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Spiritual Camoflauge


I am well aware that suppression of self expression is most likely my main tikkune, or soul lesson that I am meant to learn, heal and understand while I am here in this lifetime. My entire life, I have been forced to suppress myself, or people have tried to suppress me in some way. It started off as a young girl, who wasn't allowed to speak her truth at home. How many times I had been right, but I still got in trouble because we weren't allowed to upset a particular family member. You quickly learned to swallow your words, even if it meant hurting yourself in the process. I remember being forced to write apology letters, when I was simply trying to set boundaries for myself at an early age. Looking back, there was no need for me to apologize. In fact, the other family member should have been the one apologizing.

I've been working on healing this original wound now more than ever. Childhood traumas are so hard to overcome. I think being aware of them is the first step. Forgiving is the second. Forgiving was such a burden off of my shoulders. I felt a huge shift when I was able to see that what happened to me was coming from someone who was just as equally hurt and probably also emotionally abused. I see the devastating effects it has left down the entire side of one family line. It wasn't until recently that I even realized that I carried this wound. Up until that point, I could never understand why I always felt this huge hole in my chest and an inexplicable rage that was silently boiling inside of me, which I now know is mostly suppression. If you take the time to truly look, I bet you can find a pattern not only within yourself, but within family members who suffered under the same thumb that ruled. Now I am beginning to see how this original wound has splintered off into tiny pieces, affecting the way I think, the way I react, how I perceive other people, but most importantly, how others perceive me.

Fast forward into middle school and high school and I find even more instances where I was ridiculed for being different. I had my fair share of bullies since 2nd grade and this lasted on and off from the same group of girls throughout high school. Maybe part of me was rebelling. Maybe part of me was looking for attention. I mean, that is what most people typically think: I'm damaged and I am acting out. But ... what if this was the real me? What if I wasn't crying out for help or attention and I was simply just expressing my true self? By early high school, I was a bit more resilient and held my ground. Many times I chat with friends now and they can't believe that this is how I view my high school experience. From the outside looking in, many thought I was part of the popular crowd. Not really. I was always my own person. Sometimes I hung out with some of the popular kids. But a big chunk of them made it pretty well-known that they disliked me and some of them were downright nasty about it.

I realize now that the ripples I caused even back then started because I stood my ground and stayed true to who I was. I did not conform to what they wanted me to be. I broke off from the "it crowd" by 7th grade because I wouldn't act like the popular girls wanted me to act. What I am realizing now is that the same patterns keep repeating into the present day -- that when you hold your ground in remaining true to yourself, those that don't understand you try to silence you even more ... or even worse, try to turn you into the scapegoat for their own discomfort and inability to understand. Thus, here I am, in mid-life, where I still don't fit in and everyone is trying to change me. The more I am pushed, the more I push back. The more I am silenced, the more I speak.

I feel joining the spiritual community was the best thing for me, but it is also a breeding ground for insidious ideologies that are disguised as good advice or "spiritual laws." We have heard time and again how hiding our shadow selves is a huge disservice to self. I won't go into this here because I think we can all FINALLY agree that this is true. We have grown enough to see that facing our shadows is key to our growth. This was not always the case. I spoke out about this ... A LOT. With that, came more judgement for speaking out against the norm. The norm was to be happy 24/7 and to not face those dark parts of one's self. Yet I pushed forward, knowing and feeling in my heart that what I was speaking was the truth. An inner knowing. As you can see, my pattern continues ...

Please know that when I speak about this, I am including both sides of the equation and am not blaming one side over the other. I am pointing out what needs to happen on both sides. What continues to happen among many of us is that we are so quick to point fingers and place blame upon those we do not understand. We assume that everyone needs to be like us and think like us. Those who point out the truths and darkness of what most cannot see are labeled as bad seeds -- or here we go again, those that need help or are seeking attention. What if these people aren't what we have labeled them as? I have seen and heard it all. "She is too attached to her darkness." "He desperately needs healing." "She shouldn't be healing others, she needs healing herself." "He only does this to get attention." "She's really good at getting people riled up." "He needs to stop pointing out what others are doing and concentrate on himself." The list goes on and I see this not just with myself, but many other powerful way showers in our community. (P.S. Is there such a thing as a healer that is so perfect that they have nothing at all to heal?)

But let's look at this. These are true warriors. They are shaking things up ... ON PURPOSE ... knowing that they are going to have to deal with boatloads of cognitive dissonance. They are completing their soul mission by speaking out against the norm. That is what some of them are specifically here to do! Short of promoting Satanic blood rituals or something truly dark, what is it that they are saying that is truly harmful? I implore you to really ask yourself the following questions:

How is this person's words harming you personally? Is what they are saying actually harmful? Or is it harmful to your perception and way of thinking? I think when truth speakers are silenced, whether it be by friend or foe, it is assumed that when you speak your truth, you are harming yourself in some way. I'm not sure where this comes from other than the fact that the spiritual community is still carrying this false belief that you need to appear happy at all times. (Appear = keeping up appearances) They feel that by sharing too much or sharing your darkness, you are doing a disservice to yourself. They are concerned for you, or so it seems. They don't want the rest of the world to look at you negatively. When the truth is, THEY are the only one looking at you in a negative light. This is all exactly that ... an assumption, as well as a projection.

Maybe YOUR judgement of what they say is truly the only thing that is harmful in this equation. There are people on this Earth who are meant to share. There are those who are here that believe in vulnerability. Vulnerability makes many people uncomfortable. But does it make it wrong for those that are willing to share it? Not at all. And just because you perceive what this person is saying as negative or wrong does not mean that everyone else will perceive it that way. What if the words truly inspire someone else? Someone who may be going through the same thing or someone who has been struggling with the same situation or feelings? It all comes down to individual PERCEPTION. What we choose to do with our perceptions is up to us. But we must all be wary on how we PROJECT those perceptions upon others when it is not really their perception to carry or take on.

