Tao – This is the Way
A relationship scam is a vicious crime that has the potential not only to be devastatingly traumatic but can almost destroy the very soul of its victims. The Tao – the way – offers an approach to recover from the crime and the devastation to the self that the scam inflicts.
Taoism (or Daoism) is a term for philosophies that emphasize harmony with the Tao (Chinese: 道; pinyin: Dào; literally: “the Way”) which is seen as the principle which is the source, pattern, and substance of everything that exists. In other words the Tao is the pathway to balance.
Tao – in our contextualization relating to scam victims, this is the way – the pathway that scam victims can follow to return to their self – to their balance.
There are also non-Tao paths that lead to anger & rage, to denial and shame, and to sustained internal injury. SCARS rejects these paths.
Taoism tends to emphasize virtues such as wu wei (effortless action), ziran (naturalness), pu (simplicity), and spontaneity while placing less emphasis on norms and ritual – when we speak about rituals, we mean pointless rituals instead of profound rituals. This helps form a part of the philosophy of recovery for all those that go through a recovery process (or should.)
Finding The Path Of Tao
Taoism is a philosophy that emphasizes living in harmony with the natural world and with oneself.
Tao teaches that the key to happiness and well-being is to go with the flow of life and to accept things as they are, and not as our biases would have us believe they are.
This philosophy can be helpful for traumatized crime or scam victims in a number of ways.
One of the most important things that a traumatized person can do is to accept what has happened. This does not mean that they have to like it or agree with it, but it does mean that they need to acknowledge the reality of their situation. Taoism teaches that we cannot change the past, so we need to learn to accept it and move on. This can be a difficult process, but it is essential for healing.
Trauma can also lead to feelings of grief. This is a normal and healthy response to loss. Taoism teaches that grief is a natural part of life and that it is important to allow ourselves to feel it. Bottling up our emotions can only make them worse. Instead, we need to express our grief in a healthy way, such as through talking to a therapist, journaling, joining a SCARS Support Group, or spending time in nature.
Tao: Letting Go
Once we have accepted what has happened and allowed ourselves to grieve, we can start to let go of the past. This does not mean that we forget what happened, but it does mean that we no longer let it control our lives. Taoism teaches that we can only be truly happy when we let go of our attachments, including our attachments to the past.
Taoism also emphasizes the importance of balance in all aspects of life. This means finding a balance between work and play, between activity and rest, between giving and receiving, and even between sadness and happiness or trauma and joy. When we are out of balance, we are more likely to experience stress, anxiety, and depression. Trauma can also throw us off balance, so it is important to focus on restoring balance in our lives as we heal.
Taoism teaches that we can learn a lot from nature about how to live in harmony with the world around us. Spending time in nature can help us to relax, de-stress, and connect with our inner selves. It can also help us to appreciate the beauty of the world and to see the interconnectedness of all things. This is a form of Mindfulness.
Taoism also teaches the importance of compassion for oneself and for others. When we are traumatized, it can be easy to become self-absorbed and to focus only on our own pain. However, Taoism teaches that we need to extend compassion to others, even those who have hurt us. This can help us to heal, forgive ourselves and those that hurt us, and to move on so that we can learn to manage our trauma.
The philosophy of Taoism can be helpful for traumatized crime or scam victims, but it is important to remember that it is not a quick fix. It takes time and practice to integrate these principles into our lives. However, if we are willing to put in the effort, Taoism can offer us a path to healing and recovery.
Here are some Tao practices that traumatized scam victims could use each day to guide themselves along the path to recovery:
- Meditation: Meditation can help to calm the mind and body, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote relaxation. There are many different types of meditation, so you can find one that works best for you. Always remember the SCARS Affirmations which can be a quick kind of meditation to calm the mind when triggered – you can say them as a mantra of 3 repetitions of one affirmation then the next.
- I am a survivor – repeat repeat
- It was not my fault – repeat repeat
- Qigong: Qigong is a Chinese practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. It can help to improve circulation, boost the immune system, and reduce stress.
