Dear Brother

Here is a letter that shows that abuse can come in many forms and through many different relationships.  Years of heartbreak have induced the insight which she fought against for so many years.  This is just one example of the betrayal that can occur in family relationships, laced with addiction and narcissism.  And she points the way toward redemption – for herself.

“Dear brother,

I remember taking care of you as though you were my own child.  Filling in the gap, I loved you and cared for you, child that I was myself.  We grew up in a complicated family – filled with love, yet also dangerous and unpredictable behavior from our alcoholic father.  I tried to protect you – an impossible job.

As a teen you moved toward alcohol and any and all drugs.  So bright, you turned away from school and took the low road.  You disappeared always leaving us wondering – what happened to our brother?  Where is he, what is he doing now.  Always a mystery, hiding, twisting and turning, always with a mask on.  Where did that innocent child go?

You swindled that piece of property from our parents.  Where did the profit go?  Up in smoke, up your nose?

Head in Clouds

You turned on me so many times.  Just when I would come to trust you, you turned the knife.  At my most vulnerable times you attacked.  Why do you hate me?  Is it because I stepped in as mother and you resented me for that?  Is it because you are jealous?  I will never know because you don’t speak the truth.  Always the forked tongue.  I endlessly forgave, had endless hope that you would turn yourself around.  I wanted so much for you to be happy, to succeed, to fulfill your purpose in life – whatever that may be.

You would lead me to believe that you were back, but your words were tainted, containing artificial love words, with twisted dark intent underneath.  Your words left me feeling unsafe.  You turned on your brother when he was most vulnerable.  You turned on me just before my wedding.  You left your sister standing outside your door:  no answer to her knock.  Promises made and broken.  I offered help that you asked for, then attacked me for being controlling.  You got drunk when caring for my son, leaving him at risk.

I gave you a celebratory birthday party and you turned it into a drama,  claiming that we threw you out of the house.  What?  And what about the endless times that you didn’t show up.  Liar, manipulator:  I never really knew what the truth was.  Layers of obfuscation covered you over – the true self lost long ago.

Yet another twist:  as your sister lays ill you disappear.  The deepest betrayal of all.

My head was in the clouds.  I saw what I wanted to see.  It took me so long but I see now.  I release you from my inappropriate expectations.  I release you to your own journey.

I wish you love and authenticity.  I wish you forgiveness.

I come home to myself now as the clouds clear.”

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Conversation with my Self: “There are no victims, only willing participants.”

Self:  No, this cannot be.  How dare you say that? You are blaming me, the victim!  It’s not my fault!

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Higher Self:  You agree to be disrespected?  You feel you deserve the treatment you are getting?

Self:  I don’t like how I am treated but I have no choice.  I have hope it will change.

Higher Self:  You allow yourself to be subjugated.  You shackle yourself by your choices.  What is your truth now?

Self:  I have to make the best of it and keep trying.

Higher Self:  You are free to choose.  Why do you resist what you know deep inside is true?

Self:  What do I resist?

Higher Self:  Do you feel pain or tightness anywhere in your body?

Self:  Yes, in my stomach.

Higher Self:  Imagine being in your stomach and look around.  What do you see?

Self:  I see a clenched fist.  It is so tight the knuckles are white.

Higher Self:  So, anger clenches in your stomach?

Self:  Yes, I am angry.  It’s not fair.

Higher Self:  Yet, you make the choice to accept ill-treatment, attacks, manipulations, accusations.  You go along with all of this.

Self:  I am afraid.

Higher Self:  What are you afraid of?

Self:  I am afraid of being alone.  I am afraid of the unknown.  I am afraid of loosing hope.  I am afraid of being unloved.  I am afraid of loosing him/her even though it is wrong.  I am afraid I put in all of this effort, pain and suffering for nothing.  I am afraid others will see that I have failed.

Higher Self:  Yes, you know all of these things.  You are wise inside.What would you create if you remembered you create your own life?

Self:  Love, of course.  And respect.

Higher Self:  My dear Self, you are free to make this new choice in each moment.  When you are available for Love, for Respect you no longer feed the illusion that you are unworthy. I love and honor you.

How do I find myself again?

