2019 MAY - CONVERSATIONS WITH HATE-CRIME GANG MEMBERS - ‘IN ESSENCE, WE ARE ALL THE SAME’
“The country you’re in now, they were burning people alive (or crucifying) for expressing ideas like you have here today”. So let’s do this!
We are all born perfectly. So, what happens to us that causes disconnection from ourselves and for every one of us to lose our way in one form or another?
During a visit to the UK recently for study purposes, I was privileged to have connected with some members of an anti-social hate-crime group. ‘Privileged?’ Read on.
I was curious as to how I could help further in the world since, like many of us, I want to help save the world and live on a planet where we are all connected as one peaceful human race, undivided by hate and anti-social behaviour. The group and/or gang members I met with were covered in tattoos of a symbolic nature that some might find offensive. These individuals had been members since young teenagers and had been to prison continuously throughout their lives, mostly for violence-related crimes. We privately discussed stories of extreme blood and violence like it was a normal way of life, as if it were a form of release and relief to share stories, and also so I could understand more about the way of life in relation to my psychotherapeutic studies and how I can help towards saving the world.
In initially discussing the subject of ‘hate-crime’ in relation to my meeting requests it was commented by a member separately, “I must warn you, I’m Right Wing, it takes a lot of sh1t for me to see hate. Some people consider what I would consider as trivial, but others may claim hate. I also don’t believe that we are all the same”. So, I was off to a good start with my blog, ‘We Are All The Same’. “The world cannot be saved, only humanity can be saved, but that won’t happen in this lifetime, and not by people like me. Saying that, every time I come across people like you, Dhanu, it gives me another little piece of hope.” If this was a video blog, I’d have a huge smile on my face saying that, together, I think we just shifted humanity a little further into being saved, with ‘hope and possibility’, and yes, by people just like you, especially, by people like you who truly understand the struggle.
Throughout many meetings over the course of a week, we all shared childhood stories and realised how much we had in common, wanting to consciously live simple, happy lives in loving families and communities and to be ‘seen’, connected and loved. Collectively, we shared stories of common parental abandonment that happen through generations, emotionally absent parents coping with their own pain, neglect, broken and dysfunctional families through the fault of no one, just people trying to survive the best they can with what they have and dealing with their own pain cycles. Further, abuse, violence, older bullying siblings, no adult role-models or anyone to talk to, this leading on to being bullied at school and turning to external coping mechanisms of drug addictions and, for them, also violence and self-harm as an outlet and release for the contained anger, severe pain and rage that builds up inside of us all like a pressure cooker if we don’t release these negative emotions as soon as they arise. Or, ultimately, we pass the same pain down through to our children, hence the importance that we are compassionate now, towards ourselves, others and the world. If we ignore negative emotions when they arise, they will always find a way to come back and bite us in the arse.
Offensive and heavy tattoos (as opposed to tattoos in general, which I love and have myself), in some cases, seem to quite effectively act as bully deterrents. On some occasions there were young members leaving broken, painful and disconnected home lives every day, who also had to heavily cover themselves in offensive tattoos in an attempt to instil fear on others as a protective mechanism just to survive their every-day life. Thus, these people were having to emotionally (and sometimes physically) protect themselves 24 hours a day with no safe form of release, hence the relief felt in the violence related activities as an emotional outlet. In some cases, certain facial tattoos also served as masks to hide behind from the shame and lack of love they held in themselves and had been given. Some tattoos were broken where they had been either stabbed during fights, or deeply slashed in multiple attempts through arteries and veins to release pain and temporarily remove focus from internal torment, the severe blood loss and bodily disconnection bringing relief and soothing. On top of that the strong muscles built up were no doubt acting as a further attempt to build up an unconscious protective barrier to instil fear. Generally, in any anti-social gang-related members, the tattoos, the muscles, the clothing, the dogs, the weapons, it would seem are all, however not always, based around protection. And where there is a need for protection, there is ultimately fear, whether this is fear of the self, others, and the world – the disconnection.
But these were people clearly in pain who had suffered extreme childhood traumas, as have all of us, myself included, and had sought safety and belonging in an ‘external family’, a gang. This is so we can experience a sense of belonging, anything to feel that connection, however, sometimes blindly sabotaging real and genuine relationships around us where we become confused between true and false relations because our reality has become distorted. We will naturally do anything to experience safety, oneness and connection, albeit an external coping mechanism rather than an internal one of self-love and acceptance. In order to be accepted by these gangs and groups, of course this means taking on the beliefs and ways of the ‘external family’ and sacrificing true authenticity to enable acceptance and thus the attachment we didn’t receive as a child and are still seeking. This ‘authenticity vs attachment’ is present in all of us where we forgo being our true selves and speaking our truth in order to be held and feel safe, even if the attachment source is ultimately taking us further away from our true essence, blinding us from our truth. Of course, we are blind to this because we no longer know what our true essence is, or indeed that we even have one, our true essence having been masked and hidden from us since we were lost children just trying to survive.
