Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Abuse In Religion

Interesting report by Anderson Cooper about Scientology (See video below). While we in no way can tell who is telling the truth and who is lying, religious institutions try to silence the messengers. They are very effective at this. Unfortunately, too many followers of religions willingly go along with this which is very sad.

Just like in the Catholic church where sex abuse by the hands of these priests and cover ups by the Pope is coming to light, many church denominations have members who harm children and others. The Catholic church is leading the pack right now in this but it isn't just them.

Our family was part of the fundamentalist sect of Baptist Churches (GARBC - General Association of Regular Baptist Churches) while growing up. This sect was so strict that one could not go to a high school dance, or to a restaurant that served alcohol or even sit closer than 6 inches to someone of the opposite sex. They were always preaching that if you did anything that would cause someone else to stumble, you were responsible for what that person did. They would not even allow boys and girls to swim together and when you went swimming, you almost had to wear a three piece suit. You had to wear swim wear that was not revealing along with a tshirt and until you got into the water, you had to wrap your legs with a towell. This is just some of the things that they practiced and preached. I could go on for a long time about this sect of Churches. The environment in this Church fostered the ability for things to happen to me. To much was done in the name of God's Love that has haunted me for years.

I still remember my father coming back home from a Lowell Lundstrom seminar where he supposedly asked if masturbation was wrong or right. This of course is what he told me that he asked at a marriage seminar put on by the Lundstroms. When he got back home, he of course enjoyed speaking about it with me as a very young boy. While it was disguised as "educational", it was nothing of the sort because it was a way for my father to get his jollies. I don't blame Lowell Lundstrom of course but my father used religious methods and places to further his sick practices. While I'm sure this doesn't sound nice to hear, it is part of what I experienced.

So when I see these places like the Catholic Church or Scientology or others stand up and act as if they are being victimized by the accusers, I really want to go and see if they have any functioning brain cells. How many child molesters and abusers do you know have actually owned up to what they did? Probably the number is very low. Yet, these child molesters and abusers twist the facts and turn the accusations back on the accusers. That is what they are good at. That is how they control and manipulate their victims. This is normal operating mode for these people. In fact, I would be surprised if they did anything different.

However, just because the perps try to distort the facts and twist things around, it doesn't mean that they are correct. It is very difficult to come out as a victim on any of these things and often takes years of work to get to the point where someone is able to do that. Victims don't easily speak out because of the shame, guilt and because they were taught to stay silent. That is how these religious organizations get away with all they do.

It is a poison that is feeding on our society and our world. The body and the mind of the child was not meant to experience or endure these things. If we don't work to stop these things and expose all that is going on, than we are just as responsible for what happened. To stay silent and not protect others is not human. If we don't wake up in our world and our society before it is to late, than we will have brought a generation of darkness upon the earth.




This report by Anderson Cooper is very good and valid. I'm glad he is doing it and I applaud his courage in shining the light of truth on organizations that are excellent at silencing people. In case the video does not show, here is the link to Anderson Cooper's report on Scientology.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Monday, March 29, 2010

When Will I Be Healed

Sometimes I am asked a question by people, "how long will it take for me to be healed or when will I be healed or how long will recovery take?".

We have all probably asked that question in one form or another and for each person in each situation, it is different. No two people are alike and no two situations are alike.

So I sat down and wrote a response to a person who asked this and after I did this, I realized that it is something I needed to share here.


For me, my recovery began when I was paralyzed in 1991. And it had moments where I was speeding through it and other moments where I said, leave me the F alone! Than, I went into a very deep depression after one of my memories finally came into clear view and I knew it was time to go back and start working on things. I made a lot of progress during this time.

Of course, I took some more time off as the healing work was just too intense. However, after my mom died and life seemed so upside down to me, I began to work on things and actually went to massage school where the issue of "physical touch" became my next excruciating layer of healing. Fortunately, I found Dr. Paul Canali who has helped me release so much trauma from my body in a way that didn't overwhelm me (for the most part).


