The Ten Demandments
1) Love "LOVE", as everything you are; and more than anything else you could ever be!
2) Do not create, worship or submit to any images as a substitute for the fullness and purity of "LOVE" Itself.
3) Be not frivolous, or half-hearted when invoking "LOVE's" blessings.
4) Allow yourself at least one full day each week for gratitude for Life. And rest in, and Love, fervently, the unique Life, that is the "LOVE" you are.
5) Bestow "LOVING" respect upon your parents, and all elders, so that you too, after living many years, might receive the wisdom, the order & the necessity of that same Loving honor.
6) Do not terminate, (beyond the need for self-defense), any other human life created by "LOVE".
7) Be faithful to your commitments made in the name of "LOVE".
8) Do not take what is clearly, (or even questionably), not yours as being an entitlement from "LOVE".
9) In the name of "LOVE", let your voice & your heart speak only truth concerning your neighbor.
10) Lust not after the blessings that "LOVE" has seen fit to bestow upon others. But, be overwhelmingly thankful for your own blessings provided by "Love"- no matter how humble.
-Brian K. Johnson, Sr.
Ms. Evelyn Cortes' Founder
Ms. Cortes' Story:
When I walked into my new apartment for the first time and saw the surreal view from the window, it took my breath away. I walked out to the deck and looked out towards the ocean and watched the waves flow back and forth. I was drawn to the ocean, the sound of the waves and the seagulls as they glided by. It brought me back. Back to a place I had spent years trying to forget.
As a child I had always lived by the ocean; the sounds and smells of the shore always brought me back to the abuse. I knew my brother loved me, but was this love? It started off with small things like an innocent game of playing house. I was the mom and he was the dad. “This is what Mommy’s and Daddy’s do,” he’d say, demonstrating with my Barbie’s how they should kiss and touch. Eventually the toys went away and our game of house turned into him on top of me touching me in the living room, not uttering a word. The silence was deafening. I knew this was wrong, but he was loving me. This was love. Someone loved me.
My brother, my babysitter, so handsome so why love me this way .The ladies loved him, but he wanted to love me. I was so confused and yet it never crossed my mind to tell. Did it? Would anyone really believe me and would I get in trouble for this? My brother never threatened me or made me do anything. He would bring me gifts and tell me how much he loved me; his baby sister. This love went on for years. From this I learned that in order to get something you wanted, you needed to have something that someone else wanted. So one day I used what he taught me on him.
One morning I went downstairs and saw my brother in the living room, where that awful green velvet couch was, that couch. I told him I wanted a new teddy bear. He told me that he probably couldn’t get me one on that particular day. That’s when I made my threat. If he didn’t get me the bear, I would reveal our secret to the world. He promised me he’d try. The next night after I had fallen asleep I woke up to screams. It was my mother crying and screaming for her son. The neighbor was over and had seen me come down the steps. She took me to her place and sat me down to tell me that my brother had killed himself.
For years I blamed myself, but I have finally come to terms with the fact that this was all out of my control. One day I was watching my daughter who at the time was four years old and it hit me. I was her age when it started and seeing how innocent and vulnerable she was, helped me realize I was not at fault. I couldn’t have been, because I was once her. A million mistakes later and years of therapy have helped me heal. I still have eons of healing to do, but I am a great work in progress.
I love my new apartment now. I embrace the past and have learned I cannot change it. Whenever I look out into the ocean and can see where the sky and water meet, I know there is something greater out there guiding me. What I experienced with my brother was not love, it was abuse. I know that now and the ocean no longer reminds me of the pain. It brings me hope. I have finally realized that the only way to forget was to remember.