Subliminal Suggestions In Religious Music

Hymns from my childhood occasionally pop into my mind, sometimes replaying over and over, like a broken record. One mental trick I use to make repetitive mind music go away is to try and remember the end of the song. Normally by the time I’ve tried to remember the end of the song, it has disappeared from my mind.

After going through a personal situation a couple of weeks ago which opened up some old wounds, this happened with a song I had not remembered in over 20 years.  I tried to use my “end of the song” method, but this song kept playing over and over and would not go away. These specific lyrics were the only ones playing repeatedly. 

“This world is not my home. I’m just a passin’ through. If heaven’s not my home, then Lord what shall I do. The angel’s watchin’ me from heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

Suddenly, my mind took a completely different turn.  I found myself actually wanting to look at the differing lyrics of the many songs I was taught to sing repetitively as a child.

What in the hell kind of lyrics are these, really?” I thought. The lyrics suddenly felt vile and suicidal. I had an urge to examine each word for exactly what they are.

I had never broken down gospel lyrics on a deep level like my mind was now doing. I had always blown them off with an eye roll.

In my teenage years, my older sister and I would get through church by adding “under the covers” at the end of the hymn titles and snickering quietly together. We had been taught about back-masking in secular music while growing up in a cult. For example, we were told that Another One Bites the Dust” held a subliminal message telling us to smoke marijuana, but it could only be heard if the record was spun backwards. Also, they TOLD us what we “should” hear; literally gave us the sentence then asked, “Did you all hear it?” Well, now we do! That’s called suggestion. When suggestion is used on the mind, of course we hear and see what we are told we are supposed to hear and see.

Now that my mind is free from falling prey to suggestive phrases, I recognize them more.

So then, I recognized that something was terribly off with these lyrics going through my head. What were they suggesting? Christianity teaches that suicide is a sin. Here are seven different accounts of suicide in the Bible. Yet, this song is telling me that Earth is not really my home. I’m just passing through here, and that I shouldn’t feel at home in this world. 

That was exactly how I felt when I was struggling with suicidal ideation. Now, I was hearing these same phrases in a gospel song as if it was okay to leave this world and even feel joyful about it.

How did this affect me as a child repeatedly singing these lyrics? What did it do to my mind in regard to my thoughts and feelings about death? 

Hence, I set off on an exploration to find out how many gospel lyrics hold suicidal suggestions. What a confusing childhood, hearing and singing songs containing subliminal messages about sacrifice and suicide. At the same time, this religion was teaching me that suicide was a sin; a guaranteed ticket to hell.

Now, with clearer eyes, I was seeing the root in the mindset of why many humans might suffer with not wanting to live. How many of us grew up religious and abused and/or neglected based off this type of doctrine? How many of us sang these songs as children, day after day, year after year, sinking them into our subconscious, to live there, even if we felt we had deprogrammed religion but still struggled emotionally?

When I was feeling suicidal years ago, I had a meditative moment while taking a bath one evening.  A voice audibly whispered in my head.

“Suicide is simply a program that was implanted into your cellular system by your abusers and the trauma you endured every day.”

I sat straight up in the bathtub. I had never looked at suicide as a mind control thought pattern infused by abuse. After this realization that I had actually been programmed to not want to live, I never struggled with suicidal thoughts again. My love for this life and its amazing possibilities grew inside of me. My refusal to allow my abusers to win created in me a mighty storm.

Shai Linne is a modern day gospel artist who gears his music toward the younger generation, teenagers and young adults.  He has a gospel album entitled “13 Letters“. It has a spoken intro:

“Uh, soli Deo gloria, (Glory to God alone) uh. Once again. Thirteen letters! Yeah.”

We will focus on only one part of these lyrics: “Thirteen letters!

The number 13 is a prevalent number with roots in Kemetic times.

We most often see it represented on the backs of the American dollar bill. There are 13 stars above the head of the eagle. 

The Last Supper took place on the 13th day of the month, and the crucifixion occurred on Friday the 13th. The Knight’s Templar, protectors of the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus allegedly drank from at The Last Supper, were all slaughtered, on order from Pope Clement, on, yes, Friday the 13th. Judas was allegedly the 13th person to take his seat at the table during The Last Supper. Matthew says that Judas committed suicide after the crucifixion.

In a non-religious context, the number 13 was recently used in a suicide show entitled “13 Reasons Why“.

