Unconditional love is one of the most demanding practices in our human existence. Like forgiveness, it has nothing to do with the other party or their actions. The only way to truly live free is to practice unconditional love and forgiveness, but everything in our society pushes us to become angry and “Get Even” instead of just letting go and loving the ones that hurt us. The universe has gifted me with incredible lessons of growing over the past 4.5 years as more and more people have believed myths about me and my past. I know everything in the universe happens for a reason and so I have accepted this beautiful experience. I cannot comprehend why people believe these fictitious stories about me but I empathize because there is something inside every one of us which wants to believe someone who is crying wolf.
Over the past 4.5 years, people have rumored about me being a woman beater, rapist, pedophile and countless other claims in my community. None of these descriptions of me are true and I have not done what I have been accused of but reality does not matter when you’re at the center of a witch hunt. A mob mentality is a very addictive experience. If you watch the nightly news, you will be flooded with fear after fear which stirs all sorts of emotions in our bodies. If I heard what was said about me, about another person, I would be curious and I would probably want to hear more. Years ago, I had a friend and her husband molested her children while they were married. It was such a painful and hard reality to swallow for many of us who were friends of the family. In that scenario, this man was tried in a court and he went to prison. In our small community, I have been sentenced without a trial. I have had a half dozen businesses no longer want to work with me due to these rumors, which has gravely affected my volunteer efforts.
One of the most recent rumors, which I began hearing in November 2019, is that I am under investigation for “serious crimes” by the police. This is just another myth meant to harm my character. Then two weeks ago, I went to my yoga studio for morning meditation. I had wanted to partake in their morning meditation at this studio for years but because it happens between 5-8am, I never thought it would be possible. I was never out of the house before 9. Then the universe began to wake me up between 2-4am each day so I could begin writing daily and all of a sudden this 5-8am window was really late in my day 🙂 I thought it was destiny, and it was, just not in the way my ego was imagining. The meditation was incredible but after the meditation I was asked to never return because one of my former partners said to the owners that I was now stalking her. I had no idea she attended the yoga studio until that day because I had never seen her there and I have no idea how she learned I was attending. This studio has partnered with Spokane VegFest for the past 4 years so this banning was a shock.
To date, not one of my persecutors has confronted me directly about these fictitious allegations. None have spoken to me. No one has asked me about what happened between me and my past partners. Instead my persecutors have spread rumors in the shadows with the desire to destroy my character and spirit. One of the most challenging parts of this experience is that everyone of my persecutors was one of my very best friends at one point. All of them had the chance to know the real me and I felt at the time that many of them did. Not only has it hurt me but it has hurt a woman who I loved a lot, and my family. Being accused of such heinous crimes when they never happened, and living with it has been a huge weight to bear and I nearly gave up last October. For years, when these outbreaks occurred, my friends told me to just pack up and move. Recently a friend said to me “Joshua, there is no chance you will ever be able to date a woman in Spokane as long as _______ is in the town.”. It is true that that person has harassed and stalked every woman I have dated since our relationship ended many years ago.
Well, this is my HOME! I am not leaving and I am not going to discontinue my philanthropic work in this community. I have spent much of my Loving Cooperative support time on other cities. At this point, I am actively supporting 8 vegfests across the US, a half dozen animal sanctuaries, and many other planet supporting non-profits. I want to do more in my own hometown and I have chosen to work through this mess so I can get back to work! I am tired of supporting other communities more than my own. This next Spokane VegFest is going to be incredible and I have new INVeg programs which will be rolled out in the coming months.
In October, when things hit a level which I could not have foreseen and the women who were attacking me turned once again to my girlfriend I was dating, I almost lost everything. I had not foreseen this because there had been a quiet time between 2018 until Fall 2019 and I thought all of this mess was over. I softly mentioned to my new girlfriend that she may receive some creepy messages at one point but I never imagined the onslaught that was about to occur. My girlfriend was the 3rd in 4.5 years who had been harassed by these women. This behavior is gross and unacceptable. No one ever should have to go through what she experienced. I cannot believe they used an innocent woman to attempt to hurt me again. These women even tried to pull her into a group they titled “StopJoshOfficial” on Facebook where they were meeting together and creating ways to destroy me and put me in jail for crimes I’ve not committed. This was when the allegations of rape & pedophilia appeared. They were trying to get my former wife to charge me with rape even though, in our marriage the situation was reversed, and they created a story about me trying to take a 13 year old girl camping alone. I have never heard any real details on this situation so I am as perplexed as many who have heard it. My girlfriend was torn because these women who were poisoning our relationship and our lives were “good friends” of hers, just like at one point they were my good friends.
