WHO’S ACCOUNTABLE?

As I’ve been helping people more and more with their relationships with money, leading webinars and training for financial and therapy professionals, I have more and more seen, felt, and known – that Money Is A Window to Our Ancient Traumas. And I have more and more seen, felt, and known the layers and layers of accountability that are sorely lacking and still need to be acknowledged.

Most of the people who work with me have heard me say more than once:
You are not responsible for having been traumatized as a child, but you are responsible for doing the healing needed as a result of that trauma. Most of them understand this and are committed to doing that healing. At the same time … they long to have those who traumatized them – not always, but often parents – take responsibility for the trauma they created.

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Most of the people with whom I work have parents who have never been accountable, and likely never would be accountable.  But the little child still alive within has been trying for years and years, even decades and decades to get the traumatizer to take responsibility. That little child would be thrilled if the parent would just acknowledge the harm done; the child would be elated if mommy or daddy, big brother, or grandma would apologize; and the youngster would be ecstatic if the family member would commit to heal themselves so they would never cause that kind of trauma again.

This longing and the feelings they imagine feeling if the longing were fulfilled have driven that child within to turn their life inside-out and upside-down … all in an attempt to fulfill their longing.  While doing that – and without realizing it – they have re-enacted their childhood trauma again and again and again.

Often that longing has been their secret goal and that re-enactment has been their recurring experience … until they began their therapy with me, discovered what they were doing, and began to allow their real goal to be their own healing.

The lack of accountability by those who traumatize children is tragic. To pretend it is less than tragic is a sign of normalizing, denying, clinging to unconsciousness, refusing to be in reality. And why would someone display those signs?  Because they also, in youth, had been traumatized by someone who did not hold themselves accountable, and perhaps also by someone who nobody else held accountable. The result: they defend against their own trauma by traumatizing others.

This is no excuse. This is no permission. But it is the truth.
Even with that truth … these people need to be held accountable.
There is real value in someone taking responsibility for the harm they’ve done, but the value is distorted when it’s been created through a warped process. They need to be held accountable not by the child still alive within, but by the person, who, having done enough of the work of healing, can now hold the one who traumatizes accountable in an undistorted, healthy, life-giving way.

We have seen this kind of refusal to be held accountable all over the world … for years and decades and centuries. We have seen the trauma that results all over the world for just as long. And we can come back and talk about that another time.

For right now … What we have seen in the United States is particularly revealing. What I’ve described above about trauma, lack of accountability, and more trauma is out-pictured in what has been going on in our country.  (If you’re from another country, you can look at ours and then also try applying it to yours.) In other words, what we have seen on the “national stage” is a picture of what I’ve described as occurring within families.

In summary:

One part of the out-picturing:

People who were traumatized as children, whose traumatizers were not accountable, often become people who refuse to be accountable themselves, and in so doing, end up traumatizing others, both individually and collectively.

Another part of the out-picturing:

People who were traumatized as children, whose traumatizers were not accountable, often become people who take responsibility for everything, including trying to get the traumatizers to change and become accountable. But because they do it from the place of the unhealed child within, their efforts are somehow distorted and unsuccessful. And because the traumatizers they are trying to change absolutely refuse to change … their efforts are unsuccessful.

On both levels – the family level and the collective national level – we need to understand what is really occurring …
not only on the surface, but also way beneath to the inner depths of our beings as the result of our trauma from childhood; and also to the distance of our familial and even cultural past – the traumas caused and experienced in the last generation and generations before that.

On both levels we need to become accountable
each of us for our own healing to the root;
each of us for the trauma we have caused;
each of us for our part in the out-picturing of trauma into our country and our world.

If we don’t hold ourselves accountable, how can we hold others accountable?
If we don’t hold ourselves accountable, how can we hold our culture accountable?
If we don’t hold ourselves accountable, how can we heal ourselves?
If we don’t hold ourselves accountable, how can we heal our culture … our world?

© Judith Barr, 2021

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

THE POISON IS THE MEDICINE
Healing the world from the damage we’ve done:
This is profoundly relevant all over the world –
And poignantly, painfully relevant right now in the U.S.

