Letting Go of Spiritual Misinformation and Victim-Blaming

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

These are my thoughts on why it's so important to let go of spiritual misinformation and victim-blaming, since we live in a power-based culture where many New Age ideas don't always apply.

As I've learned more about the nature of victim-blaming, I have found that it's most common in power based cultures. In a power based culture, like the culture of the USA for instance, the general idea is that "might makes right". (And anyone who has dealt with the atrocities of our history, including the slavery of African-Americans, the terrible mistreatment of Native Americans, and so on, will know that this is true.)

Because the USA is such a power based culture, many people absorb this idea that the victim is actually at fault for the attacks and abuse of the aggressor, as bizarre as that sounds. The victims are actually blamed for the abuser's actions!

This attitude helps other people who are looking on to feel complacent and believe that not much needs to change in society. It also helps them keep their worldview that the world is a just place, that good things happen to good people, and that bad things happen to bad people. When a bad thing happens to a good person - like someone who is in an abusive situation through no fault of her own - it's easier for people to blame the victim than to approach the matter with empathy. By blaming the victim, people can feel more control and reassure themselves, "That bad thing won't happen to me because I'm smarter, braver, stronger, etc."

Unfortunately, this habit that we have of victim-blaming people in our society means that we don't actually show the empathy that survivors of abuse desperately need. Instead, we make things worse for victims of abuse, who are already often full of self-blame, and we make them responsible for the bad actions of others (the abusers).

In reality, of course, you are never responsible for the abuse that someone else perpetrates on you. This is the truth.

But people often try to rationalize their victim-blaming. For instance, they'll say that the victim could have left sooner or could have avoided the abusive situation. But what about children who are born into an abusive family? They can't just get up and leave, because they depend on their parents to survive.

What's more, even adults often have a hard time leaving an abusive relationship, particularly if it's a family or romantic situation. This can be especially difficult if you are a woman, as any woman who has dealt with domestic violence will understand.

Victim-blaming ignores several key realities about abusive relationships:

  • First and foremost, the means to leave the relationship is often blocked by the abuser himself. The abuser may monitor phone calls, spy on his victim, intimidate the victim, take away the financial resources, and so on, making it extremely difficult for the abused person to leave or get any help.
  • Second, people who victim-blame often make the victim feel bad about her confusion, her low self-esteem, her indecision, and so on, by saying these are her personal flaws. In reality, these are actually side effects of abuse. These side effects are not the abused person's fault in any way. If we have empathy, we can see these are actually normal reactions to the abuse going on.
  • Third, it often takes time for abused people to even realize they're being abused. This is especially common with people who have grown up in abusive families. Since they don't know anything different, they often don't realize they grew up with abuse until they're full-grown adults. We can't blame them for not realizing sooner, when they were too young to even understand everything going on.

 

Unfortunately, we live in a culture where we have serious problems with all kinds of abuse, from racism to sexual assault , but our tendency to blame the victim means that many of us aren't finding solutions to solve the problems. It's easier - but certainly not right - to blame the rape victim for wearing a fancy dress than it is to say, "We have a problem with sexual assault in our country, and we need to come up with solutions to stop it."

In order to truly help make a change, people have to let go of this victim-blaming habit, even if it's uncomfortable for them. Once we recognize the reality that people who have suffered with abuse are not at fault for that, we can do way better, give more empathy to abuse survivors, and help find better solutions.

 

Spiritual Misinformation Can Be Used to Support Victim-Blaming

Unfortunately, I've seen many spiritual teachings that can actually be used to encourage victim-blaming. This is the opposite of growing into a more conscious, spiritually aware being. When we grow more conscious of our spirituality and our experience as spiritual beings, we often have more empathy for the human condition, not less. We won't default to victim-blaming as much; instead, we'll try to have compassion and understand the challenges that abuse survivors have to face. Being spiritual doesn't mean a thing if you can't hold space in your heart for others, for their humanity, their mistakes, and their challenges.

It's true, from what I've learned through the evidence of many near-death experiences, that our souls do choose to experience certain challenges, including abuse, before we incarnate into a human body. The purpose of choosing to experience these challenges is so that we can grow as spiritual beings, and learn from the hardships we endure. The challenges are not a punishment, but rather a learning experience.

