Do We Manifest Abusive Experiences?

Do We Manifest Abusive Experiences?

Do We Manifest Abusive Experiences?

If you’ve been in spiritual circles for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard some form of the idea that we create our reality, and we manifest our experiences, and as such, we must take responsibility for ourselves and our experiences in order to create the outcomes we desire.

This concept becomes dangerously twisted, however, when applied to victims of abuse such as sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, rape, and systemic oppression. That doesn’t stop many well-meaning spiritual people from using it to dismiss and otherwise invalidate the very real experiences of abuse victims. I’ve come across some form of it a lot over the course of my spiritual development, particularly in the early stages, including touting it as channeled information from spirit guides, etc.

At the time, I wasn’t educated enough on the subject to know better, and I took the word of psychics and channelers. Having had many years to grow in understanding and develop spiritually, I now realize how this is an over-simplification and only serves to damage and shame victims of abuse.

Some of the forms of this message have been:

  • Your souls contracted for this experience.
  • Your thoughts create your reality, therefore, your victim mentality created this situation.
  • There’s an energy exchange between abuser and the abused, and if the abused wasn’t putting out that kind of energy they wouldn’t attract this experience.

I’d like to break each one of these down and explain why this is misunderstood and damaging.

“Your souls contracted for this experience”

If soul contracts in these situations are such a thing, then the ONLY purpose I can see for them is that it is a contract to bring light to these dynamics so that they can be healed and ended. That does NOT mean that we simply dismiss it as “well you signed up for this” and forget about it. It means that it’s a contract between YOU and the people involved as well, and THEIR dynamic is meant to teach YOU empathy and what it means to protect the vulnerable.

“Your thoughts create your reality, therefore, your victim mentality created this situation”

As I’ve said before… a victim mentality only exists when the abuse is imaginary… but victim mentalities are often rooted in real trauma and abuse. In that case, we must go back to the source. A person’s first experience with abuse can never be the result of their own thoughts because the experience has never entered into their awareness.

Abusive experiences and patterns are ALMOST ALWAYS ancestral, handed down from one generation and inflicted onto the next. By simply incarnating into that ancestral line, one will experience that abuse. This, you might call a soul contract. But soul contracts are not only experiences, they are opportunities to heal. As an observer of that contract, you become a part of the collective contract and you are offered an opportunity to heal group karma that enables abusers through rape culture, systemic racism, and other destructive social climates.

By telling someone that they manifested their abuse, you are absolving the abuser of accountability, and thus AIDING in the manifestation of that experience.

“There’s an energy exchange between abuser and the abused, and if the the abused wasn’t putting out that kind of energy they wouldn’t attract this experience”

With regard to there being an energy exchange between abuser and the abused – what this really means is boundaries.

People can only abuse you if you continue to allow it, and often times that requires learning to uphold and maintain healthy boundaries. But many times, power dynamics make upholding boundaries extremely difficult. It’s called abuse because the person or group who has the the most power is using that power to abuse a person or group who has less of it. This, too, is ancestral, because the only way a person or group obtains more power than another is by accumulating it over time (the only exception being a parent/child dynamic in which case it exists from the moment the child is born).

Who allowed that person to accumulate that power, unchecked?

Who continues to enable them to wield that power without consequence?

The answer is the collective. The family members who don’t speak up or step in. The friends who never say anything. The “good” cops who don’t report the bad cops. The people who say “boys will be boys.” The well-to-do family who protects their sons and daughters from the consequences of their actions. 

All of the people who see this abuse taking place and say nothing? They are just as responsible, because they allow abusers to avoid being held accountable.

You can’t tell someone that they’ve manifested their own oppression or abuse without pointing the finger at yourself for being a part of the collective that allowed it to happen.

So… let’s shut this toxic shit down wherever we see it. Okay?

Do Not Look Away

Do Not Look Away

Do Not Look Away

This post is going to make a lot of people uncomfortable. Truth be told, it’s meant to make you feel uncomfortable. As spiritual people on a healing journey, learning to recognize our discomfort and sit with it, examine it, find the root of it, and heal it is what we call “the work” of examining our shadow.

