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Posts Tagged ‘reincarnation’

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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**** Religious Triggers ****

On my blog entry entitled Getting Past Feeling like God Deserted You after Child Abuse, a reader posted the following comment:

For the last 10 years I would call myself an atheist because I can’t believe in a god who is all powerful and all knowing that would not intervene while children get hurt. That’s just so hard for my head to wrap around. … You said that god never promised to save children from harm, but shouldn’t it be expected from an all powerful being? … I remember begging for god to show himself to me and to help me with this burden. I gave him an ultimatum (I know who am I to give god an ultimatum) that if he didn’t show himself to me then I was done. I waited ….he never came. I downed 150 pills and drank some alchohol. Fortunately/Unfortunately? I survived. … I can’t remember exactly how the parable goes but the gist was that the shepherd left the 99 and went back to save the 1. Isn’t that essentially gods promise to save us? ~ Journey

You can read Journey’s full comment here. (Journey – I LOVE your screen name!)

Journey’s question is basically, “Shouldn’t an all-powerful being be expected to protect children?” Despite what you might have heard from well-meaning religious people, the answer to this question is no. I wrestled with this issue when I read the book The Shack by William Paul Young. See my blog entry entitled Words of Wisdom from “The Shack”: Do Children Have a “Right” to be Protected?.

Our innate feelings about justice and fairness scream that, if someone is all powerful, that power should be used to protect the weak and powerless. In the Bible, God Himself mandated this numerous times, telling his people to take care of the widow, orphan, and alien (the weak and helpless in that time period). Protecting the weak is our jobs as adults. We cannot just sit back and wait for divine intervention – We must take a stand and protect children, not because they have a right to be protected but because we love them.

For whatever reason (probably to fill the pews and collection plates), many religious people have sold us a bill of goods, saying that if you believe in God, He will keep you safe. That is simply not Biblical. Jesus Himself was crucified, as was Peter. Stephen was stoned to death. Saul murdered numerous Christians before his conversion. There is no place in the Bible that promises us heaven on earth. Our earthly lives are about growth, not security and safety.

Because some religious people have filled their pews by selling the lie that God will keep everyone safe, they have erected barriers to those of us who were not safe as children. I do believe that God does ultimately keep us safe, but that is spiritually, not physically or emotionally. I actually believe in reincarnation, which adds a whole different dimension to being safe. If you believe that you have one life and then you die forever, you are going to be angry about your lot in life and experiences. You will also view a short life as a tragedy.

However, if you believe in reincarnation, you see that this life and its hardships are only just a tiny sliver of your experiences. I am always okay because nothing can harm me (the spirit). My body might suffer and will eventually die, but I am not my body. My spirit transcends this one lifetime. I am here to learn life lesson, which will forever shape who I am becoming. However, as I let go of the expectation of being physically safe on earth, I also let go of the fear of being forever harmed by anything that anyone ever does to me. I am only here on earth for a little while, and my worries and concerns in this life will be meaningless after I return to spirit form. The one exception is the connection I make with others – that transcends this lifetime.

As for God not coming to you that night – I think it was God’s coming that prevented 150 pills and alcohol from taking your life. My experience has been that God always shows up, but I cannot always hear him when I am overwhelmed with my emotions. I must first pour out all of the pain before there is room inside to fill up with His peace. I suspect you passed out before you got to that point. I would encourage you try again. Lock yourself in a room and tell God that you are not leaving until He makes Himself known to you. Begin by getting out your anger. Yell and scream, punch pillows, and bless Him out. This will uncork the tears. Let yourself cry the tears until you cannot cry any longer. This is the point at which you will feel God’s presence. Right now, you have too many emotions drowning out His voice.

Also, remember that God’s voice is found in a whisper, not in something dramatic. It is also found through others who reach out to you. Sometimes we need a version of God with skin. :0)

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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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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Bird flying in sky (c) Lynda BernhardtI am a big fan of the writings of Dr. Brian Weiss, who wrote the book Many Lives, Many Masters as well as several other books about past lives and how we are on this earth to learn life lessons. I have written about how embracing a belief in reincarnation has freed me to forgive my abusers (which I define as letting go of the bitterness).

I am currently reading another book by Dr. Weiss entitled Messages from the Masters. In that book, I found the following quote:

Forgiving does not mean forgetting. It means understanding. – Dr. Brian Weiss

I thought that was pretty deep and would make a good blog topic.

To put the quote in context, he was talking about a psychiatrist who was a skeptic about near death experiences. The man was apparently condescending about a woman’s very powerful near death experience. Dr. Weiss called the man “arrogant,” but the woman said that his comments arose out of fear, not arrogance. By understanding where the man was coming from, she was able to forgive the comment.

Of course, as applied to child abuse, the transgression is much more severe than simply belittling another person’s experience. However, I do believe this same principle can be applied as well.

