A soul-level comprehension of the concept of love, self-love, and unconditional love can be quite an undertaking. It’s easy to think it, but we don’t know what it feels like until we experience it deep within. Emotions and soul-level feeling are different.
Love is a word that has distorted meaning for many, yet this distortion isn’t always recognized within ourselves. If we want to learn, we have to ask ourselves, “What will it take to break down the barrier to all forms of love?”
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, the majority of us have experienced abuse in one form or another. We, as souls, came here to learn about breaking through third-dimensional belief. Based on the level of abuse you survived, our perceptions, engrained beliefs, etc., will vary. We think love hurts. There’s a good blog song; “Love Hurts, by Nazareth.
Self-love was a big distortion within myself. I choked on the idea for quite some time. I’m not so arrogant to think there isn’t more to learn. I recognize that survival can be a hard habit to break. “Hard Habit to Break?” Now there’s a trigger! My first sexual abuser was a big fan of the band, so I tend to hit skip when I hear them on the radio.
Last week, my self-love, and self-respect were being tested. I went into the heart-center and simply “allowed in” what was showing up. I stuck to my current idea of self-love and self-respect, and asked Archangel Chamuel for guidance, comfort, compassion, and soothing.
Then I was blessed with three completely unexpected acts of generosity, and kindness. That program of being unworthy can lie so deep, it acts as a trickster. While I offer kindness, and compassion as a general practice, these acts reminded me, not only I AM worthy of graciously accepting kindness, but it’s a step in reminding me what I came here to do, and be. It’s okay to accept love in the present context. Without pushing, or forcing we can learn to accept that love really does exist, and doesn’t have to be painful.
We have many lessons along the way to understanding unconditional love. It’s best to let go of expectations created by engrained beliefs, and from experiences we shoved deep in our own psyche to survive. Other lessons may need to be conquered first. Hold love, self-love, and unconditional love as the ultimate goal. Keep in in mind, as you start to reach the goal, you may discover more lies in the yet unimagined. Remain open. Use any minor slips as reminders as to how far you’ve come, and get back on the trail when you are ready.
At this time, it seems appropriate to say, Be your own Valentine.
Regular readers know a song or two is always delivered divinely. This time there are too many to post all the links, so here is the earlier suggestion, and the final four that played while writing:
“Love Hurts,” by Nazareth
“Why Can’t This Be Love,” by Van Halen
“Life Is A Song,” by Jethro Tull
“I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” Aerosmith
“Send Your Love,” Sting
Here’s a late addition – “New World Blues,” by Gov’t Mule
Love and Blessings to ALL ♥
How else are we going to bring an end to abuse, then to create more awareness around it? No wonder, Guru Pikta, the Mike Meyers character in the movie The Love Guru, used Mariska Hargitay as a divine greeting! With all she has done to create awareness, her name should be synonymous with divinity.
Here’s a story run on multiple ABC Eyewitness News channels, and the article about how the show “Law and Order” led to an arrest. “Law and Order” episode leads to child sexual abuse arrest
I know we shouldn’t prejudge, right? Sorry, but my own personal experience causes my ears to perk up when I hear these kinds of stories. Admittedly, I still get a little nauseous, and it makes me more vigilant in doing my part to help end the suffering, that is seemingly endless when you are going through recovery. Finding peace is attainable, that I can promise. You may want to read more about my Heart Pillar Workshop. Heart Pillar Description
In all honesty, I never really watched Law and Order SVU. Okay, I’ll try to do a little catching up, but in teaching consciousness, I’m not going to buy into any guilt around that either. Maybe it’s that in the past, it would have triggered too much? Who knows? That doesn’t mean I can’t have a great deal of respect and admiration for all that Mariska Hargitay has done to create awareness surrounding abuse between the show, Joyful Heart Foundation, and now the NO MORE PSA campaigns. NO MORE PSA CAMPAIGN
I remember the expression “enough is enough,” but NO MORE definitely has a much stronger feel to it. These messages help break down many of the old stigmas that caused victims to be silent. Hearing some of the expressions that many victims have had to endure in the PSAs caused me to shutter, knowing I heard similar words. It’s always amazed me how others can be so judgmental towards the victims, especially other women, but I’ll save that topic for another post. I’ve got my voice now, and you can find yours too.
