Today is initiation day; the day I will prove I’m mentally strong enough to conquer mental demons. I kiss my husband goodbye, drop the kids off at school, and make my way to my healing center. Walking through the front doors was a rite of passage, I know I won’t be the same person walking out of the building, as I was coming in. I have the center to myself today, so I lock the doors behind me.
An angel summons me to The Creation Room, intuitively designed by my husband Andrew: four layers of black marine paint covered the walls, light covers, outlets, and cabinet. Satin black paint coated the ceiling. A 4-inch foam pad on the floor with black sheets and blankets surrounded by sixteen pillows, serves as a healing bed. A black speaker box and trash bin were the only other items in the room. Not a typical healing room, but at Euphoric Source, we challenge normal. I enter the room and acquire a tea candle and lighter from the cabinet. I spark a flame on the wick, set the candle down and turn off the lights before I lie down on the healing pad. The blackness and emptiness of the room diminishes outside distractions.
I take a deep breath; I close my eyes, and I activate the energy that connects me to my higher-self, the Creator, and my angel. My body fills with euphoria, and I know I’m on the sacred channel.
The angel begins. “Are you ready to face the demons?”
“I am.” I reply.
Image by Melissa Askew from Unsplash
The angel declares, “Into the darkness you go. Out of the darkness you shine.” Immediately, all pleasant emotions and memories banish from my mind, leaving me with nothing but the traumatic narratives of my past. Disturbing memories of the physical, sexual, verbal, and mental abuse I have endured throughout my life, run through my mind. I recognize the grief, rejection, resentment, misunderstanding, and lies cause. I acknowledge the dis-ease in my soul that caused the disease in my body, such as hypothyroidism, arthritis, and muscle tension.
Tears fill my eyes and run down my face. Pressure increases in my head. My nose starts to drip. My chest tightens and my breathing becomes erratic. I gasp for air and try to catch my breath, but I am crying so hard I can’t gain control.
How could one person carry so much pain? I can’t do it anymore. I won’t. I must release this, but how?
My body automatically responds by sitting up and letting out a spine-chilling scream. I get on my hands and knees and scream harder hoping rid myself of this energy. Anxious someone might hear, I grab a pillow, place it in front of me, and press it to my face. I scream and cry until I’m too physically weak and overheated to continue. My body starts to convulse, I grab the trash bin and purge my stomach, before collapsing on the floor, debilitated and exhausted.
The angel commands. “Get up and fight for your light!”
“I can’t! I’m too tired!” I mumble.
“Then you aren’t as strong as we thought.”
Dumbfounded, I cry, “Didn’t you see what I just went through?”
“For years, you have ignored your past. These memories are painful. Just because you reacted to them doesn’t mean you faced them. You have yet to take responsibility for your emotions.” The angel bellows as the music changes to the song “Dark Side” by Bishop Briggs. Without my light, the goodness in me is void. I feel my inner demons rising and an evil within me laughs out loud. The sadness that filled my body just moments ago is now replaced by a rage for this angel before me.
I grab a pillow, and stand, panting like a beast before this angel. “You don’t know what I have been through. You are an angel. You’re not human. You don’t know what it’s like! You don’t know how it is to be beaten, raped, stabbed, choked, depressed! You’re clueless about emotional pain, physical pain, confusion, loneliness, or self-loss. You have all the answers, you see all the solutions, you feel empathy, but you don’t feel pain the way we do. You have no idea!” I roar, “Earth is a mirage! From spirit, it looks like Heaven, but upon entering, it is nothing but hell. Pain is everywhere! We can’t escape it. If we don’t have pain, those around us do, and we feel that, too!” The tumultuous tone in which I speak is unrecognizable.
“If you have been through it, why are you so upset now? Why do you guard the child inside so tightly?”
“Because she’s been through enough!”
“No, Melissa.” The angel says lovingly. “She hasn’t been through it; she’s stuck in it. When you feel agony or shame for what she has been through, you minimize her strength. You are the only one making her believe it was her fault and allowing her to be a prisoner in the dungeons of your own mind.”
“F**k you!” I scream, not knowing even who I am yelling at.
Memories enter my mind of my inner child watching my parents fight. My spirit rushes to protect her. When I get to her, I realize the girl before me is full of love and light; she is doing the healing. Confused, my spirit looks at my parents’ souls. Deprived of their own light and spirit, the darkness and demons encompass them. My parents needed healing, not me, and my younger-self knew it.
