The Heart and Abuse

2016-03-26_0931I would like to address a comment I received regarding the ending of my last blog. What do we do if we do not have a parent who truly loves us, and in some cases may have inflicted physical or sexual abuse? For healing to take place, we have to somehow find some aspect of love from our parents or at least a reason to love them even though we cannot feel being loved. Remember love is the only emotion powerful enough to overcome deep inner pain. I believe that if we dig down deep enough we will find some aspect of love from our mother even if it was just a weak and painful connection buried beneath neglect and abandonment. With parents who do not love or who inflict severe damage through abuse, this becomes a very difficult but not impossible journey. In this case we have to find a reason to forgive.


The best visualization for this process I believe comes from modern views on reincarnation. Whether you believe in reincarnation or not does not matter. It is the visualization that is important. According to spiritual teachers we are eternal souls who keep coming back to Earth to seek opportunities to grow. Part of that process is the planning session where we plot out our lives so that we can experience certain trials and hurts that do not exist in the eternal world. As part of the plan, we call on souls who are part of our circle of eternal souls that we associate with through various lives. We ask them to take on certain roles so that we can achieve our goals. We count on souls who are mature and close for the difficult roles like abusive fathers and mothers because these roles are very difficult for loving souls to play. These roles are acts of love.


When we enter our present life, all memories of our eternal souls are erased and we have to struggle on through our preplanned trials until we come to a sense of awareness of who we really are, powerful beings filled with beauty and light. During this stage of awareness, we begin to sense the other souls in our life as spiritual beings, not at the physical level, or even conscious level, but as a vibration between our souls. At this point we can forgive and receive the love they have sent us by playing their roles for us. Now, if you have no other reason to love and forgive, I highly recommend this process as a healing of the inner soul, as a healing of the heart.


Of course there is therapy, which I highly recommend. But the therapy cannot just be used to dig into the past; this will accomplish nothing but reinforce the negative neural pathways. It has to somehow connect to love for self and to a reaching out to the abusive parent to reshape the bond so that we can feel some form of love. We will never understand their behavior but we can simply acknowledge it as a painful flaw in their personality, probably as a result of a deep wound they have themselves received physically, psychologically, and neurologically as young children. They may have made really bad choices, but they were probably responding to powerful destructive pathways within their own mind and brain. We have to acknowledge their pain and try to empathize with them, which is the first step to love.


We then forgive and turn to find the love we need within ourselves. We can begin to praise the inner spirit which has survived the abuse, and the courage of our own heart which keeps on caring and searching for love. We have to fill that need for love from our own heart.

Unfortunately, because of the abuse, the heart is wounded and may not be able to do this. This is where the second visualization takes place. It is the higher power that works so well in AA. Whether you believe or not in a god based on traditional religions does not matter; in fact, it may be detrimental as most tend to be male dominated and may be linked to feelings of abuse. You simply have to believe in a power, which spiritual teachers refer to as a universal spirit of life. You have to see the divine design in things and the beauty of life which we can sense when we are quiet and open up our own souls through the powers of awareness and mindfulness. We then join ourselves to this divine presence believing it to be the source of good which we can experience in our pleasure systems, thereby releasing our own opiate, the endorphins. This is the emotional feeling that we refer to as love. We can sense our Self becoming a part of this flow of universal love. We do not have to believe in any god, just open our hearts to sense a presence of peace and beauty.


After we begin to experience this presence we can begin to use the love power within to heal. When the old feelings return and the old images try to occupy our mind we simply take these five steps:


  1. Acknowledge the feeling, and replace it with your memory pathways of universal love.
  2. Acknowledge the abuser, but gently inform the image that it no longer has any power of over you.
  3. Forgive the abuser and thank the abuser for playing the role that has helped set you on the path to becoming a powerful spiritual human being.
  4. Close the door (you can visualize an actual door) to these memories and open the door to universal love. Walk through it and feel the power of universal love.
  5. Give yourself a hug.


We have to love ourselves. I could write books on how to go about this process and of course hundreds have already been written. But it is your own book, your own story that matters. Deep within yourself you have the power to do this, and deep within yourself you have the knowledge. Be patient with yourself. Acknowledge your pain but connect it with the positive from within and without. Seek a friend who really cares and share your feelings, and end each session with a hug. Acknowledge, accept, and embrace the truth: you are no longer a victim; you are a powerful, beautiful human being.


