Waking up is hard to do and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Written by Amie on March 31, 2015 – 2:23 am -

waking up to a new reality

It is not easy waking up to realize everything you have believed about your life is no longer true. Many people judge those who say that are awake or who are in the process of waking up, not really understanding what is meant by “being awake”. I know I was asleep to my truth until a few years ago. I started waking up to a new reality after my kids were born. I began working on my inner world. After my brother died 8 years ago, I woke up to an even deeper truth. One of the truths I soon realized is that we are each on a journey, and we are each waking up at different speeds. Some may not wake up in this lifetime. For one reason or another, this is not the time for their awakening. I understand this, but it still isn’t easy to live with sometimes.

Why are we not encouraged to research and question

When we wake up, we are forced to begin seeing things in a whole new way. I woke up to the fact that everything I learned (or was force-fed) about religion is not true. Nothing I was taught makes any sense to me. I always hated going to church but I didn’t know why. Now I know I hated going to church because my true self was saying this makes no sense! Shouldn’t this experience feel good? Why do I feel like a shameful guilty person each time I go? Why is this man standing in front of all of us “sinners” treated like he is better than those he preaches to? Why do we believe he has all of the answers? Why are we not encouraged to research and question and then decide what we feel best fits our truth? This is comical to me now! How easily we are led to believe nonsense. How easily we hand over our souls to someone deemed one of god’s chosen ones. How in the world can these people know the history of the world? Were they there from the beginning? Whose interpretation are we believing? Why are there so many versions? Why are many of the people who claim to live by the bible some of the most judgmental people I have ever met/seen in my life! Why are some of the messages I learned from being around “christian” people, “do as I say, not as I do. The rules I tell you to live by only apply to me if its convenient for me at that time. Just make sure you appear to be a “good” person, your actions don’t have to match what you say you believe.”

This is when I wonder about people

I could probably go on and on….but you get the idea. I am not here to bash religions. I am saying that for me, it doesn’t make sense to just believe someone else’s  ideas without researching and deciding what makes sense to me. I am quite tired of people using religion as a shield to cover up their anger and dysfunction, while trying to act kind and happy. I am quite tired of people using the excuse “we will pray for you”, rather than trying to take action, or actively work out a situation that feels too uncomfortable. If so-called religious people are non-judgmental and loving and accepting (you know, like they say jesus was), how in the world did a law just pass in Indiana that says businesses can now discriminate against gays, lesbians, and apparently anyone they describe as sinners and who these people believe will burn in hell for their sins? Those who are not worthy of their definition of, “god approved people”. This is when I wonder about people. How are you human? How is this okay? How can you justify this? It is difficult to not just give up on this crazy world.

I was shocked to see I hardly had any of my own thoughts and beliefs

This is another reason why waking up is not easy. I didn’t see these things as clearly as I do now. I could feel in my body that certain things did not feel good to me, but as usual, I assumed there was just something wrong with me. When you keep hearing ” you don’t believe THAT do you? over and over as a child, (and into adulthood!), it makes for serious confusion. Waking up means questioning everything about your life, not just religion. Once I started digging around through my thoughts and beliefs, I was shocked to see how brainwashed I was. I was shocked to see I hardly had any of my own thoughts and beliefs about my own life!  The ones I did have, I talked myself out of. I told myself I was a bad person for feeling that way. I couldn’t believe how my “go-to” was to think I was crazy and to think something was deeply wrong with me! It can sometimes be easier to numb out, or to self medicate in order to avoid feeling our truth. The reality can feel pretty harsh when a clear picture emerges. The difference between numbing out when you are awake versus numbing out when you are asleep is that when you numb out while awake, you are aware you are doing it. When you are asleep, you just numb out because that is just what you’ve always done.