I have been doing this with my mother/abuser. I do not understand how she could have done the things she did to me or allowed other people to abuse me as well. However, I do understand that she was severely abused herself and that her sanity snapped, so she was weak. For whatever reason, she did not have the strength to overcome her own history of abuse and stand up to protect her children (both from herself and from others).

I also understand that my ritual abusers were weak people. They thought they would be “strong” by controlling my will, but they never controlled me. Yes, they harmed my body, but they did not have the power to turn me into one of them because I was stronger than they are. By understanding this dynamic, it changes my perception of those abusers from being monsters who I cannot slay to weak people who I have already beaten. This has been quite empowering for me.

This realization has also enabled me to feel safe in my life. I am not a walking victim who can be harmed again. Instead, I am a conqueror who has already faced the worse possible abuse imaginable that I will ever face. (It is no longer possible for me to be restrained and tortured by a bunch of people who are four times my size.) I need fear nothing that the future holds because I have already conquered the worst that could happen.

Even death has no power over me because I know that death is not the end. Whether I am here on this earth for another year or another three decades, I am learning and growing, and I am providing a healing balm to others. When that time ends, I know at a heart level that I will be okay.

Related Topic:

Pondering Forgiveness after Child Abuse

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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Red Leaves

This week, I have been sharing my personal story with integrating from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). After integration, I went through a bit of an identity crisis. I was not quite sure “who” I was. My birth name was Faye Anne. My parents called me Annie until I was seven, when Annie (my original inner child) “went to sleep” to avoid the abuse. Then, I took the name Faye. Through using the name Faith online, I came to feel a connection to that name, and that name seemed to apply to the integrated me. I also had a fourth name that I had always used to soothe myself to sleep at night. That name fit, too.

So, after I integrated, I felt like a “nameless” person. None of the names really “fit” anymore. I have read that some abuse survivors choose a different name to define the “new” them after healing. I really did not want to go around to my friends, my son’s teacher, etc. and tell them to start calling me a different name now. So, I decided just to suck it up and stick with Faye because that was the name everyone already called me.

My spiritual journey through yoga and meditation brought an end to the identity crisis. As I have shared before, I have grown to believe in reincarnation. Accepting that I have been here many times before under many different names resolved the issue for me. It really does not matter what name I go by because my name does not define me. I transcend any name or label.

So, I am now comfortable with being called Faye in my off-line life and Faith in my on-line life. They both fit, but neither define me.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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Cave (c) Lynda BernhardtIn my last post, Justice, Forgiveness, and Karma after Child Abuse, I shared that I have been able to forgive (which I define as to let go of the bitterness toward) my abusers because I believe that justice will occur after they die. While I have a Christian background, my view of “hell” is different from fire and brimstone. I believe that “hell” comes from having to face all of the damage you inflicted in your prior lifetime. Here is how I came to reach this conclusion:

A few years ago, I went to my first Reiki session. I knew nothing about Reiki other than that it was spiritual healing without physical contact. I told the Reiki lady (J) that I had been sexually abused and was very sensitive about being touched. With my permission, she touched my head and feet. Other than that, she kept her hands at least two feet above my body for most of the session.

My Christian background had me leery about Reiki, so I was a bit alarmed at my second session. About halfway through the second session, J stopped and said she needed to talk with me about something. During our first session, she “saw” an ugly beggar woman hovering nearby. She did not know what to think of this and tried to ignore it, but the “beggar woman” followed her home and pretty much would not leave her alone. J sent me Reiki from her home but did not know what to think of this.

At our second session, the beggar lady was back again, so J thought we should talk about this. I am surprised I did not just leave because, at that time in my life, I would have been concerned about the beggar lady being a demon or something. As J and I talked about this beggar lady, we came to realize that this was S, my most sadistic abuser, and she was begging me to forgive her for all she had done to me. I was not in a place that I was ready to say, “I forgive her,” but I was far enough along my healing journey to say, “I choose to stop putting energy into hating you.” J sensed S saying, “Thank you,” as I visualized releasing her into the heavens and out of my life.

I never quite knew what to make of this until reading the book Messages from the Masters: Tapping into the Power of Love by Brian Weiss. In that book, he explains his belief about what happens when we die. He believes that the spirit leaves the body and goes into a state of rest. After the spirit has rested, the spirit must face its prior life and experience feeling the way that it made others feel through its lifetime, both good and bad. The purpose of this exercise is to help the spirit learn life lessons and grow. The best way to understand the way you affect others, whether positively or negatively, is to “step into their shoes” and feel the way you made them feel.

This resonated so deeply with me and explained why S was lurking at my first couple of Reiki sessions. I really do believe that S passed away a while ago and that she was working through her own assessment of her past life. She was forced to feel all of the horrible things that I was forced to feel, knowing that she was the person who inflicted such deep pain. I cannot imagine better justice than that.

Related Topic:

How to Heal From Child Abuse Through Reiki

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