And actually for the first time in my life, I feel like Dr. Canali and I have made it to a point in my healing where I'm in control of my life instead of the abuse being in control of me. A little over a month ago in a session, a freight train load of anger came out in me and I felt horrible at the time, but after that, I noticed a change in myself that I had never known. I'm able to deal with life, stress and regular moments in a different way than I've ever been able to do before. I turned a big corner and things are so different now. In fact, I'm beginning to do things for my self and my career that will take me forward. Up until now, they were only fleeting thoughts.


When I look back, the times that I stopped to rest from all the healing work, these times were just as important as the times I jumped head into it. It was all part of the process. I'm sure I'm not done by any means but the charge of what happened is less and less each day. And I'm at a point where I want to keep peeling the layers of my life back so I can really and truly discover who I am. Personally, I'm just not content with where I'm at.

The biggest thing I learned was even though it gets tough, don't stop - keep going! There's some country song that says "If you're going through hell - Keep on going, don't slow down. To that, I would say "EXACTLY"!

And make sure you give yourself a little time to rest along the way.


*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Never Gave Up

Here is a story of someone who has faced so much in his life, yet he did not let it stop him one bit. I am inspired by seeing this small portion of his story. When we get down or are faced with things in life that just seem to tough to get beyond, all we have to do is look at someone less fortunate to put things in perspective.

Life can be difficult but there is always an option, a window, a way forward. I've been there in some very deep dark moments and when the fears get high, the options look dim, I can tell you unequivocally that there is something better waiting beyond all you are experiencing. There are many cliches that one could state here but they don't mean as much as knowing that you're not alone and there are others who have made it through.



Friday, March 26, 2010

Speaking Out

On March 16, 2010, I posted an entry titled, "The Silent Treatment". This has now become and was finally published on iTunes as a podcast. My hope is that I will continue to be able to do many more of these podcasts for Mind Body Thoughts.

The podcast was not simple for me to do because I still struggle with letting my voice out. It is much easier for me to write the words than to physically speak them. For too long, my voice was silent and now I am working to heal and connect with it. That is one of the main reasons I am starting to do podcasts. I want to give my voice a chance to be heard.

Another reason is that I feel the dynamic of hearing the words spoken with all the inflections, emotions and emphasis brings the words to life. It gives them a much broader impact and it is more than just something written on a page.

So here's the link to the iTunes Podcast!

Hope you get as much out of it as I did from doing this.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Multidimensional Music

Music is one of those things that the love of a particular song lies in the eye of the beholder! No two people have the same musical taste or likes and dislikes. And music that one person may consider relaxing or invigorating may be like fingernails on a chalkboard to someone else.

When it comes to new age bodywork modalities, the common perception is that it must be non intrusive music and have a certain sound to it. Without some of the normal nuances one would expect to hear in "spa music", many consider it not worthy to be played with body work.

I remember several clients over the years who have asked I do massage to all kinds of music from Jazz, to Classical to Rock or whatever was playing at the time. At first, I began to wonder how I could do it. Than I realized that the music was for the client, and not necessarily for me.

As I did the massage, I began to notice that I picked up on various beats within the beat of the music and various sounds within the notes. I used whatever rhythm or musical sounds I needed to help achieve what it was that I was doing at the time. I learned that I could do massage to just about anything and mix in what I was doing, what the body needed with what that client was hearing on the table and where they were at in that moment. What came through to my hearing was matching the vibration of the body at that moment.

When I hear a song, whether it is fast or slow, I hear many parts of it. To my ears, there are notes and sounds within the notes of the song. It is what lies between the notes that are played which I pick up. One could call this the vibration or resonance of the music. In addition, my ears pick up various layers of the beat or the rhythm of a song. There is the main rhythm of the song but to my ears, they pick out different beats or sometimes my ears knock out certain beats so in effect, I'm slowing the rhythm down. For a song that may sound too fast to some, it sounds much different to me.

