TO IMPEACH OR NOT TO IMPEACH?

WHAT EXACTLY IS THE QUESTION?

I know we have to go through this. This is the consequence of not just one man, not just one party, not just one government, not just a tribal citizenry. This is the consequence of society as a whole and the members of society.

Who is this man who’s acting out his earliest traumas on our country and our world, creating trauma for all of us, and giving some a free pass to act out their earliest traumas in their own destructive ways?

Who are the members of the government who are held hostage to their own earliest traumas, their families filled with denial, lies, and secrecy, and, as a result, are held hostage to the man at the top? The father figure?

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Who are the members of the tribal citizenry who are acting and reacting to the authority in just the ways they’ve always reacted to or in the ways they’ve always wanted to react to their own authoritarian parents?

This is not simply tribalism. This is dangerous ground that is becoming more and more dangerous.  Is this the way the people of Germany were right before Germany became Nazi Germany?

George Santayana’s famous statement “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” is a mirror to our eyes, our hearts, and our souls. This is true in our individual and our collective lives.

If a child is traumatized and does not have the help to consciously remember, feel, and work through the trauma – as a child, teen, or adult – that child will continuously re-enact that early trauma in one way or another throughout life. For example, if a child is abused and represses or in some way denies that abuse, he will somehow have abuse in his life until the end. He may be drawn to people who abuse him; she may abuse others; he may abuse himself – openly or hidden within; she may collude with abuse of others, overtly or subtly.

The same thing happening from one person’s life to another’s creates a society that continuously re-enacts the early traumas of its people and the early traumas of the society as a whole.

This happens in every child’s life. It happens in the life of every society. What’s happening in the United States of America is just one current example.  But it is right out in the open for all to see … or discount, ignore, or forget, as we choose.

The history of impeachment related to Presidents of the United States includes four re-enactments: In 1868, Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives. 106 years later, in 1974, Richard Nixon resigned, rather than risk impeachment and removal from office. 24 years later, in 1998, Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives. And today, in 2019, only 21 years after the Clinton impeachment, the House of Representatives has announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Just as with any re-enactment, the instances get closer together in time and escalate in severity and impact.

According to our constitution and in an effort to curtail the dangerous consequences, the impeachment process needs to take place. However … taking outer action alone will not resolve the true problem. The true problem is not the person of the President alone. He or she is simply one in a cast of many players who are acting out forgotten, denied, or ignored early traumas.

Recently, as part of her healing work, one of my clients was on her way into feelings triggered by the current situation in our country. As one step in the process, she said: “I don’t wanna feel my feelings about what’s going on in our country. I want somebody to stop it.”  She continued, “And I don’t wanna feel my feelings about what went on in my childhood. I wanted somebody to stop it.”*

What she was willing to say out loud … on her way deeper into the healing journey … is what most people are thinking and feeling, as they blame today’s situation on others while refusing to do their own healing exploration and  journey. While refusing to acknowledge their own part in today’s re-enactment. While refusing to be conscious of the connection between their individual past traumas and their current day traumas; between their individual past traumas and our collective traumas; between our collective past traumas and our current day collective traumas. And while refusing to enter or enter more deeply into their journey to heal their contribution to the national re-enactment of trauma.

As children, we were not responsible for the traumas we experienced at the hands of others and in the face of life. But as adults, we are responsible for both the traumas we keep creating and co-creating and for healing the traumas we experienced long, long ago.

What makes us think we can react to the here-and-now behaviors of our leaders by ignoring the truth, by twisting the truth, by denying the truth – current and past – and escape the consequences of our own histories and re-enactment escalation?

What makes us believe we can escape the acting out and re-enacting cycles of abuse on every level of society by hiding that truth under the guise of politics? By escalating the guise of politics as a cover for our deep inner traumas? By refusing to acknowledge to ourselves and each other, our responsibility in creating this chaos, pain, and trauma in our country and our world? And along this train of questioning … why aren’t the media and political leaders doing their own work and modeling for us to do ours?

What makes us think we are so powerful that we can simply focus on our “better angels” or only take action according to our “better angels” … and by doing so keep our “worst angels” or “demons” from having an impact? Ignoring our “demons” – meaning the whole complex of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to our early traumas – only gives them more power to haunt us and to create more trauma in our lives from deep beneath our conscious awareness.