The angel shows me a glimpse of their past. They felt alone, unheard, and unconnected to those they loved the most. Any time they showed their flaws to the world they became targets for criticism, judgment, and betrayal, not love. The demons were the only ones keeping them company during their misery. Everyone else left them to deal with their problems alone, including me!
I cry again. This time not for my pain, but for my parents and anyone else I held a judgment against. I now see that emotional desolation drives the sacred energy out, leaving a vacant place in the soul where demons may reside. When people pour their heart out and heart is denied, anger takes over. We give the demons a home in our miserable thoughts, feeding them resentment for dinner, and allow them to be the keepers of the dungeons of our mind. Oh, hell no. No one benefits from my trauma, but me.
The energy in the room shifts from cold to hot. My soul expands and I feel like I’m twenty feet tall. The demons once inside me run for cover. Fortunately, the coated walls won’t let them escape and they are stuck with me.
“You can’t hide. I see you now. I am your creator. You have no authority over me! You are just a compilation of all my emotions and bad thoughts. My anger, sadness, fear, and abuse gave you a home. My suffering gave you life. You are the parts of me and others I hate the most.” I no longer fight the energy, I embrace it. If I made the demons, I can be the demon to these demons, after all they did stem from my emotions, and I am angry. I throw, punch, squeeze, and kick the surrounding pillows. I envision each pillow as a demon lurking over humanity, and I kick that fucker’s ass! I yell at the universe and the Creator for permitting such suffering in the world. I imagine myself as a demon slayer and a collector of destructive energy. If the darkness wants to pass, it must pass through me.
“You are nothing without my permission to be something!” I scream at the demons.
The candle flickers and the flame grows. An image appears in my head; a dungeon filled with several rooms, each room representing a traumatic experience I’ve undertook. Ironically, there are no guards or locks on the doors. Perturbed, I ask, “Where are the locks?”
“The doors are never locked. You can leave at any time, but you allow the demons to keep your inner-self a prisoner.”
Sadness enters my heart, and I fall to my knees. I realize I’ve kept my inner child imprisoned in my pain. I assumed she was weak, forgetting she got through everything, but me. She was the one who experienced sexual, physical, and mental abuse. She survived through it all so that I could become stronger. I am living, breathing, healing, and taking charge of my own life because of who she enabled me to become. She survived the sexual assaults, so that I could learn courage. The physical abuse she went through increased my pain tolerance. The rejection she experienced taught me independence. This girl was stronger than I ever believed. I thought she was a victim. I felt sorry for what she experienced. I blamed her trauma for my current depression and anger problems. Truth be told, I was irresponsible and out of control of my own emotions. I was the one playing the victim. Nothing was her fault. She wasn’t a victim. She was a warrior, and she didn’t belong here.
“You made me a warrior! You are stronger, smarter, more courageous than I ever could have even been. You belong in the universe, not a dungeon.” I scream aloud. My inner self runs down the hallways of the dungeon fighting and conquering all the demons in my head. In each room there is a Melissa before me, I hug her tightly and I thank her for making me the woman I am today– an empowered, loving healer, mother, wife, spiritual guide, and interesting friend. The more love and appreciation I give her, the quicker the walls of the dungeons fall. Soon there’s nothing left but my inner child, standing beautifully in the middle of the rubble. She knows I see her for who she always is, my little hero. She is free and finally smiling. I never saw that little warrior because I kept giving her swords and shields, that did nothing against the demons. That didn’t mean she was weak, it meant she was strong enough to know all she needed was a little self-love and appreciation, and those demons wouldn’t have had a dungeon to live in at all.
The music changes to healing sounds, I know my battle is over. The darkness is no longer scary now that the demons no longer have a residence in my mind. I am at peace, and for the first time in my life, I am thankful for every terrible moment I have experienced. I understand my pain was only frightening because I didn’t know what it was. My pain, if defeated, became lessons for the future. Those are the moments I grew in. Like a baby in the womb or a seed in the ground, I need the blackness. Sure, I expand in the light, but rest and growth have always been best in the darkness.
“Now you have gone through it. Learn from it and guide others through their darkness.” The angel sings.
I get up, turn on the light, and write about every traumatic moment I can remember. With each memory, I counter the bad by writing down the heroic traits and lessons I earned in the battles of life. By the end, I learned I am an amazing, badass, warrior goddess, who oversees her own life and is in control of her own emotions.
