by Nandi Hetenyi
Gaslighting is a tactic used to deny the reality and experience of another. It is abusive. It is manipulative. It is a tool of the patriarchy. Narcissists use it. We can all agree how horrible it is that they use it.
It is also a tool of whiteness and class. It’s not just “out there,” it is something we, have internalized. We use it on each other.
Spiritual people use it all the time.
When someone says something to you about something you did or a painful experience they are having and you reflect back to them that it’s a story, that it’s negative energy coming from inside of them, that they are creating their reality, or whatever else it is, even if it is in the name of “spirituality,” it is still gaslighting.
People do this to each other all the fucking time.
It denies the reality of trauma.
Spirituality was never meant to be commodified into another form of consumerism and branding. Vibration and enlightenment have become equated with privilege and middle/upper class and abundance and all the things. When, in reality these things have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
Deep personal work doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with capitalism.
We feed into the patriarchy.
Women judge other women for their level of abundance or vibration, feeling like good spiritual white women when in fact we are judging class and access and trauma and assuming someone hasn’t put in their work.
We do not all have access to the same things and this isn’t and never has been what moving and being and feeling and living and praying and crying and undulating with the Goddess is about.
We cannot let patriarchy hand us the masks of the Goddess and move around, basically supporting the patriarchy and truly afraid of doing the real work ourselves, the real shadow work that pulls back layers and layers of shame, the sight of the pain we have inflicted on other women of all classes and races because of fear and judgment.
We have to dig deeper than this. We have to make our work accessible to people who need help rather than seeing our money as a reflection of our intrinsic worth and judging others based on money.
It’s classist. It’s racist. And, this is not what the Goddess or spirituality is about.
We are the Goddess. We are innately good by nature.
We long to be good. We long to feel free.
We are not free if we are judging, controlling, gaslighting and using the spirituality as a weapon and a commodity that excludes others.
And, we MUST find safe places to talk about shame, to talk about these things, to talk about what makes us uncomfortable when other women, women of color, speak up.
When women in trauma speak. When women with less wealth speak.
What is it that it triggers in us?
What comes up inside of us when someone offers an uncomfortable reflection?
Why are we so ready to lop it back with a spiritual defense?
Why are we so afraid of ourselves?
Patriarchy. Whiteness. Control. Power. That is why.
This functions with the background noise of shame. As long as we feel shame, as long as we are afraid of truly going there, then the system stays alive. There has to be this destruction.
It’s like getting sober. Suddenly, the fog lifts and you see what was there. You cannot unsee it.
It forever changes you. You go through denial and defensiveness. It’s uncomfortable.
You feel the shame. It sucks. You grieve. You make amends. Lots of amends.
You learn how to really get down on your knees and pray.
You learn the true meaning of love and support. You keep at it. You stay humble.
No matter how much you have. No matter who you are. No matter what you have manifested. No matter what you judge the state of another’s consciousness or vibration to be.
Humble. Stay humble. Make amends.
Let’s get spiritually and emotionally sober.
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About the Author:
Dr. Nandi Hetenyi is a shamanic healer, grief midwife, writer, teacher and soul whisperer. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from CIIS in addition to spending over 15 years studying and practicing Buddhism, yoga, meditation, shamanic journey, ritual, energy healing and personal growth. She envisions a world where we feel comfortable in our own skins and are happy about being a human. You can follow Dr. Hetenyi on Instagram and find out more about her work on her website, www.sacredalchemyhealing.com.
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