What makes us think we can simply pray away the painful impact we have from our past traumas – conscious and unconscious – without having to do the conscious, purposeful, real work of healing within ourselves?

What makes us think we can let someone “move our energy” and all our trauma will simply disappear? What makes us think we can let someone “move our energy” and the consequences of our trauma will disappear … without our having to become conscious of our trauma and its consequences? Without our having to become conscious of the impact we have? Without our having to work through that trauma consciously?

What makes us think we can ignore what is going on deep within us and its impact on our lives, our country, and our world?

Do we believe we are so special we can get away with it?
Do we believe we are so entitled, we can escape it?
Have we created such impenetrable denial, that we cannot pierce it? …. yet?
Are we being deluded? seduced? brainwashed? by our family’s beliefs? by mainstream society’s beliefs, attitudes and perceptions?

Are we just plain so afraid to face ourselves … our traumas … our feelings … that we could give a damn about the consequences on our lives and those of others all over our country and world?

Or … Are we just so afraid to face our own past traumas that we need to reach out for help … for our sake and the sake of our world?

These are the real questions.
This is a mirror for us.
This is a call for us.
This is a summons of real Truth to us to see, hear, feel and take responsibility for our part of the problem and our part of the healing.
This is an urgent appeal of true Love to us to acknowledge our responsibility and repair our part.

If we don’t respond to the call, whatever the results of the impeachment inquiry and process … this chaos and trauma will continue and escalate in our lives and the life of our country and world.

If we do respond to the call, whatever the results of the impeachment inquiry and process … we will help heal, from the root, what keeps recreating trauma in our lives and the life of our country and world.

The real questions above are crucial questions for us to ask and answer.
The real questions below are just as, if not even more important.

What will you do?
Will you say ‘no’ to the call and be part of creating future trauma in order to avoid your own personal past trauma?
Or will you say ‘yes’ to the call and be part of healing your past trauma in order to help prevent your future trauma and our future communal trauma?
_____

*Shared with permission of my client.

** For further and deeper understanding, also see How Did We Get Here? Our Refusal to Know the Truth about Ourselves, Judith Barr, 2018, Mysteries of Life. Available through Amazon or www.JudithBarr.com .

*** Many thanks to those of you who are doing your inner healing work in these challenging times and as part of your way of life. I invite you to acknowledge this truth to others. If it helps you to do that, certainly pass this article on.

© Judith Barr, 2019.

CASSANDRA WEEPS ENDLESSLY, AND THEN …

She cries herself to sleep every night …
knowing what’s coming,
trying to warn people,
nobody listening,
or if they do …
nobody believing her,
nobody willing to help,
nobody willing to do their part.

She cries herself awake every morning …
Remembering the trauma with Apollo, the patriarchal god.
Apollo, who tried to seduce her with his gift of prophecy,
and then cursed her when she spit in his mouth,
refusing him as he tried to have his way with her.
Or did he spit in her mouth and then curse her,
determined to demonstrate the power he held over her?

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Either way, blaming and punishing her
or proving his power over her …
Apollo left her with the gift of prophecy to see what was coming,
but left her also with the curse: no one would believe what she saw!
No one would believe what she knew to be true!

Her father, the King of Troy, didn’t believe her.
Her family didn’t believe her.
Neither did the citizens of Troy.
She warned there were people coming to destroy them.
She warned they would sneak in without the people of Troy knowing.
She warned the citizens needed to be aware, awake, conscious,
and work purposefully to protect themselves and each other.

For centuries Cassandra has cried herself to sleep.
For centuries Cassandra has cried herself awake.
For centuries Cassandra has seen.
For centuries Cassandra has known.
For centuries Cassandra has warned.
For centuries Cassandra has not been believed.
For centuries Cassandra has not been helped to spread the word
and protect the village.

It’s happened over and over again.
The patriarchal trauma.
The trauma it caused Cassandra.
The trauma it caused the village.
And then the trauma itself – untended, unhealed –
creating and recreating more trauma.

Century after century after century …
the people avoiding their own trauma.
the village avoiding its own trauma.
person after person creating trauma for self and others, as a result.
village after village creating trauma for itself and others, as a result.

Even today, when national security bigwigs can write a book about cassandras…
they ignore or refuse to believe
Cassandra’s warnings about the traumas that create
from the inside out.
They refuse to acknowledge what she knows –
that it’s an inside job.
Even today when songs have been written about Cassandra …
those songs are the least well known, unknown by many.