We have all experienced childhood trauma, whether it is being born with pregnancy fears and stress absorbed from the mother during our time in utero, abandonment, abuse, violence, travelling parents, disconnected parents going through their own painful journeys, parental separation, bullying siblings, deprivation, addicted parent/s, workaholic parents etc. The list is endless and open, but the common denominator is that, whatever the event, we were not able to cope with it and that pain stayed inside of us, unprocessed, hence the reason we ‘harden’ our emotions to keep the pain pressed down and this hardening is reflected in our personalities as an emotional shield. These events that happened are also at the fault of no one, since the pain and emotional wounding is passed down through the generations. Hence, again, the importance for us to break these cycles in ourselves, our families and our society now.
In growing up and experiencing disconnection from ourselves, others and the world, we naturally seek connection in external coping mechanisms, hence we all become addicted to something – coffee, smoking, TV, alcohol, sex, porn, drugs, pharmaceuticals, work, shopping, sex, gambling, eating, exercise (list not exhaustive). Any coping mechanism to ‘tune out’ and take the focus off of the void that was not filled with love, safety, attunement, positive attachment, presence and holding. We sleep with music and TVs on, rarely being in the natural quiet or silence, just because unconsciously we find it too painful to experience ourselves. Or we become absorbed into a co-dependent and needy relationship, forgetting that we are love, relying on yet another external energy source to sooth our pain and the narcissist comes out in all of us. We have all done ugly things during our lifetimes, things that we may be ashamed and embarrassed of and the only way to release that shame and guilt is through compassion and forgiveness so we can create space for a happier now and future.
We blame our parents or our partner or society for the pain we’re in, rather than realising that we are the ultimate source of healing power, inside, the core wound that is controlling the mental filters around how we see and experience our external world and reality.
When the parental role-model is absent, we can turn to external family substitutes – peers, gangs, clubs, movements, social media, anything where we feel welcomed to be a part of something as a group or community, in order to feel whole again. That is why children are changing, because we, as humanity, have become so far disconnected from ourselves that children are depending on peers as role-models instead of their emotionally unavailable parents who are consumed with themselves for one reason or another, again, through no fault of their own, dealing with their own pain. This craving for ‘belonging’ is because we are not meant to live in isolation from each other, we were meant to live as tribes, as part of a community, but through modern living and suffering we have disconnected from each other and lost our way, living more secluded lives, even on our own. We seek relief, belonging, being soothed in something external because we can no long find this in our disconnected selves.
Our world can be a challenging place to live in so naturally we tune out and then we are diagnosed by GPs who have no experience in traumas, that we have ADHD, ADD, schizophrenia, or anxiety, depression, or bipolar to other mental illness labels that all stemmed from some kind of disconnection where we have felt it was no longer safe to be inside of our own heads and hence we have become prisoners of our own minds. GPs then further prescribe us with a cocktail of drugs to mask the disconnection pain rather than go back to visit and heal core wounds, the original sources of pain, and then we have a world of people who are even further addicted to drugs, deemed unemployable, homeless, in prison, still in pain and completely tuned out, unfairly judged by society. This is the mental prison we have created around us.
So ultimately during my meetings, here on one side were these people who were creating subdivision and divide in society, although contradictorily craving connection. And then there was me, a born hippy, trying to save the world and the disconnection voids we are all experiencing and the imbalance of our sacred masculine and feminine energies. We were all coming from two opposite sources of the original gang movement disconnect (i.e. anti-social and hate-gangs and peaceful hippies), worlds apart in our beliefs, but still coming from the exact same place of pain, just choosing different coping mechanisms later in our lives.
“In an ideal world, your hippy idea on life would be perfect, but unfortunately, bad things and ‘bad people’ are lower down the spiritual ladder than most hippies. While you’re there blessing them, they’re slaughtering you. So, spiritually, we are different and when you look at some people’s crimes, it sometimes makes you wonder if they’re also on a lower evolutionary level as well. So many ‘isms’ still have such an influence on humanity. The country you’re in now, they were burning people alive (or crucifying) for expressing ideas like you have here today. Many of mankind are not ready for peace.”