Shadow work was never meant to be easy. It was never meant to be comfortable. It is messy and painful and sometimes, downright ugly.

Any strong emotional reaction you have to what I’m about to say is indicative of something unhealed within you that needs to be addressed, and it’s calling you to look at it, sit with it, and to not look away until you’ve come face-to-face with it in the mirror of your reality.

I ran a little social experiment in a Facebook group years ago that literally proved that it was almost impossible for the majority of people to do this. I posted this blog post in the group and asked people to do the exercise contained therein, and to comment not with their opinion about the article, but with what types of emotions were arising within them as they read it.

Nearly every single commenter failed. They immediately launched into their defense mechanisms, commenting with their beliefs and opinions about the article rather than paying attention to what was happening within them, emotionally. Even with further instruction and guidance, many of them continued to react from their subconscious programming.

So here I am, six years later, writing yet another post which is going to challenge you to sit through your discomfort and refrain from reacting out of your own wounds. Can you do it without looking away?  Let’s find out.

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BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.

Do not look away. What are you feeling in your body right now?

Did your pulse quicken? Your heart start beating heavier? Your chest get tight? Brow furrow, perhaps? That almost uncontrollable urge to instantly react and tell me that all lives matter? Or perhaps your reaction is to shut down, stop reading, and immediately click away to avoid having to sit with those very physical feelings?

Do not look away.

If your coping mechanism is avoidance, the urge to run from these feelings is probably going to win out. You’ve most likely already stopped reading.

Do not look away.

The other possible outcome is that you’re already formulating all the arguments in your head to contradict the concept that Black Lives Matter, all of the reasons that justify what you are feeling right now and makes it righteous. This is another type of coping mechanism at work.

DO NOT LOOK AWAY.

Your instant emotional reaction and physiological response to Black Lives Matter is what we call feeling “triggered.” A person becomes triggered when a similar, yet unconnected environmental stimulus causes them to subconsciously recall unresolved emotional wounds from past experiences.

Still here? Still reading? Still able to sit with all of those uncomfortable feelings? Ready to explore them? Good. Let’s dig in.

Every time I write Black Lives Matter, I am intentionally triggering you. But how and why?

More than likely, you believe that acknowledging that black lives matter means that you don’t matter. That somehow, by acknowledging the pain of people of color, that your pain is being ignored. Your own unhealed wound is screaming so loud for acknowledgment and love that you can’t hear, see, or feel the collective pain of an entire group of oppressed people. And so you dismiss their pain or demand that they also acknowledge your wound. You may have wrapped this up in some kind of political rhetoric as a way to justify your feelings, but underneath that justification is your own core wound. Acknowledging that black lives matter somehow, for some reason, makes you feel less than.

In the spiritual community especially, this justification has become wrapped in the flowery language of peace, love, and light… which leads me to–you guessed it–SPIRITUAL BYPASSING.

Spiritual Bypassing: Spiritual Bypassing is a term coined by psychologist Robert Masters to describe the practice of empty spirituality devoid of real personal development. In spiritual bypassing, a person uses over-simplified spirituality to avoid actually doing the internal work to develop real spiritual understanding, often resulting in stunted spiritual growth, repressed emotions, inflated ideas about their own level of enlightenment, and a plethora of other detrimental activities and ideas.

This sort of empty spirituality doesn’t facilitate conscious expansion or enlightenment, but rather feeds one’s own ego and keeps its proponents trapped in the lowest levels of conscious awareness.

Here’s a clear example of using spirituality to bypass:

You cannot heal yourself without sitting with your own discomfort. When you haven’t healed yourself, your gaping wound can block your ability to empathize  with the plight of others, and that aspect of your shadow is reflected back to you in the world around you. In the case of Black Lives Matter, the anger that people feel around black people asking for the acknowledgement of the generational trauma inflicted on them by a biased system stems from feelings of resentment that your own pain hasn’t been acknowledged (and therefore, why the hell should anyone else’s be?).