If you are depressed, there is a very very good chance you are not feeling your truth

I am here to say, “question everything you have been taught to believe, especially if you feel it in your body that something just doesn’t feel quite right”. Question everything, even if it goes against what your family, friends,community, and world believe! Question everything, even if it means letting go of things in your life that make you feel terrible. It is okay to let go of things that don’t feel healthy to you. Waking up means seeing and acknowledging the way things really are, the way things feel to *you*. Don’t let anyone guilt you or shame you into being a certain way. If you are depressed, there is a very very good chance you are not feeling your truth. There is a very very good chance you are repressing your true self. There is a very very good chance you are angry with yourself or disappointed with yourself for not being able to just “be like others”. (This is a really good thing! But please be kind to yourself, and give your feelings a voice) Waking up is not easy. It sometimes feels very hard. It can at times feel isolating. But it is life changing, in really really good ways. It is learning to love yourself exactly  as you are. Once you love yourself, you will no longer be willing to go along with someone else’s ideas or beliefs unless they feel right *to you*.

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Deciphering insidious messages (guest blogger)

Written by Amie on January 22, 2015 – 11:37 am -

I have a guest blogger!

This is the first time I have had a guest blogger on my site. I really want to post this because I believe it will be very helpful for many people. Many (probably most) people have been exposed to dysfunctional and abusive behavior. If you were exposed for many years to dysfunctional behavior, chances are very good that you are still suffering as an adult from the messages you absorbed and didn’t even realize it. It was just “normal” behavior. Until we begin the journey of questioning depression/anxiety/anger, we most likely will not notice the interactions that feed these conditions (for lack of a better word). These interactions feel so familiar to us that most of us assume there is something wrong with us when we walk away from the interaction feeling miserable. Rather than go inward with the feelings (depression), some people explode with rage and either hurt themselves or others. Early on in my healing process, I had no idea why I still felt horrible after being with certain people. And then I figured it out. Their actions never matched their words. Their energy was saying one thing, but their actions another. Their words were not really expressing their truth, their words were being used to manipulate people and situations in order to fulfill their need to stay locked in their abusive behavior. The rest of this post will be written by a guest blogger.

 Abusive behavior and what it looks like 

*I am using “he” rather than write out “he/she” each time.

As long as the abuser has you (and all of his supporters) questioning YOU (the victim), the focus is off of him. When the focus is taken off the abuser, he does not have to face the fact that the problem in the relationship is his past and continued abusive ways. Instead, he can blame you for causing problems, and not “forgiving” (when in reality the true issue is that you simply held him accountable for his abusive behavior, you stood up to him when nobody would, and he sees this as you causing problems) Abusive people lie, blame, and deny and they are masters at all of these. They play the victim, and could win an Oscar for their performance. Anything to avoid facing the truth of what is actually happening. Their supporters (enablers) all flock to defend him. However, even the supporters will claim they are not supporting his behavior. Instead they say they are supporting both the abuser and the victim. (this is not possible). They say things like, “but he loves his family”, “he would do anything for his kids”, (EXCEPT WHAT HE NEEDS TO DO, WHICH IS SAY HOW HE HAS CHANGED HIS ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR) If you ask him to tell you how he has changed (because you want to know this before agreeing to be around him again), you are called demanding and controlling. The enablers then use guilt, shame, and lies to try and shut you up from speaking the truth. The abuser will tell the enablers lies in order to keep them believing he is the victim (like saying “I did admit what I did to her”,or “I have changed”,or “I have done everything possible to fix this”) and then say something different to the victim. (like lying about what really happened, not, in fact, admitting the truth).

Guilt, guilt and more guilt. Oh, and some shame too

Another way to attempt to guilt you is to ask you, “what would God want you to do?” (As if these people have this answer! lol) And then they ask, “Can’t we just start anew?”(this being said over and over, even after the abuser has had multiple chances to repair the relationship) “Can’t we just start anew” is another guilt trip laden remark. The person asking this question just wants you to shut up and stop trying to make the abuser and enabler change anything. Let’s start anew means, let’s sweep it under the rug like we always do. They want to go back to the way it was, but SAY things have changed, when in fact, they haven’t changed a bit.

People in dysfunctional relationships like things to stay the same. They may not like the behavior of the abusive person, but be sure, if you try to break the cycle at all, you will become the “hateful angry one” who is a “troublemaker” who is “always arguing with people”. The list goes on and on…Anything is used to put the focus on you rather than where it belongs.

