As I write this, I sit in Brazil, working on what might be the closest to my dream job: Producing/hosting a docu-series about the positive impact that performance-based charities have on children in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, through the contributions of Rise Up & Care, a charity that I believe in with all my heart. At the same time I am also focused on “Lillie Claire Love” (LCL); my health, wellness, and coaching center for women, and men, which focuses on the power of looking at all our experiences through a lens of love. LCL shares the tools and continued education that I’m acquiring about self-acceptance and self-love, so that my journey of struggle and strength may potentially help other people.
I feel so grateful be in the amazing position I am in. It fills me up to be of service to others, to be inspired by the generous and empowering souls around me, and to have the capacity to share their stories to encourage others to make a positive difference in the world. I feel I am truly making use of the resources, skills and experience that has been given to me. This feels very powerful and rewarding.
In the very same moment, I am also passing through one of the darkest spaces I have ever felt. It may be because I’m allowing myself to feel my pain, fully and completely. And, it may be that the memory of what happened showed itself more clearly to me the week before I left for Brazil. I have had to sit with, absorb, and feel the impact of this memory, this knowing…
I am a survivor of sexual abuse.
Its presence, or the impact of its presence, has been a silent but urgent director in my life, my experiences, choices, and relationships.
It has unconsciously propelled me into experiences and relationships that were driven by a wide variety of fears around being alone, a fear of abandonment, a need to be desired and to be “saved” by a man. These choices were often in spite of how it affected others whom I care about or even the ‘object’ of my affection/desire since I was objectifying others in the same way that had been done to me. It affected how often I had sex, with whom, for how long I stayed in relationships and how little I have stayed single.
The trauma and abuse I experienced as a child, a teenager and continued to re-create as a 20-something adult, was something only in the last few years that I finally took seriously, and made a strong commitment to heal and transform.
So, you can understand how big this moment is for me: I have never identified as being a sexual abuse victim/survivor before this moment. I believe it is not only important, but my responsibility to stand up, speak up and share my experience of sexual and emotional abuse/trauma, the impact it has had on my life and the teachings that it has allowed me to uncover, for my highest good.
When I look back at my perspective, beliefs, and relationship history I can see that it’s always been this feeling of abandonment, the pain of being left, of being choice-less and powerless over what I experienced that has been at the root of my reactions. If the pain occurred when I was alone, it prompted me to fill that unquenchable need with some newly brewing attraction; or, if I was in a relationship and it was triggered, I could easily become very reactive with anger, panic or sometimes freeze, and completely shut down emotionally to my loved one.
My wound has a very clever way of re-creating the abuse I experienced as a young person, causing even more harm to myself, and sometimes to others, which really was just another way to re-abuse my own Self. My wound thinks, “If I can prove that they will leave me and stop loving me, then I can prove I am not lovable.” In that way, my wound can be assured that it is right to be in continual pain.
My Higher Self, the part of me that is whole and healthy can see another way. It has the perspective from all angles and reminds me that under my anger, anxiety and frozen state, is the heartbreak and the terror my nervous system still carries.
It’s apparent to me that beginning with the moment that I lost my virginity, I was attempting to get love and a safe, nurturing father figure through sex. I grew up in a financially poor household where I witnessed and experienced emotional and physical abandonment, alcohol and cigarette abuse, physical violence, and emotional and sexual abuse.
It was only when I committed to my healing that I was able to look at my history and see it for what it was. That doesn’t mean blame or judgment, but it does mean acknowledging the impact that my environment and the choices the adults in it made were often harmful to the sensitive child that I was.
For me, identifying as a sexual abuse victim/survivor was clouded in shame and confusion. It is easy to blame myself for the teenage/adult situations I experienced because of lack of judgment and self-care. There is an element of wanting to protect some of the people who hurt me. There is a part of me that does not want to say, “This happened to me,” as it feels as if by admitting this, I am surrendering myself powerless. But, in many ways I was.
The times when my power was taken away is exactly what I must bring to the light in order to see it fully release and be transformed into reclaiming my power. The details are not so important, nor who the perpetrators were (unless I know that they are still rampant in society and I have the ability to stop them from hurting another). What is important is how I become aware of its unconscious impact in my life and how I choose to heal and forgive, myself and others.
So, I am in the midst of transitioning into a deeper state of acceptance, forgiveness, strength and light; a shedding of the old, that was once a coat of comfort, in order to survive. As I travel through this “shadow of death”, I am remembering that this is the space I need to go through in order to live in a space where I can shine brighter, because I have gone through the process of being refined.
In this space I can be more of who I am, without the layers of fear and wounding. My connection is strengthened with my grounded, open, Self-loving heart and am less fragile to the winds of life. In this new space I am being born into, I can be more unconditional love for others who have experienced and felt their own depth of suffering and humanity.