This is a little soft for me, no grunge at all, but okay it fits – Sarah McLachlan – Find Your Voice
I couldn’t help but share and comment on the article in the Inquisitr, by Joshua Waldrop which addresses Bill Cosby and the rape allegations against him. It brings light to the devastating life-long effects on victims, and how people knew, yet did nothing. Women’s lives were ruined in a way they never should have been. How many times do we have to see this before we step out of our comfort zones, and stand up for what’s right?
Yeah, I’m not going to set Cosby’s picture and give him attention. Instead let’s give some attention to Patton Oswalt for speaking out. This isn’t the first time Patton has spoken about rape. He deserves some credit for his integrity, recognizing that feelings on this subject should never be dismissed. Patton Oswalt Changes Mind on Rape Culture
Finally, attention is being given to the effects of rape, assault and sexual abuse. Maybe, this is a signal that a shift is being made towards silence being broken, ending the shame. Being originally from Philly, knowing how Cosby made so many laugh, his good will, even some of his philosophy on life, once I get past the sad and disappointed, I am completely disgusted. However, and please don’t get angry with me, there is a small part of me deep down, that says, “thank you Bill Cosby,” your actions are actually bringing wide spread awareness and attention to this issue, so that maybe, just maybe, we can do more about it.
Before I get carried away with all that I could say, here it is: Link to: Actor/Comedian Patton Oswalt On Bill Cosby: ‘Comedians Have Known For A Long F**king Time’
What song fits better than this? Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel
Don’t forget the book, “Why Bother,” and “The Practical Workbook” are available for sale on the website. Comments on this blog are welcome and encouraged.
Surviving child abuse often requires a life-time of healing because many times, the child is inflicted with multiple types of abuse, by multiple abusers. As if abuse itself isn’t bad enough, more often than not, it is influenced and complicated by generations of dysfunctional and self-destructive behavior. This leaves behind many afflictions to overcome, which takes times.
Too often a child, not knowing of adult things, let alone how to deal with them is unaware that they are being abused because what is happening to them is presented as normal, or just how it is. They are left unsafe, and unprotected. Even if the child intuitively knows something is wrong, they go into survival mode, which is a perfectly normal for all humans; animal instinct takes over.
Young victims cannot be expected to understand that they are living in a toxic environment. This is why I say in my book –
“Sometimes we just don’t know, what we don’t know, until we know it.”
The song Toxicity comes to mind; Toxicity – System of a Down
Awareness and education will always assist us in bringing an end to atrocities, and the suffering created by them. Recognizing that some have suffered more than others, helping all survivors go beyond recovery, is our highest priority. For some victims, survival of the events can be the easiest part to heal from; which NEVER is, actually simple. Survival mode keeps us, pissed-off and defensive, numb, in denial, and overly sensitive, as we cope with what happened. That may be survival, but it isn’t truly living. Take that a step further, and it prevents us from becoming and living from the authentic self. It keeps us from the life which we were intended to live.
During the Amazon launch of my book, Why Bother? Because Self-Help is Never Stupid, October 23-28, 2014, I will be donating a portion of the royalties from every book sale to help get the documentary “I AM A Survivor” into production.
With over 24% of the population claiming to have been abused, it is an understatement to say this is a rampant problem that we all need to be more educated on, particularly because of its complexities, which go down a very deep rabbit hole.
Please help by making a donation to: I Am A Survivor, the film. To learn more, go to http://johnnyrock5000.wix.com/iamasurvivor. Your donation will help me, and all who have agreed to share their voice to participate in the film, and spread the word; breaking more silence, and ending more suffering.
Imagine a world where we could focus on greeting challenges, rather than trying to repair shattered pieces, and sweeping up what just can’t be fixed. This is why I stand by Johnny, and his commitment to the film.