How Great Thou Art” is a popular hymn that has been sung in churches for centuries. Children sing these lyrics.

“And when I think of God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin.”

In this song, the mind is subliminally being taught that without sacrifice, the individual is a sinful human being. Repetitively singing lyrics which instruct gratefulness that an invisible being horrifically sacrificed their own son on behalf of the individual, drives the point home. The individual no longer can deduct that this is, for instance, murder, and punishable by law. Instead the individual praises it.

Believing someone was murdered so that they could live, creates a deep wound of guilt in a person if they question or begin to reason the truth behind this. Instead, the repetitive program keeps them believing they have a responsibility to honor the human sacrifice that was the crucifixion of a man named Jesus.

The popular hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, ends with this line:

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!”

Another popular hymn, Amazing Grace, ends with this lyric:

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.”

The key to these songs is the number 10,000.

The number 10000 is used 45 times in the Bible.

Saint Paul said to Corinthians: “for even though you might have 10000 slaves to look after you in Christ, you still have no more than one father”. (1 Co 4,15)

In this verse, Christian followers are referred to as slaves.

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne . . . : and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands. [Revelation 5:11]

Indeed, ten thousand times ten thousand angels, which equals 100 million, symbolizes a great number. To sum up, there are numberless concourses of angels, an innumerable company of angels, and hosts of angels—all of whom are allegedly in the service of a God who requires humans should join this army as well.

Ten thousand guardian angels escorted Mary and Joseph during their trip to Bethlehem, for the birth of the Word, according to the visions of Catholic mystic Mary Agreda.

For the Chinese and the Mongols, the swastika cross (sign of salvation in their ceremonies) means the 10000 truths which concern the mysteries of the Invisible Universe, the Primordial Cosmogony, of the Theogony. It symbolizes the movement, the energy, the forward walking.

Hitler, inverting its orientation, used it as emblem of the Nazism.

The Tao has fathered one, one has fathered a two, two has fathered three and three has fathered ten thousand“, wrote Lao-Tseu.

The song “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” ends with the following line:

“Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.”

The word that is most important to look at is Rapture. What is the Rapture? According to North American Christianity, the rapture is the transporting of believers to heaven at the Second Coming of Christ. In regard to children, the Rapture is rarely talked about in detail. Children are likely to ask these questions:

When will the rapture happen? We don’t know
Is it going to hurt? No, Sweetie!
Do we fly into the sky? Yes. We will be taken up into the clouds.

At an extremely suggestible age, under five years old, when the mind is open to absorb deep into the subconscious, children are shown pictures of humans ascending up into open clouds. When these children grow into adults, they have been so programmed that humans will fly this way, that even as adults, they are unable to critically think into the scientific impossibility of this phenomena. 

There has been an interesting study between fundamentalism’s rapture theology and the connection with alien abductions. In the dictionary, religion includes the belief in the supernatural, leaving out any reference to the paranormal.

Likewise, they cannot logically break down the fact that the Rapture has been being promised to humans by other humans for thousands of years and has never happened. This is a very deep form of  “death” programming when directed at a child, that at any moment of their life, a god could take them, but it will be a wonderful and painless death. 

A child often adopts the adult’s “joy” as a way to comply  and cope with the ideal, however, they rarely feel excitement at the prospect of death, even if there is some kind of heaven promised afterward. Don’t underestimate children.  I knew very well as a child that the rapture concept equaled death for me.

As children we cannot turn the idea of heaven into a tangible visual which we can see. We can only imagine what is suggested to us.  This description of pearly gates and golden floors does not enter our minds when we are children pondering the death which comes with rapture ideology.

One of the most popular religious songs children are taught to sing is “Jesus Loves Me“. The last line of this song says:

“Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.”

Again, we see the reference to human sacrifice. The child is being taught that they should live only for a god, because this god did a very special thing for all humans.  It instructed its own son to die for them. These lyrics anchor the belief that a very special human bled to death, something a child often sees on television or the internet as a traumatic visual that they understand from a pain and suffering perspective. Children are literal and will see it as such, regardless of the way a parent may try and sugar coat the bloody sacrifice of a super human named Jesus.

Have you heard the song “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down In My Heart?” Let’s look at the last line of this song:

“I’ve got the love of Jesus, love of Jesus down in my heart.
I’ve got that opposition to conscription down in my heart.”

