinking

This is when you’re so busy looking at everything that’s bad in the world, you can’t see the good.

But the truth is life isn’t all bad, just as it isn’t all good. It’s a combination of both. There is a positive side and a negative side to pretty much everything.

And since you get to choose what you are going to focus on, why not choose to focus on the positive?

I promise you it will have a much better impact on your life and your health if you do.

3. Catastrophic Predicting

This is when you imagine the worst possible outcome in any situation and convince yourself of its inevitability– usually without any real facts to back it up.

A good example of this would be that you begin to imagine that you are going to be laid off from work, or that North Korea is going to send a nuclear missile and blow up Los Angeles, even when there is no concrete evidence that supports your prediction.

Even though the worst-case scenario rarely ever happens, you act like it’s just a matter of time and you let it dominate your thoughts and actions.

The truth is we never know what the future holds – and history shows that worst-case scenarios seldom come to pass. So why worry about something that hasn’t happened yet, and most likely never will?

You are much better off to simply focus on what is actually happening in the current moment and focus on that – such as the task at hand.

4. Mind Reading

The fourth type of negative thinking is a sneaky one. This is when you tell yourself you know what another person is thinking – and it’s always something bad.

Do you ever find yourself having an argument in your head with someone?

You imagine them saying all sorts of terrible things that frustrate or anger you, or hurt you and make you feel ashamed?

THAT is mind reading…

In reality, you have absolutely no idea what that person is thinking. But you tell yourself that you do – and you let this false belief negatively impact your relationships.

Remember, most likely you aren’t psychic. The only way you can ever truly know what someone else is thinking is to ask them and have an honest conversation about it. That’s also how you form deeper, more meaningful relationships.

5. Guilt Tripping

Guilt Tripping is when you focus on everything bad you’ve ever done, everything that makes you feel guilty or ashamed, and you allow that to define your perception of who you are.

You tell yourself you’re a loser and a bad person and that you don’t deserve to feel happy or achieve the success you long for.

And so you give up before you even start.

I’ve seen people waste their entire lives because of their feelings of guilt over something they did decades ago – had an abortion, lost a marriage due to their alcohol or drug abuse, created a traffic accident, lost soldiers under their command in battle, spent time in jail, or convinced themselves that someone else’s death or suicide could have been prevented if they had acted differently.

The thing is, EVERYONE, including me, has done things they regret.

You shouldn’t allow that to define you.

You have also done a lot of really great stuff in your life.

If you focus on the good things and start to see yourself as a fundamentally good person who has made some mistakes but is also capable of achieving great things, you will open yourself once again to a life of unlimited possibility. @JackCanfield (Click to Tweet!)

Stop Negative Self-Talk Today!

Begin to listen to how you talk to yourself – and how you talk to others.

Do you focus on the negative and assume the worst?

Are you constantly tearing yourself down?

Do you think in terms of “always or never”?

Do you assume you know what others are thinking without checking it out?

Every time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, say the words silently or out loud, “Cancel-Cancel” and then consciously shift it into a positive thought instead.

Speaking of thoughts, if you have any to share, leave a comment below. I’d love to see what you have to say! If you’d like to learn more about positive thinking, take a look at this free guide.

As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!

Image courtesy of Daniel Garcia.

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  4. Are You Engaging in Abusive Self-Talk?

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How police and the public can create safer neighborhoods together | Tracie Keesee

We all want to be safe, and our safety is intertwined, says Tracie Keesee, cofounder of the Center for Policing Equity. Sharing lessons she's learned from 25 years as a police officer, Keesee reflects on the public safety challenges faced by both the police and local neighborhoods, especially in the African American community, as well as the opportunities we all have preserving dignity and guaranteeing justice. "We must move forward together. There's no more us versus them," Keesee says.
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