My dream is that one day children will be raised in such a way that they don’t have to recover from their childhood. ~ Johnny Rock
I AM A Survivor; the film
By no means, am I claiming to be an expert on suicide or suicide prevention. I can only share from my own personal, direct experience, and maybe that experience will help someone else.
There is always so much that could be said in regards to suicide because, as with all issues, every person has their own reasons, own experiences, own perspective, and own way of handling life’s challenges even among the glaring similarities. That’s why if you are considering suicide, or know someone who is at risk, get help. If it’s an emergency call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
While PTSD is not the only cause of suicide, twenty-two veterans die each day at their own hand. Not only is it already a leading cause, but add into that PTSD caused by other trauma, and you start to notice an even more distinct pattern.
Statistics show approximately 40,000 suicide deaths in the U.S.A. annually, and somewhere between 500,000 and 1,000,000 attempts. SAVE.org states: For young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death.
Prevention, likes all paths to a solution, always comes back to education and awareness, and conscious awareness is the best kind there is.
There is a difference between simple awareness and conscious awareness and it would benefit ALL of US on a much greater scale, if we would get to know that. The thing about conscious awareness is that for some it’s a difficult choice. For me that is why the metaphor of choosing the red pill or the blue, from the movie The Matrix is always so profound.
Many of you already know that I believe (even though I place caution around unconscious belief) the biggest cause of problems in this world comes from some form of abuse, and denial of abuse, as one type of abuse often leads to another, sometimes unnoticed. Face it, doesn’t awareness begin with observation and noticing? This is a big theme in my book, Why Bother? Because Self-Help is Never Stupid.
Survivors, and those in recovery, know the pain and torment that silence on the part of all parties involved has caused. On the other hand silence can be a survival tactic. While breaking silence around so many issues is of critical importance to create awareness, there may be occasion to stop judging silence, particularly your own.
September being suicide prevention month leaves me wondering, if I had spoken up sooner about my sexual abuse, and been dismissed as a kid, the way that I was dismissed as a 30 something adult, and still dismissed at 50 something, would I be alive today?
Sexual abuse started for me, at age 12, and while I put a stop to it around 17, there were additional advances made until I was 20. Having personally experienced multiple types of abuse, repeated sexual abuse has been the most traumatic, the most negatively impactful, and the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to experience in my life. I say that acknowledging that others have had it worse. NO ONE should ever have to go through this.
Sexual abuse is considered immoral, unethical, and criminal for good reason. For the survivor, it’s just not something you ever forget, no matter how far behind you, you put it, or how conscious you become.
Conscious awareness is vitally important to healing, even though the process of awakening can be difficult, it’s not nearly as traumatic as the trauma you experienced in the first place. Practicing and playing in the arena of conscious awareness makes you stronger.
Unconscious people will in one breath claim to be aware of the impacts of trauma, then in the next say something that causes a trigger for those who will never have the trauma erased from their lives. It’s taken me a long time to admit that I attempted suicide, considered it multiple times, and can pinpoint several times when I unconsciously almost killed myself with self-destructive behavior. The first time, I was 14 not knowing that the handful of prescription sleeping pills weren’t strong enough to end my life.
Granted, I ALONE am responsible for the choices I made, no matter what age I was. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t influenced by being a somewhat isolated kid, who was seeking approval, acceptance and love from her much older siblings, and had compounded feelings because of having emotionally unavailable parents. That does not blame them for my poor choices. These are simply the factors that influenced my poor choices when one adult sister handed me a pipe at 12, and another allowed me to the opportunity to use that rolled up bill at 13.
While this might not seem unusual, and while many overcome this with no scars, the fact is that the drug abuse was a set up, and part of the grooming process that lead to years of sexual abuse. Abuse doesn’t stop after the events stop because now you have been programmed to accept abuse.
While some excuse the choice the men who abused me made, because they had abusive backgrounds, I can guarantee you that if I influenced or abused their children, in a similar manner, it would have been a completely different situation. One day a family member from the next generation heard comments being made about expectations placed upon me, and laughed saying “Aunt Martha is held to a different set of standards, I’ve never had to do that.” I was grateful that some finally noticed.
