The Polygamist's Daughter

Stories, Reflections and Conclusions of Life on the Inside

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Heart Power

As many of us have come to realize, all of our systems, nationally and globally, are undergoing a shift as more truth about our systems and their limitations are brought into the light. The availability of information can either be seen as a cause for blame and resentment or an opportunity to create new systems that not only benefit us individually, but the entire human family.

There are many of us who recognize that we are leaders and messengers in this global shift in consciousness. As leaders and messengers it is vital that we bring our Heart Power into everything we do. Harmony is the song of the universe and the energy of love is what causes it to flow gracefully.

It is vital that we bring our Heart Power into everything we do. For me using “Heart Power” means bringing compassion and understanding into every area of my life. Not just with my family and friends but into my work as well. It means looking past blame or resentment for what has been and seeing instead with compassion and understanding. Only with compassion and understanding can we see clearly into the possibilities of what can be.

Over the past few weeks I have found myself putting this Heart Power into practice as I worked in a documentary film I am producing regarding Warren Jeffs and the FLDS. Filming on location in Colorado City I was harassed by what the locals call the God Squad. During local interviews I heard numerous stories of abuse, kidnapping, animal torture, sex trafficking, rape, extortion and suicide…every possible atrocity known to humankind all justified by religion and a man who calls himself a prophet of God.

It is my life purpose to bring into the light the subjects of spiritual abuse and spiritual liberation. Because of my own healing and spiritual freedom from Mormon Fundamentalism I was able to see those affected by the FLDS practices and beliefs with compassion. They are people who are doing the best they can with what they know, good people who are misguided by a man who is driven by his own desires. As warped and twisted their lifestyle may be to the rest of us, deep inside they are no different. They are looking for guidance, acceptance and support.

Learning how to use the power of love also made it possible for me to see Warren Jeffs, as deviant as he may be, through compassion and understanding. Had it not been for his selfish desires as a religious zealot the story of the FLDS might never be told and the people would never find the freedom they deserve. Because of his abuses of religion and the people under his control the members of the FLDS will now have the opportunity to attain true liberation.

That knowledge makes my work worth the effort. Facing my work with heart brings the possibility of harmony to all those who may be served by my message. It brings the possibility of healing from the spiritual abuse that those affected have undergone. And it provides the rest of the world with the ability to see those affected by spiritual abuse with their own understanding and compassion.

As each of us brings Heart Power into our work, home, community and relationships, we will see a shift in humanity as a whole. Bringing love into everything we do individually has the potential to create a new world collectively. Love indeed is the most powerful thing in the world!

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Soul Family

Over the past few years I have made many friends on Facebook, or what I lovingly call my soul family.  Sometimes Spirit runs thicker than blood and I am closer friends all over the world than I am to my blood relatives. They know my heart and they follow the same purpose, to make this world a better place for everyone.

Rebecca Musser is one of those friends I call family. Rebecca is an author, speaker, advocate, musician & mother. She is a radiant woman who has dedicated to life to the freedom of other women. She was the pivotal witness in recent trials convicting 10 FLDS men in Texas for sexual assault of a child, and 11 men total regarding the subjugation of women. Rebecca is an advocate for victims of human trafficking, and author of The Witness Wore Red (Grand Central 2013). She is also the founder of ClaimRED, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing dignity, hope and healing to victims of human trafficking.

This morning she left a beautiful post on her wall, a happy birthday to herself, and a very well deserved congratulations for being who she is! Below are her words, a short snippet of where she once was and where she is now:

“Where were you 10 years ago, and where will you be in ten more?

September 8, 2002….. A day filled with shock and uncertainty.  What was never supposed to happen, happened……The Prophet of the FLDS, Rulon Jeffs, died unexpectedly.  Being born and raised in the FLDS, I believed what I had been taught–that the “Prophet” would never die.  Now, at age 26, I was a “widow”……along with over 60 other women who were living in the same house.

