Friday, November 28, 2014

Sex In The Forbidden Zone

Sex In The Forbidden Zone: When Men In Power…..Betray Women’s Trust (by Peter Rutter, M.D., 1986) was a book that helped pull me out of a period of fright I was trying too hard to manage on my own.

I had no idea how very hard it was!
There is a
cost to the quiet!

Today in light of one more sex abuse scandal, involving one more man in a position of power, I am thinking about the messages of this book and what it taught me. 

The book helped me at the time by my reading clinical perspectives on the personal harm being done to me and the lack of integrity and exploitativeness that represented in my abuser.

Added to the apparent stepping over the line of moral and ethical decency of Bill Cosby, I am thinking today, also, of the pain of the women involved, reminding me of my own. The pain of the abusive acts coupled with the pain of carrying a secret added to the pain of telling the truth, at long last.

And, then the backlash as the armchair judges get into the act, dismissing stories that have taken an enormous amount of courage to tell. I am not certain the resulting polarization with those on the side of support makes it much easier. It is all so much pain!

Yet I am sure it does help one regain dignity and balance after awhile -- and -- above all a sense of empowerment.

Even today, several decades later I still struggle with remnants of shame and fear that somehow imbued my rabbi with a greater power over me than I found in myself – or – in my community to help get him away from me.  

But now I am more confident of my role as an innocent in the episode that continued for more than a decade and one-half.

When will it ever stop?

As a psychotherapist I have had far too many reports from emotionally traumatized clients in similar circumstances. And, sadly enough the blind eye of those surrounding these abusers of power and betrayers of trust has, in many ways, been as disheartening to witness, if not more, than the abusers themselves.

I sought out my rabbi for counsel and guidance in dealing with an abusive husband. It was my second marriage and the second time I had chosen a man who would be emotionally abusive. Without the maturity, skill and support I needed to take care of myself – and my children, fleeing from these marriages seemed my only option.

With these two husbands the ploy worked well enough to free me of their direct, personal control over me. However, the consequences still continue to this day, many years later, in the form of indirect punishments of me and my children; defamation of character, continued scandal-mongering, power plays and control games might be the polite terms.

While the rabbi has been deceased now for a number of years,  alive he was not so easily dissuaded as these two husbands. Oh, the tales I could tell about how it was, if I would.

At the time I still believed in rabbis as viable teachers of truth. They were the scholars, the wise men who could interpret the mysteries of life far and away beyond  the limited capabilities of ordinary people such as I. It was difficult to see this particular rabbi in any other way than I had been reared.

Thus, for more than fifteen years, this esteemed man, my rabbi, pursued me in ways that were frightening; his pursuit more like stalking. To this day I have not yet fully cleansed myself of the toxity this infected me with.

Of course, I told no one.

Who could I tell? I was not accustomed to “telling” the things that confused and bothered me most. And, he was so very prominent and well-regarded.

I now know, today, that the greater cost was truly that of being quiet, not having anyone I trusted to tell.

Secrets have so much power over our lives. They warp the clarity we must rely upon to experience the beauty of life, eating away at the very fabric of our emotional, physical and spiritual health.

Yet when telling seems to carry with it an equal or greater threat, how difficult it is to know which way to go.

So, I find myself, as I write these words, pledging, again, anew to hold a space of loving, caring and compassion for whomever it is that would seek me out, yearning to free herself of the –

Burden of truths held back; the cost of the quiet!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I Dreamed A Dream

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep I felt a marvelous shift occur in me – at the level of my heart. Awakening this morning a dream linked my heart felt sense to that bed-time  experience.

My dream showed me a scenario related to the absence of personal generosity that abounds in our society today. The story it told was a parody, spotlighting the self-centeredness I had been seeing in the past months of a dear friend of mine.

She had, all of sudden, taken off into interests of hers that had not included me -- and -- had never, in close to six months, made any serious effort to contact me; from almost daily contact to nothing.

Of course I knew my friend had just started a new job, her son had just gotten engaged and her youngest was still just getting used to college. And, her husband always had his demands. 

Still I did feel a bit neglected and hurt.

All of this, excepting my feelings and observations, dream included, is by interpretation, of course.

