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?

To Impeach or Not To Impeach -- What exactly is the question?
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This is the message that complements Judith's blog post on the same topic: https://judithbarr.com/2019/11/17/to-impeach-or-not-to-impeach/

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.

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.

Judith Barr interview "One on One" with Steve Adubato #1
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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.

HOW DID WE GET HERE? WE’RE LIVING THE MEDICINE – Part 2

PART TWO

So how does this connect to our living the medicine?
I’ll show you . . .
but before you read on …
Be sure you’ve read  How Did We Get Here? We’re Living the Medicine – Part 1

We are living the medicine of our not having used the poison we’ve created communally as the medicine to heal ourselves – both individually and communally.

You can see in Part One, that people wounded as children will re-enact the wounding again and again in their adult lives, escalating the re-enactment as time continues. Of course, this will impact others in their lives. And the ripples of the impact will spread out in wider and wider ripples as they continue:  the ripples will spread out into their schools, their workplaces, their places of worship, their families. Once they have children, the ripples will spread out to their children and then on to another generation. If they become leaders in any way, their wounding will impact communities, states, countries, and the world.
If they are citizens and voters, their wounding will impact as widely as the leaders’ impact, since the citizens vote for the leaders. The citizens can support the leaders or take actions to intervene. And what the citizens do will depend upon their wounding and their re-enactments.

In turn, not only do individuals wound each other,
but also the culture in the communities, states, countries, and the world wound the individuals.
This is part of the vicious cycle.

At the very beginning of Part One, I said,
“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.”

Let’s look at a few of these.

There are re-enactments occurring in the arena of “It’s financial.”

The major re-enactment is that people are trying to take care of their finances (individually) or their economies (communally) in the outer world. Budgeting or not budgeting. Saving or not saving. Investing or not investing. Working harder and harder or not working harder. Paying taxes or not paying taxes. And so on.

But most people have absolutely no idea what is at the root of their relationships with money. And most people aren’t investing in discovering those roots. The people who have worked with me individually or in workshops to find this root have been amazed. Amazed at the depth of the real roots. Amazed at how young, even primal the roots are. Amazed at the possibility of healing their relationship with money if they do the work – if they use the poison as the medicine. And fascinated by the truth and power of what they’ve found … both for themselves, and also for our world, as others discover what they have discovered.

If we don’t do the deep work of finding the roots of our relationships with money, we will keep re-enacting the wounding that is at the root. We will keep impacting our own relationships with money, and we will keep impacting the communal economy. We will not be using the poison as the medicine for healing.

There are re-enactments occurring in the arena of “It’s political.”

The television, radio, and internet are filled with people discussing, explaining, teaching, entertaining, and pontificating about how what’s going on, for example, in the United States is political.  They are only seeing the political aspect of what’s going on. Many of them specialize in politics. Often they are addicted to politics. You can experience the adrenaline rush they get when they are discussing politics.  It is their lens and they’re sticking to it.

But while they’ve been sticking to the political viewpoint, what’s going on in the US has been escalating in repeated vicious cycles.  If only they would understand that there is something beneath the political that is driving the politics. If only they would understand that the politics are driven by the wounding and the re-enacting:  of citizens – all citizens in one way or another – of candidates for leadership, and of leaders, again all leaders one way or another.  Then they could help teach and advocate for utilizing the poison we’ve created together as the medicine to heal.

There are re-enactments occurring in the arena of “It’s sexual abuse.”

In the recent past, sexual abuse and domestic violence have come more into the light of day in the US. It started before the 2016 presidential campaign, but the campaign brought them more into public view.  The sexual abuse tape on the bus, with Donald Trump and Billy Bush laughing at Trump’s admissions. Followed by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse of women. And then all the men after that … dominoes falling one by one.

What the men named have done to women (and men) is horrifying, painful, destructive, and more. The revelations that have followed are important, even vital, to bringing the reality of sexual abuse out into the open for everybody to see.  It is clear there is an attempt to utilize the poison as the medicine as the brave people who were sexually abused come out to tell about it, as others believe them, as movements like #MeToo and #Times Up emerge.  But this is only the beginning.

People are talking about the sexual harassment or abuse in industries – the entertainment industry, the sports industry, the corporate world, the media, religious institutions, and more.  Things got closer to the root when it was exposed that Roy Moore, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who ran for Senator from Alabama, had “dated” children, and been sexual with them. The movement closer to the root came in the exposure of Dr. Larry Nasser and his sexually abusing hundreds, possibly even thousands of young girls, gymnasts, in his care. Finally people were talking about children being sexually abused.

But I have not heard anyone talking about how much sexual abuse of children occurs in their homes … by the people they should be able to trust.  And I have not heard anyone talking about how the laws of our country don’t really protect these children. I have not heard anyone talking about the devastating effect on children of sexual abuse in their lives. And I have not heard anyone talking about the need to help in the healing of those who were victimized by sexual abusers, and to help in the healing of those who are sexual abusers who likely were sexually abused themselves.

Until we are going to that root …
Until we are working to heal that root …
Until we are all looking into our hearts and souls to see if and how we have experienced any part of that root …

We will not have utilized the poison of the epidemic of sexual abuse exposures in the country today,
as the medicine to heal the epidemic of sexual abuse in our country … and our world.

There are re-enactments occurring in the arena of “It’s abuse in the form of domestic violence.”

Rob Porter, Donald Trump’s White House Staff Secretary, and his exposure as someone who was violent with his wives has brought into clear view in the light of day … domestic violence in the US and in the world. We can look at it through many lenses, but … they all fall short of the deepest root:

The amount and degree of abuse of partners, men and women alike, and children in their homes is greater than anyone knows. Greater than most people want to know. Greater than most people can imagine. Greater than there is any way to prove. Most people ignore or deny the amount and degree of abuse that goes on in homes all over the country and world … even those who are abused and believe they are all alone.

I have written about this again and again. The statistics are heartbreaking. The details are heartbreaking. For me personally, one of the most heartbreaking, painful moments was when I discovered that the United States has loopholes in its laws in every state … loopholes that allow partners to be abused and unprotected, loopholes that allow children to be abused, even physically abused, by their parents.  And not only that … I discovered at that same time that there is a list of countries that has legally banned the abuse of children completely, and that the US is not among them. I felt sickened.

Just as Rob Porter, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, and others have worn a mask of civility for years … so also the US has worn a mask of civility for years, decades, centuries.  And now it has been exposed. The poison is coming out into view – the poison of domestic violence and sexual abuse right in the nation’s homes.

Once again, we have a chance to use the poison as the medicine to heal this scourge.  Will we do it this time?  Will we not only talk about it, bemoan it … and not only work to change our laws, but will we also heal at the root the places each of us has been exposed in some way to abuse and violence in our homes, our schools, our culture?  It’s all spilling out into view now, with Donald Trump as President.  Will we use it for healing?  Or will we sit passively by allowing it to go around the vicious cycle again and escalate more?