My understanding of the world I knew hinged on the “Prophet”…..and now he was dead.  I struggled not with his death, but with the blatant contradiction of him dying and the teachings I had been given my entire life.  My mind raced with thoughts…..if this isn’t true, then it would mean that  “that” isn’t true, and if “that” isn’t true, then……  Around and around the thoughts swirled in my head.  I felt like the world all around me was crumbling. I felt confused, scared, and numb.  I felt like I was being suffocated by utter shock and uncertainty.  The “programmed” part of me who was taught what to think and wanted the FLDS story to be true, shattered, and to my surprise, when the pieces fell, the only part left standing was the very part of me I had been taught to suppress.  I had no way of knowing that the chaos around me was not the end, but was in fact, the beginning of my liberation and freedom.

Today, ten years later, my life has been completely transformed by the choice I made to leave the FLDS.  Where I once felt stifled, oppressed, and owned, I now feel deliciously alive and free.  Growing up, I could usually find some reason to be happy, but it is only now that I can experience the power and authenticity of true joy.  The past 10 years have been the most challenging years of my entire life, but they have also been the most empowering, fulfilling, and miraculous.  The incredible freedom I now enjoy could never have been possible if the world I knew hadn’t crumbled.  Today, I am most grateful for that event, and I am delightfully excited for what the next 10 years will bring.”

I am fortunate to call Rebecca my friend, and my soul sister.

It is women like her who are driven to ensure that the trafficking of women and girls becomes more openly recognized, and hopefully someday, will become obsolete.

Happy Birthday Rebecca. May the next 10 years be even more miraculous and joyful than the past 10 years!

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Ovecoming Polygamy and Other Nonsense

Liberating myself from my childhood experiences and beliefs did not happen overnight. It was a journey that spanned most my lifetime and only recently became a journey in paradise as I came to understand a greater sense of myself and my own truths.  I came to recognize the truths about my beliefs and how they affected me on my life path.

The core belief in my childhood religion was that men are Gods and God is man. I was born into the belief that I was, and always would be, worth less than men. I believed that God saw men as more important and more deserving then women. From the time I was very small I knew that a woman would only be allowed into heaven if a man deemed her worthy and without marriage she was destined to spend eternity as a lonely servant in a spiritual prison.  I was also led to believe that the only way a woman could earn real status in the eyes of God was to give her husband other wives with which to plant his seed.  The more seeds a man was allowed to plant in the fertile womb of women the greater his worth in the eyes of God and the greater a woman’s worth in the eyes of her husband.  The sole purpose for woman’s existence was to bear her husband’s fruit and to raise her husband up to the status of a God.  I was taught that God had my physical and eternal existence planned out for me and that any deviation from His plan ensured an eternity in misery.  I came to fear God and His angry judgments of me. In the pervasive belief that I was of little worth I held no esteem for myself and had no concept of love. I knew nothing of love for myself, for my family, for my life or even for God.  My entire existence evolved around dependency on men and their version of God.

The God of my religion was not only a sexist; He was a racist and a bigot.  I was taught that black people are the children of Satan and even being in the midst of a black person would ensure an eternity in hell.  I was taught that only those in my religion were God’s chosen people and that anyone with any other religious conviction had succumbed to the ways of the devil.  It was ingrained in me that our church was the only true church of God and every other belief was a deception.  I was indoctrinated with the knowledge that God’s people are a peculiar people and to be proud of a life filled with judgment and ridicule.  I was taught that life was meant for misery and that I would be rewarded in eternity for a lifetime of pain. I was told to fear anyone who did not look like me, believe like me or live like me. Fear penetrated every aspect of my life until I found myself in the desperation of suicide – but fear prevented me from taking my own life.  I came to realize that I could no longer live with the beliefs that deep inside of me did not resonate with my truth and I had to find a way out.

Breaking free from polygamy and the other irrational beliefs of my childhood became what I now recognize as a four-step process.  The initial step to overcoming my beliefs was physical freedom which I attained at the age of seventeen as a runaway in the back seat of a stranger’s car.  Dropped off in the heart of Salt Lake City I was free to navigate a world I knew nothing about and had been taught my entire life to fear.  I hoped that the change of environment would miraculously bring me happiness and fulfillment, but the emotional anguish I thought would disappear by changing my circumstances only followed me.