For me, I take it one step further when I'm doing bodywork sessions with clients. I begin to match my movements and what I do with the tempo or the sounds that their body needs in that particular moment. In the next moments, things may have already changed in their body and so then I began matching the things together again. It is like a flowing melody where the tempo and sounds change but they match together with the movement and transition of the body. All of this happens automatically without even thinking about what I am doing. If I thought about it, most likely it would not happen as easy because it is just part of where I connect with the client and their body.

Music is more than playing a few notes with a rhythm. It is multidimensional and if we stop and listen, we will hear things within the music that weren't not necessarily intended but they are part of the song. This gives the richness and fullness to the song and gives it life that connects from one heart to another. I am very moved by music and when I've used my own music in bodywork sessions, I've had people tell me that they felt as if my hands were playing their body just as if I was playing my piano. It was as if I was creating music with the body just as a musician would do with an instrument.

Here's a homework assignment. Take some music that you listen to and some that you would not normally listen to. See if you can pick up the other rhythms and beast within the songs as well as the notes between the notes. See if you can play with what you hear to achieve a different effect in your own body or that of a client. It is an amazing experience if you allow yourself the opportunity to do this. It adds so much more to the music experience.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Silent Treatment

iTunes Podcast Version

Silence can be golden but silence can also be one of the main weapons in the arsenal of an abuser. Time and time again, I read so many stories of people who were silenced in their families to keep the dirty secrets of abuse hidden from the outside world. It is a cunning and crafty weapon full of evil that happens without the blink of an eye or the initiation of a thought.

Many times, those outside the realm of abuse struggle to understand why a victim stays silent. What seems as opportunities for a victim to speak up or to to flee or to ask for help is nothing more than a fantasy land for the victim. In addition to the trauma that has been imposed upon the victim from day one, there is the fear of what will happen if they do and there is the altered reality of what seems normal to a victim and what does not. Through trauma, the biology and physiology of a person is changed and so things that may look like normal reality to most, will not look the same to the person who has gone through this. It is two different realities and both have the feeling of it being normal.

Most abuse occurs right before people's eyes and it often goes unnoticed. Much of the reason that this occurs outside of the fear and shame that is present, is that the abuser is able to silence the victim. The victim may often not be aware this is going on and by the time they are, the patterns have been so ingrained that to change this, is nothing short of rock climbing up the tallest mountain.

In many homes where religion is practiced in some form, the church and its teachings play into the silencing of the victims. For it is taught many times that children must be seen and not heard as well as they must obey their parents. In many churches, obeying the parents also translates into obeying a priest, minister, pope or some other figure. These basic things are taught from our own early years and so they become a way of normal reality and of life instead of something that should be questioned.

A child looks up to their parents when they are born. In the early years of life, the parent is the provider of everything to that child. The parent is the sole authority and if the abuser is a parent, than the silencing plays into normal development but it is anything but normal for the child. In the hands of the wrong person, an adult can manipulate a child through silence into doing things or being a part of things that otherwise the child would not do. Children are naturally curious as well and so if they are offered something that is unknown to them in safety of silence, many children would gravitate towards it. When adults abuse this basic innocence and curiosity in a child, they forfeit their ability to be human.

Often silencing is done through threats. Threats can be anything from "you might break up the family if you say anything" to "others will just not understand". It may be more dramatic in that if you say anything, something terrible might happen to your brother, sister, pet, your sacred belongings, home or other parent. The ways to silence a child are limited only by the imagination and creativity at the evil hands of the abuser.

I speak from my own experience in all of this because there are things that I'm just now finding out which happened in the family and I did not know. Here I lived in the same family and still did not know. That is mind boggling to me. Unfortunately, this is often the case in most families and most situations where children are being victimized.

Look at what has happened in the Catholic Church with the sex abuse cases involving the priests. Much of this went on for years often unnoticed by the parents or other adults. It isn't only the Catholic Church that has this going on either. Most churches have something that is hidden deep from view and most likely hidden from the people who go there. For me, I was abused in the bathroom of a church basement while the church service was going on overhead. If anyone knew about it, no one ever spoke up or acknowledged it. I doubt that most of the congregation even knew what was happening below them as they worshiped God that Sunday morning.

