Following people I disagree with has been on of the best things I've done in 2020…
When I tweeted that out and shared it on IG I got a slew of comments and DMs asking for more info.
I knew pretty much then that this needed to be the kick off post to a series on the subconscious I had wanted to do for SO long.
Not into reading? This post is actually a podcast episode! Listen here:
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Before we jump into my journey of following these people I want to note a few things to set the stage for this series.
First, the people I followed I not only disagreed with them – but felt deeply triggered by as you'll learn in this discussion. I'm talking crawling out of my skin discomfort.
Second, as I've said many times in the past, these are my opinions today and are not necessarily representative of what they will be tomorrow. I am growing and evolving constantly.
One of my goals in my early 20s was to rid myself of depression, anxiety, and fear that plagued me for so many years that called in truly abusive and traumatic experiences in the past. I've done that successfully, but this year found myself calling in those feelings again which sparked this following triggering people spree I decided to go on. I believe we must go into the shadow in order to find the light.
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I've been on this journey for over a decade. Over the last 3 years in particular, as you'll note in this post, have really accelerated my transition into unconditional love for myself and others. Into understanding unity consciousness.
I am not perfect, I am growing. In both growth and just being a human being, comes mistakes and fall backs and missteps – I am my own worst critic and I don't need you to point any of these out as I tend to realize these within myself very quickly.
Third, this series is comprised of solo episodes and guests. Everything we discuss is our OPINION and PERCEIVED EXPERIENCE. I ask that you give grace and honor as people express themselves.
I intentionally chose guests that I know have a history of triggering people, including myself. I aimed to design this series in a way that gives you the opportunity for expansion and to put some of the things I'll talk about today, into practice. You won't agree with everything we all have to say – and that's okay. It's encouraged! What I do ask is that we continue moving away from cancel culture and back to honoring differences and respecting others perspectives.
In the past, I've talked about the victim-perpetrator cycle. If you haven't listened/read that post yet, please go back and do so before diving into this series… Essentially what I'm asking you is to recognize that historically, the victim becomes the perpetrator.
Meaning let us remember the goal is unconditional love, freedom, and equality for ALL.
To me, the goal is heaven on earth, which I do believe is possible. A world where everyone creates from a place of joy, love, laughter, and fun. Where we come together as a community to share our gifts in helping our brothers and sisters when they struggle. A world where we can experience anything we want and recognize we are all just reflections of one another. A community.
And one more disclaimer on this series before I tell my story:
We are obviously coming up to an election. It is not my hope or goal to change anyone's mind. With all the issues having become so politicized, some people listening may have a tendency to jump to conclusions about things I or my guests say. So I want to make it VERY clear: this is not meant to sway who you vote for- but instead HOW you vote, if you choose to vote at all.
Back in August I shared on my Instagram that I honestly don’t care who wins. But one thing I DO care about is HOW you vote (and I’m not talking about mail in or in person)… I’m talking about everyone walking around saying, “I’m choosing between the lesser of two evils… I’m choosing X because I don’t like Y”
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For example: What happens when you look at the cellulite on your leg? You notice more cellulite. What happens when you notice how glowy and beautiful your skin looks? It glows more.
If you are casting your vote between the “lesser of 2 evils” what grows? EVIL.
We have a choice in how we show up. We can point fingers, label one another etc. OR we can start operating from a place of hope and love.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE. To cast your vote for whoever you please, but do it from a place of hope and love. Do it because you believe that person will unite us. Focus on unity, you’ll get more unity… and be humble enough to acknowledge it MAY not look how you think it should. If you embody this, no matter what happens in November, you are helping us continue to move down the path of creating heaven on earth. Which I do believe is possible.
So let's dive in and begin with…
The phrase cognitive dissonance which is defined as, “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.”
A simple example of being in a state of cognitive dissonance is when someone smokes (their behavior) even though they know it causes cancer (thought/belief/cognition).
Why is this important?
Because I believe cognitive dissonance has led way to the echo chamber effect we've seen play out on social media and in humanity. I believe it's a big key in what fueled the fire of discord in our country. I believe it's a huge reason we are seeing people struggle to have friendly debates, tolerance, and emotionally intelligent and connected exchanges.
