Pervasive Powerlessness. Ubiquitous Unworthiness.

Pervasive Powerlessness Ubiquitous Unworthiness

There is no one type of person who walks through my door. Men and women. Twenty-somethings and the longtime retired. Hedge fund managers and doctors and lawyers and farmers and artists and the not-yet- or currently unemployed. Spiritual seekers and those who don’t know or understand spirituality but who want help and can’t find it anywhere else. Those who have “served time” for hurting others and those who have served a different kind of time after being hurt by them. The religious and the adamantly non.

And people come for countless reasons.

When we begin, you talk and I listen. Together we pinpoint the most challenging emotion in your life right now. Often what we find is the emotion under the emotion. It’s what’s there, sometimes stealthy, under the surface. Maybe you can’t sleep. You can’t commit. You are stuck in your job, your relationships, your habits. Maybe you desperately want to know what you should be doing — as if someone else is the boss of you and you just can’t quite hear your orders. These are just a few examples, but I share them here because they represent common themes that I see so often. Unworthiness and Powerlessness.

During this process, so often, “I can’t find a good partner” becomes “I feel unworthy” of love. “I am stuck” in this relationship or this job or this habit becomes “I feel powerless” to change or be or do different. It is the moment of truth and it is beautiful.

Surprisingly, it is in the realization, and in coming to say the words yourself, that you begin to let go. More often than not, this is not a time of despair but of almost visceral relief. Somehow, the moment you own it, you become ready to change it.

Even though Powerlessness and Worthlessness are emotions that I encounter weekly, if not several times a week, the experience that you have when we go together back to the source of the challenge is never the same as anyone else’s. No two lives are the same. No two past lives are either. And in the history of the Earth (and elsewhere too), think about how many past lives there have been. We are an interconnected beautiful web of consciousness and cause and effect and then and now. We are the current manifestation of history unfolding. We are made up of all that we have been and all that we are, and in so many and far deeper ways than most people ever attempt to imagine.

When we choose to, we carry with us emotions from the past that we wish to learn from in this go round at life. And there is no one type of grievance worthy of re-address.

A deep sense of Powerlessness can stem just as directly from being tortured to death or raped repeatedly to being falsely accused and remanded for a crime you didn’t commit. The same effects may be felt from being abused as a child (in current or past life) or being born blind, deaf, and mute and living an entire lifetime isolated and alone. No matter how one chooses to experience Powerlessness, it can and often does stay with you for a long time. Powerlessness is powerful.

Interestingly, Worthlessness often derives from similar experiences, with a slightly different reaction from the experiencer. Worthlessness is an internalization, a taking on of blame or guilt or responsibility, whether or not you actually were responsible. Sometimes a sense of Worthlessness comes when a perpetrator reviews his or her actions and then finds him or herself unworthy of X, where X can be forgiveness, love, respect, or any number of other things that we as humans need and crave.

To find Power through powerlessness and Worth through unworthiness, no matter the scenario we find at the source, you must first release the energy of the emotion. You do this by reliving it and, in some cases, physically pushing back against it through body therapy. Then you come to understand it. You review your actions and come to understand the motives and actions of others. You review the major lessons of the life you are looking into: What is it that you hoped to learn in that life? How did what happened help you learn what you wanted to learn? Did you plan it? Once you understand, you forgive (others and/or yourself) and let go. Then, in your newly empowered self, you move forward, now free and without the burden.

You are Powerful. You are Worthy.

Then, miraculously, you have the power to break habits and patterns. You have the power to stand up for yourself and speak your truth. You have the power to finish what you begin. Then, suddenly, you are worthy of love and respect and acceptance. You are worthy of success.

You become the driver of your life. You are no longer the passenger. You make things happen, they don’t just happen to you. You are strong and radiant and free.

But know this: many more people don’t come to me or other regression therapists than do. If such a small microcosm of people can show such a remarkable commonality, just think of all the people in all the world that, in all likelihood, are experiencing some version of the same thing. This makes me think. When I’m out in the world — when I’m interacting with people or just watching them around me — I often find myself seeing traces of Powerlessness and Worthlessness, in the way that people act or react, in the way they speak or don’t speak. I recognize it. I see them.

Maybe when we understand this commonality, we can bring ourselves to acknowledge in those around us exactly what we feel or have felt. Maybe this is what will help us choose to be open instead of judgmental, loving instead of cruel. Maybe it’s not in understanding our positive similarities, but our vulnerable ones, that will encourage us to be kinder.

This is what I hope.

You were the bad guy.

We all want to be “highly evolved souls.” It’s empowering to recall our past lives as High Priestesses or Monks or Medicine Men or Shamans. Those of us who have had these lives, or believe that we must have had these lives, might feel comfortable in our good standing as past healers and teachers and benevolent leaders.