My family was very adept at hiding all that was going on. Most people were shocked and horrified when they found out I was being molested on a daily basis. To them, we had the ideal family with the well behaved children who always minded their parents. It looked like we were the perfect family to those around us and not even teachers in school suspected anything. If they did, they remained silent.

While we all want to gasp at the news of someone who has been exposed from abusing a child, the child abusers and molesters aren't out in some unknown place. It usually happens right in our own neighborhoods, schools, churches and communities. Most children that have been abused know who their abusers are. The unknown sex offenders do strike but most are known to the child. Think about that for a moment! So do not think for a moment that you are far removed from this horrible, deep, silent secret running through our society. It is everywhere and it is much more prevalent than anyone wants to admit.

A little bit about my own story in how I was silenced. My abuser was good at putting the fear of God and the fear of everything else into me. As an early child, I was separated from my parents because of illness. While I was too young to really remember this, I can feel the affects of it still in my life. What young child wants to be separated from their family and the fear of that is enough to make any child do what is asked of them. On top of that, you add some violence deeply rooted in anger and the fear of being separated is reinforced a hundred fold. So when things were done to me and backed up by the violence, the fear and being told that if I ever said anything, I would be splitting the family up; my choice at that early age was to go along with what was being done. I was too young at that time to make a rational choice and by the time I was old enough to truly understand what was going on, it had become a way of life.

In my family, silence was furthered by giving the "silent treatment" to those in the family that did not obey the rules or who chose to speak up and attempted to stand up. The silent treatment was meant to bring you back in line in no uncertain terms and if that didn't work, corrective methods progressed. The silent treatment may have been done for much lessor infractions as well or things that would appear to most people to not even matter in life. In my family, one could be beaten for putting silverware away wrong in a drawer or given the silent treatment for days and months because there was some misunderstanding. I saw these things time and time again and to this day, they still haunt me.

Many years ago, I created an online survivor site for victims of child abuse called "breaking the silence". I was so tired of being silenced all my life and living in fear that I knew it was time for me to speak up and to speak out. No longer was I going to live by the rules of the family where these horrible and despicable acts had taken place by my abusers. That was their shredded sense of humanity, love and life but it was no longer going to be mine. Since this time, I have slowly learned how to speak up for myself, to bring to light all that happened and to say once and for all from the highest mountains on the earth - I will not be silenced anymore! I gave up too many years of my life already in being silent and no longer will I be manipulated by anyone in this regards.

If you are reading this and it resonates with you, please accept my hug of support to you. I know how difficult it is. I was the child who sat off by himself not able to do first grade math. I was the child who tried to please everyone so as to not potentially upset anyone and drive them away. I was the child who put the happy face on when I left our house each day so that no one would know the secrets I buried each day within myself. I was the child who was hurting inside and no one either noticed or was too afraid to step up and help me. And if you're reading this and connecting to it, please know that you're not alone.

For me silence took another drastic step in my life. Part of this is what I did to protect myself but part of it is what my family further inflicted on me. One of the hardest things I had to do in my life was remove myself from the family. The incessant weekly letters ripping me to shreds resulted in having anxiety attacks just walking to my mailbox. At one point, I could take this no more and asked a friend to read the letters but only let me know if there was something I needed to know. Otherwise, I didn't want to see them. It was the beginning for me to start saying, enough is enough. While I remained silent for the most part with them except for occasional letters I would write, the silent treatment began in earnest. The things that happened were beyond belief. And in the years ahead, the silence between us grew to the point of absolutely no communication. At the time, it was excruciating to me to deal with this and to have no contact but it was necessary for my survival. The lengths that they went to in giving me the silent treatment would blow anyone's mind.

Now I view any communication with my family in a much different way. I have created a life for myself and with people who I love and trust. I don't need my family in the same unhealthy way that I once did. While I would love to have a normal relationship with them, I'm not sure if that will happen any time soon or even in my lifetime. I am ok with that because I know that I will never allow myself to be silenced again and the silent treatment holds no power over me. I'm moving beyond that part of my life.

