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NAVIGATING ABANDONMENT By Tru Guy Stefan

Navigating Abandonment
Birth of a Seeker
My story begins in 1953 after being born to two blind parents.  Much was going on due to the challenges my parents had to face, especially after giving birth to 6 children, with me being the 5th. My father was of gypsy heritage and had been abused physically and emotionally by his father and my mother was from Rimouski Quebec and lost her sight from meningitis at the age of 13.
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In the above picture, taken in eastern Metro Toronto in the 1950’s, all you can see of me are the hands you see wrapped around the bottom left leg of my father.  Ironically, this would come to be a symbol of my not being seen, and often being left out of the picture, not only in connection to family, but also in my attempts to be more a part of community. This was further complicated shortly after the taking of this picture when I was, at age six, sexually assaulted in an alley at gunpoint by a strange man, which caused me to lose my memory for several years.  I was told many years later that after the assault I apparently went somewhat psychotic.  It seems I left this worldly dimension for a while and only had memories returning as I reached nine years old.  Due to my uncontrollable behavior I was sent to numerous foster and group homes (shortly following the assault) until I was around 16 years old. I was still in high school when I left my last foster home to live independently.
The journey continued with me doing volunteer work with the Toronto Metro and Catholic Children’s Aid were I served as a house parent for other kids stepping out into independence after being in ‘the system’. Also, while finishing High School I came under the auspices of a United Church Minister and given the role of Youth Director for the churches’ young people. This also led to me opening a half way house for people living on the street with the financial support of the church.  After graduating, my hunger for meaning led me to leave the United Church due to ‘spiritual’ differences between myself and the Minister whose guidance I had been under.
I entered University and began my life long search for the “Truth” about myself and life in general.  What followed was years of study, child care work, my awakening to express myself through poetry, songwriting and music, training as a holistic psychotherapist, graduating as a professional Shiatsu Therapist, teaching and facilitating workshops for dealing with stress and self realization, working at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry on the Forensic Unit, performing as a singer-songwriter, and the list goes on…all in service to finding my place in the world and to alleviate the pain of my own sense of being different and living nomadically. I was highly sensitive and reactive in situations of conflict, and finding love for myself. As much as I wanted to help others, it distracted me from my own deep needs while also helping me to gradually get more in touch with them.
Doing my own deep inner work in group therapy, primal therapy, psycho-dramatic bodywork, individual psychotherapy, transpersonal psychology among others, as well as pursuing a variety of spiritual studies ranging from Zen, the Gurdjieff Work, Esoteric Christianity, Sufism, The Tao and the scientific and spiritual aspects of Quantum Mechanics, and my growing interest in the energetic and emotional affects of sound with a specific focus on the human voice, all served to widen and deepen my appreciation for where meaning could be found and explored.
Essentially, this history of events and pursuits relates to my search for my power in the world. Living nomadically alienated me from establishing deep, long lasting connections with others.  The sexual assaults (this happened again, not at gunpoint, but from other strangers, 3 more times while I was growing up) significantly disempowered me.  Living in institutions conditioned me to conform and believe in the absolute truth of authority. Being very sensitive made it difficult to be ‘one of the guys’. I was easily triggered by conflict or by anyone trying to dominate me, and I felt great shame if my anger surfaced in reaction to this, and made me believe I was “too much”, or too intense for others to deal with. I was living in a bubble of self preservation and fear.
I had learned how to use my story to get some degree of empathy and sympathy from others, which ironically, became another form of dis-empowerment in the long run. I needed to let go of my attachment to this story, and to see myself as unable to fully take care of myself. From another perspective It was fueling how I was learning to express myself through songwriting and performing.  What was emerging was my recognition of how I could touch others with stories and songs that spoke about our universal experiences.  The higher meaning arising from these experiences had to do with how it birthed a deep sensitivity and compassion for all of life.  This led me to see that what was emerging from this perspective was that I was meant to share my heart with the world and to own my power in doing so. I came to strongly feel that this was why I was here.
When I would sing one of my songs people would tell me how deeply it touched them. In time, with the further development and skill with which I used my voice, along with the feedback I was getting from others, told me that the pure resonance of my voice alone had a healing affect, as evidenced from a recent testimonial that was shared with me after an event I performed at:
“There is a quality to your voice that feels very warm, soothing, nurturing, comforting and calming to me. It’s a healing voice you have. I felt like I was being wrapped up in a warm blanket and held lovingly by the presence and vibration of your voice. It’s consistent, steady, direct, assuring and soft.”
This kind of feedback, along with my ongoing search for meaning, as well as doing mind-body work as a Shiatsu Therapist deepened my ability to tap into my essence and the deeper truth’s of others and life in general.  So much so, that now, at the ripe young age of 62, I am finally ready to step into my full power of expression as a teacher, writer, storyteller, singer and sound alchemist.
Reframing my story from victimhood to empowered authenticity and to what I can truly contribute to myself and the world has inspired me to surrender to my heart and to a love I always sought outside of myself, but could now find and feel within myself and in all of Great Nature.
As the lyrics of one of my songs says, ”I can focus on what has hurt me, or on what I wish I had…or I can take a good look around me, at all that makes me what I am. I’m grateful for the blue skies and rain…grateful for the pleasures and the pain…grateful, when I’m coming home again.”
When others experience and witness my power AND vulnerability it seems to inspire the same to emerge in them, which further empowers me.  This demonstrates so beautifully the gracious reciprocity of life.  ~Tru
www.truguy.com

http://www.truguy.com/navigating-abandonmentbirth-seeker/

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A beautiful and evocative song, composed and sang by Tru Guy Stefan, titled: “Shake Me”

One Response to “NAVIGATING ABANDONMENT By Tru Guy Stefan”

  1. Adi Kanda says:

    So moving and beautifully told Tru. You describe a time of such profound opening and I honour you in it, with all that you are. <3

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