The story, like the denial some live in, runs much deeper than the few facts presented here, and isn’t the point. The point is that now I can see more clearly all the shame, blame, guilt, responsibility, lack of responsibility, desires, conflicting desires, big egos, wounded egos, immorality, conviction, belief, set up, grooming, and many more factors involved that created the unhealthy, unsafe, environment that caused me consider suicide. Not that long ago, my mother said, “but we gave you everything,” as if financial support is the one and only thing that is important. That in itself clued me into the financial abuse because of the constant take-away threats.
Some would say. why do you still try to engage in conversation with them? At this point, I have disengaged, but in pushing the issue as an adult, I gained clarity and closure important to healing. It allowed me to grieve not having a family that was kind, nurturing, loving, supportive, any of those things that we All desire and deserve, even if they see themselves as such. Isn’t it obvious that this world is in desperate need of these elements, and desperate need to step out of denial?
To be perfectly honest, I have a love/hate relationship with humanity and the lack of humanity. It may be a flaw that my heart is not 100% love, but at least I am honest.
In consciously observing the situation, I can see that if I hadn’t been silent about the sexual abuse back then, clearly I would not be on this planet today. I would have allowed the lack of compassion to wound me more deeply. If I have anything to be grateful for, it’s the strength I have gained from conscious awareness, and the ability to walk with integrity.
For some, who have not been able to reach this place of noticing, observation, awareness, conscious understanding, compassion, and knowing, the pain has been too great to bear. It’s sad, because with these elements, I would dare to say that some suicides would have been prevented. It becomes easy to see the prevalence of the attitude society takes against mental and emotional problems. Their ignorance is not bliss.
Like me, it may benefit you to recognize that when every single member of your immediate family, appears to defend a sex offender, it’s really not all about you, or the offender. Much of it is about them, and their inability to recognize their own invisible disability. Remember if we were controlled, manipulated, and abused, there is a good chance they were too. Abuse is a nasty, vicious karmic cycle. Their silence is their coping mechanism.
We live in a mad, pissed-off world of fear. I love the song Mad World so much that I am going to share two versions, lyrics written by Roland Orzabal. Tears For Fears – Mad World Adam Lambert – Mad World
If forgiveness is difficult towards people who don’t support you, who you thought would, remember, they have fear of repercussions they will face at the hands of those who would impose controls upon them. Fear requires coping even if the fear is invisible.
Peter Gabriel — “Don’t Give UP” – gather your strength. The thing is love, support, and compassion may come from where you least expect it. God may have a purpose for you. He/She may want you to join his/her army. I got that message at the very first workshop I attended on conscious awareness in the ‘90’s, but wasn’t ready to fully experience it. Then 10 years ago, after doing some energetic clearing, this message got stronger. This day, I decided to walk to pick up, my daughter from school. Suddenly there was an intensity of energy around me, a smile came to my face, and I started to laugh. This happens when the angels are around me, and I don’t care if anyone is watching. I kept laughing and saying “wow…wow…wow.” I was full of awe and gratitude. Not only was support there, but I was part of the team.
This team saved my life several times. Elton John – Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Many often question, how you know when it’s a divine message and when it’s your head. When you put a little time and effort into clearing the old, unconscious programs, unconscious ways of thinking, and self-defeating believes, your ego steps out of the way, and you just know.
“Sometimes you just don’t know, what you just don’t know until you know it.” ~ me
Knowing it requires a little effort, but don’t give up. Intuitively we discern between ego and the authentic.
Don’t sacrifice yourself because you feel like other people don’t understand. Remember that carbon under pressure becomes a diamond, and when it is unearthed, it can be polished and sparkle with intensity and great value.
Comments are welcome.
When we have been the victim of abuse, we are programmed to believe we are wrong. Typical words are; we asked it, we brought it on ourselves, you get what you deserve, and many more unconscious beliefs downloaded into our subconscious. Chapter 14 in my book; Why Bother? Because Self-Help is Never Stupid is titled, Dysfunction for good reason.
