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Consent Is Sexy

Have You Been Violated?

Videos from our Tuesday Tantra Talk Series.

Hello, this is Scotty O, at the Ecstatic Hearts™. Earlier today, I made a video on consent, and different ways and suggestions on how you can both be responsible for consent as a giver and receiver of attention and touch. I think everything I said in there is ... I believe in. I think it's very useful. And tonight, when I was trying to go to sleep, I kept having this thought that there's maybe a piece I left out inadvertently.

And so what I want to address in this video is, okay, let's say that I stayed in my boundaries ... Or even if I didn't, and someone violated them, and then I didn't feel safe. Or if they ... They didn't listen to me and they were continuing to violate them, what do you do about it? And rape, sexual assault, just assault in general, is one of the worst things that can happen to you. So if this has happened to you, first of all, I just will say I'm sorry. I'm sorry we live in a world where this occurs, and my heart goes out to you, 'cause this is one of the most painful and difficult things that one can experience. So I just want to start with that.

The second thing is, this is not an easy topic to talk about. And I'm not a lawyer, doctor, psychiatrist. I'm not an expert on this topic, per se. But I do have some experience, both with people that have been assaulted and even, occasionally, the assaulter. And one of the things that I've never shared on a public forum before is that I, too, have been sexually violated. And so it can happen to anyone. 'Cause I'm six foot seven, I'm 220 pounds, I'm trained in martial arts and sword fighting, and who knows what. I'm a tough dude. But certain circumstances and situations, things can happen.

So first of all, I just want to put that out there, that I'm speaking about this topic from a personal standpoint as much as anything. And I'm sharing with you some of the things that I did to help me grow, evolve, learn, and go past it. And then I'm also sharing techniques that I've seen other people use.

So first thing. If you've been assaulted, the first thing is to get safe. Be safe. So prevent it from continuing. So obviously, go get help. Whether it's from up top, a ranger, a friend, anyone. If your life is currently in danger, that's the first step. Call the police. And again, this whole video is specifically addressing those people that have been assaulted, violently or sexually, and are trying to figure out how to cope with it. I don't want to make this an excuse to start rumor-mongering and so forth, that I talked about in my last video. It's still important to be responsible for communication. And, I just want to address the person who is maybe a victim of something, so that I can address what I think might be supportive.

And again, I think ... I'll get back to that. Okay, so after safety, the next thing you do is communicate. Take action. Talk to someone about it. A lot of times, this may be a date rape situation or something that you weren't sure about or maybe you were drinking or doing recreational narcotics or something. So you wake up the next morning going, what happened? What occurred? Or you just look back and go, wow, I really think that that wasn't okay, what happened yesterday.

So it's good to talk to someone. Talk to someone you trust. And there are psychologists, there's hotlines, there's specialists, there's shelters. There's all sorts of ... A variety of resources online. And sometimes you just need to talk to a good friend. Someone who you can trust isn't going to take this and run and tell everyone else, but someone you can really confide in. Because also, in just talking about it and sharing your experience, it can help you uncover, to really get in touch with what happened. Your feelings. It's just a useful exercise.

And I think the worst thing ... Maybe not the worst thing, but a thing that doesn't support you is to hold it in, not tell anybody, blame yourself, make yourself wrong. I think that is the worst thing, is that when you think that you're the cause of it, and you make yourself ashamed about it. And you say, I was a bad person. I've actually seen more people do more damage to themselves through the shame and the belief structure that they had around the event, than the event itself. And so be gentle. Be kind. Be loving with yourself. Be patient.

That's the other thing, too, is healing, is usually the next step is that it takes some time to heal. And for some people, it might take a few minutes. For other people, it might take years. It depends on what happened and who and how young you were and a lot of factors. So just know that that's part of the process is healing.

The thing I think that's really useful, then, is think about ... And this is the tricky part. Is coming from responsibility without blame. And this is a big topic we talk about in our weekends and so forth. But it's important to say, okay, what did I do that may have contributed to this situation, or what did I not do that put me in this situation where it occurred? And here what I'm saying. This is not an opportunity for you to blame yourself, to beat yourself up, to think you've done anything wrong. There's never any reason, there's never any justification for someone violating your boundaries. So even if you were drunk and unconscious and flirty and naked and everything else, you still have the total right to be treated as a divine human being. So I'm not saying that.

What I am saying is that when you come from a perspective of what can I do about it, it shifts your perspective from being a victim, where you're helpless, and you have no power, to being a protector or being an activist of, okay, how can I make this not happen in the future? How can I protect myself, how can I protect others, how can ... What was my contribution to the cause, because if we can come from that mindset of responsibility, then we can take action. Then we can be empowered to make a difference and not feel stuck.

