YOU MIGHT THINK IT’S OK* …

You might think it’s ok …
to yell at your children.
You might think it’s ok …
to hit your children.
You might think it’s ok …
to tease, ridicule, or humiliate your children.
I don’t think it’s ok.

You might think it’s ok …
to push your children to grow up,
before they’ve even been children.
Before they’ve even had a chance to develop.

You Might Think It's OK
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This is the message that complements Judith's blog post on the same topic: https://judithbarr.com/2019/03/31/you-might-think-its-ok/

You might think it’s ok …
to believe thinking is more important
than any real feeling at all.
You might think it’s ok …
to disregard or forget the truth –
that in the first stages of their lives,
children cannot think at all;
they can only feel – physical, sensory, and emotional feelings.
You might think it’s ok …
to teach your children to ignore their feelings.
I don’t think it’s ok.

You may think it’s ok …
to enslave your children under any guise at all.
You may think it’s ok …
to brainwash your children under whatever pretense you choose.
I don’t think it’s ok.

You might think it’s ok …
to sexually abuse your children.
You might think it’s ok …
to force them.
You might think it’s ok …
to threaten them.
You might think it’s ok …
to seduce them.
I don’t think any of those things are ok.
I don’t think it’s ok to sexually molest, abuse, engage with children …
under any circumstance whatsoever.

You might think it’s ok …
to deny the abuse you experienced as a child.
You might think it’s ok …
to pretend it’s over and not affecting you.
You might think it’s ok …
to imagine or pretend the trauma you experienced as a child
is not impacting anyone at all today.
I don’t think it’s ok.
I don’t think it’s the truth.

You might think it’s ok …
to make-believe your taking things out on
children in your life today
has nothing to do with your having been abused as a child.
I don’t think it’s ok.

You might think it’s ok …
to justify all the reasons you think you have a right
to abuse the children in your life,
instead of taking responsibility for acting out your childhood traumas
on children in your life today.
I don’t.

You might think it’s ok …
to champion your excuses for abusing the adults in your life today, too,
instead of taking responsibility for acting out your early traumas on the adults
in your everyday current life.
I don’t.

You might think it’s ok …
to create trauma in someone else’s life today,
instead of owning and healing from the trauma in your own life –
today and long, long ago.
I don’t think it’s ok.

You might think it’s ok …
for you to be unconscious about trauma.
I don’t think it’s ok.

You might think it’s ok …
to normalize abuse and trauma.
I don’t.
You might think it’s ok …
to be blind to abuse and trauma.
I don’t.
You might think it’s ok …
to be deaf to abuse and trauma.
I don’t.
You might think it’s ok…
to be numb to abuse and trauma.
I don’t.
You might think it’s ok …
to refuse to do anything at all to help yourself
see, hear, and feel trauma.
I don’t think that’s ok.

I don’t think it’s ok to shut yourself off to your own trauma.
I don’t think it’s ok to disregard the trauma you create for others
when you ignore your own trauma.
I don’t think it’s ok for you to cause trauma for others near and far,
as a defense against recognizing, acknowledging, remembering,
feeling, and healing your own trauma.

You might think it’s ok …
for you to deny, discount and denigrate everything I’m saying.
I don’t.
I think your denigration is itself a red flag showing
everyone how you hide from your past trauma
and its consequences in our world – past and present.

I’m simply holding a mirror to you of yourself,
your culture,
and most of our world’s cultures.
A mirror of how we corrupt our power.
A mirror of how we perpetuate that misuse and abuse of our power …
up close and personally, as well as way out in the public arena and view.

You may think you’re entitled to do so …
because you have money, because you are bigger, because you’re well known, because you have power.
But I don’t think you’re entitled to do so.

You may think it’s ok …
for you to be a parent without doing your own inner healing.
I don’t.
You may think it’s ok …
for you to be a coach without doing your own inner healing.
I don’t.
You may think it’s ok …
for you to be a teacher without doing your own inner healing.
I don’t.
You may think it’s ok …
for you to be a spiritual teacher without doing your own inner healing.
I don’t.
You may think it’s ok …
for you to be a psychotherapist, counselor, or healer without doing your own inner healing.
I don’t.
You may think it’s ok …
for you to be a doctor without doing your own inner healing.
I don’t.
You may think it’s ok …
for you to be a business leader without doing your own inner healing.
I don’t.
You may think it’s ok …
for you to be a media guru without doing your own inner healing.
I don’t.
You may think it’s ok …
for you to be a celebrity without doing your own inner healing.
I don’t.
You may think it’s ok …
for you to be a government leader without doing your own inner healing.
But I don’t.

I don’t think it’s ok.
In each case you create more trauma for others –
for those who have already been traumatized and
for those who are being traumatized by you —
right now and in the future, short- and long-term future …
just because you were traumatized and refuse to tend to your own trauma.

You can make believe what you’re doing is ok.
But I know it isn’t ok.
You can make believe what you’re doing is the truth.
But I know it isn’t the truth.
You can make believe what I’m saying is fake.
But I know what I’m saying is the deep truth …
and is occurring throughout our land.**
You can make believe what you’re saying is love.
But I know it isn’t love.
Deep love and truth sees, hears, and feels the trauma you are causing
as a way to defend against the trauma you experienced as a child.

You might think it’s ok.
You might think it’s what you need to do to survive.
You might think it’s what you need to do to stay sane.
I think perhaps it was what you needed to do to survive and stay sane as a child.
But to do these things today ….
is irresponsible.
Cruel.
Harmful.
Destructive …
to you, to others, to our children, to our world, to our Earth.

The evidence of that is visible.
The proof of that is audible.
The verification of that is felt.
The confirmation of that is all around us.
The confirmation of that is within and all around us.

And every single day you think it’s okay for you …
to ignore, deny, and resist acknowledging this confirmation …
you perpetuate the problem,
you escalate the problem,
you increase the consequences for yourself and everyone else in our world.

