• Twenty one years ago

    Happy 21st Anniversary

    There are times in our lives when we are walking and talking with our future while never even knowing it. I knew there was no way you were my future even though you kept insisting you were. How could you be? You drove me crazy, and argued with all of my ideas and thoughts on life. You insisted every guy I liked was a “loser” or didn’t deserve me. You somehow managed to keep yourself tightly tangled up in my life…much to my annoyance at times. Years bring maturity though, and that constant need to argue with you and push you away slowly turned into thoughtful conversations sprinkled with the…

  • Farewell For Now

    Farewell, for now, my loyal readers and followers. I have 2 HUGE bucket list projects that I’m going to be working on in the coming year, and ALL of my focus and energy will be going to those. This space will remain because I still believe in the work I have accomplished here, but it will no longer be my main focus for the foreseeable future. Allow me to leave you with a short musing I had the other night when I couldn’t sleep, and perhaps it will give you something to ponder as we approach a brand new year. What is the Human Experience? What is the human experience?…

  • Never Intended to Share This

    This morning while sipping my coffee and listening to an audio book, I suddenly had the urge to write. With no clear direction of what I was about to write, I opened up Word to just start typing whatever thoughts were coming. I was in for a surprise though, because my computer must have updated. Word looked totally different and was all in dark mode. There was this weird list of old documents taking up over half of my screen. Suddenly one of them immediately caught my eye. It was titled, “Christmas Shopping with Momma.”. Huh…I clicked on it, and that whole day came flooding back. I never had any…

  • Why I Fell Quiet

    Bravely She Shines is a space I created to share my story, and the stories of other women like myself. The knowledge that patriarchy and tainted Christianity in the form of a cult had taken so much from me and countless other women was something I couldn’t hide. The ugly truth had to be shared. So share I did. Timidly at first, but that only lasted so long. By sharing and using my voice, it grew stronger and brighter. Before I knew it,  I had the strength to share things I had only ever shared with a small number of people. Women were coming to me after reading my posts,…

  • Crochet Hooks and Yarn

    Why are you suddenly seeing yarn, crochet hooks and witch’s hats all over my social media? What about all of my exposing patriarchy, cults and sharing my story? Am I done with that? Well, pull up a chair, and let’s have a chat. First off, I’ll ALWAYS fight against cults, patriarchy, abuse and oppression. I am always here for those women who find themselves in need of support after leaving these communities. My blog will still be used to occasionally share resources, my thoughtful musings and other women’s stories who so bravely want to open up about their experiences in order to help others who find themselves in similar situations.…

  • You are free

    You Are Free

    How many of you have something in your life that you want to do, but you’re letting fear hold you back? I would say that almost every one of us has something we would like to do, and if you get down to the very heart of why you aren’t doing it…you’ll find fear. *Sigh* it’s such a sneaky little bugger. Fear is a control freak! Fear is such a control freak. If we allow it to take root, it will keep us from doing all sorts of things, even things that are necessary for our health and wellbeing. For YEARS I avoided getting my shoulder looked at and I…

  • Boundaries are Essential

    Boundaries Are Essential For Living

    Boundaries are essential for living a life of freedom and intention. As someone who has lived under the oppression of patriarchy, an oppressive family life, or even a cult, boundaries can be extremely difficult to implement because it goes against so much of the indoctrination you’ve had instilled in your life. It’s totally normal for this idea to feel SO foreign, and I want to discuss WHY they can be so hard to put into place at first. Once you understand where your hesitation is coming from, you can start to correct that story in your head, and placing boundaries becomes so much easier! Personally, for me, there were several…

  • Thank You

    Thank You For The Validation

    When you put yourself out there by sharing your story and your truth, it’s inevitable that someone will try to discredit, undermine, gaslight, and bully you back into silence. Within the cult I left, the only option is to discredit the victim, otherwise they have to really take a long hard look at their world, their leaders and acknowledge the abuse and oppression going on.  That’s too hard, and would tear their whole playhouse down. So, the only option is to silence the whistle blower. Today, I’d like to publicly thank someone who is going out of her way to undermine, gaslight and silence me after my recent post, Purity…

  • Purity Culture and Abuse

    Purity Culture Set Me Up To Marry An Abuser

    The following story is not my own. This is the true story, written by my friend Lea*, about how the Purity Culture set her up to marry an abuser. She graciously offered her story to me to share with you, and after last week’s post on Purity Culture’s Dirty Little Secret, it seemed like the perfect time to put it out there. She touches on so many of the deeply rooted ideals and beliefs held by the Purity Culture. I’ll be diving into my own thoughts about this in a future post, but for now, let’s really take the time to see the horrendous oppression of women that the Purity…

  • Purity Culture's Dirty Little Secret

    Purity Culture’s Dirty Little Secret

    Let’s discuss the Purity Culture’s dirty little secret. This belief was taught to the extreme within the cult I was in and also in many other oppressive religious cults today…for example the Duggar family. Women are given most of the responsibility of keeping the men’s sexual thoughts, actions and motives pure. Yep, Purity Culture’s dirty little secret is that it strives to protect only men! If I could list the number of women I know who have personally been a victim of sexual abuse and sexual assault and had the blame placed on them because of this teaching, we would literally be here all day just telling their stories.  Not…