So how do we over-come these beliefs so that we can heal, move on with our lives, even come out of top? We do what Captain Kirk did; we change the programing. In our case, we change the engrained belief programs. Of course, first we have to gain conscious awareness of them.
The song by Nine Inch Nails – “Head Like a Hole” immediately comes to mind. If you wanted to discuss anything emotional my Dad would say, “I think you got a hole in your head.” The lyrics fit this post well. Nine Inch Nails -Head Like A Hole
In my book, Why Bother? Because Self-Help is Never Stupid, Chapter 4, I state:
“When someone has been raised in an abusive situation, they often don’t know any other way, so there is no reference to know that they are being abused. Nor do they recognize that they have been or are being subjected to more than one kind.”
Everyone has a strong desire to be part of a loving family. There is a collective societal belief that family always comes first, family the most important, family will always be there for you. Unfortunately for many survivors, family isn’t there for you, and we continually strive for acceptance that never comes. So how do we let go?
Maybe I’m a little slow, or maybe I just go really far into the depths of space and time for life lessons, but it finally occurred to me that expecting a survivor of sexual abuse, to sit at the family Sunday dinner table, where one of their abuser is still a beloved family member is like asking a veteran with PTSD to continually go back onto the battlefield.
Before running away from home in my 40’s, those Sunday family gatherings felt like going into battle with the Klingons, or the Romulans.
After I opened up, just one time, telling the family about my abuse, no one wanted to hear about it again. This is a complex issue to work through and heal from. They acted like this was normal and I should just get over it, and put it behind me. Reassurance, and support was never offered. That would have been kind and loving.
I always knew that they lived in denial, as did I until I broke the program of denial. While thought, and feeling are quite shallow, denial IS a Supermassive Black Hole — Muse. My father, rather than expressing compassion said, “If you buried it all these years, why would you bring it up now?” He was angry; how dare I shoot a photon torpedo at his superior warbird (that’s a Klingon battleship for those who don’t know). The famous words of both my parents was “keep your mouth shut and keep the peace.” To me their idea of peace is like trying to make peace with the Romulans, and dare I say… operated on warp, warped perspective that is.
Research now says that the effects of repeated, long term abuse on children, and teens, is worse than being raped once. Here is a link to an article by Allan N. Schartz, LCSW, Ph.D; The Deleterious Effects of Child Abuse.
Imagine asking a rape victim, to sit down and have a happy, cordial, loving dinner with their attacker. Imagine intentionally walking up behind a veteran with PTSD and playing a recording of bombs, and gunfire, then laughing about it. That’s how it felt for me. There was no safety zone, and was constantly on red-alert.
Regardless of what firing mechanism was used, I was told how “ridiculous” I was, and how they were just teasing me. Really? Is there any humor in sexual abuse, or any other type of abuse? The teasing was never directly related to the abuse because that was a taboo subject. It was important to lower my expectations of being validated, or encouraged to heal. Suggesting that would be nice was chided by ego. Had I been physically injured, a morsel of concern may possibly be expressed, but only after poking the origin of the pain. So it’s true, I did it to myself, I asked for it by placing myself back in the battle zone.
For way too long, I played into the idea of “you have to, because they are family.” So many times in trying to heal the dysfunction, I would hear, “you’re the one who sounds dysfunctional.” Wow. Talk about listening and responding from ego rather than from compassion.
I tried to get along with them by helping myself, knowing they were not going to support me emotionally, but was told that reading self-help books was stupid. Hence the words in the title; Self-Help is Never Stupid. Because I was constantly trying to look deeper and fix myself, I would get the PeeWee Herman, “I know you are, but what am I routine.” I never said I wasn’t dysfunctional, I was admitting that I was dysfunctional, and I wanted help, I needed help, and I was begging for help, but this wasn’t the Enterprise responding to an S.O.S. either, it was my biological family.
Even though I stuck around, and kept my mouth shut for many years about the sexual abuse, brought it up once and put it away again for another 10 years, I was accused of needing a 100% agreement to get along with them. A peace treaty with the Klingons and Romulans wasn’t going to happen.