You might think it’s ok.
I don’t.

 

*I thank Adam Schiff for the powerful words he used to convey his message. “You might think it’s ok.” These words resonated deeply to form the framework for my message. This is not political. It is, rather, about the trauma we’ve experienced and acted out on others.

Note:  I am a depth psychotherapist and midwife to the soul. In those capacities, I understand that we become more and more conscious as we open to it, as we develop the ability, readiness, and strength to safely remember, feel, deepen, heal, and grow. This is how I work with people.

But I also understand that there are people who have no intention whatsoever to do so. And that our cultures can become infected with that lack of intention, causing great harm to themselves and others.

Sometimes children run out into the street without looking – no awareness that they could cause their own harm or the harm of others. A caring adult will protect such children by pulling them out of the street. Sometimes adults in our world act in the same way. Someone needs to pull them out of the street … for their own sake and for the sake of others. And they need to alert others to the realization that there are adults acting like children, running out into the street and causing harm.

And someone needs to alert the others to look in a mirror and see how they, themselves, might be complicit in the harm.

**To learn more, read How Did We Get Here? Our Refusal to Know the Truth About Ourselves. Mysteries of Life, 2018.  https://judithbarr.com/how-did-we-get-here/  or Amazon: US | CA | UK | DE | ES | FR | IT

 

© Judith Barr, 2019.

AN OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESS

STOP! THIS ISN’T ABOUT POLITICS!

What’s going on in our country and our world is not about politics, although so many people think it is. It’s about our human defenses against feeling being acted out in the political arena day after day, hour after hour. People may insist it’s about politics and become addicted to politics as a new defense mechanism against what’s deep at the root.

An Open Letter to Congress - from Judith Barr
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This is the message that complements Judith's blog post on the same topic: https://judithbarr.com/2019/03/07/an-open-letter-to-congress/
This isn’t about politics! It’s really about our fighting against remembering and feeling the traumas we’ve experienced – especially the ones from when we were children.  And it’s about that every time we defend against the past traumas that still live within us, we create new traumas that mirror the ancient ones.  And the new traumas we create have a traumatic impact on us, those around us, and even our world. And especially our children!

Sue Grafton, best-selling author of the alphabet mystery series, writes about this phenomenon in her book, O Is for Outlaw: “[When she built her current house,] was Laddie conscious of what she’d done or had she mimicked Duncan’s house inadvertently?  What is it that prompts us to reenact our unresolved issues? We revisit our wounds, constructing the past in hopes that this time we can make the ending turn out right.”

We, the people, do this all the time … individually, in our families, and communally on a larger scale … generation after generation after generation.  This is the true underlying cause of history repeating itself.

But instead of unconsciously and compulsively trying to make the ending turn out right, we need to heal the wound to its root. We need to become aware. We need the help to feel safely, our feelings from the trauma, and our other feelings, as well. We need the assistance to go through the feelings and come out the other side … without the need to hold those feelings at bay, without the resulting compulsion to act them out in our lives and our world, and without the blocks to our utilizing our minds, hearts, bodies and souls for healing, health, and well-being for all … that is now beyond our imagination. Only then can we help our children and generations to come with their feelings, with healing trauma, and with preventing future trauma.

Fred Rogers knew about feelings and their crucial place in our lives many decades ago, when he created his show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and when he testified before Congress in 1969 in an appeal for public television funding.

Mister Rogers created a relationship with each child who watched his show. He helped children know they were unique and liked just the way they are. He wanted Congress to experience and know the importance of a child’s being safe and able to express feelings in healthy ways – for self and with others. He knew the connection between that safe expression of feeling and mental health. And he was very clear that “it’s much more dramatic that two men could be working out their feelings of anger – much more dramatic than showing something of gunfire.”

To give an example to the Congress people, Mister Rogers told them the words to a song:

“What do you do with the mad that you feel? When you feel so mad you could bite. When the whole wide world seems oh so wrong, and nothing you do seems very right. What do you do? Do you punch a bag? Do you pound some clay or some dough? Do you round up friends for a game of tag or see how fast you go? It’s great to be able to stop when you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong. And be able to do something else instead, and think this song —

“I can stop when I want to. Can stop when I wish. Can stop, stop, stop anytime…. And what a good feeling to feel like this! And know that the feeling is really mine. Know that there’s something deep inside that helps us become what we can.”

In our world today, our healthy relationship with our feelings is desperately needed. Just as desperately as when Mister Rogers was working to help us with our feelings, and maybe even more.

I help adults create a healthy relationship with their feelings on a daily basis …
to help them heal from past trauma …
to help them prevent re-enactments of those past traumas …
to help prevent trauma to their children,
and to help them live healthy, full and fulfilling lives.

It is my honor and privilege to do so.
And it is my deep intention to continue to do so.

In addition, now I have a dream …
I am sitting in Congress, speaking to those who are considered leaders in government.
I am telling these men and women:

Each one of us was somehow wounded long, long ago when we were young.
The wound was too painful for a child to bear.
So we buried it and our feelings, too.
And then we invented ways to keep it all buried,
without even realizing we were doing that.

We didn’t have people to help us with those wounds and that pain.
Either our parents hadn’t learned how from their own experience
or maybe they were the ones who wounded us.

Left buried beneath our awareness, those wounds and traumas happened again and again –
at different ages, with different people, in different forms.
At some point, without realizing it, we were creating or re-enacting them over and over again.
Some say, “in an attempt to make it turn out right.”
Some say, “in an attempt to bring it into our consciousness so undeniably that we would finally work to heal it.”
And some say “both.”

I say “both.”

Unless we understand this, we cannot change it.
Unless we say “yes” to learning about it –
both in our minds and experientially in our lives –
we cannot change it.

The acting out in our country as a defense against ancient wounds
has escalated and escalated and escalated.
The degree of escalation is immeasurable.
But all we need to do is look, and we can see it …
yes, we can see it.
It is all around us.

