I was depressed from an early age. As a child, I always wanted to be dead. I know now that it was probably after my clitoridectomy. I was bereft. Life didn’t seem worth living. I went to the kitchen to get a knife to cut out my heart, but I was too small to reach the sharp knives – I didn’t even know where they were kept.
When I went back to my bed that night, I heard a voice say, “What makes you think it would be any different if you were to die?” I had to admit I had no guarantee. But I saw the implication was that I would have to live through those early childhood years again – no way! – and so I have stayed. My teen years and early twenties were no better. But after that, each year my heart has grown more full and rich and happy. I have no external possessions to brag about, but peace of mind and joy are my priceless treasures.
Depression is not irrational. It is a diagnosis that is like that drawer in the kitchen where you put everything you don’t know what to do with. Depression is an accumulation of legitimate, but unreleased fears, angers and sorrows. Our society does not allow grieving and does not offer anything much better than “you are born, life is for suffering, technology advances, and then you die.”. Religion often makes life on earth sound like a prison sentence, a valley of tears, after which – if you are perfect – you get to go to “heaven” and experience something that might or might not be all that much better than what you have known on earth… but there are no guarantees on any level.
What finally brought me out of my depression was the discovery that when I was very very quiet, I could feel my heart.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer… no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” ― Albert Camus
Another way to say that is, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” It is! And it can be known NOW. But only one thing can exist in one place at one time, so as long as we hold on to negative feelings from the past, we do not feel that beauty that already exists in our own hearts.
I came to understand that I had something important to do here on planet earth. Until I released all that old baggage, I might just come back over and over again – no way! And so I began to do my work and began to let go of all that old and ugly stuff.
We are fortunate in this age to have lots of help – from people and healing systems like Jed Diamond, Byron Katie’s “The Work”, Gary Craig’s “EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique”, Hale Dwoskin’s “The Sedona Method”, and many others. It’s all about healing – letting go of fear/anger/sorrow. It’s why we’re here and why “stuff happens” – so that we feel the old stuff and release the past – to “forgive”, which is “for giving ourselves peace of mind, joy and health.” Feelings got stuck when we held our breath in fear. So whatever feelings come up, breathe into them… that’s how we tell ourselves that we’re safe here and now.
See the “Tools” tab, above and release one little thing today, here and now. You will be so glad you did. Then move to another… and let it go…
And remember, dear friends… anything that affects a female who has been cut surely will affect a cut male as well. Trauma is trauma. And the worst part of circumcision is not the physical cut, but the psychological repercussions. Spare the child and he or she will grow up to be far more peaceful, trusting, happy than someone who has been grievously injured unnecessarily due to fashion, superstition or any other adult fear.
By Amy Norton, Reuters
September 24, 2012
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women who underwent genital cutting as young girls may be at increased risk of physical, sexual or emotional abuse from their husband, a study of women in Mali suggests.
The study, of nearly 7,900 women, found that 22 percent of those with genital mutilation said they’d been physically abused by a husband or male partner. That compared with 12 percent of women who’d never been subjected to the procedure.
It’s estimated that more than 130 million women worldwide have undergone genital mutilation, also known as female “circumcision.” The centuries-old practice, which involves removing part or all of a girl’s clitoris and labia, and sometimes narrowing the vaginal opening, remains a common practice in some countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.
It’s well-known that genital cutting has long-term consequences for women – including sexual dysfunction, childbirth complications, incontinence and psychological disorders.
In the new study, researchers looked at whether there’s a link between genital mutilation and a woman’s odds of suffering abuse from her partner.
In Mali, where the vast majority of women have undergone genital mutilation, the government has taken steps to raise awareness of the consequences of the practice. But genital mutilation has not been outlawed.
The difficulty is that genital cutting is widely seen as an important cultural tradition, rather than a form of abuse.
“If something is entrenched in a culture, it is difficult to change,” said Dr. Hamisu Salihu of the University of South Florida in Tampa, the lead researcher on the new study.
On the other hand, physically abusing your wife – though common in Mali and other African countries – does not have that cultural acceptance, Salihu told Reuters Health…
“The sage is never sick because he is sick of being sick.” Tao te Ching
“Haven’t got time for the pain” Carly Simon
“Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit.
Eventually everyone begins to recognise, however dimly,
that there must be a better way.
As this recognition becomes more firmly established,
it becomes a turning point.
This ultimately reawakens spiritual vision,
simultaneously weakening the investment in physical sight.
The alternating investment in the two levels of perception
is usually experienced as conflict,
which can become very acute.
But the outcome is as certain as God.” A Course In Miracles