The Parasite of Fear & How Our Choice to Believe Lies is Rooted in Survival

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Photo Credit: Pixabay

You know what it’s like to be brainwashed,” someone close to me wrote on my Facebook wall in response to a post about our current political crisis. The words have echoed through me ever since. I lived a childhood, that extended well into adulthood, haunted by lies. I was fed half-truths, skewed truths, and false-truths so often they became my truths.  I know what it’s like to be brainwashed to the point of belief.

My personal story may be unique, but I believe brainwashing is a problem that is spreading like the wildfires across our planet.

The source of brainwashing, like anything that goes against truth, is fear. I am not a mental health professional, but I have learned a few things about fear and its insidious effects that can lead to the brainwashing of its subjects.

Fear takes hold of the mind that looks for something to control its darkness. It seeks dominion above all else, seizing upon our greatest weaknesses to hold fast its power until its subjects succumb to its lies.

Fear=Deceit

Truth=Love

When fear over-powers truth, the mind becomes a haven for lies and the body follows suit. One need only to look at the Tweets flying through the airwaves and the memes plastering social media to realize fear’s struggle for dominion. Right now it looks a lot like fear is winning, along with its lies, as its insidious wave of brainwashing takes over its populace.

So why do we let fear take this type of hold on us? I believe the answer resides in our most basic need. To love and be loved. When this becomes tenuous and conditional, fear sets in at our roots, destabilizing the structure that we rely upon for our survival.

To begin to free ourselves of fear’s hold, we must return to our roots and ask where did  fear begin? What is its source? Who is feeding it to me? And, why am “I” trying to nourish “myself” with it?

When I look at my own path to fear-fed brainwashing, I see similarities in what is occurring in our political system. In both, the parental/governing parties hold the roots of fear. Those that sit atop authority, hold the reins of dominion that promise protection at the cost of our loyalty. It’s nearly impossible not to become a victim of brainwashing, if those that we depend upon for our survival, and for love, are “nurturing” us with lies.

There is, perhaps, no stronger bond that exists than the one between a parent and its child, especially the mother-child bond. This, bond, I believe, is paramount in our current crisis with the truth.

A mother feeds her child with her life-giving blood before birth. If we extrapolate from the mother who feeds and births the individual, to the mother who feeds and nurtures the whole, we arrive at the root of our present day crisis, which is occurring on a global scale.

In the majority of the areas of the world we have labeled “first world,” we have, in essence, de-evolved over the course of thousands of years. What we would label as “progress” has been an uncensored growth of advancements that have occurred through the force of the “parental/governing” ego. A progress that has been fed from the top, but does not often trickle down to nurture the children who are in most need.

Unsettling the natural state of balance even more, is the vast majority of this rapidly progression of unchecked progress has been at the incredible expense of the Mother in the form of our planet. A planet that is designed to nurture and feed all her children, in equal measure to meet their basic needs, but not to serve “man”kind only.

Yet, our most powerful nations were built upon a discontenting from their true source. The life-giving “blood” taken from the Mother (Earth) that feeds us all,  robbing in the process, more than our share, and stolen without reverence. It has been a righteous taking of more than is needed. Reverence and honor of the Mother has been long forgotten for most of our societies. As a result, the Earth has suffered and so have we.

I cannot help but think about the poignant symbolism that is dividing the nation I live in and how it is reflected by the colors of our chakras. Red is associated with the republican party here in the US, while blue is the color of the democratic. Our nation is founded upon polarity, it is part of our roots.

Yet, each side holds fast to its truths, not realizing that a balanced nation is akin to a balanced body.

If we look at the chakra system, we see that red is associated with the color of the root chakra. It is considered the first of our major energy systems in the body, supporting our foundation. The root chakra is therefore associated with our very survival. It is what develops first in the growing human. The root chakra is fed through our connections to our family/clan/nation. If we allow ourselves to be controlled by a foundation of fear and false truths, it becomes us.

A balanced and healthy root chakra, on the other hand, is nourished by the grounding energy of the Mother source. Not our birth mother, but the Mother of all life. Our source of this living-giving “blood” comes from our planet. If we break this Mother-child bond, as we have allowed ourselves to do over many centuries, we become destabilized. We start to cling to other foundations that are false, and that are more often than not, fed by the ego’s fear of not being in control.