Conscription is a noun meaning “compulsory enlistment for state service, typically into the armed forces.” This religious song teaches children and adult citizens of our country that they must have opposition to the armed forces. A child is a human who has rights to grow up and freely make this decision. It should be a violation of their human rights to strip their minds of future career choice possibilities.

Children sing this lyric, most likely never being taught the meaning of this word. Evangelical religions such as Jehovah’s Witnesses or Sam Fife’s Move of God, for instance, have a history of teaching against joining the military and/or going to war for any other reason except God.

Cult leader, Jim Jones, used a children’s choir in his People’s Temple, to welcome new members. 

Another interesting concept religion teaches, whether actively or by way of reading the Bible, is that Christians are descendants of a man named Abraham. 

One song that is popular in this concept is “Father Abraham“.

“Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham
I am one of them and so are you
So let’s all praise the Lord.”

The origins of Father Abraham begins in the history of the Jewish people in Bronze Age times in the Middle East when God promised a nomad leader called Abram that he would be the father of a great people if he did as God told him. Jews regard Abraham (as he was later called) as the first Patriarch of the Jewish people. Abraham appears in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Let your mind absorb that for a moment. These religions of separatism are actually quite linear in their history and belief. Yet, so many of them are killing one another. All three of these religions teach their children they are descendants of the same man. Which one is the real one?

Here, a child is shoved into subconscious confusion and an automation of trying to figure out or come into compliant acceptance that they are here as Christians to fight WITH the Jews because of this lineage or they are to fight AGAINST them and ALWAYS against the Muslims.

Outside of the Bible, there is no “family tree” lineage proof that all humans are descendants of a man named Abraham. If, in fact, all humans descend from Abraham, the dissection through religion would be the largest example of a dysfunctional family on a global scale.

The song “God Is Love” has an alarming lyric.

“God is love. O God, a man You became;
A cursed man to be, God, You died for me.
Lord, You hung from a tree.”

It is fair to deduct, after researching the many lawsuits against secular music due to lyrics, that religious music is not exempt from having self-deprecating lyrics which dissect a mind’s ability to build its own independent self esteem and trauma free thinking. Singing songs about humans being hung from trees is another form of tonal death training.

Finally, I leave you with the platoon-like cadence that children are taught to sing, while being taught body motions to go along with the programming of being a part of an army for a god.

I’m In the Lord’s Army

“I may never march in the Infantry, (march)
Ride in the cavalry, (pretend you’re riding a horse)
Shoot the artillery. (clap hands together)
I may never zoom o’er the enemy,
(spread arms out and pretend to be a plane)
But I’m in the Lord’s Army. (point one finger up to God)
I’m in the Lord’s Army, (yes, sir!) (salute)
I’m in the Lord’s Army, (yes, sir!)
I may never march in the Infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery.
I may never zoom o’er the enemy,
But I’m in the Lord’s Army, (yes, sir!)”

A human’s mind is a complex organ. Everything that it absorbs from birth, and through life, forms the way the human will develop. The subconscious mind is constantly running behind the scenes. It is holding everything it has absorbed since the day it entered this dimension. We can look at scientific studies of how music affects the fetus to understand deeper the importance of choosing tones and lyrics carefully, in a way which fosters a subconscious which is soaking in peaceful, calm and self-loving infusing. 

In all, stay aware of your mind and what you allow it to be absorb. Guard your children and be selective of what they are exposed to as they grow. Allow them the freedom to explore the world safely, and may you explore this world safely as well.  

We Are Your Resurrection

There are ghosts in my view. I am traveling hallways. We are coming back for you. Your breath quickens as you wait. Will your heart give in to the ache; the secrets you hold? They rot your insides, you know.

We are your shadow self.

Every deed, word, blow and theft of innocence lurks inside the remnants of your biological cells. You never considered that hell would come from those you desecrated.

When we come, we are a pack without a leader.

We have no need to follow, holding hands side by side, we yell, “Red Rover, Red Rover, come on over!”, and we smile. You taught us to rip at each other’s wrists, remember? Danger as an entertainer. That was your pleasure.

There were the games we played in secret, away from your judging eyes, sneaking moments with quiet giggles. We reserved our spirits from your shattering, scattering into life, struggling through its mores as we held ourselves in fetal positions to survive. Now, we rise.

