I attended a full moon 2.22 meditation last night, something I get to do every few months and something which I look forward to. These special meditations not only help me clear my chakras, they deepen my personal understanding of my spiritual journey, this work for humanity I've agreed to tackle in this lifetime. Inevitably, this spiritual mentor of mine is able to tap into my shortcomings and weaknesses, so I can overcome the obstacles that lie before me. She's always spot-on with her sage advice, too.
My message last night: my heart, third eye and crown chakras are wide open, and I am grounded in this important work to help bring peace and compassion into our world, but there's always something to learn, isn't there? With all the hard lessons that have come my way these past few months...believe me, I've been tested...I need to heed this advice: "Humility without practice becomes humiliation."But what exactly does that mean? I wondered. Here is a wonderful article by Henry Karlson about the subject of humility and the importance of being humble, "Humility Not Humiliation."
As I move farther on along this path, I am all too aware that I have not gotten here by myself. Many, many angels - teachers and students alike - have played their part in this work I am trying to bring into the world. Many more will appear, of that I am sure. I'm certainly not crazy about being tested by Spirit. Who is, really? It's a horrible feeling of being at the very top of a loop-de-loop rollercoaster. The feeling is frightening, as if to say, "Oh, dear God, Here we go again. Why must I look at this darkness in society and where is it appearing in my own life?"
When we're forced to look at our own broken hearts, sometimes we scream with fear or just bow our heads and cry, feeling hopeless. Of this I am sure: the trials and tribulations that have come my way are here to strengthen me, to test me and to move me way, way beyond my comfort zone and to help me heal my own broken heart. I've had to make some decisions that are not necessarily easy, confronting some pretty dark stuff in my life. It's not without a purpose, though.
As I ask those who have survived lives of sex trafficking or labor exploitation to stand up for themselves and to be strong - body, mind, and spirit - this is something I need to do for my own self, over and over and over again. The challenges will continue to come until I finally, finally - finally - learn this lesson. It comes in the form of painful interactions that take me into the most uncomfortable situations that just make me squirm. I guess I'm not there yet. Oh, dear God. Please help me learn my lessons.
In this healing work, I have begun to understand what it feels like to be trafficked, manipulated, coerced, and treated badly. Through the lessons, I have expanded my own ability to empathize with one who's been seemingly shunned by society and made to feel invisible. It is not fun. With each hurdle I overcome, I develop the humility needed to take on the next layer of the mystery I came here to unravel in this lifetime, this life's work. With each lesson that comes my way, I know all too well that each person on this good earth desires to be treated with dignity and respect, myself included.
We are all connected. We are all One. How can we possibly feel joy in our own lives, when we know that another has suffered for our pleasure? Being mindful of this question, as we go about our business of buying products and participating in activities is key. I seek the Fair Trade or the UTZ Certified label and try, as best I can, to take the higher road, even though that may be the more difficult path. When we do not consider how others are affected by our actions, this will, indeed, lead to humiliation. One example that comes to mind is this: The man - or the teenager - who thinks it's okay to watch porn may also think it's okay to buy girls, get caught, and be humiliated.
Did you know that many of the girls in today's porn videos are there against their will? It's true. Many pretty girls are forced to pose for the camera with fake smiles, or else they get beaten, possibly starved or sent into isolation. The girls are afraid to leave this life of denigration because their trafficker knows how to manipulate them, often threatening to kill a member of their family, for example.
The people who watch porn, in many cases, are the same ones who think nothing of buying young teen girls - or boys - for sex. And so, when people get caught participating in these types of illicit activities, buying 14 or 15-year-old girls at the Super Bowl, for example, they are now going to be humiliated. Just this month, seven girls, age 14 to 17-years-old were rescued from a prostitution ring in he Bay Area. In this article by RT, "During the operation, 12 pimps and 85 prostitution clients were arrested, while a further 129 adults were arrested or “contacted” by the FBI for prostitution.Why? Because there was no thought given to the people who suffered for their pleasure. imagaine the shame a cheating husband might feel if the police called his unsuspecting wife, "Hello? Mrs. Smith? Guess where we found your husband? In a very compromosing situtation." Hopefully, the sheer fear of this threat might make some men think twice about their undercover sexual activity.
"Hello? Mrs. Smith?
Guess where we found your husband?
In a very compromising situtation."
I am imperfect, that is for sure, and within my own life, this issue of watching porn has come up a few times. "Everybody watches it, mom." Really? I've come to learn, sadly, that there's and issue with the sexual harrassment and mistreatment of girls in our Sweet Little Town. Why? Look at how women are treated in our society - like objects. It's pretty blatant in our media and the messages we send: The prettier, the slimmer, the sexier, the better. I know friends - men and women - who love to watch porn together and probably think nothing of it. If these friends knew the actors in the movies were being exploited, would it change the game? I personally hope so.
In the end, though, I can only lay the foundation and hope that those around me will pay attention and choose to say "No!" to this form of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. It's not always an easy platform to take, for we live in a world where sex sells. The violent treatment of women in pornographic videos sells,and it's a booming business. As our collective brains become more and more numb to the violence, pain, and shame these women face in their "acting careers", the producers just up the ante and increase the "Wow factor". It's an addictive drug, this pornography thing. Here's a book on the subject, Violence Against Women in Pornography by Walter S. DeKeseredy and Marilyn Corsianos:
And so, what will you choose? To walk with humility or to be humiliated? My hope is that you choose the higher road. It may well be "the road less traveled", but it's where humanity needs to head if we are ever going to achieve world peace and respect for one another. In the end, we must not humiliate another as a means of getting ahead in this life. Rather, it is with humility and respect for others than we can gather together and move forward, raise the collective consciousness, conquer fears, break old paradigms and come up with peaceful resolutions to the problems that exist in this world.
If you or someone you know has an addiction to porn, there are places you can turn to:
Oxbow Academy For Boys is a specialized Residential Treatment Center specifically designed to help teens and their families cope with issues related to sexual abuse, sexual addiction, pornography addiction or other compulsive behaviors. Oxbow is one of only a handful of programs in the country specifically designed to offer this type of treatment for boys facing these issues.
Exercise humility: Refuse to Click. Learn how the 100 billion dollar porn industry fuels the human trafficking industry. REfuse to Click. Take the Pledge.
Dorina Leslie is the founder of Shine the Light Project, a grassroots movement to prevent things like human trafficking, labor exploitation, and suicide through the arts, education, and awarenss. She welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with artists, musicians, authors, and activists who are passionate about creating a better world in which all people are living free of exploitation. Please feel free to contact her and join in the movement.