Bisexuality and Contracts with Parents


In the last blog, we looked at gift giving as a heart-based visualization process for changing negative feelings to positive. With the people closest to my heart, gift giving did not work; the pain and sorrow kept coming back over and over again regardless of how many gifts I gave them. My heart was broken. When it came to these relationships, I had to seek another way of healing my ego so that my heart would be free to command and heal the core of my wounded inner soul.
Pain from powerful bonded relationships involve huge neural constructs containing intense emotions and feelings. They form a complex safety net of rules and regulations agreed upon and imposed on each other by our fragile egos. These constructs can become unhealthy thought and behavior patterns. We can become hooked into expectations and roles that we play for each other rather than being true to our inner self. When we allow our egos to control our relationships and our sexual orientation, we create impediments for the heart. Our relationships can become twisted and destructive. This often leads to thought and behavior patterns involving deception, evasiveness, mistrust and disappointment. The ego then becomes desperate in trying to resolve these issues and maintain these relationships that have become part of our wounded identity. We have to burn the contracts that we have made with people we love through our egos, so that we can be free to love each other unconditionally from the heart.
In a healthy person with healthy relationships, the heart is in control and can allow the ones it loves to enter and leave according to its own wants and needs. We do not want to remove our parents, spouses, and children from our inner souls but we do not want them to stay there all the time as part of our identity. We want them to come and go in positive interactions so that both our souls can be enriched by each other’s presence. If we can remove the pain-filled patterns, we can continue to experience them and their precious gifts inside our inner soul, not as part of our identity, but as part of our network of love. We need to be free to live our own lives, to come and go out of each other’s inner room by mutual consent, so that we enrich each other’s lives.
Contracts with parents evolve naturally with the development of family roles and responsibilities. They seem to become a part of our identity and sense of self. Any attempt to alter these contracts will be met with fierce resistance. One of my prime contracts had been with my mother. I had never experienced my mother’s unconditional love. According to the contract I had written, if I was the perfect son she would have to love me. However, she, too, had a badly wounded soul. She was a single-parent mother with nine children and a husband who had abandoned her before I was born. She could not fulfill the expectations of my contract.
During my year in Costa Rica, sitting on my patio on my volcanic mountain, I went over all the aspects of my relationship with her. I wrote up all the benefits that I had enjoyed from our contract and thanked her for each one. I then looked at all the negative aspects, including her twisted view of sex as “the real apple” (poor Eve), and her attempt to push me towards becoming a priest. I tried to see the reasons for each clause, acknowledged that she had done the best she could, then thanked her for trying to do her best for me as she saw fit as a mother.
I then examined the role my mother had played genetically and socially in shaping my bisexual orientation and then thanked her for that gift. In the process, I realized that I had tried to hide my orientation from her and that a large part of my shame was feeling that I had disappointed of even betrayed her. I then forgave myself and acknowledged the heroic struggle I had gone through to be true to her while being true to myself. I then dealt with my role in the contract and realized that I too had done the best I could under the circumstances. After bringing the contract to the conscious level, I realized that I had outgrown it; I no longer needed the security it had provided. I was even able to thank my ego for the contract realizing that it had been necessary for me to survive.Then I burned the written contract in a real fireplace as well as the visualized contract in the fireplace I had created in my inner room. As I watched the last sparks fade out, I felt a quiet peace flood my soul.
But there was still something missing; my heart was still not involved. Now that the contract was gone, I had no platform on which to rebuild my love for my mother. Now that the false self with its false identity was gone, my heart seemed lost and confused. During the summer in Canada after my first year in Costa Rica, I consulted a spiritual therapist. She put me in a state of relaxed consciousness through hypnosis. She took me back to that moment just after my birth when I lay nestled in my mother’s arms. It was not until that moment that I felt just how much my mother had loved me. My mother had died four years ago, before my mental crash. I had not shed a tear. I visited her grave. I sat there until I finally felt that bond that I had never known, but had always existed. And then the tears finally began to flow. I stayed there all afternoon, just receiving my mother’s love and loving her back with powerful sobs of grief mixed with joy. I wept for all the moments we had had and yet did not have.
I let this love for her and from her flow into my inner sanctuary and heal the broken heart of the child within. While I allowed myself to grieve, my heart led me to the truth which had always been there. I suddenly realized that my mother and I had always been connected through the power of love, but our damaged egos had prevented us from immersing ourselves in that love. I realized that our love bond was real, had always been real, and was still real. I now know that my mother and I have always been, and always will be, connected through the power of love. My connection with her is different now, but it is still very much alive. The love between a mother and her son knows no boundaries, not even death.