Will we use it for healing?  Or will we become active in the outer world, believing that will stop the cycle, while going around the vicious cycle again, letting it escalate further?

The poison is the medicine.
Will we use the poison of our finances and economy as the medicine for our healing?
Will we use the poison of our politics as the medicine for our healing?
Will we use the poison of our sexual abuse as the medicine for our healing?
Will we use the poison of our domestic violence as the medicine for our healing?
Will we use it for healing? From the inside out?
Will we use it for healing? To the root of our being?
It is a choice. It is our choice. It is your choice.
What will you choose?

© Judith Barr, 2018.

1 To read How Did We Get Here? Part One, go to www.JudithBarr.com  then to PoliPsych Blog on top navbar, and click on “Latest Post.”

Note: Although the examples in this article are from and about the US, the themes, the meaning, and the truth of the examples apply all over our world.

HOW DID WE GET HERE? WE’RE LIVING THE MEDICINE – Part 1

PART ONE

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 all are accounts at or near the surface. No matter how longstanding they seem to apply … no matter how deep they appear to go … none of them reaches the roots of the way in which we got here. And none of them even alludes to the reality that the roots underlie each explanation.

So … how did we get here?
The poison is the medicine.
“What?” you ask.
The poison is the medicine and we’ve neglected to use the poison as medicine.
“What in the world are you talking about?” you question and exclaim at the same time … probably in a more colloquial manner, and understandably.

I’m glad you want to know.

There is a knowledge in many healing traditions – both spiritual and otherwise –
that “the poison is the medicine.” 1
It is the heartbeat of homeopathy.
It is the transformation in numerous natural healing traditions.
It is the healing crisis that brings us into and through a healing passageway,
with the potential of our coming out the other side.
It’s inherent in the depth psychotherapy I practice.
It’s the essence of why, in addition to calling myself a depth psychotherapist,
I identify myself as a midwife to the soul.

“The poison is the medicine” reaches to the root of the difficulty.
It works from the root.
It works from the inside out.

Stay with me as we go deeper.

“The poison is the medicine” means …
If we are wounded as children –
and we all are in one way or another –
we create ways to defend ourselves against the pain of that wound,
ways that take hold within us and in our lives way into and through adulthood.
Perhaps we shut down our feelings.
Perhaps we numb ourselves physically and emotionally.
Perhaps we are paralyzed by the trauma of the wound.
Maybe we build walls to keep others from getting close and hurting us again.
Maybe we hide from others and even from ourselves.
Maybe we go through life waiting to be hurt … in the same way we once were.
Or perhaps we do the hurting of others as a means of defense.
Possibly, the wounding was before we had words.
Even so, it is likely that once we’re old enough to have words, we attach an early decision to the wounding experience.
Decisions like:
“No one will ever hurt me again.”
“If anyone’s gonna do the hurting, it will be me.”
“I will always be hurt.”
“No matter how much I try to protect myself, they always get me.”
“When I grow up, I’ll be the one with all the power …
to do what I want …
to make people do what I want …”

Most often, people aren’t aware of these defenses, including the early decisions.
And if they’re aware, for example, of an early decision …
They don’t realize that the early decision drives their life beneath their consciousness.
So if someone has decided “No one will ever hurt me again,”
that person will very likely draw into his/her life experience
people who will be hurtful, people who will, perhaps,
re-enact the same wound s/he experienced as a child.

Here’s the vicious circle, or as I call it “The Maze”:
When the wound is re-enacted, the person proves to him/herself
that people are trying to hurt him/her …
and uses that proof to decide once again:
“No one will ever hurt me again.”
This becomes the justification to use the same defenses all over again,
maybe even doubling or tripling them in number and size.

If this person doesn’t utilize the re-enactment of the wounding as the poison …
and if this person doesn’t utilize the poison as the medicine to heal the original wound –
at its root …
the re-enactments will keep occurring,
over and over again,
at some point beginning to escalate.

The longer the person goes without utilizing the poison as the medicine to heal …
the more the re-enactment and cycle escalates,
until possibly the wounding  becomes really harmful, even dangerous.
Then the person is “living the medicine,”
instead of using the poison as the medicine for healing.

This is not a criticism.
This is not a punishment.
It is simply the consequence of not using the poison as the medicine.
It happens to all of us.
Even without our being conscious of it.

So how does this connect with our living the medicine communally,
in our country, in our world?
Stay tuned for Part Two coming very soon ………………

© Judith Barr, 2018.

1 I explained “the poison is the medicine” over 2 years ago, November 19, 2015. This article can be found on my website on the carousel, by clicking “Read More” under “Reflections on How Healing Ourselves Helps to Heal Our World” and then clicking on “Grief, Shock, Another Tragedy and … the Poison is the Medicine …” or by going to “PoliPsych Blog” at the top navbar, and then clicking on “Blog Spotlight: The Paris Trilogy.” It can also be accessed through this link: https://judithbarr.com/2015/11/19/grief-shock-another-tragedy-and-the-poison-is-the-medicine/

CATHOLIC PRIESTS, COSBY, WEINSTEIN AND MORE

CAN YOU SEE IT?

This occurs all over the world, not solely in the U.S.
But recent events in the U.S. are instructive to us all.

Sexual abuse of the young and vulnerable by the rich and powerful has been brought out of the halls of secrecy into the light of day. The part of the Catholic Church in childhood sexual abuse came out in the open many years ago – brought out by the Boston Globe in 2002. More recently we’ve seen this in the cases of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein. And after Harvey, men in entertainment and other arenas of our world, as well … James Toback (screenwriter/director,) Ben Affleck (actor,) Chris Savino (animator,) Roy Price (entertainment executive,) Lockhart Steele (Vox media editorial director,) John Besh (celebrity chef,) Mark Halperin (author and political analyst.)

It is a healthy step for our society that journalists are finding and documenting the stories of sexual abusers. It is also a healthy step that those who have been abused by them are coming forth and speaking out. Each step taken helps us get closer to the root. But we’re not there yet.

A number of things from this past week give us glimpses that can lead us to the root.