My Mother while claiming to have read about the effects of sexual abuse, is clearly clueless, and blames me by saying “why did you go back”? Really? Go back to my sister’s homes who I loved dearly, who I thought loved me, who I thought would never endanger me. Can a pre-teen, teen brain really be expected to compute that both her sisters could possibly have married total creeps, Radiohead – “Creep” and that her family is completely dysfunctional, doesn’t know they are dysfunctional, and wouldn’t admit to it even if they did know it? Really, Mom? Why did I go back? Ignoring the fact that many of the occurrences happened in her home, under her own nose. Of course she can’t comprehend that, how can she since every time I tried to talk about it, she’d say “I can’t listen to this, I’m busy.”
To heal ourselves, we have to take that deep look into space and time, and see that the dysfunction didn’t start with us, recognize the invisible disabilities of the people we are dealing with, and move on using the conscious awareness, integrity and wisdom we have developed on our own.
To me saying “why did you go back,” is no different than asking me “why didn’t you just run away from home.” The question is not asked from a place of trying to understand, it’s asked from a place of ego, accusation, and blame; that somehow I asked for it.” Why did I go back? Like most survivors of incestuous abuse, “you just hope it will never happen again.” We have to stop blaming ourselves.
My mother says “you would never listen.” Interesting because from 13-16, I would beg to go to counseling. Her response was, “settle down, you don’t know what problems are, and you’d better pray to God that you don’t ever find out.” My father’s response was “there’s not a god damn thing wrong with you that a good crack in the ass won’t fix.” Who wasn’t listening? I listened to every single word.
Can we accept and forgive their inability to see? Yes. Do we need to continue to tow that broken ship back to space dock over and over? No.
From Chapter 4 in my book:
“Abuse is not acceptable and has no value in our world if our goal is to achieve inner and outer peace, freedom, and joy.”
We all want to be feel loved by family, but once you come to the realization that this is like the Kobayashi Maru, (the no-win scenario from Star Trek), do as Kirk did; change the program.
Did Kirk cheat? No. He refused to accept defeat. He said “I don’t believe in the no-win scenario.” This is what all survivors, and anyone who is suffering must learn to do for their own comfort and safety. This is what we must learn to Transform Being Pissed-off, Numb, in Denial, or Emotional into Peace & Passion; the subtitle of my book.
Like Kirk, we have to make our own rules, change the conditions of what’s testing you, allow yourself to be an original thinker; be in command of the starship that is you.
If others see you as out of control, so what! They only see it that way because they have lost power and control over you.
It’s time to just end the insanity of all war. Stop hurting one another. I’ve laid down my arms. I’ve walked away. I’m not going to defend myself anymore against the claim that I am the one that’s hurting them. I didn’t start it but I am ending it.
For some of you it was a parent who abused you. Don’t force yourself or place yourself in a situation that triggers pain, and knocks you out of balance because of the societal belief that our parents and family love us even if they don’t know how or don’t show it. Their inability to be kind and loving is not our fault.
In Chapter 4; discussing belief about love and abuse: “Oh, they didn’t mean it.” Not meaning it doesn’t excuse it. “Abuse is not kind. Abuse is not compassionate; it’s not conscious.”
In the words of Spock, quoting part of the Prime Directive, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” It’s easy to believe you are the problem when you are one, standing against the many.
As more survivors stand up, we become the many which is the only way we can eradicate abuse and offer reassurance that we can, not only survive, but we can “boldly go, where no man has gone before.” In our case, beyond survival. One by one changing our conditions, changes the conditions for everyone and that is the only way, we survivors, will change the programmed condition of abuse.
If you like what you are reading, don’t forget to buy the book, available here on the website.
R.E.M. – “The Great Beyond” R.E,M. — “The Great Beyond”
Zoe Johnston — Alchemy – This song is about a broken romantic relationship, but the words could fit an abuse survivor’s feelings easily, so I’m including them here. Alchemy – lyrics Zoe Johnston – Alchemy