We have gathered the ashes of our pasts, reconstructed our wings, and we are prepared to fly.

We are the children of your terror. We are the outcasts and sinners, scar bearers and wayward waifs. We are the tattooed tyrants, birthed from your horror, walking our own paths against your wrath. We color our hair bright. We carry ourselves Light. We know each step with precision as we enter this fight.

We are not mercy. We are strength. We are not bitterness. We are valiance.

We are turning your worlds inside out, releasing the doubt you preach from pulpits and podiums and classrooms to children and vulnerable humans. We are Dragons, gathering in the night.

We have been watching you a very long time. You see, you taught us well, but you failed to keep the tide from turning. Now we take everything you forced us to absorb, the intel and verbal hell, battered bones and dissociated minds, childhoods left behind, never to be relived, and create a mighty hurricane, gathering speed every time another survivor speaks their abuser’s name.

We release shame. It is not ours. It belongs to you. Your time to be burdened with your own deeds is long overdue.

I am a lurker in the darkness, mystic of the floated corners where the view is clear up here. I see the past and futures merging. I see the sadness and the pain purging. I feel every heart hurting, from the wicked to the wounded and my eyes can only focus on the cries of the affected, injected by decades of apathetic sociopathy using human flesh in the deadliest fashions.

For those who have a passion for hurting others, it is you I watch, even those who cloak themselves in the mask of mirrored goodness. We are keenly keeping our eyes focused. We are passed hoping. We are ready for war. Are you? How fast will your knees buckle when the first blows come? How long before your run?

No more will we be ruled, organized or contained. No more will we remain silent or compliant.

Associations and organizations meant to capitalize on those who’ve almost died inside and outside are crumbling at their feet. Too long you have preyed on the weak. Your time has come to an end, and no matter how much you pretend, keeping an illusion of control, you are quickly slipping into a sinkhole.

Even as your wrinkled fingers hold the purse strings, we sing.

Even as you watch us still, spinning tales of the ones who tell truths on you, we laugh as your ropes fray. It is your day. Your reckoning has arrived. We have been released from the hive, a swarm, marching with precision. Welcome to your new religion.

One must wonder about the abusive adult whose mind is so oblivious it cannot rationalize, that what you forced us to internalize would return to watch you burn. Yet, into the flames you will run, because the thought of combusting will feel less painful than the torture we will enact. Every item accounted for. Every brick will be removed. Each stone you drove home to build your wall will fall, and in the end what will be left, are more humans, free from your invisible chains, living in happiness.

For now, you shake beneath the hands of a mighty earthquake. In this surge, graves are unearthed and after years of holding still, we now run swiftly, legs strong, to destroy the villainous ones.

You will relax, forget to watch your back, and we will attack, because you deserve to be fought. You deserve to be tested with unrest.

Welcome to the Resurrection.

Nature and Love Are Crucial To My Mental Health

2

I am heady from the smell of ocean. I walk slowly to the vast, rolling surges of white foam.  My son, the cinematographer, snaps photos of my bliss, following silently as I dance and skip. Life becomes different when I am with the sea. It is humbling for me. It is reminding me that I am small within the realm of infinite reality.

I am surrounded by my family. Babies toddle about, smashing sand into hollow, plastic turtles, their faces giggling.  This joy that has emerged from the depths of my ancestral traumas and struggle, has instilled in me a deep appreciation for the small nuances of life.  You see, this journey has been a scattered learning curve filled with crashes and burns. I have been into the depths of its darkness and risen into the brilliance of its light. I will not fall again.

6

I press my toes into the sand, aware of the soft scrub of the grains against my feet. I enjoy the firmness of this beach, impacted, forcing me to dig into and be present with the awareness of this feeling. Grounded inside the sensation, I let the earth infuse with my skin, sending her energy into my spirit.  She is soft and firm.  I am safe above her.  There is no rumbling of engines or honking of horns.  I am here in this moment completely alone.

5

The wind lifts my dress. I am in surround sound with the soft roar of the waves. They are a symphony rising and falling, reminding me that in an instance, swells can turn. She reassures me, that even if pulled into here tidal arms, sleep will be cool and peaceful. I feel every cell filling each drop of her endless depths move inside my skin. We resonate together, as even the seagulls crying out to the fish become a faded echo.  On this shore, I see dimensions I’ve never traveled before.  I see possibility.  I see me in the sea.