You are leaders in our country.
Just like everyone else, you are reenacting painful experiences from your childhood … without even being aware of it.
Just like everyone else, you are trying to hold the memories and the feelings at bay.
Just like everyone else, you are acting out to defend against the pain of your own “once upon a time.”
It is destructive beyond measure.

Just like everyone else, you have the opportunity to explore, discover, and heal –
both from the trauma long ago and the impact of your reenactments on yourself, our country, and our whole world.
You are leaders in our country.
You have the responsibility to do this healing.
You have the ethical, moral, humanitarian, and soul responsibility to do your part of the healing …
and while doing so to help set our country and our government in alignment again;
and while doing so to model something new, something courageous, something life- and world-changing for our citizens.

I know it is painful to face and feel the trauma from the past,
but better that than create more trauma in order to avoid the past trauma.

Our citizens need to do this same work.
We each have that responsibility.
 But if you are our leaders …
your responsibility is even greater!

Our people are counting on you.
Our children are counting on you.
Our whole world is counting on you.
I am counting on you.

I waken and know this dream is reality.
I waken and I am still holding you accountable.
I waken and I am still counting on you.

With many prayers that you will take this responsibility seriously
and do your healing work.

Judith Barr

© Judith Barr, 2019

 

 

WHAT WILL THE WOMEN DO?

One of the red flags of the patriarchy — men misusing and abusing their power.

But, remember! Women are part of the patriarchy, too.  As women start claiming more power in our public world, let’s not make the mistake of thinking it’s only the men.  We women misuse and abuse our power, too. Sometimes in public life. Sometimes in private.

In my favorite TV interview after I wrote my book, Power Abused, Power Healed,*  I talked with Steve Adubato about women and power.

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People expect men to abuse power. But with all these women in power now... what will they do with it?

 

In essence, I confirmed that men have misused and abused their power – in government, in families, and elsewhere. And that their abuse of power has been more “out there” than women’s abuse of power.  But what seemed most important to tell him:  if women are at home with the children after the father goes to work, or whenever the mother is with the children alone … it is the women who are in power.  They have all the power. And whatever they, the mothers, experienced in childhood, whatever the mothers decided in childhood … all that can be acted out with the children—in the nursery, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the playroom.

Steve’s response: A lot of power!

My elaboration:  That one mother’s child may grow up to be a president or a dictator. That one mother can have more power – as much if not more power, if you think of the child’s formative years – than Hitler. In other words, one mother can contribute or co-contribute to a child’s becoming a terrifyingly destructive adult – citizen or leader.

This means that not only the fathers but – sometimes equally and sometimes even more – the mothers and their childhood experiences in the face of power have an extraordinary impact on how power is used by leaders and by citizens in our country and our world. Both the acting out and the impact can be conscious and unconscious.

As a result, we each need to explore within and heal to the roots …  whatever misuse and abuse of power we are prone or programmed to re-enact within and without, as a result of our experiencing the same with our parents and other elders in our youth.

If we don’t do that healing work, we will re-enact our own experiences and collude communally – with our families, our companies, our organizations, our communities, our world – to co-create misuse and abuse of power in our world today and tomorrow.

Mothers will act out with their children their own childhood experiences with people who were in power with them.  This is exactly what we’ve seen with the men . . . who act out with their children as well as in their other relationships, personal and public, their experiences with those in power with them, when they themselves were children.

So … how many men do you know who have done their own inner healing work with their experiences with people in power and with their own resulting relationships with power?  How many men who are fathers, husbands, employers, politicians, government officials, and more?
And how many women do you know who have done their own inner healing work with power? How many women who are mothers, wives, employers, politicians, government officials, and more?

If we women want to take a larger, more active part in the healing of our country and our world, we need to do it differently than men … not only in the outer world, but also in our inner worlds.  We need to do our own inner work with the experiences we had as children with those in power … and with the resultant relationships with power that we have created in our lives – inside and out.

If we women fail to do our inner work … whatever we do in the outer world, we will be unable to make the changes we claim we want to make and sustain them. That can only be done from the inside out.

© Judith Barr, 2019

*  Power Abused, Power Healed, Judith Barr, Mysteries of Life, 2007.

Note: Not all people misuse and abuse their power as obviously as others. Not all people misuse and abuse their power as much as others, or as obviously impactfully as others. But there is a current of misuse and abuse of power in each of us.  In some, that current is huge, like a huge flooding river. In others, that current is not as large, but however large it is … it has an impact on us and on our world, inside and out. That means we all need to do this work! And just to be clear . . . there are both men and women who do this inner healing work… just not nearly enough of either.

AFRAID OF THE DARK? PART 2 – A BRIDGE INTO THE NEW YEAR

We’re afraid of the dark

People are afraid of the dark for many reasons–
some known, some not-yet-known.
Our unexplored fear of the dark makes it even worse —
even scarier.
When people are afraid of something,
we often make it “bad,” even call it “evil.”
When people run away from their fears,
refuse to meet them, face them, explore them,
we make them more frightening, and
we make resolving them less and less possible.
And then the fear expands, the projecting evil onto it escalates,
and the possibility of resolution seems to disappear.

When we close the door to self discovery

At this point we may close the door to our self-examination, to searching within and to true solutions. We may find or create distractions, even distractions that appear to be kind, giving, and helpful. For example, charity can help someone, but that doesn’t erase the underlying wounds and fears that live in the darkness within us. Or, activism can be important in our outer world, but that doesn’t erase the underlying traumas and terrors that live in the darkness in our inner world.

Or we may add hype to the fear, use it as a turn on, and help someone make money off it – as with horror stories and movies. This brings fear more out into the open, but doesn’t bring our particular fear out in the open. It doesn’t get to the real roots of our fear; it doesn’t help heal our fear; and it doesn’t help transform our relationship with our own fear.  Most important – our relationship with it.