And it’s even easy to have been a victim. Ok, not easy. But, let’s say it’s at least palatable. Many of the past life memories that we carry with us into our current life are unresolved emotional issues from lives in which things did not go so well for us. Memories from these lives become emotional catches that serve us well as we continue to grow and learn in the lives we’ve chosen for this step of our journey. We bring with us, with our souls, the challenges that will serve us most in learning as we continue onward.

So, being a victim? That’s OK in the grand scheme of things. When you meet yourself as a victim, you can find the strength within to stand up strong, forgive those who harmed you, and move forward, free of the bonds and the baggage of having been egregiously wronged and primally wounded by someone else.

Because at least you weren’t the bad guy.

But the thing is: you were the bad guy.

At some point in your evolution as a soul, you were the bad guy. Or if you have just begun your journey as a soul and you haven’t been the bad guy yet — just to give you the heads up — you will be.

In our journey from lifetime to lifetime as a human, we sign up to learn all there is to know about being human. Let’s take love as an example subject. In our study of love we learn about all expressions of love: passionate love, familial love, platonic love, teacher-protégé love. Love of possessions. Love of status. Love of money. Love of power. Love of pain.

Are all these love? Are they all positive?

Then, to fully understand the emotion, we also learn, first hand, about all the expressions of the opposite of love. That means what it feels like to not be loved, and, also, what it feels like to not love.

To “not love.” That is an interesting something in and of itself. The idea alone has so many extensions that it may take lifetimes to explore and understand it fully. Is hatred not love? Yes. And so is oppression. And cruelty. And abuse. And bigotry. And prejudgment. And on and on and on.

In the process of learning “not love” to better understand love, we explore deeply. This means that we choose, for the highest good, to be the object of “not love.” It also means, as hard as this may be to swallow, that we choose to be the giver of “not love.” We raise our hands, compassionately, to go forth as both the victim and the perpetrator.

When we plan our lives, we work with all the other souls we will encounter to continue our journey in conjunct and cooperation with them. We consider cause and effect and balance and shift on a local and, sometimes, even a global scale. We consider what there is to learn and what there is to teach. We consider the greatest good. We consider the big picture. And sometimes, we come to learn, it is for the highest good for us to take on the role of the bad guy.

In one of my own experiences, I pulled the veil off a past life in which I was both a victim and a perpetrator.

I was a boy, born to a poor family in Saxon lands — the youngest after five sisters. My father was a drunk. My mother was hard-working but couldn’t keep up, and she resented my father for continually getting her pregnant, for forcing himself on her even though she knew that they could not feed another baby. We did not have enough to eat. My mother loved me and saw me as hope for our family, as someone who could help work, and who would become the man that my father never was.

My father resented me for the hope I instilled in my mother and sisters, so he brutally beat me. Any time I did something well, he battered me. Any time I failed, he punished me. I could do nothing, either well or not, without facing his fists. And when he was done with me, he beat my mother and sisters. And so, when I was old enough, I ran away. I left my family. I told myself my leaving would be better for them. Really, though, I knew that I was abandoning them. To save myself, I felt I had no choice.

I joined the Saxon army and became a good fighter. With food to nourish me, I became strong. And I also became ruthless. I fought well, moving up the ranks and gaining the respect of my brothers. I was a good fighter, yes, but I was not a good man. I raped and pillaged with the rest of them. I killed easily and kept killing when the killing time was over.

Years later, I returned to my home. I found my mother sick and weary and all but one of my sisters gone, married off to men they didn’t love for money. And I found my father, a drunk bully still, ready to show me who was boss. And so, in one fell swoop, I unsheathed my sword, stepped gracefully off my horse, and stabbed him right through the heart.

My mother and sister screamed. I turned to them, surprised, wondering why they would be upset that I freed them from their tyrant. There was no room for confusion or compassion in my heart, though. I did the only thing I knew how to do. Kill.

I looked at them with that which I thought was love and nodded, “You are free now.” I gave them a purse of gold coins. Then I turned to my men and ordered that they tie my father to the back of my horse. I mounted and rode off, as fast as I could, to a cliff, where I tossed the broken body over to serve as food for the vultures. My work was done.

I lived out the rest of my days as a brutal soldier, and ultimately died in battle, feeling wronged by the gods.

During the healing transformation of this life, I was taken to the time of planning in Spirit Realm before my incarnation as the Saxon. There I witnessed the presentation of the choice I had been given. Plan A and Plan B.

Plan A was the life that I just shared with you.

Plan B showed me being born to a loving mother and sober, hard-working father. I grew up enjoying a modest life. I still became a soldier, but only because it was my duty. I resented fighting. I fell in love with a sweet girl, but we were never to marry. I died as a not-very-good fighter in a battle far from home.

