I am Light; I am an embodiment of unconditional love and supreme grace. I am a Goddess who has trudged through her murky, muddy war trenches of self-violation and violent violation. I fought, I died, I lived. I stood naked in my truth, violated in my vulnerability but continued to fight the darkness, my darkness, valiantly until there was nothing left to fight. I did so in order to become a Warrior of Light, soldiering on, killing my fears, facing my demons, hiding from lies, blinded by my pain but I “felt” my way through the darkness until I did not just find the light, I became the Light. I am Light! My spirit, relentless and resilient, courageous and valiant does not just define me, it now distinguishes me. I AM LIGHT!
I had made an early conscious decision to be larger than a life event, it influenced me and bulldozed and demolished my Soul for a long while but it could never determine who I became or did not choose to become. I chose to not let the beastly brutality of a rape at the age of fifteen damage my dreams. My Soul had been damaged, I had been damaged but my unfulfilled dreams were the sacred space that nobody, but nobody was going to violate, damage or demean.
He beat and bashed my head repeatedly against the cold, hard toilet tiles. I screamed it was excruciating pain, my skull in which my sanity sat was cracking, was breaking…I was breaking. He choked me to silence my screams while bashing and beating me. I screamed silently as I anticipated the inhumane slaughtering of my child-like, lamb-like innocence. He reduced me to a choked piece of bruised and battered pleading bodily pulp, reducing my resistance to “prepare” me to being repeatedly stabbed, internally stabbed with a jagged, sharpened, blunted knife all the same. I was stabbed repeatedly and choked while he was stabbing me. I smelled my blood, tasted my blood, swallowed my blood, I drowned in my blood. My sacred femininity had been forever murdered, stolen, torn apart. I could no longer see, my eyes were punched shut. He had blinded the windows to my soul so that it could not reflect the untainted innocence of a fifteen-year-old, pleading child. He broke the Windows of Soul so that he would not be able to see his beastly reflection in my child-like eyes. My body no longer felt the pain, the torture had now tired me and I resigned myself to letting go…I was losing consciousness and walking towards the Light, the beautiful, bright, captivating light…I crossed over with just one foot, I touched the other side. It felt good, perfect peace overcame me, I was exhaling…And then I was pulled back, I opened my closed eyes and saw the Hugest Angel standing over me, I reached out to touch its Wing…I regained my strength and negotiated and fought for my Life.
I was mistaken for a victim of a train accident at the police station; they thought a train had ridden over my face. I was heavily sedated and when I awoke 48 hours later, everything was dark, I could not see, I was blinded, he had blinded me in so, so many innumerable ways. How was I possibly going to ever see life through my gentle, kind, child-like lenses again? I forced my eyes open, I needed to see me, and I need to know what I looked like. What stared back at me in the mirror was a character from a horror movie, one which I did not recognize, one I could not identify with as the “Lynn” I once was. This was no make-up, this was real but how possibly could it be? Had I died, the coffin would never have been able to be opened for viewing. Would/could I ever be that Lynn again? This moment marked the beginning of my detachment from the horror movie; I became an observer, nauseated to my core at what I saw. How did this happen? How does one human being get to brutalize another without a justifiable reason, no reason is good enough when the body and soul of another are battered without reason… I hated the horror movie and yet my mind forced me to watch it. It would re-play the content over and over and over again. Recurrent nightmares never asked for my permission, neither did fear, neither did a justice system that let him out on R500.00 bail. He who raped my body and my soul did not ask for my permission…
HOW DID I COPE?
The moment, I disowned the horror mask that stared back at me in the mirror birthed the only way possible to cope then. This was to find the most successful ways of not coping. I denied I repressed, I detached, I buried, I disguised, I deflected my feelings. It was too sore, too raw, and too painful to feel. To feel the feelings would have me need to face the feelings. My fifteen-year-old brain and heart had no idea what to do with it. I started to dig the grave in which I would bury that which my heart and soul could not contain. It was this grave that I would quietly visit and kneel at and cry and ask God… “Why Me?” While my feelings were buried, I still believed that they were sacred but I still had no idea about what to do about them, so I did nothing. All I felt was emptiness, the gift of being a carefree teenager was stolen from me before I even got to understand the fullness of the gifting.
I became a better version of an already conscientious student. My academic symbols now were the only symbol of my self-worth. I was raped and I had lost my personal worth. I did not get to decide this, the level and depth of soul demolition decide it for you. Exactly one year later I experienced full-blown Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I attended therapy once a week for a year. Each time she said: “I understand what you must be feeling Lynn” was when I wanted to shout and scream that nobody will ever understand unless you went through exactly the same level of violation and brutality. It was in those moments that at the very tender age of seventeen, I vowed to become a psychologist/counselor/healer who would own empathy at its deepest soul level because every human or woman who has ever experienced such pain deserves the deepest level of understanding. I knew then that my levels of experienced pain and the self-disclosure attached to it would one day be the foundation upon which humans and women would be healed. I wanted others to know that I truly understood because I fully understood because I had been there… I live that vision now. This is a quotation I once received from a client who was a Social Worker but was molested by her uncle for the duration of her twelve-year school career. The choice she was given was molestation or education. She chose education so that the cycle of poverty in her family would be broken:
“For a moment I saw God in her eyes talking to me, it felt like my last day where I had to wipe my slate clean, she offered me her heart and pain for me to walk over my fears and uncertainties. I embraced the offer and everything seemed so easy.”
