Sunday, April 5, 2020

Comments by Alex

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  • You have really captured it boans, these are the dilemmas and considerations in healing from social abuse, and it’s not an easy picture. Change and transformation are messy, like the eggs breaking to make the omelette. Trusting our own selves and how our process guides us is where we can feel safer as we go. We’re all uncertain of the future, that’s universal.

    “My ‘faith’ has wavered much over the past 9 years, going from absolute to wondering why my God would allow such things to occur. And yet then I realise it is a test of integrity that is being applied to these people,”

    Yep, for all of us, so here’s our opportunity to follow that light and it will be a better path, uplifting and clearer. That’s my belief and vision, in any event, and my experience so far. It helps to connect with what we truly believe and walk that talk, then we’re in synch with ourselves and we move forward with greater ease.

    “and they are failing miserably.”

    Oh yeah, the corruption is a runaway train, let them wrestle with it. They have to hit rock bottom (whatever that is, scary to think about) before waking up and it will be a rude awakening for them. That’s what happens when it is not voluntary. We do have a choice to embrace change or to resist it. The latter choice makes it much, much harder to navigate, of this I’m certain. I’d recommend *allowing* change, that is more ease than not. They’re resisting it, so they will have problems, but that is their awakening, so it’s quite just.

    “What will be the eventual consequence of that failure?”

    At some point, it has to turn on them, as more and more of us “scapegoats” wake up and stop feeding the vampires and claim our personal sovereignty. I believe that is our birthright, but we were born into oppression, so we have to untie that Gordion Knot ourselves. That’s a hard one, albeit doable, this is not new. Although I do believe that IS the point of all this. Walking away from energy drainers such as these is where we begin to connect with our own power–and a bit more inner peace in the process because anxiety lowers from empowerment–and then we can get acquainted with ourselves on much better terms. Makes all the difference what we believe about ourselves.

  • “They want us to fear THEIR enemies. And their enemies just happen to be US.”

    Ah, yes, got it. Wow, that is keen analysis, boans, and on point. This is what we don’t want to buy into, that’s a terrible and self-sabotaging program.

    “The illnesses being caused by the destruction of the planet by psychotic corporations…”

    Yes, I agree, that is my truth, too. And what community of origin fosters the people who run such corrupt industries that are sabotaging global society? There is a root to every issue.

  • “I’ve spoken up and no one wishes to listen here. They turned me away because someone went to the trouble of fabricating false records, and no one wishes to check them because they prefer the lies.”

    This really touches me, boans, I have this story, that statement could come from me, too. This applies to the super bureaucratic “mental health/social services” network where I got caught up in what you describe and battled it up and down for years in all kinds of ways legal and creative. And it also applies to at least a couple of members of my family, from whom I need to keep a distance if I want sanity in my life. I do come from a gaslighting family, unfortunately, doesn’t make me happy to say this and I had to heal tons from it as I spoke the hardest truth ever and set the firmest boundaries ever. Those were my choices to make and I followed through. Made me stronger, I felt the clarity, but I also felt sad for a while, then I felt free. Whew, that’s what I was waiting for, and it happened.

    The system did it all over again and I’ve spoken my truth repeatedly. I’ve made impacts here and there, I do know this. After I take my actions, I cannot control what happens after that, other than in what direction I choose to go from there. Everyone has free will, to do good or to be an ass.

    Yes, they’d prefer the lies because the truth is a mirror to them they do not like and will not accept at all cost, it would be too painful for them, too much self-judgment would fall on them. Sadly, that’s their right to resist truth, and we’re only beating our heads against the wall when we argue with deniers and liars.

    When I say trust the path of integrity, what I mean is that we can do better by not being like that, by being straight up, which it seems to me that you totally are.

    As far as “the riches and the freedom” go, well, I’m still on my way, too. But I think the potential to be richer and freer would actually come from being a victim of systemic bullshit than being a perpetrator of it. A perprator is really missing some of their moral compass, and that’s a hard awakening which I do not envy.

    Those of us on the scapegoated end are inherently humble, we’ve been humbled plenty and we feel it, I know that. I think there is power in that, precisely because we are in our integrity. If we can feel that, perhaps we’ll see it reflected outside of us, somehow.

    I don’t know, this IS my practice, I’m very conscious of this as I’ve been dealing with it most of my life, and it got worse as I was an adult, leading to lots of hard awakenings and freeing myself from double-binding toxic relationships. I was raised on this, so I had to do deep, deep deprogramming from what I grew up believing, and disover my own truth, so that I at least had the CHOICE to live by my integrity! That was the hugest shift ever, kinda surreal for a while. It’s a new world when we heal from abuse.

    I’ve been seeing the outer changes in bits and pieces, have had plenty of good evidence over the years. Then things can get wonky again, not sure if things are getting better. Then something happens to bring me back into trust, seeing movement happen. The world is dense, changes can take a while to show up!

    But that’s where I’m at with all this. I’ve gone in and out of doubt a lot, that’s human. But the light does keep showing up and showing up and showing up. And as long as that’s the case, I have hope and even optimism. Sometimes I can even achieve a feeling of certainty! That feels great. Then it can ebb again. It’s a flow of energy.

    As long as I see manifestation along the way and feel better than before, then I know I’m on track. I just keep looking forward, not back. Definitely the key to healing and change. It’s not behind us, it’s right in front of us.

  • Thank you for the honor, boans, I appreciate your saying this and I’m glad it speaks to you. And of course I do understand the rage, boy do I, that’s a most reasonable response to this crap. But I think as we gain more and more clarity, we have the option to make changes internally, right there, as it seems you are doing, and new light shines on the other side of this. Changes will happen on the outside, too, to reflect the internal changes. It’s a most fascinating process, and powerful in its ability to drive change from the inside.

    Interesting, too, I happened to give a lengthy response this morning to your comment with the Dr. Strangelove quote, you inspired me with that one. It’s still in the moderating queue, I guess is will show up soon. Kind of goes hand in hand with this post, regarding internal changes. Good synchronicity!

  • That’s an enlightening quote, boans, and a brilliant film! However, most honestly, I’m not out to create fear in anyone, that is never my intention and would go against my values. My work in the world is to help bring clarity and relief to people, not more chaos, although we most often have to move through some chaos in order to find relief and clarity, that would be the unearthing and integrative process of healing.

    Truth can be hard to hear and accept sometimes, but it is necessary if we are to live with any kind of peace in the world. Even recognizing hard truths in ourselves is freeing, although it may be uncomfortable for a moment, but that passes as we integrate our own light and shadow. To me that is the natural healing process. I see that as growth and evolution in consciousness. I believe this is the path toward inner peace, which is the ultimate healing, total relief from stress. Inner peace is the most natural anti-anxiety that exists, and allows all truth to come to light because we do not fear it, if we are in our own personal light and know our peace.

    Truth is light, which is more of an empowering feeling rather than one of fear, because it is clear and unamibiguous, so we can move forward from that. I think what we fear is our own self-judgment, which can be harsh, so we give ourselve permission to feel what we feel and be who we are, no reason to be so damn hard on ourselves! I had to integrate tons of self-judgment in order to heal from chronic anxiety, and feel self-compassion. That is self-soothing, and I become my own best friend as opposed to being my own worst enemy.

    So really, I guess I’d say our enemy is ourselves if we are in fear and self-judgment, whereas we CAN choose to be our most powerful support and self-healer.

    Fear comes from our own interpretation of events and experiences when we feel and perceive ourselves to be powerless. We end up worrying about everything, and that is chronic stress. I’ve also heard “worry” described as “praying for that which you don’t want.” We tend to manifest that on which we most focus, regardless of whether it is from our desire or our fear. I’d prefer a better feeling and to focus on that which I DO want, rather than to dwell on that which makes me feel fear, worry, and resentment. That will only create more of the same, that’s a law of nature, from what I understand.

    Moreover, I think that the impulse to “attack” is already driven by core fears. Mainstream fears shadow, while many of us are accustomed to it. I’d say we have the advantage, because we are in our truth. I own my stuff every day, I’ve made amends for my errors and misjudgments and I continue to as I go along, to stay on a path of integrity, allowing myself to be human while striving to be the best I can be.

    I’ve faced myself in the mirror repeatedly, as I believe many of us on here have. No one is perfect, far from it. Humans aren’t supposed to be perfect, that would go against nature. Life is school, we learn as we go–hopefully!

    Those who attack innocent people have plenty to fear from within their own selves. People change when they feel it is in their best interest, not in the best interest of others. I wish fear on no one, only truth and the empowerment of humility. Being human is inherently humbling, and it’s also incredibly creative. The combo of these is power. Everyone on the planet has the potential to own their personal power and not be afraid of shadow or the unknown. Were everyone to take that level of responsbility for themselves and stop attacking people for their truth, the world would be mightily uplifted and so much of this craziness would cease. That’s my vision, in any event.

  • “Most DSM “bible” believers are a part of a vast system of bullying, defamation, and neurotoxic poisoning.”

    Exactly right, this is the truth distilled perfectly. The big three, working together doing soooo much harm, obviously, what else would come from these? By now it’s an embedded program, nature of the beast. This cannot go on forever without self-sabotaging consequences.

    To these horribly misguided and toxic systems, psychiatry and its ilk: Please stop hurting people. You are hurting people terribly, repeatedly. We keep telling you, we keep providing evidence of our truth, and you will not listen, you will not believe, you will not acknowledge. Regardless, please stop, stop, STOP! Turn a new leaf, own your mistakes, make amends, and move forward in a new light. However it occurs, it must. We will all be better for it, win/win.

    We’re ALL human and we all make mistakes. There’s a lot of growth and healing in owning and correcting the error of our ways. Everyone goes through it one way or another. It’s called waking up, and growing up. Be brave.

  • Yeah, I agree, no mincing of words when it comes to truth-speaking about corruption. i know from experience that saying this to their face is useless, only creates retaliation and shuts down communication. When one says this about their peers, however, it has credibility that the victims of corruption are robbed of, as per the stigma of these labels and the social identity they perpetuate. All voices matter, but some are heard above others–or at least responded to above others, or taken more seriously than others, or some such thing. Hard to say what is actually being heard.

  • You just perfectly illustrated the gaslighting which occurs readily in this industry, as standard practice. That is psychological torture and will do more harm than anything, leaving people confused, disoriented and feeling powerless because there is no truth to this, they are totally shadow projections. I believe this is how the DSM is used as a tool for justifying these projections. It is insidious, oppressive, and supremely toxic, hurts people at the core to have their humanity so blatantly invalidated like that, especially after being provoked.

    These are wounds that cut deep, can really mess a person up until they wake up to the abuse and walk away from it. That can take a while to realize how draining this is, if one is vulnerable to such negative mirroring and feedback.

    Even after all these years of being awake to how this works, it’s still mind-boggling to me that the “mental health” industry causes such profound psychological distress with these common practices of labeling and shaming emotions! The irony is over-the-top tragic. Such damage being done every day with this shit, makes me shudder.

  • Wow, this is the most direct and powerful condemnation of psychiatry and psychatirsts that I’ve ever seen coming from within the industry. Thank you for your brave and unambiguous truth-speaking, may it ripple far and wide. I’m sure I’ll be sharing this blog.

    One thing–I do feel it is important to give hope for healing, regardless of anything. I was on polypharmacy for 19 years until coming off of them systematically and intuitively, and now I’ve been 19 years off, exact same amount of time. It was often quite rough, scary, extremely painful, and totally uncertain, but in the end, with diligence, trust, and persistence, I found my healing, thank God.

    While I was on the drugs, I wasn’t exactyly a “zombie,” and in fact I worked full time, went to school got 2 degrees, and had a seemingly “normal” (mainstream) life, albeit with symptoms I was always trying to manage, caused by the drugs themselves, it turns out.

    Years later, following various changes in the drugs, I did eventually discover they’d been eroding me from the inside all along. My organs were out of balance and my mind became foggy. This is while I was in grad school, suddenly, things went south, and it had been happening slowly all along. It was quite a dilemma for me because of what I was taught to believe about myself and about the medical profession, including psychiatry. My father was a physician, so I thought any Dr. should be listened to, “for my own good,” that a “professional” would know more about me than I did. That’s the programming, and it’s quite misleading, to the point of danger, obviously, what you are warning us about.

    I chose to break the programming and do what was good and right for me, and that was surprisingly challenging, to discern between my own voice and the stigmatizing voices that came directly from psychiatry and the mh AND social services systems, at large. It’s all part of the systemic bullying, from my experience, like poisonous tentacles to psychiatry. Such an utterly limited perspective of humanity, along with their own double binds, as per funding issues, and where the finanical power is. As long as that rules, we’re in trouble.

    Most fortunately and thanks to good healing, I finally cleared my head of the static and learned to integrate my true nature into my life experience. That’s how I found my real voice, and my freedom, and they are mine to own now, which is incredible to me, a miracle, considering I’d felt totally doomed and hopeless on more than a few occasions, and it was profound, really dark. I kept going, and the light did show up, finally.

    And that is my message to anyone who has been through this, as I have.

    Thank you again, very much appreciated.

  • People with authoritarian personalities have fears, too, namely 1) the truth 2) abandonment and 3) independently-minded people. There are many ways to disempower abusers and break a dysfunctional system, but one does have to be aware and cautious. Triggering the fear of an abuser can cause chaos within a dysfunctional community.

  • I think the “enemy” is fear, and that has the potential to attach itself to anyone at all who has not owned their shadow and instead is in the habit of projecting it outward. Not everyone does this, but many people do.

    Abusers and corruption both depend on others to fear them, and to identify with these projections, that they are powerless, especially if they have no money. Without that, were people to not buy into this, then such a system would not be able to survive, and in fact, I’m sure it would crash. That’s a matter of individual healing and raising awareness around programmed beliefs vs. what is real and true for each of us.

    We have a choice to NOT be fearful and to not take on the shadow projections, but instead, to know our power of truth and to feel that as our sense of self. Completely disempowers abuse, corruption, projections, etc.

  • BE the change you want to see in the world.

    Double binds are opportunities to expand our awareness and shift perspective to a bigger, more universal picture. Breaking a corrupt system requires truth, otherwise one is FEEDING the corruption. Expect systemic bullying, stigmatizing projections, public shaming, biased censorship, word-twisting, gaslighting, and cutting off your money supply, it’s all part of the arsenal when corruption is threatened. You are not alone.

    And if you are in your truth, you are in your power. If you know that, the money thing is not a problem, it will resolve itself. Hardest program to cut through, but I’ve learned this from experience. I’ve been in this position quite a few times and have leaped forward in all ways each time I have faced it with truth, and particularly toward peace of mind and general well-being. Truth is a healer.

    Speak up or walk away and don’t look back, trust the path of integrity. You’ll sleep better at night because you will be in synch with yourself. Living the truth of our spiritual values carries far more weight than money because it is abundance which cannot be threatened and taken away, and from that we can manifest anything we need or want, from a healed heart, which brings the courage of trust and faith. It is an inherent part of who we are.

    And there are the riches and the freedom, they go hand in hand in expanded consciousness. It is true abundance, from the inside, and it is robust. No double binds or compromise, and you have individuated from corruption, which means–and this is important–that you have weakened it, you have taken away from its power because you are not giving up yours to them, out of fear, which is their fuel. Refuse to be their pawn by knowing where your power is in this situation, and use it. That is being the example of change.

    Break the system. Trust the process. It’s the only way.

  • I’d totally love that and I just sent Steve an email to forward to you so you can write me. I’ve seriously been thinking the same thing. I was picking up that we were evolving together, here, really cool. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing this! Hugs back 🙂

  • johnchristine, I do not believe that Melissa’s gesture falls into this category, she is being inclusive, she makes these cards for everyone. The marginalizer in this story is the nurse at the desk who is not allowing light to get into the psych unit, she is intentionally blocking positive energy from getting to “certain people.”

    I’d call her a gatekeeper to the system, she is protecting and supporting it at the front lines, doing the shaming. It’s covert and where the problem is most obviously visible, especially because it is her job, she gets paid for this and it is supported by her colleagues and work culture. Makes it systemic.

    This is exactly why I think this article is brilliant: it’s an example of sharing love from one’s heart, and exactly how that gets cut off from some people, based purely on prejudice, which leads to dismissiveness, which in turn leads to non-deservedness along with feelings of lack and unworthiness. Obviously, that’s incredibly and profoundly harmful for people! It’s totally dehumanizing and despiriting, the essence of these.

    And I agree that restorative justice is exactly what we seek and should tolerate nothing less. When I talk about forgiveness, I’m talking more on a personal level, heart to heart. When it comes to corrupt institutions and social abuse, “forgiveness” would be on a different scale (like forgiving a debt), and is an option for people. But it won’t be everyone’s choice, and that seems reasonable to me.

    When it is institutional, it is about our society and humanity on the whole, how we are being influenced, by what social model? Obviously, we need repair here–even radical change–but where to begin?

    What this article highlights is a good place to start, to realize and become aware of where truth and light are being blocked, and break through or dissolve those blocks, somehow. Melissa is calling this out, which I applaud because that’s where we begin, the light is now shining on the most visible aspect of the problem, it is unmistakable here.

    These blocks are stubborn because gatekeepers will become irrational and deceitful to protect their turf, but it is where I would put my focus if we want truth to come to light, once and for all. I believe justice would follow, it would certainly be my hope. And it stands to reason that once truth comes to light, justice can be served. When the light shines brightly, it exposes the hidden shadows. Can’t help it, that’s the nature of light.

  • Ok, well, this whole thing makes me sad but it is what it is. Truth isn’t always easy, but it does shine a light. I believe that IS for the greater good, regardless of anything. My best to you.

  • I just don’t think it’s a comparable situtation. Other than that, not sure what a “correction” would look like in this case. Regardless, as always I appreciate hearing your truth. It’s not the same as mine, and I think that’s ok. I believe we can disagree peaceably and move on from all this, and that is for the greater good because no one’s truth is cast aside. It’s why I love the title of this blog, which, in and of itself, is a powerful truth to live by and practice.

  • I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to convey to Bonnie in a post once how she influenced me so signficantly, after she wrote in a comment to someone that “we are here to discover what it means to be human.” A light bulb went on and it so directly and unambiguously gave me the broadest perspective possible, I felt it ring through me. Changed the direction of my path and life work, I’ll be forever grateful.

    RIP Bonnie, you have been a supreme example of and to humanity, indeed, with your courageous heart, shining spirit, and exceptionally brilliant mind. Condolences to family and friends, Bonnie is so obviously beloved by many, and for good reason.

  • I was surprised to see this here but I do hear you and thanks for speaking your truth, Rosalee. In honor of the giving and receiving theme of this blog, I’d say forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts we can offer to ourselves and to other human beings, to humanity in general. I think it’s most practical, too, given that we are trying to bring more loving kindness, support, and safety to the planet, and that is not easy in a rough world, to maintain that.

    No one is perfect and we all have growth potential here that at least will start to provide this planet with a bit more light, which is what we’re all trying to bring in our own way, so people will NOT suffer so readily, the world can become less stressful. Forgiveness is an energy that is one way to bring light and uplift the collective.

    It is not to excuse or allow abuse, not in the slightest and that should be a given as far as I’m concerned, and indeed things do need to change. We’re all part of that process, it’s a collective issue, the whole world is involved in this.

    But forgiveness does acknowledge that we are all human and in a process of healing, growth and evolution. Permission to make mistakes should be allowed if they are corrected and not repeated. How else do we learn and grow?

    I love the title of this blog, Cast Aside No One. I’d love to see that vision manifest in the entire world, if at all possible. Call me crazy, sure wouldn’t be the first time. And if that’s crazy, then I am happy to be. I know I’m not alone, not by a long shot!

  • Thank you for speaking your truth with your story of healing and soul growth. It’s very inspiring, moving, and elegantly written.

    I had the dubious honor of withdrawing after 19 years on polypharmacy, culimating in 9 during that final year, which almost killed me. This was right after grad school and I was living in a big city, so life was complicated at that moment. I finally said enough of this crap, it had made me so sick, and I finished my tapering from all that 19 years ago, so I’ve now had equal times on the drugs and off of them. The difference is beyond night and day, it is astounding.

    I had no model for this, no one around me had done this or had heard of “coming off meds” and I was surrounded mostly by cynics and naysayers. But I did stand my ground on this, and one way or another I was always shown the next step, it would show up for me and the path would be clear, and I’d walk through one door or another, moving forward.

    I was brain (and other organs) damaged at the time from them, not clear on what I needed, terribly self-conscious, severely insomniac, extremely fearful and in grief that my life and well-being seemed to have been ruined forever, and I was not at all well-connected to my inner voice, not on a conscious level. I was also foggy, nervous, and very shaky, could hardly speak above a whisper and my head was filled with scary junk. My body was rebelling in about every way possible, felt as though it had completely turned against me. But somehow, I managed to find my healing by integrating all kinds of things spiritual and natural, similar to what you describe, to heal on a mind/body/spirit level. Can’t have one without the others.

    Chinese medicine was particularly supportive and effective–acupuncture, herbs, and I practiced Qi Gong as well, joined a group and it was amazing how healing this was for me. Learning who I was as a spirit in a human body is what changed everything, that particular relationship between me and me.

    I did have one healer in particular who pointed me in the exact right direction, starting with grounding, and that led to other things, and overall it was a wild ride where I learned all kinds of things about our human nature which I wish I’d known long before this, would have saved me heaps of trouble had I been raised on truth rather than programming. I really had to wake up, then wake up again, then again and again. Lots of awakening on a healing path, it can be a hard process, but it’s rich with lots of moments of awesomeness. Good support is invaluable during these times.

    I made it fine and it’s all behind me now, I’ve tranformed it all via my healing and live with new energy now, a whole new life and world for me. I know it is possible to get past this all, certainly takes hard work, new perspectives to apply, and a lot of transformation. Also takes flexibilty in thinking and a lot of humility, ascending the ego. I call it “an adventure in healing.” My complex journey led me to be in service to others, I found my life path and soul purpose this way.

    “I pray for a rich life, away from the fear of job insecurity, coercive medicine, and false labels.”

    Freedom is our birthright and natural state of being. Trust your inspiration and it will guide you there. And so it is.

  • Props, Melissa, I think this was a really valuable discussion, relevant to all of humanity. I work with energy (as per my healing path) and that’s what this is all about–how we exchange energy amongst each other. One way or another, we “relate,” and it is the energy of this “relating” that defines the quality of it, and it is felt and can be subtle and hard to articulate.

    I also believe this is what we’re looking to tweak, right beneath the surface of our actions, and it will make all the difference. It’s good self-exploration for us all and will help us refine our own energy and focus. It’s how we grow.

    I think every voice here was heard and respected and all perspectives have come to light. I’ve certainly done a lot of self-reflecting in addition to having taken action. I like this topic and take it to heart, how we extend our light to others. You’ve shown nothing but grace and humility and openness in the process, in all authenticity, true leadership.

    And your story in this blog is so revealing, you noticed the exact right thing (imo, at least), and your final words from it, “not on my watch,” are very poignant. To me that is your spirit, and it rings very true. You obviously are a visionary.

    Fabulous work here, and I mean that! I look for stuff like this. I’m very moved, and grateful. We teach and learn by example! This will ripple far and wide, as per your truest intention and heart’s desire. I have no doubt.

  • I don’t want to be all over this blog but just as an aside, I can’t help but to notice that there are interesting issues surfacing here regarding giving and receiving. This is an important aspect of our collective because it is how energy flows between us. Giving is fulfilling to the giver when it comes from the heart. If it’s neither satisfying to or welcome by the receiver, a simple no thank you would communicate that directly and graciously.

    I do understand the dynamic of “giving as charity” in a “do-gooder” and marginalizing way. In Kabbalah, that is called “giving bread of shame,” and it is, sadly, real in this world, and oh yes, it is felt. But aside from that sinister dynamic, I’d say that overall, to give is an act of faith, and to receive is an act of generosity. Both require kindness.

  • “If we could all let our light shine just a little brighter, imagine the possibilities…”

    This bears repeating, thank you kindredspirit.

    This is not to anyone in particular because it happens often, but my general question here is, when will the absolute truth that “we are all in this together” actually register as the reailty which it is? Bringing light and love to the world should not have to be an act of courage from fear of reproach but I thank GOD for brave people. I know from experience that it is so not fun to open your heart to help and inspire others and then get slammed for it in return, for any reason, that’s about as dispiriting as it gets. Do we want a better, kinder, more generally supportive world or not? EVERYONE is responsible for this!

    Melissa’s work is inspiration, that’s a gift to world, by example, and we need as much of that as we can muster right about now.

  • Thanks, Melissa, and totally back atcha! Imagine if we each made an intention to do this, say, once a week, or even once or twice a month. Not to force it, but to notice opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life in a small way. I bet the universe would respond happily, and create those opportunities for us. That’s exactly how it felt when the opportunity arose from me, yesterday, as if the universe heard my heart after reading your article. When it is truly our heart’s desire to be giving, I believe the universe will provide us with plenty of opportunities to fulfill ourselves this way. Win/win. Can’t have enough of that these days!!

  • “the more time I spend loving myself and others, the less time I spend in fear or anxious or despairing. It’s definitely a shift in perspective.”

    That’s it! Thank you, always, kindredspirit, for your encouragement and for your crystal clarity. I know you are a light and a healer as well, I’ve said this often on here.

    This has been some journey to get to this, but this is absolutely the crux of it, from what I’ve been able to gather, THE healing. I so understand it is not easy sometimes, but once we get it, it does get easier I think, because it becomes our new familiar, based on good feelings because we are perceiving the unity of spirit over the illusion of separation (ego, competition, us vs. them, etc). That is love triumphing over fear.

    That’s the self-healing, choosing to focus on that which we love, enjoy, feel moved by– feeling those feelings and practicing them with conscious focus. And indeed, it is our most natural anti-anxiety, we soothe ourselves from the inside, simply from choosing how we focus and practicing it deliberately.

    That’s our power, and really and truly, it is based on love, it’s not abstract when we actually feel it. And indeed, this will elicit new thoughts, new inspiration, and new manifestation. How could it not? And there is core change, right there.

    Were we all to practice this, the world would change with such greater ease because we are changing from the inside, it is organic not forced. Our physical cells respond to these feelings, and it can only ripple outward, that is nature. Giving and receiving love is the path we’re wanting to access, and that will allow energy to flow, which is where we find all the good stuff, including greater ease in life, which I cherish.

    That is exactly mind, body, and spirit synchroncity. Healing and manifesting are rather breezy once we’ve achieved that. There’s always something to master, that’s the fun of life, I think.

    And I learned this to overcome the effects of the psychiatric scapegoating game. I became a scapegoat even among “peers” at one point, when my healing really took off. So I got on everyone’s shit list during this time and got “the treatment,” as I was trying to recover from all this and create my way forward. It was maddening all over again, but practicing unconditional self love saved my life this time, and I was finally able to get out of that loop.

    Now I can love others–and life–unconditionally, although I continue to discern what is good vs. what is not so good for me, which is how I practice self-love. We’re all human, even our perceived “enemies,” (I don’t like that word, but to make a point). Work in progress!

    Relationships are never easy, but they should at least be fulfilling and enriching, and definitely not draining! For me, it’s a co-creatorship, and that can only be based on mutual love & respect to have any value in the world.

  • Psychiatry made me hate myself and inspired me to fear life as well as to dread my future, so every action I took came from these beliefs, consciously or unconsciously. And, in fact, I could not take much action because these chronic feelings led to spiritual and emotional paralysis. Whatever actions I did manage to take from this perspective, it amounted to self-sabotage.

    To heal the suffering which this was causing, I had to learn to love myself again (which meant calling out abuse in the moment and walking away from it, radical self-care, and trusting my inner voice and intuition over any dissenting opinion of others), which I believe is our natural state of being before it becomes corrupt with negative projections and internalized oppressive self-beliefs (starts early!), and then to embrace life from a new perspective, that of the soul, which, in essence, is everything. That allowed me to shift my beliefs into one more aligned with spiritual awareness, which encompasses the entirety of our existence, rather than merely the physical aspect of it, which is miniscule in the bigger picture. We can choose to see spirit in others, and that is a whole new perspective on humanity, and we can feel this in our hearts because it is where we are universally connected.

    There is so much more to us than meets the eye, and that’s where love is clear, profound, and abundant, and creativity is limitless. Embracing and learning our multi-dimensionality is to gift ourselves with integral awareness, and that is truly powerful, from the heart. Radical shift in perspective would mean radical shift in the world, unfolding into a heart and spirit based reality. This is what gets my vote, and my attention.

  • If I’m adding to the problem, the universe will reflect this back to me unambiguously. So far, that’s not even nearly the case, evidenced in my own life and relationships, and all the feedback I get with my work with others. I accept constant feedback, to make sure we are on track together and I am not taking anything for granted. Mutual authentic mirroring is vital to core healing.

    I do work every day on myself, change from day to day, to actually embody change. And I am aware of what I put into the collective, that’s my responsbility, to have that awareness, if I am, indeed, sincere in my desire to support radcal change in the world, toward heart and spirit consciousness. That is light.

    And I do walk my talk, it’s kind of my trademark with all that know me well, I make a point of it and I do catch myself when I am in dissonance with myself and work to amend that. Otherwise, I would not know transformational healing, that would be impossible. I’m also human and have my way less than perfect moments, who doesn’t? We all do the best we can and hopefully grow as we go, in all humility. But I believe as we get older, we have many opportunities to refine our focus. So anything we practice for a while, we become better at it, including living life.

    Of course I’ve come to terms with our collective “brokenness,” I went through the system, myself, exhaustively, wearing all kinds of hats and learning different perspectives of this from my experience. I also live consciously in the world, my head is not in the sand. I know more sad, angry, fearful people than not. I know that state of being-ness from within myself at one time, and to me it does have feelings attached to it, and what it feels to me is really bad, terrible in fact, and exhausting. It’s all anxiety, purely.

    Although, I honestly don’t see any individual at all as broken, in fact, simply “in progress,” as are we all. Society is broken because it cannot support its own people, but that’s a question of embedded programs and corrupt norms based on a lot of lies we’ve been fed and blatant manipulation of our psyches.

    The important thing is to define ourselves, though. If someone tells me they are broken and they don’t want any argument about it, then I wouldn’t argue. But I would feel strongly compelled to explore that belief, were this a client. That’s where healing is, to my mind, so if that is objectionable to a person, then they would not be my client. I’d always be at odds with the perception that they are “broken.” I just can’t get myself to see individuals that way. So I guess there is some paradox here, which is good, I’d expect this. Maybe there’s new info on the horizon here, that’s usually what paradox indicates.

    I’ve worked on this, to create a better inner reality for myself, and it has translated outside of myself. I can only hope for those ripples to continue, but it is up to each individual how they address, respond to, and deal with anything. I don’t believe in “right” vs. “wrong” here, it’s a matter of where we are and what choices we can perceive. People walk in their own skin, not that of others. I can only do my part in my own life, intending to be as kind, supportive, self-caring, and authentic as I know how, and to speak my truth as clearly, directly, and transparently as possible.

    I don’t consider the reality of “death” as “being doomed.” What I mean by doomed is asking about whether or not you–or anyone–believe that life can at all become a pleasant, safe, joyful and creative experience as opposed to the toxic mess it is now. I believe in energy transformation, not everyone does or understands this. Been part of my studies and work in the world for over 15 years now, and I apply this every day. I asked it sincerely, although my phrasing may have been cliched so I apologize if I came across as flippant, certainly not my intention.

    However, if the world is divided up between those who have hope and optimism, despite how reality is at present, and those who do not, I would like to know, I think that’s important information, to know that truth about where people stand. I feel no judgment here whatsoever, it’s simply a discernment in beliefs, and I think it matters as far as energy goes. What we believe in our hearts is what drives our thinking, and all of this does make a difference in outcome of reality, I’m sure of this.

    Still, your truth is clear, powerful and strong, and I absolutely respect it and you for speaking it, so I, for one, am glad you are on the planet. Otherwise, this dialogue would not be happening, and I’m enjoying it and learning a lot from it. We’re going deep here and I’m feeling more clarity as we go. Perhaps others are reading and getting some new information for themselves that is helpful to their process.

    You are so right that negativity and positivity ebb and flow, the light and shadow of life and humanity. That’s our wholeness, right there. We cannot create without contrast, it all matters and has value to our evolution. I go into negative states at times, that is human, and I address it head on, as I do, doing inner work and seeing where my thinking is at that moment, and how to change it, and then what actions I might be able to take to improve the situation. For me, that’s vital to my consistent well-being and I want to feel my own power in this, not powerless to society. That creates too much anxiety, and we can overcome this. That would be the whole point of activism, to my mind.

    But overall, indeed, I live in a positive light. That way, I do not feel or perecieve myself to be broken, I would not identify with that state of being, as I once would have, wondering if I’d ever feel differently, fearing I would not ever feel whole again. And at one very dark time in my life, I was convinced I was permamently damaged goods, feeling completely dehumanized and hopelessly damaged by psych drugs and the horrific withdrawal, and I took self-sabotaging action. Having barely survived this gave me hope. I had visions in my near-death experience, information, which I followed up on and it all has served me miraculously well.