But the key here is that not only are we all coming from the same place of pain and trauma, but we are all looking for the same connection, experiencing different journeys along the way. We could have all disliked and judged each other, but despite all our different beliefs, these were loving people with huge, hurting hearts, who craved belonging and who I felt strong and totally safe connections with and I am grateful for our meetings. Sharing childhood stories within our safe group was healing for all of us and highlighted a clear need for more transparency, connection and communication between humanity, with more compassion for each other despite our different personalities, human conditioning, stories and beliefs – they’re just masks, energetic tattoos on our skin and imprints in our energy fields, they’re not who we are. We all have our stories, but they’re just ‘stories’, things that happened to us in our past; we don’t own them and they do not have to define who we are today. And because we are writing new stories right now, in this present moment, this means we are in control of our own destinies and we don’t have to wait for fait or any other external source to direct us.
We are all luminous beings craving connection and belonging, and since emotions can be scientifically measured in terms of low and high frequencies (negative and positive emotions respectively) thanks to quantum physics, we could be seen as simply experiencing an imbalance in our energies, worldwide, with a need to come back to peace, stillness, tranquillity and self-love so we can love each other again and bring the divisions back to a state of oneness. If we could clear our energy fields and subconscious of heavy emotions, imagine who we could all be.
We can’t clear memories, we can’t forget, and we can’t change what has happened in the past, but we can consciously and compassionately observe ourselves with the intention of wanting to heal. We can learn to forgive and consciously chose not to allow memories to trigger anger and rage in us anymore, but more to serve as a reminder of gratitude in how far we have come in our journeys and allowing ourselves to feel the feelings that live below the triggers so they can be released, for our own benefit. Forgiveness can be misunderstood. It doesn’t mean we agree with what happened or what or who caused us pain, it frees us from a heavy chain so we can focus that energy on something more positive instead. It takes more energy to hate than it does to let it go and be free.
My point is that, ultimately, we are all the same. No, hold on … “some of us, we’re warlike, not so much seen nowadays, but it’s in us, deep within us, ready to explode at any time. Ticking bombs we are.”
But, no matter what we look like, where we live, where we came from, where we’re going, what our skin looks like or is coloured in with, whether we tattooed our eyes in black ink for fun just to make ourselves look beautifully unworldly to say ‘f*ck normality’, bottom line, we could all be the same, albeit on different levels of our journeys. We all started on this planet as luminous, conscious beings, however, along the way something happened that hid our true essence from ourselves, masking it with shame, guilt and pain. Our emotions are so supressed, depressed and constricted that our destructive and aggressive anger fuses have become short and live. No one was born a murderer, thug or a hate criminal. That anger and pain came from something that happened to us, by someone else who was in pain and it didn’t start with that person either.
We won’t think twice to help a child or an elderly or sick person, but to add further to the disconnection void, we go on to judge, hate, punish and condemn each of us who are already suffering and disconnected, including anti-social gang members, criminals and addicts. Even though we don’t have to support the current ‘intentions’, to just observe with compassion. And what happens to the children who are born into these movements? Will you hate them or will you be compassionate and help them to break the cycles affecting your world and the world that your family live in?
Most of our corrupt systems put criminals and addicts into prison with no compassion for core wounds and expect them to be released as shiny, new and reformed members of society. Prison does not generally teach discipline, in most cases it forces us to bury the pain even deeper and then be released back into society even more f*cked up than that state in which we entered the system in the first place. I am in no way portraying that any wrongful act, in any way, shape or form is acceptable. But what, if one step at a time we could learn to see each other, no matter what, who or why, as a human being who has suffered so much pain since they were born and has found relief and a feeling of safety in an external family or coping mechanism. From the workaholic, shopaholic, alcoholic, exercise-addicted, drug-addicted person, through to hate-movements, we are all just human beings who have lost our way. Living in these extreme pain cycles also renders us so numb and disconnected that we sometimes don’t even care whether we live or die, thus our negative behaviour grows relentlessly, as does the pain we can inflict on others without a single thought.
It all comes back to love. By hating on ‘hate crimes’, hate gangs, groups, religions and the likes, we are feeding the fire and confirming the beliefs that have stemmed from the original traumas, aggravating the pain where instead we should be showing compassion to cool the fire.
Of course, what always comes up is that it’s too late to change the world. “The world is f*cked”, is what we continually hear. It is never too late. And guess what? It starts with me, you and us taking responsibility, ownership and accountability of our own actions, thoughts and words that we manifest into the world and to not fuel the fire even further. It is up to us in this sense to dream a new world of peace and beauty into being and start with ourselves in this very moment, for now and for future generations. You are writing a new story, right now!
This quote JUST came through my email as I wrote this: “The way in which you perceive the other is determined by your own thought forms.”(Eckhart Tolle). It starts with you, that’s how powerful you are!
Dhanu Le Noury, May 2019
If you would like to contact Dhanu, please use the Contact page for email and telephone contact details. (Note: I have purposely tried to keep this blog subject wide, unbiased and free from any labels or ‘isms’ since that is not my focus here. This blog also serves purely as ‘conversation’ for my study purposes.)