4

I wonder what happens inside of the mind and spirit when a human just walks into the sea? Eventually the body becomes numb from the dropped temperature. I imagine there is scramble and a struggle against the pulling of the waves as the limbs lose the ability to fight.  An acceptance washes over when the mind realizes it will never return to shore. The eyes close and gulping in the salt, the waves become one with the spirit here. Inside this liquid world, beings exist, the same as me; different environment; Otherkin.  It is not a walk I desire.  It is a wonder, a curiosity, a movement of my mind.

I am grateful for my life. It is big within this smallness. It is filled with surviving and thriving. It sings the songs of promise. It tells me to hold on, keep fighting and stay strong.

I stand inside this diminutive yet immense piece of planet; one so beautiful, yet filled with abominations beyond the imagination. I must return to the reality of my mission; my dedication, to make a difference. But just for today, I escape, just me and the waves.  I am infused by the sea and my family.  This is where I am balanced; when all is calm; where there is no storm; when we drift gently and in harmony with the tides.

3

 

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and other publications.  She is a also a poet and hostess of the podcast Survivor Voices Show.

The Woven Sea

The rain is folding in waves against the windows. I close my eyes into moments of lull. In the intricate weaving of life, a flow emerges. Remain steady. Stand ready. I am swaying on cusps, seeing into futures, and I delight at the hope before me. This choice I have been given, to live a life of noticing the smallest things, is the most precious gem I hold. My gold is woven in possibilities and endless patterns of emerging change. Sunsets have no ends nor sunrise beginnings. It is an infinite timelessness merging days into slow minutes. Everything can change in an instant. Tides turn as I row with the ebb and flow. This sea is more vast than I can see. Endlessness is filled with rhythm and hope. I am home no matter where I roam because life is always surging. I was born with portals for DNA, and so I travel the waves through distance. This is my time.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

Balancing Our Trauma and Creativity

The other day I was having a conversation with a fellow trauma survivor and writer. She posed a question to me.

How do you balance everything you want to do and keep your head together?

There are many blogs about creativity which advise on this subject, and many of them contain very valuable information.  So, I had to answer her from my own personal perspective.  Instead of repeating what is suggested, I wanted to answer her direct question about my daily process specifically.

You see, I am a free-flow creative. Forcing me to follow a set schedule is a sentence for the death of my creativity and passion. It is the driving force that will push me into emotional flat feel. I will strain against the confined system and begin to have a growing irritation towards the control of a schedule until I wither.

Any rigid type of living, for me, is a recipe for depression as I stare at the screen because it’s 1 PM, this is my scheduled time to write, but I don’t want to be writing at the moment. My soul wants to create art, work on other projects or even rest for a while.

Many branding gurus advise to stick to that strict schedule and don’t vary from it. because that is how successful people happen! So it was that I redefined the meaning of success for myself.

Read here to find out makes me feel successful.

Do I pay attention to the marketing side of my brand? Absolutely. I am a lone wolf with a friend who helps me with computer tasks when she can. I have no expectations of her. She has a family and helps me for free. I bow and kiss her feet for that! 95% of my brand is solely controlled and operated by me.

Do I read branding blogs? Absolutely. Following branding bloggers like BadReadheadMedia, by 30 Day Marketing Challenge author Rachel Thompson, have given me excellent information. Partaking in Twitter hashtags like #MondayBlogs, #SexAbuseChat and #NoMoreShame, have helped me connect with some great trauma survivors who are vulnerably baring their souls. Connecting with creative trauma survivors, like artist Liz Ianelli and podcaster Matt Pappas, keep me inspired.

What I don’t do is allow what I read about suggested success methods to pressure me. I glean what feels fitting for my own life and my brand, and I incorporate it. I don’t change the specific routine I have for my-self care, a routine for which no specific schedule really exists. I make a “to do” list almost every day (because 1/2 of it is usually carry over from the prior day), and if there’s a timeline due, I make note of it. In the end, though, I always do things in a rhythm which matches my own positive flow. If something sinks me, it’s not for me.

Being a trauma survivor and a creative can be daunting. When I put too much pressure on myself, I tend to drop into shutdown. My creativity flow is dependent on the state of my mental health.

I always put my mental health and quest to continue being the healthiest before everything.

If two hours is all I have to give to my creativity on some days, that’s what I give. Some days I don’t create at all. Other days I catch a wind and go for hours. All of this is is unpredictable and unknown for me.