We are limitless souls …
so much of us is unknown —
to ourselves and to others.
That means so much of us is in the darkness.
So much of us is in the unknown.
Why would we turn away from discovering ourselves?
And what are the consequences?

How we hold what is in the darkness

Our wounds, traumas, and fears from long, long ago are found in the dark underground labyrinths within us … and are also triggered by the darkness in the world around us. The world up close in our everyday lives. The world out there that we know nothing about, and the world out there that we witness on tv, the internet, radio, and social media on a daily basis … for some of us all day long.

What too many of us don’t know:  our unacknowledged, unworked with, unresolved wounds, traumas, and fears within contribute to the darkness in the world all around us. They help feed it. They help grow it. They help escalate it.

Once, long ago, we were innocent victims, traumatized in ways we should never have been traumatized. That was not our responsibility. But if we grow up and don’t take responsibility to heal our own ancient traumas, we are no longer victims. We become the victimizers.  We create trauma from the trauma within that we’re holding at bay and hiding from.

Back then it wasn’t our responsibility that we were traumatized. Now it is our responsibility to heal our trauma … whatever it takes.  It is our responsibility to do the inner work to heal. Healing is an inside job. Healing is our job.

Why would we turn away from discovering ourselves?

We don’t know we can.
Then read this article, the one before this,
and as many as you need to before that one.
Read Power Abused, Power Healed.*
Read How Did We Get Here?**
You will know we can.

We don’t believe it’s possible …
But I’ve seen it. I’ve helped make it possible.
I know for a fact that it’s possible.

We’re afraid to try.
We’re afraid to try and fail.
But the only way you fail is if you give up.
I’ve seen both choices.
The trying with commitment brings healing.
The trying with giving up does not.
The giving up actually brings more pain than the staying committed.
And it reflects a re-enactment of the trauma long ago,
the trauma that created such decisions as
“it’s not possible,”
“it’s not possible for me,”
“I’ll fail,”
“I give up.”

We don’t want to do the hard work.
We’d rather live in the defenses we created as children
than help the child within us heal.
We’d rather act out what was done to us again and again
than help the little one still alive within us heal.
We’d rather act out the suffering we experienced,
within, with others, and as we witness others in our world repeating the same thing.

We’d rather numb ourselves, blind ourselves, deafen ourselves
to the pain within
and all around us
calling us to heal from the inside out.
Out of fear that we need to explore,
we’d rather avoid the real pain, the soft pain at the root.
We’d rather live from and create from our defenses, and from
the false pain, the hardened pain of our defenses.


And what are the consequences?

People are doing this all over our world – in the north, in the south, in the east, and in the west. Acting out their early suffering on themselves and others alike. Acting it out blatantly or subtly. Acting it out consciously or unconsciously.

In my country, for example, the 24/7 political saga is drawing people in. It’s not because what’s happening is really about politics. Rather, it’s because politics is a stage. Politics is merely a stage on which we act out our childhood trauma. We act it out whether we’re in the government, running for government office, reporting on those in the political arena, voting for those running for office, evaluating those in office, idealizing those in office, trying to get rid of those in office, trying to ignore those in office, triggered by those in office, and more …

Who in the current scenario is like your father was?  Who like your mother?  Who is like your brother or sister? Who like your childhood clergy person or a teacher?  Who like a neighbor? Who like the image you had of yourself when you would grow up?

I’m not a betting person, but on this I would bet. Together we could talk — for the sake of healing — and discover what from your early life is getting acted out and what from your early life is getting triggered on today’s political stage. If those in government would be willing, together we could talk – still for the sake of healing – and discover what from their early lives they are acting out and what from their early lives is getting triggered on today’s political stage.  These talks and explorations could occur anywhere in the world: in the US, in Great Britain, in Europe, in the middle east, in Africa, in South America, in India, Russia, China, Japan, Australia, and more. All over the world.

We are all in this together. And we are all creating it together.
Just like in any family … Everyone of us who does nothing to find out the consequences of our own trauma on our lives and our world today … keeps creating it, keeps co-creating it, keeps enabling it, keeps colluding with it … keeps feeding it, keeps driving it to continue and to escalate.

And …

Just like in any family … Everyone of us who starts to explore what it is in us that is involved today, and who begins to heal whatever that is … begins to end our collusion in and contribution to the ugliness, the chaos, the destructiveness, and the trauma that is right in front of us and all around us. This is the hope.

What choice will you make?

There is a touching, profound, powerful, inspirational poem by Daniel Berrigan.*
It’s called “Some.” I recommend your reading it in its entirety. For now,
it begins …

Some stood up once, and sat down.
Some walked a mile, and walked away.

Some stood up twice, then sat down.
“It’s too much,” they cried.
Some walked two miles, then walked away.
“I’ve had it,” they cried,

And later it says …

Some stood and stood and stood.
… Some walked and walked and walked –
they walked the earth,
they walked the waters,
they walked the air.


Are you going to be someone who stands up and sits down?
Someone who stands up and then walks away?
Or …
Are you going to be someone who stands and stands and stands?
And walks and walks and walks?

In the new year … and the years to come …
May you be someone who stands and stands and stands.
May you be someone who walks and walks and walks.
May you be someone who comes and stands and walks with me
and with those who are standing and walking.***

© Judith Barr, 2018.

* Power Abused, Power Healed, Judith Barr, Mysteries of Life, 2007.
** How Did We Get Here? Our Refusal to Know the Truth About Ourselves, Judith Barr, Mysteries of Life, 2018.
*** “Some” by Daniel Berrigan. You can listen to him reading his own poem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGzQ9wEdjeE
Note from me to you: If you want to know more … let me know. If you want to know more, come explore with me.

 

WINTER SOLSTICE – AFRAID OF THE DARK? – PART ONE

People are afraid of the dark …
for many, many reasons.
The unknown? Uncertainty? Danger?
Memories that aren’t yet conscious.
Memories they don’t even know exist.

