I've been reflecting a lot lately about victim mentality versus empowerment, and what I've found is, as all shadow work tends to be, somewhat uncomfortable, especially to my subconsciously programmed ego.
The surprising truth behind some of these ideas is that we are all toxic on some level (on a spectrum), and anyone can fall into the damaging habit of taking their emotional baggage (usually suppressed or unprocessed for prolonged periods of time) out on other people, especially those we care about and become attached to.
This leads me to one of the most powerful and important revelations I have had over the last several years of inner work and learning to love and accept myself for who I am rather than who others tell me I should be:
Abuse and victimhood or being targeted by someone toxic are two sides of the same coin. They both come from a deep sense of insecurity, shame toward ourselves, and a lack of understanding who we are on a deeper level. Getting to know ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are deep down is an amazing process of inner healing, and when we embark on this journey, we may find that we have more in common with our aggressors than we'd like to admit, especially if we are still trying to hold others responsible for our lives or our emotions on any level.
There are many aspects of working through this, and my main focus for this article is going to be on moving past trauma and abuse - where others have wronged or hurt you due to lashing out from a state of pain, fear, and a need for control over you because they don't have control over their own vibrational or emotional state.
Surprise, surprise! No one is immune to falling into negative behavior patterns, which is where vigilance with our free will comes in. We all have toxic or abusive tendencies if we do not take the time to process our emotions and what they are trying to communicate with us, and when we are triggered, it can be especially uncomfortable to stop, remember that our emotions are ours (no one else's), and extract the purpose of our experience for ourselves. From there, we can discern whether we want to be exposed to that type of behavior from others on an ongoing basis or not, and sometimes it is better to get some distance to work through everything on your own terms so you can truly begin to know yourself.
So, one part of being able to dance through the shadows and into your light is to understand that many of the aspects of yourself that you have been programmed to be fearful of or ashamed about are not actually things that are "wrong" with you. Just because it doesn't align with someone else's beliefs doesn't make it "wrong" or "bad." But you have to be the one to discern this for yourself, and for me, one of the most beneficial things to keep in mind is to treat others as I would want to be treated (especially my teen children as they grow up and need my guidance most; I will not abandon them and their journey by insisting that they do as I tell them), and not initiating force against another living being (the non-aggression principle).
One of the most dominant examples I can think of in my own experience is that I had to make a choice to love, support, and accept myself and my teens even though LGBT labels go against everything we were taught and raised to believe is "right" and "wrong."
When we really think about it, though, aren't the labels "right" and "wrong" just judgments disguised as righteousness? And what is a sense of righteousness but a sense that you are somehow "better" or "superior" to those who believe differently from you, even though you have no idea how they got to those beliefs? Who am I to judge someone else's lifestyle choices if they are not attacking or initiating force against another? It is not my place to tell anyone what to do or who to be, and in order to embody that level of unconditional love, especially on a subconscious level because 95% or more of our lives are run by our subconscious minds, we have to work through our subconsciously programmed beliefs around it because our deeply held beliefs are what create our behaviors. If we are unaware of what our behaviors are communicating to those around us, we will continue on a toxic road with the excuse of, "This is just who I am," which keeps us in a perpetual state of feeling victimized by life, our circumstances, and the things that happen to try to draw attention to our unconscious beliefs.
Part of our existence is being human, so when we reject our human aspects under the guise of being "superior," it goes against part of who we are and programs us to be ashamed of and fearful about our own humanity, which is a very important part of us as complete beings.
Through this journey, I am learning to take full responsibility for myself and my life on a number of levels, and I don't anticipate ever being "done" learning. This eternal journey of learning and knowing I can never completely grasp another's perspective without telepathic powers has allowed me to let go of the need for control over other people, especially my children included, despite outside people disagreeing with me.
But outside people often regard their own children as "fuck-ups," "crazy," and that they need to be punished for making mistakes. My parents used to see me this way and did not hesitate to project all of their shame and shortcomings onto me so they wouldn't have to take responsibility for their own damage. This sends the message that mistakes are not okay and the child isn't worthy of love unless they make no mistakes. Unfortunately, a natural response to feeling like you can't do anything right in the eyes of those who claim to love you is that you don't want to do anything or even try anymore because you fear being rejected and being reminded that you aren't worthy of love without these people's approval.
This puts all of the power over you into the hands of those whose approval you are chasing. So, the first aspect of dancing your way into empowerment is to embrace the idea that you don't need ANYONE'S approval, no matter how important they are to you or how much they have trained you into being addicted to their tiny shreds of approval that often leave you wanting more.
Learning to meet your own needs and approving of yourself is one way that you can empower yourself and stop allowing other people to dictate your life to you, whether that be through coercion, emotional manipulation, or whatever tactics they choose to use.