But not everything in our lives is pre-chosen. We also can't tell someone what he chose before incarnating on the earth, because we don't really know what his individual soul plan is. Only God, the person himself, and maybe a past life regressionist, can know what his soul planned before his incarnation.

This also means that it's wrong to blame survivors of abuse for the abuse that they endured. Regardless of whether they spiritually chose the abuse or not, it's still wrong to blame them and tear them down for the harmful actions of others.

But there are teachings in many New Age groups which actually veer into victim-blaming. People will say to a struggling survivor of abuse, "You're not attracting enough positivity; your vibration is too low!" Or they'll say, "You chose this before you are born, so you need to deal with it! You attracted the abuse to you, because you weren't in a high enough vibration, so you need to deal with that, too..."

None of these statements are helpful in any way. They only shift the blame of the abuse onto the victim, when it's really the perpetrator of the abuse who should be responsible for his harmful actions.

There is one very popular teacher on narcissistic abuse, who I no longer follow, who says many statements like this. She claims that only co-dependent people attract narcissists, and that they are the ones who need to take responsibility for how they "attract narcissists to them". Of course, as any real trauma scientist or therapist will tell you, this is not true. Co-dependent people may be more vulnerable to narcissistic people, but they are certainly not the only ones who attract them. Even if you are co-dependent, you are still not responsible for the narcissist's abuse towards you.

The fact is that even if our souls have chosen to experience abuse to evolve and grow, we are spiritual beings in a human body during this earthly lifetime. That means we'll have human emotions, mistakes, hurts, and feelings. We'll still experience abuse as a painful event that happened to us, regardless of whether we chose to experience this before our birth or not. The last thing we need to hear is that we're the ones who are to blame for the abuse we experience.

Authentic spirituality will help us show more compassion and empathy to people, not less. It helps us understand that we need to uplift survivors of abuse instead of victim-blaming them. Authentic spirituality helps us understand that we all make mistakes and we can all suffer hardships, often when we least expect them to happen. By having compassion and empathy for others, we can truly make the world a better place, and truly spiritually grow.

 
As A Black Woman, I Have Ancestral Trauma As Well - Spiritual Experiences and Beliefs Don't Take that Trauma Away

As a black woman, I've dealt with trauma and abuse throughout my life through many different situations, but I also have ancestral trauma as well. Most black people in the USA are descended from the slaves who were captured and brought over here centuries ago. Black people still struggle with centuries of unaddressed trauma that happened to them and their ancestors.

It's very likely that trauma is passed on through the DNA, so the trauma that happened to black people hundreds of years ago still affects them today. Not only was the slavery itself traumatic, the lynching, the persecution from the Ku Klux Klan, and institutionalized racism in the USA gave black people even more trauma. To this day, African-Americans face trauma and violence from police brutality.

One renowned doctor who has studied this, Dr. Dion Metzger, says that black people could still be dealing with PTSD from all the horrific events that their ancestors endured.

“Just because we didn't experience it, us learning about the history or even from family stories, it's the same thing,” she said.

I've found greater understanding, meaning, and purpose through spiritual experiences and spirituality as I've learned to heal from my own trauma. But spiritual beliefs and experiences don't take away the trauma I've endured in my life, or the ancestral trauma that comes from my ancestors. I still deal with that simply because I'm a black woman.

Of course, not all white people have had it easy, either. Many white people have also experienced lots of struggles in their lives. But over all, white people have much more of an advantage in the USA, with more empathy and support for their struggles, than black people and other minorities do. They also don't have to constantly worry about racial violence happening against them.

Many New Age spirituality groups today are often centered in a particular class: mainly middle-class, Caucasian people who already live with privilege due to the way our society in the USA is structured. Unfortunately, some white people who live with privileges in this country (privileges that their darker-skinned brothers and sisters don't have) will use New Age spirituality as a way to avoid responsibilities and the realities of racism. In this way, some white people use spiritual misinformation to shift blame, and avoid the work it takes to make actual changes to help marginalized people.

This can take the form of spiritual bypassing, telling marginalized people that they somehow "attracted" their hardships to them, and ignoring the realities that we live in a system where not everyone is treated equally.

