A Lesson In History

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“I wonder why we are placed together, we have nothing in common!” The young one said with pride.

”I am not sure. I do wonder if there is a purpose of some kind. What do you make of it?” The old one responded mindfully.

“To be frank, I don’t see any point. Do you?”

“Yes, I can think of many possibilities, yet I was wondering about your perspective.”

“I can’t think of anything. You are so old!”

“And what does old mean to you?”

“Old belongs to the past, no longer really useful, out of commission…. out of service…..”

“Sometimes the years of experiences could be a great source of information.”

“Times have changed. I don’t think in the era of technology and rapid changes, history really matters.”

“History is history. Some say, a wise person, before deciding where they wish to go, need to look at where they have been. History is the backbone of any invention.”

“I am being frank, the old has no place in the modern world, and no one cares about history anymore. It’s boring. This is the era of speed.”

“You have a point there. True, young people seem to be so preoccupied with their smart phones. It is really difficult to get people’s attention for even a few seconds.”

The conversation between the cars was interrupted by a grandfather and his grandson approaching them.

“Wow, grandpa, look at this beauty. Have you ever seen anything like this?”

“No, I haven’t. So beautiful!”

“When I grow up….” The young boy seemed to be lost in his world of imagination.

The grandfather let him enjoy his fantasy, honoring him by keeping silence.

“What is this grandpa?”

“This is the first automobile made by Henry Ford. What do you think of it?”

“I have never seen anything like it before. I can see the engine and everything is simple and beautiful. Did Mr. Ford make this?”

“I am sure he had the engineers design the car.”

“How did they know how to make a car?”

“That is a great question. Everything you see around you was someone’s imagination at some point. What would you like to build when you grow up?”

“I want to make flying cars.”

“I am sure sooner than we think, they are going to be here. I have a question for you. If you and I were going to take a ride together, which car would you choose?”

The boy looked at the shinny brand new white car, smiled and paused… turned to his grandfather “I’d like to ride with you on Mr. Ford’s car. Can I drive?”

“Yes, you can actually drive that car.”  The grandfather looked at his grandson. The love on his face was priceless.

 

 

“If you think you can and if you think you cannot, you are right.”

Henry Ford

 

Helplessness

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The ten year old boy suddenly woke up in the middle of the night with the unusual sound he heard from his parent’s bedroom next door. He got up half sleep and put his ear to the parent’s bedroom door. He heard his mother crying, begging his father to stop. He felt a sharp, deep pain in his heart. He experienced a visceral ache in his gut. His heart was pounding. He didn’t know what was going on in his mind. There was a river of emotion going through his little heart. His heart was pounding, he was afraid that his father could hear him. He was angry at him for having been abusive to him and his mother, yet mostly he felt helpless! The feeling of powerlessness that there was not anything he could do was killing him inside. He wished he was fearless and strong to protect his innocent and loving mother from the tyrant. He heard his mother saying please stop, I beg you. He had an idea what was going on.
The father had abused his only son in many cruel ways. No one could really understand what was going on in his mind. He had shamed the little boy in front of everyone. The young child seemed to be the whipping boy and the target of his father’s frustration. The boy was deeply hurt, frustrated, and angry being hit for no apparent reason. He learned how to avoid the father when he came home. If he could be invisible, maybe he could have a day with no beating.
As painful as it was to be beaten in front of the family and friends, to the little boy, being a witness to his mother being abused was even more painful. He loved his mother and hated her being dominated, pushed around and devalued by the father. The young boy didn’t understand any of it, yet he knew the feeling of pain in the pit of his stomach so well.
In his fantasy, he imagined growing up, becoming strong and bring the tyrant down and give him the taste of his own behavior. The intense pain within had changed into intense anger and hatred, consumed the precious heart of the young boy. The feeling of helplessness was like a tight spider web around his heart. There was not anything he could do. He was paralyzed by the intense fear.
How does one free oneself from the embedded feeling of helplessness? How does one heal from childhood traumas and the deep emotional scars? The road to recovery is long and challenging. There are no short cuts and no magic wand to erase the pain. When young children experience severe traumas, somehow it seems that the mind automatically files the experiences somewhere in the memory bank out of the child’s reach. Sometimes, years later a trigger may bring the memory back to conscience. Awareness is the key and pillar of recovery. If we don’t know, we don’t know, one is likely to react with unconscious and conditioned reflexes. These reactions are usually a projection of a dysfunctional belief system resulting in behaviors based on the real or perception of having  no choices.
Most of us are likely to repeat the dysfunction even when aware of the trigger and fall into same pit, knowing it is there. We need safe, loving, and trusting mirrors for the process of recovery. Someone who can reflect who we are before being wounded and show us the ray of the sun in the midst of the darkness.

A seeker for healing needs much loving, nurturing, and tenderness of a gentle soul to begin to consider loving oneself. When a child is severely traumatized, shamed, and devalued at a tender age when has no defenses and no cognitive ability to understand the situation, the child is more likely to internalize and develop a belief of worthlessness and deserves to be punished.