That internal agony I had hoped would go away instead became emphasized by my fear of repercussions from God for disobeying Him and not following His plan for me. I lived in the misery of knowing I was destined for an eternity in hell, not recognizing I was already in hell because my beliefs held me there. I did everything I could do to escape my emotional captivity. I became an addict of many things out of desperation for the validation and affection I had never received as a child. I developed an insatiable appetite for food, sex, alcohol and drugs, anything to numb the ever present pain. On the outside I was cool, fashionable and chic. On the inside I was a desperate little girl crying out for attention.

That road of desperation continued until the age of twenty-one when a psychology class opened my eyes and allowed me to see that my childhood experiences and traumas had caused me to grow without esteem or confidence. I was also introduced to the Science of Mind principles and for the first time I began to see that I could change my life and create my own destiny.  I no longer had to live in the pain, fear and guilt of an angry and judgmental God who existed to spite me.  I began a path to healing my mind and my emotions and I began learning how to make choices as I navigated my life with curiosity and courage. Over the next six years I intensely focused on my mental and emotional transformation. Eventually I came to a place where I felt an inner sense wellbeing and balance. I was no longer dependent on anyone or anything for my happiness and sense of self. The fears of God’s punishment vanquished and hell ceased to exist. I was emotionally and mentally free and from there I began a journey to success and financial reward. Life was good. I met my husband, owned several successful businesses and had two beautiful children. I purchased a new home, wore beautiful clothing and I traveled the world. I thought I had it all but something was still not quite right. Deep within me I was still tied to my circumstances and haunted by my past.

It wasn’t until life began crashing around me that I discovered what had been missing and the key to true and lasting liberation. In the midst of chaos I found spiritual freedom.  I came to discover that I never felt truly fulfilled in my life because the fear-based beliefs from my childhood religion still lingered in the recesses of my mind. They still penetrated every cell of my body and tore at my heart and soul. I had let go of any notion of religion and spirituality in my twenties as part of my emotional and mental freedom process. But those deep seeded beliefs still controlled me at a very deep and unconscious level. All of those fear-based beliefs kept me from experiencing the glorious potential of life and knowing my true divine worth.

It wasn’t until I learned how to separate religion and spirituality that I found my spiritual freedom. I came to recognize that my fears and beliefs were nothing more than the fears and beliefs that others attempted to place on me, most of which stemmed from the religious beliefs of my childhood.  I came to see that the dogmatic teachings of religion are not the same as spiritual truths.  I began to realize that there is no one right way to God and that religion is an individual choice.  I came to recognize that the religions of our world are based on the interpretations of those who create any given sect, religion or practice.  I began to understand that there are both light and deception in every religion and that awareness provides me with the capacity to see the good in all of it. Separating religion from spirituality gave me the ability to develop a deep respect for every spiritual master who has graced planet earth.  And I came to see that although religion is not for me I can still have a deep and intensely rewarding connection to Spirit.

My path to freedom culminated in a magnificent journey into love and light in oneness with what I know within myself as Creator. I now perceive what many call God as pure unconditional love; without reservation and without judgment. One that sees us all in absolute equality. I have overcome the belief that polygamy leads to eternal exaltation, that I am worth less than men, and that I am not  intended for happiness. I have let go the many irrational expectations and limitations that existed in my childhood way of life. I am free from the fear-based dogmatic rituals of my youth and I have transcended the beliefs that once held me in spiritual prison. Because of my own spiritual liberation, I now see those who live in fear through the eyes of compassion as I recognize how  easily we are all controlled by our beliefs. And, I recognize that we are all on  individual journeys of self-discovery as we each follow our own path in our own  personal evolution.

Overcoming polygamy and other such nonsense was not an easy journey but one well worth the effort.  The reward that comes with absolute freedom to be who I really am within myself and live in my truth is immeasurable. My journey into freedom culminated in a book about the process of overcoming my childhood beliefs. That book entitled “Transcending Fear” is currently available on Amazon Kindle and is scheduled for full release in early 2012 with availability in bookstores worldwide.