Bisexuality, the Heart, and Gift Giving

2016-03-26_0931It is very difficult to live a thriving spiritual and emotional bisexual life with a wounded soul.  Yes, we can try to stay in the moment, but our ego-minds keep dragging us back to past wounds and fears. To live a victorious life we have to come to terms with the ego part of our soul. This means trusting the heart and using its love power to heal the bisexual mind.

I searched my soul and began to trust the feelings from my heart. I knew these feeling would lead me to the true path where I could find peace and understanding. But to get to that place, I would have to retrace my steps one more time, but this time with the creative powers of self-love in stead of the destructive powers of self-hate. This meant going back into my core relationships and into the heart of my wounded inner child. It also meant going right back to my biological make-up, my sense of identity, and my bisexual orientation, and reconnecting these thoughts and feelings through unconditional positive regard for my Self..


During my two years in Costa Rica, surrounded by peace and beauty, I stopped hating myself and began the healing process which immediately focused on my past relationships. I came across this image of gift giving. I did not want to destroy the thoughts, images, and feelings connected to the people I had loved; I just wanted the pain part to go away. I still wanted to give them the gift of my love and receive the gift of their love. I needed to separate the good parts from the bad; I had to destroy the connections to pain.


One of the most powerful tools of healing is imagery. Imagery bypasses the thought processing part of the brain and gets us directly in touch with our feelings. One of the best strategies of imagery that I have found is gift giving. Most of our struggles are related to past and present relationships.  I believe we can best rewire negative social patterns to positive ones by accepting the contributions people have made to life as it is and by thanking them for their gifts and by giving them gifts in return.

In my opinion, there seems to be two sides to each relationship, the negative and the positive. I feel we have to recognize that both are gifts, even the negative. When we allow our feelings of love to mingle with the emotions of rejection and abandonment, we can reroute the fears and hurts of the ego into the positive feelings of acceptance and gratitude from the heart. We simply acknowledge the people involved and thank them for the good gifts they have brought into our lives. Then we examine the negative influences they still have on us, wrap them up into a second gift, and place it on an altar we have prepared just outside the spiritual room we can visualize and create in our soul. We then call on the fire of passion from the heart to burn it up and blow it away. We can visualize the negative vapors dispersing into the gentle summer wind that blows continuously in the spiritual garden just outside the inner room. We need to visualize the burning of negative constructs as an act of kindness, a gift to the people involved, because it frees their souls from the negative bonds we have created.

As we do this a miracle takes place. We begin to become conscious of the fact that we had done our best under the circumstances.  We begin to see patterns of behavior that we had established to survive.  Then we begin to understand that these patterns involved others who may have unintentionally wounded us, especially during the early childhood developmental years when we were innocent and vulnerable. We become more understanding, patient, and even loving with our Self.  We give ourselves credit for having done a remarkable job just to survive.

After giving gifts to some people with whom I had had more intense, intimate relationships, I could almost sense a release of their pain and confusion. I realized that I too had given them gifts, some good gifts from my heart and some bad gifts from my wounded ego. As my ex-wife said to me ten years later, the break-up and dealing with the truths of my secrecy and deception had made her a stronger person.  At that moment, I stopped feeling guilt and shame.  I realized that we were just two souls trying to thrive and grow and that for thirty-three years we had helped each other become powerful human beings. I also realized that our parting, painful as it was, was also a necessary part in that path to self-awareness and Self -actualization, which for me meant accepting and cherishing the gay part of my bisexual orientation. We are now friends once again and we have  rededicated ourselves to working together to make the lives of our adult children and our grandchildren just a little bit easier and a little bit better.


Bisexuality, the Heart, and Transgression

2016-03-26_0931There is a dilemma, in fact, almost a paradigm shift, in sexuality that needs to be addressed, especially in how it affects bisexual men and women. In years gone by relationship would lead to sex; in today’s generation, sex seems to lead to relationship.  In days gone by, we seem to have been guided by thoughts of transgression which prevented us from engaging in sex in a care-free manner in spite of the powerful desires of our bodies. Today, many of us engage in sexual acts without any feelings of transgression. Is this healthy?   This is a question that no one wants to ask today in fear of somehow offending the rights and freedoms of the modern generation.  Perhaps it is, but it does need to be viewed on a conscious level.  We must not throw out the baby (used to be literally) with the bath water.