As a clinician, I have the honor of being in the company of many advanced souls, who are walking wounded in the physical body. Over the years, it aches my heart to hear over and over “I hate myself, I am worthless, I am a failure. I can never do anything right. I wish I was dead.” These are the words of young college students who have their whole life ahead of them.

The candle of hope is well and alive. I am a good example that recovery is possible. The past can be filed away when we are willing to bring the painful memory to the present, feel the pain, grieve, cry, and release with the help of a trusting guide. It is an illusion to think we can do it ourselves. The emotional healing comes from being able to be emotionally naked and feel safe in front of another human being. I have my bias that a professional therapist is a good choice.

No matter how good we may look on the outside, most of us have some kind of emotional scar whether we are aware of it or not. We have a choice. We either take a pro-active choice toward the path of recovery, or the universe sooner or later will provide the opportunity for us. In the latter case, it is usually through a painful experience, a major loss, illness, fears and panic situations.

Recovery may feel like going through a dark tunnel, hoping or knowing that there is light at the end. May you feel the light and joy of healing within your heart.

 

Happy  RE-BIRTH!

Soul Sisters: Sexual Orientation

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“What are you looking at? Is there something you wish to say to me?” The woman in a suit asked her co-worker at work.

“No, I have nothing to say to you.” The woman in a rather fancy dress, color coordinated with beautiful jewelry responded.

“Your look, your non-verbal mannerisms are saying a lot. Perhaps you just don’t have the courage to express how you feel.”

“You better go away now! You don’t want to hear what I think.”

“Bring it on sister! There isn’t anything you can say that I have not heard before. This is not about me and who I am. It is about you and who you are.”

“Ok, you asked for it. I think you are disgusting. You are a “dike”! You are not even a woman. You disgust me!”

“Wow! So there is a fighter in you after all. You are more than the submissive, judgmental, passive, gossiping and back-stabbing woman I took you for.”

“How dare you? You are a disgrace to women. I wonder what you see when you see yourself in the mirror?”

“That is a good question. I wonder what you see in the mirror. You call me a disgrace? I wonder if you are even aware of your projections.”

Both women stood there in brief silence.

“”What do you mean by projection?”

“It means what comes from you is entirely related to how you feel inside about yourself and nothing about me.”

There was a meaningful pause as if she was processing what she just heard.

“I am nothing like you. I love being a woman! You dress like a man, act like a man, talk like a man, think like a man. Obviously, you hate being a woman.”

“Interesting! You are assuming that you know much about me by judging my appearance. What makes you think I hate being a woman?”

“Look at the way you dress! There is nothing feminine about it.”

“Who determines what is feminine? The Hollywood fashion designers? They have women in dresses hard to move, uncomfortable, with high heels that are scary to walk in. Women’s bodies are often treated as commodities. Some actresses with severe diets look as if they are suffering from malnutrition. Is that what feminine means to you?”

The meaningful silence was an indication of facts she had chosen to ignore. For the first time the question emerged in her mind, what is feminine? And who really determines that?

“You have a point there. I really did not think about it much before. I have a friend who was wearing a pair of those high heels, fell and broke her ankle, just trying to keep up with the latest fashion.” She spoke softly.

“You know my shoes may look masculine to you. To me, they are comfortable, solid, and easy to wear for long hours at work while being on my feet. If people don’t like them, it is really on them.”

“So you don’t care what people think of you?”

“Not really. As it is wisely said, what others think of me is none of my business. I am responsible for my own well-being and inner peace. I have no control over other people.”

“That is true, but doesn’t it bother you when people look at you with anger and hate?”

“Have you heard the saying, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”? When a person sees beauty in another, it comes from the inner being of the person, not the beauty of the other. What we see in others is a reflection of our own within. I don’t take anything personally.”

“What do you mean you don’t take it personally?”

“It means I know it has nothing to do with me. It is not about me. I don’t know what is going on in other people’s mind. When someone says to me I hate you, I wonder what they hate about themselves inside.”

There was a long silence. The wise woman honored her sister’s awakening process. This was an opportunity for a shift in consciousness. A seed was planted. For the first time she heard something different from what she assumed to be the truth. There was an emerging realization of unexamined values taken in and internalized as truth.

“Are you aware why me choosing a women as a partner is so upsetting to you? Let’s not try to analyze it, just the first thing comes to your mind.”

“Adam and Eve.”

“Yes, we have all heard the story of Adam and Eve as the parents of all humanity. That may be a good place to start examining the story we were told with an open and questioning mind. It is our responsibility to question what is not clear to us. We owe it to ourselves.”

“That is true. I realize I have taken so much into my belief system without even thinking about it. I feel you have helped me open a window of understanding the world around me and my view about them. This is a new beginning for me. Thank you.”

“How would you like to go for a lunch together?” She smiled

“I would love to. Would it be OK to go somewhere where they have vegetarian food?”

“Yes, of course. Are you vegetarian?”

“Yes.”

“Me too. We have something in common.”

“”We have much more in common. I like comfortable shoes too and will be wearing them to work tomorrow. Thank you my soul sister.”