When I suggest that you meditate you may find yourself resistant.  Maybe it’s “I tried but my mind wouldn’t stop.”  Or it may be, “I don’t know how” or “I don’t have the time.”

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I understand.  I experienced resistance as well.  But I found a way that works for me.  I share it here with you.  It is a gathering of techniques that, if followed, will take you to the place deep inside of you that is quiet and wise. If you are entangled by the Other, overtaken, possibly manipulated away from your true self, this is one way through the maze to the core of you.

A few ideas:

  • Develop the Witness.  Sit quietly in a comfortable position with feet on the floor.  Try to arrange a space that is quiet and where you won’t be disturbed.  Just notice your thoughts and feelings.  Accept them.  Look at your thoughts and feelings as separate from you.  They are not you.  You are witnessing your thoughts and feelings.  This creates a little space between the You that is noticing and the thoughts and feelings themselves.  Once you notice, let it go and be open for what happens next.  Allow discovery.
  • Set aside a brief time at first – it may be just ten minutes, fifteen.  Once you get in practice you will want to stay longer.
  • Don’t fight the thoughts and feelings.  Notice if they are positive, negative, obsessive, fear-based.  Notice if they are positive, happy.  You may squirrel around in your mind.  You may find your mind a difficult place to be.  Don’t run, stay, accept, then release one thought or feeing after another in discovery.
  • Watch them like you are watching a movie.
  • Once the thoughts and feelings begin to slow down (since you gave them a fair hearing), notice what you see behind closed lids.  Focus about two inches in front of your eyes, with eyes closed.  Notice light or dark areas.  In time you may see colors and images.  Allow yourself to see the colors and images without judgement.  Just witness.
  • Now you have deepened:  you can ask a question, a question whose answer has eluded you, a struggle whose resolution you seek, a question about a course of action, a question of the truth.  Speak it in your mind, then release it like a balloon.
  • Sit.  Keep noticing.  Follow where you lead.  A word, a phrase, an image may come to you.  Pay attention.  Listen.
  • You are in the zone of deep inspiration.
  • At the end of your sitting meditation you may want to keep a journal of your adventure.  Did you enjoy the “movie?” What did you see, hear or sense?  The more you practice the more you discover the real you – and the truth within.

Note;  this is not the usual idea of meditation.  Most people understand it to be the way to a blank mind, the ultimate escape from your thoughts.  I am encouraging you to go through your thoughts, enter and immerse yourself in your thoughts and feelings – including feelings of anger, loss, misery, resentment, hopelessness.  Then as soon as you come in deep contact with these thoughts and feelings – let them go and welcome the next.

We humans tend to run from our pain.  Running from what is inside is impossible.  By denying, it remains inside and comes out inevitably one way or the other.  It can make us sick, or cause us to act out in ways that are not helpful for our life goals.

By acknowledging what is inside then releasing – we leave room for inspiration.

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Namaste,  Cynthia

Mary Oliver Speaks:

Listen:


“The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.”

 

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Do you understand?

Spiritual Healing: A practical Approach

We are a polarity of being.

Our left-brain leaves us lost in endless thoughts, conflicts, planning, chatter, arguing, cognitive processing, deducing and judging.  We need this part of us, but it can take over leaving us exhausted – not seeing the forest for the trees.

Our right-brain is the intuitive part of us, filled with inspiration, creativity and perspective.  This part of you accesses the quiet inner space that is just you, knowing.  It is the part of you who remembers who you were before you were taken over (Yes, I speak to you, victim on the way to survivor.) We need both aspects in balance:  that is what the Yin and Yang is about.

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Abusers tend to get caught up in their own beliefs, promoting tricky manipulative techniques, twisting and turning– loosing contact with layers of truth that do not fit into the mind view and ego demands of the abuser.  Can you allow truths beyond your ego?  Can you release with humility the rigid, controlling world-view?  If not, you are lost.  You are not only lost to your “victim” but to yourself as well.

Victims can get equally caught up in the world of assumptions, projections, distortions of the abuser – and eventually can develop an overwhelming inner rant of defense, anger and retort to the false accusations and projections.  If the poison is taken in it turns to toxic self-hate.