The color blue, in the chakra system, is associated with the area that resides in and around the area of our throat. It feeds our entire communication system as it extends down the neck and out the hands, as well as up to the ears. When it is healthy, the throat chakra enables us to hear the truth and discern it from that which are lies. It also guides us in speaking truth with compassion, love, and trust. A healthy throat chakra knows that Truth is a universal law that supports all life. It is not individually divided, but a web that weaves through and unites all life.

When our throat chakra is compromised, the energy in these systems of the body contract in distrust of “others” and of the self (although this is not usually acknowledge by the self). We are seeing this now. Our media is swarming with information that cannot be trusted due to the fear-driving ego-centric sources that are feeding it. A massive brainwashing of the populace, aka, “children,” is occurring through the false truths of their governing bodies, aka, “parents.” We are at point of extreme polarity. The left half in battle with the right. The red fighting with the blue, instead of uniting with the common good. We have forgotten that we are each halves of the same body, seeking union, true stability, and nurturing. We have forgotten how to discern truth from lies, because we have bi-passed the heart at our center, the place of pure knowing, as we cut the roots off from the Mother-blood and constricted our throats and ears from the universal voice of Truth.

And so it is that chaos has taken the reins, and we are left awash in a swirl of angry, divisive energy. Pointing fingers in accusation, and hurling abuses ate each other as though we are in constant battle with parasites. Instead of realizing that the other we hurt, is actually ourselves. The true parasite: the darkness of our own fear we refuse to extract and transmute into light.

 

 

The Seal of Circe #Offering #writephoto

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Artist Credit: Sue Vincent

 

The Seal of Circe 

She wove the rainbow through the threads of being

offering life in her hand

“Drink”

It felt like the moon

moving through the shadowed land

filaments of light filling the long

forgotten pathways. She sang of magic

her voice dancing through my night

eyes opening wide

the blue columns, catching the fire

of Horus to lift the roots that bind

She, the water to his fire

He, the sun to her moon

and I, the child born of their union

A seal stamped upon a dream

Or was it something more

this urgent memory of magic

lingering after she returned

to night. My feet still dancing

her song, slightly unsure

unaccustomed to a tune

 called freedom and also joy

older than time

leading me home

 

For Sue Vincent’s weekly #writephoto prompt challenge “Offering.” 

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Rising Above Adversity: A Flying Dream

Last night I dreamt I was flying. I was in a sporting good’s store, and on my way to the check-out register, but let me back up a bit. Before I started flying, I had been with Ann and Margo, two characters from my memoir, A Girl Named Truth. Briefly, I was fourteen again, and I could overhear my two former friends gossiping about me.  Instead of keeping silent, though, and internalizing my hurt, I spoke up. “I know what you’re saying,” I told them, “and I really don’t care.” And, truthfully, I didn’t.  Something inside of me had changed. I had become detached from the weight of their words, realizing they did not define me.

As I walked away, my feet began to lift off the ground and I began to fly. Effortlessly, and with a joy that defies gravity, I navigated my way to the front of the store where I found a queue of individuals who were waiting to “check-out.”

“It is not difficult,” I told them as they looked up at me with awe and doubt. “You can learn to do it too.”

In my forthcoming book, The Labyrinth, there is a thirteen-year-old character named Dell. She is one of the six “warriors of light” protagonists who must overcome their inner fears and challenges to use their gifts for a larger purpose. Like me, Dell was once bullied by her two former best friends.

Playful by nature, Dell is filled with an inner joy that is difficult to destroy. It is almost as though that very joy, that light, is what her former friends are afraid of and seek to diminish. Perhaps they do not realize that same light resides within them too.

We all have a Dell aspect of ourselves. The inner child who represents our true selves resides in each of us. I don’t believe there is anyone on the planet who has not faced adversity, causing their inner light to be overshadowed in some way.

Adversity rises to test the light. It throws a deliberate shroud over its source, and sometimes those who find themselves inside of its darkness lose hope of connecting to that inner joy again. Many of these people are still children themselves, like Dell, on the cusp of adulthood who have already forgotten they have that innate gift to soar.

They may feel broken, lost, and alone. In a world that chooses to reflect more darkness than light, that hopeless can spread throughout the channels of light that reside in all of us, leading to the despair of disconnection.

If you look at the cover of The Labyrinth, you will see the network of light leading to the center. If you look closely, you will notice that light has been cut off by darkness in many places. Dell and her five friends stand at the edges, each carrying the light of their individual selves. A pillar of unwavering light rises from the center. Each warrior, each individual who stands on the edge of the darkness, has the power to reach that inner beam of light. And, as these six discover, we never have to walk that path alone.