  • Corey Feldman, of the movie “Stand by Me,” has spoken about Hollywood’s secret of childhood sexual abuse of children in the entertainment industry, expanding the view past young adults and adults.
  • Ashley Judd’s statement in her interview with Diane Sawyer, that “we act like we’re between 3 and 6 years old in those moments,” meaning the moments when someone is starting to or in the act of sexually abusing us. We usually do regress to a young age within ourselves when traumatized. And sometimes it’s to the age we were first traumatized when we were children.
  • Ashley, responding to Diane’s question, what would she say to Harvey if she saw him today, responded: “What I would say to Harvey is, ‘I love you, and I understand that you are sick and suffering, and there is help for a guy like you, too. And it’s entirely up to you to get that help.’”
  • Ashley also described her response to her getting out of harm’s way and away from Harvey by making a deal with him to do what he was pressuring her to do after she won an Oscar in a movie he produced. “Am I proud of that? I’m of two minds: The part that shames myself says ‘no.’ The part of me that understands the way shame works says, ‘That was absolutely brilliant. Good job kid, you got out of there. Well done.’”
  • Alternet published an article recently, whose title is, “How on Earth Is Corporal Punishment Still Legal at School in 19 States?”1
  • “Law & Order: True Crime” is airing a television series about the story of the Menendez brothers’ murder of their parents and the real cause of that murder. Whether the brothers are in jail or not, whether or not you believe the series’ portrayal of the real cause as the brothers’ having been sexually abused and threatened by their parents, the series is clearly showing us all some of the deadly consequences of childhood sexual abuse.

All of these point to the root – the part that hasn’t yet been brought out into the light of day. What is coming out into the open is not just about powerful men out in the world today sexually abusing women, men, and even children in the arenas in which they work – entertainment, media, politics, business, spiritual, and more. It is showing us the outpicturing into our world of what occurs every day in families all over our country – and the world.

Powerful parents – fathers and sometimes mothers, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles – who are kings and queens of their domains, sexually abuse children in their homes, where it can be done in secret. Or if others know – like the extended family – they collude in keeping the secret. The children are vulnerable and innocent and terrified. The very people they are supposed to be able to trust are the people sexually abusing them. And others who could protect them are not protecting them … at all. Even the law in the US, which should be protecting, ends up colluding in the abuse by protecting the abuser.1

People are afraid of looking at what their part is in the perpetuation of this family dynamic. People are afraid of seeing how their part of the family dynamic outpictures into our world outside the home – whether they have sexually abused others, whether they have been sexually abused, or whether they have colluded in the sexual abuse in the home.

It is urgent that we look. It is urgent that we see. And it is urgent that we each heal our part in what is showing itself out in the world, but starts in our childhood homes.

We can see the huge, damaging impact it has on ourselves and on others when we don’t. We can see and feel the destructive consequences for ourselves, our families, and our societies, when we don’t.

This is the root of what we’re seeing in the exposure of sexual abuse in our world today. Healing it necessitates going to the root.

All of us, those who have been sexually abused, those who have colluded with sexual abuse, and those who have sexually abused others …
All of us who are part of this are sick or wounded … and our society is, as well.
All of us who are part of this are suffering … and our society is, as well.
There is help for all of us … and our society, as well.
The help for our society depends on all of us, each one of us individually.

And it is entirely up to each of us to get that help.

Will you do your part?

© Judith Barr, 2017

1 To learn more about how the law can be used to dehumanize and allow abuse in our country and world, see my article What Is Beneath the Willfulness in Our World? at https://judithbarr.com/2017/10/01/beneath-willfulness-world/

 

After the Very Dark Election …

How Did We Get Here?
In The U.S. and All Over the World?

All over our country people are trying to explain how we got here. All over our world people are trying to explain how we got here.

There are many, many explanations at so many different levels of understanding. But I rarely hear anyone talking about the deepest levels of all, the place within each of us where beneath our awareness, we have participated in co-creating “here” – this time, situation, circumstance we’re in both individually and communally.

Each of us was once a child. Each of us experienced pain and wounding of some kind as a child. The limitless possibilities include these: It may have been a parent’s illness or death. It may have been the divorce of parents. Perhaps it was an alcoholic parent. An abusive parent – emotionally, verbally, even physically. A parent who sexually abused the children in the family.  A parent who didn’t protect the children. A parent who didn’t make enough money to support the family. A parent who left.

The wounding we experienced as children calls on us to heal. If we do our own inner healing work, we are less likely to pass our wounding onto our children. If we don’t do our own healing work … whether we realize it or not, whether blatantly or ever so subtly, we will wound our children and others around us in ways similar to or related to how we were wounded.

Over the many years of my life as a depth psychotherapist and “Spiritual Midwife,” most of the people I’ve worked with – no matter how outwardly functional and even successful – have been deeply wounded – whether they were aware of it or not. And almost all of them had parents who never did their own healing work. Yet, somehow, the people who came to work with me were called to do their work – most of them consciously for their own sakes, many of them also purposefully for the sake of their children, and some of them, in addition, intentionally for the sake of our world.

These wise, courageous people have either known already or learned quickly how painfully we wound others when we don’t tend to our own wounding. If we’re afraid of being attacked in some form, we may hide ourselves deep, deep within, and not take part in life, as a result. Or we may harden our hearts, build walls, and push others away as a defense. We may even learn to fight hard, perhaps viciously, in an attempt to make sure we’re not hurt again in the way we were hurt originally.

At the heart of it, though, is a very young child within us, who was wounded long, long ago – who was hurt, frightened, attacked, abandoned, confused, blamed, scapegoated, bullied and more … long, long ago.

When we get older – to the age we think of as “grown-up,” we believe there is no longer a little boy or a little girl still alive within us. But that belief is not true. We may have been told to “stop acting like a baby,” “grow up,” “get over it,” and “move on,” Yet no matter what we’ve been told by individuals or society, in every one of us there is still alive within that child we once were. And no matter how adult we appear or would like to believe we are … that little child is driving our lives more than we can even imagine.  It is not just coming along for the ride. It’s driving our lives from beneath our awareness.

That child is driving our lives with …
decisions we once made about ourselves, others, and life;
defenses we created to keep the bad memories away;defenses we built to keep the painful feelings at bay, usually buried deep within us;
coping mechanisms we devised to manage our young lives in the midst of painful experiences and feelings and responses;
a child’s plans to stay in control no matter how out of control we felt or we actually were.

Our country and our global society is made up of billions of people who suffered as children in wounded cultures with wounded parents who didn’t do their own inner healing work, and, as a result … wounded their children.

We, the people who look and seem like adults, are again at a major crossroads. We can once again ignore the fact that it is the untended wounding that has brought us where we are … the child within who wants mommy or daddy to make everything better and is blinded and disempowered by anyone who promises to do that. Or we can see that healing the wounding within is critical at this juncture: for without the healing, we remain little children, blinded by our wanting what little children want, idealizing the “mother” or “father” who falsely promises things as a way to seduce and grab power for herself or himself, and then never delivers a healthy solution for the children, for the people, for the country, and for the world.

In my journey these past few weeks I have been reaching out to people again and again, to teach this to more people.  I have been again and again sharing what I have for years … prayer is important, but prayer alone isn’t enough; action is important, but action alone isn’t enough; in addition to prayer and action, we each need to do our own inner work with the child still alive within us, driving our individual and communal lives.

In these past few weeks, most of the people with whom I work have been doing this work within themselves. On my professional listservs and online groups, a few have spoken of looking within themselves to find what their part is in what is going on.