It can get so intense inside that there is no room for perspective or a larger world view.  There is no room to listen to that small inner voice since it is overwhelmed by the bully voice and the argument with the bully.

How do you find your Lost Self?

 Labyrinthe Amiens

The solution lies hidden, embedded in the problem:  if you quiet the raging argument, defense or self hate, can you then hear your true Self speaking?

At times you may wonder:  Do I have the Ability to Change?

What does it take to change?  This is not easy, but it is possible with work.  It takes systematic introspection, self-scrutiny and courage!  True creative freedom and personal liberty are the goals.  By moving deep within yourself and loosening the hold that the abuser has on your mind you are able to discover your own truths.

Our emotions are so powerful.  They can hijack our brains and minds.  Dr. Candice Pert is one of the leading researchers of the physiological nature of emotion.  In her book “Molecules of emotion:  Why you feel the way you feel” she provides the scientific basis for the physiology of emotion and why it is diffused throughout your whole body.  I won’t get too complicated here, but the bottom line that she comes to is that each cell talks to the body as a whole through chemical language.  It is now understood that every cell in our body “remembers” and that these memories are stored throughout the body.  The whole body remembers past feelings.

When we are traumatized in our relationship the body remembers.  As soon as a word or phrase is repeated, neuronal circuits are activated.  It generates a total body response bringing about a full range of physical and emotional responses.  Our body as a whole responds unconsciously to  these triggers.

Through meditation, Reiki, mindfulness, biofeedback and other stress reducing techniques you can actually enhance your capacity to change.  You are the one who needs to change:  you are the only one you can change.  By accessing the quiet, deep you, you find the You that has been missing.

The way we choose to interpret the moment (the mind) sets in motion a set of feelings/emotions, which may result in damage to the body, or its repair and well-being.  You have a choice.

I show you this Mandala.  This is you with the light at the center:

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You are beautiful.  By taking this time for yourself you can find your true center, your core, the light within you and find your wisdom.

I will share simple techniques to help you do this.  Coming soon.

I say Namaste to you – sending blessings your way,

Cynthia

 

Guest “Speaker”: Confessions to my Body by Susan Bernstein

I would like you to read something.  Thank you Gloria for sharing it with me.  I now share it with you.  I think you will see how beautiful and brilliant this is, reminding you to listen to yourself.  Listen in the deepest way because you are wise beyond your present knowing.  It’s all inside:
Posted: 01/28/2014 8:48 am
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Dear Body:

I’m so, so sorry. It’s taken me years to realize that I’ve treated you badly.

I don’t just mean eating all that heavy, buttery, sugary food over the holidays. Nor am I talking about lazily sitting on the couch, avoiding any form of exercise.

Yes, those things are bad, and I’m sorry for allowing them. I know nutrition and exercise are important. But lapses in those areas aren’t my biggest violation towards you.

There’s something much worse that I’ve done to you.

It’s subtle. So it’s taken me a long time to realize and admit where I’ve done you wrong.

Sweet Body, I confess I haven’t trusted you. I’ve been a bad friend.

I mean, how about that job offer that I evaluated as “sexy,” while you nudged me with that queasy, uneasy stomach, trying to get me to look deeper at the frantic environment and hard-driving management? After the big company made their offer, I went to meet with more executives just to ensure a good choice. What happened in those interactions? You signaled me with tense shoulders that made me look and feel stiff. A dry throat and clenched jaw that made it hard to get a word out.

But how did I respond? I ignored the signs you were sending me. I was mesmerized by the money.

I suffered in that job. For years, I pushed and pushed to prove I could do all that analytical work. I wanted to show I could flex my brainiac muscle. So in the name of making myself big and important, I forced us to pull all-nighters, spend weekends crunching numbers, and live out of hotel rooms for months. Actually, I hated that job. Yet I refused to admit it. I could not bring myself to say, “I quit!” So finally, after two back-to-back weeks of working 100 hours, you finally got my attention by making me pass out from exhaustion in front of a group of clients while making a presentation. For over four years, I ignored the signs of a poor job fit that you’d been pointing out.