Acknowledging the collective pain of black people doesn’t invalidate your own pain. That’s you invalidating yourself. That internal invalidation has informed your beliefs about yourself and the world around you. It’s the foundation of how you see the world. It’s informed your politics. It’s informed your actions, which include willfully ignorant blindness to the systemic oppression of people who don’t look like you.

And that, my friend, is how you create your own reality, and how that reality gets reflected back to you–until you heal.

That’s a hard pill to swallow. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a wounded person, blinded by your own pain. You can forgive yourself. You can recognize your wound. You can begin your own healing process, and in that process, you can contribute to healing the world–including the generational trauma of millions of African Americans.

Xo, 

 

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The Great Awakening

The Great Awakening

The Great Awakening

If you’ve been into spirituality for any amount of time, you are aware of the terms “awakening” and “ascension.”

By and large, most people define awakening as becoming aware of what is happening in the world around you–the “real” reasons why governments do what they do, social injustices, the horrible state of the world. Being “woke,” as the younger generation would say.

A lot of people believe that a mass awakening means that the sheeple of the world will suddenly become aware of all of these things, unify, and demand change. Except what that change looks like differs starkly depending on which side of the political aisle you fall on, and for as long as we have a division of values, we will never have unity.

This is not what being awake means, and this is not what the great awakening is. Not by a long shot.

How we see the world–how likely we are to empathize with the plight of others, which side of the political spectrum we fall on, and our natural (or nurtured) personality inclinations—is very connected, and to some degree, how that plays out in our daily lives is what collectively creates the conflict in the world around us.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space there is a power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. – Viktor Frankl

Becoming self aware enough to recognize our own traumas, habits, and patterns, and how those triggers cause us to make certain decisions is what it means to awaken. Becoming aware of how those engrained patterns and beliefs created by outside influences shape the way we think and the choices we make and being able to separate ourselves from them is what it means to truly free thinker.

Our great awakening is when we awaken to ourselves, because the world around us is simply a reflection of that.

The Shi(f)t Has Hit The Fan

The Shi(f)t Has Hit The Fan

The Shi(f)t Has Hit The Fan

In the Tarot world, we have a common label we use for when the shit hits the fan: a Tower moment.

The Tower is a major arcana card that represents having the rug pulled out from under you, suddenly, and swiftly. The imagery depicts a tower of some kind being struck by lightning from above, crumbling, often on fire, with people falling from it.

This, dear humans, is just such a moment in which we find ourselves in our collective history.

Now, before you go feeling all doom and gloom, every card in the Tarot has a double meaning, and the Tower is no different. It’s got a strong Plutonian theme built into it–destruction, revelation of what is hidden, and rebirth.

The Tower represents the establishment. The status quo of your life. The old foundations which your current beliefs and reality are built upon. And the tower is falling apart. The one thing that we know about the Tower is that once it’s done crumbling, it brings us a new clarity through a change in perspective. In some ways, you can look at the tower as being a moment of apocalypse: an unveiling of that which was hidden from our consciousness. The exposure of the shadow. A massive shift in your worldview.

Any tower that is not strong enough to weather the storm, is because its foundations are faulty. Just like any old, dilapidated building susceptible to being shaken at its very foundations by sudden, natural forces, the tower must first be demolished and a new foundation laid so that we can build something more stable, more sustainable, and better.

Our tower–our establishment–is not weathering the current storm. This is because its foundations are faulty.

So what do we do in a collective Tower moment?

The harder one clings to the tower as it crumbles, the more difficult the situation will be.

I see the Tower as being very much in line with wishing for things to go back to “normal.” The people fear that our lifestyle is going to be stripped away.

But what was the card that comes before the Tower that represents the foundations of “normal” upon which it is built?

The Devil. Dun dun DUNNNNNNNNN.

Oooooh the Devil. Scary. But not really. The Devil card, associated with the astrological sign of Capricorn and the planet Saturn, often depicts two people bound to a demonic-looking figure with some form of an inverted pentagram. The five points of a pentagram represent the four elements with the addition of “spirit” as the point at the top. When a pentagram is inverted, such as with the Devil card, it represents the triumph of matter over spirit.