Actions always speak loudest

The words of abusive people never match their actions. This feels so good to finally realize why it never felt good to be around them in the first place. I could not figure that out. They tell me, “My intention has never been to hurt you”, which I used to think, ok, well they didn’t mean to. I would still feel crappy, but I thought it was just me. When in reality this statement actually means, “I will not take responsibility because I didn’t mean to hurt you.” So hurting someone and not having to apologize is ok if you say you didn’t mean to? Also, if the abusive person continues to hurt you, their words mean absolutely nothing. They just say these words because they think it gets them off the hook from having to take responsibility for their actions. They don’t want to take responsibility for something they believe you deserved because you “disrespected” them by simply disagreeing with them.

“I have unconditional love for you”- doesn’t this statement  sound nice? If you have to tell someone you have unconditional love for them, then its very possible you don’t actually have it. Your actions  would show unconditional love, there should be no need to have to tell someone. When this statement is used in conjunction with the fact that the abuser refuses to take the steps needed in order to heal the relationship, (that they, in fact, ruined) they are trying to guilt you into changing your story, trying to get you to stop saying what is true. They want to be in denial, so they use what most people think is a loving statement, in hopes that you will feel bad enough setting boundaries that you will just let it all go, sweep it under the rug again. Again, trying to make you into the perpetrator because you are the one speaking out, you are the one rocking the boat.

 

Dictionary of abusive/dysfunctional statements:

1. “We are definitely on different pages” (what an abusive person actually means-Your thoughts and opinions are crazy/wrong/don’t matter, and mine are right, so there is nothing we need to talk about. You are crazy for even thinking that.)

2. “I’m sorry you feel the way you do” (what an abusive person actually means- It’s not my fault. You are very wrong about what you are saying. I will not even listen to your thoughts because the way you feel is wrong/bad) This statement is used to minimize ones’ feelings, to make you question yourself.

3. “You need to forgive” (what an abusive person actually means-Lift up the rug and let’s forget about all this that happened.You are bad if you can’t just forgive, forget, and move on) ** This being said even though the abuser has not admitted to the abuse, nor have they made any changes. (And I know that because I was with the person recently,and they exhibited the same abusive behavior)

4. “You are just hateful and angry” (what an abusive person actually means-this is your fault this mess is still going on. Anger is bad, you shouldn’t have anger.)

5.”My intention was never to hurt you” (what an abusive person actually means-I am not responsible for what I did to you. I will not take responsibility for my actions. You should feel bad that you think I would ever mean to hurt you)

6. “Don’t you think we have analyzed this situation to the fullest and we could resolve these issues?” (what an abusive person actually means-there is no hope of me ever taking responsibility for my actions, so can you please go back to accepting abusive behavior. And, btw, I have no intention of ever changing, but since I said the words “let’s resolve these issues”  to you, I am able to tell people I have tried everything, but its YOU that won’t accept my efforts. So its your fault this mess is still a mess.)

7. “Let’s focus on the positive” (what an abusive person actually means-stop calling me out on my abusive behavior, you are just so negative, angry and hateful!)

8. “But he/we have done so many good things for you” (what an abusive person actually means-be grateful for the good things, ignore and be okay with abusive things. Good things should outweigh the hurt.)

9. “You don’t really feel that way do you?” (what an abusive person actually means-you should be ashamed for even thinking that! You are bad/wrong/crazy. Your feelings don’t matter.)

 

Practice Questioning everything!

These are a few of the statements that I have learned to decipher. Whenever someone says something that makes you feel bad about yourself, question it. Ask if there is guilt or shame being used to try to manipulate you. Question what is truly going on. If you frequently beat yourself up over day to day interactions, stop, become aware, and practice looking within to learn more about yourself and what is happening inside you. When we do this, we take our power back from abusive people. Please feel free to comment with any messages you have absorbed from being in dysfunctional relationships.

 

Here is Brene Brown talking about how to stop a shame spiral.

 

 

 

 

 

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