Still today, hardly anybody believes Cassandra.
Still today she weeps herself to sleep and awake.

But now she has come to a crossroads.
Now she is making a change.
Now she is, with one strong, inevitable, powerful burst  of
“Enough is Enough!” …
breaking Apollo’s curse,
dissolving the blanket of disbelief,
shattering the blindness, deafness, and numbness that has resulted.

Now Cassandra breaks the curse.
Now she will be believed.
Now she and her village will not be attacked and taken.

Now our unconscious selves will not be mined from the outside.
because now we will mine our own unconscious selves,
healing trauma, and as a result, preventing the ongoing slaughter of
trauma being passed down from generation to generation.

Now we will believe Cassandra.
Now we will see what she sees, what she’s showing us.
Now we will know what she knows, what she’s telling us.
Now we will each do our own inner healing work to heal our trauma –
within and amongst us.
Individually and communally.

The curse is broken.
Apollo’s patriarchal power is shattered.
Cassandra will now be believed.
Healing is now possible.
The healing of trauma will now take place.
Hope opens our hearts again.

 

© 2019, Judith Barr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LET ME INTRODUCE YOU TO CASSANDRA

AND HER IMPACT ON OUR WORLD

Let me introduce you to Cassandra.
She comes to us from Greek mythology and the
patriarchal world of those times.
It is said that Cassandra was the daughter of
King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy.

There are a number of versions of the myth. Pulling the threads together brings us this one:
Cassandra was in service as a priestess to the Greek god Apollo. Her sacred vow as a priestess included a vow to remain a virgin throughout her life. Despite this required vow of chastity, Apollo wanted Cassandra and tried to seduce her with a gift – the gift of prophecy.  Some versions of the myth say she agreed … but that would mean breaking her vow.  It seems that in the end, she refused his advances and kept her vow of chastity.

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Apollo was so enraged by her refusal, he wanted to take away his gift to her. But that was not allowed in the rules of the gods. So, he found another way to punish her for her “rebuff.”  He put a curse on her: She would be able to see what was coming, but nobody would believe her.  His intention and his curse would cause her pain, frustration, fear, despair and more. And cause great harm to those who worshipped him.

Cassandra attempted, in vain, to warn the people of Troy that the Greeks were coming to destroy their home. No one believed her. No one took protective action. Her prophecy came true.  The Greeks entered Troy’s homeland, hidden away in the Trojan Horse.  Once in the gates … destruction!

The essence of Cassandra has played a part throughout time. The one who sees what’s happening beneath the surface. The one who sees the future. The one who tries to warn. The one who is not believed.

She has played a part in every arena of life – family, spiritual, educational, business, healing, civilian, political, governmental, national, and global. People’s refusal to believe her has caused great damage to limitless beings in limitless ways.

There have been profound songs written that sing to us of Cassandra and those that reveal to us the god Apollo. Unfortunately, they have been little known. One important one among them is “The Oceans Are Calling,” by Kim Rosen and Cahie Malach.

The Greeks called you Delphys, the womb of the mother.
Apollo so feared you he sought mastery.
Your beauty and freedom he tried to imprison.
And still to this day he lays waste to your seas.

For deep in your waters he meets his own shadow,
a movement of oceans that melts sword and shield.
And naked we enter the womb of creation,
a power so vast it insists that we yield.

Another one, a song by the famous group ABBA, powerfully expresses the widespread painful impact of Apollo’s curse on Cassandra:

Sorry Cassandra I misunderstood
Now the last day is dawning
Some of us wanted but none of us would
Listen to words of warning

But on the darkest of nights
Nobody knew how to fight
And we were caught in our sleep

Sorry Cassandra I didn’t believe
You really had the power
I only saw it as dreams you would weave
Until the final hour

Now that you have been introduced to Cassandra . . . go to the next blog post – to read and listen to :

Cassandra Weeps Endlessly

And Then . . .

 

© 2019, Judith Barr

 

NO MORE TRAUMA!

UTILIZE THE TRAUMA TO HEAL THE TRAUMA …

NOT TO CREATE MORE TRAUMA

There is so much trauma in our world.
We’re having trouble facing the truth
of the causes and the consequences.
We need help to face the truth.
We need help to heal the trauma …
not just bandage it.
We need help to heal the trauma
to the roots and from the inside out.