The darkness has been cast as bad, even evil.
Our fear of the dark has been the cause of disconnection, detachment,
lack of attachment, and rupture.
It’s been the cause of prejudice,
and the cause of war.

As we, in the northern hemisphere,* experience increasing darkness –
shorter and shorter days, longer and longer nights,
we try to hold the darkness and our fear at bay:
turning the lights up brighter and brighter,
buying gifts manically – for distorted reasons,
celebrating feverishly – with warped intentions,
praying or meditating to rise above or go around the darkness,
donning the mask of holiday joy …
or feeling inadequate and depressed because we can’t or don’t.
Using the holidays themselves as an escape from
the pain and darkness experienced by so many at this time –
both in their families and terribly isolated from family and any one.

The Winter Solstice isn’t the only time of the year
we come face-to-face and heart-to-heart with the darkness.
But it is the consistent time of the year that clearly outpictures and
reveals our real relationship with the darkness.

If you’re afraid of the dark, remember …
as frightening as it may be in the dark unknown …
it is a gateway to healing unlike any other.
Your wounds, traumas, and fears from long, long ago are found in the dark
underground labyrinths within you,
and are triggered by the darkness in the world around you.

If instead of running away from your wounds, traumas, and fears,
If instead of hiding from them,
trying to bury them in an even darker, deeper space,
turning up the lights so bright you can try to pretend they aren’t there …

If instead you choose to utilize what you find in the dark for deep, true healing,
the treasures of healing waiting for you are limitless.
Among them:
the very wounds crying out to be healed … so you can really hear them and heal them;
strengths you didn’t know you had, didn’t know you could develop;
gifts to live and give from the essence of your being;
dreams that are deeper by far than any you’ve had – the dreams of your soul;
a new kind of light – an inner light – unlike any you have imagined.

Afraid of the dark?
Remember … trying to escape from the darkness at all costs makes healing impossible.
The cost is the loss of the healing.
Learning to enter the darkness within …
offers you for healing
a possibility unlike any other.

This is the work I do with people every single day.
Not just in the approach to and through the Winter Solstice.
All year long.
This is the work I do with people every single day.
I know that with real, sustained commitment,
it brings profound healing and transformation
and touching, miraculous new birth from the inside out.

For Part Two … stay tuned.

© Judith Barr, 2018.

* the June solstice is the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere

HAUNTED – NOW WHAT?

We are haunted. Not only on Halloween, but every day of the year.
Not only every day, but every month. Every year. Every decade. Every century.

We are haunted not only by our own personal ghosts, but also by those of our ancestors. And if we don’t find a healthy way to heal the haunting  …
… we will continue to create and escalate destruction and trauma for ourselves, our children, and each other.
… those who come after us will be haunted not only by their own personal ghosts, but also by those of their ancestors – us.

What is this haunting?
The traumas we experienced long, long ago that we have buried,
that we insist on keeping beneath our awareness,
that we persist in holding at bay,
that we refuse to heal.

What is this haunting?
The traumas that have collected in our minds, bodies, hearts, and souls
and are still alive within us today.
Those still-living traumas that – whether we realize it or not – keep creating traumas …
for we, ourselves – inside and out.
for those around us, close by and far away – inside and out.
for those in our communities, neighborhoods, nations, and planet.

What is this haunting?
The individual and collective traumas of our ancestors – yours and mine –
that were not healed, so instead got passed down …
to us, to our families, to our societies, to our world.

It boggles minds and hearts that so many of us
do not want to know we have trauma still alive within us
that is driving us – too often destructively – both subtly and blatantly in our lives.

It strains credulity and breaks hearts
that we choose to create more and more trauma in our world
today and tomorrow …
rather than face and do the inner work to heal
the trauma still alive within us
from yesterday and yesteryears.

It breaks my heart
that we choose to create trauma in our world
now and in the future
rather than face ourselves and
do our inner healing work
to heal the trauma we carry with us from our own past.

What is the state of your heart
if you can continue to make such a choice …
knowing the consequences?

 WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP HEAL THE HAUNTING?

*You can read How Did We Get Here? My recently published book that explores our haunting by trauma much more deeply. It can help you in many ways, including … informing you and helping you reflect more deeply.

*You can work with me individually.  If you are able to do in-person sessions at least periodically, and live in Connecticut, New York, or Florida and can do phone sessions for the remaining sessions . . . we can work together towards your healing your trauma.

*You can work with me in community.
Margaret Mead’s words have always touched hearts and souls:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

I lead a group of women who meet on a monthly basis, who have worked deeply and committedly for years to heal their wounds and traumas to the root.
These women know that they are not only doing their own healing, but are also participating in the healing of our country and our world.
They know the real healing needs to be done from the inside out.

They know the truth – that every one of us, even if we don’t blatantly act out destructively, plays a part in the destructiveness that is occurring and escalating today.
They know the reality that we all are part of the patriarchy, and they are working to heal the patriarchy within themselves.

They are unique, self-responsible, integritous, caring women, passionate about doing their own healing work, and aware of how combining individual work with this group work multiplies boundlessly both the support and the healing.

They would welcome new women to join this safe group — women who have these same qualities, intentions and the commitment and longing to heal and help heal.

This group is certainly one that fits Margaret Mead’s description of a group that can change the world.

© Judith Barr, 2018

KAVANAUGH – FORD: A WINDOW TO THE SOUL OF THE CULTURE

U.S. CULTURE TODAY, ANY OTHER CULTURE TOMORROW

Thomas – Hill. Kavanaugh – Ford. Republicans – Democrats. Men – Women.
And more …

This isn’t just a Supreme Court nomination. Most people realize that.
This isn’t just a political conflict. Many people realize that.
This isn’t just the fight of many women and some men to end misogyny and bring about healthy, respectful, human, heartful treatment of women by men. Many more people are realizing that.
And this isn’t just the insistence that women who were sexually abused be heard, believed and not blamed. Some are coming to that.
More are coming to that.