In order to truly grow spiritually, we need to acknowledge reality, and make sure that we bring justice and fair treatment to all people, regardless of their race or skin tone. White people in places of privilege, as author Kerry Connelly has pointed out, need to use their privilege as w ay to bring justice to all people and ensure the safety of all people. Instead, she writes, too often she sees people ignoring reality because they don't want to be "divisive".

Connelly believes that it's important for white people to take action and get out of the comfy cozy zone of white privilege, so they can truly help their black brothers and sisters, and I agree with her. Instead of victim-blaming, Connelly is acknowledging the real traumas, abuses, and disadvantages that black people and other minorities have. She doesn't use spiritual platitudes to close her eyes to the injustice.

Jimi Hendrix was a similar way; he believed in taking action, not just sitting around doing nothing. He saw through some of the distractions in the mass love scene of the 1960's, and he said it was not building understanding. The real problems were not getting solved; many people were just using mass love and promiscuity as a way to spiritually bypass the struggles of others.

"Forget about the mass love scene. That’s not where it is. It’s not building understanding. And I wish I could say this so strongly that they’d sit up in their chairs." - Jimi Hendrix

In a similar way, people can't use "The Law of Attraction" to believe, "Well, black people haven't been attracting enough positivity in their lives, so that's why they're struggling so much!" No, that's not how it works. What's really going on is that African-American people and other minorities are living in a power based culture which is designed to work against them. African-Americans and other people of color have so many battles that most white people will never have to face. What we need the most is empathy and justice, not victim-blaming or blame shifting.

If the Law of Attraction really worked in the way that people say it does, then we should all be having privileges, we should all be manifesting good things in our lives simply by thinking and attracting our way there. It's true that our thoughts and beliefs are powerful, and they do influence how we live life and have our experiences. However, the truth is that a black person (or a person from another minority) can manifest as much as he wants, but he'll still have to get through the barriers of institutionalized racism to get success in the USA. Even Jimi Hendrix had to go through this; it wasn't until he reached London when he was properly recognized for his talent and skill as a musician.

If we really lived in a truly just and fair society, all people, regardless of their race, would have equal opportunities to succeed in life. Yet this is not happening in reality. True freedom and liberty should belong to all people, not just a privileged group, and the USA and many other countries still have a long way to go in bringing that true freedom to black people and other minorities.

Yes, we are all a part of the human race, and we are all one, so race shouldn't matter nearly as much as it does. I myself am friends with white people who genuinely care about these issues. People can also reincarnate as other races, which is even more evidence that what connects all people is their humanity. But if people don't tackle the fact that race does matter here and now, and that white supremacy really does exist, we are not going to be able to truly help the ones who are struggling with racism, unfair disadvantages, and other issues that come from simply having a darker skin tone.

This is why victim-blaming is so pernicious. Through using spirituality to victim-blame black people and other minorities for their struggles, some white people in higher positions of society can continue to ignore the problems instead of making a change to benefit all people.

Fortunately, not everyone chooses to victim-blame. Most people in the USA and the world truly just want to live in peace, and those who truly care about humanity are helping others instead of blaming the victims. I wouldn't condemn the descendants of white people who had ancestors that benefited from slavery and white supremacy, but white people today do need to acknowledge that they have work to do, to make sure our society is truly equal for everyone. We can all move forward, but it takes empathy, authentic spirituality, and action, not just a whole bunch of spiritual platitudes.

As Jimi Hendrix put it:

"When you die, you have to do it all by yourself. Sweet words don't help nobody."

 

Note: Quotes are reproduced for educational purposes, which is permissible under Fair Use. I own no copyrights on them.

 

 


Submitted: April 18, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Autumn Wells Wisdom. All rights reserved.

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uduak

It's true,becouz the white's discriminates the black.i like the way u usually write ur books it's gentle,well presentable infact it's always like God is.. u knw,directing u.ur Story reminds me of "THE GRIEVEND LAND" BY AGOSTRIOHO NETO.

Fri, April 30th, 2021 10:09pm

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Hi, thank you so much! That is a really beautiful compliment. And it is true that there is discrimination, and it isn't right.

Thanks so much, I feel God always watches over all of us. I love to write as well, thanks for becoming a fan! :)

Sat, May 1st, 2021 1:53pm

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