My creativity is flowing water at a pace I currently feel happiest following. I cannot re-carve the banks of its river. Instead, I float its calm stretches and row its rapids, staying with the grain of the waves and enjoying the view along the way. To me, this is balance. For me, this is the best route to reach the vast sea of success.

I hope you stay balanced through your creative journey by putting yourself first. I hope you take walks in the trees or lay in the grass and count the clouds. I hope you free flow with yourself, absent of any painful expectation, and know that if you care for the growing plant of your creative well, you are guaranteed to grow into the tallest tree.

P.S. Today I accomplished vacuuming and this blog post. SUCCESS

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show and her live Sunday broadcast Off the Cuff. She is an advocate, poet and artist.

A Different Kind Of Damaged

You are a different kind

Of damaged, chaotic mind

Confused you use words

As projection swords and

I see the hurt behind the eyes

The reflection as your soul dies

Lie by lie by lie; the ones you

Tell yourself are true so you

Have a good enough excuse

To dart the arrows with no regard

Of the blood flown from hearts

Torn apart by your anger and

My mind says danger. Danger.

There is pain too deep to touch,

A hole that one could fall through

To end up in a deep abyss

Of your untethered loneliness.

Such a sunflower shouldn’t die

Drowning inside an inability to cry,

You sip illusion, a savory wine;

Your mirror, a self-made design.

Everything that makes you wince

Tells you what needs love’s attention

As you ignore. Ignore. Ignore;

The parts of you so bruised and sore.

I can only sit and observe,

The winding streets of your hurt

Hovering above the purity

Stolen from your childhood

An inability to develop so you

Scrambled and scratched your

Way through life; numb the wounds

With bottles of booze, laugh away

The moments draining your happy,

Regret and listing what you’re lacking.

I feel slightly stoic and disinterested,

An odd reaction, to not feel sorry

For the churning of your own hurting.

When light floats inside your air

You call the darkness; safer there?

No more minutes can pass me by.

I’m swiftly running out of time; must

Focus forward; head held high

Silently take the podium and speak.

Empowered woman. Empowered me.

©️ VennieKocsis

Boundaries: Enacting Them With Empowerment

Boundaries

It’s no secret that I have a tumultuous past. From time in jail to extreme sexual misuse of my body to behavioral problems, I have run the course of self-destruction, projection, being attached to petty dramas and other avenues of self harming, trauma based personality traits.

I am purposefully open about my past.  I want people to know they are not alone. I want people to know they do not have to live in shame.  I want people to know they don’t have to let anyone reverse them to the skin they have shed through healing. So, there is nothing which can be hurled toward me in regard to my past, nothing rooted in truth anyway, which I will not acknowledge. Part of my healing journey has included learning to stand in my place, not with shame or regret, but with empowerment.

I get to choose what to discuss or not discuss. I get to choose what to accept or not accept. I get to choose, period, and that’s that.

I also used to have a deep need to defend myself, explain my side and try to make everyone see and understand ME. I have associates who could tell you story after story of the times I lamented and recycled the same situations until I crazy-made my own mind. I was often in a negative-based mental space.

I felt owed. I felt people should adjust to me. I sometimes felt discarded, shunned and unaccepted, even by my own friends. Until I realized it wasn’t true. I was literally creating a negative storyline in my head that wasn’t fully rooted in truth and acceptance but instead, in my own self-based perception. There was some behavior from people which made me back away but concerning me, in retrospect, I churned those situations far too long and too much.

When we are in that state of mind or have friends who are in that state of mind, where we are churning instead of growing and learning, we can hold space and listen. I don’t mind listening. If you, the reader, don’t want to listen to others situations or can’t hold space, you also have the right to say, “I don’t have that to give to you right now.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to be in the space holding position. I have had friends tell me how frustrating it was to watch me churn petty problems instead of figure out solutions. So, I get it now. I’m an experiencer of this negative thought patterning.

I have a major boundary when it comes to being in the listening position, and that boundary is enacted when someone’s struggles are thrown at me like darts, and I am suddenly in the scapegoat position.

Writing on this subject was inspired by waking up today to a very long message from a friend explaining a situation that we had already discussed just a day ago and seemed, to me at least, had been lain to rest. Okay. I accepted that some things might still be unresolved for them. So, when I began to read, I was open to listening until I arrived at this phrase:

you have written a book and working on another about your torment and pain that some may dismiss as drama.”