What was clear was that the nicer of the two lives, the one in which I was less fiendish, left work on the table. Not just for my soul, but for all the other people I came into contact with during that life. In Plan B, I did not learn what resentment and hatred felt like, either on the receiving or the giving end. My father did not learn what it meant to know alcoholism, anger, and abuse, nor to die at the hands of his own son. My mother didn’t learn what it meant to be raped by her husband, or to suffer, physically and emotionally, at his hands. Those whom I raped and maimed and tortured did not learn what it meant to experience all of this “not love.”

In that planning room, I understood all this. Then, though I knew it would be a challenging undertaking, I chose Plan A. I signed up for the hard work, willingly, and agreed to be both the victim and the perpetrator in what we humans would classify as a pretty tragic life, not only so that I would learn more as a soul, but so that all the others would too.

I asked for forgiveness from all those I harmed. They gave it, freely and with love. And yes, I forgave my father. I knew that this was simply the role he played to help me grow and learn. His soul wore a mask. Underneath was light and love and a willingness to do what was hard so that he and others, including me, could learn. I saw his mask, and I saw my own. And so I forgave myself too.

Yes, there is free will. And yes, there are people who make choices on the personality level that are harmful to others. But even these cases, on a greater spiritual level, are learning experiences — in real time and upon review. No soul is bad.

The soul, every soul, is love. Even the dark is light. Even the hard is beautiful. Even the most dire, ultimately, is an expression and an opportunity for love.

If, or likely, when, during past life regression work or energy healing, you meet yourself as an unsavory character — as the tyrant or killer or rapist or generally not-nice-person, please do not be quick to judge. First of all, keep in mind that there is no black and white. Life is complicated. Take my Saxon self for example. Would I have been a heartless killer had I not been abused my whole life? Probably not. But more, understand that we all play different roles in different lives. We do this for ourselves and for each other. We do this in love and for love. And we do this voluntarily.

It is simply not true that more “highly evolved” souls are simply too bright to play our world’s villains. Perhaps, I pose, in many cases, it is the strongest among us who love big enough and true enough to take on these roles so that we all might learn.

What if?

Our challenge, as humans, is to see darkness and pain with as much love as with which we regard beauty and peace.

To consider this takes a shift of perspective and an inherent trust in love. The compassion that would result, though, might just change the world.

At the very least, understanding that each of us has been and has the potential to be the bad guy will open our hearts to forgiveness. Stepping back and seeing the bigger picture may help us forgive those who have hurt us, giving us the ability to let go and move on. What’s more, it may be exactly what we need to do what is often harder: forgive ourselves.

So much to learn in the not knowing

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For so many people I know, this Spring is a time of change. In a big way. It’s like the Universe gathered us all together on a massive oriental rug, asked us to mingle, and then, just when we were getting comfortable, yanked that rug right out from under us, sending us all flying.

Not that the Universe would ever be so rude, right?

The interesting thing is that, for many of us, this drastic mix-up is causing deep self-reflection—like the slo-mo life review that we hear about from people who’ve been in a serious accident or who’ve had a near-death experience. Here we are, passing in seeming stop-motion through the unknown to the unknown, and we’re thinking, thinking, thinking: “Where am I going to land? What am I going to do? What is going to happen?” 

Sometimes, when things are changing, we get worried. We get anxious. We get mad. Sometimes all we really want to do is go back to the way things were before, to what was easy, to what we know. We just want footing. A little solid ground. Is that so much to ask? 

Going back is fine, if that is what you choose. But consider this…

What will be new may just be better. 

I recently worked with a woman who, as part of her healing, was focusing on control. She wanted to stop trying to control her life and others’ “for good” and to let go of outcomes to live more presently, peacefully, and lovingly. In her regression sessions, her Spirit Guide’s message to her was consistent: “Let go. All is well.” 

It wasn’t “all will be well,” mind you. It was present tense: “All is well.”

This was hard advice for my client. “But I want to know how this is going to go,” she laughed at herself. “And I want to know now!” 

“I know,” said her Spirit Guide, “but there’s so much to learn in the not knowing.”

That made me smile. Not only was it perfect for my client, it was perfect for me. And everyone else I know who is in the throes of life transition. 

Nothing is sacred in all-shifting change, except, perhaps, change. And when the figurative ground heaves and you go flying, it’s often outright impossible to know where you will land. It is even sometimes hard to know when you will even stand again. But you will land. And you will stand. You know this.

So in the transition, find peace. Use the time well (it is moving in slo-mo, after all.) Think about where you’ve been and where you want to be. Reflect and project. Dream. Decide what in your life works for you and what doesn’t, and then choose more of what does. Manifest it. Trust. Be open.

This is what we can learn in the not knowing.

And remember, what will be new may just be better. 

Let go. All is well. 