Today’s women particularly seem to be exploring bisexuality as a natural flow of their sexuality.  As we have seen in a previous blog, close to 50% have experienced some form or bisexual desire and behavior.    According to the same set of studies, 95% of men tend to believe and act upon the belief that one should be either gay or heterosexual and most of them choose to be heterosexual. There is little room for accepting bisexuality. This brings us into the field of transgression.  Fifty percent of women and over ninety percent of men choose not to be involved in bisexual exploration, many of whom believe bisexuality to be a transgression which is a polite word for perversion. For us bisexuals, what others believe should not be important unless, of course, we are living a secretive life and have to deal with these people on a daily basis. The real question is what do “we” believe, and if this belief system needs to change in order for us to thrive mentally and spiritually.

Let’s look at transgression from a body, mind and soul perspective.  The body hormone system, once turned on by the brain,seeks sexual gratification and pleasure according to its sexual orientation, which for most of us bisexual men and women is same sex copulation or other sexual gratifications. There is no judgment here, therefore, no transgression. However, the mind or ego operates according to rules and regulations, and therefore is influenced by its environment and sets of moral and physical experiences. It produces thoughts which can be the source of  transgression. On the other hand the heart or soul seeks love in all its forms.  It is the heart that must choose between the desires of the body and pleasure seeking center of the brain, and the moral concerns of the ego. This is where the concept of transgression becomes just a feeling, and needs to be clarified before we can thrive as bisexual men and women.

Bisexual women tend to look for connection with other women and seek skin on skin with some degree of emotional involvement.  As long as they can detach from or train their egos to accept this behavior as  normal and satisfying, they can enjoy the eroticism on this level.  There is a danger here in that the act can become satisfying for its own sake and does not lead to the deeper emotional connection of love and compassion for their sexual partner.  They may shut down their feelings of transgression from the heart.  Over time, these feelings can become magnified and lead to disillusionment and possible dissatisfaction with life. This may be the cause of an extremely high number of suicides and suicide attempts among bisexual women.

Bisexual men on the other hand can detach the sexual act from any sense of connection, to the self or to others.  We can seek glory holes in Adult Stores (common in the USA), or bath houses, or paths in the dark in wooded parks, where we are not even aware of the person’s face.  In my opinion, this is very destructive and can lead to deep feelings of transgression even to the body and brain that seeks deeper sensations of skin on skin.  We can also seek dating services where we can find skin on skin with no strings attached.  This allows for deeper physical connection but totally shuts down the heart.  Again, as with women, we can enjoy the pleasure of these experiences if we can convince  the mind that wants some system of understanding, and, of course, the heart that seeks deeper emotional connection.  Over time, we may experience deep feelings of discontentment and emptiness which may lead to depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and possible suicide.

The question on transgression then becomes whether or not we are being true, not to the voices of others, not to the voice of our mind or ego, but to our own inner voice.  If we feel that our behavior is somehow a transgression of our inner values, then we must not silence that voice, because that voice is trying to lead us on to deeper truths and feelings.  These feelings can only come through deeper connections within the self and with others, and, of course, we call this feeling “love”. Love is the root of genuine positive feelings for the Self, our self-concept, and our self-esteem. It leads to a higher state of being where we thrive instead of just survive. In my opinion, the shutting down of this voice leads to meaningless sexual acts that numbs the mind and soul to sexual experiences that are meant to be full body-mind-soul experiences, and therefore, much deeper and healthier. Can we still be bisexual and experience these sensations with both men and women? Of course, but  we have to be selective in the kinds of acts in which we engage, and we have to let our heart lead us to the kind of people where we can share on a body, mind and soul level.

The key to thriving in all aspects of life is to learn to listen to the heart, to trust our inner feelings, while silencing the corrupted thoughts from our wounded egos. This includes our sexuality. This is different from the “if it feels good, do it” from the body and the pleasure center of the brain.  A better statement from the heart would be. “If it feel right, do it.”

2016-03-26_0931The key to living from “the heart” is to love your Self, the real you.  To do this you have to put aside the self-hate and recognize and embrace the perfect and beautiful soul that you really are. The heart longs to do that; it is the natural state of the heart to love the Self.  When the heart is functioning as it is meant to be, it engages in true love, first for the Self and then for others. John Steinbeck in his collection of thoughts from A Life in Letters, captured this love beautifully:

 “There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had…..Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it. The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it”[1].