Many healing traditions – spiritual and otherwise – have their own version of “the poison is the medicine.”
It is the heartbeat of homeopathy.
It is the transformation in numerous natural healing traditions.
The healing crisis that brings us through a healing passageway.
It’s inherent in the depth psychotherapy and spiritual midwifery I practice.

The poison is the medicine says:  that the effects created by our own experiences – first the ancient traumas, then later the re-enacted ones – may be very painful.

The poison is the medicine says: that the effects we create through our own actions and inactions, defending against the pain may themselves be very painful.

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It says that…
Those painful consequences or effects are the poison.
They are the pain that can be used well to help us learn, grow, and heal.

And that is what we are called to do
in our individual lives and in our communal lives as a world.
We are called to use the pain to learn, grow, and heal…
not just on surface levels, but
on the deepest levels of our being,
to the very roots.

The poison is the medicine says that:
If we don’t utilize that poison for healing,
we start down a road that is a vicious cycle –
a maze that escalates the pain and the trauma.
A maze from which we cannot escape until …
we choose to use the pain for healing.

It is our choice to use the poison as medicine.
It is our choice to use the poison to heal the pain.

May we come to see and know and feel that the pain and trauma
coming to the surface for healing
Is not only the poison but also the hope.

May we choose to use the poison to heal the poison
at its very roots. 

Many blessings . . .

Judith

© Judith Barr, 2021

THE LIGHT IS BORN AND THEN …

On winter solstice the light is born.
Maybe you’d like to think we can leap
straight from the darkest dark
to the lightest light.
A leap of light!

Perhaps here’s where you’d like that quick fix –
the one that’s been promised by
too many who knew better,
or could have known better
if they weren’t buried by their own
greed, their own personal agendas,
their own false hopes,
their own fears of the darkness,
their own denial of their traumas,
or the ice of their own illusions.
The illusions of how things work
going from darkness to light.

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Even in the outer world
there are no harmless, sustainable quick fixes.
We don’t go straight from
the winter to the summer solstice.
There are six l-o-n-g months between them.
And freezing or even below-freezing cold.
Feet of snow you have to shovel
or it will turn to ice.
Ack! The hard, back-breaking work of shoveling.
And inches of ice –
hard, hardened, ever so slippery ice –
you have to chip away at or find a way to melt,
or you will slide, fall, crash.

Even though it’s getting a little bit lighter
day by day by day,
this can go on for at least two or three of those
six long months.
And beneath the snow and ice
there is hard frozen ground.
Nothing can penetrate it
from the outside in
or the inside out. . .
until it thaws in its own timing.

Meanwhile,
deep in the heart of the earth,
our plants are keeping warm,
nourished by the life energy
that returned down, down, down to their roots
from blossoms, leaves, and stalks,
right before the light was born.

And there they will stay,
protected,
replenishing
until ice and snow
are dissolved and melted,
hardened ground softens once again,
and they innately know it is safe
to slowly, slowly grow up and out into the world again.

This is all true in our inner worlds, too.
Starting to birth the light from within out into the world,
we’d like to believe there are quick fixes
that aren’t harmful and are sustainable.
But it isn’t true. . .
and it is harmful to believe it is true.
It is harmful to you as an individual person and soul,
and it is harmful to our world.

For deep in your own underground labyrinths
at the heart of your Self,
is life that you have wanted to protect for years,
since your earliest storms in life,
the ones in which you were hurt and scared,
angry and sad, resigned and hopeless.
The ones you buried deep and covered over with
layers and layers of defense . . .
defense that froze – became harder and harder,
more and more brittle,
and eventually broke off and took on a life of its own.
Hardened life, no matter how it appeared on the surface.
Broken off, hardened life, so very different from the real
life of who you are.

You can’t just trust defense that broke off and took on a life
of its own.
You can’t just throw salt on a frozen heart.
You can’t just chip away at it.
It’s too delicate for that.
You have to melt your frozen heart with
Commitment, compassion, purpose, truth, and the fire of feeling safely.
Feeling all that you have frozen that froze your heart, too.

And when your heart is thawed,
the work will not be over.
It will take place in the warm breeze of summertime,
when the light is full and then . . .