Qigong (pronounced chee-gong) is a mind-body practice that originated in China thousands of years ago. It combines slow, gentle movements with focused breathing and mental concentration. Qigong is often translated as “energy cultivation” or “life force cultivation.”
The goal of Qigong is to improve the flow of qi (pronounced chee), which is believed to be a vital energy that flows through the body. Qigong is said to have a number of health benefits, including reducing stress, improving circulation, and boosting the immune system.
There are many different types of Qigong, each with its own focus and set of movements. Some popular types of Qigong include:
- Medical Qigong: This type of Qigong is used for therapeutic purposes, such as reducing pain and improving sleep.
- Martial Arts Qigong: This type of Qigong is used to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination.
- Daoist Qigong: This type of Qigong is based on the philosophy of Daoism and focuses on cultivating spiritual energy.
- Buddhist Qigong: This type of Qigong is based on the philosophy of Buddhism and focuses on compassion and mindfulness.
Qigong can be practiced by people of all ages and fitness levels. It is a safe and gentle practice that can be done at home or in a group setting.
- Tai chi: Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that combines slow, graceful movements with deep breathing. It can help to improve balance, flexibility, and coordination, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
- Yoga: Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. It can help to improve flexibility, strength, and balance, as well as reduce stress and anxiety.
- Nature walks: Spending time in nature can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also help to improve mood, boost energy levels, and promote relaxation.
- Journaling: Journaling can be a helpful way to process emotions, understand your thoughts and feelings, and develop coping mechanisms.
- Talk therapy: Talking to a therapist or counselor, or in a Talking Circle Style Support Group can be helpful for traumatized scam victims. A therapist can provide support, guidance, and help you to develop coping mechanisms.
It is important to find practices that you enjoy and that you can stick with. It may also be helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor about which practices would be most beneficial for you. What a scam victim should never do is listen to the advice of scam victims that have lost themselves to anger or denial!
Here are some additional tips for traumatized scam victims:
- Be patient with yourself. Recovery takes time. Don’t expect to feel better overnight.
- Don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with loved ones and supportive friends. If you are in a support group make sure you are participating regularly.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising regularly.
- Set realistic goals. Don’t try to do too much too soon. Start with small goals and gradually increase them as you feel better. Whatever path you take down the road to recovery will take months to reach a reasonable state of balance.
- Seek professional help if needed. If you are struggling to cope with the effects of trauma, please reach out to a therapist or counselor, and a professional support provider such as SCARS for support.
There are many things that someone can learn about Tao or Taoism to get the most benefit from it.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Read the Tao Te Ching: The Tao Te Ching is the foundational text of Taoism. It is a collection of short, poetic passages that offer insights into the nature of reality and the Dao (pronounced “dow”), which is the ultimate source of all things.
- Study the teachings of other Taoist masters: There are many other Taoist masters who have written about the Dao and its principles. Reading their works can help you to gain a deeper understanding of Taoism. There are many of them on YouTube. Here are a few:
- Practice Taoist meditation: Taoist meditation is a way of calming the mind and body and connecting with the Dao. There are many different types of Taoist meditation, so you can find one that works best for you.
- Engage in Taoist arts and practices: Taoism has a rich tradition of arts and practices, such as tai chi, qigong, and calligraphy. Engaging in these arts and practices can help you to cultivate the Taoist way of life. Any form of deeply immersive art or creativity will do, including LEGO
- Spend time in nature: Taoism teaches that we can learn a lot from nature about the Dao. Spending time in nature can help you to connect with the Dao and to experience its peace and tranquility.
- Be open-minded and receptive: Taoism is a complex and subtle philosophy. It is important to be open-minded and receptive to its teachings if you want to get the most benefit from it. This especially speaks to being aware of your cognitive biases, knowing when they emerge in your thinking, and how to recognize them and nullify them.
Learning about Tao or Taoism can be a lifelong journey. There is always more to learn and experience. The most important thing is to be patient, persistent, and open-minded. With time and practice, you can discover the many benefits that Taoism has to offer.