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Posts Tagged ‘reincarnation and child abuse’

I have shared before that I believe in reincarnation. Whether anyone else believes in reincarnation or not, embracing the concept of reincarnation has been incredibly healing for me, especially when it comes to justice and karma. Some of you might think I am “out there” with this blog topic, but bear with (or skip today’s blog – I’ll get back to more concrete healing topics next week).

This week’s discussions about ritual abuse got me thinking about a topic I have pondered quite a bit but have yet to blog about. As other readers have stated, I also believe that ritual abusers are organized and sophisticated in their methods of torturing children in ways that have been passed down through the generations. In addition, I also believe that there is a (dark) spiritual element that tailors the ritual abuse to the experiences of the child, not just in this lifetime but in previous lifetimes as well.

I truly believe that I was once Russian – long before communism came along. I have always been particularly drawn to Russian history when the Tsars were in power. I love just about everything Russian, from Russian blue cats (even though I am allergic to cats), to Russian names (like Natasha and Tatiana), to Faberge eggs, to the story of Anastasia. I love Russian novels, such as Anna Karenina, War and Peace, and Crime and Punishment. When I see pictures of Moscow, I feel a deep peace inside. Keep in mind that I grew up in the United States in the 1970’s during the Cold War, so this love I feel for “Mother Russia” does not come from any experiences in this lifetime.

There is only one thing Russian that does not bring me joy or peace, and that is Russian nesting dolls. As I have shared before, my ritual abusers instilled my phobia of Russian nesting dolls. I wonder why, of all of the objects on the planet, they chose Russian nesting dolls. This phobia is so uncommon that there isn’t even a name for it. In fact, if you do a Google search for Russian nesting dolls phobia, you will only find related articles that I have written on the subject.

Is this a coincidence? Perhaps, but I think it also lends credence to my theory that there is a dark spiritual element to ritual abuse. Anyone who had a way to know how to hurt my spirit would have zeroed in on attacking this joy that I carried into my current life from a previous one.

Here’s another reason I believe this. I have always hated a particular two-digit number because that was my “number assignment” in the cult. I was never referred to as Faye – I was called #__. One day, I awakened to the reality that the very same number is a special number for me. Several close friends happen to have this number in their addresses. Coincidence? Perhaps, but what if it’s not?

I used to feel triggered when I saw the two digits on the clock. Now, I view this number as a blessing. Whenever I see that number in someone’s address, phone number, or used in another way, I pay attention. I think this number has some sort of spiritual significance for me that my ritual abusers tried to take away from me.

OK – Some of you are probably thinking that I am off my rocker, and that’s fine. I just wanted to throw the theory out there and see if anyone else – anyone at all – could relate to this.

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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On my blog entry entitled Unmet Needs after Child Abuse: Birth to Age One, a reader posted the following comment:

This is where it begins: at the very beginning. These unmet needs damaged us from the moment we were born. How do you undo damage that began that early? How do you heal pain that began from the moment you entered this world? How do you counter a lesson that was instilled from birth? The lesson that I am worthless was the first one I learned. It was reinforced over and over, moment by moment. It was communicated by word, by look, by action, by lack of action and neglect. How do you unlearn a belief like that?? What do you do with a pain that runs that deep?? Sometimes it seems like an insurmountable task. Sometimes it seems impossible and hopeless. But… I carry on.

I, too, have wrestled with these questions. My abuse began at the hand of my own mother. When you were betrayed by the first person you ever loved (from when you were still in the womb), how do you ever move past that? How do you ever learn to love and trust after that kind of betrayal?

If being abused was the very beginning of my existence, then I believe the answer would be that I could not move past it. If we assume that we are born into this world as empty slates, and then all of the messages that were written on that empty slate were that I was worthless, then how would it be possible for me ever to move past this?

And yet, children are not born as empty slates. They exhibit their own personalities from birth forward, and no amount of parenting rights or wrongs can change who the child was meant to be. Despite being silenced as a child, I grew into a chatty adult. Nothing that any of my abusers ever did to me had the power to change who I was at my core.

Why not?

I believe the answer is that birth is not the beginning of who we are. I believe that we exist before we are born and that we continue to exist after we die. In short, I believe in reincarnation.

I believe that, when we are between physical lifetimes, we are basking in unending love. I believe that my spirit was filled with this deep love when it entered into the body growing in my mother’s womb. I believe this explains how, after a childhood filled with severe abuse, I could still be a compassionate child and grow into a compassionate adult.

I also believe that we have access to this unending love throughout our lifetimes. I do this through meditation. I use yoga to help silence my mind, and then I use meditation so my spirit can tap back into that unending source of love. I no longer believe that the love available to me on this earth is limited. I can access deep, rich love anytime I need it.

I also feel this unending love all around me – in the beautiful fall foliage, in the colors of the sky as the sun sets, and in the beauty of the water lilies on the pond near my house. We are surrounded by love if we know where to look for it. By being surrounded by love, I am never alone.

My abusers tried to break me, but they failed. They might have shaped much of who I thought I was, but, ultimately, who I am is timeless and cannot be stunted by the evil actions of others. Who I am transcends the abuse and even this lifetime. This is how I know that I can meet those unmet needs.

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Photo credit: Rosanne Mooney

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Sunset (c) Lynda BernhardtIn my last couple of posts, I have been discussing my faith journey as I have wrestled with the question of where God was during my child abuse. In my last post, I shared the results of my searching from a Christian perspective. While that resolution was healing to me, my faith journey did not end there. As I spent more time in prayer and meditation (“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Ps. 46:10), I came to understand God, the child abuse, and the reason that I am here on earth in a much deeper way.

I have come to believe that this is not my first time living on this earth. I believe that the reason for our time on earth is to learn life lessons, such as how to grow the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (See Gal. 5:22-23.) I do not believe that we can accomplish all of this in one lifetime. I believe that we experience things on earth in order to grow and become more like God. I do not mean that we seek to be God, only that we grow more in His image as we exhibit more of His traits.

The whole pass/fail test that churches teach about Christianity has always bothered me. God wants us to grow the fruit of the Spirit, but a person can be an axe murderer, receiving Jesus on his deathbed, and then go straight to Heaven with Mother Theresa. It makes more sense that God wants us to grow more like Him, and we need to experience different things in different lifetimes to accomplish this.

How does this tie into the child abuse? I believe that this lifetime has been a final exam of sorts. I believe that I have been cultivating the fruit of the Spirit over many lifetimes, and now I was put into a much more painful life experience in order to bear a harvest. I also believe that I was put here to heal and then offer that healing to others. That is an act of love that grows out of compassion from having developed many of the fruit of the Spirit.

I do not believe that we are put on this earth to “be happy.” Instead, I believe that we are here to grow. As painful as my life experiences have been, I have grown immensely. I have developed deep compassion and empathy for those who are hurting, and I feel a strong drive to spend my spare time (like right now as I write this) doing everything I can to encourage other people along their own healing journeys.

Believing that this lifetime is only one of many and that I am at peace between lifetimes has removed my fear of death. It has also helped me overcome my phobia of flying in airplanes. When I view my life experiences as conditions helping me to grow and become more like God (growing the fruit of the Spirit), I stop seeing myself as a victim and instead see myself as blessed.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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