One of my listserv mates sent out a quote that is quite profound and akin to what I am saying.  The quote is from Norman Mailer, American novelist and journalist.*

“I really am a pessimist. I’ve always felt that fascism is a more natural governmental condition than democracy. Democracy is a grace. It’s something essentially splendid because it’s not at all routine or automatic. Fascism goes back to our infancy and childhood, where we were always told how to live. We were told, Yes, you may do this; no, you may not do that. So the secret of fascism is that it has this appeal to people whose later lives are not satisfactory.”

This is so important. Please cut through it to the heart of the matter. Our youngest selves are helpless, powerless, wanting our parents to make it better. Because we are vulnerable little beings, we submit to the mother or father telling us what to do, under the guise of the promise to be taken care of or the threat to be punished. And we act this out in our school years, our marriages, our jobs, and our lives as citizens.

This has to be healed. We have to – not by some imposition from the outside, but by an inner core calling – we have to heal this.

A dear friend asked me a few days ago, “How did we get here?”

I asked her: “Are you needing me to just listen to your expression of your feelings? Or are you asking for my understanding of how we got here?”

She said she was asking for my understanding.

I explained to her in essence what I’ve explained to you above.

Her response: “So it’s that simple? It’s primal? And no matter what else is happening, the primal takes over?”

“Yes,” I said. “You said it perfectly! It’s primal! And the primal takes over.”

Thank you, dear friend. For your simple, concise, powerful, accurate summary of what I shared with you.

It’s primal! And no matter what else is happening, the primal takes over.
We are being called to heal at the primal level.
All of us.

We have been called to heal at the primal level many times individually, and many times communally.  In the US we were called to heal at the primal level right after 9/11. And we were called to heal at the primal level right after the 2008 recession began.

Instead we chose to only think of the cause of those events as here-and-now occurrences.
Instead we chose to only think of the feelings triggered by those events as here-and-now feelings.
Some of the causes and some of the feelings were from the time of those two events. But the most intense, most raw, deepest, and most core causes and feelings were from our own individual primal experiences as children. And our ‘no’ to tending to those root wounds fed and contributed to where we are today.

So I remind you once again …
so that now you can become aware of it …
How did we get here?
It’s primal!
And no matter what else is happening,
the primal takes over …
until we heal it!

© Judith Barr, 2016

* https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/108634-i-really-am-a-pessimist-i-ve-always-felt-that-fascism
** NOTE: To read the articles that preceded this one in the series, go to https://judithbarr.com/the-election-trilogy/

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP KEEP OUR WORLD SAFE
FROM THE INSIDE OUT

The safety of our world is in our hands.
The safety of our world is in our hearts.

We can all help to create the safety so crucial to our lives and our world…Won’t you join me and…
…Refuse to normalize what is unhealthy and destructive.
…Say “no” to idealizing what is painful and even cruel.
…Resist being seduced by what is, in reality, harmful for us.
…Dissolve our denial.
…Realize we each have an impact.
…Commit to healing our own childhood wounds.
…Get the help we need to do that.
…Don’t give up!

Imagine if everyone in our world committed to do just that! Imagine how different our nation and our world would be!

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MY WORLD?

What has happened to my world?

There was a time when I was a young woman, when people were increasingly beginning to realize the truth. The truth about themselves. The truth about their childhoods. The truth about their families. The truth about their communities. The truth about their countries. The truth about our world.

They were more and more beginning to learn the truth about how real change is made. About really why we’re stuck. About how to do the underlying work to become unstuck for real – not as a band aid or quick fix, not as a way to get rid of symptoms, not as a means to just function, not as a guise, nor a defense.

It was a hopeful time, filled with possibility, because it was filled with the unfolding of truth.

What has happened to my world?

In those times, people were starting to grasp that they were living with wounds from long ago and with the consequences of those wounds. They were starting to grasp that the painful feelings they experienced when they were wounded were still alive within them. They were becoming conscious that their wounds and feelings were causing them to act in ways that were harmful to themselves and to others. Perhaps they were humiliating others as they were once humiliated. Or yelling at others as they were yelled at. Or smacking someone as they were smacked. Or sexually abusing someone as they were once sexually abused. Perhaps they were doing some version of these things to themselves – in public, alone, or just inside their own minds, hearts, bodies, and souls. Or perhaps they were allowing some version of these things to be done to them.

As much as people were beginning to realize that the buried wounds could be causing harm in their lives and the lives of others, they were becoming conscious that their early wounds and feelings were holding them back, keeping them from growing into the gift of who they really were at their essence.  And they were getting glimpses of the reality that they could become the gift of their Self … if only they would do the exploration and healing that their own soul was calling them to do.

It was a hopeful time, filled with possibility, because it was filled with the opening of the passageways which people intended to utilize for healing.

What has happened to my world?

Back then, instead of banning the wounds and feelings as they had done involuntarily as children, and as the society was prone to do – since the same thing had happened to everybody in the society – people were beginning to explore their inner worlds to find and heal those wounds, to be aware of and feel those feelings more and more deeply – purposefully, consciously, safely, for healing. In doing so, they were beginning to learn which feelings were coming up from the past for healing (not to act out on) and which feelings were emerging in the here and now to act upon wisely.

They were recognizing that it wasn’t their responsibility that they were wounded, but it was their responsibility to do their own healing of those wounds.

It was a hopeful time, filled with possibility, because it was helping people become more self-responsible, live more consciously, and be more alive.

What has happened to my world?

In that same time, people were starting to recognize that no matter how much we took action in the outer world, if we weren’t aware of our inner worlds and how they drove us and our actions beneath our awareness … our outer actions could never fulfill our best hopes and dreams, personally, nationally, or globally. Or if they seemed to, those best hopes and dreams could not be sustained, until we found and healed our inner worlds.

And in that time, people were starting to realize that no matter how much we prayed, meditated, chanted, if we weren’t aware of our inner worlds and how they drove us and our actions beneath our awareness … our outer actions could never fulfill our best hopes and dreams, personally, nationally, or globally. Or if they seemed to, those best hopes and dreams could not be sustained, until we found and healed our inner worlds.

Yes, I have deliberately said almost exactly the same thing in the past two paragraphs.  As I’ve said many times over the years:  Outer action is definitely needed. Prayer in its many forms is needed. But so also is the inner work that is done purposefully, safely, with consciousness and commitment, for healing to the root. And in those times long ago, people were beginning to realize the truth of this.  But perhaps they weren’t yet aware of the dangerous consequences of not doing the healing work!

What has happened to my world?

Somewhere along the line, people’s excitement and commitment started to dissipate and even dissolve. People were starting to become aware of their childhood wounds. Their memories were emerging, and with those memories lots of feelings.  People were starting to know they had been abused, neglected, hurt.

