I’m about to reject my spiritual roots.
There’s a core spiritual belief that everything happens for a reason. We’re led to believe that more enlightened people agree with this, whereas idiots who haven’t thought it through think life happens randomly.
Life may or may not be completely random, but one thing everyone can agree on, in the lack of any compelling evidence to the contrary, is that we have free will. Our actions aren’t manipulated by a higher power. So if you rob a bank, you can’t blame God. You chose to rob the bank. And God, with his gift of free will, didn’t stop you.
Likewise, if you’re the victim of something, you also can’t blame God. Did God protect you? No, but He can’t. Free will isn’t only applied when it benefits us. It’s there all the time. Right now, I can do anything I want, whether it be loving or cruel, random or well thought out. (And what I choose to do is fart, but that’s for another blog post.)
And here’s the beauty of not blaming God: it also means not blaming ourselves. I have a lot of anger about how my parents treated me as a child. And on some level, I fear that I signed up for it before I was born; that I knew what my life would be like and agreed to experience it. And those scary thoughts relocate the blame from my parents onto me. I signed up for it! I chose it for higher learning! Therefore, the burden of guilt is on me, not my parents.
If anyone’s wondering why I’m on this, I was stupid enough to join a spiritually oriented FB group. Someone posted about how much more enlightened we all are due to the trauma we’ve experienced, and things got out of hand.
Guy #1: Answer me one question, How enlightened would you be right now if all the traumatic experiences never happened to you? [That was the original post.]
Meg: Quite a bit more so, I daresay!! Trauma has a way of really setting a person back in their enlightenment!!
Guy #1: Meg, funny, that’s where we differ, life has been a different teacher to me than you, but I guess that’s one thing of many that makes us different and many others no doubt.
Guy #2: Meg, trauma is what caused my Spiritual Awakening…. I lost my fiance very suddenly… She came to me afterwards and have her to thank for my Awakening. The things I have experienced since would blow your mind… But that’s me. 😊💙
Meg: The responsibility for trauma is solely on the perpetrator of said trauma, unless that’s not applicable [i.e., natural disasters, illness]. I refuse to feel more enlightened because my parents chose to abuse me. It was their choices, and those choices were bad, and I take no ownership nor personal burden for them. While it is sort of on me to pick up the pieces, it hasn’t enlightened me at all, unless you count my ability to see the dark side that we’re not supposed to see; the reality of human nature and how base it is.
Guy #2: Meg, we all have our roles to play in our current incarnation and challenges to overcome and hopefully master so we don’t have to keep coming back.
Guy #1: Guy #2, only those that are meant to see it shall see it.
Meg: So I deserved it? Maybe I’m glad your fiance died. You deserved it. Now go learn something from this! 😀 And Guy #1, let me come traumatize you right now. We’ll see how much you can learn and grow from it!
Things only went downhill from there.
Today, I got this private message from Guy #2:
I don’t understand why you come into my group and be rude to people? We were truly trying to help you but you got it in your head that we were not… If you’re familiar with Dolores Cannon’s work then you would understand what we are talking about… I suggest you look up Dolores Cannon since you don’t know who she is… She theorizes that we all come to this planet to experience these horrible things that we have to experience in order for us to grow… so you chose all the bad things that we’re going to happen just like I chose all the bad things that we’re going to happen to me… That’s why I said we all had roles to play… But you come in and are hateful to other people for some reason I don’t understand. I’m going to assume this was just a misunderstanding and not report this to Facebook or take any further action.
He offended my intelligence. I’ve been well aware of the concept of our lives being planned out since I was college-aged, maybe even in high school. The whole concept underlies my paranoia and the Evil Spirits, who I lived in fear of for over six years. (The Evil Spirits made us suffer on purpose so we could grow stronger and overcome stuff.) I responded thusly:
Facebook would laugh in your face, and I already left your group. I refuse to blame myself for my parents’ abuse of me.
Nobody said to blame yourself.. You’re misunderstanding… You have a lot of anger on sorry to hear that.. I wish you all the best.
And I said, “Whatever,” and he blocked me. (YES! I got the last word.)
I wasn’t misunderstanding him at all. If I knew before my life that my parents would abuse me, and I still allowed myself to be born into this world, then it was my fault that they abused me. And don’t try arguing logic with the person who missed one lousy question on the logic and analysis portion of the Graduate Record Exam.
Maybe it wasn’t my fault, though. Suppose you know that if you enter a certain room, the person inside the room will throw a rock at you. Sensibility being what it is, you’d avoid entering the room. Right? So then why would anyone choose to be born into a life they knew was going to be hellish in some ways?
This whole New Age mindset that we choose our suffering before birth is offensive to me. Regardless of any knowledge of my life I may have had before I was born, my parents abused me of their own free will. I couldn’t do a thing to prevent it, and nor did I cause it.
Even if God can predict what will happen, like if He knew upfront my parents would use their free will to abuse me, that doesn’t mean that I have some sort of damning karma that led me to deserve it, or that I needed to learn from it (which is stupid, because I’ve learned nothing–I was already the sort of child who believed no one should be treated that way). So, New Age types, what’s the leson? To not be angry? I’m entitled to my anger. It’s like if someone grabs three-hundred dollars from your hand and runs away. Are you going to be like, “Oh, did you need that money more than I did? Go with God!” Right.
And don’t get me started on the spiritual belief that people should release their anger. It’s a psychological response from the human brain. There are ways to lessen anger, I’m sure, in order to be happier, but let’s not say that I’m inferior or inadequate spiritually because I’m angry. That’s offensive. Anger is a natural reaction to being mistreated. And I own the anger! (Well, that probably goes without saying if you read those FB threads above.)
I do believe that we should learn from our experiences. If we go to the pharmacy and the pharmacist is mean, we should learn to avoid him, switch pharmacies, have someone else pick up our prescriptions, etc., etc. But the extrapolation of such learning to trauma situations takes the whole concept way too far. Maybe there’s nothing to be learned from trauma except that we can’t control others’ free will. That’s all it is. If I’m walking down the street and someone decides to shoot me, there’s nothing I can do about it. But does it reflect poorly on me because I have bad karma, or some such idiocy? Absolutely not.
Spirituality is dead.