As I walked out of the doors that day, I was proud of the woman stepping out of the healing center. Not only did I fight my own demons, but I am ready to take on others. However, I will no longer fight with anger and hate, that is a losing battle. Instead, I will rise, and I will fight the demons of the world with realism, love, and passion.
In that session I learned there are two types of demons. One is a possessive demon which comes in with no warning and takes over a body. Only an exorcism done by a trained professional can banish a possessive demon. The second type is an obsessive demon. We invite those demons in by obsessing over our trauma and hanging on to the pain. Only the holder of the energy can only expel them.
We must empower ourselves rather than continue to be a victim of our past. When we choose to embrace the victim role, we invite the demons to build more rooms and our mind dungeons. They excuse our irrational attitude and irresponsible behaviors, so that we may refuse others company and keep them around. We come up with more “I can not’s,” then “I cans.” Victims don’t take responsibility for changing themselves because the demon inside reminds us of how hurtful people are. This keeps the person looking out and disables them from looking inwards at their own inner demons, who have full room, board, and control of the body.
However, the warrior must take responsibility for their own actions and emotions, know when to fight or walk away, stand up to the injustice in the world. A warrior can’t be a victim, nor allow others to be. Weakness is not an option. Warriors are fighters; demons fear us, and the Creator loves us.
But remember a true warrior does not need sword or shields, they need heart. Because once you can look hate in the eyes and say, “I love you,” and mean it, you have already won the battle.
Do not hide from your past, let it build and teach you. You have made it through the moments physical, mental, and spiritual pain and illnesses. You have made it through the passing of the time. Your spirit has been trying to overcome it, but your mind hangs on to the chaos that has settled within you. It makes you feel real; by tying you to your memories. Don’t be afraid of letting the energetic pain go, the memory can remain, just learn your lessons so that you can reclaim your inner light.
You are enough. You don’t need tools, other people, or objects to heal yourself. You’ll never lean on, love, or trust anyone the way you do yourself. In fact, you have been the only one in the world that has been through all your good, bad, and mediocre times. You are your own caretaker and your own best friend. No one will understand you better than you. So, get to know and honor yourself for all your experiences. Dive deep into the pain, find that inner warrior, take control, and realize that your pain is there to build you, not your dungeons.
Here’s an exercise to help train your inner warrior and free that inner child.
1. Set aside time and space to be alone
b. A garbage can
c. Musical (preferably a shuffle mix)
g. Notebook or journal
3. Find a dark space.
4. Light the candle.
5. Start your music.
6. Get comfortable and take a moment to acknowledge your head space.
7. Make a connection to your heart and invite your inner child to tell you stories of her trauma and her emotions.
8. Be present in the moment and memory. Allow yourself to remember the suffering you have gone through in life, remember, little things can be big things too. Bring forth all the discomfort, sadness, loneliness, mistrust, heartbreak, abandonment, lies, deceit, abuse – whatever made you feel uneasy, bring it forward and face it.
9. Cry, scream, curse, hit, punch, kick, puke, go wild. Give yourself permission to have a complete mental breakdown. Pretend those pillows are the demons you must fight. The more pain you release, the less power the demons have. Get it all out until you have nothing more to complain about. When you have nothing left to give, the demon has nothing left to take.
10. Tell those demons they have no power over you and banish them from your mind but telling them to leave.
1. Get your pen and notebook/journal.
2. Number each page with your previous ages. Example: Page 1 for age 1. Page 42 for age 42.
3. On each page start the letter with Dear ____ year-old self. I witnessed ____ (write what you witnessed.) I now know ____ (write your conclusion.) I have learned more about myself in getting to know you, such as ____ (write the good character traits you have gains, ex. Loving, caring, courageous.) Thank you for ____ (write what you are thankful for.) End each letter with love.
4. When you get to your present age, do the same thing. Only end this letter with how you honor yourself now. Set boundaries for your demons and goals for your future.
5. When you finish take time to reflect on the attributes you gained during your battles. They are your medals and your morals. You earned them being a warrior.
After this practice you will have a great memoir of your life and what you have accomplished. Use this book as a “pick me up,” when you are feeling trapped in misery. If you get stuck in the future, do step one and two over again and write yourself a letter in the present moment.
Remember this is about building you up and not taking others down, so when the painful memories of what others have done to you come into the mind, don’t look at the demon within them; look at their inner child, sacred and lonely, and help them by saying these simple words, “I love you.” You don’t have to like them for who they are now, but if you can find it in your heart to love their inner child, you help take a demon out of their dungeon. After all we are all warriors!