People were starting to remember what had been buried. And people began to be afraid. How do they go to holiday dinner with family, when one or more people in those families had caused them so much pain, even trauma?  How do they stay in contact with people who were cruel to them, without bringing it out in the open?  How do they not show up for gatherings, or even one-to-one get-togethers, without talking about it? And what would happen if they did?

And what would happen if they did? Ah! That’s the question that changed my world. Whether asked consciously or unconsciously … that question brought up people’s primal fears. That question opened the wounds. And many people didn’t want to go there.

So the possibility that was right there in those questions, the gems of clues that were pointing to the root of the wounds … were left in the ground. They were left in the ground of people’s own beings. They were left in the inner ground of people’s own minds, bodies, hearts, and souls. And the people – too many of them – ran away.  They moved on to something else. Under some guise. Under some pretense. With some excuse or rationalization … not only to others, but more importantly to themselves.

What has happened to my world?

Too much that people were afraid to know was coming up. Too much that people were afraid to feel was coming up. Too much that people needed to know, needed to feel, and needed to heal was coming up and then being dropped.

Too much childhood abuse. Too much childhood sexual abuse. Too much childhood neglect.  Too much family dysfunction that came to be simply normalized. So much individual, familial, and cultural information started coming out into the open … but people didn’t want to know.

It was like the three monkeys: “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” As though discovering and recovering the truth is evil.

Although there has been some awakening, there is still in our world …
more childhood abuse than anyone knows or wants to know. And it is normalized.
More childhood bullying than anyone knows or wants to know. And it is normalized.
More childhood sexual abuse than anyone knows or wants to know. And it is normalized.
More childhood neglect than anyone knows or wants to know. And it is normalized.

Most people don’t want to know. Most people still don’t want to know. Most people don’t want to know their part in it. And most people still don’t want to do their own work with what happened in their childhoods, and what happened in the lives of their children as a result.

All this wounding still alive inside us – feeds the abuse, bullying, sexual abuse, neglect, greed, terrorism and acting out that is going on in our world! And all the not wanting to know and not wanting to do the inner work feeds the acting out in our world – personally, nationally, and globally.

If we just look at the United States – only because I’m right here and I see what’s happening more clearly here than I do in other countries – the masks have been dissolving and it is much easier to see that there is deep, young wounding in our leaders and in the people who are running for leadership positions. It is so obvious in some trying to become leaders that often people find it laughable, although in truth it is tragic. Tragic that they are acting out their wounds on the political, national, and world stage. Tragic that they are causing so much harm to the process, the people, the country, and the world. Tragic that their wounds, like magnets, are drawing to them those who respond from their own wounds.

Tragic that no one is talking about this in the public space.

The masks have been dissolving and it is much easier to see that there is deep, young wounding in our economic realm. The greed that is causing so much suffering economically is obvious in those who have more than enough but don’t feel they can get enough.  Their own wounding coming into sight.  And the wounding of the people who really don’t have enough and don’t believe they’ll ever have enough is showing itself here, too.

The masks have been dissolving and it is much easier to see that there is deep wounding and subsequent abuse reflected in our insurance system, our pharmaceutical system, and the consequences for our medical and our mental health systems.

The insurance system, once intended to help people take care of their health, has been reduced to disconnection from that intention and from the people as well. The pharmaceutical system, once based on the longing to alleviate pain and suffering, has descended into a heartless, greedy money-making system. For example, charging $600 for a double pack of epi-pens, used to keep people from dying if affected by an allergenic substance – like a bee sting, peanuts, or anything else that could send them into anaphylactic shock. What early wounds in the pharmaceutical and insurance CEOs, boards, and staff are being revealed and acted out this way in their companies and on their society?

How many doctors do you know who not only respond to your physical medical need, but also ask you how you are? Talk with you about your life as a whole? Talk to you by phone if needed?  Too many in the medical system, driven by their own early wounds, allow themselves to be driven also by the insurance system, and the economic system, to disconnect from the heart and soul of their patients – and themselves – and in that way violate their Hippocratic oath to do no harm.

And the mental health system – what has happened to my world? I’ve had so many people talk with me about their distress related to finding a therapist who’s a right match. And how they haven’t been able to find someone who would go to the root with them – not only mentally, but emotionally, too. The therapists they found used techniques and recommendations – and medical drugs – to get them functioning again. Perhaps the therapists they tried did care about their suffering; but they couldn’t go beneath the functioning, beneath the coping, beneath trying to remove the symptoms, to the heart of the suffering. The therapists couldn’t go to the source of the suffering deep within their clients because most likely they themselves were afraid of those primal places – in their clients and in themselves.

If people don’t want to know about their early wounds, if people don’t want to feel their early wounds, if people don’t want to face the feared consequences of bringing them out into the open – the very consequences they were afraid of in their most primal, vulnerable times as children – then people won’t participate in really healing themselves. They won’t participate in helping others really heal themselves. And they won’t participate in really healing the systems … even the mental health system, even the medical system, even the security and defense systems, even the political and governmental systems, even the family systems.

What has happened to my world?

Yes, I know doing the real, healing to the root is challenging. It’s both challenging and exciting. Both painful and joyful. Both deep within, where you may feel you’re trapped, and freeing beyond what you can imagine!

Here we are … we have co-created the things in our world that are most damaging and that we most fear. We may have co-created wonderful things, too. But we have all co-created the things in our world that are most damaging and that we most fear.

We can utilize all that we feel in response for our healing; or we can just keep on co-creating more of the fearful things in the outer world, in an attempt to avoid our inner worlds.

The possibility is here! To utilize what we’ve co-created for healing. But how long are you going to wait till you do your part in the healing? How long are you going to wait till you want to know? Till you you’re willing to remember; till you’re willing to feel; till you’re willing to use it all for healing in a safe and healthy way?

How long?

© Judith Barr, 2016

A Call to Healing in the Wake of Violence

A few days ago, there was violence at political rallies for Donald Trump. It was disturbing and heartbreaking to watch.

As we become aware of violent events – in the political arena and in any area of our world – we need to also become aware of an important truth: Violence begins within each of us.

There is a current of violence within each of us that we have the potential to act out on. That current can be provoked, triggered, fed, by anyone and anything. Sure as it’s sunny in the day and dark in the night, we are all vulnerable to that current being triggered. It may be triggered by our dreams at night, by our memories during the day. It may be evoked by something we’re aware of – like an interaction with someone close to us – or by something we’re not aware of at all. It may be evoked by our transferring onto a person or situation in today’s world deep experiences we had long ago when we were children. It may be triggered by someone who has no intention whatsoever for us to be triggered. And it may be triggered by someone who definitely has an intention to trigger us and get us stirred up … and then use us for his/her own agenda.