Because if you're coming from blame, if you're coming from, I'm a victim, there's nothing I can do about it, then you're powerless. And that's a terrible place to be in. No one wants to be powerless. And that sets you up to have it happen again. So it's important to shift out of that mindset and come from responsible. And I hope you can hear that. That's really tricky. It's a very deep topic, that it takes some mind wrestling with to get around. So I'm happy to talk with you about that in person more, if that's hard for you.

After coming from responsibility, action again. What is the new action I'm going to take? Maybe it is, I'm going to walk home with a buddy, or maybe I'm going to take self defense class or read a book or not go to that part of town. Whatever it is that you can do. By taking some simple, basic action, it's a way of feeling more empowered again, about everything. And you're actually doing something about it.

And again, don't compound this problem with blame and shame. Shame is very destructive. And the difference between guilt and shame is, guilt is when you think you did something wrong, shame is when you think you are wrong. And the problem with sexual assault in particular is that our whole culture has a lot of shame around sexuality, and we don't talk about it, and we don't have, in my opinion, a really healthy relationship with it. So usually, if sex is involved, shame is involved too, whether we want it to be or not. No matter how evolved we are. There's usually some layer, some level, that that impacts us. Because it's just in the water we drink.

Okay, so then after all of that ... One of the reasons I'm a big fan of boundaries is that by clearly stating my boundaries and what I do and don't want, getting clear with what my boundaries are, I think that is one of the most powerful ways that we can protect ourselves in the future. I think, obviously, every once in a while, you find someone who is set on being a criminal and what not, but I think the vast majority of people are good. The vast majority of people are just trying to do their best, and there's a lot of confusion out there. There's people that are maybe mentally ill. There's people that just feel disconnected. I think that by looking at people as generally good, and that looking at the world as that I'm safe, and that this is exactly what I want, I think that can help protect us in a big way. And clarity of communication, I think, is the first defense. So go back and look at my boundary video on how to do that.

And then also, again, it empowers you, it builds confidence, and it makes you stronger about the experience. Another thing I just want to say about that is ... I'll get to that in a second, sorry. Okay. So then when you're ready, I think another good step is to address the violation with the person who violated you. And don't do this alone if you think your safety is at stake. It may be in a courtroom. But by going to the person directly and addressing the violation, it's not only educational, but it's empowering. It's a way of getting closure. It's a way of owning who you are. And I think it can be powerful for both people. And I think it's an essential step for healing. They need to hear what they did, and you need to let them know that it's not okay. And I think that's a step that can be important.

And this could be in anything. Even if it was something like, someone hugged you and that person made you feel unsafe and you didn't like it, and you don't want to talk to them directly, feel free to go with a friend who can support you and maybe be there. But let them know. Don't let silence support the same, that kind of activity perpetuating in the future. So only through being silent and not speaking out, it allows the cycle to continue. So by all means, and it's going to be most effective if you can address directly to the person who violated you.

Okay. Also, as part of this healing process, the brain is funny. Sometimes it will repress memories of things that were uncomfortable, especially abuse, especially when we're kids. And it's not uncommon for people to not remember things that happened, and then to slowly come out. Even when you're an adult, even when it's not that seemingly traumatic. You can start having memories of stuff. It's like, wow, I completely blocked that out. I forgot that happened. So know that that sometimes occurs, and that's okay. That's just the natural process of our body protecting ourselves. And our brain is saying, now, you're at a stage where you can deal with it, or for whatever reason it's uncovered.

And that happens with Tantra, too, is when you're moving the energy through your body, you're opening up your chakras, you're healing your old wounds, you're clearing all this stuff out. A lot of times, people's memories that they've been repressed and holding back, are let out. And that may seem a little scary, and it's like, I don't want to remember this terrible stuff that happened to me. But I believe that the only way to truly heal that is to face it, and feel it, and move through it. So face it, feel it, and move through it. And then you can be free of it. Otherwise, it's affecting you on a subconscious level if not a conscious one. And probably hurting you in various ways. Physically, mentally, and spiritually.

So it's a good thing to be aware of all this. And really, awareness is the first step. So before you can do any of this stuff, the first step is awareness of what happened. So celebrate your awareness. Awareness and action. Awareness and action. That's all we can do to keep moving and evolving forward.

So, after awareness, and being patient and kind and loving with yourself, and healing, and you've taken action to protect yourself and to protect others. You've communicated. The next step is forgiveness. And this is a tricky one, too. It's like, I would rather kill the person that did this than forgive them. And there's a lot of pain. It's really hard. It's one of the toughest things I think there is, is this path of forgiving someone who's wronged us. 'Cause our instinctive is hurt them 'cause they hurt me. Our pain body wants to create pain body in others.

