[Note: Interview is 38:00 min, audio in Spanish, post translated in English]
Interview: with Maritza Pérez Socorro
Program: Natural Beauty
Radio Station in Los Angeles: Positivo Extremo Radio .com
Natural Beauty Program Tuesday, April 2. Maritza Pérez Socorro, Social Communicator, writer, motivator, laughter yoga therapist, transmitted live from Claiborne Florida wishing you good morning, or good afternoon or good evening depending from where you are listening to us today. Every Tuesday at 9:00 am ET, and at 6:00 am WT we open the microphones of Natural Beauty Magazine Program, http://positivoextremoradio.com/podcastfilter/belleza-natural-magazine/, space that’s transmitted through the platform Positivo Extremo radio .com from the Studios in Los Angeles California. Our programs are listened to in more than 30 cities around the world, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, India, Germany, Spain and more.
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Maritza: Give us your point of view about what love is and why do you confirm that love heals everything?
Alicia: Well, after a long journey and after a deep work to heal trauma and abuse, I have learned that love is freedom. When you’re free to be, to think, to say, to feel, to do, to make the decisions you want to make, to love who you want to love, to love what you want to love, and feeling good and happy about it. That’s love for yourself. The freedom that allows you to stop questioning yourself because you accept yourself without looking for others’ approval or society’s approval. When you live your life with freedom, it means that you love yourself because you respect your needs, that you’re capable of setting boundaries for your wellbeing, you’re loyal to yourself. All this is love to me. And when you do this for yourself, automaticly is what you inspire and do for others.
I don’t believe in that affirmation that love hurts. To me that invites abuse. For example, I remember when I was small hearing “who loves you will make you cry,” I didn’t understand that affirmation. I got punished, or hit because of love because I was being taught a good lesson. No, love doesn’t hurt. People can hurt you, or what hurts are the circumstances that can cause pain, things that happen in life that we can’t control. Not love. Love doesn’t hurt.
Maritza: That’s true, people tend to have that concept wrong.
Alicia: Also, love is action. It’s like a plant. You grow it, water it, you take care of it so that flower grows and blooms. If you don’t take care of that plant, it dries. I have an example, my own daughter. I got divorced when she was a baby. Her biological father wasn’t in the picture and when I called him to remind him of my daughter’s birthday he said, -Tell her I love her. She never felt that love, or really saw him. If you don’t water the plant, it doesn’t grow. So he became a stranger to her. You earn love, you grow it and you also learn it.
Maritza: I agree with you Alicia because I also tell my son I love him, and that he has to grow love for others too. Love that comes from a mother, father, aunt, uncle, spouse, son, daughter, friend needs to be grown as well, like you say, like a plant. I have done experiments with plants and how they can response to love. If you have two plants and you talk to one and you don’t talk to the other, the one that you talk to grows bigger, greener, has more flowers. It’s energy that comes from you, from your heartbeat, that you transmit to others.
Alicia: Regarding the plants I have the same experience because I love plants, I love Nature and I have a particular experience with a cactus. I had asked a friend to take care of it for some time because I was going out of town and when I picked it up the cactus was rotten, but it had a teeny-tiny green piece. I cut it like surgery, planted and I took care of it. Now it’s big. It’s incredible.
Maritza: Yes, yes really and also animals. Animals and plants respond to the energy of love. Well, talk to us about your experience with abuse. When we were talking before the interview we shared our stories for almost an hour. I also went through abuse, so we felt connected to each other and we know that love heals all that. Tell us how love can heal all those wounds that you had in your life.
Alicia: Yes, well… abuse. To make it short, I survived all kinds of abuse. Verbal abuse, which is when somebody talks to you in a violent, aggressive or disrespectful way, insults, trying to make you feel inferior. Everything that has to do with the power of word. Physical abuse, when somebody physically hurts you, a slap in the face, hitting, pushing, etc. Emotional abuse when somebody manipulates you, makes you feel guilty or responsible for things that are not your responsibility, for example. And sexual abuse.
I got married the first time in my 20’s and I went through domestic violence. At that moment I didn’t know different, or how to love myself. I didn’t know how to stop that situation. Maybe I didn’t see it as bad as it was. I didn’t know how to identify it and put it a name. I was scared. I thought he could change or the situation could change. I had a horrible divorce that lasted four years. I was a single mom for a long time. I was an immigrant. But, the good thing is that I never stopped to be connected with life. Those years were very dark, but my love for life helped me to keep fighting and searching. I knew there was something else, something better. It always amazed me to look at the sky, a tree, a flower, so that helped me to connect with life. Life is a miracle. And that’s the great love that I had at the beginning for life.