If we are to help heal the violence in the world, we need to heal the violence and potential for violence within us. We each need to find that current of anger, rage, violence, and work with it and through it. Each person who does this makes him/herself less vulnerable to his/her inner current of violence being triggered. And certainly less vulnerable to acting out on that inner current of violence. Every one of us who acknowledges, claims, owns the current of violence within, does not act out on that current, and, in fact, works through that part of us … helps heal the well of violence in the human community.

A clue: When we are stressed in our current day, we regress to the child within us still alive and needing healing. Different here-and-now stresses will cause us to regress to different times, ages, experiences, and moments of suffering in our childhoods. If we don’t know this, we believe we’re simply in the here-and-now suffering today. If we don’t know about our regression, we are very likely to act out with our big bodies today the little child’s feelings from long ago. We may, for example, have temper tantrums, hurting ourselves and other people

If those around us don’t know about the regressions in themselves, us, and others … they are likely to normalize the violence being acted out. They are likely to claim it is just about today because of something occurring today. They are likely to abdicate their self-responsibility in the situation. They are likely deny their part in the violence erupting. They are likely to refuse to own up to how they provoked it, triggered it, used it … even though it’s clear as day to others.

If we are to help heal the violence in the world, we need to heal the violence and potential for violence within us.

I have written about healing violence many times in my blog in the hopes that my posts will inspire us all to commit to heal violence from the inside out. You can find many of my past posts about the true roots of violence and how we can all help to heal it here: https://polipsych101.wordpress.com/tag/violence/.

“Why aren’t our efforts to end the violence working?

“Very simply, our efforts to end the violence aren’t working because we are doing things that don’t work, can’t work, and often include violence within them. For example, punishment for violence doesn’t work. Laws outlawing violence and then punishing it don’t work. Have they ever really worked? Look at our world today before you even attempt to answer that question.

“Gun control – although it may prevent guns from being used for violence in some cases – won’t work to end the violence. Someone who is defending against their pain with striking out will just find another way to strike out. And praying for violence to end – although it may be a useful, even necessary help toward ending the violence – will not work all by itself to end violence in our world. And though it may help on some deep level, some people who pray don’t commit violence (even though they may have it within them as an escape hatch), and some people who pray also commit violence. That may seem like a contradiction, but we human beings are filled with contradictions, aren’t we?”*

We say and maybe even believe that we don’t want violence … that we don’t contribute to violence … that we don’t co-create violence. We say and maybe we’re even sure –  in our own minds – that others have a violent current but we don’t. And we rip off permission to not honestly acknowledge the violence within us and its roots in the child within. And yet here is the violence right in the midst of us. This is a perfect example of the poison-is-the-medicine dynamic I wrote about in November. **

“We can attempt to end violence from the outside in …
And fail.
Or we can commit to heal violence from the inside out, to the root,
and over time succeed.” ***

Right now, we are failing.

It is my hope that my work will help you in your own healing journey, and that together we can help heal the violence so prevalent in our world today.

Blessings,
Judith

© Judith Barr, 2015.

* From my home study course Violence: Finding And Healing The Roots from the Inside Out, © Judith Barr, 2013, page 13.

** https://judithbarr.com/2015/11/19/grief-shock-another-tragedy-and-the-poison-is-the-medicine/

*** Adapted from the opening quote in my home study course Healing Bullying to The Root: A Unique Approach to A Painful Epidemic, © Judith Barr, 2013, page 2.

How Did We Ever Let This Happen?

History repeats itself when we don’t learn from it, when we don’t grow from it, when we don’t find a way to become conscious of the real roots of it.

In the last century, there was a Holocaust birthed and carried out in Germany and all over Europe … a Holocaust which had repercussions globally that many of us worldwide are still feeling today. A child was born and raised who fed, fanned, and used the emotions of the German citizens to get them to elect him. And then once in power manipulated himself into dictatorship … a dictatorship that blamed and scapegoated entire groups of people, terrorized the citizenry that put him in power and those in other countries that hadn’t, and cruelly, inhumanly, monstrously took millions of prisoners, enslaved them in concentration camps, and devastated them mentally, emotionally, and physically.

What were Germans thinking as this was all evolving? Was anyone aware? Was anyone concerned? Did anyone see Nazi Germany coming? Was anyone wondering what they could do to prevent it? Did anyone get what was unfolding? Did anyone comprehend what was feeding it – in the child-now-dictator? Did anyone comprehend what was feeding it in the citizenry? Or what was causing it? If anyone did get it, did they understand what was at the real root of this horror and this tragedy?

*****

Six and a half years ago, I watched on television a memorial ceremony at one of those concentration camps – Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Germany. The speakers at the ceremony were Barack Obama, author and former prisoner in the Auschwitz, Buna, and Buchenwald concentration camps, Elie Wiesel, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. I was deeply touched, most of all by Angela Merkel. She asked important questions:

   We, the Germans, are faced with the agonizing question.
   How and why?
   How could this happen?
   How could Germany wreak such havoc in Europe and in the world?

Knowing how to respond to her questions, in a heartbeat I was moved to write to her. I shared with her how touched I was by her questions … and by her asking them publicly. For starters, I shared with her that there are those in my field of psychotherapy who are trying to help us all understand the link between politics/government and psychology. That psychoanalyst and author, Alice Miller was one of those working to help. That I was more and more addressing such connections in my country and in our world.

To help her begin to explore the depths of the answers she was seeking, I referred Chancellor Merkel to Alice Miller’s For Your Own Good – Hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence, the chapter entitled, “Adolf Hitler’s Childhood: From Hidden to Manifest Horror.” I also sent her a copy of my book, Power Abused, Power Healed.

It was touching to receive a letter back from her thanking me.

For an individual to look back over personal mistakes, and over personal destructiveness, acknowledging them, taking responsibility for them, seeking to repair them … it takes a lot. It takes a lot of healing and creates a lot of healing.

For one to look back on one’s country’s most destructive mistakes and be able to ask, in effect “How did we let this happen?” takes grace, humility, awakened (or at least awakening) consciousness, connectedness, and the ability to feel. To be able to accept and respond to an answer takes, in addition, openness and willingness, and a longing for healing.

Where was that grace, humility, awakened consciousness, connectedness, and the ability to feel when Hitler’s Germany was step by step evolving into a monstrosity? Hidden beneath a country’s blindness to its own normalized violence in house after house after house.

According to Alice Miller, steeped in monstrous practices of parenting, the children of Germany were being abused under the guise of “child rearing,” a normalized national standard of discipline, not limited to Germany alone. Such cruelty, normalized in the home, spread to the culture. This led to a distorted sort of domino effect: When Adolf Hitler came into power, he himself having been mercilessly abused as a child, all the abused children still alive within the actual children, the teenagers, and the supposed adults, reflexively responded in the usual spectrum of ways abused children would respond.