If you open your eyes more …
if you open your ears more …
if you open your mind more …
if you open your heart more …
you will know …
this is a window to the soul of our culture.

A window that has been closed and locked.
A window that has been boarded up –
as if to keep a storm in the outer world from blowing it in.
But truly, it has been boarded up to keep what is inside
hidden on the inside, kept secret, and buried deep within.
This window is now being blown from the inside out.

This is a window to the soul of our culture.
Where we have been hiding the trauma that lives deep within our culture.
Where we have built on top of that trauma layers and layers of defenses.
Where we have been hiding the trauma that lives –
not only in our government and government processes;
not only in our businesses and their day-to-day transactions;
not only in our religious organizations and houses of worship;
not only in our institutions of learning and their daily activities;
but also where we have been hiding the trauma that lives in our everyday families in our everyday homes –
where our children are born, live, and develop in trauma.

To an eye and a heart of someone who works with men and women who have been abused, neglected, and sexually abused as children, this whole process of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and hearings, is a clear out-picturing of what goes on in a family in our country where one or more of the children have been sexually abused by an ”authority” in the family, and where even one of those children tries to tell the truth.

Tell the truth about having been sexually abused? Almost never as a child. Too scary. Too dangerous. But even as an adult … the family authority and very often the whole family – even extended family – circles the wagons to protect the abuser. That occurs in many ways. Two of the strongest are to enlist everyone to not believe the one who has been abused and to blame the abused one for what has happened. The child – now adult – victim of the sexual abuse is attacked, scapegoated, eliminated from the family. Or there may be a fight within the family, with some supporting and some attacking the person who was hurt. Often in either case the truth-teller is accused of having “ruined the family.”

To the eye and heart of someone who has for decades worked with the early trauma of men and women, I can see how that trauma is out-pictured in their own lives. And I can see how that trauma is out-pictured in the life of our country and our world. In the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, I could see the early trauma of many of those who spoke. Some might not have seen angry outbursts and defenses as signs of early trauma. They might cover the real explanations and understandings with justifications and normalizations. But I know what I saw. And I saw the trauma beneath the boarded-up windows and doors.

The steps that have been taken to listen with respect to Dr. Ford and others who have been sexually abused … are, indeed, important steps. But they are not enough. They are not nearly enough.

We need to see the trauma that is showing itself in this process …
the trauma to Dr. Ford and any others sexually abused by the nominee.
the trauma to others who have come forth and may come forth about the sexual assaults they have experienced.
the traumas to children in our country who experience sexual assault –
and other assaults – every day in their homes.

And the trauma to the others in the picture.
The trauma to those who witness the assaults.
The trauma to those who react to the assaults.
The trauma to the family in which the assaults originally happen.
The trauma to those who commit the assaults.
For although some of us may wish to blame the abuser …
that person also has been traumatized in his/her life at some point
in development …
or the assaults would not have been committed by that person.

If we do not look at the trauma that is out-picturing itself in this process…
if we do not see the trauma that is out-picturing itself in this process …
if we do not hear the trauma that is out-picturing itself in this process …
if we do not feel the trauma palpable in this out-picturing that is occurring in the
context of our government …
we ourselves will help to continue such out-picturings,
while believing they are something else.
And we ourselves will help to continue such out-picturings,
while being unaware of our complicity.

This article describes just the tip of the iceberg of the depth exploration revealed In my recent book – How Did We Get Here?* – on the heart of where we are in the life of our nation and our world, and what is here for us to see and heal in our country … and in countries all over the world. The relationship between trauma and accountability is woven throughout the book.

© Judith Barr, 2018.

*Barr, Judith. How Did We Get Here? (Brookfield, CT: Mysteries of Life, 2018). Available through Amazon or JudithBarr.com.

 

HOW IN THE WORLD DID I GET HERE?

Recently I shared with a group of my colleagues about the backstory to the
publication of my new book.  The responses were meaningful, touching, heartful.
People appreciated knowing something about the process that led me to
“birthing” How Did We Get Here?
I hope the backstory will be meaningful to you, too.

My first book, Power Abused, Power Healed, took 7 years to birth –
from my first sentence to publishing.
It was a learning, growing, profound sacred journey.
At the same time, it was a wild ride … and I was pregnant with my book for 7 years.
Near the birth I was saying “What being on the face of this earth has 7-year pregnancies?!?”

As our paths often unfold, all this time I was growing, developing, expanding,
deepening in ways I knew, and also in ways I didn’t yet know.

The book was born …
For the first time in my life, I had written and published a book.
For the first time in my life, I began doing interviews on radio shows
(and some tv and print media).
For the first time in my life, I became a trusted source for some media hosts.
I received lots of feedback about how down to earth and clear I could make my points –
and how delighted they were that I wasn’t speaking “therapese” to the audience.
I was moved.

And I was passionate about helping people see that we need to explore and heal
our own relationships with power.
And I was passionate about helping people see what is really driving us …
beneath what most people know.

How can we make changes we really need to make if we are unaware of
what is driving us to be the way we are?
How can we grow into who we were meant to be
if we don’t know where we have gotten stuck in our growth and development?
How can we heal from wounds and trauma we have experienced long, long ago
if we insist on keeping those wounds and traumas buried and held at bay,
so we can pretend – to ourselves and others – that we have moved on?

People kept asking me when I was going to write another book.
Regardless of how tactful my outer response was, my inner response was ‘no.’
The ‘no’ was really to another 7-year pregnancy.
But my muse and I couldn’t stop writing.
To that there was only a ‘yes.’
So I wrote my monthly blog from 2009 on.

As interviews and blogs unfolded …
As I witnessed what was going on in my practice,
in the lives of those around me, in our country and our world …
I began to see –
I had a gift in connecting the dots between our wounds and traumas as individuals
and our communal wounds and traumas as countries and a world …
between our healing as individuals and our healing communally and globally.
I began to see –
That this gift was developing as I witnessed and wrote and taught
and helped people heal.
And that this gift gave me a new way to help our world,
a way that was not available to me previously.