The people who point out the shadows in society are the ones who change the negative patterns. Yet we are labeling these people as negative for pointing out the negative patterns. It's doesn't make sense. It's all fear, projections and opinions of those who are casting the stones.

Some continue to fight the good fight. Others have stepped back. We have lost some good ones in the past few years. They were speaking their truth ... and we ridiculed them enough to the point that they no longer interact. This saddens me and it hits home because I've been there and I still struggle every day as to whether I should continue down this path. Not because I don't want to or because I have changed my views, but because I am tired of having to take on all the negative energy that gets thrown my way for simply being me.

Insert yet another insidious belief that occurs. "Well, it sounds like you are blaming others." Or, "It sounds like you need to do your own healing." When you start to stand up for yourself in this environment, the tables are quickly turned on you. All of a sudden, it becomes your fault for defending yourself. They are quick to tell you that your ego is getting in the way. A common phrase I hear is that, "You shouldn't have to defend yourself. Just walk away and be at peace." I do hope to get to this point someday, but anyone who has experienced this will tell you that it is easier said than done when you have all of these stones being thrown at you day after day for being yourself. Does that excuse the bad behavior of those casting them? Not in my book. And to me, it is my job as a truth teller and a shadow revealer to show what is truly going on. Is it on the individual being silenced to control how they react to the situation? Of course! But I also feel it is JUST AS important, as a community, to stop throwing stones at the truth tellers, the story tellers, the vulnerability warriors, the shadow revealers and the transmuters. This is a two-way street that must work in tandem in order to create the highest level of healing for all involved. The truth tellers learn to dodge the stones with ease and grace and to stop reacting and lashing out while the stone throwers learn to hold space for those speaking the truth without judgement or condemnation. Make no bones about it -- both sides need to do their own work and healing!

Let's face it - it's the pointing out of bad behavior that causes ripples within the community. People don't want to face what they realize they may be actually contributing to. They know, deep down, that they are judging you too. Or perhaps, they have been suppressed at some point in their life (usually a childhood wound) and are projecting their traumas onto you. Oddly, I have found that those who have been suppressed themselves are usually the ones who suppress others.

The fact of the matter is, if we only allow others into our circle who hold the same beliefs as us, we end up really short-changing ourselves by cutting out those that we could learn from. We all like to say that we are unique and that we aren't going to change who we are for anyone else. And you shouldn't have to. Yet, wouldn't it be nice if we could all co-exist as one and respect that we are all different, yet the same? I would like to be a warrior, but with a forgiving heart. Is it possible to be hard, yet soft at the same time? I think so.

I realize this is getting lengthy, but I want to make my point in article. My final observation includes masks. We all wear them to some degree. The issue that many truth tellers and vulnerability sharers face is that we have a hard time understanding those who wear masks. We, for some reason, have an innate aversion to anything that is fake. Our radars go off when we come into contact with anyone or anything that is not 100% authentic. In reverse, most people who see us, hear us, or read our posts and blogs equally do not understand us. They cannot fathom that we are so willing to be open and share everything. We are called oversharers ... or worse.

This makes it very difficult for any light warrior of truth that is seeking to become part of a bigger community or open their own business. Because you are supposed to fit a mold. You have to wear a mask in order to please others. You are meant to behave yourself in the public eye. Yet this goes against every fiber of your being.

You represent a group of people and an ideology for others. So if your behavior and views go against normal "protocol," this makes the whole group look bad in their eyes because you aren't following their norms. They begin to take it personally, they get offended and that is when the stones start to whiz by your head. The truth is, there are those who are business minded and know what needs to be done in order to maintain that image. There is nothing wrong with that. IMAGE is the emphasized word here. It's necessary if you want to be successful. But to those of us who cannot conform to what we don't feel it truly authentic to us, we struggle with playing along because we feel like we are going against our own inner voice and our own guidance to continue to express ourselves in the best way we know (and feel) how. There are no masks in our world. Ever. Keep in mind that some may have a lot to lose by you speaking your truth, by being different or by challenging the way that they have always know to conduct themselves and you have to be very cautious of that because you will be viewed as the pot stirrer.

There is no right or wrong here. There is no higher or lower. There is just a difference between feeling and thought. Once again, PERCEPTION, on both sides.

With all of this being said, I do see patterns for myself. I see the good and I see the bad. I see myself reacting way too much about what others think. I see not allowing myself to have inner peace by reacting to situations that I SHOULD be able to control by NOT reacting. However, I also see the pattern of never fitting in, which to me, is good because I refuse to compromise who I am to please others. I see the pattern of pointing out ideologies that no longer serve us. Many kick and scream when I do this, but eventually, they come to see that what I was saying was true and that I was doing it for ALL of us ... for our own growth. I'm not saying I am always right and I most certainly never do speak out with the intention to harm. Most of my truth speaking really comes from my heart and I say it in the sweetest way I can.

Does this make me wrong? Does it mean that I should silence myself? Be untrue to my own nature? This is where I need to take responsibility for myself and make a choice. Either I go forward, understanding that I cannot allow these stones to define who I am or affect my character - OR - I silence myself to make the masses happy, but meanwhile, make myself unhappy for being untrue to myself. I choose happiness. I choose truth. I choose authenticity. My mask disintegrated a long time ago. I choose to take off my camoflauge.

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Song title: The Land of the Pharohs

by Phil Thornton & Hossam Ramzy

Album Title: Eternal Egypt

Angie Whitsel

717-884-2192

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Harrisburg, PA