As we enter the new year,
May you continue your journey with the darkness . . .
and the growing light . . .
and the snowy, frozen winter . . .
melting whatever is frozen within you . . .
bringing it out with commitment, love, and truth,
and for the sole purpose of healing.

And if I can be of service to you in the process . . .
Feel free to let me know.

Many blessings,
Judith

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP MAKE YOUR WORLD SAFE . . . FROM THE INSIDE OUT

In your outer world . . .
As I have said many times before . . . abuse of power in our world has been coming out into the light of day more and more and more. It is so far out in the world now . . . you would think it would be undeniable. Yet, there are countless people denying it still.
By the reality of this denial alone, it is clear . . .
Within and all around us are opportunities for healing!

****

In your inner world . . .
During this time of longer nights and shorter days, remember that the darkness often holds the clues to the path toward our deepest healing . . .

In this “dark” time, explore your relationship with your own darkness. Use this time as a mirror of your own soul . . . reflecting your own need to go into and through the darkness within to reach the light.

As feelings arise in you while you contemplate the darkness, trace them back to your early experiences with darkness, both literally and metaphorically. Explore how your own experience of the dark has affected how you view the darkness within and the feelings you have about exploring this darkness.

If you are able, explore the dark within . . . finding both hidden strengths ready to be utilized, and hidden weaknesses waiting to be healed and transformed. If you need help, reach out and find the help you need, someone who can help you explore safely and with integrity.

And remember: “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” (Carl Jung)

If we can all find the strength to do the inner work in our own dark places . . . imagine what our world would be like!

 

Someone who first connected with me through this article before I even began my blog, recently sent it back to me in honor of our connection and the Solstice. When I read it again, it felt even more true and even more needed in our world today than it was way back then. I give thanks for the connection. I give thanks for the reminder about this article. And I give thanks for the opportunity to update it and share it with our world again.

NOTE: I know the Winter Solstice is manifest differently in different parts of our earth. I chose to utilize this version of the Solstice — the one with which I am most familiar in the outer world – because of the deeper meaning it offers for our inner worlds. Wherever you are, I hope you will allow it to touch you, inform you, inspire you.

© Judith Barr 2010; edited 2020.

Everybody Hurts*

When your day is long
And the night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
Everybody hurts sometimes
Sometimes everything is wrong
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you are not alone
Hold on …

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These are some of the touching lyrics from the R.E.M. song, “Everybody Hurts.”
Touching lyrics for any time of year, most especially those when the nights are long.
Touching lyrics for any time in the evolutionary cycle, most especially those
when there are societal crises right out in the light of day – among others, a pandemic,
economic crisis, racial injustice, abuse and violence in countless forms and under countless guises.
Touching lyrics that will hopefully move us to open our hearts wider and deeper than ever before.
Touching lyrics that will – even beneath our consciousness – call us to true healing from the inside out,
individually and collectively.

R. D. Laing wrote: There is a great deal of pain in life and perhaps the only pain that can be avoided
is the pain that comes from trying to avoid pain.

So when you, like everybody, hurt …
what do you do with your hurt?

Do you try to avoid it, causing yourself and others even more pain?
Do you hurt yourself even more, pretending it’s better if you’re in control of it?

Do you try to avoid it by hurting others directly?
Do you try to avoid it by getting revenge on others?
Do you try to avoid it by running away from it, in all versions of escape?
Do you try to avoid it by building an arsenal of defenses, both obvious
and in the form of guises?

There is, for example, the guise of being civilized.
  And as Laing also wrote:  “We are effectively destroying ourselves by
violence masquerading as love.”

Do you try to avoid it by sublimating your hurt into activities, even causes?

Or, knowing that everyone hurts …
Do you purposefully, consciously, for growth and transformation…
Utilize the hurt you feel for your healing?

My prayer at this time in our year …
At this time in our lives …
At this time in our world …
At this time in our evolution …
May we stop avoiding our pain …
May we stop acting out our pain …
May we utilize our pain with care and truly good intention
For the sake of healing …
Our own healing to the root …
And through that
The healing of our world.

May it be so.

© Judith Barr, 2020.

 

*R.E.M. Songwriters: Buck Peter Lawrence, Berry William Thomas.   

