Ostrich in the Bedroom was in the making the day I was born. Little did I know that one day I would tackle the task of putting into words a bird's-eye view, in a nutshell, the story of my life. As you will read, some very unpleasant, sad, and terrible things happened to me. I am well aware that I'm not the only one who has experienced the many hurts in life that come our way. I'm not the only one who has sustained abandonment, anger, abuse, misuse, or emotional, spiritual, and physical pain.

When the idea was given me to work on this project, the behavior of the Ostrich interested me. I began to research the personality and patterns of behavior of this “flightless bird,” and found a few facts of interest. The Ostrich is very distinctive in its appearance, with a long neck and legs, and the ability to run up to forth-five miles per hour. It usually lives in groups of five to fifty birds. When it is threatened, it will either hide itself by lying flat against the ground, or it will bury its head in the sand, or it will run away. If cornered, it can attack with a powerful kick. The males fight for a harem of two to seven females. What does that tell you?

I asked a business acquaintance of mine to tell me the first thing that comes to her mind when she thinks of an Ostrich. She said, “Two sticks, a circle, and its head in the sand.” In asking another friend, he said, “It represents the types of people who put their head in the sand and pretend that something does not exist. It portrays those who refuse to face their issues head on.” Another person I spoke with, when asked the same question, said, “The Ostrich is always wanting to hide from something. If put into a situation, it can be mean, and can hurt you, but it prefers to run, as that is its best defense. And yet another person said, “It's nothing more than a hundred-and-twenty-pound turkey that lays big eggs.” Now there's a thought.

There are many people out there who resemble the Ostrich. They refuse to face their issues; they pretend those issues don't exist. They run from their problems, and when they hurt and bring pain to others, they bury their head in the sand because they are hiding from the “truth,” the truth of what they refused to face, and thereby avoid reconciliation. And they pretend the truth does not exist. If you try to communicate with an Ostrich-like person, he or she will run from you, which is their only defense, just like the bird itself. Perhaps there is an Ostrich in your life, either presently or in the past.

Have you begun the process of confronting that Ostrich? Are you the Ostrich? If so, are you going to do something about it, or are you going to bury your head in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist?

The ultimate goal of this work is to share with you the pains of my life in hopes that if you have been there, you will know that you are not alone. If you have been there and have not begun the healing process, I hope my experiences will help push you over the line to seek relief from your pain. If right now you are experiencing misuse, abuse, physical, emotional, or spiritual pain, please bite the bullet and seek help. Endeavor not to be embarrassed or ashamed. It is not your fault that you were hurt. There is help for you in any circumstance. There is someone special who will care for you and help you and love you.

Work toward being confident in yourself. You are a masterpiece and there is no one exactly like you. Work toward being strong. Be proud of your talents. Everyone has a least one talent; that means you have one. Work toward thinking well of yourself because others will think of you as you think of yourself. Work toward waking up each morning and thanking God for making you the way you are. There is good in you.

The emphasis of my story is topical rather than chronological. I believe this structure is suitable for presenting a cohesive account of the particular challenges that I have encountered. The names of specific people, places, and institutions have been changed to better accomplish the production of this work. There are some names that were not changed, since they are deceased, or there was no reason for the change.

My hope is that you will find the courage to climb out of whatever it is that is keeping you from experiencing life at its best. You have a chance now to experience the freedom you deserve, and the joy that comes with feeling good about yourself, which in itself will give you the boost to help others overcome the pain you experienced. By sharing your story with others you will experience the joy of helping another wounded soldier, and seeing them successfully achieve healing at its best.

Ricky Sharp

Work toward being confident in yourself. You are a masterpiece and there is no one exactly like you. Work toward being strong.

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