WednesdayWisdoms: Self-Forgiveness Ritual

img_2631On Monday, we spoke about forgiveness and spirituality when it comes to trauma. But instead of focusing on forgiving who harmed us, I think it’s more important that we forgive ourselves for the emotions we feel as we go through the healing process. It was not the clothes you were wearing, how much you drank, what you said, or how you said it. Abuse is abuse, and nothing will change until we make that abundantly clear.

 

So, to promote SELF- forgiveness, I’ve concocted a special ritual for victims of abuse (sexual or otherwise.) I think it will help to stimulate growth and strength.

Be well and be strong, for you are a survivor.

Supplies

  • Black Salt
  • Rose Quartz (for unconditional love)
  • Rose incense or Sage
  • A journal
  • White Candle
  • A water basin
  • A mirror

 

Ritual

Use sage or incense to purify the area. If you wish, smudge in a pentagram formation to call in the elements to help you through this. Also, use the smoke to cleanse your rose quartz of unwanted energy.

Sit in a comfortable position on the floor, with your white candle in front of you. This signifies purity. Sprinkle the black salt completely around you in a circle for protection, light the candle, and take out the journal.

Write down everything you can remember about your assault. I know this is difficult, but in a clear and objective manner, write down what happened. If you start to cry, it’s ok. Just feel through the emotions. Once you are done. Fold the piece of paper in half away from you and set it down,

Stare into the blue light of the flame and call in it’s power. Call in it’s passion and will for survival. Stare into the blue flame until you, yourself, become hot.

Take your piece of paper and set it over the flame, watching it burn as the memory becomes part of your past, and not who you are as a person. Before the flame grows out of control, throw it in the water basin.

Take the mirror, and stare into your eyes. Find the deepest part of you, and repeat three times:

“My body is merely a vessel, and no harm can come to my soul unless I allow it. I call in strength, power, and forgiveness to propel me forward into healing.”

Then put the mirror down, hold the rose quartz to your heart’s center, and imagine a pink light emanating from the stone and connecting with your heart. Imagine it slowly enveloping you in it’s radiance, and chant “forgiveness” as it grows.

Sit in meditation with this illuminating light for as long as it feels comfortable, and when you are ready, snuff out the candle, thank the elements, and break the circle.

I hope this proves to open the gate of healing for you. Stay witchy ( *)

 

Spirituality and Sexual Assault: The Literal Mind Fuck

Kristen Johnston was recently on my favorite podcast (you guessed it, What’s the Tee?) and she mentioned an article by Nancy Colier. In this article, titled “Letting Go of Toxic People: When Staying in it is Not More Spiritual,” she details the immense pressure we put on ourselves to be open and forgiving to those that have wronged us, for fear that we have not achieved a heightened sense of spirituality.

When it comes to certain trauma, like abuse, we are taught that forgiveness will set us free. And when we still have emotional responses to triggers or actually seeing our abuser, it’s possible to feel that we actually haven’t forgiven at all.

However, these emotional responses are a product of our reptilian brain, the oldest and most basic part of our brain that is only focused on survival. While you can decide on forgiveness in your prefrontal cortex, your reptilian brain may not follow suit. And that is ok. In fact, the forgiveness we practice should be turned towards ourselves. Rather than pushing the limits of our instinct to be “higher” and more “elevated,” we should accept ourselves for what just is.

If you have experienced this kind of immeasurable betrayal, as pictured in the Ten of Swords, forgiveness is not something that just happens because you decide so. There is a natural ebb and flow to healing, and while self exploration will help move things along faster, you cannot cut corners on healing from trauma. This is because new questions arise every day, concerning what you did to deserve this kind of treatment. And the answer is nothing. The answer is forgiving yourself for every feeling and honoring your emotions. THAT is where the spirituality lies.

As the Five of Cups suggests, it is time to move on and forgive. But the only person you owe that to is yourself. And in time, once you’ve accepted your space and have healed properly, you may forgive your abuser. But, as the article above stresses, you don’t need to push yourself in that direction. Your fight/ flight/ flee responses will always try to protect you, and they don’t need to be shamed. Suffering through these responses by being around your abuser, just to prove you’ve forgiven them, is not helping anyone.

So, forgive from afar. Protect yourself and honor yourself first. You don’t owe anyone contact if it doesn’t serve you. Remember that, and stay witchy ( *)

Sexual Harassment

Yesterday a friend shared this link with me:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3713155/NYC-groper-knocks-woman-ground-repeatedly-punches-confronted-grabbing-buttocks.html?ITO=applenews

If you can’t open the link (or just don’t want to) here is the short synopsis:

A woman was groped on a high traffic block in New York City’s East Village, and when she turned to confront her attacker, she was mercilessly beat before the attacker fled.

I hope I don’t need to express WHY this is so horribly disgusting.

A similar situation happened to me not too long ago, and, as a writer, I penned a short statement in my notes as I was shaking on the train on the way to work. Here is what I wrote:

EVERY SINGLE DAY women are sexually abused and assaulted. We are treated less than. We are snubbed by our male counterparts when we don’t use our sexuality to get ahead. We are judged when we do. We are called bitches when we are strong. We are called bitches when we get stuff done (thank you Tina Fey). We are called bitches when we turn down sexual advances. This is a battle that we seemingly cannot win. But, in fact, we absolutely can. It starts with us, and again EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Lets make a promise to ourselves and to others right now that we will do everything in our power, no matter how small or how big, to end discrimination towards women. Stay strong. Stay feminists. Stay bitchy. And stay witchy. ( *)