Healing the Inner Child

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I am crying as I write this blog today. Someone very close to me is trying to heal from sexual abuse that they went through as a child and it is hard to see them go through the hurt that they are still carrying around after all these years. I am so proud of them for facing it head on, refusing to be a victim and working towards healing their emotional and spiritual wounds. But it is hard to witness.

It all partially started because Oprah recently had a special two-part episode on adult male survivors of child abuse. I only saw the second part, but it really, really touched me. At one point, each survivor held up a picture of themselves from when they were kids and this abuse was going on. It was a very powerful visual representation of the horrible loss of innocence that they endured.

Not having been abused myself, I can only imagine what these men went through and how it altered the course of their lives. Each of them were so significantly damaged by what happened, that to this day they still struggle with authority figures, intimacy, self-worth, trust, anger...the list goes on.

How does one heal from such a horrible experience that happened at such a young age? Seriously - regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. I just can't even imagine. It has to be one of the most, horrendous, devastating, traumatizing things that occurs on this earth. These children were abused by the people in their lives who they were supposed to be able to look up to, the people who were supposed to keep them safe and protect them, the people who were supposed to love them. Parents. Teachers. Priests. Family. Friends.

It is ironic that I am blogging on this topic right after blogging on what "evil" means. Because, I tell you, child abuse (sexual or otherwise) is probably the most Evil thing I can think of - and that's Evil with a capital "E".

I understand the value of going through tests. I believe that many of the horrible things that happen in the world have a reason and a place in the grand scheme of things. I can have faith and trust in God in most all things in life. I can deal with murder. I can deal with infant mortality. I can deal with natural disasters. But this...I just don't know.

Healing from traumatic events is important, I am certain of that. And praying and meditating can help, I believe that too. But where do you begin to truly heal from something like that? How do you start? I am completely overwhelmed just trying to imagine how difficult it must be. How can you heal your inner child from something so hideous? I am really at a loss.

Any feedback, thoughts and/or support on this would be greatly appreciated.

"Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey.

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after." (King James Bible, Jeremiah 30:16-17)

"...if one deals with objects of the sense
Not loving and not hating, making them
Serve his free soul, which rests serenely lord,
Lo! such a man comes to tranquillity;
And out of that tranquillity shall rise
The end and healing of his earthly pains,
Since the will governed sets the soul at peace." (Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr))

"Thy name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succor in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise." (Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 262)

The Nature of Evil

Monday, November 8, 2010

(Photo courtesy of ©Isabel Castaño.www.isabelcastano.com)

What is “evil” to you? A bully in school? A corrupt politician? A murderer? A terrorist? A demon hiding in the shadows ready to jump out and possess your soul? All of the above?

I think it is all of those things (in a way). I believe that "evil" is just the absence of "good". Each and every one of us are pure, noble, creations of God and our true reality is a spiritual one. But because that reality has to go through a "human" existence here on earth, we are given the opportunity to live up to our spiritual, "good" nature......or not.

It is at those times when we don't live up to our potential as spiritual, loving beings that true "evil" rears its ugly head. Those times when we show a lack or "absence" of patience, compassion, generosity and love. At those times our baser nature, what you could even call "ego" decides that what we want is more important than anyone or anything else. Our "self" gets in the way of what we know is right.

I do not believe in Satan, or demons or evil spirits that "push" us to do bad things. I believe that the "push" we feel is within ourselves and originates from our lower nature - the nature of self, of ego, of selfishness.

I think when we focus on being of service to others and on the betterment of the world as a whole - then we are exhibiting our true, spiritual nature. When we tell our selfish needs to take a hike and our "ego" to take a break, then we become more aligned with our higher, truer selves. We give "evil" the old heave-ho. LOL!

What do you think? I know there are a huge array of thoughts on this subject so please share them! And of course, quotes from your spiritual belief system would be awesome! I have posted a few below that I found to be compelling.

As long as man is a captive of habit, pursuing the dictates of self and desire, he is vanquished and defeated. This passionate personal ego takes the reins from his hands, crowds out the qualities of the divine ego and changes him into an animal, a creature unable to judge good from evil, or to distinguish light from darkness. He becomes blind to divine attributes, for this acquired individuality, the result of an evil routine of thought becomes the dominant note of his life." (Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 133)

"The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (King James Bible, Matthew 6:22-24)

"By oneself is evil done,
By oneself does one get defiled,
By oneself is evil left undone,
By oneself is one purified.
Purity or impurity depends on oneself,
No one can purify another." (Buddhist, Dhammapada - Sayings of the Buddha 3 (tr. J. Richards))

"There! for that ye did rejoice in the land without right; and for that ye did exult; enter ye the gates of hell, to dwell therein for aye; for evil is the resort of those who are too big with pride!" (The Qur'an (E.H. Palmer tr), Sura 40 - The Believer)

"The reality underlying this question is that the evil spirit, Satan or whatever is interpreted as evil, refers to the lower nature in man. This baser nature is symbolized in various ways. In man there are two expressions, one is the expression of nature, the other the expression of the spiritual realm. The world of nature is defective. Look at it clearly, casting aside all superstition and imagination. If you should leave a man uneducated and barbarous in the wilds of Africa, would there be any doubt about his remaining ignorant? God has never created an evil spirit; all such ideas and nomenclature are symbols expressing the mere human or earthly nature of man. It is an essential condition of the soil of earth that thorns, weeds and fruitless trees may grow from it. Relatively speaking, this is evil; it is simply the lower state and baser product of nature." (Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 77)

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