Monday, November 22, 2010

Abuse of the Voice and Healing on the Spiritual Path

The healing modality isn't just for victims, but also for perpetrators. In a very real way, a perpetrator of a harmful act against another is also a victim. There's a kind of perverse union that happens in any kind of unconscious act that binds two people together and hurts them both. To yell at someone in order to humiliate them is hurtful to both people. Ultimately, that yelling is a deep, deep unconsciousness that's trying to be heard and find healing, but the person doing so probably has no idea that this is the case. It is part of a cycle of pain that gets passed on from one person to the other. In healing ourselves, we are breaking a cycle of pain.

Abuse of the Voice: Why Are You Yelling?
Yelling is a great example of the abuse of the voice although not the only one. It's like sending an energetic shockwave into another person's body as well as anybody else near by. It's extremely uncomfortable for most people unless they've been conditioned to have to sustain it. Recruits in the armed forces are conditioned to sustain such abuse; it's an overall process of building barriers for self-protection, which is necessary if you are going to be a modern day warrior. I won't say that everything that happens in the military is good by any measure, but there is an important role for the archetypes of the "protector" and the "warrior" that need to be honored in this society.

Nonetheless, no one likes to be yelled at, and people can get activated by someone just yelling in general. The voice is a very, very powerful projector of energy. I certainly know about it's power since this blog and my talking are extremely persuasive to people. There's a lot of responsibility around having a strong voice, and I am very conscious in how I use it, although I'm certainly not perfect.

Abuses of the Voice Continued
Aside from people who like to scream at others, in general, or even at themselves, there are lots of ways to abuse the voice (the 5th chakra, if you will).

  • Lies
  • Gossip (You're perpetuating stories that may or may not be true for the self-gratification of knowing a secret)
  • Misleading others
  • Humiliating others
  • Manipulating others
There are plenty more in there. I think Adolf Hitler is an amazing example of someone who grossly abused the power of his voice. If you remember, he was an exemplary orator. He was able to galvanize many Germans (although certainly not all--he was elected on barely a third of the vote). His actions led to huge destruction and death, so if you ever think that the voice is inconsequential, I'd point to that as an example of why owning your voice and knowing what Truth is are so critical.

Acknowledging Your History of Abuse
It's like many self-help groups say, first you have to admit that you have a problem. This blog post isn't meant to make you feel guilty, although that feeling may have come up for you. That's okay. You will want to explore that guilt and where it's coming from. Your ego will want to rush in and justify yourself--it thinks it's protecting you. It's not. Let the justifications fall away. Just let them go and sit with this understanding of where you've abused your voice and inflicted your thoughts on others. It's uncomfortable. I know. But you need to get used to discomfort in the path of healing. The path of healing takes you through pain. The path of avoidance leaves you stuck in pain and cycles of avoidance for your whole life. It is, as always, up to you how you choose to go on, but personally, I recommend healing because there is hope on that path.

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse
I can't say enough about how important it is to break cycles of pain. You may have lived in a family where everyone yells at one another. It's how you were raised. You may even be saying, "This is who I am." It's not. It's really not at all. You make a choice. You choose to yell or manipulate or humiliate with your voice. You have to own that choice and stop deluding yourself with this garbage about, "This is who I am." You probably don't even know who you are. You probably accepted how you were supposed to act based on your parents, family, close friends, and other early childhood situations. You probably haven't moved much out of your personal development since you were a teenager. You have questioned nothing and lost everything.

But it is not out of reach to heal. It is not out of reach to break a cycle of pain perpetuated by your family. You can choose not to yell. You can choose to rephrase your words when you're upset. You can choose to be nonchalant in the face of someone in your family yelling at you. It won't be easy. Your ego is programmed to act a certain way, and you've been doing things a certain way for years. So, you'll feel frustrated. You'll feel hurt and abused, and it may be that you suddenly realize that you can't be in the same situations that you've been in. Changes in your life are coming if you've been abusing your voice, and there may also be some penance required for those whom you have hurt. You may not realize it, but sometimes the three biggest words to the path to healing and forgiveness will be "I am sorry."

Gossips and Those Who Hold Secrets As Power Over Others
I went after one aspect of an abuse of voice that is often very much associated with men, although it certainly doesn't exclude women. But let's keep going and get after something that is stereotypically in women's domain: gossiping. "Oh no," you're saying, "That doesn't hurt anyone." Of course, it does. We're all interconnected. The stories we tell to ourselves and others have immense power. Gossiping is the mischievous process of gathering secrets about others and perpetuating them. It creates an energy field around them, and people respond to others based on that field. "Oh I heard she's a slut. I don't want to help her."

All these lies probably aren't true. So you can often be needlessly defaming other people for your own enjoyment. All this talking behind hands and so forth makes me sick. In many respects, I think it's a way for someone to distract themselves from the misery of their own life by focusing on the misery, excitement, or lurid details of someone else's life. Lord knows we have a whole news-gossip-entertainment media that perpetuates this awful abuse of the voice. And then everyone wonders why so many stars go a little crazy from the constant energetic garbage swirling around about them.

Your desire for secrets and such news should be investigated. Why do you need this? Why does this interest you? Trace it back into you. It's obviously filling some kind of need, and you now need to find out what that hole in you is. That's what healing is; it's finding the empty, dark spaces in you that you've been avoiding. Instead of saying "Hey, look at what Lindsay Lohan just did?" it's time to say, "What did I just do?" Did you not treat someone kindly? Do you not like your husband? What are you afraid of that you have to escape into other people's lives or abuse their reputations?

Unlearning Bad Habits and Cultivating New Ones
Owning your voice will require you to unlearn so many bad habits. You'll also have to start being in different social circles. Many social circles come together because they share similar issues. A circle of women gossiping all the time will not be okay for you as you heal. You may not necessarily lose them as friends, but you will need to find other friends who support you in the healing of your voice. You will now need to be mindful of all the words that you say and how you say them. It may be very dramatic and overwhelming. Just remember, it's all small steps. Just a few words at a time.

If you are sincere in your interests on the spiritual path, you have to know how to speak your truth. But to get there means you have to stop with lies and any kind of abuse. The healing tools and communities are out there for you if you are ready to reach out. If you do, you may soon find a brand new and amazing voice emerging from inside you.

Next blog: Stopping Your Constant Chatter: Time to Face the Silence
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