If you have been given the silent treatment, I would love to hear your story so please feel free to write me or leave a comment. If you know of some child that may fit this scenario, see if you can find a way to help that child. Don't let them continue to be in the abusive situation because you are afraid to rock the boat. A child in an abusive situation often has no one to stand up for them. I wish someone would have come along and somehow rescued me or stood up for me. I wish someone could have helped me break the silence in my life.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog


Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Outline: Why Won't This Itching Stop?

I'm putting this out there as it is a book I am about to start writing. While I don't normally let these things out like this, I realize that no one can write this particular book from my story because the facts are only known to me and a couple other people whom I trust.

Like I said - I'm putting this out there - giving the thought to the universe in hopes that it will be published.



BOOK OUTLINE

Goal:
To keep the book focused on my journey through the itching ordeal I suffered giving what happened along the way, the insights, the struggles and how I came through this. My hope is to bring the actual science in from Dr. Canali in what all transpired and how what happens in the physical body is connected to the trauma and opportunity to become more aware of ourselves. I will draw upon my journal entries, emails and blog postings to help put this book together.


Other:
My goal is to keep the book relatively short but packed with personal experience and science. I know there are many suffering from itching conditions and I want this book to offer some help through what they may be facing or at least give them something to consider and think about. This book will not include my entire story / history but enough to explain the ordeal I went through. The entire story is for the next book.


Introduction:
Setting the scene as to what this book is about and why I am writing it.


Chapter 1:
Before the itching, things were moving along pretty well, and then it started in such a subtle way.


Chapter 2:
As the itching picked up, life grew extremely frustrating and almost to the point I could hardly keep going. Sleep issues, nightmares, night sweats, terror. Everything that I tried to get the itching, rashes to stop and all the store bought stuff that failed. Being afraid to venture outside of my 4 walls, not being able to wear many clothes even though it was cold and winter time,


Chapter 3:
Finally going to get work done on me by Dr. Canali and being so afraid that not even he could help me on this. I was petrified that this was going to take me under. Seeing the changes in the first session of the first day. Seeing the hope and possibility. Working through things and having small unconnected images to what was behind everything until the point it finally came together and created the complete image. The emotions through this, the fear of it.


Chapter 4:
Beginning to recover and growing through the fears – how I did this, what helped me and that it was a process.


Chapter 5:
The science behind the ordeal (narrated or written by Dr. Canali )


Chapter 6:
The story that came out of this ordeal of the abuse that this connected with. (Have to deal with what I can state legally as to who the “perps” are without getting turned down for publishing or setting myself up for a lawsuit. An issue I have to deal through in this.”

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog



Friday, March 12, 2010

Your Choice to Awareness

We are what we are in life and we are what we have not dealt with in our lives. While that may sound complicated, it is really a simple statement.

All of your sum experiences up until this moment in life is what has made you in to the person you currently are. All the good, bad, ugly, beautiful and even the forgotten moments come together and have created you as a person, a soul and an entity.

In addition to this, the unconscious or conscious choices we have made to not deal with all aspects of our life is a part of who we are as a human being living in a breathing, physical, body. Yes, there are many things that we choose to not become aware of just as there are many unconscious things we have chosen to not become aware of.

So often though, I've run into people of all ages and walks in life that paste the happy, I'm past these things smile on to their face. They proclaim that the best way forward is to just not think about the past and move on. They hint that you just have to focus your attention on the present and what lies ahead, while you forget all that took place which may have been unpleasant. Often you will hear these people say - just put your past behind you or you just need to move on. I've moved on, why can't you? You might even hear things like - quit living in the past or you just need to pick yourself up and move on or get over it or just move on. There are a number of things that get said and most of these statements reflect more upon where that individual stating them is in their own life, rather than what you need to do.

