Manifestation: I’ve always had some trouble with the idea of manifestation. Though I know manifestation of things that we want is possible with some effort and in the right state of mind, I also know that we live in a chaotic world and bump up against the free will of others. Surely, we are not manifesting everything in our lives.
One of the most damaging ideas that ran through my head after my rape was the thought that somehow, I had manifested this occurrence. That thought made me feel great hopelessness and despair, and I lost a lot of my connection to a loving, abundant God because of manifestation theories.
A better explanation is that rape is common in the U.S. and other countries and women are widely abused around the world. I’m a woman and live in that world. Even other women, like my roommate at the time when I was raped, are systematically taught to victim blame and dislike other women, especially the ones who shine. Many times as women, we even blame ourselves before looking outward at the problem that needs to be addressed in society.
I’m also not sure that I came into the world with a soul contract to experience rape, but if I did then my purpose surely must be to bring more awareness and healing to this problem. If believing you have a soul contract brings you to a point of greater forgiveness, then that theory might benefit you. What I felt on the other side during my NDE is that pain is simply not important and not what we take with us. Our mission is one of love and remembering our connection to the divine, and what we encounter here is not planned out in full before birth or when coming back after a NDE.
What I am certain of is that what defines our soul is how we react to the situations of our life and the world. When we respond with forgiveness, we create a better life for ourselves.
Possibly if I never left my room at night, never interacted with the world in friendly open ways, married early, stayed behind my husband in supporting roles, never traveled alone, never flirted, never wore form-fitting clothes, never insisted on equal pay, never called men out on sexism, never voiced an opinion different from a man, never earned a wonderful education maybe I wouldn’t have been raped or targeted by a stalker.
But, there is still a chance that I would have been abused by my husband and not have the power or funds to leave him. There is still a chance that a neighbor, acquaintance, stranger, or friend might have raped me in my house as I hid from the world, and what a tragedy that would be to lose out on the whole world because of fear.
Women deserve to walk through this world safely, and we can only do this if rape culture changes.
I treasure my moments of travel around the world and all that I learned about other cultures. On a basic level, I remember reading newspapers from Australia years ago and realizing how nationalistic and myopic our focus is in the U.S. Seeing the U.S. from a foreigner’s perspective is eye-opening.
I don’t tie all the wonderful memories I’ve experienced as a free, curious soul to the trauma I’ve experienced. I see trauma as simply an unfortunate part of living in this world. What are we going to do about it is the bigger question?
I hope that we are going to transform this darkness with our love, forgiveness, and instance on change.