Self

'Starlighting' Is The Horrifying New Dating Term — And It's Probably Happened To You

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Spiritual person using emotions to manipulate you

Perhaps, you’ve been gaslighted as I have. My second husband was a clinical psychologist who used his training to frighten and control me until my inner work paid off and I awakened from the nightmare. Or, perhaps your parents programmed you to believe you were what they wanted you to be so that you lived according to their plan, not your own. This is the first experience of gaslighting that many people experience.

The most violent example of parental gaslighting surrounds abuse, in which parents manipulate their children's memories to protect the parental abuser or the silent parent who was complicit in the abuse — all of this is gaslighting. Anyone who attempts to control your thoughts, or your choices is a gaslighter. 

RELATED: 6 Ways Big-Hearted Women Misplace Our Empathy — And Suffer For It In The End

Here's what you need to know about starlighting, gaslighting's spiritual cousin:

1. What is Starlighting?

Starlighting is much like gaslighting as they are each based on human psychology and manipulation. However, starlighting implies that because someone meditates, does yoga, has had a near-death experience, or has any of the hallmarks of a "spiritual person," then that person is right and you are wrong. Gaslighting uses logic and data as the approach to domination. Starlighting uses the focus on visionary and emotional skills and yet it is just as dangerous because it is just as controlling.  

2. When did gaslighting shift to starlighting?

With the advent of psychedelic drugs in the 1960s, the United States split into two factions. Some were focused on money, power, and propertyThe American Dream, essentially.

   

   

Conversely, there were many people open to experiencing a different reality, and they began to experiment with cannabis and LSD and found an entirely new reality that appealed to them. They experienced God and merged with the infinite so the pursuit of materialism and "the rat race" became less and less appealing.

Both sides of the Cultural Revolution in the USA are now part of the Baby Boomers, the largest segment of the American population that has ever existed. Their preferences weigh heavily because the Baby Boomers have prominent positions of influence. As politicians, policymakers, screenwriters, producers, transformational speakers, and authors they affect the population with their opinions often to the detriment of younger generations.

RELATED: How To Know If Someone's Racially Gaslighting You — And 10 Ways To Respond

3. Power leads to the temptation to become as dominating as their parents were when they were busy gaslighting.

The irony is gaslighting and starlighting are identical methods of control. They are each caused by the same emotion: fear. Fear that people think for themselves is dangerous.

4. What are the key dangers if you’re one of the millions of  "spiritual" people?

Why should you avoid saying or doing anything that seems like starlighting? Your children might avoid meditation and yoga if you demand or force them instead of learning to motivate and inspire them to take up the practice. Your partner might avoid any spiritual activities unless you lighten up. Your family might label you as a liability or worse.

   

   

Everyone will pay a high price if you attempt to force or starlight someone. The incredible value of meditation, yoga, chanting, alternative health practices, organic supplements, and the hundreds of spiritual practices I've enjoyed for 40 years that you may wish to recommend will be lost as walls are erected and then become higher and higher.

RELATED: 7 Tried-And-True Spiritual Tools The Happiest People Use Every Day

5. Motivate and inspire — don’t starlight.

How can you inspire people you love to trust you and try something new? The best way is based on you being the demonstration of the benefits experienced by the activities that you recommend. Instead of preaching, show how limber you are because of yogaWhen you meditate regularly, your face begins to glow.

What is the common denominator that is missing in both gaslighting and starlighting? It’s respect. When you respect someone’s autonomy, you don’t want to tell them what to do. You don’t want to prevent them from making their independent choices.   

6. Gaslighting and starlighting can be a vicious cycle.

If you were gaslighted or starlighted yourself, you were being trained to do it to others. The beliefs were foisted on you — the true definition of a cult. It’s never too late to learn to make the best choices for yourself and to encourage others to do the same.  

RELATED: 5 Signs Of Gaslighting You Need To Watch Out For With Manipulators

Susan Allan is a Life Coach whose Evolution Revolution Trainings offer proven tools to experience joy, and happiness and let go of suffering.