Many of us may have been given a horrible hand in our past to deal with and there is no way at this moment in our lives that we can go back and change that. What happened to us is part of us whether we want to own it or not. On the other hand, if we do not deal with all that happened, then we are playing with a ticking time bomb. Yes, all of these things will continue to eat away at us through anger, relationship issues and problems, excessive indulgences like drinking, smoking, drugs, work, etc and through difficulties in many areas of our lives. If we continue to let these things fester and find a home in our lives, they will become a ticking time bomb that will go off at some point. How it goes off will vary by the person, but it is almost guaranteed that it will.

So is this a life sentence? No! It does not have to be unless we allow it to. I know, I hear you saying - well its not fun or easy or pretty to deal with. I hear some saying as they are reading this that I've got better things to do with my time than to deal with all of this stuff that I'd just rather forget. I hear some saying that you just don't know how hard I had it in my life.

Unfortunately, I do know how difficult it can be in life and I've been through so much in my own life. Yes, we can choose to not deal with it because it is too tough, or difficult or too ugly but then we are truly robbing ourselves of what it really means to be human. We are affecting everyone around us that we interact with and we are affecting the entire population and the universe as well. We don't just rob ourselves of all that can be. We rob the entire universe of being all that we can be.

It is a choice we make whether it is a conscious or unconscious one. To make no choice at all means we are sticking with the status quo in our life and choosing to not become all that we are meant to be. It is as simple and complicated as that is stated. We have the power to make the choices for our lives that we desire and we also have the power to free ourselves from the fear, the pain and horrors of our past whether we feel like we do or not.

It is up to each one of us to make the choice of what we will do with the hours we have today. It is up to each one of us whether we will remain unconscious in our awareness or if we will consciously choose to become aware of all that we are. No one else can do this for us and no one else can make the choice. Yes, it does take others to help you walk through some of these troubled journeys but the only way you begin walking is by making the choice to take the steps.

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When Life Is Too Busy

I can't keep track of how many times I have heard people say "I'm so busy, I just can't find the time to get everything done". Their days are filled from early morning until late at night where they try to cram in some time to gulp down food, say hi to the family and attempt the act of sleep. The kids are in all kinds of activities or there are meetings to attend or there are long days at the office. It's almost like they need an assistant just to schedule their lives. Does any of this sound familiar?

If you notice any part of this being familiar, you may want to ask yourself why that is the case? If your life has become a runaway train on a track of endless things to get done, maybe it is time to stop, re-evaluate and make changes in your life. Sometimes we have to make hard choices and just because some activity or after school event looks fun and inviting, only so much is good for the body. Only so much can be done in a day and there are only 24 hours to a day, not 30!

Our bodies need rest and they need downtime but if we constantly push them to the limits every day, we're overloading them for no good reason. The constant push and get done mentality, adds a tremendous amount of stress to the body. Without giving ourselves a moment to relax or release all of this stress from deep within ourselves, we are daily traumatizing our life. Yes, you can keep this pace up for some time without major biological ramifications but at some point, your body is going to say "I've had enough!" When it does that, you'll see all kinds of physical symptoms showing up from lack of sleep, tired and sore muscles, back pain, weight gain, high blood pressure and etc, etc, etc. You name it, the condition will show up. Yes, I realize that these conditions can be caused by many other things but repetitive stress without release changes our biology.

For a long time in my life, I worked almost day and night. I had to be the best. I had to be perfect. I could not let anyone down. I had to be everything to everyone. It almost took me under. In fact, there wasn't much left of my life by the time I came to my senses. It took me some long hard and difficult moments to come back to reality and begin understanding what really did matter in life.

Our bodies have so much power and strength built into them and they can withstand a lot of pressure and stress but all too often, we just keep pushing ourselves every day. We don't give ourselves the time we need to relax and let our mind rest or to truly come down and experience a true state of peace within our lives. A day of vacation or a holiday here and there isn't enough to do this. It should be a part of our daily and weekly lives.

So if this blog post fits you, try to stop and evaluate all that you're doing in life. If you have to, take an inventory of how you spend your time and get a good grasp of what is going on. Are you giving yourself time to rest and relax each day, where your mind doesn't necessarily get input and stimulation, but is allowed to just clear out? Are you doing things that maybe they are fun and inviting, but may just be too much and you need to slow down? Are you trying to be there for everyone and anyone associated in your life but you are absent with yourself? Maybe you've turned to stimulants such as coffee or food to get you up and going.