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NO MORE IGNORANCE; NO MORE DENIAL; NO MORE DELUSION!

The leaders in our country and world are acting out their childhood traumas on their countries, on our world, on our planet.

Impeaching them, electing someone else, a revolution … none of these is going to solve the problem. The next leaders will also act out their childhood traumas on the national and global stages.

And the leaders aren’t the only ones.  We, the citizens, act out our childhood traumas in our lives, in our families, in our schools, in our businesses, in our communities, in our countries, and in our world. 

Not only that, but also … we are connected to the leaders whose traumas somehow reflect or intersect with our own. This is unconscious and ends up causing us to decide and act in ways that aren’t really free, that certainly aren’t healthy, and that are often destructive. 

And as I’ve indicated in previous blog posts, this ends up causing us to abuse our children, abuse each other, abuse ourselves, and abuse our planet … either outright and directly, hidden and secretly, or perhaps more subtly, through enabling and collusion.

This will continue until we do our own inner healing to consciously and purposefully work through our young traumas.  

Here’s a step you can take:


Until we heal from our early traumas …
we are held captive –
by our own traumas …
by our leaders’ traumas …
by the traumas we’re trying to forget and bury,
while at the same time acting them out without awareness.

Until we heal from our ancient traumas …
we consciously and unconsciously try to
keep our traumas hidden and buried.
Yet they remain alive and active within us …
like volcanos waiting to erupt.

Until we heal from our long-ago traumas …
we are held hostage –
by the traumas we are creating and re-creating
in our lives,
in the lives of our children,
in the lives of our families,
in the lives of our countries and our world.

Have the courage to wake up …

Have the courage to understand this …
Have the courage to explore and find the roots of your own trauma …
and to heal it.

Here’s another step you can take:


Be aware that you are being triggered by what’s going on in our country and world today.
There are here and now situations that need to be addressed in the here and now.

But your unhealed childhood traumas interfere with your successfully contributing to real, sustained resolution of today’s problems for the long-term.

Be aware that those triggers are rooted in your childhood traumas.
Be aware that the feelings that are triggered are connected to your childhood traumas. 

Don’t act out on those feelings
and don’t bury them.
Have the courage to safely feel the feelings
the child you once were felt in the midst of your trauma.
Know that the child you once were is still alive inside you,
driving you without your realizing it …
until you heal his or her trauma.
 

NO MORE BLINDNESS; NO MORE DEAFNESS; NO MORE NUMBNESS

Here’s still another step you can take:

 

Get the help to end your blindness to what’s going on.
Get the help to end your deafness to what’s going on.
Get the help to end your numbness to what’s going on.
What’s going on within you …
What’s coming from you …
and what’s happening on our planet.

 Climate activist Greta Thunberg has said to the adults of our planet:

Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope.
But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful.
I want you to panic.
I want you to feel the fear I feel every day.
I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis.
I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.” *

What needs to be melted is our numbness.
I have been writing, teaching, urging, and working with people for years …
to feel their panic.
If people had felt the panic from their childhood traumas,
we wouldn’t be in such danger today in so many ways …
individually, communally, and globally.

So it may seem strange to hear a depth psychotherapist who is filled with love and compassion for people in pain to say something similar to what Greta Thunburg is saying:

 I want you to feel your panic from long, long ago …
I want you to find a safe way to feel that panic from your ancient traumas
so you will stop re-creating your trauma and panic in your life and in ours …
today, tomorrow, and in our future.
That, in fact, is the deepest hope!

Find a good therapist to help you safely feel your panic and safely utilize your traumas to heal your traumas. In that way you will collaborate with us all in healing our past traumas and saying ‘no’ to creating new traumas.

This is the work I do with people, day by day by day.
If I can help you, let me know.

Thank you and Many blessings to each of you … and to our planet . . .

Judith

*‘I want you to panic’: Climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, lays it on the line for world leaders

NOTE: To understand more about trauma and its course, read  https://judithbarr.com/2018/10/28/haunted-now-what/ from this time last year.

© Judith Barr, 2019

IF IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD . . . PART TWO

IF IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD … 

THEN IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO ABUSE A CHILD

PART TWO

Welcome to Part Two of this series.
Facing the truth about child abuse in our world
is not an easy task.
I honor your courage and willingness to take a deep dive
into this meaningful journey into consciousness…
into this profound journey into grounded awakening…
into this crucial journey into the healing of child abuse in our world…
into this imperative journey into healing abuse and trauma in our world.