OUR BETTER ANGELS AND OUR WORSE ANGELS — WHAT NOW?

While this is about the United States right now, especially as the US nears its election day …
it is also, at the same time, about every country, every person in our world.

Many in the public sphere are and have been appealing to the “better angels of our nature.”* They’ve also been encouraging us to appeal to our own better angels.

To me, it seems that our better angels are urging people not to act out on the destructive impulses that are being enacted and re-enacted in our country and our world in these times.

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There are destructive impulses within every one of us.
Some know about them. Some don’t. Some don’t want to know about them.
They bury them deep within.
Some don’t want to consider them destructive, but rather want to justify them.
Some don’t want it to be known that they have these destructive currents.
They create “nice” and “civilized” masks to hide the destructiveness from themselves and others.

This is at the heart of our looking at our better angels and our worse angels.
There are those of us who act upon our better angels’ nature.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t also have our own worse angels.
Often we keep them a secret, even from ourselves.

In recent years, more than for a long time before, and more publicly, too, leadership has given permission to the rest of us to act out the destructive angels part of us. It has given permission outright through its words and its actions. It has normalized this behavior, made it seem ok, and fed it from its own worse angels.

And many people have taken that permission . . . and have taken the free pass it offered them to act destructively and not take responsibility for it. And so the hidden worse angels have been invited, encouraged, and helped out of hiding … out into our current world. This hurts everyone.

It also hurts everyone that there is no public discussion at all that I’ve heard …
teaching people that we can and need to do much more than
standing back helpless in the face of the worse angels;
putting our masks back on to hide our worse angels;
burying our worse angels again to keep them under control;
getting others to bury their worse angels again to keep them and their destructiveness under control.

To my knowledge, there has been no public teaching that it is possible to heal and transform our worse angels.
Our worse angels come from the ancient trauma we have experienced.
They are our response to that trauma.
They are our defenses against the pain of that trauma.
They are our coping mechanisms to try to live with the consequences of that trauma.

I am not making them ok. I still hold our worse angels accountable.
I still hold us accountable for our worse angels.
I’m just saying that at the root of our beings,
our worse angels arise from our early trauma.

This doesn’t mean despondence and despair.
This means hope.
This is the hope . . .

We can heal our worse angels . . .
We can heal them to the root by healing from our own trauma.
By actually doing the deep inner healing therapy.

This is empowering.
This is hopeful.
It is possible to create healing and transformation.

We don’t have to keep holding our worse angels at bay.
We don’t have to keep acting them out.
There is real healing that can be done …

I do this with the people with whom I work every day.
I know from my own experience that this real healing can be done.

The election is Tuesday.
Whatever the outcome …
we absolutely need to ask “Now What?”
Because  . . .

Whatever the election brings,
we absolutely need to heal our worse angels to their roots —
the roots that are in the ground of our traumas from long, long ago.

Not healing them is what got us here today.
Healing them is what will help us de-escalate the destructiveness and trauma
and at long last heal the trauma that created them.

© Judith Barr, 2020.

*The phrase “better angels of our nature” came from Abraham Lincoln’s 1st Inaugural Address.

DARK NIGHT STILL …

There is so much to say.
And so much has been said already.
We are in the dark night of the soul …
still.

It is even darker than it was in April.
It is even more crucial than before
that we each take responsibility to do our own personal inner healing work.
It is still more crucial than before
that we each take responsibility to do our own personal soul work
within the cauldron of this dark night.
It is more crucial to us individually
and more crucial to us communally.

We can no longer just leave it to others to take care
of the traumas that got us here,
the traumas that are here in this moment, and
the traumas that we are now creating for our future
and that of generations to come.

We can no longer just act out our ancient traumas.
We can no longer just believe we’re entitled to impact others,
as we willfully act as we please,
insisting we are not responsible,
hoping we’ll escape the trauma we cause,
or deluding ourselves that we will benefit from it.
We can no longer just
not care, just numb ourselves, just turn our backs, just run away,
the consequences be damned …
all of which was done to us when we were traumatized long ago.

