Face yourself. Turn to your heart and ask it to guide you. Turn to your mind and ask it to remind you. Turn to your body and ask it to abide you. Turn to your spirit and ask it to provide you. All that you need you already are. Look to yourself in your wholeness and gently and kindly accept who you are now. And then set out to become who you have not yet become, the one you dream of, the one you know you truly are. Remember, everything is possible, even this seemingly impossible you!
This morning I wrote a Soulbyte* in the early morning hours, just coming out of sleep and dreams, about forgiveness and love, about how they are the same thing, unconditional energies that guide us to acceptance of who we are. The Soulbyte was triggered by a dream I was having just before waking.
In the dream I was staring at a picture of myself at about age 10. I was dressed in my school uniform. I was focused on the face, saying to myself, “Yes, that’s me.” Chuck was next to me and I showed him the photograph. “See, that’s me,” I said, and then I took in the rest of the picture, looked at the full figure of my child self, sprawled out, looking groggy and stunned, perhaps drugged.
“It happened,” I said, as I saw that my clothing was messed up, my dressed pulled up and my legs spread wide, an obvious sexual assault having taken place. Here was a picture of the truth of my childhood. I could not deny that it was me and that I had been sexually abused.
“Yup, it happened,” I said without attachment, judgment, or emotional reaction. I took in the full picture as it was, an obvious fact, and accepted it.
A sexually abused person knows firsthand how hard it is to accept what happened, to forgive the self and to love the self. And so it is not unusual that both women and men who have been abused are reluctant to speak about what happened to them. They fear being judged and blamed, but the real challenge is to not judge and blame themselves. How can we speak of these things that happened to us publicly if we can barely speak of them to ourselves?
It can take years before a person is ready to even venture into memories, memories that may be so buried as to be completely blocked. It can take years before a person is ready to stop being so hard on the self, to stop torturing the self, and to begin a healing process of acceptance of life’s unfolding. It took me until I was almost 50 to begin looking at my life at a deeper level and to dare to remember. It felt like a brave thing to do, and to this day I know it was. It is the bravest thing I have ever done.
Sometimes things just happen to us. If we are curious we might ask ourselves why they happened. What did they mean in the greater context of our lives? What did we learn? How have we grown because of them, or in spite of them? What and who have we become because of what happened to us?
Often we regret what we lost, what we did not have the opportunity to become because of what happened to us. We feel cheated out of some aspect of life that could have and should have been. But at the same time we must accept that it is how our lives went, and what happened cannot be changed. Facts are facts, as I accepted in my dream as I looked at the picture of my abused child self.
In deep inner healing work, as we explore our sexual abuse in the context of our whole life, we are able to accept our pasts and move on into new life without attachment, self-pity, or regret. We can accept ourselves as strong beings, caring beings, compassionate and nonjudgmental beings, because we know something that many others do not know. We have been there, we have experienced the unimaginable.
As we grow and heal, through going more deeply into the darkness of our past, we are able to accept what happened to us without feeling like either a victim or a survivor because we know and experience ourselves are so much more than that. We are fully alive, energetic, spiritual, ever-evolving beings, not in spite of but because we have experienced both the light and the dark sides of life. We are more complete because of what happened to us.
Whether we’ve been abused or not, life challenges us every day to live a nonjudgmental, loving, and compassionate life, to learn to accept who we are so that we can fulfill the destiny of this lifetime. Perhaps it is to become just that nonjudgmental, loving, and compassionate being we have become. Perhaps it is to teach others how to become nonjudgmental, loving, and compassionate. Perhaps it is to prepare ourselves to finally live each day to the fullest, to be open to new experiences and new adventures like never before, to learn to trust that life loves us best when we dare to embrace it and fully accept its abundant offerings.
I dreamed my dream last night because I am working on the next book in The Recapitulation Diaries. As I have worked through each book over the past several years I have faced once again the things that happened to me, the things I recapitulated during the years 2001 to 2004, and I get to experience just how healing that process was. My dream shows my complete acceptance. This is what I wish and pray for everyone who has been abused, that they too begin the brave work of real healing.
No life is meaningless. No experience is meaningless. There is something of importance in everything that happens to us.