In Part One I talked about child abuse, and how it is not caused by just one abuser,
but rather by a larger village of people playing different roles.

I spoke of many examples of child sexual abuse –
both private-not-yet-made-public
and also once-private-now-public.
I gave examples of how the sexual abuse of children requires not just one abuser,
but rather a larger village to “make and allow it to happen.”

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In this part of the series, we will look at the village it takes to create child abuse on an even larger scale than before.
It might be tempting to turn away and not learn more.
But then, turning away and not learning more
is one of the ways we become part of the village that helps to abuse a child,
and even many children.

************

Leaving Neverland

In early 2019, the documentary “Leaving Neverland” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Following that, it was released on HBO in early March. It revealed the experiences of two men, ages 36 and 40, who had been groomed and then sexually abused by Michael Jackson beginning when they were 7 and 10 years old.

The two little boys, Wade and James, and their families were seduced and groomed* by Michael Jackson.  They were seduced and drawn in for the purpose of gaining their trust … so that down the road, they would trust Michael, they would be blind, deaf, and numb to what Michael was doing and to the state of their own being, and they wouldn’t dream of telling anyone what was going on with Michael.

A child is vulnerable to such seduction and grooming. If, as an adult, someone is still seduceable in the same way, it is an indication of some wounding in his/her childhood that leaves them still vulnerable and unconscious on a young level of their being.

It Takes a Village to Abuse A Child –
My Awareness in My Practice as a Healing Practitioner

As a depth psychotherapist and Midwife to the Soul, I have worked with countless adults who were abused in many ways during their childhood. Many ways, including sexual abuse.  I have helped them work with the painful experiences, the painful memories as they came, the painful consequences in their inner and outer worlds. I have been with them as they have expressed their feelings – building their capacity to feel them and let them come out safely and for the purpose of healing.  I have witnessed, heard, and felt with them as they have expressed their need for the abuse to have never happened at all … and just as much, for someone to have helped them, for someone to have stopped the abuse. In each person’s experience, no one stopped it and no one helped them.   So in this way, I know up close with people about whom I care deeply … that it took a village to abuse these children.

And knowing from experience with these people, I can also see the dynamic of “it takes a village to abuse a child” in other arenas and other forms. After watching both parts of “Leaving Neverland,” the truth of Wade’s and James’ experiences and the “it takes a village” dynamic was very clear and very resonant.

How People Out in the World Responded
to “Leaving Neverland”

Many denied the experiences revealed by Wade and James.  Michael’s family. Michael’s estate. Many of Michael’s still devoted fans. Twitter was alive with denials and attacks on these two brave men and the people who created the documentary.

While perhaps many of Michael’s staff remained silent, it seems some came forward and revealed things they had been aware of.

The families of the two children, who had allowed their boys to sleep in Michael’s room with him, finally knew what had happened and spoke of their regret, sorrow, and more.

All of these people made up the village who, in one way or other, participated in the ongoing sexual abuse of Wade and James and …. others.

And then came another shocking example of a participant. Someone who people would have perhaps never have suspected.  Barbra Streisand. “Rolling Stone,” March 23, 2019, reported:

“Speaking to The Times UK, ahead of her London concerts this summer, Streisand said she ‘absolutely’
believed the accounts of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, but added, ‘You can say ‘molested’, but
those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have
children, so it didn’t kill them.’

“ ‘His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA
he has…’ Streisand said of Jackson.”

How Barbra Streisand could think, feel, and say those things is a painful mystery! What wounds does she carry within her – both those known to her and still repressed deep beneath her awareness – that could be revealed in her responses to the documentary?  What trauma of her own is still unhealed within her that she could believe her attempts at apology could carry any weight? Any resonance to truth?  And Barbra Streisand is simply one of millions – although a celebrity icon, at that! With a lot of impact. A celebrity icon like Michael Jackson was a celebrity icon.

The World Village that Abuses Our Children

After the release of “Leaving Neverland,” something came across my desk about art in different forms that had been created by people who had acted out destructively in their lives. The essence of the message was ‘don’t stop looking at or listening to a particular work of art just because the artist was destructive.’

