On Thanking One’s Abusers

wolfloveOn November 15th I gave a talk in Santa Fe on the ten levels of consciousness I’ve been blogging about here for some time now. During the meeting I pointed out that all too often in New Age circles well-meaning people tell abuse sufferers to let go of their pain and forgive their abusers, before the sufferers have been able to even feel and find solace for the extent of their inner wounds. I told the group I felt that this pathologized the very healthy rage abuse survivors feel, a rage that if felt fully and expressed safely can eventually lead one to such a strong sense of self that the effects of one’s abuse soften and become part of one’s inner landscape.

In response to this, one attender shared with us his experience of having forgiven his childhood abuser, and how it freed him from the damage the abuse had done to him as no other therapeutic technique had before then. He said he had spoken directly to his abuser and told him, “I thank you for the abuse, because the lessons I have learned from the experience have been so valuable,” whereupon a weight, he said, had lifted from him. (He would not tell us what abuse had been done to him, only that it had been extremely severe.) He shared this in a genuinely nonjudgmental and loving manner. I thanked the attender for his share and admitted that although I have forgiven my parents, I was not at a place where I could say I was grateful for what my abuse history has taught me, and might never be.

During the guided meditation at the end, which I led, I invited the group to join me in raising ourselves from the consciousness levels of Force, Threat, and Blame to the consciousness levels of Acceptance, Understanding, Giving, and Loving. As usually happens when I lead a meditation, I got a lot out of it myself. On this occasion, the purified essences of my birth parents came to me and showed me their acceptance, love, and regret for what their shadows had done to me while they had been alive. Their love for me shone brilliantly, and I let it in. This is the very first time I have ever felt any such connection to them, and I was flabbergasted by the experience; it came entirely unexpectedly, on a wave of attar of rose (a diluted essence of which I had passed around the room therapeutically).

Today I have been lonely, isolating, and eating compulsively. I napped and dreamed of Blessing, my dead husky: of a ridge where a crowd of people was gathered, all with their backs to me. I moved among them and saw beyond them thick dense woods, and I knew that Blessing was running free in the woods. And I longed for her, and called to her, hoping she would hear me and come back to me. I awoke in a bad sweat. Is this what happens when we let Love in, that it stirs up the next layer of grief sediment in an effort to flush it from our systems? It seems so.

Thank you, housemate Leo Richard, for letting me take care of your big brown dog Horseshoe today. Playing ball with your dog, and hugging him, and giving him pieces of chicken, I felt a connection to Earth and Earth love, and it consoled me. Mother of Wolves have mercy on all of us, your cubs, and bring us safe home to Your den when our time comes. Amen.

A Message From “The Family”: On Living Without Fear

surrender“Fear is the mind-killer” as one of your writers has said. Fear paralyzes. Fear energizes. Fear eats away at reality, shrinking it until there is no room in it left to breathe. Awareness of fear is the first step in learning to overcome fear. Listening to fear, and learning from it, is essential if one is not to be ruled by fear.

Fear comes from a sense of vulnerability, a belief that something essential can be taken away from one by another. Underlying this meme are the assumptions that there is a difference between self and other, and that self and other are opposed. In fact this is not true in most cases. In most cases, the forces that appear arrayed against one are not enemies at all. They are simply obstacles. They do not threaten out of malign intent. They simply exist for their own purposes, which appear to run counter to one’s own.

Consider the career criminal who makes a habit of mugging old ladies. Or the violent police officer on the lookout for a victim. These are forces of nature, mindless, purposeless, driven by chemistry and morphology to seek out and inflict pain upon others. They are Pan in the Tarot deck, physical reality as God: accidental, unavoidable.

Or so they seem. In fact most terrors can be avoided if they are heeded and learned from.

Mister Rand finds this assertion appalling. He is driven by the belief that those who inflicted pain upon him intended him harm. What he does not understand fully yet is that abusers do not really see their victims. They see only themselves. Abusers are always intent upon destroying something in themselves that they believe has caused them pain, and it is this they are attempting to destroy when inflicting abuse upon their victims.

Mister Rand says, “But for practical purposes they are enemies. It is they who hit, or cut, or rape, or destroy, or gas one to death. You are splitting hairs,” he says. Yet we say that it is useful to separate out the personal from the abuse situation. Much of the true harm of the abuse comes from the abused taking the abuse personally; i.e., believing that I have brought the abuse upon myself because of something bad in me that deserves punishment. Is it not rather that the abuser would abuse anyone over which he or she felt he or she had power? Then your victimization is not the result of anything in you good or bad. You are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time from your viewpoint, like a small creature who happens to stray into a roadway just as a tank bears down upon it.

The first clue to recovery from abuse is as we see it: do not take it personally. You are not the cause, no matter what the abuser has told you. You are simply the convenient outlet for passions and frustrations that have nothing really to do with you at all. This is a hard thing to hear, and harder to accept, for as your psychologists have said, a child would rather be abused by a parent than ignored completely. But abusers do not see their victims. They see only themselves.

We will speak further on this.

— Channeled 6 November 2013.