Warriors of Light: The Labyrinth
Soon to be released…

 

 

The cat & the heron

This poem came out of two recent dreams, one with a cat messenger, the other with heron.

Bast, scratch memory back into skin

I walk the Hall of Two Truths

searching for rebirth. Bennu, shed

the gray for white with a ribbon

of blue. Lonely hunter of voice

speak to me of silence. I wade

between worlds seeking balance

to bend with willow’s grace

is the gift of sorrow

What came to me this morning

I want to write about 

hope 

joy

and love 

I want to write about 

pain that sears  

flesh into charred 

cells that remember ashes 

You can cling to fear 

but I walk the path of healing 

Mine is a truth of self 

and absolution 

You ask me to remember stories 

that are not mine 

We women wear 

them in our throats 

tight knots that choke voice

We have forgotten Isis

pulling the red chord of our wombs

We have forgotten feathers

folded against our hearts

Women, spread wide your red

lips

sing

laugh

rage

birth

This sacred ground is yours

to recover

Bare the Rainbow of Truth

in a circle

of raw threads

stripped of

hate

12 Weeks in Prison

When I flipped on the TV last night, I was taken back to the 12 weeks I spent at a local prison 4 and 1/2 years ago. Unlike the women on the television screen, my incarceration had been by deliberate choice, and only for a couple of hours once a week. I was in my third semester of graduate school, and had chosen to teach creative nonfiction and poetry to incarcerated women for my practicum requirement. Why I chose the women’s prison, I can’t say for sure. When the option presented itself, I simply knew I had to take it. I knew it would change my life, and, if I was lucky, the lives of a few women for at least 12 weeks.

People have asked me if I was ever afraid stepping through the locked gates and leaving my identity behind the bullet proof window of the reception desk. There was no camera mounted on the ceiling to monitor my safety, no button to push for help, yet I never felt afraid.

Driving to the prison each week, I noticed the graveyards — their gray walls with holes were difficult to miss — and began to count them. There were four. As the weeks of winter turned into spring I noted the widening patches of brown earth exposed from the melted snow, and one Saturday in early spring I was struck by the sudden appearance of color through the holes in the metal. Beside the gray headstones, the red and purple petals of flowers could be seen, their stiff green stalks stuffed into the centers of gray urns. The fake flowers made me think of the words spoken by one of my students on the first day of class, who while reading her writing exercise on “beginnings” remarked, “In here it is always Christmas,” in reference to the issued attire of the inmates. The artificial gaiety of the flowers behind the gray fences of the cemetery were symbolic to me of the irony reflected  inside the prison walls.

The fences surrounding the red brick of the local women’s prison are tall and layered. Their tops curve into tangles of metal vines with thorns, keeping the inside in, the outside out. Once inside, the routine is the same for all visitors and volunteers. After you hang up your jacket, you slide your keys and license down the metal basin into the hands of the waiting guard behind the dark glass and sign the paper you receive in return. Next you must walk through the open doorway that scans your body for metal.

Each door inside the secured walls of the prison has a different metal knob, and each will not turn until someone hidden behind the dark glass recognizes and approves your presence. Some weeks I was allowed to walk the hallways alone, turning the knobs one at a time while I descended until I reached the locked door of the library where my class was held. This door was always unlocked by a key carried in the hands of an officer, who then turned and left me alone. Yet, I was never scared for my safety.

I was, I realized on my first day, in the presence of women more scared than I. Women who longed, no doubt, to switch places with me. What separated us was  a mistake, or a series of them in some cases, that anyone could make. It was, for me, a constant reminder of the choices we make for freedom.

In her chapter, “Spirituality in Education,” in Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, Bell Hooks writes, “It is the love that I can generate within myself, as a light and send out, beam out, that can touch people. Love can bridge the sense of otherness. It takes practice to be vigilant, to beam love out. It takes work.”

I intuitively felt this desire, this need, while I taught. The women who entered the door each week to write and learn needed to feel welcome, to look beyond their red and green shirts and build a community where love and hope were present in order to write the words held, sometimes deeply, inside of them. I did my best each week to create this environment, with their help. There were days when, after the class was finished, I left feeling elated with this effort, and a few when I drove home exhausted by my attempts to maintain a “teaching community.”