“I saw that woman again today and I feel different, I feel liberated!! I now know what I want!!”
I think I know 90% of what you told her but what did she say you must do?
No daughter, she doesn’t tell you what to do she enables the process of making a valid decision…
The evening was good!!!”
Social Worker & once much-wounded Soul!
These are the moments I don’t just make more sense, many years later of my own pain and suffering, these are the moments I thank God for having chosen me to experience my own crucifixion so that others would experience their resurrection.
But at seventeen, I still feared public toilets. I still feared my own toilet being locked in my own house. I feared being raped again. I feared bumping into the rapist who lived in my community and was out on R500.00 bail. I feared the court date because it was a respective seven and ten months window period in which he could come back to kill me or have me killed so that I would not provide evidence against him. In the deep darkness, I twice contemplated suicide and yet I was experiencing suicide, society’s judgment and ignorance was my suicide too. The physical rape and abuse become the first rape. Your soul gets raped repeatedly thereafter…You begin to wonder which is really worse. I was raped in the Supreme Courtroom when my truth was interrogated and I was asked to defend why I “had thought all of this up for purposes of seeking attention?” I was raped harder when the Justice System failed me and granted him a sentence of only ten years, one which he never got to fully serve based on “good behaviour” I was raped when I was seen as “damaged goods” and not the virginal soul whom I still was. I was this beyond a hymen that had been torturously torn, not even voluntarily broken. My deepest hurt and my deepest anger were when someone who once held a significant presence in my life in anger told me: “THE RAPIST SHOULD HAVE FINISHED YOU!” That was the last moment of demolition, despite how many of my dreams had not been demolished by then. I now chose to rise to another level of victory commensurate with the deepened level of the deepest pain…
I coped by becoming a professional success and a proud parent. I kept busy. I counseled and inspired others to recognize the value in their own healing and restoration. I was the highest, purest version of the wounded healer. Twenty-four years later, I decided to start digging up the grave in which the buried memories had been protected, sacredly protected but never lamented, neither forgotten. I wrote a poem called: “THE RAPE” It was written with a sensory acuity and vividness as if I had been raped just a week ago. I was courageous enough now to feel my truth, face my truth as well as the rest of my fears that withheld me from standing in the full divinity of my WHOLE truth… I was asked to be part of a prison project at Polsmoor Prison, this would inevitably have me in a space of rehabilitated rapists. I was ready…It never happened but my willingness to do so with God’s grace was God’s way of praising me and acknowledging me for just how strong I had become.
TOOLS I USED TO CREATE A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN from THE GRAVEYARD
We don’t need to work through it all at once, we are meant to process our feelings at our own pace and while the depth of the pain was too much to process for many years, I had made some significant choices and come to significant realizations while I continued to process the pain, I chose to still exercise my Power. I did so in the following ways:
- I recognized at the age of sixteen and seventeen that my reason for living had to be far greater and significant than the reason for my nearly dying. I sought for the purpose of my pain. I found my Life Purpose in the Pain. While he did not get a fair sentence, the sentence had to have brought him to a point of recognizing that behaviour has consequence. He would also have needed to face that he was a serial rapist with anger issues towards his Mother and Sister. I will expand on this in my further point on release and forgiveness. I may have saved other innocent lambkins in my church and elsewhere from being brutalized by the same individual. Rapists and murderers can be churchgoers too and churchgoers can be rapists, molesters, and murderers. Through this experience, my level of empathy deepened, as did my understanding of the fragility of the human soul. It directed me towards studying Psychology and ultimately following my passion for inspiring, restoring and building human beings to become the very best versions of who they were born to be.
- While I could not control what happened to me, I could control how it would affect the rest of my life. He had damaged my body, mind, and soul but he could not damage my dreams. If I allowed him to damage my dreams and my destiny, I would have allowed him lifelong power over me. That would be my Life Sentence, my ultimate execution. He was too puny, too insignificant for this. Had I chosen to give my past the power and not build a future by being fully present, I would have succumbed to victimhood. My Life purpose was greater than this, as was my potential to become…anything & everything I wanted to still be…
- I chose where I wanted my focus to be. I knew I was experiencing pain, too much to face and deal with, but I never waited for the pain or the fear to totally disappear, before I resumed focussing on my dreams and moving forward. It is what we choose to do despite the fear and the pain, rather than what we think we cannot do because of the fear and the pain that determines where we eventually find ourselves. Focus has us present on one thing at any one time. I could not change my past, why would I choose to focus on something I could not change or focus on something that would not move me in the direction of my God-given Destiny. Yes, the memories on some days still found their way to my heart and soul and the heart of my soul because it could no longer find its way to my mind. I protected my mind, my sanity. Mentally I became more sharp, saner, the skull that once felt so cracked and broken, now housed my brain which I focussed on using fully to achieve my marks, my degrees, my thinking that would free me… I focussed on being powerful, rather than pitiful. Focus is the tool that gets us to choose how temporary or permanent any thought, feeling or action is in our lives as well as the value that the thought, feeling or action adds to where we would want our focus to be. We have to always know where we want our focus to take us! I knew my focus could not take me back, it had to move me forward.
- Gratitude was a major contributor to where my focus could be found. While the articulation of my Divine Purpose occurred as a result of my near-death experience, it was gratitude and finding the blessings in the rape that would impact the one thing that would be a differentiator in my Life: PERSPECTIVE! I searched for the blessings in that experience and I found it. I was so, so thankful that only one person raped me and not a gang. I was thankful that it lasted what felt like forever but only 45 minutes and not 45 hours or 45 days. I was thankful that my eyes were damaged, but I had not been blinded. I was thankful that I lived and did not die. I was thankful to those who attempted to understand my pain. I am thankful for my two gifts which God gave me despite having been told that the level of internal organ damage was of such that I would never be able to bear children. It was this level of gratitude, which would forever protect me from being a pitiful human being consumed by personal pain. I got to understand very early that in any given moment there are those who are so much worse off than ourselves. The words: “It could have been so much worse!” provides me in any given moment with a perspective that frees me rather than one which over-dramatizes what I am temporarily going through.
- Forgiveness and release freed me and became my runway for the take-off of my Soul’s Elevation I was born to fly… Every human being is. Unforgiveness manifested physically. I suffered from chronic bladder, womb and tube infections for approximately 25 years. I became immune to the strongest antibiotics; my tissue became too scared to perform more laparoscopies. It was my unforgiveness and anger which devoured the very bodily organs that were damaged by the rape, but it was also the parts which housed my sacred femininity. It was the writing of the RAPE poem which had me re-read its content to reach an understanding that it was never about me. I was a defenseless object for his displaced anger directed towards his mother and sister. He cursed them while he raped me. It was when I was able to objectify the experience and contextualize his anger that I realised he too was human, imperfect but human and I prayed that he realised the hugeness of his own mistakes. I prayed that he was rehabilitated and would have the potential to become a functional partner and parent. God Help him if he did not, but who he became or if he became, what he became, what he did at that moment no longer was any part of my business, it was never about me, it was about a wounded man who made his woundedness and brokenness my business. He was damaged. I was whole. In my wholeness, I wanted magic and miracles. I knew that I could not experience miracles in my own life if I remained in a state of anger and unforgiveness. A Course in Miracles teaches us that whatever we withhold from another will be withheld from ourselves. I wanted no goodness to now be withheld from me, I released everyone who had violated me and I forgave myself for the conscious and unconscious times I had violated others. This was a lesson which I had extracted from Dr. John Demartini’s Breakthrough experience called the “Quantum Collapse Process” which I happened to be reading at the same time I worked through my poem. I was free…We believe we punish those who punish us when we do not forgive, but what we really do is rob ourselves of the fullness of our own power, our divinity can never be fully expressed in a state of anger and unforgiveness, neither can our brilliant human potential to become all that we were born to be optimized. On my journey, forgiveness was not excusing the act; it was understanding the context in which it happened and coming to terms with the benefit of releasing the person from my system. When I blessed the one who once inhumanely brutalised me, I stepped into the next dimension of personal power and personal success. If I could release him, I could release anyone. I now live in perfect peace…
I am Lynn, I am Light. I am a Goddess who chose to remain focussed on who I could become. I chose to transcend the limitations linked to a brutal rape, growing up on the Cape Flats, a teenage pregnancy, a divorce, and some other life drama. I chose to become despite the justifiable and experienced limitations. I am an inspirational speaker, a counselor, and Life Coach, a single successful mom, a good daughter, and writer. I have just completed my long overdue book called: “Butterfly, My Soul Got Wings…what Life has taught me” and I am planning to very shortly collate my already written Poetry Anthology. I have a vision of taking inspiration through my products in different versions and my book into the world and especially the South African townships and rural communities where inspiration is most needed. It shall be translated into various African languages. I have come to know that unconditional love is the primary inspirer and healer. It must first be found and owned within before we can share it and choose to pay it forward…
Dig up what still needs to be dug up when you feel your time has arrived, but you do not have to wait for the grave to totally disappear before you plant your garden. Do not allow time which is a healer to become your crutch for not taking responsibility for your healing or your destiny! Take what you would love to define you and what you love to do to the level that it distinguishes you. Apply your imagination, rather than recycle the memories which keep you stuck. All graveyards can become gardens, especially so when we have a clear picture of what we want our garden to look like, it’s a choice away! It is my hope that my garden will create a tranquil healing, growing space in which a new way of thinking and perceiving will be birthed and will blossom in your life and in the lives of those whom you touch and who will touch you within the context of joy, blessings, gratitude and changed perspective. Be Blessed!
As a high stakes conference and Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Leadership Coach, and Consultant, Lynn Hill has worked with thousands of senior executives and entrepreneurs in South Africa, challenging their traditional notions about personal development and branding, business relationships and excellence.
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