This message took me to the lyrics of two of Michael Jackson’s most famous songs. Although I was not at all a fan of Michael Jackson in his lifetime, I had seen and heard bits and pieces of him singing these two songs from time to time on the radio or television. I had had no interest in going further.

When I recently saw the lyrics, I was so deeply affected. I saw that they so very likely described both someone who had been abused as a child and also someone who would perpetrate abuse on children, or already had been doing so.  I know “Thriller” was not written by Michael, but he did sing it, dance it, embody it, live it on stage again and again for years. And apparently, he also lived it in his life … probably his life as a child, and now it seems more certainly revealed that he lived it in his adult life with little children.  And Michael did write “Bad,” and also embodied it and likely lived it in his life.

Some lines from each …

Thriller (1982)

It’s close to midnight
Something evil’s lurking from the dark
Under the moonlight
You see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream
But terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze
As horror looks you right between your eyes
You’re paralyzed

‘Cause this is thriller
Thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you
From the beast about to strike


And from “Bad” (1987)

Your butt is mine
Gonna tell you right
Just show your face
In broad daylight
I’m telling you
On how I feel
Gonna hurt your mind
Don’t shoot to kill
Come on …

Well they say the sky’s the limit
And to me that’s really true
But my friend you have seen nothin’
Just wait ’til I get through

Because I’m bad, I’m bad come on …
And the whole world has to
Answer right now
Just to tell you once again
Who’s bad

Questions flooded through me! How many people had been seduced by these two songs because they reflected the listener’s own childhood wounds? How many had been drawn in by the horror of the memory of their own abuse presented outside them in a song, dance, video, performance. We often do that – what we can’t tolerate remembering or feeling from our own young experiences, we project onto, or find something in the outer world to mirror it for us. How much of Jackson’s fame and fans had been responding to this?

And how many had been drawn in by the compulsion fantasy to do to others what had been done to them, also a common response to childhood abuse? The fantasy and feelings almost always, even if repressed. The acting it out – not always, not necessarily, but often expressed in other ways … among them, watching horror shows or songs entitled “Thriller” or “Bad.”

However people were drawn in to Michael Jackson, it’s so important to explore what it was in each person that was vulnerable to being seduced … even by his songs.

I’ve wondered … If I had read the lyrics to these songs way back when, would I have realized the mirrors they were of the abuse of Michael and the abuse by Michael?  Would I have had enough experience working with people’s suffering from childhood encounters with sexual abuse in particular and any kind of abuse in general … that I would have recognized it and been able to create a way to expose it, reveal it, help people pierce their defenses against it?

I don’t know. But I do know … it’s right there in his songs and has been all along. Any one or more of us could have seen it … if we’d had the awareness, the sight, the vision, the heart, the willingness to receive and connect beneath everything else that was going on.

This is a painful example of how we all contributed to the abuse of children all over the world. This is a single painful example of how we have all been part of the village that abused the children.

Some Who Work to End the Abuse of Children

There are some in our world who get it. Who get how much child abuse and child sexual abuse goes on in our world. There are some who get the pattern of grooming that is so enmeshed with the sexual abuse itself. There are some who get the seduction in many forms – including both trusting and frightening, both seemingly gentle and violent, and all very confusing for a child.

Among those I know get it:
There is the California Protective Parents Association.

There is Oprah Winfrey: who spoke out after the release of the movie, saying that this moment is bigger than Michael Jackson; acknowledging that she did 217 shows in 25 years on sexual abuse, trying to get people to see the scourge on humanity,  the societal corruption that was being revealed once again through this movie.

There are those I have worked with who have been sexually abused, who are thankful, as I am, for the MeToo Movement, but … who are so distressed that these recent movements don’t attend to the sexual abuse that is happening to children all over our country and our world every single day.

There are a few of my colleagues who have supported and encouraged me to write about this again and again.

And there is, of course, my heart and soul and my own muse – calling to me again and again to help more and more deeply, more and more broadly, to heal child sexual abuse as one specific form, and, of course, child abuse in all its forms.

As I ended Part One of this series …

Mind you, this is a mirror to us not only of how we react to the sexual abuse of children, but also of how we react to other serious problems in our lives – in our families, in our institutions and organizations, in our countries and in our world.

Tune in soon for the next installment to learn more about the impact of the village that helps to abuse children … the impact by us and on us all over our world, every single day.