In addition …
We can no longer believe we’re doing enough by
taking action in the outer world.
We can no longer believe we’re doing enough by
praying, meditating, chanting.
We can no longer believe we’re doing enough by
responding superficially to our wounds –
by putting bandaids on them and trying to banish the symptoms.
The symptoms are not the real problem.
They are just the manifestation of the problem –
the traumas deep within that we are all being called to heal.

It is our responsibility to continue to do that healing.
Look outside at what’s taking place in our country and our world.
And then look inside to discover how your ancient traumas
are being triggered by what’s occurring.
And then look inside to discover how your ancient traumas
have contributed to what’s occurring.
And then look inside to discover what you need to heal now …
and now …
and now …

I have no more words to say right now.
I encourage you to read and listen to my article from this past April –
DARK NIGHT

https://judithbarr.com/2020/04/14/dark-night/

Safe passage through the dark night …
from my heart to yours …
Judith

© Judith Barr, 2020.

FREEDOM – SIMPLE AND TO THE POINT

Freedom is not adults – people in big bodies –
acting out like children.

Freedom is not another word for
“I have a free pass to act as I wish,
regardless of its consequences on others.”

Freedom is not another word for
“I’ll do whatever I want the consequences be damned!”

Freedom is not another word for
“I can get away with anything without
myself suffering any impact of my actions.”

Freedom is not another word for
“I don’t have or have to follow any rules.”

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Freedom is not another word for
“You don’t have any authority over me.”
Or “You don’t have any power over me.”

Freedom is not a synonym for
“See if you can stop me!”

Freedom is not a synonym for
“I can justify my behavior with anything …
with anything I wish to use as a rationalization
or an excuse.”

Freedom is not a synonym for
“you can’t make me do anything!”

Freedom isn’t a synonym for anything you choose to do
under the guise of free will.
It doesn’t mean rebelling under the guise of free will.
it doesn’t mean damaging people, property, and systems
under the guise of free will.
It doesn’t mean causing harm for everyone else
under the guise of free will.
It doesn’t mean ignoring safety
under the guise of free will.
It doesn’t mean being destructive to society, the earth,
all beings here on earth …
under the guise of free will.

Freedom isn’t a license to act out our childhood traumas,
creating more trauma as we act out,
refusing to heal those wounds,
and that trauma, past, present, and future.

Supposedly, in a few days, we, in America, will be celebrating the anniversary of our freedom from Britain.

If we love and honor our country and want to work to help it become its best …
we will need to look under the guises and heal everything within us that pretends to be freedom.

If we celebrate something that is not really freedom . . .
we will increase and escalate everything within and without —
that is creating harm again and again and again in our country and abroad.

To celebrate real freedom means taking personal responsibility.
To celebrate real freedom means taking responsibility for your actions, words, thoughts, and feelings.
To celebrate real freedom means taking responsibility for healing your wounding, instead of acting it out on other people and the world, even under the guise of freedom.
To celebrate real freedom means taking responsibility for healing to the point of being a real Adult, not a child who pretends to be an adult.
To celebrate real freedom means being individuated.
To celebrate real freedom means being in your power, using your power well –
not over others.
To celebrate real freedom means using your gifts in service for you and others.
To celebrate real freedom means being and living in the spirit of Truth and Love.

© Judith Barr, 2020

 

REFLECTIONS ON PANDEMICS

MORE PANDEMICS THAN YOU KNOW

Most of us, when we apply the word “pandemic” to these times in our lives and our world, think of the coronavirus health pandemic. This may be the only time in our lives we have heard the word “pandemic” applied to current experience.

As devastating as the health pandemic has been in these past months – and it has been devastating – when I think of pandemics, I think of many more pandemics than the coronavirus health pandemic alone.

I think of the financial pandemic. I think of the pandemic of prejudice and racial injustice. I think of the pandemic of abuse and violence. And I think of the underlying pandemic that no one is naming, the one that connects all of them: the pandemic of trauma.

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They all need our attention. They all require our responsiveness. They all necessitate our action. They all necessitate our action, not only in the outer world but also in our inner worlds.

The action in the outer world may appear to be the most immediate and the most important, and in many ways it is important. But … if we don’t answer the call to do the healing in the inner world, then we become or continue to be part of the problem. Then we  become or continue to be part of the driving force spreading the pandemics.