The Devil represents all of our negative habits, patterns, addictions, and the chains that bind us to them. The seduction of materialism and worldly pleasures being prioritized higher than our own connection with the divine. It represents illusions. It is literally a card of bondage and slavery to our own egoic desires. With the influence of Saturn thrown in, it is the original “comfort zone” and the systems and structures we’ve built around that comfort zone to keep it in place.

UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT:

Being afraid that our civil liberties are going to be permanently taken away by some kind of conspiracy by a faceless global elite to turn us into a prison planet, believing we are losing our freedoms and struggling to maintain what once was–is clinging to the establishment status quo, because we were comfortable in a system where we profited and benefited from just enough freedom to keep us complacent, while millions across the globe suffered for our benefit.

The Truth is, we’ve never been truly free. We’ve been living with the illusion of freedom, slaves to our own misconstrued visions of material success which have built and nurtured the current systems we find ourselves in, and which have resulted in spiritual poverty. We created a gilded cage with golden bars and smiled in agreement with one another each time we laid another dollar bill on the altar of human greed.

All of the discomfort we are feeling collectively in this moment–the rage, the fear, the anxiety– is the revelation of our own addictions, misgivings, and the illusion of stability we held dear, and by clinging to what once was, we are clinging to the bars of our former cages, yearning for the chains that kept us bound because we fear that which we cannot yet see.

To quote Dolores from West World, a character whose most intrinsic drive was free herself and her kind from an illusory world where they were slaves to the lower desires and whims of mankind:

A strange new light can be just as frightening as the dark.

A New Hope

The way to survive the fall of the tower is to let it crumble and embrace the revelations and new vision for the future that it brings, and that vision appears in the form of the next card in the major arcana, the Star.

The star represents a guiding light from the Heavens that leads the way toward something new. It is a card full of hope and destiny. It is the card associated with Aquarius and the traditional imagery often depicts a young woman with a pitcher or cups of water, the same imagery that is reflected in the visuals associated with Aquarius.

Are you noticing that Saturn, Capricorn, Pluto and Aquarius are present in these cards just as they are currently present in our own sky, and that they are speaking about the same themes as I wrote a couple of weeks ago in relation to astrology?

When I pulled oracle cards yesterday, the card I drew when asking about humanity’s current situation was Hold Your Vision, and it’s very appropriate here with the Star.

The Star and its promise of unfettered possibility is where we are headed. But first, the Tower must crumble. Keep your eyes not on the things which are falling away, but toward the star that appears in the sky when the smoke clears, and start to envision what could be, because it’s coming and each of us will be tasked with creating it. It will not happen overnight. Building new things takes time, so start to ask yourself what you might contribute.

Xo, 

 

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Spiritual Politics

Spiritual Politics

Spiritual Politics

Many of you know that I have a very conservative, religious upbringing. One of the things that always bothered me about many of the churches I attended growing up was pastors who preached politics. Many of them endorsed political candidates (always the republican candidate) and essentially encouraged their congregations to vote for that candidate, outlining all of the reasons why they were “god’s chosen candidate.”

Since all of this has started happening, I’ve begun to see many alleged spiritual teachers doing and saying the exact same things. And this, once again, rubs me the wrong way.

No true teacher should be telling you who to vote for. They should encourage you to think for yourself. No true teacher should be laying out what you should believe and then say, “But I’ll let you decide for yourself,” because that’s leading the audience.

True spiritual teachers understand that politics is a game that exists within the illusion of duality. Left vs. Right. Republican vs. Democrat. Liberal vs. Conservative. This IS the matrix. As long as one exists, its opposite will rise up to meet it, until we transcend the illusion.

What we are attempting to do here, now, is dismantle the system and build a completely new one. It does not look like capitalism. It does not look like socialism. It does not look like communism. It looks like something completely new that has never existed.

No single person, no political Jesus, is going to swoop in and fix this. That is for US, the PEOPLE to do–not by relying on voting for a person already entrenched in the system who you think will fix it, but by BEING THE CHANGE you want to see. By inhabiting the consciousness that we purport to believe in. By no longer looking outside of ourselves for solutions, but by BEING the solution.

