Customs, rituals, practices, celebrations, holidays…..they, like our own personal beliefs, have a root. A beginning. When explorers from different countries and cultures became aware of and tried to understand the customs, rituals, practices, and sacred celebrations of people they encountered in their travels, the original meaning behind these events were skewed by the perceptions of the outsiders and passed on to the rest of the world. Language barriers and rigid perspectives caused the travelers to misinterpret what they thought was going on and instantly condemn it. Often, the meanings of these ceremonies were changed to placate the institutional authority of the time, as well as accommodate popular belief systems and opinions of the time. The same thing happens to our own perceptions and perspectives. They are heavily influenced by outside opinions - primarily by those we deem to have authority. Often, to feel as though we are part of something bigger, we alter or change our perspectives to match those of popular and current trends.
All Hallow's Eve started out as a Celtic celebration called Samhain marking the transition between summer and winter, and the time of year when daylight hours are reduced and darkness dominates. At the time, it was believed that the end of October - the dark season - presented a time where spirits could move more easily between their world and ours. The Celts believed that the spirits of dead, seeking retribution, would visit the living, so to avoid being haunted and even tormented by these spirits during the dark months, they invited the spirits to attend the October harvest celebration. Before the night of the feast, villagers would disguise themselves and go door to door to collect food and drink for the celebration. On the night of the celebration, huge bonfires were set ablaze, slaughtered livestock roasted, and the collected prepared fruit and vegetables placed in decorative bowls and set on tables for all to share.
Today, the end of harvest celebrations are split into Thanksgiving and Halloween. Thanksgiving is the celebratory dinner giving thanks for the bounty of the harvest, and the ritual of disguising one's self and going door to door collecting food became a night for children to dress up and going door to door to collect candy. The theme of Halloween still lends itself to the old ideas of scary things that go bump in the night, but the sacred meaning of the ritual has been lost. Our beliefs about the spirit world have changed drastically since then. Communication with the spirit world of old is left to psychics and mediums and dismissed entirely by those who pray to the gods of science. Our understanding of words associated with spiritual things - such as haunting, demons, and the occult has been colored heavily by depictions in television and movies, and debated, debunked, and denounced by spiritual leaders of the various organized religions.
THE DEMONS OF YOUR NIGHTMARES
Our mind's process ensures that we are haunted, not just on Halloween night or during the winter months when the nights are longer, but all year long. Anyone who has been hurt by another is haunted by the memory of the experience, and until that emotional pain is resolved, will continue to be haunted until they release the demon through forgiveness. Depending on the exact conclusions a person's mind's process arrived at, the offender will be a demon with a different name
- The jerk/bitch who lied to me
- The bully who made fun of me
- The bastard who hit me
- The asshole who got me drunk and assaulted me
- The sociopath who…….
- The psychopath who……..
- The rapist, the pedophile, the molester, and any other derogatory name that is assigned to the perpetrator followed by the emotionally painful experience that took place.
The files containing the data (the memory) are referenced every time one watches a news report or reads a social media post that describes a similar event. The perspective is reinforced every time a person engages in a conversation about the experience with someone who has had a similar experience, or through a conversation with a friend who is more than willing to validate the hurt feelings. Every time the mind's process recalls the memory of the jerk/bitch who did whatever they did, that original perception that grew into a rigid perspective collects more and more and more filters. A person is not only constantly and willingly choosing to be haunted by that demon, they are inviting more demons with the same potential to harm into their personal world. Repeated reminders increase the anger, and the protective wall around your heart becomes thicker. The desire to have the hurt feelings recognized and validated takes on a life of its own growing into a full blown quest.
YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CAST OUT YOUR DEMONS
Painful memories are difficult to resolve because in order to achieve resolution, you have to learn to see the event through different eyes, and that requires objectivity and above all - grace. Divine intervention. The need to feel like you a part of something - a group/tribe - is part of our nature, so when you allow yourself to reconnect with God - your Higher Power - you will remember that you already are a part of something much bigger, and that no matter what happens, you will always be a part of this group. You won't have to change how you look or how you dress. You won't have to do anything other than be you. You will never be singled out of this group or abandoned, and you will never be criticized or judged in this group. Above all, you will remember that in this group - in God's group - you matter.
No one else is in your mind - only you, so only you know the pain you feel, but you are also the only one who can choose to end the suffering. Trust me, those resentments you are carrying are most definitely not hurting the person who hurt you. The family member who molested me honestly believed that I, as a 10 year old child, wanted to be molested. There is not an ounce of conscious guilt in that man. I know, because when I ran into him thirty years after the fact, he pretended like nothing happened and that angered me more. Confronting him would have done nothing except make me angrier and more resentful, so instead, I chose to learn how to forgive him and move on.
The day I made that choice was the day my demons became very frightened, and there was a long list of tormentors. Their imaginary life was threatened, and my mind's process didn't want to let go of something it had cherished for decades. My mind's process wanted validation. Justice. A confession from the perpetrators. I had dreamed about making them suffer for years and I knew it wasn't going to be easy to work through all those mind files, but I wanted to be free more than I wanted to carry the resentments.
FAITH FREEDOM AND FORGIVENESS
When you are ready to be free of the memories that haunt you, choose a mind file, one demon, and take it in your hands. The moment you choose to resolve that file - to cast out that demon - you create a crack in the armour surrounding your heart, and that allows the light of God's Grace to get through.
Grab your healing journal and begin writing. Write down all your angry thoughts about that horrible experience and tell that so and so what you really think. Allow your tears to fall freely, for that is how you release the pain. Scream into a pillow. Punch the pillow. If you need to vent more than that - find an object like a punching bag that you can hit and kick. Do what you have to do to release all the anger - without harming anyone including yourself. When you feel drained of all the negative energy associated with that file - rest. Forgiveness is a process and releasing the negative energy stored in your mind file is the first part of that process. It's how you honor yourself. By performing this first step, you are recognizing and validating the experience and that is all the recognition and validation you need because the only person it really matters to - is you.
Choose the next demon and the next until all your demons have been cast out. Each time you release more negative energy, you remove another protective brick from in front of your heart and you will begin to feel a lot lighter. The healing light of God's Grace will eventually find its way into your mind's process, and you will learn how to forgive your tormentors.
Halloween - All Hallow's Eve - marks the end of summer and brings cooler weather when most people spend a lot more time indoors. Use this time to let go of the dead things that are still attached to you. Just like the leaves on the trees fall, allow these memories to become tears that fall out of your eyes. Review the files in your FEAR cabinet. Pick each one up and reassess it at your current level of understanding. If you can't see it objectively, find a counselor you trust and work with them. In time, you will learn to genuinely bless each and every demon, for these demons have given you something very important.
There is no need to be afraid of the darkness that hides in all of us because the light of God's Grace is healing. Welcome the darkness for soon it will be completely replaced with God's Light.