Some froze; some submitted and obeyed; some colluded; some fled; some stayed close to the abuser to protect themselves; some acted out their own violent impulses as a result of their violent upbringing. Most of the society, blindly and beneath individual or communal consciousness, participated in the “march” toward Hitler’s Germany without even realizing they were doing so. Without even realizing it was happening.

Hitler’s ability to foment fear and anger and direct it toward others drew its power not just from the then-current social, political, and economic conditions in Germany, but more accurately, more deeply, more truly from the mental, emotional, and physical conditions in people’s childhoods, in their homes and families.

The havoc that was wreaked on our world was beyond words. It was not Hitler alone that caused the devastation. It was the society – Hitler and the German citizens and the government and citizens before them, and before that, and before that. It was a reflection of the monstrous abuses of children that occurred in individual homes from generation to generation. Abuses that were either kept blocked from awareness, secret, or hidden from view, or were normalized personally and culturally as a justification, finally coming into public view in Nazi Germany – as an out-picturing of what people had gone through as children and lived with inside themselves still. The holocaust discovered in Hitler’s Germany was horrifyingly and tragically real in itself, but it also gave the world a view into the alarming, frightening, heart-breaking holocaust the children experienced in their childhood homes … the children, including Hitler himself.

As many destructive events play out in our world – and as the world watches the unfolding of the presidential election here in the United States – it seems that we’re headed the same way.

For years I’ve been watching as the wounded children in our country and our world have grown up to out-picture the pain and suffering they went through as children. I’ve helped individuals and couples become aware of the anguish they’ve caused those they insist they love, in ways similar to how their own parents caused them pain when they were little. I’ve connected the dots again and again between the individual wounds and the communal/global wounds – evident at the time and continuing to come down the pike.

I’ve worked to show others this connection. Steeped in fear and denial of their own childhood wounds, the supposed grown up leaders and citizens in our world, like Hitler and the German people, have been driven by the child still alive within them, have had their young feelings fomented, have been acting out their own childhoods, and have been busy defending themselves against the needed explorations of the true causes in their childhood and the effects on their lives, the lives of their families, the life of our culture and world … now and to come.

Just as an alcoholic or a parent who abuses his/her child can be completely blind to the damage they’re causing until after they and those around them have hit bottom, so also can that happen to any country.

Angela Merkel could ask these questions after the devastation.
Whatever questions were asked before and along the way were not being asked publicly, and were not being asked in relation to the inner world of the people.
Who amongst us is asking these questions in our world today?
And who instead of asking them is acting out the roots?
Who is saying, “I wish I could change, but there’s nothing I can do about it!”
Who is freezing? Who is submitting?
Who is blind to what is occurring?
Who is closing his or her eyes and not watching?
Who is running away?
Who is lashing out and becoming a bully him/herself?

Who amongst us is truly seeking the inner answers at the root?
Who amongst us is looking at the wounding in the psyches of our children – the child still alive within each of us, and the children for generations back and for generations to come?
Who amongst us is doing the work of the healing and transformation that is needed?

History repeats itself when we don’t learn from it, when we don’t grow from it, when we don’t find a way to become conscious of the real roots of it. It repeats itself when we don’t find the real roots of it personally, individually, familially. And it repeats itself when we don’t find the real roots communally, nationally, and globally.

Yet there are all sorts of signs that we aren’t finding the real roots.
And that we aren’t asking the questions to lead us to the real roots.
And that we aren’t working to heal and transform ourselves at the real roots.

We wouldn’t be re-enacting the same things again and again if we were.

If people did their own work on their relationships with power, we would be able to have the clarity to elect leaders who truly represent our best interests personally and communally, instead of transferring our young feelings onto candidates; instead of colluding with the abuse of power in the electoral process; instead of choosing leaders from our wounded selves.

If people did their young inner work, prejudice would be on its way to deep healing; fear of the other, blaming the other, scapegoating of the other would not be acted out; would less and less exist within the individual psyche; when it did, would be worked with to heal it more to the root; and would exist less and less in the communal psyche as a result.

If people did their work with misogyny, rooted in their perhaps-unconscious hatred and fear of mommy, and their desire to have power over the one person who had the most power over them … there would be no more war on women, no more attempts to control women no more attempts to own women, no more attempts to have power over women. And if women themselves did their work with their own bodies and psyches, their own wombs, their own experiences with menstruation, birth, and menopause … they would no longer collude with the effort to control them and no longer tolerate being controlled – body, mind, heart, and soul.

If people did their own inner healing work with the root of their relationship with money – wealthy people and poor alike – they would pull their own money wounding out of the world’s wounded economy and support others to do the same – creating the space for healing economies.

If people did their own inner healing work with the abuses they experienced as children – both the right out in the open abuses and the more subtle, not so tangible abuses – our country would no longer pander in its laws and other ways to parents abusing their children, to partners abusing each other.

If people did the inner healing work to be able to feel their feelings, long buried from childhood … they would be able to discern which feelings are for healing from the past and which ones are for acting on today. As a result, no bully or dictator in the making could foment their feelings for his or her own use.

If people did their inner healing work from their own ancient past, there would be no haunting pull drawing people to want to take the country or the world back to “the way it once was.”

If people did their own inner healing work with power and powerlessness, the misuse and abuse of power would not be so rampant in our world … and when it came into view, there would be people who could help to heal it at its root.

Without doing our work, our world is headed toward the same kinds of horrors and tragedies as Germany faced … the same kinds of atrocities experienced by our children and the same kinds of atrocities acted out on our world stage.

Actually we’ve done many of them already … under the guise of politics, under the guise of government, under the guise of democracy, under the guise of freedom of speech, under the guise of powerful beloved leaders, under the guise of defense, under the guise of being civilized …

Who is looking at the wounding that caused what we’ve already reenacted?
Who is looking at the wounding that will cause further escalations?
Who is looking at the wounding of leaders, supporters, the media, and concerned citizens, especially in this year of the U.S. presidential race and election?

If we don’t look at the wounding of our children, the wounding within us, the wounding that spreads from generation to generation, the wounding that becomes part of our very culture … we could end up acting out on our world’s stage scenarios like those the people of Germany co-created with Hitler. We could end up with a country in which too many people join with a candidate out of their own wounding and help wreak havoc all over the world that mirrors the havoc they experienced in their childhood homes.

I know what I’m saying is scary. I know it is tempting to push it away. But pushing it away will only help to create anew the nightmare we need to dissolve and heal. The real hope is in welcoming the truth of it, holding it with an open welcoming heart, and knowing that this truth and the healing work that can come of it will set us free, individually and communally, in a way that nothing else can.

© Judith Barr, 2016

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP KEEP OUR WORLD SAFE
FROM THE INSIDE OUT

As we in the U.S. near our presidential election, and as so many events play out on the world stage, we all need to look not only at the actions of others outside ourselves, but even more importantly … we need to look inside ourselves. Each and every one of us needs to explore and heal those wounds within that allow us to tolerate, collude with, and even perpetrate abuses of power in our world.