And the problem with that is it perpetuates. Most abusers have been abused. If you lashed out and do an eye for an eye, it just creates never ending war. So the point of forgiveness, too, is that if you're holding resentment and vengeance for the other person, it's like drinking poison while waiting for the other person to die. It doesn't work. It just makes you miserable, and they might not even notice. So when you forgive someone, it actually frees you. Forgiveness is for you. Forgiveness is to allow you to move forward and be free.

So if that helps, if you can find forgiveness in your heart, if you can actually let that go and move forward, that will be really powerful for freedom. Another part of that is, make sure to forgive yourself. Even if you know you didn't do anything wrong, a lot of times, we hold a little bit of self-judgment, or how could I let that happen to me, or I was weak, or I was stupid. All these things we make up about ourselves are not [inaudible 00:15:59]. It's important to let that go, too. So forgive yourself, if you have any kind of residual guilt, shame, whatever it is. Just know that you did the best you could. And you'll do better next time. And that's just part of life.

After forgiveness ... It's interesting, I just went through this whole process in a big way in my Bali retreat. And the next step is acceptance. And this is also tough. When you get into, how can god or the universe allow me to suffer? In that microcosm, it seems unfair. And it's hard to really come to terms with. However, if I come from a bigger perspective, if I believe my soul is eternal ... And I've had experiences where I've remembered past life stuff, then I really have some belief in my body that my soul is eternal and I learn lessons as I go. And I think that one of the reasons that we chose, as divine beams of light, to inhabit bodies, is to experience suffering. So that we can learn, grow, and evolve from it.

This doesn't have to be your belief, but I challenge you to look at your circumstances, and for me, some of the most powerful lessons came out of my most tragic, difficult experiences. And even though I've had some of the most biggest challenges of my life, the toughest things that ever happened to me were some of my biggest lessons, and I would not go back and change them, no matter how uncomfortable they were, because that's who made me who I am, that's what's enabled me to be in better service to others. There is learning and growth in suffering. And so I think that there's a purpose, there's a grand plan for it all. The more I look for a divine plan in life, the more I see evidence of it. And maybe it's a delusion of mine but it makes me feel better about the world, and I think I operate better because of it. So I encourage you to just try that on.

And the point of all this is if you can accept what is, that also allows you the freedom to move forward. Whenever we resist, it persists, because what we're resisting is where we're putting our energy, is where we're putting our focus. We're actually keeping it alive. When you're protesting something, and say, down with war, no war, no war, you're actually perpetuating, war, war, war. The solution to stopping something isn't to be in resistance to it. It's to not be resistant to it. It's to accept that that's what is at the moment. And then focus on what's the next thing that you want? So focus on a love rally and focus on peace rally. But not an anti-war rally. That was actually ... Mother Teresa told us that. So just notice that if you can accept something ... And it's a little tricky, 'cause you can't ... I'm only going to accept it in order to change it. That's just hidden resistance. So really see if you can come from acceptance of what it. And what was.

So then, after you forgive and accept, the next level is love. The next level is love. And I, in my own life, have gone through processes where I have forgiven, accepted, and learned to love, at least at some level, people that have committed some of the worst crimes there are. And it's a real challenge. It was really challenging sometimes, to find love in my heart for someone that my conditioning and default wants to say, you are evil. But I go back to, I don't really believe in evil. I believe that people are intrinsically good. That we've just been layered with a lot of stuff, and we become disconnected, we become confused. We forget that that person is me. That we're all one. That we're all the same. That my suffering is his suffering, his suffering is my suffering. Or hers.

When you can get to that level of seeing that this abuser was maybe a little boy who was abused himself, and find love in your heart for that person, it's love that's going to allow us to evolve and grow. Love is the answer to ending the perpetuating violence. And we have a long history of suffering and oppressing women and other races, and anyone who's not like us. And it's not okay. But the solution, I really believe, is not to fight, resist. But to see if we can love and heal the people, the very worst people out there in our opinions, that can then transition into being champions for light, for goodness, for justice, for love.

So that's it. Now if you can do that, I think that's the path to enlightenment. And I think that not only will you make the world a better place, but you will feel better about yourself. So one more time, the steps, not necessarily in this order, are awareness, action, like communication, healing, responsibility without blame, actions such as long term prevention or changing something fundamental, learning and growing from it, forgiveness, acceptance, and love. And this is why my new saying is, love is the answer, acceptance is the key. Because I really discovered this at a deeper level recently. And there's always a deeper level. So even if you say, oh, I've forgiven that person already, sometimes you'll go back and go, wow. I still have some latent resentment or something. So you get to go back and forgive some more.

Same thing with love. I don't think I am at the stage where I fully love everyone on the planet yet. And I'm still working on that. But that's my goal, is to be a source of unconditional love. That's what I think we're here to learn how to do. So anyway, that's my soapbox. I just wanted to share this with you because I want you to know that if you have been violated, I'm not taking that lightly. I feel for you, and I hope that this has given you some support in your journey. Scotty O. Bye.