As each woman was given the opportunity to speak during the first day of class, I noticed how important it was for her to be heard.  Women who had sat hunched with heads down, began to straighten their bodies and lift their gazes as they projected their voices. The transformations continued through the weeks. We become our own little community built on a mutual, unspoken platform of respect and love.

One of the inmates, “Cat,” was released before the series of classes ended. Before she re-entered the world beyond locked gates, she thanked me. “Without this class I never would have written these words. Thank you for this gift,” she told me. In this moment, and in each moment I spent in the presence of these remarkable women, I was reminded of the power of voice — that each individual holds the words of her soul, and sometimes we have the humbling privilege of holding the key to unlock the truth she has kept tightly inside.

I was in the presence of women who had suffered silence in ways I would never know. May, who had endured mental, physical and sexual abuse by her parents during childhood, then abuse by her husband, emerged into a self-confident writer who rarely showed up to class without a smile. Melody, who looked young enough to be my daughter, and never revealed more than the dark shadows of her life story, gifted us with these haunting lyrics before I left:

Beneath my feet

Blades of grass

Sway evenly

Crisp, cool, air

Against my skin

Sun shining down

Tan color skin

Trees all around

Shadow’s cast

On the ground

I was lost

But now

I am found

 

The bleeding of a heart

The heron returned today, passing overhead with silent wings as I walked home the forest. It’s been a tough day for me. Even though it’s a day of celebration –May Day and my husband’s birthday — my heart is heavy with loss. I wonder, how many times you can experience the loss of someone still living? My dear friend, whom I mentioned in yesterday’s post, wrote this of loss,”Sometimes I think that people actually die several times for us: figuratively, and then they are reborn to us because of something we think they need to be, but then they have their own lives, and they die again.”

A trunk divided into 4 parts
A trunk divided into 4 parts, 1 now dead

In my journey to inner truth I have experienced the figurative death of people I love, only to allow them to be born again into my life. Perhaps I am a slow learner, but the truth is, I have a hard time letting go. There is a desperate desire that lives inside of me for my children to have the childhood I did not. Easter, and other recent events, have been a harsh reminder that am allowing not only myself, but my children (more indirectly) to be victims of abuse.

Oh, but the heart wears a heavy cloak when loss is an act of self-preservation. I have friends who have suffered the early loss of parents, and although I am deeply sorry for them, there is the part of me that envies the love that they were able to share — a love that lingers full even after death. I am 40 yrs. old and still searching for that parental love, in vain.

Last night my dreams found me by the sea, inside a house atop a hill. I wanted to buy this second home, but when I went up the stairs I was confronted with the energy of malevolent spirits. I was literally lifted off my feet from the fierce repulsion of the haunting inhabitants. Yet, after I managed to make it safely down the stairs again, holding onto the banister, I went up one more time.  A sucker, it would appear, for punishment.

It was clear I was not going to exorcise the demons in that house, so I finally left, relinquishing my hope for a beautiful home by the sea. Today, I gave up on my desire for the full, accepting love I never had in childhood. I knew the writing of and eventual publication of my truths would not be received without trepidation, but I had hoped for redemption. I had hoped for acknowledgment and regret. I had hoped for understanding. I had hoped for love.

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Today I was labeled as a narcissist for writing a memoir. Few people, I believe, write their stories in an act of self-idolation. I wrote my memoir to heal my voice and my body. I had, in essence, no choice. I was suffocating in my silence, I was trapped in a legacy of fear. It was never my intention to vilify or harm others, or to undermine their truths when I finally let my words speak my own long-buried truths. The knowledge that I am not alone, that my struggle for voice, truth and love is universal, drives my desire to share my individual story in the hope that it will spark the truth hidden inside others.

I knew this act, which took much courage and resolve, would lead to rejection. I would, inevitably, be rejected by countless agents and publishers who would consider the manuscript not marketable enough, and I would, likely, be rejected once more by some of the individuals who appear as characters. I have paid a high price for my speaking my truth, yet I have made a personal vow not to be silenced again.

I can empathize with the individual who hurts another because they hurt inside. I have angered and hurt others as a result of the wounds I suffered inside. I therefore understand that the person who harms does so because s/he is suffering, unable to love the self, and thus unable to fully love another unconditionally, but I do not understand the soul’s refusal to self-assess, to deny continually the opportunity to heal. To maim, in particular, one’s child, over and over again by one’s actions (or lack-there-of), well, it bleeds the heart.

Yet, mine will heal again, it always does.IMG_1479