Then on May 15, 2018 …
A tornado hit my town, my neighborhood, and my home.
That experience opened me on a heart and soul level in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
Within a month and a half … My muse awakened me in the middle of the night,
“took me to the computer,” started “dictating,” and told me we were writing a book.

She didn’t say how long the pregnancy would be or wouldn’t be.
She called me, awakened me, and …
There was no ‘no’ at all within me. Only ‘yes’!

I witnessed as I surrendered to what was emerging …
Knowing that this was my next way to work to help us heal –
ourselves, our countries, and our world.

People all around me – up close and personal and media in all venues –
were asking how we got here.
And many were saying, “This isn’t who we are.”
I knew they were not aware of aspects of themselves and all of us
that were driving us individually and globally.
I knew they weren’t answering the question “How did we get here?”
at the deepest levels possible.
I felt I could help people understand on those very deep levels.

This has all come very quickly …
Much more quickly than I could have imagined!
I am sending both of my books to the Frankfurt Bookfair …
hoping there will be international publishers who will want to translate
both of my books into their language(s).
I’m also exploring how to get word out to major influencers, the media,
laypeople, the therapeutic community, and more …
so I can help my book have the greatest positive impact possible.
I welcome any inspirations, connections, networking you can share to this end.

Thank you for reading, receiving, and connecting with me through my blog …
and with me in relation to my book, which, as you can see,
is both very personal and very much a part of my passion
to help us all become more conscious …so we can heal ourselves and our world.

*****
The best way I can give you a brief description of my book itself …
is what is written on the back cover.

How Did We Get Here?
Our Refusal to Know the Truth About Ourselves

So many of us ask ourselves in these times, “How did we get here?”
So many of us even believe we know.
Sadly, when most of us try to respond to this difficult question,
our answers barely scratch the surface.
Few of us – far too few of us –try to go deep enough to see
even the barest roots of why our lives, our countries, and our world
are in the condition they’re in.

People have all sorts of explanations for how we got here – nationally and globally.

It’s financial. It’s political. It’s patriarchal. It’s prejudicial. It’s misogynistic.
It’s abuse. And more.
Each viewpoint can be discussed and seem to explain the cause
from a valid standpoint.
Yet … they are all accounts at or near the surface.
No matter how long we have believed the explanations …
no matter how deep they appear to go …
none of them reaches the roots of the way in which we got here.
None of them even alludes to the reality
that there are root causes deep beneath each explanation.
And none of them even hints at the central reality that underlies all the explanations.

So … how did we get here?

In our adult lives, whether we realize it or not, we re-enact again and
again the wounding and trauma we experienced as children.
More of us than we know were wounded long, long ago.
As a result, more of us than we can conceive are re-creating the trauma in our lives today…
affecting us, those close to us, our country, and our world.

Imagine if everyone made the commitment to explore and heal those roots in themselves!
Find out more and be part of the healing.

My heart is full as I share with you,
Hoping my book and I will be heartfully received…
Hoping you will utilize this post to help you become part of the healing …
Hoping if you are inspired, you will pass this along to others as a way to help in the healing.

Many blessings from my heart to yours …

Judith

You can order my new book now!

 

https://judithbarr.com/how-did-we-get-here/

You can order through my website
Or
You can order through Amazon  …
For best international shipping costs use Amazon: US | CA | UK | DE | ES | FR | IT

© Judith Barr, 2018

 

 

 

 

WHERE HAVE I BEEN? WHERE AM I GOING?

WHERE HAVE WE BEEN? WHERE ARE WE GOING?

Hello dear readers …

I’ve been on a very different schedule with my blog posts lately.
It feels important that I don’t leave you wondering, but instead let you know why.

The last articles you received from me were
April 1st, June 15th, and June 21st.
Between April 1st and June 15th, I was leading my annual Sacred Circle 6-day residential intensive.
And . . . in the midst of the intensive, we experienced the tornado that hit my state, town, neighborhood, and my own home and grounds.
I felt I could offer you so much in a preview on trauma, as related to the tornado.
And then I sent you a more in depth article on trauma in our world today on the day of the summer solstice.

Since then . . . no blog post has come forth.
I have been witnessing, holding, and feeling what is going on in our country and our world.
I have been seeking within to find what is in truth and love to offer to you . . .
What would be most useful and valuable to you individually and to us nationally and internationally.

I have been consistently aware of the tale of the frog in the water.
If the frog were put in a pot of water that was boiling,
it would jump right out.
But the frog isn’t put in boiling water.
It is, instead, put in a pot of just warm water.
It stays there contentedly.
Gradually the water temperature is raised.
The frog is not aware of the impending danger…
until it is too late.

The tale of the frog is a mirror to us
to be aware of and to respond – from the deepest levels –
to the threats that have been coming gradually
in our lives, in our country, in our world.

As I’ve been attuned moment by moment to what is occurring …
my muse has helped me give birth to a book, deeply explaining how we really got where we are today
and what we need to do in response.
I’m in the midst of getting the book ready to make available to you and others all over the world.

Many blessings to you all until . . .
Judith

PS If you would like an inscribed copy of the book, I will let you know how you can make that happen
in my newsletter.  Sign up for it at:  https://judithbarr.com/judith-barr-newsletter/

 

 

 

SUMMER SOLSTICE: SHINING A LIGHT ON TRAUMA

It is not enough to respond to the trauma on the outer level.
It will not be enough until we respond to it and heal it deep within ourselves.

Today is the day of the Summer Solstice – the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere of the earth. The day that shines the most light on everything we need most to see and feel.  At this time in our world, we need to shine the light on trauma.

The United States is shining a light on trauma right now as a result of the heart-breaking, tragic, traumatic separation of children from their parents at the border … and the caging of children who have been taken away from their parents. Children, toddlers, babies, infants pulled away from their parents under a guise. Under the guise of bathing them. Under the guise of a law. Under the guise of an immigration policy. Under the guise of protecting our country. Under the guise of politics.