But this is easier said than done. After years of practicing self- hate, we have built up huge neural pathways focused on our perceived failures to live up to some impossible standards. When we apply these standards to our bisexuality, self-hate gets tangled up with sex and takes on the added power of our hormonal sexual energy which is aimed at disgust for our sexual behavior. We have to refire and rewire those self-hate pathways into self -love ones.  We have to separate ego based behaviour from the longings of the heart.  The heart has no hate for the Self.  It is not concerned with our sexual behavior, at least not in a moralistic sense, but it does seek to turn sexual behavior into love. Love of self and love for others is something that needs to be developed over time, until it becomes an art. Again, from John Steinbeck:

“The first step to take is to become aware that love is an art, just as living is an art; if we want to learn how to love we must proceed in the same way we have to proceed if we want to learn any other art, say music, painting, carpentry, or the art of medicine or engineering….I shall become a master in this art only after a great deal of practice, until eventually the results of my theoretical knowledge and the results of my practice are blended into one — my intuition, the essence of the mastery of any art. But, aside from learning the theory and practice, there is a third factor necessary to becoming a master in any art — the mastery of the art must be a matter of ultimate concern; there must be nothing else in the world more important than the art.” 

In other words you have to focus all the energy you use in hating yourself into loving yourself.  You must balance every self-hate statement and feeling with an abundance of positive self-love statements and feelings.

Let’s start off with an easy exercise in the art of self-love. For years I could not make eye-contact with myself in the mirror.  When I engaged in cross-dressing,  and saw myself from my feminine side, it was different.  I could make eye contact, saw that I was okay and  told myself that I was beautiful. But I hated my masculine side. I was ashamed because I felt I was not the man I wanted to be.  I finally overcame that by starting off each morning with a good stare into the mirror until I could feel positive about myself.  Sometimes this took awhile and with a lot of head talk to convince myself that I really did like the person I was. I would end this session by telling myself that I loved myself just the way I was and I was proud of myself for fighting the good fight and then whatever else it was that I could find to say to myself to convince myself that I loved ME.  Try this for the next week.  It really works.  We will go on into the art of love in the next blog.

[1] Steinbeck: A Life in Letters (public library). Falling in Love: A 1958 Letter, A Life in Letters.



The Bisexual Heart

2016-03-26_0931(Before we start this blog, a brief explanation: self refers to the ego self, whereas Self with a “capital S” refers to the soul Self.)

With this knowledge of the ego and the mental issues we face as bisexuals behind us, we can now look at the solutions and beyond to how we can not only survive but actually thrive as bisexuals. That means we leave the ego and all its issues behind and enter into the realm of the heart. I believe that the soul is more than just a function of the body, the brain, and the ego. The functions of the ego can be explained by brain structure and neural pathways, but our desires, feelings, and behaviors related to those feelings, seem to go beyond the basic foundations of the mind. That takes us to the heart. The heart is that part of the soul that lets us sense and create a higher view of life, reality, and truth. The heart appears to be the inner sense of being which operates by feelings rather than thoughts. Feelings are different than thoughts and emotions. Emotions arise from our thoughts, basic drives, and the anxieties of the ego, but feelings are the unspoken words of the soul.

The ego and the gut direct the self towards self-actualization with the emphasis on the self. The gut seeks pleasure, and the ego seeks harmony, peace and self-centered happiness.  Normally, these are great things and lead to purpose and contentment.  However, as bisexuals, we often live double lives that make it very difficult to find peace and harmony thereby throwing the ego into a state of anxiety. On the other hand, the heart seeks mutual unconditional joy and love with others. Through the guiding power of love, the heart creates heart-values which are the unconditional worth we place on living things, ideas, and people. The bisexual heart needs to function in connection with others and the seeking of a greater good. Guided by the heart, the bisexual soul creates dreams and goals that it hopes will lead to good feelings and the path of love.  By experiencing love from life and others, it is able to increase its love for Self, leading to ever greater levels of Self-fulfillment. It is these acts of love that are the ultimate expression of the bisexual soul which keeps us rooted as whole human beings rather than just seekers of sex from our bodies and anxieties from our ego.  As bisexuals, we must let our heart guide our thoughts, emotions, feelings, and actions, and leave behind the struggles with sexuality.  That is the only way we will and learn to accept ourselves just the way we are.

But to do that we have to first heal the heart. The mental issues we face are more than a disease of the mind; they are diseases of the heart. They are based on the failure of the heart to love itself. As the soul struggles to understand and repair itself, it does not have this resource to endure the hurts of the present because of its brokenness from the past. The healing has to occur in the heart. The heart has to learn how to love itself.


In the next blog we will look at the nature of the broken heart and why it is necessary to be broken before we can enter into mindfulness, consciousness and Self-love.