24 February 2018
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Healing the heart and
soul of Lithuania

By Ida Hardy, Texas, USA

Lithuania is my mother’s country. She escaped with her mother and sisters as a young child and at one point in her life she wanted to return. It seemed to me that she heard the whispers from the wind in the forests and they were calling her home. My mother taught us a little about the folk tales and the music. She taught us to meditate and a little bit about yoga and I wanted to learn more about her childhood home. But the Soviets were still reigning and it was impossible for us to go. Later, as we cried on the phone on that day in 1991 I asked her if she would like to return and she said, “You can never go back. Things are changed so much.”

Her message was about more than the structure of her home and the murder of her father. She was really talking about the broken spirits of all the people who were victims, those who were aggressors, and those who were both. There is no going back. No one can undo the evil that has taken place anywhere on the planet throughout time.

I’m a yoga teacher and natural health practitioner. I learned much of what I know from my mother, and everything else I learned at University. University may have offered more details but I think it all simply confirmed everything she taught about keeping the body healthy. Probably what every mother teaches.

We must heal from hurts of the past. In order to experience a truly satisfying fullness in all areas of life, to fully actualize, a person must have a sense of security and a sense of belonging. A connection to the tribe or community and a sense of your individual power can elevate your ability to be really happy. When you have this feeling of connection to your true Self and to others, you can generate compassion and even love and appreciation toward people around you and draw people to you.  If you become stuck in the first step and have not established security or taken care of your own basic needs and feel that there are not enough resources or that your own pain or greatness has not been acknowledged you become a little angry and no one is attracted to that.

Countries are the same way and, in the collective sense, Lithuania has a real opportunity to heal. From what I can see and feel from way over here, Lithuania is on the brink of something really great. I can feel in a very palpable way a sort of bubbling, an effervescing of energy and drive.

So, as this energy becomes stronger and propels the leaders of the country forward both politically and in business, I would ask everyone to take a really close look at the impact the early days has had on the consciousness of current residents. In my quest for information regarding my mother’s family and her life in Lithuania I have read websites and stories from people who have overcome trauma and gone on to experience love and forgiveness and ultimately – happiness. But not everyone is able to overcome so readily.

Children who experience early trauma are known to experience difficulty in life. It is an accepted fact and many studies have been conducted to try and understand this.  Stanford University recently conducted a study that looked directly at the physiological changes in the brain of children who experienced had experienced trauma. MRI scans showed the hippocampus of these children was altered compared to children not exposed. So, we know that all of our brains and our psychology is different due to the trauma.

How do we heal from the trauma? First, acknowledge that it happened. Acknowledge your own or your family’s part in it. Without making a judgment about the character of any person involved, become aware of and acknowledge, at least in your own mind, that everyone suffered during those days and that not enough was done by anyone in order to stop it. This acknowledgment is easier said than done.  We must acknowledge the capacity that each person has inside to do either evil or good.  It’s by this acknowledgment that we can forgive the past and guard against the future.

We can feel anger about the events of the past, and known perpetrators should be held accountable from the legal standpoint, but sometimes, we know, things are not made ‘right’ through legal means. My mother will never have her family farm and of course no government has the means to pay reparations to each individual and their family forever. So, let the anger subside and accept that very bad things happened and they hurt you personally. But also acknowledge that it is not happening to you right now.

For a child who has experienced trauma you would make sure to provide them with a safe place where all their physiological needs are met: food, shelter, security.  Once these are established you can begin to create a place for them to be included in the community. It seems like Lithuania is already there – has a place in the community. But it also seems that, by what I’ve read on some of the not so pleasant comments on FB and websites talking about LT history, there are many people who are still stuck in that first or second step. They don’t feel secure.
Insecure people are dangerous because they lash out at others and blame other people for their own circumstances. In yoga we might say that they have a block in their energy channels and can’t get past that first or second chakra. Mazlow would say they’re stuck and unable to develop through the hierarchy of needs.

Everyone wants to be happy. Healing a country takes time and patience. But healing also takes a thorough commitment and perseverance. We must understand that everyone needs to be able to connect to the community in a meaningful way and symbols and language of blaming and a tendency toward promoting a certain ethnic superiority only stunts the ability to establish a firm foundation of peaceful and easeful living. These too, are indicators of a certain level of insecurity.

We can fall into bad habits of thinking patterns which prevent us from moving forward. I urge you to examine your own thoughts and change them.  Notice when you’re having a negative thought and change it. Work toward changing attitudes of others by examining your own attitude.

From the words of my teacher:

“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?”
- Sri Swami Satchidananda
Category : Health & wellbeing

  • Wonderful article….thank you for sharing!

    May 16 2013

    • […] 15th May, 2013 – Posted by admin Healing the heart and soul of Lithuania By Ida Hardy, Texas, USA Lithuania is my mother’s country. She escaped with her mother and […]

      May 15 2013
      • Vimukti

        Dear Shivakami,
        What an inspiring article both honoring the past and looking forward to a healed, whole future. Elazar and I are hosting two girls from a Colombian orphanage (foundation) this summer to give them a chance to heal, explore and ultimately have fun in Philly. It's through Your eloquence is a testament and honor to you and your mother's love.

        May 14 2013
        • Boris Bakunas

          Thank you, Ida. You have written a wonderful article, filled with wisdom that we can all use to help ourselves, our family, our friends, and even people who we will never meet. For they, too, will reap the benefits of the good karma that we sew.

          One of the first things Special Education teachers learn is to focus on the behavior, and not the child. The same can be said about adults. Global ratings of other people are invariably inaccurate. Who among us can see into the hearts of others?

          Yes, learning to forgive (without forgetting) is a great accomplishment. Hatred and anger only eat away at us. Those bad habits of thinking that we acquire must be shed if we are to find peace.

          May 13 2013

          • […] Healing the heart and soul of Lithuania […]

            May 12 2013


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