It was only a few years back now, even though it seems like a lifetime ago. I was at a bridal shower for one of my sisters when I got a completely unexpected message from my ex-husband.
“Can we talk?”
I was dumbfounded. It had been over 2 years since our divorce and he had ghosted me as soon as we had separated, 6 months prior to that. Our break up was as manic and chaotic as our relationship.
To have him ask to talk was a shock to say the least. When I probed a little he told me that the reason he wanted to see me was for “closure.”
Overcoming the Anxiety of Unknowns
I did consider meeting him. In fact, I even agreed at first. I felt I had processed enough to be able to handle seeing him again and, well, I did have questions…
But I stopped myself. I realized, I didn’t need closure. So, I told him that I had given myself closure and was confident he could do the same. We haven’t talked since.
I have no idea what he had to say or even what he wanted to ask, and though at first it was a challenge, I can honestly say now that I don’t care – and that feels so much better than an obsession with “closure” ever could.
I am truly free, and if that’s not real closure, I don’t care to know what is. My Ex had his chance, he had priority within my attention for years – but he’s lost it. It truly felt that if I allowed myself to acquiesce to his emotional whims I would me discounting my own progress. After years of doing just that for him, I had to recognize the value of my peace rather than participate in egoic games of justification.
Expanding My Peace that Passes Understanding
Right now it is an emotional time in the Kundalini community. Yogi Bhajan, the man credited for bringing these technologies to the west, is being posthumously accused of sexual misconduct.
A book has been written by one of his former personal assistants and there are other accounts popping up as well. Personally, I have abstained from reading any of it.
I am not in denial, in fact, I believe most of the accusations are probably true. He is a man (human) after all. Since I am a survivor of abuse myself however, I feel I would be easily triggered by the accounts and want to maintain my personal neutrality.
In this way that I am holding space for my own practice. My spiritual call to Kundalini was never about Yogi Bhajan, or anyone else for that matter, and to make it about him now seems shortsighted. For now, I don’t have to know everything, and I am at peace within because of that.
Another Self-Manifested Closure
I haven’t been unaffected however, and upon first hearing the news about the quality of the accusations I was devastated. Upon going home that night, I had a personal meditation in which I was sobbing through my pleas to be reckoned with.
That was the night I called all my guides in even before sitting to tune in with the Adi Mantra – I was going to reckon with my soul and I wanted witnesses from all walks of my faith. I didn’t understand it in those moments, but my grief was internalized differently than most others – I wasn’t disappointed that Yogi Bhajan wasn’t perfect, I was disappointed because I was right in already believing him to be imperfect.
Because of my own experiences of abuse, I assume people have a dark side. It isn’t a conscious process of judgement, I just have learned to first and foremost trust that people are flawed humans… but having the confirmation come through in this way, seemingly threatening some of the healing technologies that have helped me come so far, felt like existential damnation. I was crushed by the weight of hoping-against-hope turned bitter truth.
Inviting Healing through Forgiveness
In my understanding at the time, my distress wasn’t even about Yogi Bhajan. The feelings of sadness and frustration were so deep, I thought I must be working through something more personal… little did I know just how personal it would all become.
Yogi Bhajan came in with my guides when I turned in, and just sat – right across from me on my yoga mat. He didn’t say or transmit anything, he just sat in humble wisdom. He didn’t deny. He didn’t justify. We just sat there together, both imperfect humans, both in awe of the Divine grace that sustains and connects us.
Perhaps, had he still have been in his human form or perhaps if my guides weren’t all there – perhaps then I wouldn’t have been able to hold space for the spirit of a monster… I certainly am still trying to learn how to hold space for my own abusers. Yet, his subtle spirit was free of his densities and somehow that allowed me to disregard my own too.
I realized that Yogi Bhajan was giving me what my abusers never will: acknowledgement. In this space of pure acceptance, pure truth, I connected back in to love. I felt myself gain the closure I had so desperately craved to recieve in order to resolve my own personal traumas and experienced new levels of forgiveness.
Accepting the Responsibility of Our Power
I do not wish to discount or dismiss any accusations, and after this experience, I don’t believe Yogi Bhajan does either. As a victim myself though, I do feel in is incredibly important to impart this wisdom to others: victims have power too.
We live in a world that is coming out of mellinia of mass personality disorders. The Abrahamic religions and their proclivities towards encouraging projection (i.e. casting the responsibilities of one’s sin upon a savior) have deluded humanity into believing that everything is either all “right” and “good” or all “wrong” and “evil.” Within this worldview, victims are “good” people that “evil” people do “wrong” to. The victims are in the “right.”
This is actually quite disempowering, because no one is all “right” or all “wrong.” Bare with me here – I am not trying to say that there is any justification for abuse. I am trying to illustrate an important aspect of victim mentality though, because I believe it contributes to learned helplessness and consequently, repeated experiences of trauma.
I married an abusive man because I was comfortable being abused. It was what I knew, what I could recognize and what I attracted. I had been groomed to be a victim, conditioned to respond favorably to manipulation and abuse, which consequently caused me to find myself in terrible situations repeatedly. Abuse persists in part because victims allow it.
Standing Up for Ourselves and Others
There is so much going on in the world that causes unnecessary suffering. I cannot help but ask “why?!”
It is easy to allow the pain of all these injustices to swallow my hope, demoralizing my experience of life. In fact, I have plenty of evidence of damnation, crime and abuse in my own life experiences – how could I not make my projections about the future from a place of fear?!
This is exactly how I lived for the majority of my life… but it only got me more pain, more injustice and more evidence of my biases. It has only been in the last few years that I have taken responsibility for myself, including the ugly bits, but the results have been incomparable. As long as I was complaining, I was allowing “everything else” to have my power; now that I have accepted my own power, I am the one who is responsible and I make better, more truthful and consequently more healthful decisions.
Living this way has helped me to see the ways I too have hurt others. The facts are: no one is perfect, but we all deserve love anyway. Love doesn’t mean we allow ourselves to be abused however, because allowing someone to be a perpetrator is not loving. This is why true love is tough love.
When you stand in your truth, fully accepting responsibility for the ways you invite victimization or justify hurting others yourself, you begin to realize that optimization and mastery doesn’t mean getting everything you want from the world, living a life of Love means living in complete Truth, not subjective “rightness.”
In this way, we heal ourselves. We stop waiting for the permission of our abusers to be set free. We acknowledge ourselves, fully and completely, and go to work becoming the people we can most respect: the Defenders, the Inspiring and the Victorious. This is how we claim our freedom, by accepting the responsibility of our own stories and rewriting them attentively and intentionally.
May you all find your own strength and rise up in your power, taking responsibility for your world and claiming your freedom. Blessed be my beloveds!