No guise at all can really hide the truth of what is causing this cruel travesty!  This is the out-picturing of the trauma experienced in childhood in the U.S. The trauma experienced in childhood that is still alive in people as they grow into “big people” … but not really adults … just big people defending against their childhood trauma, while acting it out in some way today.

This is the result of trauma: the trauma in those declaring, directing, supporting, justifying, and carrying out these excruciating, traumatizing acts. It is the result of trauma in those witnessing these monstrous things. It is the result of trauma in those who get pleasure out of watching it – up close and from afar via the media. It is the result of trauma in those who do nothing about it. It is the result of trauma in those who protest it, too.

Let’s go through these one by one.

What’s being done to the children and their parents at the border is traumatic to both.

*It is the result of trauma in those declaring, supporting, justifying, and carrying out these excruciating, traumatizing acts.

No one could declare and direct that children be taken from their parents and caged, unless they had themselves been traumatized as children. For example, taken from their parents’ arms; never able to truly bond with their parents; experienced some rupture to the attachment with their parents; or distorted efforts to achieve sought-after attachment with their parents that remained unsuccessful (like idealizing their parents or blaming themselves).  That kind of childhood trauma, unhealed, would very likely result in people acting out the trauma that they experienced on someone else – another child, a pet, or some one vulnerable and powerless at their hands once they became a “big person” (like they once were at someone else’s).

*It is the result of trauma in those declaring, supporting, justifying, and carrying out these excruciating, traumatizing acts.

No one could cage children (or cause them to be caged) unless they themselves had been literally or figuratively caged as children, or witnessed that happening to others.  Many people . . . more than most of us want to realize … grow up in homes where they experience abuse, neglect, some form of trauma, and as a result of how young and powerless they are, they feel caged, trapped, imprisoned.  They spend their young psyche’s energy trying to get out, trying to never get caged again, trying to trap someone else instead of their being trapped, or maybe even trying to help others get free from their own emotional cages.

*It is the result of trauma in those witnessing these excruciating, traumatizing things.

Many of those witnessing the trauma to children and parents at the border today also witnessed children in their families, extended families, and neighborhoods being traumatized long ago in their youth. That is traumatic to a child in its own way, different from experiencing the separation or caging directly themselves, but traumatic nevertheless. They may well respond the same ways today that they did as children long ago when they first witnessed the trauma.

*It is the result of trauma in those who get pleasure out of watching it – up close and also afar, via the media.

No one could get pleasure out of watching children being ripped from their parents’ arms or put in cages, unless they had experienced the same literally or figuratively when they were children.  And perhaps experienced the sadistic pleasure of the one who had done the ripping or caging with them.

The justification for the abuse: “if you didn’t cross the border into our country we wouldn’t have to take your children away.” This is the catch phrase of the abuser. “If you didn’t x, I wouldn’t have to y.” Or “if you did x, I wouldn’t have to do y.” And those giving these justifications are not only exposing their abusiveness, they are also revealing the abuse in their childhood by acting it out on others today.

*It is the result of trauma in those who do nothing about it.

No one could refuse to do anything at all about children being ripped from their parents’ arms or put in cages, unless they had somehow experienced abuse themselves as children, and were afraid to do anything from a child place within, or were numbed out by today’s mirror of what went on in their own young lives.

*It is the result of trauma in those who protest it, too.

Thank heavens there are people protesting the policy and actions today, in 2018. Thank heavens there are people who are in the process of working to stop these traumatizing practices at the border.

Perhaps those people are protesting today as they wish someone had protested for them when they were children being traumatized.  Perhaps those people are protesting today as someone did protest for them when they were abused as children.  And … perhaps those people are doing something in the outer world,  but are not doing the underlying inner work they need to do about their own experiences of childhood trauma.

In other words … whatever is occurring in the outer world today in 2018, even people trying to help these children and parents at the border, there is a dearth of people looking at, owning, taking responsibility for, working to heal and transform from their own early trauma. The result … the trauma that lies suppressed or repressed deep within haunts us forever till we do our own healing work. And the result … the trauma that lies within ends up – with or without our awareness – erupting and creating more trauma in the outer world.

Everybody has a stake in things staying this way. Everybody has a stake – hidden or out in the open – in the abuse continuing. The abuse in all halls of government. The abuse at the borders. The abuse in the home. The abuse in the family. There may be many variations of the stake, but they center around this:

* If the abuse continues today, people can continue to use the coping mechanisms and defenses they developed as children, in an effort to protect themselves when they were first abused.

*And if the abuse continues today, people can continue to hold at bay the feelings they experienced when they were going through the early trauma that was so much a part of their early development and their early lives.

If they hold the ancient trauma at bay, they can pretend they don’t feel it, even though they do, beneath their awareness.
If they hold the ancient trauma at bay, they can function as though it doesn’t haunt them every day.
If they hold the ancient trauma at bay, they can pretend – even to themselves – that they didn’t have any part at all in creating the traumas that are right here in our world today.
And they can continue creating and recreating the cycles for themselves and others to be traumatized today and tomorrow by the traumas each of them felt once upon a time long, long ago.

There is so much more I have to say, but for right now the essence is this . . .
The trauma we are increasingly experiencing in our country and our world today is not caused by some single leader or some handful of leaders – although they are certainly doing their part in creating the trauma today and tomorrow.
The trauma we are increasingly experiencing is caused by us . . .
you and you and you and you and you …
All of us, each of us.
And we all need to do our own inner work with healing the trauma we have experienced …
or know that we will continue to create more and more trauma in our country and our world.

Wake up.
Look in the mirror.
Look at the out-picturing we are being given of the children and parents at the border.
Find someone – a committed, integritous, depth psychotherapist – who does their own work healing their own trauma and engage them to help you with yours.

Wake up.
The time is now.
Do your own healing work.

© Judith Barr, 2018