You see when we have inconsistencies in our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors we have a natural desire to restore balance. To recreate a perceived sense of safety. So the remedy for some people has become to surround themselves with information and people that support the narrative they want to believe.
We typically do this on a subconscious level and don't even realize it.
The problem I see with this, is that some people are making so many choices out of fear – to avoid that feeling of discomfort that come with cognitive dissonance I was just talking about – that they have grown increasingly afraid, angry, and intolerant of anything that makes them slightly uncomfortable. It's a form of self preservation in a sense.
For me, this goes back to the 2016 election.
I remember pleading with my husband – who planned on not voting – to vote for Hillary. I mean I was BEGGING him. I saw her speak when I was a teenager and always held onto how I felt that day. Awestruck. Empowered. Hopeful. I really walked out of that city hall building thinking anything was possible – especially for women.
So to me, 2016 was a no brainer. I didn't understand how this was even a debate and diligently rolled my eyes everytime someone said, “I just don't like her.”
As election night rolled around, E and I were taking a red-eye from FL to LA. I remembered feeling like the election was WAY to close for comfort as we boarded our flight – but I got some shut eye on the plane. After we deboarded we scurried through the airport to the rental car place – we always tried to just travel with a carry on before baby came.
It was the equivalent to just past 3 am in the timezone we'd just come from. Bleary eyed I hadn't paused to look at a screen in the airport when it happened. We walked into the car depot where two tall white men stood in red jackets and hats who all of the sudden let out a cheer. I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach. The walls started closing in as my brain tried to process what was on the TV screen.
HOW?! WHAT?! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! Was all I could think as I blinked back the tears.
And I'm not exaggerating. I currently live 30 minutes from Trump's Mar-a-Lago. I grew up going to tennis lessons literally next door to it. Back then I was convinced that at some point in the next 4 years FL would be attacked. I mean if 9-11 could happen anything was possible and this guy was definitely going to get us all killed I thought.
The months that followed I watched the protests unfold. The following year I watched my Alma Mater be strong armed into hosting a Neo-Nazi on campus due to a loop hole in the policy. The next month, I watched the Matt Lauer story break and the resurgence of the Me Too movement. I excitedly watched as two women anchored the first hour of the Today Show in the months to follow. I even challenged myself to watch – what I perceived to be – the newly coined Republican hour with Megyn Kelly.
As 2017 closed out I started to feel like I was shedding a skin…
I was changing friend groups, I was bored with work, and I felt unsettled at my core.
I signed up for Shaman School in Tennessee to kick off in January 2018. On January 1st, I booked an appointment with Shaman Durek and unexpectedly ended up at his 3 day Shaman Bootcamp the week before I'd leave for Shaman School.
At Shaman Bootcamp is where I met Jena Sophia – who is a guest that'll be on the podcast in this subconcious series.
At Shaman Bootcamp my eyes were ripped wide open. As I watched, listened, and learned from Shaman Durek. In the months to follow I felt like I was returning home. He and his niece even stayed at my house for almost 2 weeks in 2019.
I bring this up because during my time with him is where all of this connects – our health journeys, our wake up to the subconscious programming, and so much more. I also bring it up because a lot of extreme conspiracy documentaries came out in 2020 that had threads of what he taught me and I just want to make it abundantly clear that these have been my views since 2018. I'm not some radicalized “right wing” conspiracy theorist. But I hope you'll see how it all connects in this series.
Shaman taught me:
Specifically how TV, music, news, social media, billboards, imagery, etc. all had been programming the subconscious mind.
I knew this to be true in my bones the moment he began explaining it. Reputation by Taylor Swift had just come out and I was listening to it on repeat just before I met him… and I noticed that I was becoming ANGRY. Like High School mean girl angry. I noticed urges to be petty on social media and I realized how the energy in which someone creates something – whether that's music, TV, a social media posts, whatever – how that energy can get plugged right into another human being. I realized just how malleable we can be in that moment.
Healthy vs. Unhealthy
I always considered myself to be a pretty healthy person. I ate salads, smoothies, and generally ate everything in moderation.
The first thing Shaman said to me after opening my pantry was, “You need to change your diet.”
I rolled my eyes and wrote it off. Because I buy in bulk and shop all the BOGO deals our pantry can look AWFUL sometimes. I would stock up on Ben & Jerry's to last us until the next 6 week sale cycle so while it looked bad, we weren't binging this stuff. We ate it in moderation – and that's what mattered right?
That night, I went to go get 2 Keebler Rainbow Chip cookies. That's what I would eat for dessert, just 2 cookies. – Again moderation was my BFF. Shaman said, “You're going to eat that?” And I remember getting so annoyed with him and being like, “YEP I AM! I'm an Manifesting Generator I can eat whatever I want as long as I believe it was made with love and these cookies were made with love!” – He asked me to bring him a cookie and to which I quickly retorted, “OH YOU GONNA EAT THAT?!” And then he got up off the couch, read the ingredient list and said, “nope nevermind!”
A few days later he read my veins on episode 15 of the podcast. He told me I needed to do a liver detox. And that was just the start of what would be my health journey. To realizing that it's not normal to have aches and pains all the time, to realize the anxiety, brain fog, and exhaustion I battled with were all symptoms of underlying health stuff that could be treated and reversed with a truly healthy diet. But I'll be sharing more on when I do a post on our health journey…
The Dark Period
Shaman shared with us in Shaman Bootcamp that there was a Quantum war essentially happening between Lightworkers and what he called the Greys – which others may call the Reptilians. That we were about to enter the “Dark Period” which was a 10 or 13 year period where humanity was essentially at a crossroads. Would we return to love or would we repeat the mistakes of Atlantis and another Starseed Constellations that struggled. He goes into this in his book Spirit Hacking which I suggest everyone reads. It's packed with tips for integrating the shadow and returning to oneness.
What Love really is…
At Shaman Bootcamp, Shaman Durek had us introduce ourselves in small groups around the room by our greatest fear. I remember telling people that my greatest fear was that I'd never know how to truly love unconditionally or let love in. I remember the sympathetic shoulder touches and “awes” women gave me. I remember feeling broken inside as others said, “height” or “spiders.” I mean – I was/am happily married – what was wrong with me that I still felt this disconnect to love?!
When Shaman stayed with us, I was about 4 weeks pregnant. We didn't know at the time. I was just exhausted and that didn't mix well with staying up late and feeling like I had to play “hostess.” I was also dealing with a Spirit trapped in the darkness – which is an entirely different story – who had been telling me kill myself and get rid of Shaman. I know that may sound out there for some people listening. I wasn't suicidal, I wasn't possessed, but I was dealing with this entity whispering things to me while I slept. It was intense. It was the perfect storm of things that led me to be an absolute bitch to Shaman Durek while he stayed with us.
I remember he kept trying to gently nudge me to a lighter mood…
Telling me to put on music, dance it out – but I just wanted to scream. I mean if you go back and listen to episode 14 and 15 of the podcast – which we recorded during that time – you can probably hear the undertones of how crabby I was. I've never been able to bring myself to listen to them.
At one point, early on in his stay, he said to me, “do you want me to leave?” I just exploded. everything going on inside of me. I remember my husband came home and just heard me yelling at Shaman and was like “WTF is happening?!” And Shaman just stood there, acknowledged where I was at, and then put it back on me to take responsibility for the reality I was choosing to live in at that time.
No blame. No pointing fingers.
Just reflecting back what he saw and heard me doing and saying. Truly a container of unconditional love and witnessing. That experienced changed my life in one of the most profound ways. We hugged it out and I'm forever grateful for that exchange. He didn't just pack up his bags, leave, and avoid the confrontation. He stood with me at the kitchen counter and helped me do the work.
He showed up to the ugly side of me and didn't try to put a bandaid on it, didn't try to fix it, didn't try ot hug it away. He just held space for it. We both found truth in the statements the other made. We both took responsibility in how we got to that point. There was no demands for apologies or forgiveness. We thanked each other for the opportunity to grow and learn something new about ourselves and we moved forward.
As someone who historically pushes people away or is labeled as a bitch or prickly person, that was huge. That was healing. That was finally letting love in. He showed me in that exchange that I was not responsible for his pain, nor was he responsible for mine. We were choosing that for ourselves. We were mere mirrors of one another being given the opportunity to love ourselves a little more, and in doing so, love each other more. I finally understood something I'd taught for years: that in order to receive, I needed to be able to give it to myself first.
That's very important in this whole “following people I disagree with” thing…
You see, I walked away from that exchange with Shaman Durek with a new understanding of myself and the world.
Anytime I felt agitated by someone I needed to look at what it was kicking up in myself. I needed to understand where I had hidden shame, guilt, intolerance, anger or fill in the blank with whatever and transmute that in me in order to perceive them differently.
When I was studying to be a therapist, one of the best things I learned was to always ask clarifying questions. “Is that right?” “Can you explain more?” “Help me understand X?” And so on. At the time, I thought it was just to guide our patients to reflect on their own stuff to find their own answers. With a secondary gain of making sure we weren't projecting our baggage onto them. A sentiment echoed in my work with Shaman. Only I finally really took it to heart while studying under Shaman Durek.
I realized we are all walking around with our own subconscious programming that shapes our reality. Yes, it's common knowledge that two people can look at the exact same thing and perceive it completely differently. But what finally hit me was that we ourselves can look at the same thing and perceive it from infinite perspectives as well with a simple perspective shift.
So moving forward, I started asking myself the clarifying questions when I felt triggered. I started to play an active role in my perceived reality. I stopped letting TV, music, social media, and even the subconscious programming I'd picked up before the age of 7 from other people, dictate the way I showed up to the world and started choosing how I'd show up.
I felt lighter, happier, and more at peace than ever before.
It's why I believe I manifested my dream pregnancy – a pregnancy more peaceful and satisfying than I ever could've imagined. A labor and delivery manifested exactly to what I'd spoken out loud.
Motherhood has been one of the easiest transitions of my life. It's felt like a return to self…
…and then all of the sudden, little by little, that peace began slipping away in 2020.
And it's not because being a mom in a pandemic was “hard” for me… I want to make that clear. Motherhood has been one of the EASIEST transitions of my life… My peace slipping away earlier this year had nothing to do with my daughter.
I noticed myself starting to operate from fear and anger at random moments during 2020 though… which was odd because truly, other than going to the grocery store less frequently, our personal lives hadn't changed.
Muttering passive aggressive things under my breath as people cut me off in public. Rolling my eyes and feeling the heat rise in my chest as people shared things I didn't agree with online. I even noticed myself showing up with preloaded judgements about people – like if they support X then they must support Y too… something I thought I'd left behind YEARS ago. Like even before meeting Shaman years ago.
I sort of look at my work with Shaman as the culmination to a decades worth of being in therapy, studying therapy, and trying out handfuls of alternative healing practices. When I met Shaman I didn't judge others – I more so judged myself and took out that frustration of “not being good enough” or being “unlovable” onto others through passive aggressiveness or frustration that was really directed at myself. He helped me get passed this internal war I'd been living with.
Only now in 2020 I found myself judging others…
So again, that was a huge red flag something was off in me. I hadn't done that since like 2011 (for context, I was in school at that time learning how to work with rapists, bigots, murders, etc. as a counselor – so this was work I KNEW how to do – read more here)
So I made the choice: I'd follow some accounts that I felt triggered by.
I figured, what better place to work through the feelings I'd been experiencing than in the comfort of my own home. It was certainly better than taking it out on innocent bystanders at the grocery store.
The first account I followed was a brand new anonymous IG account. My friend had shared one of her infographics and she had sort of put together a lot of easy to understand carousels and story highlights. Each day showing up to her IG account was like showing up to a new mini-lesson. Since the account was anonymous, everything was text. Which I appreciated with a toddler around. I could just read the lesson of the day and move on. I also wasn't confronted with the same “passionate” voice people sometimes speak in, which can sometimes feel like an authoritarian parent yelling at you.
This account, let's call her A, would share other accounts though on their stories. I followed a few of them. I sort of began to look at A's account as a compilation highlight real. A curated information and I'd flag things I wanted to dive into more on my own when I had time. Unsurprisingly, A amassed nearly 300k in just a few months. And IG shut it down… as well as the 5 back up accounts. More on that later though.
After a few weeks or a month of following, I decided to watch the documentaries A suggested as starting points. This was right after I'd watched “Filthy Rich” on Netflix which is the Epstein Documentary. This is not something I would EVER normally watch. But it happened in my town and focused on the age I was back then… and there was just a lot of stuff that was very close to home that I couldn't look away.
After watching that, I decided to watch the documentaries this social media account had suggested as the stories had a great deal of overlap.
Legit, I was NERVOUS to watch them. I thought they were some sort of mind-control programming. I mean most were even taken off Youtube! I went in with a very skeptical eye.
I started with one that was still on Youtube. It's not the one she recommended watching first – and I see why. It was 10 episodes, some of which had been kicked off Youtube and I had to watch on Bitchute. After the first or second episode, it dove right into Trump propaganda and had both my husband and I rolling our eyes… But I committed to watching all 10 episodes and the other movie she had suggested. I knew that if I wanted to get past my anger at “the other side” I needed to at least put myself in their shoes.
I watched all 10 episodes and here's the highlight real:
- Yes, it felt like Trump propaganda
- Yes, I felt brainwash-y at points. They literally would say something like, “This side just repeats the story over and over until people believe it's true!” And then would proceed to do the same thing with the same storyline or imagery on the screen. Blatant subconscious programming IMO.
- Yes, parts of it were tied into verifiable facts
- Yes, it raised a lot of questions for me
But the verifiable facts piece is what caused me to look deeper and is an important note in this journey so don't forget it.
So I watched the other documentary she recommended. The one she said was the good “Starter” one.
This one was definitely better than the last; it dove deeper into the facts. Tied things together much clearer… but then at the end fell apart into theories and propaganda I felt.
But something had awoken in me. There was clearly more to the story than I'd been fed. But there was also clearly some major holes in the stuff people were watching. How could people be so gullible and fall for this crap I thought?! And why were both of these still touting Trump as a savior?! WTF was actually going on?
This leads me to the other accounts I started following. Like I said, this one IG account sort of curated a hub of content on her stories. I started tapping through to see the accounts she shared from. People often tagged this account as “one to follow” in a round up of accounts, which I'd click through and look at all of those too.
Eventually I came up with 5 accounts I'd check-in with regularly.
One was particularly interesting…
When I first found her I thought she was OUT OF HER MIND. I mean this chick was talking about being stalked and people out to get her and her family, it all seemed very right-wing extremist, and she talked about guns. Like A LOT about guns and gun rights… which I never really know how I felt about other than the fact the very idea of them left me feeling uneasy.
She was definitely the most triggering account for me to follow, which is why I chose her. The way she responded to people in the comments I thought was rude and offensive. I am pretty sure I called her a Neo-Nazi even when telling my husband about her.
Fast forward about a week into following her when I get a DM from one of my followers…
This is someone who had followed me for at least a year, if not more, and I had chatted with in my DMs before.
She wrote to me out of the blue and said, “Hi Rachel!!! I was doing some research into this influencer because of a very dangerous and misleading post she shared that’s been circulating on Instagram and I noticed you followed her! Just wanted to give you a heads up that she’s a seriously uninformed, dangerous person who shares these “views” to a large audience. The username is BLAH BLAH BLAH
So I replied, “Hi! Awe thank you what was the post? And trust me I’m following a handful of out there accounts right now ? I can explain it too lol I was actually waiting for a message like this to come in so thank you for being so kind in it ??”
“Omg absolutely. I figured from your own content that you wouldn’t support her nonsense so I was mostly confused lol. She’s spreading wild conspiracy theories and inaccurate info that right-wing extremists pander. Her whole page is absolutely wild. Anti-vaxx, people are out to get her, gun rights, “fake mainstream media”, blah blah blah. I can’t share the post that’s spreading because I reported it but here is one similar to it that I haven’t reported yet.”
She went on to a share a post from the girls feed where she had reposted the now infamous doctors talking about treating patients successfully with HCQ… which I thought was interesting that both this person messaging me and IG were flagging that as “false” because I firsthand new doctors and had heard testimonials about people being treated with HCQ, Zinc, and another thing I can't recall the name of right now.
Keep in mind this was right at the start of the big censorship push… and I thought it was interesting that the words she used were one's I'd heard the news use: “dangerous” “conspiracy theories” “right-wing extremists.” It was like ticking off a checklist of headlines from CNN hot button words that get clicks in my mind.
So I felt curious to explore my theories on subconscious programming and the divide happening and what was going through other's minds and I asked her: “Can I ask you a few questions? I know this is all such a touchy subject so it's okay if the answer is no. And I'm an open book if you have any for me! I'm really just curious and looking to understand some stuff”
“Sure!” she said
Me: “How did you find her in the first place lol”
Her: “Another influencer I follow reposted it in their story [regarding the doctors I think] in all seriousness and I was shocked that they believed it because there had been no other indication of them being alt-right or even a conspiracy theorist.”
So just to explain the alt-right comment she made and what I'm about to say: I had actually NEVER seen this account share anything derogatory or hateful. She was sharing from Breitbart though which is why I labeled her as alt-right – I think that's important to note. I honestly know nothing about Breitbart other than what the news has said so this is all my own subconscious programming and languaging coming through. I have never researched them and have no experience with them as I have no intention of reading them. But it's a good example of how the subconscious works – if someone shares/reads BB then they must be alt-right is how the conditioning has become.
Me: “ahh makes sense. Yeppp I've STRUGGLED with the alt-right crap she shares and have gone to unfollow a handful of times. Like WHY can't you choose stuff from literally anywhere other news source than BB ?❤️ So I guess that leads me to the next q… which is how do you know it's false? And I say that from a place of love and curiosity… a little background just so you know where I'm coming from: a lot of the accounts I follow aren't representative of my views (clearly lol) but this is how I look at them: I do believe MSM is biased and I do believe these accounts are biased too or lazy or whatever you want to call them. But I look at it as a way to get a broader spectrum of information for doing my own research… my daughter was V injured… If you remember her ER visit from earlier this year? And when you actually do research into that and realize how MSM has spun the anti-V stuff… you sort of have to pull the blinders back and realize a lot more stuff. And when I say, how do you know it's false I am justtttt talking about the post you mentioned of the DR's stuff — not everything else haha because to your point, her account is wild lol”
Her: Gotcha! So basically what I mean is this: There is no such thing as “the mainstream media”. All media we consume is mainstream. Otherwise we wouldn’t have access to consume it. Now not all INFORMATION is mainstream. For example- if there is a CNN report on the flu vaccine and the only source they cite is the maker of the vaccine (not any other credible scientists), and you think, “Huh.. I don’t know if citing JUST the maker is a very good way to present this info..” then it’s 100% reasonable to search out what other credible scientists have to say about it! What is NOT acceptable or reasonable is to assume that – based solely on CNN’s report – that the flu vaccine is going to give your kid autism or whatever it is anti-vaxx people believe. I DO believe that every media outlet has a bias! And that’s normal. But just because a “mainstream” outlet publishes a questionable report doesn’t mean that the science behind the report is questionable. I do believe it is the responsibility of outlets to do research and cite reliable sources. And in the example we’re using here- I think it is 100% irresponsible for CNN to have published a report with their only citation being the maker of a flu vaccine. HOWEVER that doesn’t make the flu vaccine dangerous, which is what these people try to insist. For your question- I know her information is false because the people the information comes from aren’t credible. Not a single one of them. And every shred of credible info out there goes against what she claims to be true. That’s the definition of a conspiracy theory. And on top of that, her defenses to any criticism are never facts, but things like, “Wake up, sheeple!” or “This medicine has been safely used for YEARS” (sure it has- but not for this virus which is BRAND NEW). If there was a single bit of truth to literally anything she said, it might be different, but she’s using straw man defenses for a set of data that cannot be backed up by a SINGLE reliable source (and in fact is outright REFUTED but every reliable source).”
At that point I honestly didn't know what to say… her argument for why the doctors medical opinions weren't true were based on their character which seemed odd. Moreover, I knew firsthand that there were shred of credible info out there that supported these opinions. But she didn't ask me my opinion or why I thought there was some truth to that aspect so I kept my mouth shut on it. It was also very clear to me she had a lot of thoughts on anti-V's even though I'd just shared my personal story. She had no condolences, pause, or questions for me. Just jumped into “whatever it is anti-V people believe.”
So I went on to just say – which I regret honestly because she never asked me a question looking back HAHA that it comes to the fact truth lies in the middle for me. I can't get behind the idea that not a single bit of truth exists in anything this woman has said, just like I can't get behind the idea that all our traditional media outlets fully do their research and aren't bought and paid for in their reporting. My beliefs are shaped from personal experience though, which obviously have an emotional pull and are in fact biased and shared some more of my story with her… She closed it by just saying “I can respect a healthy criticism of the system and a healthy cynicism of the info out there!” and that was that.
In the days that followed I was anxious and nervous. Do I unfollow this account? What if more people find out? Then a wave of anger, “how dare someone police who I'm following and not ask me a single question or be willing to change her mind?” Then a wave of disgust for the account I was following and questioning myself if I was on the right path and maybe this woman's message was a sign…
Ultimately I decided to unfollow the account.
I checked in on it once a day or once every few days when I remembered to. Then about a week or two into doing that I started to change my mind a little. I started understanding WHY she responded to the people in her comments the way she did. I started to understand who she was as a person that led her to the stances she took on things. I started to flag articles and reports and studies she shared and cross reference them with the full article or study or other publications… One of the hardest things for me with this account was that she shared from Breitbart like I said. It's why we kept calling her an alt-right person. As a someone who was raised Jewish, BB to me is like the lower than scum.
Then she started to share some stuff said Seth Rogen had said in a podcast interview, which basically can be summarized in this quote from him where he said he was “fed a huge amount of lies about Israel” and went on to say, ““They never tell you that, ‘Oh, by the way, there were people there’. They make it seem like it was just like sitting there, like the fucking door’s open.”
Then she went on to share from a Rabba (female Rabbi) who I honestly can't even explain what I was reading. It was SO religious and referenced the Bible so much that it just went really far over my head and kicked up some of my own religious trauma and was very triggering for me.
Which leads me to religion I guess. I would say I'm more culturally Jewish; not religious. I went to many denominations of Judaic Hebrew school growing up, but then I also went to Southern Baptist church fairly regularly… Then in my teens I found Buddhism and thought that was the greatest thing. I never loved true religion. I remember being a LITTLE kid, I'm talking like 6 years old and not liking it.
I knew at that young of an age that religion had been weaponized and it just left me feeling uncomfortable.
Conservative Christians historically scared the shit out of me too if I'm being honest. I'd experienced a lot of microaggressions from them as a child and had countless first hand anti-semitic experiences before turning 20.
After my dad passed away when I was 19, I was an atheist for a bit and then found a relationship to God again after being in a 12 step fellowship for a while. It's not based on religion. But it's a deep faith, going back to my childhood when I remember praying as a little girl, and in my teens – never really knowing who or what I was praying to, but praying. My views are spiritual some may say. To me, I just believe in a universal, unconditional love and acceptance for all.
Which I suppose is why I challenged myself down this path in the first place.
Anyway tangent aside – this is all to say that after she shared Jewish voices on her account, I started realizing how little I even knew about Judaism and our history beyond the limited experiences I have, which really just centered around an obsession with the Holocaust from childhood. I never really went further back than that in learning about Judaic history. Like sure, I know what they high holidays are and Hanukkah is thanks to Rugrats specials growing up, but like I don't know much beyond those things. Which is funny, because this is being published on Yom Kippur…. it's all a full circle moment friends!
Anyway, this account who triggered the shit out of me, went on to share and more and more about the Middle East. What was happening there. First hand videos and testimonies sent in from followers. The more she shared, the more I realized how little I knew.
The more I realized that she didn't carry hatred in her heart like I'd assumed anyone who read BB did. She wasn't out to get Jews, or Muslims, or anyone for that matter.
I also realized that she responded to the comments on her post like that because she posts SO MUCH research, with links most of the time, in her story. And if she doesn't have a link, I google it verbatim to get the full picture and make sure she isn't just choosing bits that fit her narrative.
I realized, she uses her IG as a hub to share people's stories. Stories that may not make the news. Stories that can be triggering for some as it threatens their worldview – that cognitive dissonance piece I opened with.