This election year – and every year – make the commitment to explore and heal your own inner wounds. Look for the ways in which you subtly or blatantly collude with abuses in your families, communities, nations and world.

When you find yourself allowing or fostering a form of abuse, explore within. For example, when you see a candidate slinging mud at an opponent, how do you feel? What does that mudslinging trigger in you? Can you trace that feeling back in your life … to your own childhood experience? To help you truly heal those feelings, and the experiences out of which they emerged, you may need to find a compassionate, healing professional … one who has integrity, one who does his/her own inner healing work, one who can help you heal to the root.

Imagine if all the leaders and all the citizens in our world did their own inner work to heal their wounding! Imagine how different our world would be!

Safety – From the Inside Out – For The New Year and Years To Come

This is the third in my series of articles following the tragedy in Paris on November 13. The first was Grief, Shock, Another Tragedy and … the Poison is the Medicine … The second was When Are We Going to Heal the Repetitive Vicious Cycle From the Inside Out?
The article below takes us ever deeper into the cause and the solution.

Every child comes into this world needing to be safe;
needing a mother who keeps him safe,
needing a mother who keeps her safe;
needing a father who keeps him safe,
needing a father who keeps her safe;
Every child comes into this world needing to be safe;
needing at least one truly loving person
to keep him safe,
needing at least one truly loving person
to keep her safe.

When safety is missing from a child’s original home environment …
the consequences in that child’s outer world are mind-boggling;
and if the outer consequences weren’t more than enough to live with…
the consequences in that child’s inner world are almost
incomprehensibly mind-boggling and heart-boggling.

Whatever unsafety a child experiences in his or her young life
causes him to think, feel, grow, and act differently
than he would have without the unsafety.
The child’s young fear in reaction to the unsafety gets felt,
however briefly,
then reflexively buried so the child can survive.
But this innate self-protective reflex quickly changes from pure protection into defenses:
defenses against the unsafety just experienced in the outer world;
defenses against the feelings triggered by the outer unsafety;
but also defenses against the unsafety that remains
alive in the inner world;
and defenses against the feelings that remain alive in the inner world.

The child who innocently felt safe,
no longer feels safe in the outer world or the inner world.
The experience of unsafety and all the feelings that go with it
now are alive within that child …
whether right at the surface or buried deep within;
whether streaming through his self or
encapsulated and held off in the background;
whether consciously or deep beneath awareness.

The unsafety may have been blatant –
smacks on the face, beatings, rape, being thrown across the room …
hunger and famine …
experiencing or witnessing torture or the horrors of war …
Or it may have been more subtle –
being molested under the guise of caretaking,
being used under the guise of love,
being controlled under the guise of good parenting,
being humiliated under the guise of just kidding around,
or being made unsafe in any way … under the guise of safety.

That unsafety, whatever it was, still lives within the child –
that day, that week, that month, that year,
for years and years and years after…
even after the child has grown into adulthood.
That unsafety experienced in childhood
and the little child who experienced the unsafety
are still alive within the adult …
until that person has the help to heal and transform the unsafety from the inside out.

The experiences of unsafety and the defenses
against them, alive within,
create more unsafety without the child or the adult realizing it.
He may lash out and fight, firmly believing that will protect him.
She may withdraw, flee, and hide, certain that will protect her.
He may freeze in his tracks, doing nothing, sure that will protect him.
They may do any one of these things or others
because the unsafety within from long ago has been triggered,
perhaps by nothing unsafe at all in their present day outer world …
by only a misperception or misunderstanding that
sets off the inner and outer reaction to unsafety.
And if that happens,
their reaction could create unsafety in the outer world today
where none had existed.

Or there could be unsafety in the current world,
but the child still alive in the adult person –
about whom the adult is unaware –
could react to the current unsafety
with a charge, an intensity, and a rawness
far, far greater than the current unsafety warrants.

For instance,
someone switching lanes on the highway right in front of the adult
could set off the unsafety from long ago
that results in the adult pulling up too close to the car now in front,
passing the other car dangerously close,
rolling down their window and shouting obscenities,
or even pulling out a gun and shooting.
Any one of those responses would be
millions of times the warranted response –
of just feeling the fear of the moment of unsafety
when the other car pulled in so close.
And all caused by young reactions to and defenses against
unsafety from childhood.

This happens over and over again in our world…
Parents who experienced unsafety in their childhoods will somehow,
even without meaning to consciously,
even without realizing it,
create unsafety for their children.
Somehow unconsciously the child still alive within the parents,
in an effort to hold at bay their own unsafety when they were young,
will act out with their children, creating unsafety
for the next generation …
and the generation after that and the generation after that.

And it’s not limited to our homes.
This happens again and again in our world today …
in our homes –
in our schools and churches –
in our workplaces –
in our governments –
between nations and peoples of nations …
people all over our world creating unsafety
as a consequence of the unsafety they experienced as children.

Yes, there are things in the outer world we need to do to help us be safe today and in the future.
But our reactions to the unsafety in our world today
are intensified and magnified by the triggers we have to the unsafety we lived with in our childhoods …
even if we do not yet remember that unsafety;
even if we feel sure there was no unsafety;
even if that unsafety was passed down psychically
through the generations;
even if any unsafety in our childhood has been
normalized by our families;
even if any unsafety in our childhood has been
normalized by our cultures.

Yes, there are things in the outer world we need to do to help us be safe today and in the future …
but too many of the things people think we need to do will only create more unsafety
and start the cycle again.

The one most crucial thing we must do –
the one thing most people don’t know about at all –
the one thing most people deny as vital to us all …
is to do the inner healing to work through the experiences and feelings of unsafety we had as children.
Without that healing work,
we will continue to create and recreate unsafety
in a vicious cycle in our lives and in our world …
we will continue to create the poison
without using the poison as the medicine.

The original poison was the unsafety each child experienced originally.
The medicine is his or her reaction to real or perceived unsafety
in today’s world.
Using the medicine well:
using the trail of unsafety to heal unsafety –
not just in the outer world, but in the inner world, too.

The cure:
Creating safety from the inside out.

© Judith Barr, 2015

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP KEEP OUR WORLD SAFE
FROM THE INSIDE OUT

With commitment and honesty, you can search deep inside yourself to know – even if you are not yet aware –

-how you were unsafe as a child;

-how you have contributed to unsafety through the years as a consequence of the unsafety you experienced in your childhood;

and

-how you contribute to unsafety today as a consequence of the unsafety you experienced in your childhood.

With commitment and honesty, you can find a therapist with integrity and skill, who has done and continues to do his/her own work with safety/unsafety, to help you explore the issue of safety/unsafety to the root. You can work with it to the root and heal it to the root within you. And as a result … create safety from the inside out in your life, and help to create safety from the inside out in the life of our world.