The thing is, good friends never poison our lives. NEVER! Good friends only uplift and support us, never tear us or our lives down. I have had many friends who have had partners who to me seemed not good for them; they were verbally abusive, physically abusive or other issues but it was not my place to step in their process of living & growing. Relationships must be treated just like an addiction such as alcohol. If we push people before they are ready, they will run into another identical situation because they are needing to heal a hurt and learn a lesson. Learning that I cannot help others is one of the most profound lessons of my life. My persecutors alleged they were saving my girlfriend from me, but they were simply poisoning our lives and causing trauma to us and the community. Before all this insanity occurred, our new relationship was pretty amazing. She was the most wonderful woman I had dated in a decade and possibly in my life. When we would have a misunderstanding, we simply talked it out. What a novel Idea! No Yelling, No Hate, Just Love. It was so incredible. Because of these fictitious allegations, our relationship was cut short. If I was truly abusive, she would have left of her own accord. In the end, she could not get over the myths about me and I cannot fault her for that. These allegations that have been perpetrated on me are incredibly disturbing. When it was just the two of us together, it was magical, but everyone in her life continued to poison and harass her and she just couldn’t handle it anymore. I could see in her eyes that she could only see me in the lens that her friends pictured.
I remember a while back I was walking with a dear friend and I told her, “I would prefer to be called a murderer than what they are alleging about me”, I have the feeling people in the community would be kinder to me. I cannot believe that I have been connected to such awful words as my whole life has been dedicated to helping others heal and grow.
There is an old saying: When gossip falls on the mind of the wise, it dies. I know I am not always wise because I have gotten caught up in gossip many times. Thankfully, I have some incredible people in my life who are that wise and who never believed the nonsense that has been spread about me. I have a long list of people who have begged me to create a public character witness document where they could get to share their experiences about me. Many of them got to see the realities inside of my unhealthy relationships which have led to these times. Without these beautiful angels, I may not have gotten through this time of my life. People who have known me for years know that I have never been a perpetrator. It simply is not in my being.
So this brings me back to the topic of unconditional love for my accusers. This situation has been very hard. After sharing my first article on my rape experiences with my former wife, I received a few pieces of hate mail which stung. I learned that once again these women were attempting to use my words against me. They want my destruction but I am not going to allow anyone to abuse me again! I confess that I had some weak moments when I have thought about just dishing everything out, and the other day my father-in-law called me and let me know my accusers are harassing him now, I was not pleased and I was tempted to “fight back”. I wanted so badly to just share everything, but that would have been my ego talking, not my heart. I may have won a few people over with sharing the drama of what happened, but it would not have been kind to anyone. It would have added poison to the world and I have chosen I do not want to do that. I believe that in time all of the creators of this insanity will open up and cleanup the messes they created and I am patiently waiting for that time.
Last October, I nearly lost my life over these people and their actions against me and yet I know the only way to heal is to continue to love each and every one of them in the situation. “They know not what they do ” is a great quote to remember during these trying times. My persecutors have been manipulated by two women who each have motivations for my destruction. I always do my best to be kind and loving in each situation I am in. When facing these experiences I am continuing to do my best to simply “turn the other cheek” and love the ones who choose to hate.
On the first day of Lent I decided to do something crazy and began a radical healing time. I made this public call:
Open Call for Healing: A letter to the world
Open call for healing,
I’m continuing my fast from Facebook and during this second 40 days I am wanting to heal all hurts in all relationships with anyone whom I’ve known in my life. We can do it on the phone, at a coffee shop, or even with a mediator.
This open call has no expiration, so if you are interested, I will make the time.
I have unblocked every individual with whom there has been dissension. I welcome the opportunity for us to connect.
For Lent I am giving up the following: Fear, Hate, Judgement & Resistance.
You may call me on my phone at (509) 542-7829, Facebook messenger, or email me at Josh@lovingcoop.com to connect.
Immediately after sharing the Open Call for Healing, a few individuals who left during the October/November period have reconnected. I am choosing to not let my ego get the best of me and shame them, but continue to only show love & kindness to these people who returned to my life. I will continue this practice of only loving anyone who wants to return, no matter what they have done to me or my loved ones. Nothing in this universe is unforgivable. I believe this is the time for radical healing and this radical healing is going to be transformational in more ways than my simple mind can even imagine! I love everyone and I want to continue to support my Spokane community and grow it even larger. I cannot do it alone and I know we have only just begun what we are creating together.
I ask once again that my persecutors stop harassing me, my family and my loved ones. If any of you in the community would like to kindly ask any questions of me, I am here and I am happy to share. But I will only share with people who have an open heart and mind; otherwise it is a waste of both of our times. I have learned no one can have their mind changed by force.
I choose only love, and I hate no one. I have learned that I must accept all emotions, not clench on to them. This allows them to pass through my body and when needed, cry my eyes out so I can heal these hurts. When we hurt, we are choosing to clench onto the pain of life. We have the opportunity in each circumstance to open our hearts even wider and let all the pain go! Life is hard and we have to grow to learn, to accept all that the universe gives us, because each moment is truly a gift. There are no bad experiences, every experience is to help us grow so we can become our best selves. I am so grateful for these lessons which led me through a lot of pain because through that pain I learned who I am and grew to love even deeper. Without these lessons which these women gifted me, I would not be who I am. I thank them again for being a part of my life and I will always be grateful and love them for what they shared with me.
I will leave you with the passage from Alan Cohen’s A deep Breath of Life from the day I wrote this article. As always, his daily inspirations fit my life and experiences to a tee.