*Here is the Soulbyte referenced above:
Soulbyte for Thursday October 19, 2017
What is forgiveness but the ability to give unconditionally without attachment, without need for anything in return. What is forgiveness really? It is love. And what is love but unconditional forgiveness, for true love is ready and willing to be given unconditionally, for it attaches to nothing and needs nothing in return. Can you forgive yourself, love yourself unconditionally? That is the greatest challenge that love and forgiveness pose. Forgiveness=Love. Love=Forgiveness. They are one and the same.
-From the Soul Sisters, Jan & Jeanne
-A Blog by J. E. Ketchel, Author of The Recapitulation Diaries
Oh reluctant one! Learn to accept what is so that you may be fully present in the moment and yet also fully open to all that unfolds. Otherwise, what is—life—is barely experienced. What unfolds is hardly noticed, each present moment so fleeting that it passes by without connection to its gifts, to its possibilities, to its newness. Without acceptance of what is, of the circumstances beyond control, of the truths that are, life has no meaning. And what is life without meaning? Perhaps the meaning lies in the unacceptable. Perhaps what has been so disregarded is the key to everything. Would that be acceptable? In this moment, can you accept that? It’s as good a place as any to start!
Sometimes the truth is not what you keep telling yourself, but what truly is. That which once was, that which could be, that which should be or would be, if only, is not the truth. It is only an idea, a figment of desire and not what truly is. Can you acquiesce to what truly is? Can you accept the truth? Be honest. Begin with the truth. Begin with what truly is, right now. Acceptance of the truth is step one in beginning a journey of change. Ready?
The other day a blog flew out of me entitled Enantiodromia. It was slated for publication today. The next night I woke up several times with dreams about acceptance. I got up yesterday and acquiesced to writing a new blog entitled Acceptance.
Jan got up yesterday and quietly channeled the Soulbyte for the day. She read it to me. It was all about acceptance and acquiescence. Of course, I’d shared nothing of my nighttime adventures nor morning resolve with her before she channeled. It’s just how things flow.
Enantiodromia defines the phenomenon of a total reversal from one action to another; what goes up must come down. One day I had completed a blog, the next I swung to scratching it and writing a new one, this one here.
My dream in the night began with an encounter with a tired middle-aged, somewhat unkempt, poorly shaven merchant going through the motions of collecting payment for a needed service. He showed no enthusiasm as he dealt with customers; he was a bit of a curmudgeon and I strongly doubted the value of his service given his unfriendly attitude. Just a bored merchant, exploiting a human need, not even happy about all the money he was collecting. I deeply felt the meaningless of his routine life, yet he continued it without question.
Next, we were at a courthouse, in a lunchroom on a break. The merchant sat eating alone. Another man became deeply outraged at the merchant for his unethical, insensitive attitude toward the people who were buying his services. As he protested loudly, I deeply felt his need to confront the merchant for this lack of care to the true needs of the people dependent upon him.
Just as I was about to merge with this man’s agitated emotion and action, my attention was drawn to another, older man, sitting in the cafeteria with a broad, calm, welcoming smile on his face. I watched him scan the room with his eyes, in complete acceptance of everyone in the room, of all the stages of life and folly, seeing everyone as part of the greater whole of life, everyone having a place in it. Suddenly, I was relieved of the tensions of the merchant’s mood and that of the activated protestor—I too was in acceptance of the wholeness of everything.
Life is bipolar. Electricity requires positive and negative poles. Rivers require high and low locations to flow. When we are in the river of life energy—as I was as I felt the energy of the merchant and the agitated protestor—we find ourselves impacted by the tension between the opposites and tend to identify with one or the other. A different resolution comes about if we can step outside the river of energy and notice how everyone is part of and necessary to the entire picture. This leads to a comprehensive acceptance, as presented by the third man in my dream, the calmly smiling onlooker.
Of course, acceptance does not simply mean sheepishly acquiescencing to how things are. However, it does start with a valuing of all persons or things present as necessary parts of the whole, all as equal and necessary in the greater picture. Tao might be better served with a change in attitude, but polarity is the reality of life in this world.
To seek resolution through blame and dismissal only increases the probability of retaliation in an enantiodromic reaction to one-sidedness. In contrast, acceptance of the value of all parts, no matter how polarized, sets the stage for real negotiation.
P. S. You might also want to listen to this week’s audio channeled message re: the river of life: The Individual Path