    That was 18 years ago, and today I am an entirely different person with a grounded and balanced life, and back to feeling love, and understanding things on such a deeper level now, I can’t even conceive of wanting to die before having lived the best life I possible could, toward fulfillment. I love the challenge now, and figuring out how to get through obstacles and finding new pathways of hope and possibilities. I believe that is never-ending, so much to learn!

    I am the same spirit I’ve been throughout my life, I know my sense of self, but I’m a very different human being now that I am in life with new and simplified neural pathways, a vastly strengthened nervous system, and new light in my physical cells, all due to having learned how to transform energy with our will and heart consciousness.

    I would really enjoy seeing more of this in the world, this kind of transformational healing, but it’s not easy based on how it requires us to be flexible in our beliefs. For me, it was either that or die a broken man, and I spent some time teetering between these two potential outcomes, where one was far more desirable and appealing than what I was most fearing at that time. But the fear was intense, and the shrink’s messages to me were way less than encouraging, more like damning me. Took years to heal from that experience, alone, and to see myself in a much, much better light. No anxiety there, just the pure nature of being human.

    That is the journey of transformation. It’s exactly what I teach, based on how I went from hopelessness to new possibilities to certainty to knowingness to loving my life. I had given up hope at one time that this would ever happen, but thankfully I was 100% wrong and life has changed dramatically for the better thanks to new perspectives, new tools, and a new way of being. And I’m standing my ground firmly on that truth!

  • P.S.–Melissa, your article inspired me so much, that I actually had the opportunity to take action this morning. After I made this post, I went out to get a cup of coffee, and there was an older gentleman in line in front of me who discovered after ordering that he had forgotten his wallet, so without even thinking I offered to pay for him, and he accepted appreciatively. I told the barista about this artlce I had just read about acts of kindness, and this was the perfect opportunity to pay it forward. Great synchroncity! It felt good to do so, and I imagined making a difference, just with this one little thing. More and more of these in ANY arena would make a huge difference and help to restore people’s faith in humankind, and perhaps they would pay it forward, too, rippling kindness into society through selfless inspired actions. Thank you again, great start to 2020 🙂

  • Your work with humanity is awesome. Thank you for bringing light to the planet as you do. The woman at the desk at Newport Hospital, and others who work in the system with that same attitude, are what concern me. It’s what I’d call “not allowing in light.”

    These are gatekeepers to the system, protecting and perpetuating its prejudices, injustices, and profound lack of compassion, as well as the social division on which the “mental health” world and system thrive. Thank GOD you are doing what you are doing, this is what we need more of in the world. Indeed, step by step. On *my* Earth, all acts of kindness are welcome, encouraged, meaningful, and healing for all concerned, the greater good. Please keep it up!

  • “My body doesn’t speak English. She speaks feelings.”

    I love this perfect phrase. The mainstream drugs, ignores, dismisses, judges, and rationalizes feelings, rather than to honor, respect, listen, learn, and be guided by them. Indeed, that is stressful!

    If humanity on the whole were to learn the language of feelings, I believe we’d understand things better, starting with ourselves, because we’d be listening to our bodies over “social norms.” That feels like synchronicity to me, and alignment–not with social expectations, but more so, with who we really are, our true nature. Our feelings tell us who we are, they guide us like an inner light. To cut off from feelings is like being in the dark.

    I believe there is far less stress when we are aligned with our true nature because we are not split between our own desires and preferences vs. what society expects. Social expectations impose on individuals (oppression), they do not support our nature (freedom).

    When we give ourselves permission to be authentic based on how we truly feel at any given moment, then we, in turn, give others this permission, too, by example. That is the emotional, creative, and spiritual freedom which I believe we all crave. Certainly anything less than that is stressful because we simply are not feeling free to be ourselves, and that is maddening. Can we attain this level of freedom in life, and have our bodies feel good about it and be in agreement with it? I would think one would lead to the other, but it seems we have work to do here.

    Always inspiring and so thought provoking, Sarah, I look forward to what’s coming next.

  • Yes, like Slaying the Dragon and Fiachra say, millions of stories like this going on right now. It is abominable. I was almost a casuality in this same fashion, for the same reason. The abuse is profound, insidious, and thorough–mind, body, and spirit. Surviving meant moving entirely away from it, getting clarity, and seeing the big picture. Psychiatry has no moral compass, is clueless about humanity, and is destroying humankind, that is all too clear.

    RIP Zel.

  • “Anytime you base your esteem on peer opinion, you are at the mercy of peer opinion.”

    You said a mouthful, JanCarol, I totally agree with this. That’s how we give away our power, when we go by what others think, rather than by our own inner sense of who we are and what we desire. That’s our birthright. What one community might judge and condemn, another one will embrace and celebrate. We are that diverse.

    I would imagine we are born with self-esteem, it is a natural state of being. However, when we are born into a world of fucked up adults, that natural sense of self can become corrupt quickly from lack of awareness on the part of adults of how their actions and attitudes affect those around them, especially impressionable children. That’s one way to control others.

    Social media is a self-esteem killer, in general, with all the social bullying and shaming which occurs, everyone comparing themselves to others, throwing each other shade out of envy, rather than simply focusing on their own path. Everyone’s in each other’s business via social media, all boundaries are lost.

    Kids do, indeed, need better role models. I don’t think they’re terribly happy with how adults have handled things, and I can’t blame them. Some of the younger generation seem more awake. Hopefully, they’ve learned from our mistakes and we can be humble about that.

  • “Everyone is broken and without soul.”

    To me that implies suffering, that’s the feeling I get from reading this statement. So do you think we’re doomed? Or is there anything at all that can bring hope for making this world a better place in which to live, so that people don’t go around feeling “broken,” but instead, inspired and motivated to create a more appealing, safe, and supportive social and world environment?

  • RR and KS, responding to you both individually in this one post—

    KS, first, thank you so much for watching Voices That Heal and for this affirming and very encouraging comment. I did make this 9 years ago and wondered if it would still have an impact, so I’m really so grateful to read this. It’s amazing to me that it continues to be relevant, we certainly do need to continue using our voices without apology!

    And indeed, I hear you regarding how deep anger can limit our openness, I think that’s a natural human mechanism. Before I went through my second crisis (which is what guided me to finally ditch the psych drugs and, ultimately, the entire mh industry, in favor of soul work), I’d always been peripherally interested in this stuff, but it wasn’t front and center for me, just something interesting to consider and explore. I was a working stiff, 17 years in retail, taking my “meds” dutifully, and living life on Earth purely. My family is total academia, this is complete bullshit to them, so it was not in the slightest part of my upbringing, and in fact, it was demeaned rather aggressively, having nothing to do with me. It was just their way of thinking, which I happened to not internalize, thank goodness!

    But once I started waking up to the ills brought on by psychiatry and the like, I HAD to find a path to save my life, and little by little this opened up to me. However, even now that I (and also my partner, we integrate this together as we go from day to day) live by this paradigm and have for a while, I can still go through periods of resentment which will just hit me, like a post-traumatic stress response, and even I will start to question this, but it is short-lived.

    Seems that is a part of the process, from what I’ve gathered, it is layers of awakening to different aspects of ourselves, like soul retrieval. I do sometimes look up as though I am speaking to God and ask out loud, “Why do you make life on this planet so f-ing hard???”

    And if I’m particularly reeling from something, I can easily spend 10 or so minutes wondering if I’m dreaming and perhaps I’m wrong about all of this, just more kool-aid or something like that, and all the learning and integrating I’ve done goes flying out the window for that brief period of time, and I am fully in doubt on every level. But for only 10 minutes, mind you, it does pass quickly now, and then I realize what energy had hit me, and why, and to where it was guiding me, to some healing or insight or integrative process. We are such multi-dimensional humans! Not linear in the slightest.

    So I do find it all so very interesting, like a puzzle or crop circle type thing, and that keeps my chin up during those times because I’m so actively engaged with my process of soul evolution.

    And when I get the clarity from the soul perspective, there is no better feeling that I know, because for that moment, everything makes sense and just being in the moment is enough and I am perceiving my abundance on all sides, pure crystal clarity. I try to keep that feeling going for as long as I can, see what unfolds from that. Then, of course, I’ll get knocked off by something again, such is life, and I’ll feel the wounded human all over again, and then comes the next series of healings, integrations, and insights, and it can happen pretty quickly now as the self-healing program kicks in.

    It’s a fabulous process, I think, really game-changing, and I’m certainly open to sharing any info I can with you that would be helpful to you at this time. I think it’s a fascinating exploration and way more practical than people realize. Otherwise, it would just more academic nonsense without any practical application, merely theoretical or wishful thinking.

    The power in this is that it really can be applied on a completely practical down to Earth level, just takes some practice and adjusting to new perspectives. Although the stigma toward spirituality and things like soul growth can certainly impeded this integration. We all awaken in our own time, cannot force that whatsover.

    However, very honestly, I just don’t know any other way forward, I think status quo has run its course. Everything has a low ceiling on it. And it’s getting lower as the old systems crumble before our very eyes, that’s what I’m seeing happen, at least. I think there is new information in these realms from which we’ll all benefit, infinite possibilities to explore here.

    RR, I hear you and I hear this often, totally respect it. You say, “May the people of the woo be free to wish-think their woo as they choose. And may the people of the non-woo remain wholly unwooed,” and I think that’s fair enough (although the phrase “wish-think” is not exactly neutral, but regardless, I’ll take it as “to each their own,” which works for me). I’m certainly not going to argue with you about your beliefs, so I wouldn’t impose mine onto you as I wouldn’t want you or anyone attempting to impose your/their beliefs onto me. We’re all entitled to what we know and how we perceive things, I think that goes without saying. Also to learn and grow at our own pace.

    I do happen to believe in the soul, to me that is everything. I think soul is everywhere, it’s our universal connector. If you don’t, that’s fine, I don’t expect everyone to believe what I do, I’m totally aware of our diversity on this planet.

    I, personally, experience the soul every day of my life now. There are many ways of perceiving it IF AND ONLY IF one is open to it. Reality always begins with imagination, we need that in order to create it, and in turn, to create within it. I think imagination is essential, and our most powerful tool for manifesting.

    I do, however, think that there are always new things to learn, that’s never-ending. So who knows? One day you might remember this dialogue in a new light, or something I say in my response to kindredspirit might spark a new thought. Then again, maybe not, and that would be your path. So agreeing to disagree, respectfully, works for me.

    Merry Christmas and/or Happy Hanukkah to you both, and to all who are reading this! May we find peace in our hearts and minds as we continue to drive these remarkable changes through our human will, to know justice and to thrive in well-being. That is my prayer for this season and the New Year.

  • I’m surprised that some don’t see the absolute harm that psychotherapy can do in 1 to 1 unsupervised meetings, week after week. In this concocted game of transference/countertransference, the insidious damage done most often does not show up until after such negative projections have been embedded and dependence has been created or at least attempted. I think it’s the same all over this entire industry and causing all of this mayhem–the invisible vampirism that takes place, siphoning clients of all they’ve got, the fuel for the entire “mental health industry.”