Nonetheless, drawing on many wonderfully successful years of training and application of dream work interpretation as a psychotherapist, I have come, at this age of my maturing, to trust my self-confidence in dream interpretation as well as daily living analysis – and – my feelings.

After all, it was my dream and this is my life.  So, assuring myself that one does develop a certain degree of expertise and wisdom about such things, personally, I believe I have more than earned my right to totally not like this circumstance with my friend, if I don’t like it!

I did feel a bit neglected and hurt! That's my truth.

In my dream I was both surprised and disappointed at my friend’s self-centeredness and lack of caring and concern for me. Yet while I slowly made my way into waking another, more uplifting image, came to me that shifted my regret to joy.

This image tied in, somehow, to my letting go into sleep last night, feeling so especially loved by Lisa, New Horizons’ long time board member and Communications Committee Chairperson, that my heart could not help but to swell, thinking of her generous giving, most recently, of our new blog site --

In a brief moment of awakening, this clarity brought me to imagine “all the people living life in peace...” as John Lennon sang of it in “Imagine.”  

A world where our love and caring, generosity and kindness toward one another can not diminish but only flourish.

Then I realized something very important to remember with love in my own heart.

It is still going to take us a bit of time and continued disciplined hard work to realize that dream -- that imagining of Lennon’s -- and the rest of us idealists.

With these thoughts in mind and heart, in the foreground of my life, standing out in front, I saw Lisa, for this little while, in her giving.

In her hands, surrounded by a white, gold shining light, she is extending a gift to me (and you). Specifically this gift offers me to, at last, have a platform for publishing -- online -- excerpts from two of my three unpublished Random House books; books #1, Surviving Addictions, and #2  Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure of A Lifetime.

This reminded me further of all the many people in my life, like Lisa, who genuinely love me and are so incredibly generous in their giving to me and New Horizons, sometimes beyond words and measure.

Please do check out New Horizons new Exploring Your Dark Side: The Adventure of A Lifetime blog site to share in this beautiful gift to me (and you).

Take a peek at this treasure trove, now under construction, and begin your next adventure with me and New Horizons as we seek to bring you – our supporters, volunteers, study participants and guests – the best we have to offer to help ourselves and help others make our world better for our living.

Long time coming!

(Twenty-five years since I began my writing adventure under contract to Random House, oiy veh! A true writer can be this determined to express herself!)

It’s all about the Dark and the Light.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Post Mid-Term Election Reflections And The Wind In My Sails

I was frustrated the other evening during my program planning session with Jack, my co-host for the Possible Society In Motion Radio Show.

Typically Jack and I have an abundance of synergy in these show formulating meetings. And, typically, I come away from them inspired and eager to translate our sense of a shared and heightened consciousness into a preliminary script for the show.

But this time was different.

We had agreed to wait for our planning meeting until after  Tuesday’s mid-term election results were in. We had agreed that as the main theme of our show has to do with overcoming polarization, the outcome of the elections would give us much that we could work into our coming Thursday evening’s show.

Just as anticipated there was plenty of viable material to dig our way through.

We had even mucked our way through the election debris to the broader issues of our societal problems. And how this newly elected Congressional body might solve or sabotage our over-all progress as a nation. We were definitely not lacking in program-relevant material.

Still our session was generating nothing but frustration for me. I was troubled, no doubt about it, and completely at a loss as to how to get unstuck.

With this as our closing, Jack and I were all but ready to call it quits for the evening, anticipating that time away from the tediousness of the effort might bring some light. So we called it a night, saying our good-byes -- except for just one more item Jack wanted to share.

All well and good. Just a few moments more. Than shelve the project for the evening.

But that last moment’s topic brought us our turning point!

Hanging up the phone, I was off to my other end of the day tasks.

Then, almost in an instant, I realized that the item Jack had just introduced had, serendipitously, cut right through the ruminations of our very intellectual, earlier conversation – and – had gone straight to my heart!

There was the missing piece!

The shift that occurs when we meet at the level of the heart!

This is what came to me –

Dealing with our political and societal challenges is far and away not something to be undertaken solely with the thoughts of the mind! This notion may not be as apparent to some as it is to me. That's a good reason to keep listening to our radio show, reading our online articles and participate in our study.