With this new awakening from the cocoon comes the pain…the pain that I’ve so skillfully avoided feeling for most of my life, or, that my subconscious has buried as a way to protect me from fully feeling it all before I was ready and able. Things that are this painful sometimes don’t stay visible to the conscious mind.
The memories, guilt, shame, and trauma get buried and the only real sign that they ever existed is an intense absence of energy, a sort of painful emptiness. This energy requires, almost seems to demand, to be filled so that the pain that exists won’t be felt. It feels too intense and like at any moment, I might cease to exist if I fully experience this pain. It’s a life-destroying energy but I have to believe that that energy can also create the healing that my Soul longs for.
I know that the longer this pain stays buried, the more intense it will feel and the more that it will own my life, my choices, and my experiences of those choices. So, I am literally sitting here this week in the tsunami of pain, the feeling that I am completely alone, overwhelming waves of shame and grief, and the most intense longing for contact — any contact. It is here that I sit quietly, with tears streaming down my face and a breaking heart that I viscerally feel my own precious heart — break; a heartbreak, so painful to my young self that I have spent my entire life avoiding that feeling, while unconsciously and repetitively, recreating the experiences.
At the same time that I experience this pain, fear, and longing, there are other things that gently call for my attention. They are the medicines of gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion that I work with, while processing this pain. Some moments are more of a struggle than others to conjure the energy to direct unconditional love toward myself. But when I do direct it to myself, and when I can remember to accept the help from my Higher Self and other Unconditionally Loving Guides, what a breath of fresh gentle air I feel my heart breathe!
I find a sense of gratitude and soft surrendering when I look for the specks of precious opportunities for growth this pain provides me.
It’s really the perfect timing of why the pain is rising now and in the moments that I sit overwhelmed, and feeling intensely alone, I am comforted by the ways in which I choose to experience this in a different way, a way without resistance. I choose to sit in this feeling, and allow it to start to pass through my nervous system.
I have so many tools to use, more self-knowledge, and greater level of personal compassion. It’s almost like the Universe was giving me everything it could before this moment, so it could prepare me to navigate this moment safely back home: Home to my compassionate, breaking-wide open-heart. It’s as if the clever Universe has said, “You have the tools. Use them. Whichever energy you honor, will grow stronger.”
So here I am.
I choose to see myself as a survivor, not a victim.
As I write these words, I feel a sense of peace wash through me like gentle cleansing water. It is not easy to feel your deepest heartbreak. It is not easy to shine a light on the parts of our own psyche that wants to stay hidden, and give it love and empathy. But it’s worth it. It is worth it to go through and rise from beneath the dark waters again to breathe the cool air and to know that you are truly free when you accept yourself so deeply. You accept yourself because you were with your own pain and you did not leave or cover it up again. You grew, became stronger, and learned more about how to love.
It is my hope that, by sharing my personal story there may be some people who derive some benefit from it, even if it is that they simply know that they are not alone in their experience. It’s not easy, but it can get better when we choose our deepest healing and our Highest Self.
Each of us has the means to go inward and observe our own mental and emotional processes. When we do this we can gain perspective about how we are operating with others, what our personal triggers are, how we can take care of ourselves in more calm and compassionate ways and therefore take care of each other in those ways also.
The women before us have set a path to our freedom, and now more than ever around the world, women are gaining equal rights as human beings and there are multiple platforms for us to share our story, our truth and our vision for a more peaceful world. We have a responsibility in our personal lives to stand strong and shine.
Right now, there are still so many women who are experiencing inequality and injustice just for being born a girl. So I believe that it is not only our responsibility, but our privilege to stand up, be seen, be heard, be courageous, be wise, be forgiving, be loving and be an example as a woman who can create beautiful transformation in herself and her world.
August 21 2016
Lillie Claire Love offers coaching on learning to Love the Self, to heal emotional and sexual trauma and to live as the fully courageous, empowered and joyful being one can be, and on many levels, already is.
She stands for her own and others journey into merging their higher selves and human selves, which is learning the qualities of compassion, vulnerability, strength, peacefulness, integrity and healthy expression.
Lillie believes her purpose is to learn compassion and service for her-Self and for others, so that a deeper experience of peace can exist on this planet. Through cultivating an intimate and kind relationship with the Self-first, we can have more understanding and accepting for our humanness and take action to heal the wounds within our psyche. When we cultivate this kind of relationship with our own Souls, we will then be more loving and accepting of other’s humanness and see them through the eyes of love rather than judgment or fear.
Lillie employs many tools into her coaching that are all tools she has and continues to use in her own daily life and healing journey. Some include; Tantra practices, Shamanic breathing techniques, non-violent communication techniques, life coaching, visualization, meditation, chanting, energy work such as EFT, Reiki, Bars, Crystal therapy, body work, somatic healing, sensual healing, Yoga and diet, Inner child healing, higher self guidance, Goddess, Archangel and archetypal guidance and creative writing therapies.
Lillie’s wellness and coaching for sexual, emotional healing and wholeness: