I've been processing a painful phase of my life recently. It was a situation in which I participated, for many years. As with everything, there was "good" and "bad" contained within the phase, and I ultimately left the situation when I felt the "bad" tipped the scales too many times. Today, I still carry energy of anger, of being a victim, of feeling persecuted and shut out by the people involved.
A part of my brain knows that they would undoubtedly tell their own tales of this phase, and it would include some unflattering experiences with me, with my "stress responses." A dry, rational kernel within my brain knows this, but the juicy, feeling parts of my brain and my body feel differently. They still feel small, wounded, ashamed, like a powerless child.
The feelings associated with this phase are some of the biggest wounds that I carry, and I long to heal this pain. To move on and have more balanced memories of this phase.
This morning, memories of the phase were activated, and as I journaled about this phase and the people involved, I had a new realization: that I had been using force during this phase, and had had an agenda for the people involved. This was a new realization. I had known, with varying degrees of accountability, that I fully participated in the dynamic. But to see it in the framework of force and power was new. To see that, beyond participating, I had had an agenda for the people and activities involved, to see the depth of force within myself, was new.
Here is a deeper truth: I felt disrespect for them. I gossiped about them. I judged them, and I felt superior to them. This was how I felt, so much of the time. They couldn't do anything right. I gleefully ripped them apart, their failures magnified, their shortcomings damning and fatal. They were fatally flawed, and I was righteously superior.
My agenda was to have my way with them; that my needs and vision/perspective were "right," and should be followed blindly, irrespective of their experiences, observations, truths. That I should be heard by these other people, but not just heard - they should admire and respect and elevate me. That they should see me as superior to them, also.
It is ugly and humbling, to see this. To admit this. To see the ways of this energy.
This is rock bottom, seeing the ugliness of my force. And, hopefully, now we are getting somewhere. This is the deeper truth: that I can't get absolution for the pain I carry until I see the depth of my force. I can't release the hooks of my pain until I release them.
Alongside awareness of this underlying state of force is a realization that this is also the culture that we swim in. Let me repeat: This is the culture we swim in. These are cultural values of superiority, force, judgement, and of being a victim. These are the waters we all swim in, the ways in which we are inculcated, marinated, bred to view other people. Other women. As competitors. Men are the saviors, women are the competitors.
Like I said, it's ugly.
And so, today I take complete responsibility for seeing where I used force against other women, and, also take responsibility for not blaming myself for it.
It is critical to remove shame from this equation. When we know differently, we do differently. I now know differently. I learned, inherited, acquired this way of coping in the world. This is not an inherent flaw within me, at a deeper level this is an inherent flaw within the system.
In truth, I am innocent. I played my part of engaging this energy in the world, but it is not mine to carry. This underlying energetic pattern is ancient, and it is not mine. My true nature is one of peace, of respect, of Divine love. This ancient underlying energetic pattern is a barrier between me and my true state.
Because it is an acquired barrier between my awareness and my true nature, I can give it back, I can unlearn it, I can release it back to the highest original source. I choose to do so, now.
And so, today:
Norma Van Horn