And while I still don't agree with everything she posts, I admire her. She does a ton of research. She knows about topics I certainly do not know about. And she actually talks with people. Personally, I'm always more interested in first hand testimony than a neatly vetted journalistic report from a top news outlet. Because while I do think those are great, I think they only give us as much as they want to give us. For instance, an ABC news anchor who had the Epstein stories for yearssss said they kept squashing it even though she had tons of proof. I think they only report on what they want us to know. That was my belief before following this woman's account and has only been echoed since.
The account shared all of this information within a week or two of the conversation I had with that follower. I realized I had judged her very quickly and that my original judgments were based on fear. Fear that she was spreading hate. Fear that she was spreading “dangerous misinformation.” And that if I wanted to embody what I spoke about – to move forward from a place of hope and not fear I needed to keep witnessing and seeking to understand.
Around this time – out of curiosity, I went back to look at that followers account. She had unfollowed me.
That sort of solidified my decision to keep going on this path. I was shocked she'd unfollowed me. I thought we'd had a nice peaceful exchange. I never shared anything some could consider “questionable” or “inflammatory” at that point on my stories or feed. I was honestly dumbfounded.
That's when I realized a few things. First, that I needed to just focus on myself because even when coming from a place of love, being PC and nice people were going to receive it however they chose. I also realized the intolerance and the echo chamber so many of us were living in was becoming dangerous in itself, and being weaponized, and causing the very harm that we perceived the opposing party was doing.
In the months that have since followed, I've learned a lot of things. Here's a highlight reel:
- I ended up following a few very conservative Christian women. Women who would have scared the crap out of me in the past. Women represented other women from my childhood that left me feeling small, unworthy, or dirty. These women will probably never know how they gave me the opportunity to heal these wounds I cared for so long. Women who I have grown to admire and respect. Women who actually bring a ton of hope to my life today – even when I still disagree with their stances are some major life changing things.
- The ability to think for myself. I no longer jump to labeling things as “dangerous” or “misinformation” I realize how those labels were fed to me via other outlets. I feel like I have a more holistic picture and understanding. It's sort of like the puzzle pieces came together for me on things like C0 v ! D. Where once I felt fear, then I was like, “WTF why the contradictions/confusion?” And now I just feel gratitude, compassion, excitement, and love around it. Which I know is an interesting set of feelings to ascribe to this time, but if you remember my opening story with Shaman staying with me and triggering me – I look at this as global opportunity for shadow work. To see where fear or density has been tightly grasped and to transmute it. We'll go deeper into this in the series.
- Multiple truths can and do exist at all times. This year it seems like if you don't believe X then you must be for Y on a lot of topics. When in reality – to go with the previous example – I think you can believe the virus is real and harmful AND believe businesses should reopen and masks should be a choice. But we will go deeper into that in this series as well…
- I also had to rebalance at a certain point. At a certain point I realized I was only checking in with these accounts that once triggered me who no longer did. So I REBALANCED and found the most vocal accounts from the other perspective and started watching their stuff regularly. Which has been an interesting experience in itself too…
I'm launching this series to shine a lot on the subconscious programming that was running my life in the past, what I've learned from it. The subconscious programming that fueled feelings of fear, powerlessness, anger, and disconnection. I'm not here to change your mind or ask for your journey to look like mine.
I'm here sharing my experience that led me to ask a lot of questions and expand my mind. A process that felt deeply triggering and uncomfortable in the beginning but allowed me to move forward from a place of unconditional love, curiosity, and hope. A place that feels free and empowering. Some might call it the growth zone.
I believe we are all actually far more ALIKE in the issues than we realize. In my episode on “how to lift out of the confusion of 2020” I talked about the bias in which information is exchanged in our world. This is going a layer deeper than that. With this knowledge I hope that you're able to witness the subconscious programming coming up in your life, transmute it if that feels right for you, and make choices for yourself. When you heal yourself, you heal those around you.
What to expect in this series:
- My health story.
- A talk with Quantum Linguistic expert Dani Katz
- A talk with subconscious expert Jena Sophia
- A talk with subconscious home expert Bryanna Dee
- A talk with Dr. Seth Gerlach on 2020, functional medicine, and the subconscious programming in our health system
- A talk with Shaman Durek on creating heaven on earth
Anyway subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher as I won't be transcribing the guest episodes like this, only the solo ones. I'm truly an open book. If you have questions, feel free to ask me @theconfusedmillennial