For years I have been working with people and teaching people that if we don’t heal the core inner trauma, we will not only contribute to the outer trauma, but will also be part of creating and escalating the outer trauma to unprecedented, excruciating proportions.

That remains true today. It is heart-breaking.
We are seeing that today. It is heart-breaking.
We are hearing that today. It is heart-breaking.
We are feeling that today.  It is heart-breaking beyond words.
We are being called louder than ever to take responsibility for our own inner healing!
We are being called louder than ever to do that healing and experience its
positive effects on us – within – and on our world outside – near and far.
Every one of us who does our own work contributes to the healing not only for him- or herself, but also for all of us.

THE HEALTH PANDEMIC

However the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic began … too many people allowed it to spread by denying it, by refusing to take actions that needed to be taken, by colluding with the denial and refusal. This was not only people in government – all over the world – but citizens, too. Places not closed; places opened too soon; people being careless and reckless with their own lives and the lives of others.

Through the work I’ve done, it is clear that complicity in the spread of the pandemic is rooted in people’s defenses against knowing, remembering and feeling the “unsafety” they lived through and survived early in their lives.

This doesn’t mean we should condone their dangerous behavior. It reveals the trauma underlying the trauma they are acting out and escalating today.

This trauma needs to be healed if we are to resolve the health pandemic and others like it.

THE FINANCIAL PANDEMIC

No matter how many claim that this financial crisis is the result of the health pandemic, the reality is that this financial crisis brings out into the light of day the real roots of financial traumas. Very few people realize that our personal relationships with money are rooted in early trauma; that our collective relationships with money are rooted in our individual relationships and traumas; that these traumas are inter-generational; and that the traumas, at their root, aren’t themselves about money. Very few people realize that the relationships with money of both wealthy and poor are rooted in trauma.

Over decades, I’ve worked with many people to help them heal their relationships with money. Again and again, I’ve witnessed the revelation of trauma at the root. The trauma may or may not have been tangentially related to money, but the trauma itself was related to abuse, violation and violence, neglect, grief, and more.

In these times, this opening to our traumas has become so important … I have begun offering a virtual introductory workshop, “Money Is Not the Root of All Evil – Money Is A Window to Our Early Traumas.”

This trauma needs to be discovered and healed if we are to resolve the financial pandemic and others like it.

THE PANDEMIC OF PREJUDICE AND RACIAL INJUSTICE
AND
THE PANDEMIC OF ABUSE AND VIOLENCE

My heart is filled with the pain of both individual and systemic racial injustice …
and the trauma it causes. The trauma it is causing now. The trauma it has caused for centuries all over the world … and right here in the U.S.

I cannot possibly do justice to this subject, but I will try to, in a nutshell, open our eyes, our minds, and our hearts.  Black Americans who are suffering every day in the U.S. have their trauma rooted in their ancestors’ having been captured and abducted in their original homes and brought here as slaves. Enslavement was also the barbaric and dehumanizing practice of many other countries including Great Britain, Portugal, and Spain.

As someone who looks for the roots of traumas, this is what I see:  To the slave traders and holders, these people were not people. They were objects. They were property. They were belongings to be used and treated at the will of the owners. They were bought and sold, and thereby this trauma was connected with money. But the deeper root was this: To the others who trafficked them, black people were not people. They were not human. They were objects and possessions. And the possessors did whatever they wanted to and with their possessions.

When we explore misogyny, we see this attitude in relation to women. When we explore child abuse, we see this attitude in relation to children. Both … still happening today. Some aspects of this are called “human trafficking.” The attitude itself begins in families where children are treated as objects. It begins in families where one or more of the parents were treated as objects in childhood.  It begins in families in cultures that teach that kind of objectification, preach it, practice it, and normalize it.  Alice Miller wrote about this phenomenon at length in her writings, particularly her book, For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence. (1983)

There is more of this cruelty held, felt, and acted out from one person to another than we want to realize, acknowledge, and feel. And there is a current of this cruelty somewhere within each of us.  Right here for each of us to heal. (See How Did We Get Here? Judith Barr, 2018.)