I held on to that job too tightly. When I had the chance to go on that amazing trip to Peru to see the ruins, you peppered me with buzzing and tingling all over to convey excitement. So what did I do? I defiantly demanded to stay home so I could work towards a promotion. One I never got. Why didn’t I just trust that sense that this was the trip of a lifetime, and figure out how to take it?

There was the time I opened my heart to a man who loved to run errands for me, cook for me, and indulge me with back massages. I’d never been so free from tension. My shoulders had never felt so relaxed and appropriately far from my ears. My belly was so pleasantly full, and my taste buds sang nightly. But I defiantly determined, “He doesn’t have a good degree. And he has a blue-collar job.” So I kicked him to the curb. And broke my own poor heart.

Afterwards, I strutted my stuff when I met a millionaire with a fancy sports car who wined and dined me. He constantly complimented me on my clothing, my figure. My new baubles and bracelets captured his attention. Yet when I’d share stories about family or friends, he’d tune out. If I told him about my dreams and wishes, he’d patronizingly reply, “That’s nice, sweetie.” I pushed down the stinging hurt that you sent my way. I never probed his behavior. Why? Well, I was too scared to lose him. Oh, how did I overlook or ignore my inner strength? Why didn’t I trust you to help me stand up for myself?

I failed to tune in to the migraines that you brought on during that courtship. My parents made a fairytale wedding for us, so I was baffled when my husband told me, on our wedding night, that he never wanted my parents so involved in our lives again. I hung in with him for a few years, trying to analyze the nasty names he called me or the ways he mocked my emotions, aloud and by deed, and essentially called me “worthless.” It wasn’t until he raised a hand to strike me that I suddenly sensed the steely grip of fear you washed over me. I finally realized it was time to leave the marriage.

Funny, but those headaches disappeared immediately after I left him.

Good friends listen to and trust each other. I haven’t done that with you.

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Oh, Dear Body, I’ve ignored your nudges, your poking, your prodding.

I get it now: I need to listen to the very subtle ways you speak to me. I finally understand that you communicate through sensations. Like where I feel tension or expansion. Or whether my breath is shallow or deep in my chest and belly. Or whether I feel hot or cold. Now, I can notice the times I sense bubbling, tingling, tightness, openness, and so many other sensations you generate — and know you are trying to get my attention.

I’m beginning to understand something vital: When you have something to say, you tend to speak in whispers. But if I don’t catch your initial drift, you become more emphatic. Like the way you made me pass out so I could wake up. To hear you early on, I need to slow way down and get quiet enough to listen inside, and tune in to what you’re saying through senses. The longer I ignore you, the louder you scream. But it’s not nice for me to make you shout. Besides, if you reach that boiling point, I’m already deep in trouble.

So I’m intentionally learning to pay attention to you. I’m discovering your signs and signals, moment to moment.

I’m good at logic, at figuring things out.

But, you, Dear Body, you’re the expert on feeling things out. Like walking into a room and sensing the dominant mood. Or, much more importantly, turning inward and tuning in to the internal weather report for my current (and ever-shifting) emotional state.

I’m waking up to the aliveness, vitality and energy that’s “at my fingertips” when I remember to activate longer, deeper breathing. Now, when I ask you to help me stand up for myself, and we activate the muscles in the legs and belly — wow! I feel a surge of power and strength, both physical and emotional. It’s exciting to experience greater presence simply by tuning in to the sense of gravity you convey as my feet contact the ground. I adore your sensational abilities, sweet Body.

Body, I’m truly grateful to you. I’m done ignoring, overlooking and pushing your wisdom aside. I’m listening with appreciation now.

We work better so much when we’re a team. So you know what? I’m going to listen to you. And in important matters, like career, love, friendships and family, I’ll trust your guidance. Please help me sense what matters. You’re the compass. Show me where we’re heading. Once you point the way, I’ll take care of figuring out how to get where we’re going. And we’ll work together at navigating.

I’m deeply inspired to be on this sensational life voyage with you.

I love you,
Susan

P.S. — You know, I used to see us as separate. Like I lived in “The Mind” and you’re over there, as “The Body.” Sorry if I’m still prone to use those unnatural distinctions. I’m entwined with you. We’re one. I get it. Even if I forget sometimes.

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