* Child grooming:  https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_grooming

Note 1: To read or listen to Part One of this series:  https://judithbarr.com/2019/05/18/it-takes-a-village-part-1/

Note 2: There are many ways you can learn about child abuse, grooming, sexual abuse, and the repetitive cycle of abuse in our world. It is, of course, a painful learning; but so very crucial.  Some of the ways that are, in addition to painful, also grounded, sensitive, and inspiring, include:

The movie, Leaving Neverland

The book, Little Girl Leaving: A Novel Based on A True Story, by Lisa Blume

The book, 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, by Judith Barr

If you plan to watch the video or read Lisa Blume’s book and have been sexually abused or think you may have been, or even if you don’t think you may have been, or even if you don’t remember, please create a plan to take care of yourself before reading or viewing.  That plan would include having support people available, even to watch with you, and having a therapist you can work with, if something opens up that you need help with.

© Judith Barr, 2019.

 

IF IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD …

THEN IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO ABUSE A CHILD

No, don’t go away. Stay.
This is important. This is crucial.
We all need to know this in order to become conscious …
in order to solve the problem.

Too many of us say we love our children, yet abuse them consciously or beneath our awareness,
in secret or right out in the open,
under the guise of some supposedly high principle or just plain willfully.

So many of us say we love our children yet abuse them . . . physically, sexually, emotionally, mentally, energetically, and spiritually.

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We may not want to know this. We may not want anyone else to know this.
We may normalize it, deny it, outright justify it.
Far too many of us say we love our children and are doing these things for their own good* … lying to others and ourselves, as we make these high-minded claims.

And the problem is not just those of us who actually abuse our children.

It’s the other parent who doesn’t protect them. It’s the other supposedly adult members of the extended family who don’t protect them. It’s the neighbors who don’t protect them.  It’s the institutions that don’t protect them. It’s the law that doesn’t protect them.

It’s those who are afraid and don’t protect our children.
It’s those who were abused themselves and don’t protect our children.
It’s those who were abused themselves and don’t do their own healing work to the roots of their being and therefore don’t protect our children.
It’s those who have some issue within themselves that blocks their seeing and taking protective and preventative action.
It’s those who are somehow acting out something from their own lives as children long, long ago.
It’s those who are blind, deaf, and numb, who don’t recognize what is occurring.

We are all somehow part of the problem.
We all somehow contribute to the problem.

If we just pay attention right now to the sexual abuse of children …
Just for starters …

Think of all the gymnasts who were sexually violated by gymnastic doctors, in a culture where people knew and kept their mouths shut.

Think of all the athletes who were sexually violated by coaches, in a culture where people knew and kept the secret.

Think of all the children who were allegedly sexually abused by scout leaders or volunteers in the Boy Scouts. Over 12,000 alleged instances by over 7800 alleged abusers. Data was kept by The Boy Scout organization since 1944 – “perversion files” about these violations – and these people were removed from scouting. But the Boy Scouts organization did not inform the community that these people were known to be abusers of children. They did not protect the children.

Think of all the children sexually violated by Catholic priests, children who wouldn’t have been abused if others in the Catholic culture who knew – not only at the level of priest, but upward in the hierarchy – had stepped up to protect the children.

The courageous and impactful movie, Spotlight, told the story of the Boston Globe revealing the layers and layers of child molestation by priests and the silence and lack of protection of the children by the Catholic chain of command. Also revealed was the neglect of others in the community to pay attention, take action, and reveal the tragic abuse long before it was actually done by the Globe. Among them, lawyers, journalists, and more …

Victim’s advocate Phil Saviano met with the reporters on the Spotlight team at the Globe, giving them an in depth understanding about the clergy abuse that was occurring.  He is known to have told them … “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse them.”

As a depth psychotherapist and Midwife to the Soul, I have been writing and teaching about this for years. There have been events occurring recently that brought it to the foreground again in my mind, heart and soul, calling me to speak out about it once more.

Mind you, this is a mirror to us not only of how we react to the sexual abuse of children, but also of how we react to other serious problems in our lives – in our families, in our institutions and organizations, in our countries and in our world.

Stay tuned for the next in this series … just as compelling as this installment …
perhaps even more.

 

*See Alice Miller’s profound book, For Your Own Good: Hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence, original version, in German, 1980. Translation 1983, by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum, published by Farrar, Straus, Giroux, New York.

© Judith Barr, 2019.

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.