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July 8, 2021

Gaslighting Culture: How to Heal when we’re Struggling to Swim.

 

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What world do we want to regulate our nervous system to?

One of the ways society oppresses the soul, the feminine principle within each of us, is by creating the pain that it so vehemently denies. This creates so much suffering, which then is used to make money.

It’s infused in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the way we think. We are taught to sell to people’s pain points without any real intention of helping them to alleviate it. What do we think most marketing is?

It goes back to our origin myths—when history was first written down (and who wrote it down).

I’m sure different stories were told long before we can even imagine pen being put to paper. There are so many examples of it in the Greek myths, which permeate Western consciousness whether we realize it or not. Their names are in the stars, in the archetypes, and in the language and lore around us.

We hear the story of Medusa as a warning tale to not look upon our demons, for they will turn us to stone. We are not taught to read it as a story of the erotic feminine embodiment being raped, cursed, and then murdered by the society she was living in. Her head, worn by the “hero” who slew her as some perverse form of protection, her blood either a healing salve or a poison depending on how it’s used. For it’s her blood that gave Chiron the wound he could never heal from.

Sigmund Freud discovered childhood sexual abuse and retracted his earlier papers because it outed his friends and colleagues for being abusers and pedophiles. Risking losing his status in society, he created “Hysteria,” implicating the women and children as the ones who were “fantasizing” about the traumas that happened to them. These women ended up in insane asylums.

Nowadays, we tell people they are being victims, that they are projecting and “creating” their own realities, that they “chose” their traumas.

Alcohol and tobacco, billion-dollar industries, hired psychoanalytic psychologists to help them with the marketing of their products to women. 

How do we think women’s empowerment and drinking ethanol or smoking nicotine became so intertwined and linked together?

We swim in a gaslighting culture where we are gaslit out of the sanity of the feminine principle that lives within us. We are taught—sometimes explicitly (and sometimes not so much)—by many self-help and coaching industries to gaslight ourselves even further. We are endlessly distracting ourselves with “fixing” what’s wrong with us, but the context within what we are trying to heal is not acknowledged.

When I reflect on my own addiction to smoking and alcohol in the past, I no longer see a woman who was a sick alcoholic.

I may have been drowning my sorrows (which definitely created more sorrow), but I was, in fact, drinking because my medicine had nowhere to land (even inside of me).

I felt crazy for my truth-speaking; my care was unacknowledged. Mentors told me to water down my gifts—my seeing. I felt so heartbroken trying to find my place in the world.

Yes, there was trauma. It was all quite traumatic (not just childhood stuff, but this way of life streamed to us daily by society and each other). There was much to grieve as well.

But what wasn’t acknowledged was the context, which made some of my own healing more difficult to come by.

In grief theory, it is said that for our grief to flow through and not get frozen, it needs to be witnessed and acknowledged by society—by others—in order to heal itself.

What do we do with our pain when society denies it—when everyone is too busy to care?

Nature is what started to really heal me.

She taught me about grief. She held me in it. I saw that in nature, trauma and unworthiness do not exist—that the level of trauma we’ve come to accept in the “real world” doesn’t exist in the natural world (which is, in fact, the “real” world that an oppressive society runs away from because there’s no more space for all the truth buried there).

As we head into our new lives, new versions of ourselves, and new possibilities for love and flourishing, this past pain wants to be honored and transformed into something beautiful.

We need to head out into the wilderness of our psyches—dig up the parts of ourselves we’ve buried for safekeeping—so we can make the world a safer place again.

What world are we trying to regulate our nervous systems to?

More love. Not less.

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