No More Victim Shaming: A call for compassionate awareness
Can you imagine telling a combat vet with PTSD that their struggles are just about their attitude? Victim-blaming is a pervasive cultural pattern that further wounds those already reeling from trauma. And contemporary spiritualism is participating in this damaging behavior. This erroneous perspective claims that “there are no victims” or that your problem is only about your attitude. While the commonly used inspirational catch-phrases may sound empowering at first glance, these myths are harmful, destabilizing and re-wounding to the suffering.
Victim-blaming and shaming can be quite insidious. It is often served up in a pretty package promising some form of empowering liberation, while simultaneously bolstering and invalidating the wounded. For so long, this has been done to women, children, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, sensitives, the mentally ill, trauma survivors, combat vets, abuse survivors and far too many of us marginalized souls who seemingly do not fit the norm. While attempting to break free from the dominant paradigms of the culture from which they emerge, contemporary spiritualism and popular-psychology have simply adapted its pervasive myths and twisted them into a highly polished, marketable and all too empty vernacular that harms those in need of compassionate care.
Just today I saw a meme that stated something like: “The problem is not the problem: the problem is your attitude about the problem.” These well-meaning attempts to tell people to adjust their attitudes, shame the authentically suffering soul into questioning why they cannot just get over a trauma from combat; lift themselves out of depression; or let go of the impact of the sexual abuse, betrayal or violence they endured. Attitude is important to be sure, but when offered before a genuine embrace, authentic validation and understanding of what the individual has endured, it will be a shallow ploy at best. A shift in perception may emerge organically once victimization is witnessed with a fully open heart and conscious presence. Indeed, this is the beginning of healing.
Consider the common spiritually-toned beliefs around soul contracts that also shame the victim. From this tainted lens one claims: “the Jews agreed to participate in the holocaust” for the greater good of spiritual evolution or that it was their karma; the abused child chose to suffer their torture before they were born; the raped were paying off some karmic debt and so on. As we look deeper through this “there are no victims” lens: the children of Darfur, the Rwandans, The Armenians, the slaves, the Native Americans, the indigenous nations within all westernized continents, the Mynamar, all the black men who were lynched, all women; all the women of #metoo and all people of color within our culture participated in their victimization. That also includes the people who are ‘trafficked’; all children who are sexually, mentally and physical abused; and everyone who has ever been raped. Let’s keep that filter and expand the lens as we note that the earth, her animals like the dolphins, the whales, the condors and all species in jeopardy of extinction, including our rain forests and oceans are also not victims.
From this spiritual take, everyone is responsible for what happens to them and simply needs an attitude adjustment to access their power and move on. Or perhaps they just need to own their karmic role in this dance and that will set them free.
This poisonous mythology allows us to perceive that the perpetrated had an authentic choice at the time of their trauma and they simply did not act upon their power to stop the exploitation, violence or pain of their situation. Or, it insists that the victimized agreed to the suffering as a means to “balance the karmic debt”. Or the victim participated in some unconscious manner.
When we blame the victim we do not have to feel the reality of the imbalanced world created by the abuse of free-will on this planet. Instead, we play games with spiritual or psychological concepts by telling ourselves that we have “free-will” while simultaneously claiming “everything is in Divine order”. Which is it? This illusion traps us in 3-D consciousness because it is far too challenging for us to see that the 3-D world is anything but in divine order. Doing that does not fit our larger paradigms of justice. Instead, we cling to these beliefs to keep ourselves from slipping into an existential crisis.
We want the world to be fair and we want to feel this deeply in our bones. We want to trust, that all individuals have equal access and authority over their inner power and circumstances. We need these beliefs, to keep us feeling safe. We use these beliefs to numb ourselves from the imbalance of duality in world created by free-will.
It is far more complex to believe that bad things happen to truly good and innocent people. It means that we must face this realm head-on and come to terms with the reality that it is not dominated by the Divine, that this realm is not in Divine Order and that sometimes injustice prevails because of free-will.
We want to believe that duality is no longer happening because then we do not have to truly wake up and become responsible for the world in which we live. When we tell ourselves that there are no victims, we can just let life happen, because, it means individuals and the world are just working through their karma. We can just believe then, that everything will work itself out. But will it?
No, it wont! Not without the full-realization of our innate power and potential.
Many years ago, I went into shamanic journey to meet with my granddaughter 12 generations in the future. In this encounter, she revealed many exquisite aspects of humanity and life on earth. She showed me the connective luminous field within which all beings were operating consciously. She revealed that humanity was devoted to intentionally tending to this connective tissue of life and how important it was to the thriving of all that exists.
She urged me to understand a pervasive illusion within human consciousness of the world in which I was living. She stated that the belief that: “people cannot truly help or heal others” is false. She added too, that the belief that “people cannot truly harm others” is a lie that humans believe and is creating harm to life. She told me that this illusion was perpetuating isolation, separation and suffering on the planet. She longed to help us and explained how our inner light is ever-present within all beings. She said:
“The moment any one person’s light goes dim for any reason, we do not judge or leave them to solve this on their own. We are all connected to the same light and if one is dim, it influences us all. Instead, we notice the dim light as a call for love and light. We then join together in pods and radiate light to the struggling soul unconditionally and consistently until their light returns to full power. We know that when we radiate this loving light, it allows them to access their core power and heal whatever ails them. We would never expect anyone to heal themselves. This is cruel and perpetuating an illusion about separation. We urge you to shift your thinking about this: too many are suffering alone and you are believing only they can change themselves. When you radiate light steadily toward another who is in need, you amplify their power (and your own) and when you do this within a group of at least three people you ensure they will be restored to full thriving.”
I was awed by this encounter and learned healing modalities that I have since taught many students over the years.
Carl Rogers, one of the founders of Humanistic Psychology stated that an essential practice for healing to manifest within the psycho-therapeutic relationship is the offering of unconditional positive regard. This provides a healing space for an individual to grow within a shame-free zone. What my helping spirits have revealed, is that when I illuminate my heart chakra with compassion and link that light to my crown and ajna, unconditionally radiating it toward my client through any session, their energy heals. When sustained, it holds the power to support authentic transformation. This is a technique I teach called “The Triangle of Light™” which I offer through the Inspired Heart™. While seemingly simple at first glance, this practice requires the capacity to remain as a continual stream of divine light emanating from the sender. It creates a unconditional zone for the energetic pulse of compassion, higher consciousness and clear vision to shift the observed energy (like the observer effect). This helps it return to a zero-point. In other words, whether serving as a psychologist, a medium a soul retriever or a friend – I cannot say “shift your attitude, just let it go” and expect that anyone will really heal from trauma. But if I offer my higher light with compassion, the inner light of my client will be positively impacted and support healing change.
When my helping Spirits taught me how to do soul retrieval and I then discerned that I would benefit from having one, I asked them: “Can I do this for myself?” The answer was an emphatic “Yes! But please don’t. True healing manifests in the presence of a compassionate witness beyond the self alone. Let someone bare witness to what you have endured. Then, and only then, will you move beyond that experience and free yourself from the story created from the pain.”
We all deserve to be seen and heard. Victims of any injustice or harm deserve not be re-wounded as they walk through their healing path. We owe it to ourselves and one another to be mindful of the language we speak, the myths we may buy into and the values we preach to those who may be suffering in silence. Confronting these illusions will allow us to elevate our consciousness, support the authentic healing that averts spiritual short-cuts and bring us home to our sacred souls with dignity and grace. No matter what path you walk, you deserve to be seen, heard and validated.
May all beings be happy and free and may my thoughts words and deeds contribute to the liberation of all on some measure.