One of the damaging things that can happen in life is sexual abuse. That is particularly so when it comes from a parent or a religious figure who is meant to carry the purity of love and guardianship. It leaves the body of the victim with a distrust and disgust of one of nature’s most brilliant inventions – the human body capable of and programmed for sexual bonding. It leaves the heart of the victim with a black hole of emotional wariness and fear. Oh yes, it’s damaging alright. Obviously, the innocent need to be protected and the guilty called to justice and contained. This helps, but does it heal? Does it heal the body? Does it heal the heart? No.
It is not simply a matter of victim and perpetrator. At some level, everyone is a victim. Some are unfortunately victims of others’ sickness. Others are victims of their own upbringing or the mind they brought with them into the world. Who but a very damaged person would think for a moment of betraying and hurting an innocent child, barely able to make sense of a world which we, as adults, have a hard time deciphering? The abuser is sick and makes more sickness in the world by spreading damage. No one would choose to abuse if their soul was not diseased, disarrayed, and dark with loathing. Everyone needs help. Having said that, many are so very sick that containment is the only option for this lifetime.
Once the damage is done, how do we ever leave it behind? Of course, those affected by abuse must find a voice and the courage which was impossible to have as a child. They have to go through every constructive and positive step which helps move them forward. But in the end, there they are, still left with a mental mist of dark, semi-known content which they persistently stuff into appropriate holes so that they can function in a hopefully normal manner. All the while, they are praying that the dark monster in the cupboard will not decide to bash the door down at some ill-timed, detrimental, maybe embarrassing, sometimes crazy moment. There has to be something better.
If we see ourselves as our body then recovery is difficult and probably can only ever be partial. Although we have a body, we are not our body. The body is the shadow of who we really are. Here today, gone tomorrow. It is a passing cloud, forming images and then moving out of sight. If we wish to, we can develop an awareness of the life force which surrounds us, the higher energy which guides us, and the Divinity which cares for us. It neither harms nor controls. It loves. It breathes beauty. It throws goodness into the wind. It spreads light wherever it travels. We can learn to see ourselves as one part of a thriving, lively, purposeful, and good universe.
As we heal, we become more aligned with our true self. All the strong and vibrant qualities inside us have a bigger voice. They are not constantly fighting with the weakening, detracting voice which always warns, “Don’t do that, you’ll lose. It’s not worth it, you can’t win. It’s too much effort. It’s not your business, don’t get involved. You will fail anyway.” The fighting within oneself gradually gets less. The physical world is no longer felt as heavy. We have our quiet but definite exit point.
We have our helping hand to lift us out. The sun starts to radiate warmth and light into the blackened landscape. Everything looks different. The same; but lighter, smelling sweeter. We start to feel the touch of love and the memory of loveless, intrusive touch recedes. The touch of love is startling. It wakes us up. We want more. The world looks not only safe but inviting and interesting. We become softer, more trusting. We worry less and find ourselves laughing more. It is good to be alive.
This article is from Love’s Longing