So then little by little I read self help books, I asked around, I did workshops I thought could help me find that content. To make it short, then after years I decided to go to therapy because I was tired of suffering. I didn’t know how to overcome what I was going through. A great important therapy work with a lot of courage helped me to gain the tools to understand what was happening to me. It was when I finally understood what abuse and trauma were and that I had gone through it.
I learned that I had the right to have the right. You have no idea what it was that aha moment to me. That’s when I understood that I had the right to have the right. I didn’t even know that I had rights. That day I got out and I was like a newborn and I was amazed with everything, with life, people. I felt free. It was when everything clicked, my mind and what I felt clicked. There was coherence between my mind and what I felt. It’s when I really started to love myself, when I felt that freedom. I didn’t have to fill others’ needs or expectations before mine, or society. I wasn’t scared of being a bad person, I knew that I wasn’t guilty of anything, that it wasn’t my responsibility, that I deserved a beautiful life the way I wanted to create it.
The healing process, it’s a very hard process. IT’S WORTH IT because in the other side what you’re going to find is freedom and love. I don’t know if all this answers your question.
Maritza: Yes, yes, of course. But I know that during that time you emigrated to the USA, right? And that you’re also a music teacher. I imagine that music has being a therapy for you and it helped you with that process, to connect with yourself and overcome that cycle. Because abuse is like a cycle, and it’s like the repetition of patterns. Unless you’re conscious you don’t realize that you’re repeating cultural, family patterns, even ancestral patterns that you carry in your genes and you don’t know they are there and you fall in that cycle of abuse, like verbal, emotional, physical, etc. All types of abuse are extreme because psychological or emotional abuse leave scars. Tell us a little bit of how music helped to get where you are now.
Alicia: Well, I started learning how to play the piano when I was 7. After that I attended the Conservatory of Music to become a Pianist Performance Professor, but during this journey what really happened is that practicing the piano became an obligation. Everybody identifies me with music or the piano rather. Yes, music per se has always helped me. Music is magic, music moves people, music is the language of the soul. But what really inspired me was to help people through music. So when I was 35 years old, I was unfortunately planning leaving Venezuela because I was a single mom and I needed to offer a better life to my daughter. I went to Pittsburgh and I did an audition and got two scholarships to go to Duquesne University. And I got in the Music Therapy Program, Music therapy is an evidence-based, clinical use of music interventions, which gives you the tools to help people in many ways. Not only emotionally, also physically, children with disabilities, autism, different disorders. That’s how I used music to help. For example, at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh I did Music Therapy with children with cancer and transplants. It’s incredible.
Maritza: then you moved to the USA. How long ago?
Alicia: I moved here in 2004. I was divorced, I had a 5 year-old daughter, I didn’t have money, I didn’t speak English, I didn’t have a job, family, friends, but because I had that great love for my daughter and for life, I fought and I moved. The first two semesters I used to translate all the chapters for my homework every night word by word, I cleaned houses, I took care of people’s dogs, cat’s, cleaning their poop, I did everything, I taught Spanish, piano, etc. Very hard. And I got my Bachelor in three years instead of four, CUM LAUDE and received an award. Doing all this while raising my daughter. It was very hard, but you know when life gives you this type of tests, you realized how capable you are, I learned a lot about myself, it showed me all I was capable of doing.
Maritza: Wow, wow, incredible, I admire you. You know I feel identified with you because I also moved to the USA by myself with my son. We got here with a lot of dreams, and well, we’re here. It was many years ago, that’s why I feel identified with your story and also because of the experience with abuse. Women are like medicine between us, for each other.
Maritza: Tell us how do you inspire others with your book, how do you inspire people with that beautiful project you have with your book?
Alicia: My book it’s in the process of edition, praying that everything goes excellent. I decided to write my story because at the organization where I go for therapy, NOVA, Network of Victim Assistance, they do every year a vigil, a tribute for all the victims, they invite the family members, friends and the community. One year they asked me to give a speech about my testimony and talk about my healing process. When I finished people came to me crying and saying thank you to me, and that’s when I realized that my testimony, my experiences had a great message, that I could actually help others. That’s when I started to write my book. My book is a memoir, the story of my life that reflects how I got out of darkness to the light.
For example, when I began loving myself I connected with people that respected me, loved me and that’s when I found my husband. We have been married for almost 10 years. He was a single dad with two sons and I was a single mom with a daughter. We married and the way I love to describe how this happened, is that we were separated in a previous life and got reunited in this life. My husband adopted my daughter and I adopted my two sons at Court in front of the judge. We’re a very special and close family that isn’t united by blood, we’re united by our pure and unconditional love we have for each other. Then my mission with my book is to inspire others, to show them that they can find the light. You can create a beautiful life, you can be happy. Of course there are things that happen in life that are out of control, nothing is perfect, but we can grow love and content inside of us and then for others.
