First thing this morning I happened across a post by a woman in my field of work, whom I respect very much.
She had seen an episode of the Netflix series "Unwell", which triggered memories of abuse at the hands of a tantric "Guru".
His abuse, alongside that of numerous other yogis and tantra teachers and healers is well documented.
This has created or re-activated trauma for many souls, earnestly seeking healing and/or spiritual awakening.
Earlier this year, I was stunned to discover that Yogi Bhajan, founder of 3HO and creator of the form of Kundalini Yoga I trained in, had also been an abuser & fraudster. (Read the full report on his abuse here.)
And then later today, I spoke with a friend, who shared with me their experience of severe and ongoing abuse at the hands of yet another so-called Tantric Master.
If I'm honest with you, if it hadn't been for my own experience of being in relationship with a narcissist several years ago, I would probably not have believed it all.
I'm a die-hard Libran with a strong streak of innocent naivete, that no amount of pain or suffering could reduce to cynicism. I'm a peacemaker, mediator and lover. I always see both sides to a story, even the side of the one persecuting me (!!), am incorrigibly diplomatic and light-loving.
So, my run-in with a narcissist was a brutal wake-up call. I had no experience or awareness of such sociopathic behaviour, but had to - finally - concede, that my "beloved" had love-bombed, lied to and gaslighted me until I felt close to insanity and suicide.
Yes. People like this exist. Not everybody has good or noble intentions. Not everybody tells the truth. Some will - consciously or not - abuse others in the most vile and destructive ways. Without appearing to feel remorse or shame.
And the worst of it is, as a survivor, that a lot of people won't quite get or believe you, because what you are describing sounds so fucking out there, that they imagine it's exaggerated.
This is cognitive dissonance. Not wanting to believe that someone could do something, that you yourself find unconscionable. To the point, where you push it away from your awareness, make light of it and/or deny it to yourself and the other.
In light of all this, what I see happening for many right now is cognitive dissonance around the blatant manipulation, lies, gaslighting and control being exerted by national and international governments and so-called authorities in the field of health. Not to mention around the issue of global human trafficking and paedophilia.
It is hard to accept that those you have been led to believe are benevolent, expert, successful and care-taking, might not have your best interests at heart. Worse still, are deliberately doing you harm or engaged in child abuse.
Just like I was in denial for months about the fact that the man, who "loved" and "cared" for me so very much, was abusing me.
Just like all those in the spiritual cults and tantric communities believed they were being led to God by an enlightened master, who was actually a shadow-ridden, sociopathic monster preying on their vulnerability, sucking up their sexual energy and living in direct contradiction to everything he preached.
The upshot for me was, after much healing, a return to self-love and a greater degree of sovereignty
The realisation that only I can be the guru of my life and no man or woman is greater or lesser than me.
I'm still a great romantic, lover and mediator. I'm still prone to seeing the light in all.
And yet, I also feel more wise to those that would manipulate and fully willing to honour my red-flag sensor, that was always there, but which I tended to override with my "nice" programming.
What comes with this territory is full self-responsibility, which I also reckon a lot of people just don't want to take on. (Cos it's easier, after all, to have a government as father figure to take care of us. No?) As well as the readiness to stay true to one self at all costs, rather than bowing to social pressure.
That's a hard one for someone like me, who loves to love and keep everyone happy. But I find my body and being simply won't let me be anything but radically honest, even when my kids are rolling their eyes and going "oh Muuuu-uuum !" because they are worried what others might think.
Well, sorry, but not sorry. The time has passed to be worried what others think.
It's time for us all to stand in and speak our truth. Without fear.
To listen to our bullshit-ometer and trust it. Even if nobody around us appears to agree!
To start asking difficult questions and demanding answers of those we have entrusted our well-being to and do our own research.
To stop being so bloody nice or apologetic for those that are doing things that don't stack up or are harming us!
To recognise that we can and must advocate for our selves, but that there is power in the solidarity of many.
This doesn't leave me in fear or angst. I rest in the knowing that I am love and life-force flows through me as truth and power.