The kicker about this is that most people are completely unaware of what their behavior communicates to others because they think they are incapable of changing their own behaviors. Again, this is a victim-based mindset. If YOU can't change your own behaviors, nobody else can, either.
You can give yourself permission to be yourself, and those who mind don't matter... those who matter don't mind. But no matter what you say with your words, if your behaviors, whether you're aware of them or not, contradict what your words say, those you are communicating with will be able to sense that dissonance and know that you are lying to yourself.
That's where being authentic comes in, and being authentic requires knowing yourself on a much deeper level... a soul level. If you don't even know yourself well enough to understand your own conditioning and how it plays out in your behavior without you even being aware, how can you empower yourself to become the person you are meant to be, the fully aligned, soul connected, genuine, loving, divine being you are in human form?
Despite being called possessed, among other things, I knew that in order to keep my children alive and help them feel loved unconditionally so they don't succumb to depression, anxiety, and other programmed self-worth issues, that I would need to embrace the ideas and perspectives of different lifestyles, and in doing so I actually discovered ways of life that work much better for me than what I thought was the "only" option.
For us, there was a lot of sex shaming. Violence, death, and war were fine - and I know my kids and I aren't the only ones who were brought up in this kind of environment. This attitude has been normalized among the masses and in the collective, even though it is detrimental to the entire human race. Expressions of love are shamed and fearful, while expressions of war and violence are tolerated as "patriotic" or "justified."
Well, the more horrible behavior you justify to yourself, the more you will damage those you claim to love because you are replacing true, unconditional, infinite love with conditional, fear-based love that is rooted in a need for control rather than the art of allowing and releasing to help teach the other person to take responsibility for themselves.
You can choose to question what you've been taught to believe. The only person whose permission you need is your own, and the most difficult aspect of this is letting go of people who claimed to love you but behaved in the opposite ways, more often than not without even realizing how badly they were fucking you up emotionally.
And why is it okay for everyone else to get angry, but the second you do or begin to voice your own concerns, it isn't okay anymore? It's okay for others to take their baggage out on you, but for whatever reason, you aren't allowed to feel any negative emotions without being shamed for them?
It is my belief that it's so important to examine what you've been taught and question it on deep levels. This will allow you to really consider whether you agree with a belief you've been taught versus whether you'd like to learn more and expand your beliefs to be something different.
Unconditional love is inclusive, accepting, and compassionate, where conditional love is exclusive, needs control, and is triggered anytime there is a disagreement, especially an emotional one.
I hope that you will consider some of these ideas as you dance through your shadows toward empowerment. Sometimes letting go requires making peace with the idea that the people who hurt you will not ever take responsibility for their part in what has happened. In doing so, you will be able to take full responsibility, no matter how unfair it may feel or seem at first, and allow the other person to live with their own choices. Whatever that might mean for them.
You cannot hinge your emotional wellbeing on the words or behaviors of another person and be empowered at the same time. By releasing others from responsibility, you step into a state of being unfuckwithable more and more, and this may happen gradually or suddenly depending on your individual journey.
What I have learned is that, the more I worry about what other people think about my journey, the less inclined I am to live my journey to the fullest. The more I forgive others for their unconscious garbage they attempt to project onto me and take out on me, the more liberated I am because the experiences are not gnawing at my energy, keeping me influencing myself rather than everyone else influencing me without my conscious permission.
Your life is YOURS... those who wish to control you will not want you to discover your own power because that means they will have to lose their grip on you. No one can control you without your permission, conscious or unconscious, and so it is up to each of us, individually, to determine what we are allowing to influence us and discern what we will accept and allow versus what we will transmute and let go of.
I hope that this resonates, beautiful souls! If you want to dive deeper into getting to know yourself, accepting yourself, and cultivating trust in yourself, this work in particular has helped me to gain a deeper understanding of who I am, as a divine being as well as a human being, and how my life is - and has always been, despite outside appearances at times - mine.
I look forward to seeing you in class and hearing about your experiences with loving yourself unconditionally, without that love being dependent on anybody else.
What aspects of yourself were you programmed to believe are "bad" or "wrong?" Why do you believe this? Do you really believe this, or is it just an echo of what you were told on some level? I was told, "Sex is bad, don't do it." Do I really think this is a true statement? Or do I now understand that it was an unconscious form of manipulation to shame me about my humanity, stemming from the best intentions but actually creating cognitive dissonance?
What have you been taught that came from a good intention presented as a need for control over you?
I hope that this helps you to discover some new ideas about yourself, your divinity, and your humanity. Thank you for reading, my friends! I hope you have an amazing week. <3
Spiritual insights learned through experience, emotional alchemy, and the path to freedom on all levels through practical application of inner work.