Photo Credit: animalpicturesociety.com

The Parable of the Pine

On the day of the completion of her studies to become a physician, a young woman was called to meet with the elders of the village.

“In honor of your accomplishment, we wish to give you a gift,” one of the elders said to her. “We give you this pine.”

The woman stepped forward and accepted the tiny sapling in its small pot.

“Thank you,” she said. “I’m grateful for this gift. I’ll care for it well.”

As she left the hall of the elders, the woman looked at her gift in wonder. They had called it a pine, but its leaves were broad, waxy, and smooth, not sharp and prickly. It surely was an oak. But she did not dwell on this. She believed the elders knew what they were talking about. They were the elders, after all. And it was a beautiful tree. She was honored that they thought highly enough of her to give it to her.

“Now,” she thought, “I must find a place to plant it. Trees must be planted.” But, though her studies were complete, she did not know yet where she would live. She did not know where she would work. Suddenly, she felt an urgency to settle in one place, to plant her tree.

She set off through the countryside looking for a place to plant the pine. Everywhere she went, people came to her seeking healing. Each time someone requested her attention, she gently set the tree down beside her and set to work.

“What a beautiful oak,” each would comment.

“It’s a pine,” she would say. “And thank you. It was a gift from the elders of my village. I hope to find a suitable place to work so that I may plant it and it can thrive.”

Each time, the patients would nod, understanding.

Time passed, and though the woman traveled from place to place, she could not find the perfect place for her pine. Here it was too shady. Here too sandy. Here too rocky. She would set the tree down to look at it in each place, to gauge its ability to thrive, and each time, she would heal the town’s sick, and then pick the tree up again to move on.

The tree grew. Several times, the woman, replanted the tree into a new, bigger pot. And yet, she carried it with her, always loving it, always tending to it, always searching for its perfect home.

The woman grew older. The tree grew bigger.

One day after years of travel around the country healing the sick and searching for the tree’s best home, she found herself back in her own village. She felt an overwhelming sense of sadness that she had not yet found the tree a suitable and permanent garden. She carried the tree back to the hall of the elders and set the tree before them.

“I would like to return this pine to you, my venerable teachers. I have loved it well and have kept it with me all of these years, but I haven’t succeeded in finding a suitable place to plant it, or to plant myself, for that matter.”

The elder who had spoken when they gave her the tree spoke to her again. “Why do you feel that this tree must be planted?” he asked.

“It’s a tree,” she said. “Trees must be planted.”

“Why must this tree be planted?” he asked.

“To grow and thrive,” she said.

“Has not this tree grown? Has not it thrived?” he asked.

The woman looked at the tree. It was full grown now, a beautiful tree. Its branches reached the sky. Now, when she set it down beside her to work, it provided towering shelter and shade for her patients. The sound of its leaves in the breeze beckoned songbirds and squirrels to make their home in it. Carrying it for all of these years had made her strong, and yet she could lean upon it when she was tired and it would hold her steady.

The tree had grown. It had thrived.

The woman looked at the elders in surprise. “It has.”

They nodded.

“You gave me this pine and I assumed that I must plant it. So I traveled the world looking for its place. Through the years I was so consumed with planting the tree, that I failed to notice that it was growing and strong despite its simple pot.”

“Ah,” said one elder. “This is no ordinary tree. It is not like others. This tree is special in that it is just like you. Like you, it will thrive wherever it is. Like you, it will be strong wherever it is. Like you, it will give shelter and shade wherever it is. Like you, it will be magnificent wherever it is.”

The woman stared in disbelief. She could not argue. She had the proof right beside her. The tree was magnificent. And as she reflected on her years of travel as a physician, she knew that what the elder said was correct.

“And another thing,” said another elder, smiling. “This is not a pine. It is an oak.”

“But you called it a pine all those years ago,” she said. “You said ‘we give you this pine.'”

“No,” said the elder. “We said, ‘we give you this spine.’”

The woman gasped, and then laughed, shaking her head. “And all this time…” she said.

The elder smiled at her. “The gift of this tree was perfect. It represented your backbone of knowledge, skill, and talent. It represented your gift. It represented you and your ability to stand on your own wherever you are. It represented the fact that whatever you need is right inside you, at your core.”

Another said: “It did and it does. The tree was your gift. But more, it is your gift.”

The woman beamed. She stood tall before them. She squared her shoulders and raised her chin.

“Thank you for this lesson, elders. Though it has taken me years to understand, I finally do,” she said, laughing at herself. “Now, if you will please excuse me, my tree and I must be off to attend to the sick of the village before we go.”

She bowed to them, picked up her beautiful, full-grown oak, and walked out of the hall into the light of the square, where scores of townspeople waited patiently to be healed in the shade of the tree.

Photo credit: http://www.whiteoaknursery.biz