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BY ANNE MARIE MORELLO

Whispers from the Universe explores one woman’s developmental trajectory throughout the course of her life; from the high highs to the gutter lows, it details her own journey of turning excrement, if you will, into fertiliser. 

In her debut biography, Morello tackles some delicate subject matters with great honesty and with heart. She speaks of her own experience of sexual assault at the tender age of 16 and goes on to outline the emotional and physical ramifications of that event, resulting in chronic illness. 

I would like to applaud her for shining a light on this issue. While we saw the #MeToo movement gain massive traction in the US and other parts of the world, in Gibraltar we tend to think that these things just don’t happen here. However, as a therapist, I can tell you that the number of women who have been sexually assaulted is astounding. 

And here’s the thing – in every case I’ve personally worked with, the women knew and trusted their abusers.

Your thoughts are powerful. Your thoughts matter.

This is, undoubtedly, a complex issue but it certainly highlights that a lot more work needs to be done on multiple levels with both men and women. While this may be a socio-cultural issue it is individuals who create the current cultural climate. And in this regard, we are in desperate need of change.

Morello then goes on to tackle the subject of death. Having lost one of her best friends to suicide, she shares her grief and how she adapted to this staggering loss. Despite the suffering, she describes how death has ultimately brought her closer to life. 

She outlines how her whole outlook has changed and how this tragedy has caused her to re-evaluate how she chooses to live. Faced with the fragility of life, she has fully embraced her sense of agency and chooses to find meaning and beauty in every moment. She chooses to live in eternal gratitude and she shows us that we always have a choice in the way that we assign meaning to our experiences – which is a beautiful thing and one of the biggest takeaways of this book.

As the author asserts throughout her piece, it’s the way you look at things that most counts.

Your thoughts are powerful. Your thoughts matter.

This is backed up by neuroscience. The brain, which could be regarded as a prediction engine, rather than perceiving what is in its external environment, perceives the world through the filter of the individual’s beliefs. Rather than passively perceiving the world, we actively generate it.

Given that this is the case, Morello’s insistence that for healing to take place you have to do the inner work and become the master of your own mind resounds with truth. Happiness is an inside job.

Of course, the author isn’t suggesting that we ‘confetti-bomb’ our way through life. But we can allow ourselves to feel all the feels, we can honour whatever comes up for us and we can take agency over the meaning that we assign to the events that unfold in our lives.

Overall, the words that come up for me upon reflection of the various points of discussion that arise in this book are kindness and authenticity. Morello prompts us to ask ourselves: How can I apply radical kindness to myself? to my thoughts? to my reactions? and to others? How can I accept everything as it and how can I be true to myself in the process?

But also, significantly, she gets us to question our limiting beliefs and challenges us to push beyond our boundaries. 

The author, in boldly asserting:

I have goals and I’m not afraid to achieve them;

I have strengths and I’m not afraid to claim them;

I have dreams and I’m not afraid to live them;

gives us permission to do the same too.

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The Gibraltar Magazine is your monthly business, entertainment, and lifestyle source. Providing the community with the latest breaking news and quality content since 1995. Every month, 100 pages are packed with gripping features from a cross- section of the Gibraltarian community in business, culture and leisure. We have pledged to support the wealth of local talent, constantly promoting young artists, musicians, authors and entrepreneurs and presenting what’s on around the Rock. In the business section, we focus on finance, property, and gaming industries. Embracing the latest technology and updating our website daily, we’re able to provide increased and up-to-the-minute information. The magazine has been operating for 25 years, which speaks volumes for our forward-thinking team who strive to take a fresh direction each month, as well as our loyal readership and confidence of advertisers.