    I’d say it’s mostly unconscious because that is the training, education, and the norm. We do need a new normal, however, which implies waking up to how we’ve been programmed and assess how this has turned out. Just look around…

  • “Psychotherapy is neither medical nor paramedical, it is a purely cultural activity which testifies to the time and the place in which we live.”

    This is an insightfully concise perspective of psychotherapy. I’d also add that any of these approaches are geared toward fitting in and adapting to the norm. Whereas challenging the norm is the ONLY way to create real and true change, at the core, and how we find our own voice, apart and distinct from those of others. And that includes “the therapist voice.”

  • I agree with you, Boans, that in the end this comes down to individuals who practice this kind of betrayal (whom I would not trust in any capacity whatsoever), but also, they are guided by their education, training, and this “mental health industrial culture,” which is unto itself in how it perceives and “defines” humanity. It is an entirely limited and narrow world view, not at all truth. I believe this is where the problems begin because obviously this industry is misguided at the core, on top of the overall corruption of it. Psychology is more often used as a weapon against people vs. using it as a clarity and truth-seeking tool. That’s rather common, I think.

    You’re also describing first hand the negative alliances I talk about, where the deck is so stacked against the client. To be scapegoated, gaslighted, and stonewalled is a HUGE life stressor, and when a society is doing it to their own people, then it is only sabotaging itself.

    Up to now, the world has been unwittingly supporting corruption because it’s been so covert and information has been distorted in so many ways. Plus, we’ve all been subject to social programming, and for so long we had no idea. But with all the waking up going on, I do believe this is about to change, certainly my deepest hope at this time. Won’t be an easy transition, but it’s so obviously necessary and, I truly believe, inevitable.

  • When two people come together in dialogue, they either harmonize or not. Harmony is healing for all concerned and leads to positive manifestation. The research is in the experience of feeling, and of living. If one of these two people is getting paid, that can easily throw things off balance, especially if the client is dissatisfied.

    Problem is, complaints against psychotherapists seem to be entirely discounted and the problem will always lie with the client, which of course is pure shadow projection, and that’s where the system is toxic, this “professional alliance” word against a client’s truth. When that happens, psychotherapy becomes a dangerous and harmful endeavor, creating insidious and life-derailing post traumatic stress from feelings of betrayal and utter powerlessness. Takes a lot of healing to clean up that mess. It can be really treacherous.

  • Any “therpeutic practice” or “modality” is a limited program because it does not take into account unique differences in people in a positive and validating way. That unique difference, so often feared, condemned, and marginalized, is our truth and our power. Client and therapist are mirrors of one another, that’s always a good starting point.

    There is no formula for personal growth and raising awareness. Every human being on the planet has their own process for this, and life brings us opportunities daily to grow in patience, trust, clarity, compassion, and personal power, on our own terms. We all have the capacity to be our own guide, healer, teacher, etc. It’s a matter of tapping into that inner power, owning it outright, and engaging it daily. This is a transformative self-healing practice which empowers one for life and can be paid forward in a variety of ways to create positive social change at the core.

  • “Psychiatry harms because it pathologizes the “patient” and attempts to correct the “patient” when the malfunction is in the space between people in social relationships.”

    Yes, exactly why I say that psychiatry is based on scapegoating, which is harmful for individuals, obviously, and socially divisive, to the point of creating easy targets for social abuse. I also agree about the problem being in “the space between people and social relationships,” that is perfectly stated.

    So my quesiton is: who or what would be the agent of change to correct that particular malfunction?

  • “So in conclusion, rather than voting psychiatrists off the island shouldn’t we together honour our different experiences and commit to continuing respectful, mutual learning from each other?”

    I agree that in theory, this would be desirable. However, the irony is that these issues exist exactly because communication between clinicians and clients is so deeply problematic. We’re talking about an industry which repeatedly betrays and fails its clients because instead of helping the client to resolve issues, feel better, and bring clarity, they cause the client to tank in horrible ways because they are simply not hearing their truth, and it becomes a gaslighting bloodbath. There’s a lot of mental abuse which takes place in clinical settings, it’s really insidious and causes terrible problems which are hard to catch until one realizes they’ve been hoodwinked in all sorts of ways. This seems to be more common than not, which is crazy, really. It’s a hard awakening, but it is the truth.

    This goes beyond the drugs, it is about the quality of communication, like two entirely different languages. It’s been almost 20 years since I saw a psychiarist and I used to be a steady customer. I stopped and shifted healing paths because psychiatry almost killed me, and as a result of getting away from this dynamic, I systematically healed over the years, by means having absolutely nothing do to with this. In short, I woke up. I realized, in the end, that I could pretty much count on saying one thing and having it heard completely differently, from within some kind of false construct filter, no questions asked. Where dialogue should occur, dissonance does, instead, or avoidance, abandonment, distraction of focus, etc. I have yet to experience anything differently with a psychiatrist.

    So if that particular collaboration cannot produce successful results in one person’s life, how could that collaboration possibly succeed in resolving social and world issues? That makes no sense, it is illogical. I’d expect the same disastrous results to be duplicated. I’m certainly open to being proven wrong, and would cheer it because to me, that, in and of itself, would be core change. Right now, that’s virtually impossible to imagine in or anywhere near this industry, based what I’ve experienced and witnessed over the years.

  • Yes, Rachel, exactly what I’m talking about, showing ourselves kindness and self-nurturing. The lack of these over time is what causes us harm in the first place.

    Sadly, we live in a world filled with unkind people who are not going to change without incentive, like feeling the consequence of their own lack of kindness. That’s a hard energy, which is why people project it outward rather than dealing with their own stuff and feeling their own emotions. Still, that’s no justification for being expected to carry the pain of others. This is where change has to occur, to stop this “transferring of suffering” via all kinds of abusive ways.

    In the meantime, indeed, sending ourselves the message that we are deserving of love, good care, and personal boundaries, and then practicing this daily, will inspire neural shifting and all kinds of positive changes, first in our bodies and then around us. We have to believe it ourselves, first, which would illuminate the pathway to reversing the damage of having been treated badly and deprived of loving kindness.

    To me, lack of kindness would be a form of suffering, so I try to remember compassion here, and therefore am expressly NOT carrying the pain of the abuser. Having an open, loving heart does not mean one is a doormat or sponge for others. Boundaries are as much needed in this world as is loving kindness. They go hand in hand, in fact.

  • That would level the playing field because right now I believe the world in general is in chronic stress, which is why change is in the air, something’s gotta give. In the meantime, we’re still not powerless to create change from within, which would be the first step in alleviating that stress, and that can be many steps depending on one’s situation. That would be the healing process, and it can be wholly transformative. We take in and process information through a variety of channels. It’s always going to start from within, for anyone.

  • The “injury,” I think, is when people are influenced to have negative self-beliefs, that we are lesser than or unworthy, undeserving, etc. Trauma is more than stress, it is about feeling powerless and perpetually unsafe. Oppression, bullying, dysfunctional systems are all inherently traumatizing because their ability to “function” ( and to exist at all) depends on cutting others off from their power in all kinds of ways overt and subtle.

    And certainly lying is a core feature here, as is manipulating and controlling the flow of information. Projecting and perpetuating blatant stigma is also a key factor in creating the desired illusion of separation, and this is chronically traumatic, to the point where it becomes the familiar and slowly eats away at people mind, body, and spirit.

    That’s how it works and it is totally programmed into the system. Been operating that way for so long it kind of has a life of its own, like a runaway train. That is a painful reality.

    I’d say most if not all of us share these “injuries,” until we wake up and take back our power by knowing it, and using it to create positive change, starting with changing any beliefs of being lesser than or powerless. I can’t think of anything more healing than that. It’s positively transformative.

    I am also quite sure that this is not at all true of anyone at all, how would that be justified? Who on Earth is really and truly qualified to make that kind of harsh and inhumane judgment against another human being? No one I can think of. Let’s not do it to ourselves!

  • I very much admired Stephen’s strength of character for walking the line he did in his work at the hospital, something I would not be able to do, and this is so needed in the world today. He was, indeed, a warrior, and a truth-speaker, and I believe he was also an empath, possessing a rarely found sensitivty, one of his many gifts.

    He touched many hearts, souls, and minds in his robust life, including mine, embodying true wisdom. No doubt his spirit lives on, he is obviously beloved by so many and will be remembered for a long time for his truth and generosity. May he fly freely now with his well-earned wings!

  • We are, indeed, One! Although maintaining our sense of individual self fully in our truth, and also a sense of connection within the collective, can be a fine line struggle, no doubt. Personal changes most often challenge relationships because if one person changes, it will challenge the entire system of relationships around that person, and we feel it!

    I’ve come to the conclusion that this is an inevitable part of any healing or growth path. Sooner or later, relationships come into play, and that is so not easy to navigate, kind of a built-in challenge in duality, I think, and where our buttons are most likely to get pushed. We have choices to make right there, how we respond to being triggered by others, and especially by those with whom we are close and feel trust and safety. I think your article illustrates this well, and how it then served as guidance for you, which is transformative. Personally, I think that’s so cool, exactly where our power is. Makes all the difference!

    We resonate in enthsiasm, too, I love the journey of expanded awareness, trying as it can be in today’s world. My dream and desire is for that to shift, and for this to become the new normal and seen for the enormous healing, growth, and creative possibilities which it brings. You’re right about the depth of this being endless. We are forever expansive! Always new things to learn and apply, and to discover about ourselves, our gifts, etc.

  • This is so well-written. Thank you for the vivid descriptions of psychiatric horror, all that gaslighting and double-binding, I can certainly feel the anxiety and terror simply from reading about it.

    “Apparently, disagreement with a psychiatrist about one’s treatment plan or psychiatric thinking is a delusion or a form of abnormal thought”

    Yes, that’s the toxic double-binding gaslighting rabbit hole, exactly. It certainly is not about reasonable eye-to-eye dialogue for the sake of finding truth and clarity and healing, is it? What you are describing I’m sure are based on projections of their own fears.

    What’s really bad and how this ripples insidiously into society is when unsuspecting clients internalize such projections and carry them forward from there, as a chronic condition. And everyone buys into it because it saves their asses from having to take any responsbility for their own actions, and a “client-for-life” is created–for the good of the industry while at the expense of that individual and society on the whole (they’ll claim it’s the exact opposite, that it’s for the *good* of society, when it’s clearly the other way around). That’s THE problem!

    Modalities and perspectives aside, being able to dialogue fluidly, authentically, and with mutual respect is where clairty and resolutions occur, not by this power-struggle authoritarian bullshit which is status quo. I’ve yet to know of any such place in this industry, and I’ve been scoping this out for a good long while now, in a variety of corners. Communication breakdown is not only the norm, it’s all I’ve ever encountered, from start to finish! Whether in clinical settings or at round tables trying to get some kind clarity and perspective on a situation. It’s just as you describe, one-sided, crazy-making, and futile. Disagreements in perspective are the death nell to these dialogues, whereas I think they should be the starting point to new perspectives and directions. There is a core paradox to ascend here, if any progress is to be made toward meaningful change.

    It’s extremely challenging to be awake while shackled but your truth is powerful and I wholeheartedly believe that absolute truth is the way to unambiguous freedom. It takes a lot of patience and trust, hopefully feeling supported along the way, one way or another. Please keep it up!