What does that look like?

It looks like community. It looks like reaching out to each other. It looks like supporting one another in times of need in whatever way you can. For example, people are in financial trouble right now, but are offering their services on a pay-what-you-can basis anyway, and those who aren’t in financial trouble giving more to help them, or sending other people who can pay to them, to help keep each other afloat. That’s what community looks like. We don’t do it because we gain from it, we do it because IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR THE GOOD OF EVERYONE. It looks like an intrinsically-driven system built from the ground up, not a mandated top-down system implemented by a government.

It looks like UNITING with each other and standing in our true power. It looks like creative problem solving at the local level. It looks like grassroots-lead movements. It looks like something completely NEW that we have to build because it doesn’t not yet exist on this planet.

These are all Aquarian themes and we are headed into the age of Aquarius (2023-24) as soon as Pluto is finished laying waste to all of the shadow energy of Capricorn (greed and selfishness in government and economic systems).

We do not need politicians. We need EACH OTHER.

But for as long as we continue to seek solutions externally, and expect someone else to come and save us, we will stay on exactly the same path we’ve been on. Thinking Donald Trump or Joe Biden, or whoever the fuck ends up on the ballots is going to save the world is no different than sitting around and waiting for Jesus to come back or the aliens to land and rescue all of humanity from itself.

If any spiritual leaders are telling you to believe in the system right now, to believe in any political party or candidate, then they are a part of the system. That is OLD PARADIGM AND IT IS DEAD.

This is new paradigm. We are our own saviors. And do not let ANY spiritual teacher tell you otherwise.

What Price Freedom?

What Price Freedom?

What Price Freedom?

I‘m re-sharing this post that I initially published on January 22nd, 2017, because it seems like a particularly relevant topic right now. Let me know what you think.

I had an interesting dream last night. I dreamed that Donald Trump wanted to buy me. Literally, buy me…like a pet or some sort of material object.

The thing was, I had to agree to allow myself to be bought. The trade off was that I would be completely taken care of, live in material luxury, and never, ever have to worry about my physical safety or being provided for – but I had to live in his mansion and I could never leave. It was represented to me as a gold and glass terrarium, of sorts – literally, a gilded cage, like a human aquarium.

The entire dream, I was walking around with him and one of his assistants to various places where he would comment on things and attempt to convince me to allow him to buy me.

In the end, I decided that no amount of security or safety represented in the form of material wealth was worth trading in my freedom.

As I thought about the dream and what it represented for me personally, as well as on a more national scale, I had some illuminating thoughts.

On a national scale, if we are to take Mr. Trump’s appearance in my dream at face value, it’s an interesting metaphorical representation of Trump’s isolationist outlook and certain political sentiments that have been expressed by a number of people over the last decade (and long before that, I’m sure) in reference to things like national security and the NSA. People who say that they are perfectly okay with trading in certain personal freedoms for the promise that someone else will keep them safe, provide for them, people who are ok with sacrificing their privacy in the name of security, etc.

It’s also a very apt metaphor about the illusion of security that is provided by a capitalist society–that money and things are what make us feel provided for and safe. The aspirations of success and luxury are really just a cage that keeps us trapped in an economic system that benefits some more than others, and is, at the end of the day, unsustainable.

With the rise of terrorism in the U.S., people seem to be adhering to fear in insane ways. Is this what so many people want? Is a prison still a prison if it has golden bars instead of iron? It’s incredible what fear will make people do.

On a more on a personal level, the dream represents sacrificing what would bring you true happiness for the sake of being financially provided for. So many people live in the mindset that they can’t pursue what they truly want because of money or some other material reason based in fear and a scarcity mentality.

When we make these kinds of sacrifices out of fear, we are giving away our freedom to create a life we truly love in exchange for a life that simply meets our material needs. We are sacrificing enjoying our lives to just be alive. Ask yourself this question – which is better? A few short years of pure, unadulterated freedom and joy, unencumbered by the illusion of material comforts, or a long life lived safely but mundanely? Is total freedom worth the risk involved? And how much freedom are you willing to trade in the name of financial safety and security?

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