The First Violation – Day 30, #WMW2014

I believe in order to discover liberation, you have to identify what first bound you.

Often, there is a first violation….or series of such…that introduces the concept of shame and guilt that we carry with us.

Sometimes we only carry it subconsciously, but we carry it nonetheless.

Donald Miller mentioned this concept in his keynote address at the World Domination Summit in 2013 recently and its something I discuss to in various public speeches. I don’t think I’ve ever publicly shared many of my first violations. (Click the link above to be taken to the video of his speech.)

A lot of you know some of the story regarding my childhood abuse, which is very much a violation but there were others too. The one that I always remember is the church picnic.

Every year the church I grew up in had a big picnic. The adults would grill the food. The young kids would ride their bikes. The teenagers would go off in groups and whisper. The pre-teen girls would play double dutch and the pre-teen boys would play basketball.

There are a few things to be noted.

  • I was a pre-teen.
  • BUT, I didn’t know how to jump double dutch.
  • I had about five god brothers and was always surrounded by boys.

So when given the option of “what to do at this church picnic”, I decided to go watch my god brothers and the other boys play basketball.

Oh, there are a few other things to remember.

  • I am from Chicago.
  • As a pre-teen basketball was what we breathed.
  • REMEMBER, the Bulls in the 90’s, we had 2 THREE-PEATS. Basketball was everything and I was just as obsessed with watching it.

I had been sitting quietly to the side watching the boys and within five minutes one of the older women of our church came and grabbed me. “Sheena Young! I am taking you to your MOTHER! Acting all FAST! You need to repent!”

Needless to say, my mother was more understanding when the church lady spewed her righteous and repressed indignation to her. I wasn’t punished by my mother.

But I remember feeling embarrassed in front of my god brothers and I remember feeling conflicted about my actions compared to what others thought I should be doing.

I didn’t necessarily think I was wrong. I remember feeling conflicted.

And that, for many years was the story of my life.

The CONFLICT.

I knew deep inside that many of my desires were not wrong but they were in direct conflict with all that I was told to believe and in how I was instructed to live.

That is one of my first violations. Feeling embarrassed and conflicted about my innocence and my curiosity.

I no longer feel “conflicted.” That didn’t happen until my mid twenties.

But that violation among many is one of the things I had to address.

You have to address your violations too.

In my keynote address at “Welcome Home,” I stated, “We all have our tragedies and if we don’t deal with them by acknowledging them and working our way through it, that stuff is gonna come back up. It’s not like it died when you buried it. No. That thing is a zombie and its gonna come back and bite the shit out of you.”

 I believe in order to discover liberation, you have to identify what first bound you.

Everyone has their method for healing, for freedom, for self actualization and for liberation. I am often asked about mine.

STEP ONE: Acknowledge what first bound you. Acknowledge your first violation. Work your way mentally, philosophically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually through it until that confliction or that hurt or that shame no longer has the power. Work your way through it until your authentic truth has the power.

So do that today. Go journal or go blog or make a collage scrap page about one of your first violations. There could be many. It could be as traumatic as childhood sexual abuse or it could be an old church lady telling you to repent for watching a basketball game. Either way, name what binds you.

And to the adults, shaming girls for watching the boys or for being interested in the “boy things”….consider this video. I love it.


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This post is part of my 30 Days to 30 birthday challenge, #WDW2014 where I write and muse on topics that challenge me to crack my self wide open. My desire is to let go, let loose and tap into my raw nature. I want to get even more in tuned with my soulful knowing, my deep intuition and I want to be intentional, communal and to share my spirit. There are 30 days until my 30th birthday and I’d like to spend this time breaking myself open as I delve deeper into what it means to be a Wild Magical Woman.

"wmw2014" - sheenalashay.com

 The lead photo is an adaptation based on THIS PHOTO by Mark Ingle. (The license info can be found here.)

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