  • I always enjoy and very much appreciate the integration of our spiritual and human aspects in your writing, Lauren. My premise for living is that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. That perspective keeps things in balance for me, and always at least interesting, if not quite amazing. We are guided in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your process of transformational change, it’s beautiful and hard work!

  • I not only asked to be diagnosed and drugged (I was extremely programmed and believed at the time this was the responsible thing to do, the only option of which I knew at the time, so that I could stabilized my anxiety and go back to work) but I also eventually went into the field. I was REALLY asleep to the truth, believed in all kinds of insitutions from how I was raised.

    It was through a series of encounters in grad school with professors and other students, and in my training with supervisors, and the negative effect I could feel these were having on me, that I learned about “energy suckers” and, eventually, “toxic psychiatry” because by this point, I could tell the drugs were destroying me from the inside. That was my “aha!” and it led to awakening, coming off the drugs and ditching any diagnosis because I could see easily by this point that these are made up and meaningless and it had nothing to do with me or who I was in any way, shape or form, and I went in an entirely different direction in perspective, beliefs, and new practices. Major life transformation happened as a result of this change in perspective.

    I had felt stupid and duped for a long time for believing in all of this and falling prey to it, and wondered if my life had been ruined forever, really angry at these maliciously arrogant and rather mean-spirited quacks (which I discovered when I questioned their perspective about me), as I went on to heal the multiple injuries from this experience, now that I knew what had caused them. I found a good healing path for myself, thankfully.

    Plus this experience did wake me up to what caused my extreme anxiety in the first place, what led me to seek help. The socially divisive and marginalizing mindset reminded me of my family. Yet another, “aha!” Painful awakening, but truth nonetheless. I had to deal with it and grow from this by individuating from toxic communities and seeing myself apart from these, not participating on that level and not allowing myself to be a victim any longer, while owning that I had put myself there in the first place. It was my journey to take.

    Now I am awake and my life is different than I would have imagined. It is not a product of programmed beliefs but instead, it is a reflection of who I am, that’s the idea, and I own it and am now in full control of it once again, as my whole self. No regrets, it is life education. Advanced course!

  • I believe the paradigm shift is that we are working together, inherently, that is nature. We’re all connected, one person’s energy affects others, and so on, rippling into the collective. Clients and therapists, for example, are mirrors of each other and are easily interchangeable, as far as “playing the role” goes. Each can influence and affect the other in a variety of ways, positive and negative. The titles, degrees, and suits are merely illusions of separation, with a false premise of what is, in reality, true personal power vs. control & manipulation of others. How we present in the world and who we really are can often be a great divide. Being authentic is what I consider to be courageous.

  • Yup, well said, Steve. The more we live, reflect, and share with and listen to others, the more wisdom comes to light and unfolds naturally. Life educates, trains, and brings opportunities to apply it all, see how we’re doing. And on and on, learning as we go.

    You’re right, it’s not that complicated, and I agree also that the wisdom is found in the feeling of the experience, that’s the gold. Sometimes. however, life just thrusts us into it and we find ourselves feeling the challenges, can no longer avoid it. It’s very often not a conscious choice, life just happens. That’s when the journey of healing and awakening really begins.

  • Ha! And while I see the logic in this, I’m referring to the fact that these taught ways to view humans and the human experience–the programs which lead to all kinds of “models of being, behavior, thinking,” etc. which are applied in the mh industry and field of pscychology–are simply false and irrational, pure ivory tower. They are illusions which are divisive and which create a false hierarchy of power, while defying logic and disregarding and dismissing all kinds of evidence–and people!–which is why the industry is an unequivocal mess and making more of it in society. This perspective, including the subsets of the overall psychological perspective of being human, should not be the standard. It obviously does not work to bring truth, clarity, healing, or balance to the world! On the contrary, it brings chaos, conflict, chronic issues, and marginalization.

    So, using this phrase in a sentence now as I intend, I would believe that common sense says go by the evidence–I can’t imagine anyone saying it should be otherwise–and yet hard evidence and personal truth are blatantly ignored and vehemently denied, causing stigmatizing labeling to occur instead, that’s the m.o., which is the essence of dehumanizing.

    Common sense also would tell me that this is the trouble here and a huge roadblock to progress, and yet it is perpuated time and time again. Therefore, what I see from this is lack of common sense. But you’re right, and sadly, it’s not so common here. The programming is thick and dense, makes things very challenging. It’s quite a process to go from programmed to truth–the healing journey, in fact, to wake up.

  • Yes, I agree, and while that might be understandably human on one level, it is also a huge red flag, when you consider why most people go into therapy in the first place. How much of the client and their personal truth will the clinician “not want to see?” Insert projection, judgment, stigma, counter-transference, whatever you want to call it. This is where great harm is done, and it goes unnoticed, which is why I am highlighting it here. This is where the shame gets projected, rather than owned, and it is passed back & forth like a hot potato. I think that’s where things can get stuck.

    Everyone makes mistakes and has had regrets, that’s just part of the human experience, how we learn and accept ourselves on a deeper level. Plus we all come from programming, and healing is about facing our shadows with courage, humility, and self-compassion. That, alone, moves us along in a big way, toward clarity and wholeness. As humans, we ALL have the capacity to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and make amends by waking up and getting our heads out of the sand, to start with. It’s never too late to take that first step, and then we’re on a healing path, things will change and we will grow.

    I am enjoying your truth, sam plover, wonderfully insightful posts!

  • Sam Ruck, this is typically how clients can feel actually going from shrink to shink–dismissed, not heard, on the outside, and that IS the front lines, right on the line of battle.

    My question is always, why is this a battle? Should be a healing partnership. Although professional boundaries do not allow for the intimacy needed for this kind of healing. This is why that paradigm does not work, it’s always lopsided and is high risk for the client.

    What you describe between you and your spouse is the same way my partner and I have a healing partnership. Over the many years of our evolution in life we’ve supported each other at different times, going through breakdowns and subsequent integration. We’ve both been through our shadow journeys, more than once, then back into clarity after doing the inner work. We’ve been back & forth with the roles of needing the support and being the supportive significant other, so I know of what you speak, and you are a wonderful example of what the world needs more–that is, you recognize your own healing as you support your wife, it is not one-sided healing.

    Indeed, everyone grows in the process, or at least that is what should be happening. Otherwise the same old power struggles continue as well as the scapegoating, and that’s the problem at the core, from what I can gather, keeps all the divisiveness in place, status quo. Love motivates us to go the distance, to be creative, patient and innovative and stretch ourselves. That is the only way I know how healing and personal growth can occur!

    I don’t see how this can truly come from professionals. This needs trickle into humanity at large, in our personal and community relationships. That is where we expect love and support, without a price tag. And it just doesn’t seem to be there enough, and neither is the trust. Society is healing from mass betrayal, it would seem.

    You’ve shared valuable information regarding healing from your own lived experience and I believe it is highly respected and your work is admired. I’m no fan of the diagnoses, but I do believe that everyone’s experience counts. We’re all different and this is about the greater good, so everyone’s perspective needs to be taken into account equally for any movement against injsutice, oppression and marginalization of human beings to be authentic and powerful enough to create change away from these. Change begins with being an example of it. Thank you for the wisdom and experience you bring to the table.

  • I recently sent a few links from here to former classmates who have been practicing psychotherapists for over 15 years now. They had witnessed my breakdown 20 years ago from years of being on psych drugs, and they also know how I was finally able to heal and transform my life after coming off the drugs, painful and rugged as that withdrawal was. They also know that I turned to other methods of healing outside of the mh industy. They had no idea there was controversy around any of this, much less a movement. At least they’re aware now, but they continue to snub me and this information.

    This is exactly why I condemn this industry. Issues such as lack of communication, lack of trust, lack of staying informed, lack of acknowledging either scientific evidence or personal testimonial, anything against the programming is suspect, denied, and causes anger and ultimately, some kind of stigmatizing projection, can’t seem to get around it.

    What also lacks in this industry is common sense, that’s been overtaken by these false beliefs about people. Disagreements becomes personal and can get rather nasty as all neutrality is lost, and supporters of this industry can become downright mean in the process, casting shame where there is dissent, creating scapegoats. It’s cultish, very scary.

    This is why sitting in a chair opposite a clinician in their office can be so dangerous. Our voices do matter and truth is ultimately more powerful than illusions, but it is indeed a never-ending struggle to get the truth heard in this industry. It functions in denial and resorts to cheap shot projections to keep the light off so that people will stay in the dark. Undue suffering is the result of this.

    Keep going, this industry needs a good hardy awakening which it has been resisting vehemently at all cost. I would love to see that ridiculously low glass ceiling shattered to bits. It is absolutely toxic.

  • Yes, sam plover, perfect example of what I’m talking about. So, so, so many ways to address trauma–which is not in the slightest uncommon, to the contrary–as part of life, it happens. I believe that as we address this however we choose in order to feel better and/or to meet our life goals (which might simply be to feel better!), we can also gain insight into how to create change so these traumas become less and less the norm, and we, ourselves, don’t repeat them.

    But for sure, if we are scared into these crazy-making programmed beliefs dished out by biased research, ivory tower education, and ultimately, the thoroughly programmed clinician, we are taking on their shit and that will lead to problems, including undue suffering and perhaps self-fulfilling prophecies.

    God yes, they are fatalistic and create these negative prognoses out of, what, ignorance? programming? projections? Whichever, it is totally false! Oh it’s awful and totally unecessary and completely untrue, can really mess with a person’s head to project such negative outcomes without foundation (or crystal ball!). Life is what it is, no sense in catastrophizing. And yeah, they get paid well for this. There’s a lot wrong here!

  • Someone Else and kindredspirit, I know you both are very much on the path of truth and light and in your hearts, while also grounded in your truth so authentically—-from what I can tell online, at least–as I strive to be. Not easy in our world right now, but I know this is the transformation to occur and I believe that to open the door to others, to even the idea and possibility of this shift, is simply to be the example right now. Respect and gratitude to you both! ♥

    And there are certainly others on here whom I’ve gotten to know through posting over the years of whom I’d say this about, as there is certainly no shortage of “being courageous in one’s truth” around here. But I’ve been aware of this particular thread and have appreciated all the light energy around it, so I wanted to express this here.

    I’d love more than anything else right now to see this trend grow! I happen to think it is, indeed, exactly what we need more of in this world, heart consciousness and awarness of our creative spirits. That’s a lot of power–good power, powerful power! And it’s accessible under any and all circumstances, it is an internal awareness, no one can mess with that if we don’t allow them to.

    Seems that collectively, all of this got buried under a whole lotta rubble and programming of fear and self-doubt. Whoever these “programmers” are, they certaintly did a thorough job, didn’t they? Of course they don’t like people awake, that’s the shift in power, toward the light, which is where we discover unambiguous truth, not all this perpetual confusion and personal conflicts over disagreement about relevant issues. I find that frustratingly distracting from the truth we really need to uncover and allow to come to light, in order to resolve these issues, I think.