So if we are truly going to help heal the racism and injustice in our country and our world today, this current in each of us and the root trauma beneath it will need to be healed within us.

If we don’t do this deeper healing, we will go another cycle and yet another cycle of working to heal racism, only to find that we still have to face ourselves.

This trauma needs to be discovered and healed if we are to resolve the prejudice and racial injustice pandemic in our country and in our world.
This trauma needs to be discovered and healed if we are to resolve the abuse and violence pandemic in our country and in our world.

THE PANDEMIC OF TRAUMA

Trauma is at the root. The trauma pandemic is at the root of all these pandemics.
Every time trauma is repressed the virus grows. Every time trauma is denied the virus breeds. Every time trauma is normalized the virus multiplies. Every time trauma is acted out the virus reproduces. Every time the acted-out trauma is responded to with trauma the virus spreads … and spreads … and spreads. Every time the trauma is responded to with outer action alone, even if the outer action is useful, the virus creeps and creeps and creeps. Every time the trauma that is still alive within us is ignored, left where it is, neglected, the virus grows silently
and under the cover of the outer action.

We are certainly witness to this in our time.  We are certainly participants in this at this time in history.

This pandemic of trauma needs to be discovered and healed if we are to resolve the pandemics that are grown and spread in the ground of trauma … the ground of trauma within us, between us, amongst us, and all around us.

This is true today. It will remain true until we respond.
If we do not say ‘yes’ to the call to heal our early traumas, still alive within us today … It will be heart-breaking.
If we do not say ‘yes’ to ending our complicity with our collective traumas, still alive within and all around us today … It will be heart-breaking.
If we continue to feed the pandemic of trauma instead of resolving and healing it … It will be heart-breaking.

Aren’t we broken-hearted enough from the cycles and cycles of trauma?
Come join me to end the trauma pandemic and those that arise and grow from it!

_____
Some resources to help you:

* Two home study courses (for professionals and lay people) can help with the healing of the abuse and violence pandemic:

Healing Bullying to the Root:  A Unique Approach to a Painful Epidemic
https://judithbarr.com/portfolio/healing-bullying-to-the-root-a-unique-approach-to-a-painful-epidemic/

and

Violence: Finding and Healing the Roots from the Inside Out
https://judithbarr.com/portfolio/violencefinding-and-healing-the-roots-from-the-inside-out/

** For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence Alice Miller, 1983.

*** How Did We Get Here? Our Refusal to Know the Truth About Ourselves; Blowing the Whistle on Us – For the Trauma We’ve Experienced and the Trauma We Create, Judith Barr, 2018.

****Contact me to arrange a virtual workshop: “Money Is Not the Root of All Evil – Money Is A Window to Our Early Traumas.”

*****This video clip, “Ask Yourself,” can pierce the objectification of black people … if we let it open our eyes, ears, and hearts to their humanity.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDqwacSe7O0  

© Judith Barr, 2020.

 

DARK NIGHT

THE DARK NIGHT

This is a dark night for us …
individually and communally.
Life, as we knew it, has changed.
The world around us, as we knew it, has changed.
We, as we knew ourselves, have changed.

We’d like to believe we will go back to the way we were.
That’s not really possible.
We’d like to know what will become …
of life, the world around us, and of us.
We don’t know.
We can’t know.

Dark Night
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This is the message that complements Judith's blog post on the same topic: https://judithbarr.com/2020/04/14/dark-night/

This is a dark night.
We cannot go around it.
We cannot rise above it.
We need to go through it.
We need to go deep within ourselves,
through the dark, unknown, scary places within ourselves,
if we are to come out the other side of the dark night.

If we quit in the middle …
all that we are running away from will haunt us.
All the thoughts, the feelings, the ways of being in our underground currents
will stagnate within and haunt us …
forever until …
we go back within to meet them, name them, feel them.
Until we go back within to resolve them at last.

This is true in our spiritual journeys.
This is true in our journeys in depth psychotherapy.
And now this is true in our lives in the midst of a pandemic.

There is no shortcut through the dark night.
Although many would like there to be.
Trying to take a shortcut only brings us back to the dark night once more.
Making the full journey brings us out into life –
into the life of who we are –
into life within and without –
in a way we’ve not known before.