The understanding of these ideas may be quite subtle and thus illusive at first. But once you start SEEING what some of us are already SEEING, you will wonder how you missed it so long.

But this is one thing, you might already be realizing -- ruminating about politics, as Jack and I had been doing, is one the most frequent things people like us in a civilized society, such as ours, do in order to survive troubled times. But it is not the only way.

Over-analyzing is a survival-based tendency to think repetitively without finding solutions about certain negative circumstances. Our society and our politics are ideal for this kind of thinking.

Rumination only seems to be a way to solve problems. But on its own, ruminating does not lead to change. In fact it can lead to the very things that obstruct change such as discouragement and depression.
Somewhere, if a shift is to occur to help us truly solve problems, we must find ways to meet at the level of the heart.
The short story Jack shared, almost as an afterthought as our planning session wound down, brought light into darkness, exemplifying, once again, how the human heart transcends polarization. With a good night’s sleep, enabling me to integrate what I experienced as a result of Jack and I shifting out of our cogitations into an appreciation of the human heart, a fine radio script emerged. 
Hear the podcast of that show and join Jack and I, taking a brief respite in terms of how post-election reflections can go in a gentle, low-key way.

“Finding The Light In The Darkness Of America’s Secret Civil War”

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Wonderful World Of My Inner Warrior Hero

“I feel the earth move under my feet.” (Carole King)

I feel the fire in the earth’s belly move up through these feet into the heaven above.

I am fighting my way back from a tumble; another blindness-threatening, eye infection crisis. Just when I had, recently, hit the ground running, recapturing the best parts of my childhood innocence,  joy and delight in all life’s greatest possibilities.

Once again I felt like Humpty Dumpty who had a great fall.

I had determined that the prophecy that had guided my life’s journey for forty years was now nearing its most complete manifestation.

I had come to trust my visionary capabilities. I had learned to have faith in my abilities to see, somehow more deeply, more broadly, more completely what others might not be seeing at all, in certain areas.

Then, at almost the very moment when all indicators seemed set to affirm my readings of future outcomes assured, I took a tumble.

Shaking my head at the quake I found myself lost, surprised, stunned and unnerved; my world rocked. Once again the remnants of my “Chicken Little Syndrome’ script awakened.

My fate, according to that script, was that, for me, the sky would always fall right on my head just at the moment of my intended greatest glory. I could not win!

For a day or two, as I simultaneously began to hope that my recent eye infection crisis would not, again, end in blindness, I felt crushed, decimated.

So I did what felt most natural. I took time off from ordinary life’s happenings, slept late, got up only to move myself to my couch with a good book to help me pass the hours. I ate lightly, sometimes not at all. Eating was just too much trouble.

Surprise, delight, I was renewed by doing nothing at all. Thus it began to dawn on me that I’d had quite enough of giving up; enough to begin reaching out to regain my Marjah. (Marjah is the word our Beloved community development mentor, Murat Yagan, taught us to mean the God within, according to his native Abkhazian traditions.)

Letting nature have its way with me, as all good warriors must do from time to time, if they are to endure for the whole of the campaign, I had slowly regained my strength. Feeling the Power within me surge forth, I was ready to, once again, do battle, if need be, to live out the intention of my life’s mission as I have interpreted it.

Maybe I will find out, in the end, that I got the Divine messages as I have been reading them all wrong. On the other hand, maybe I do read them right. Or, alternatively, some right and some wrong. After all when we try to interpret the mysteries of Life we are still operating in the realm of mystery. We can never know what the run of the show will bring until the final act has been played.

But for now, I am back in the game, once again with my wonderful Inner Warrior Hero, my Divine Inner Goddess. intentionally guiding the power within me on the course that feels most fit for me, reaching out to draw into me the power beyond.

She’s an Amazon-type goddess, this Inner Warrior Hero/Divine Inner Goodess in me; strong and focused, passionate and wise, gentle, radiant and serene. I call her Goddess-zilla.

May your Inner Warrior Hero guide you, too, always on the path of the Highest Good as you best determine it for yourself!