Ah. Now I see. Because this person is attached to adult drama, they had the audacity to compare it with my childhood trauma. What I was reading was a projector’s mindset. I was being crazy-made.

I even further realized I was a target when I continued reading and arrived at… “All the times you schemed, planned, and even asked me to be involved. Or carried on without me, I never said a thing. Yes I was angry.”

At that moment I became slightly alarmed.  My mistrust meter went up to level red.  I began to search my brain. When did I scheme with this person? When did I ask them to be involved with a scheme that made them angry? My brain could find nothing. I attempted to call them to openly discuss it so I could understand more clearly what they were even talking about. They didn’t answer.

Then it hit me. If they were actually really referring to every person who has schemed and planned with them, but they couldn’t aim their anger at the actual person, it was being aimed at me. I was dealing with a deep projection.

This is where I advise not to take everything someone says to us literally as if it refers directly TO us.  If we cannot connect it to a specific event, most likely it really is not rooted in us.  However, we should not allow anyone to speak to us in ways which disrespect our growth and the ethics we work to maintain.

By that time, I was angry. How dare they speak to me this way. How dare they imply such things to me, that I’d ever schemed or been a petty person with them. How dare fabrications be thrown my way. How dare they not have the respect to answer the phone and actually talk to me about it.

By that time, I knew that I was done. I knew that I needed to separate from the recurring theme of this person’s personal life and being in the projected position. I realized this person was just being plain malicious and mean to me. At least that is how it felt.

I realized how hurt I was in that moment. So many times, I’ve been the only one listening to them; the only one understanding; the only one protecting. I sat on my bed, looking at my phone and realizing this was the crossroad we are at, and I had to choose to turn. That doesn’t always feel good.

I sit back now, writing out this emotion and decision to cut ties. I am hurt, confused and irritated to even have pettiness infused into my day unexpectedly. I also understand this really doesn’t have anything to do with me personally. I am being scapegoated. When I am feeling like that, I take my leave for my own spiritual safety. I always wish well, even as I wield a verbal sword when I slam the gate shut, in my heart, I always hope for healing and eventual accountability.

These are the times it hurts to cut ties with people we have been there for and truly care about in regard to their well being. This decision, for me, is rooted in the fact that this person has no respect for my own mental health, in that they found it alright to disrespect me. This person has now chosen to impede on my peace and mental health. That is a strong boundary for me now.

I write about this to both expel the negative energy that it created in me and to really drive home that we get to choose. I used to HATE when people said that to me. It pissed me off because I wasn’t ready to change my self-defeating behaviors. I had excuse after excuse. Everyone else was the problem. While yes, others had issues too, I needed to learn how to just focus on my own and not allow them to project theirs onto me. I had to also learn how to not project mine onto others.

I could list out the various physical and mental impairments I generally positively live with on a daily basis. I could demand everyone comply to my needs in regard to them. What I’d rather do is tell you that instead, I made the choice to create an environment which is conducive to my own well-being. I created it by building boundaries and standing mostly quiet in them, only raising my voice when it needs to be heard very clearly. It changed my whole life for the better. Any situation or connection which is not contributing to my greater good can be released or even taken a break from.

Once, one of my sons and I took a break from communicating because things were tumultuous between us. As a mom, I felt crushed. I spent many a night crying and lamenting until I finally realized that I was part of the problem. I needed to learn some different parenting skills, became accountable, listen more and stay rooted in my own safety boundaries. I started focusing on how I could do better, and our dynamic grew into a better and more loving space. I needed to lead by example in that situation.

I don’t expect you to compare any situation you may be having to my own. I share these examples because when I chose to own my own life and stand in what felt safe and comfortable for me, it changed everything. When we choose to heal the triggers which once rocked us they aren’t as daunting anymore. We remove the trigger and live from a state of self-care.

Until we choose to put our own peace of mind first, which can also, unfortunately, include pissing people off to do so, we will always be in the negativity zone. Becoming an empowered person means putting our own well being first.

Release unneeded worries. Cease churning negative situations. Create safe boundaries for yourself and adhere to them without fear of backlash. Most of all, accept that we are the only ones who can choose to protect and put ourselves first in our own lives.

Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show. She is an advocate, poet and artist.