We all need balance in our lives and while too much stimulation can be harmful, too much sedation prevents us from really getting things done. If there is a balance between the two in our day, than we will most likely find more optimal performance for ourselves in life and accomplish much more. I still remember when I was working full time and going to massage school, that my life was about as busy as it gets. However, on Saturday mornings I would go down and do Yoga. Even though it took about 2 hours out of my day, I found that I was able to accomplish much more during the rest of the weekend and absorb more of my school work than if I didn't spend the time doing Yoga.

My hope is that everyone who reads this will give themselves the moments of rest and relaxation they deserve. This way, they can not only give themselves to all those around them in their life, but they can also give their own self what they truly need and desire. For if we don't take care of ourselves, who will?

*For more articles, check out the Mind Body Thoughts Blog

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Process, Not An End Point

At one time, I thought that if I just worked on particular issue A, B and C, that I would be fully healed from baggage of my past. It seemed like, all I had to do was go to counseling, work on it, become aware of it and that's it. I would be healed. While I would love to believe this, along with millions of other folks on this earth, healing really doesn't work this way.

For you see, once you begin to work on things, than you stand before a new world that opens up and unfolds itself. Imagine never being able to see and then all of the sudden you get your eye sight. Everything that before was unknown to you, is now vividly before your eyes. Imagine how that might look. You're still standing in the same world you have always known but now your awareness of what is around you has unfolded many times over.

Healing works much the same way. As we begin to take back those areas of our lives that were damaged or stretched out of proportion, life begins to look differently. We discover new things about all that is around us as well as ourselves. We begin to become more aware of all that there is instead of all that we currently know.

With each new awareness and each new level of awareness, there also comes other parts of our past issues that may not yet be resolved. It does not mean we have not fully healed or that we just need to move on. It means that we are growing, changing and coming up on opportunities to take our lives further. Growing, changing and evolving makes us more human and even though it may offer some rough moments in life, the rewards are full of possibility.

So often, we feel that we just want to move beyond things and not feel all of what may be coming up. Sometimes we may need to do this momentarily to survive but if we continue this way, we are only robbing ourselves of all that can be. Sure, it isn't always easy but we can heal and we can grow if we allow ourselves to. In all reality, the more we keep ourselves from feeling the uncomfortable stuff in our lives, the more we feed energy to these things.

Often, I have had people wonder why I continue to go into all that life has given to me and continue bringing these healing moments out. Part of it is my determination to move beyond these things because I am intimately aware of how they affect all aspects of my life. The other part is that I know there is a higher purpose to all that I've gone through and I am guided by this. While I can not fully see the higher purpose for myself, deep down the prompts in life show me that it does exist and to keep going. It does not make any of this easy nor do I enjoy spending the hard hours working on this. In the end though, I know that I can either rest on my laurels or I can dive head first into the evil side of life that was thrust upon me and reclaim an awareness greater than I can currently comprehend.

I remember the words to the song that Garth Brooks sings, "The Dance". "I could have missed the pain but I'd of had to miss the dance". It is a beautiful concept because while there are rough moments in our lives, it is a dance. The more we allow the bad and the good into our awareness, the more we can grow, prosper and claim all that is ours. There is so much more in life than we are currently and often aware of. However, all too often we just see the pain of it and we try to flee from it. It is when we stop and embrace the pain, that we fully "dance" in life.

As I said in the beginning of this, healing is not an end point. It is a process. If you are experiencing the pains in your life and the connections to past events, than most likely you are being given the opportunity to grow and discover yourself in new ways. Yes, I realize it may be scary and difficult but give it all you have and discover the rewards that await. Life does try to get our attention in one way or another and if we ignore it, we will see that it just tries harder. May you listen to life as it tries to get your attention so that you become all you can be as a human and you continue to evolve and grow in awareness. To do so, makes you truly human.

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