    Waking up the heart and bringing it back online is quite the journey of journeys, this I know from experience.There’s quite a bit of reconciliation to do there, that’s the healing. For me, this process led to radical change more than anything else because it IS a radical change, purely, that shift in consciousness. And it certainly is not status quo, that’s the idea. Transition is hard because status quo opposes it aggressively and will let you know one way or another, discrediting, casting doubt or public shame, gaslighting, etc. (we have clear examples of this on the front page news daily now, twitter for one thing seems to be the most salient example of this)–oh, and let’s not forget “diagnosing,” duh, that covers it all!

    Of course those who are hiding crimes to humanity will hate and fear this change, truth is truth, cannot hide in the light. I see it as pure validation, we’re right on track, and growing in numbers 🙂

  • Great comment, sam plover, I agree with every word of it. We’re all healing, and we heal within ourselves and also with each other, I believe. I heal as I teach, practice, and live my life. We are mirrored daily, one way or another and can follow that thread to more and more clarity and self-awareness. We need space, time, and permission to heal, grow, and manifest our lives.

    “It is when we separate the healed from unhealed, therein continually lies the problem. Shrinks do this.”

    Yes, that’s the problem, the illusion of separation, causes marginalization and all kinds of undue suffering. No one is immune from the craziness of the world. We all contribute to whatever the world is, and can equally contribute to its healing in order for change to occur.

  • Since dehumanizers/bullies are also liars and do not respond to logic and reason, and fighting them only escalates things and drags the entire collective down, then what are the options? Some are not in position to walk away, for whatever reason. Some can, and fear doing so, for a variety of reasons.

    Somewhere, there has to be some kind of systemic transformation here if social change is going to occur in any way, shape or form. Otherwise, dehumanizing begets dehumanizing begets dehumanizing, aka generational abuse. How can this end? Better to pass along good things to the next generations, not this same ol’ shit.

  • This excellent 12 minute TEDtalk addresses dehumanizing via gaslighting and offers concrete suggestions for how to deal with a gaslighter–

    Gaslighting is when a person or community makes a person question their own personal reality and therefore, their sanity. Seems to be the very foundation of the mh industry, their reason for being. It’s what they do. It stands to reason that people’s health would deteriorate under such circumstances, as would quality of life. Keeps the negative self-doubting voices not only alive and well, but also strong and in charge.

    I believe this is the root cause of mind/body/spirit instability and lack of wellness, under ANY circumstances. I also think it’s really important to recognize and reject anything or anyone that makes you question your own state of mind and being, and your perception of your own life experience. That’s an unequivocal violation of personal boundaries, negation of self-agency, and pure crazy-making abuse.

  • “How do we balance the need to heal ourselves and find peace, and the need to stand up and defend ourselves?”

    Thank you for this, I needed to see it and have been reflecting on it. Best question, how to find that balance, indeed.

    One thing I believe is to be kind to ourselves regardless of anything. Being human and imperfect and all, I think self-compassion is good self-care, for starters, and goes a long way in achieving balance and inner peace, to be calm in the storm, at least moving closer to this. It’s a practice which I think is, both, healing and empowering because as we move closer to balance and peace within ourselves, we have more clarity and confidence, see the bigger picture, and feel our inner support as well as know our support around us. Being at peace IS to know our power and inner strength. So standing one’s ground and not taking on bs comes naturally because part of both endeavors–healing and self-defense–is developing strong and well-discerning boundaries, sense of self, etc. Goes hand in hand.

  • KS, I love your comment, it’s to the point and truthful, and you’ve inspired me to think a bit more deeply about this. Also, I think it’s the other side of the coin which I highlighted. To withhold support in the evolution of our fellow human beings is to not recognize that we are all connected. Life has its cause & effect ripples.

    I believe every human being is at least courageous, simpy for being here. I think we can take pride in however we evolve, and especially if we’ve been through hell. Most people, if not all, seem to have some version of it, and we all have things to learn, refine, adapt, and integrate as we go. But emerging from chaotic, confusing, and chronic darkness into the light, finally, is the most “winning” feeling I know, a gargantuan relief, even though by no means does this mean that life is perfect from that point forward.

    But most certainly, long standing burdens are lifted and new information is integrated, and we can feel that quantum leap big time, and more so as it begins to unfold a new reality. That’s a good time to reach out to others, if they are asking for a leg up. I believe this goes hand in hand, reaching out is part of the evolutionary process. It is how we expand further into ourselves, with great humility. I don’t believe humility and pride are antithetical. In fact, I think that’s a winning human combo, creates harmony and balance, high frequency energy.

    As I was writing out my comment above, I was kind of thinking about Facebook, along with social media in general, which I’d been on years ago but have since deactivated. That website is an exercise in vanity and was MADE to make others envious and jealous, at least back in the day that’s what it appeard to generate, although its purpose seems to have evolved into other things now, but I digress.

    I think the “winning” in our competition-based society is done by *projecting* success, whether it is real or not. So many people “win” at lying, which I think is an interesting factor in social competetiveness. I’ve known people who took *pride* in getting away with lying in order to appear as the winner at something–in other words, “cheating,” but that doesn’t seem to register these days as anything out of the ordinary. My disillusionment in society became profound as I kept hearing amid my grievances against the system, “Everyone lies,” and “everyone cheats.” Even an attorney once responded to me that “perjury is not a strong argument anymore, everyone lies.”

    (Considering that we’re all connected, this will always come back to haunt. It’s why I do my best to stay absolutely truthful when I communicate. If we’re lying to or cheating others, then we’re doing it to ourselves).

    Ok, then, so what happens when one refuses to sink to that level and is the one playing fair and being honest to the best of their ability so that the real truth comes to light, and NOT striving to fabricate things to come across a certain way? This would totally be at their own peril because they are going against “the lying, cheating norm.” In society’s eyes, they would be ostracized and come off as “the loser,” in a projected and highly stigmatized way.

    To me, however, that’s the real winner because that person is in their integrity, and in my experience, it pays off in so many ways, although society may not recognize it for a variety of reasons, but I think mostly because a rigid society simply “cannot be wrong!” Worst illusion ever, leads to marginalization. Truth is healing and leads to clarity; whereas lying is what keeps things vague and out of balance, fertile ground for conflict, illness, and all kinds of disasters.

    We still can take pride in what we know within ourselves to be true. I celebrate any step forward, or just the effort, which I or anyone around me makes. Life is unpredictable and the waters can get rough as we face our challenges. We are so doing the best we can with what we know from moment to moment, as well as rippling it outward best we know how. I think this will become more visible in the world as we move forward–I hope!

    And just btw, you made me realize that my issue with the mh industry is, precisely, that is all vanity.

  • Really powerful post, Someone Else. I love the distinction you make between “channeling God,” which is universal, and “playing God,” which is the epitome of toxic elitism. I think that is spot on point. Artists especially get this, from channeling their art. To my mind and from my experience, the creative process is always guided by divine inspiration, one way or another. How could it not be?

    And I happen to believe that healing is a purely creative process, and therefore, from that perspective, it is inhererntly divinely inspired and guided, so no need for anyone to *play* God, is there? We can simply channel what is already there, in abundance! It’s real.

  • From a spiritual perspective, healing happens through the heart. I believe the idea of a higher power is to have a foundational focus of Faith, which can inspire the feeling of love. When we feel love, our hearts are open and expansive, and this creates an entirely different self-perception and experience of life than when our hearts are constricted from chronic fear and hopelessness.

    Spiritual healing approaches the body as energy, which it is, which everything is. Thoughts and emotions are energy, as are the cells and organs of our body. From this perspective, the possibilities are endless because energy is always abundant and infinitely creative.

    Also in the healing communities of which I’m aware, Christ-consciousness, Buddha-consciousness, and messiah-consciousness are in the collective, as are their counterparts. It is in all of us, light and shadow–spiritual beings having a human experience. Again, this is a perspective offered in spiritual communities, not necessarily aligned with “religion,” as we know it.

    What I’m talking about is not at all the same as “old time religion.” It’s about energy, living in heart-consciousness, and aware of our soul evolution as part of our human experience. Overcoming challenges is how we grow in our humanity–how we, both, discover our power and feel our humility. That is the spiritual perspective of healing to which I refer.

  • Our society is set up to be cut-throat competetive, so the accomplishments of one person can easily be resented by another and lead to sabotage. Jealousy can be toxic and lead to dangerous situations and destruction, the opposite of “benign.” Knowing, owning, and being proud of and pleased with one’s own accomplishments can be enough to satifisy.

    If you are broadcasting your accomplishments, you are taking a risk. It might be courageous or it might be reckless. I think the motive behind disclosing one’s success is relevant, and that can vary. People project all kinds of cynical motives onto those who are speaking about themselves, in any capacity, and that factors in all of this, too. Insecurity vs. confidence can be a tough battle.

    Isn’t the opposite of pride, shame? Although there is a middle ground: it is what it is, to be human. Everyone’s on their own journey.

  • “anger and violence are not symptoms of any mental illness. Rather, they are normal reactions to a lifetime spent being treated like an outcast, ignored, taken advantage of, disbelieved, bullied and abused.”

    In whatever context this is expressed, it is classic and very obvious programming to discredit and continue to target victims of abuse, to protect a system of abusers and those who enable it–i.e., status quo.

    What playing the role of scapegoat leads to, in actual reality, is clarity about what is abuse and who are the abusers. And hopefully, with good healing and staying focused on the goal of social justice, how to stop it dead in its tracks, rather than to perpatuate it, emulate it, or feed it in any way shape or form. It’s tricky, because at this point the gaslighting is in full swing, but doable if we are alert and self-aware. It’s also necessary to ascend this double-bind (it’s a textbook example of it), if we want change of any kind that is actually meaningful and geared toward truth, well-being, and unequivocal justice.

  • Thank you Elizabeth! I appreciate your validation and interest, and also the sub, too. I plan to make some more healing and meditation vids soon, so watch for that!

    No plans for films at this time, that takes such intense focus and all my time and energy when I am in that process. Although eventually, when I have an opening, opportunity, and rescources, I will probably do more. I really enjoy it and find it powerful to communicate this way and also fulfilling to create. My BA is actually in film, I’m a total cinephile. The “mental health” stuff sidetracked me, but then it became fodder for my first film, so it was meaningful this way.

    Right now my work is in present time and in person. I’ve integrated my healing work and the arts in my practice, which I call “The Healing Academy for the Arts.” So far the focus has been on performing arts because those of us in the group are all musical performers, but I’m open to all the arts coming together here.

    The group I host currently practices the inner healing work by way of connecting with our deepest authentic truth (it’s amazing how far away we can get from that simply living day to day in this society!), and we also perform together in a band. Our goal is to combine healing and creating, to fully express ourselves as human beings.

    This is the freedom which I feel we all seek, universally, to be full expressions of ourselves. This is where we get cut off in oppression, and the goal of HAFTA is to reverse this, to bring back that level of permission and celebrate our spirits, allowing them to flourish in the community and in the world at large. This is what I call “bringing light to the planet.” My intention is for this to expand into creatiing through all kinds of media, to faciliate healing and personal growth through creativity and community support. This is my current project and vision.

    I’d certainly be interested in your feedback and perspective regarding Voices That Heal, if you feel compelled to comment. And thank you again for your interest, that means a lot to me.