The other important thing that it’s published and it’s working is my Blog. It’s called I’M ON MY SIDE. In my blog there’re posts about my stories, messages, and there’s a very important section called, Your Voice, where I invite everybody, I invite you, or anybody that’s listening to us to raise their voice, to share their experience, and how their healing process have been to help others.
Maritza: Very interesting. I have to write my story, I already committed with you to do it.
Alicia: It would be an honor to me to post your story in my Blog.
Maritza: The name of the blog is I’M ON MY SIDE by Alicia Markowitz. Then those experiences, the speech you gave where you attend to therapy inspired you to write the book and to create the Blog.
Maritza: Do you still go to that organization for therapy?
Alicia: Yes. Actually next Tuesday is the Tribute and I’m going to exhibit my paintings because now I’m painting, and I’m going to talk about my blog. Yes, I continue with my therapy. We should always take care of that. While we exist, we have to be consistent with that part of our lives, taking care of ourselves, to grow love, healing, compassion for ourselves, kindness. Remember, it’s a plant.
Maritza: Of course, yes. Your story it’s so interesting because after so much suffering, now you’re surround by the ultimate love. It’s incredible how you went from a side of darkness to the side of absolute light and love.
Alicia: The most important is self-love, loving ourselves, avoid self abuse, because you repeat those patterns with yourself. The healing process it’s a long journey, it hurts. It’s like when you brake your arm, then the cast, then physical therapy. At the beginning the exercises hurt very much, but then little by little you begin to move your arm until it’s strong. But that unfamiliar pain, it’s the compass that you’re going in the right direction. You already know your pain. That familiar pain caused by the experiences you’re going through or went through. If it’s a new pain while you’re in the process of healing, while you’re working on healing, that’s the pain you have to follow. It will help you to get to the other side, where love and freedom are. I call it painful joy, and it’s only temporary while you heal. The other one, the known old pain, it’s perpetual.
Maritza: That’s right. Please tell us your advise about abuse.
Alicia: Ask for help. Ask for help it’s very important. Get informed. If you feel something that you don’t understand, that disturbs, confuses you look for information. Nowadays we have access to everything to get information. There are many organizations, and many of them offer help for free, hotlines where you can get help and everything absolutely confidential, nobody will know that you’re contacting these organizations or numbers. For example if you’re going through a dangerous situation, with violence, at home and you feel that your life, or your children’s lives are in danger. There are ways. Everything is in google and also in my Blog in the section called A Safe Way Out, you will have a lot of information and pone numbers.
There’re a lot of red flags that can help you to know you’re in a toxic, abusive or traumatic situation/relationship. When you don’t feel safe, or comfortable, or appropriate, or you feel confused, sit and ask yourself where those feelings come from. Nobody, NOBODY can touch you, not even with the tip of the finger without your absolute consent. Nobody should ever yell or offend you, there’s no excuse like being in a bad mood.
In this society there’re lots of abusive behaviors and abusive expressions that have been normalized. Expressions with disdain, insulting or derogatory, to push, ridicule, offend, discredit others down. Or abusive expressions that discredit women because of being a woman. It’s unacceptable period. Listen to your body, your body it’s going to be alert if it feels or sense a threat or danger. Ask for help from experts or organizations, they know how to do it in a safe way, don’t be afraid. Be afraid of staying there, in that hole.
As I said before, love doesn’t hurt, love makes you happy, live with joy. Circumstances can be hard and sad. Not love.
Maritza: Love heals everything. Let us know how to contact you and how to read your blog, etc. We know you’re in Pennsylvania, I’m in Florida and the radio station is in LA.
Alicia: My Blog is imonmyside.com, my instagram is imonmyside_ig, my Facebook is I’M ON MY SIDE. I invite whoever wants to share their story or testimony to write an article/post. You can ask me anything you want also, I don’t have all the answers, but all the good intentions and lot of love.
I would have loved to know all the things I’ve learned, say, share, write to help others when I was young. It would have saved me a lot of years of abuse and suffering, and also the lack of clarity, unconsciousness, I didn’t know what I was going through. I didn’t know better.
Maritza: That’s right. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and testimony. You can contact Alicia through her Blog imonmyside.com or instagram, imonmyside_ig. Like we heard, she’s very inspiring. Thank you very much Alicia.
Alicia: Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, also thank you to all those who helped to air this program and thank you to all the listeners.
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