DARK NIGHTS PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

We have just passed or are passing through the holy days of two of our many world religions:  Holy Week in Christianity and the Holy Week of Passover in Judaism. We know the stories connected with each of these holidays. So we know the outcomes.  But those who lived through them didn’t know the outcomes ahead of time. They had to go through them to the end.  They lived in and through the dark nights of those times.

We don’t know dark nights from the outside in. We know them from the inside out. This pandemic in our time is calling us to journey with and through the dark night … our individual and our communal dark nights.

It is important to know we each have a choice in relation to the dark night.

Whatever choice we make, it will have an impact on not only singular us, but on all of us here on earth.  We each have a choice. Whatever choice we make will be our part in re-creating our world.  Be filled with care as you participate in co-creating our world anew.

For inspiration, included below is a poem from a dark night that I passed through long ago.

OUT OF MY DYING FRAGMENTS

Out of my dying
fragments
emerge some of
my sweetest and truest songs.

As I lay grieving,
gently holding my broken heart,
rivers of sobs and tears
part of the mending,
shedding my used defenses
as a snake sloughs her skin …
my heart’s desire
calls through the freshly opened
wires
to invite me out again
into Life —

new Life,
a life I’ve not known before,
a life in which I no longer
know who I am,
thank heavens!
and so can live each
moment new
from inside my Self —
undefined, unlabeled
by even my own impositions.

© Judith Barr, 1993. Out of My Dying Fragments

© Judith Barr, 2020

LAYERS AND LAYERS OF TRAUMA

We are living in the midst of trauma.
We are experiencing many layers of traumas, right here in our lives today.
We are in the midst of global trauma,
national trauma, state trauma, city trauma,
family trauma,
and individual trauma.

It has changed our lives forever,
just as any trauma does.

We have so much to do to take care of ourselves and each other
in the very present, very current trauma.
And we need to do that!
We need to take every precaution that
we come through the trauma as safely as possible.

Layers and Layers of Trauma
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This is the message that complements Judith's blog post on the same topic: https://judithbarr.com/2020/03/28/layers-and-layers-of-trauma/

At the same time …
we need to know
that without a doubt,
each time we, as individuals
go through a trauma in the present moment,
it triggers and reawakens – consciously or unconsciously –
all previous traumas we have experienced.
All the way back to the beginning
of our lives
and even further …

So although we already have so much to do
to take care of ourselves and each other
in today’s trauma …
if we fail to also become aware of
and work to heal the past traumas that are triggered …
we will end up creating more trauma in the midst of this trauma.
We will act out in ways that are painful not only for us,
but also for others around us,
near and far.

We might lash out at others, blaming them for what we are feeling —
perhaps fear or helplessness (among many other feelings)
instead of feeling our own feelings about today’s trauma,
and the feelings from our childhood triggered by today’s trauma.

We might crawl in a corner, literally or figuratively,
paralyzed by today’s trauma
and the feelings from our youth triggered by today’s trauma.

We might refuse to help people
or get in the way of their receiving help,
instead of feeling what’s triggered –
how we were deprived of help when we were little.

We might lie about the dangers in today’s trauma,
or be horribly susceptible to the lies of others …
just as we were when we were tiny children,
being lied to and either not knowing it or
having no choice but to believe the lies.

We may expose others to the dangers of the virus,
refusing to take responsibility for our harmful impact on each other …
just as people in our childhoods refused to take responsibility
for their destructive impact on us.

Once again …
although we have so much to do
to take care of ourselves and each other in the layers
of today’s trauma …
we will make even today’s trauma worse
if we fail to also become aware of
and work to heal the layers and layers of
past traumas that are triggered.
We will end up creating more trauma in the midst of this trauma,
and more trauma still in the days, weeks, months, years,
and generations to come.

This is both a trauma and an opportunity . . .
an opportunity to learn;
an opportunity to grow;
an opportunity to heal;
an opportunity to transform
ourselves and our society …
what we do in the midst of this trauma
and those traumas to come;
an opportunity through healing to the root
to co-create ourselves and our world anew.
It is, in the beginning, the middle, and the end …
up to each of us and all of us together.

© Judith Barr, 2020