  • Also, Elizabeth, it occurred to me you might appreciate this film I made 8 years ago. I’ve since moved on and have learned so much more from conversations on here, but I made this with others after I had disengaged from the system, other than to speak my truth about discrimination and abuse in the system, and also to share my personal story of healing from family scapegoating, along with other public speakers who share their stories, many of us relating to the “scapegoat” role.

    This was my attempt at creating change by bringing our personal truth of the matter to light. I sent it through the system and there were lots of ripples, this I know. The biggest and most relevant changes, however, came for each of us in this film. All of us have moved on, separately, contiuing to live our truth productively and creatively, on our terms as it should be. Truth-speaking is seriously freeing and empowering, and from taking risks such as these, quantum changes can occur.

    I actually have never been part of the film industry. The film I am posting here is the first of two films I have made independently (second one is a short musical documentary I made 5 years later) and is a pretty raw, no-budget, real-time film. I was learning as I went along, something I felt strongly compelled to do, despite the anxiety which this brought up, to go so public with all these personal things, and also having no resources of which to speak, other than our creativity and trust. And it all came together from this intention.

    I believe when something is meant to be, the universe will open doors and bring us what we need. That was certainly true for me in this case. Working with the light can be like magic happening, it’s really quite amazing. Most valuable thing I learned in my healing, bar none.

  • Hi Elizabeth, thank you for commenting, and my apologies for getting invovled with these dialogues without addressing you or your article, I feel a bit rude for this and will amend this now.

    You have a wonderful story of healing and I so respect all the shifts in perspectives you took on for the good of healing and clarity about your life path. That is really great healing work, how it’s done. Internal shifts will always lead to shifts in the world around us.

    Personally, from my experience also on both sides of the fence, client and service provider, I very honestly and deeply feel there is no “reconstructing” the system, I do not believe it can make good at this point. I feel it is so far off track and in such bad habits of othering and marginalizing, that it can only be divisive in the end. Seems to me this is by design, and it’s become a runaway train in this regard.

    My training as energy healer came as the result of all this, as did my artistic endeavors, and despite the hardships which the mh industry threw so unapologetically into my path repeatedly, I am seriously grateful for where it all led me, as I jumped hurdle after hurdle.

    Healing and creating are two sides of the same coin. When we heal, we are actually manifesting well-being. I don’t believe the mental health industry understands how this works, and that’s way too bad because it would be most beneficial were that industry to get this.

    I did not find anywhere in this industry room for new and creative ideas. Maybe a pretense of it, for appeasement, but nothing from newness would ever come to fruition. This industry seems to have trouble with follow-through.

    Also in this industry, FUNDERS rule, and most often they have no interest nor any idea about “healing.” These are separate and distinct agendas, having to do with investment, tax shelters, power, etc. One word I learned to take with a grain of salt was “non-profit.” Sure it is.

    The resistance to learning new perspectives was over the top when I was trying to integrate the principles of energy healing, and this is exactly what saved me from life catastrophe which THEY caused!

    I’ve been at this for years, pretty much on the verge now of giving up trying. Sure would bring ease into my life to walk away from this altogether. There is no peace in activism, and my personal agenda is world peace. Can’t reconcile these now. If inner landscape translates into outer reality, then inner peace would be my personal pathway to helping manifest world peace. Can’t do it alone, though, that has to be a group effort.

    If I were to create a “movement” it would be a movement toward inner peace because that is what will lead to world peace. We can only truly be responsible for ourselves and serve as examples to others, if we walk our talk. Energy ripples and actions do, indeed, speak louder than words, so this would inspire others.

    I hope you get better results with this industry than I did!

  • “the dynamic interplay between our bodies and our environment that create and exacerbate poor physical health which often translates into distressed mental states.”

    The converse is also true, that chronic stress will more than likely lead to physical breakdown, not only because our immune system is compromised from stress, but also our judgment can be off, leading to poorer and possibly self-sabotaging choices. With chronic issues, whether it is physical or related to mental/emotional stress, we can easily go in and out of dissociated states for long periods of time without realizing it because it becomes the familiar. Either chronic pain or chronic stress can turn into vicious cycles of repetition, double binds, and eventually a downward spiral, as each one neagitvely impacts the other.

    The third element in the triad is spirit, and one thought quickly gaining popularity in the awakening collective is that this is where true healing begins, and from there, it ripples into the mind and body, making it integral and holistic. That’s one way people do it. Chronic abuse and systemic oppression are, after all, dispiriting, exactly that.

  • oldhead, I can’t even wrap my head around what you’re saying. Healing is such a personal and individual matter. To me, healing has a beautiful resonance, the word and the concept. It is to find balance and harmony, first within, then outside of ourselves. And it’s not a one time thing, we go in and out of that state all the time, life drives us this way. Hopefully we get better at it as we go.

    In reality, we have things from which to heal on a daily basis, using the word as it is used in healing communities. Life is in and out of balance, and so are we. That’s human. Healing is natural and can be part of a lifestyle and daily practice. That’s how people can stay healthy and in perpetual well-being, by self-healing on a daily basis. That way, we’re never too far away from our center, which is the idea for well-being, balance, and a sense of control in one’s life.

    The planet needs healing, this is common vernacular. I’d venture to guess that most people would profoundly understand this phrase without taking a beat. And indeed, diverse thoughts, ideas, and perspectives can be derived and discussed from this starting point, if anything at all about this basic notion of “healing the planet” can be agreed upon.

    Why tarnish this word, and particularly to the point of suggesting people avoid using it, unless it fits into your very narrow parameters? This seems extremely counterproductive and counterintuitive to me, not to mention completely unrealistic. Issues of healing are incorporated into any core change, it would be impossilbe to not include this, especially if we’re talking about deprogramming from all kinds of brainwashing and gaslighting and all that confusion. Healing is vital for change to occur! Otherwise, things will not come into balance–ever! I don’t believe that’s an option any longer, nature will insist, one way or another. Too many people are awake now, and rightfully demanding balance, clarity, justice, and peace in the world. All of that requires tons of healing work on everyone’s part.

    It also appears to be one of the biggest splits in this community, this issue about “healing,” and the negative associations with this, and frankly, it’s hard to see that changing at this point. These are irreconcilable perspectives, completely at odds with each other. We live by our beliefs, and that’s what creates our personal realities. Different worlds, though.

  • I do want to make clear that yes, while the validation was welcome and also I felt somewhat vindicated in that truth did win out over lies in this case, and it did allow me to shift gears for a change, I’d be hard pressed to call it justice, even though it was a step in the right direction. I’m grateful for this step, but it was really a small one, in the overall big picture. This only happened because of their absolute and extremely stubborn resistance to simply dialogue! It was over the top, the refusal to meet me in the eye and then all the flagrant avoidance. Easy to oppress me while I’m employed by them but in the end, they weren’t so tough, after all. By the time mediation came around, the CEO and Prez had fled, couldn’t even face their responsibilities. And they were running a social service agency? Ee gads!

    And this continued in every single “support and social services agency” thereafter, one after another after another. I wasn’t dependent on any of them by this time, I was a volunteer until I finally gave up altogether on the local level. That’s pure toxic crap, all the way.

    This agency whom I took to legal task was a voc rehab agency to help people on disability transition to gainful employment, and all they knew how to do is to punish people and power struggle with them. They called themselves “progressive” and they were, in reality, Dickensian. I found this permeated the system.

    These people do not know how to dialogue. They can only fight or flee, no middle ground, no reasonability. Power struggle, threats, punishment, and intimidation were their m.o. And completely ignorant of their clientele and their needs, on top of it all. Total sham.

    I got lucky with an astute attorney who could get it, but that was after many doors closing before getting to her. She heard me, that was good fate, but their were tons of legal limitations, which were telling of how the system is skewed, but I had a good opening through ADA, unambiguously.

    Still, it was hardly justice for what this system robbed me of, as it has done to so many others. Plus, after this, I was blackballed from my own field–which, in the end, turned out to be brilliant because I had no choice but to venture out on my own and find my best life. Takes work, but I’m on it. So far it’s fine.

    This agency eventually closed due to loss of funding, leaving people in a lurch and that did not make me feel good, even though I knew it was corrupt. But corruption is a rock and a hard spot, and will always lead to suffering, until one can get away from it and get perspective.

    Reasonable co-creative and problem-solving dialouge can happen when everyone concerned is open and flexible in their thinking. This was never, ever the case exactly where it should have been MODELED, and instead, they *chose* to go down rather to admit fault with anything at all, so that they could have fixed it! Just one cya lie after another, no integrity in the building, no truth, no fairness, all socially acceptable. Sad and frustrating, but it is what it is. “Karma’s a bitch” is my fallback sometimes.

    Vindication is possible, but justice? I think not. Only when this particularly inept and highly vampiristic corporate conglomerate goes away altogether will justice be served, imo, and then finally, we’ll be going in the right direction of sorely needed core change with one more big network of obstacles out of the way. And that is my absolute truth.

    Re family and the stigma and all those projected lies, furies–you know, my legal win did not convince my family of anything. Neither did coming off psych drugs, nor becoming an actor nor making a film nor changing my life. They attached sinister and untrue caveats to any success I had, literally “demeaning” any forward movement.

    They did not want to wake up to their responsibility in all this, that was so clear to me. When people don’t want to wake up to truth, despite plenty of hard and obvious evidence, they just won’t, and they’ll continue to propogate the lies instead in order to keep the illusion going, because it serves their need for denial.

    I just have to know the truth myself, and my partner and friends do, too. But not so much my family, at least for years this was the case. I’ve had many conversations around this with them, with some degree of success, but as of now, I’ve given up on trying to convince anyone of anything, just living my truth now based on my choices.

  • I agree with kindredspirit that we need space for healing from abuses. This is a necessary process for change to occur, imo. I also agree with PacificDawn that justice is required here. I believe that is a vital component of healing on a personal and on a social level. Justice brings truth to light.

    I had a legal victory after experiencing and calling out systemic abuse and discrimination, and what that did was that it gave me confidence. Until I finally found a legal aid attorney who had the ability to listen to me wtih focus and intelligence and connect the dots of my experience accurately, all I could elicit with relaying my experience was doubt thrown at me, along with vicious invalidation which amounted to projecting “paranoia” onto me. I wasn’t paranoid, I was telling the exact truth and these “social workers” were totally lying. That was proven in so many ways, including by example, and yes, it felt good in that it was enormously relieving to not have to carry that burden any longer. And moreover, it empowered me to keep going, it was a huge motivator.

    On a more direct and instantaneous level, thanks to the outcome, I was not only able to continue my healing work, but this victory also allowed me to discover new acting and performing skills–and eventually a theater career–because, through classes, I was able to take that particular personal risk and it led to all kinds of healing as well as other rewards.

    In essence, being legally vindicated was exponentially healing, they went hand in hand. I had to remain clear in my truth, however, and humble to this process of healing and unfoldment happening after all that drama which corruption always manifests, while at the same time feeling and trusting the *power* of my truth and perspective of reality, to manifest my personal life experience as I most desired and intended.

    I was finished with the “mental health” industry by then, as anything reliable for support or healing, but I continued with activism voluntarily after that and discovered just how deep the injustices and deceit and covering up ran—sooooo deep, absolutely never-ending.

    The work is far from complete, obviously. More justice will bring more healing, and vice versa. One informs the other, like a double helix. That was my experience, in any case.