songs | interviews | photos | tours | boots | press releases | timeline

Tori talks about healing

To work through a victim situation, it's about facing the attacker in yourself, tearing away all the layers and wondering if you could have made other choices there. Other women who've been attacked will argue, but I have to look at all sides of it, and that's healing.

We're taught which sides of our personalities are acceptable and which aren't. The magical side, the naive side, the side that believes in possibilities other than you grow up, take a job, form a place in society and then go to heaven, except for mean old Hitler, no one wants to talk about that. [Manchester Guardian - November 28, 1991]

I made a decision to stop being unconscious. And how you do that is you give yourself the keys to the unconscious room and you walk in and you go, 'What's up?' and all the little monsters come out with their party hats. [Sacramento Bee - May 8, 1992]

I think there's so much emphasis on pushing things away, instead of pulling them out of the closet. A lot of times I just notice that people try to hide their dirt for as long as possible. Monsters, dirt, whatever you want to call it, the stuff that you censor and that you don't really want to share with people. I think you can only do that for so long before you start losing your mind. I'm finding a lot of freedom right now in just looking at things that I really feel. We're not encouraged to do that, and I think that that's what makes people sick inside of themselves. You kind of want everybody else to think that you're okay. Well, you're okay if you have monsters! That's what people don't understand -- everybody has many many voices going on inside of themselves. Now there is one voice, though, that is more of the ringleader, more of the innermost voice that isn't trying to beat you up, or trying to make you feel like you can go slaughter 67 people and it's okay. You know, the voice in there that goes, "hang on a minute, Tori, we're really feeling lonely right now." That inner inner voice is, to me, the most important because it can start being a bridge between all these other voices in your head. Everybody has them.

After the shows, everybody talks to me about how they're pulled in different directions. A lot of times there doesn't have to be conflict, it's just we're not giving attention to different sides of ourselves. You see, you've got a masochist side that has to be met in some way. You need to look at why you need to be hurt, and why you get some kind of pleasure out of it. Then you need to go and give equal time to the part of you that's a sea captain, you see what I mean? The one that sails the ship, and can bring it home, and isn't needy. We have all these different sides, and they just go out of balance! That's what I meant by that. [Michael Pearce interview - 1994]

There is room for everybody on the planet to be creative and conscious if you are your own person. If you're trying to be like somebody else, then there isn't. [Q (UK) - May 1994]

Some people are afraid of what they might find if they try to analyze themselves too much. But you have to crawl into the wounds to discover what your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin. [Break - August 14, 1996]

The music always comes in my darkest hour, and the music is always so giving. I have this picture of an endless well somewhere, I don't know where it is -- in the star systems out there. And the more that you're open to it the more that it keeps coming. [The New York Times - April 23, 1998]

I guess I enjoy good black comedy, and I think life is really like that. Ideas that hold people back, or ideas that become like rockets that you put on your arms and take you, take you where, I don't know. But I think that a lot of us are trapped in our limitations. But limitations come from not physical limitations but I think internal limitations. We have perceptions of ourselves that we took on from other people's opinions of us which formed the way we see ourselves. That doesn't necessarily mean that's who we are. I think most people are trapped in these opinions and wear them like a hefty bag. And we almost asphyxiate ourselves with other people's ideas of who we are. I don't know if you could call this being serious. I see it more as an explorer. I see myself as an explorer asking questions, not necessarily having many answers.

I think you have to know who you are, get to know the monster that lives in your soul, dive deep into your soul and explore it. I don't want to renounce my dark side. The truth has always held an enormous interest for me. Everything is therapeutic, no matter what you do. [The Inside Connection - June 1998]

In the end everybody wants to get rid of their demons and find inner peace? I don't want to get rid of my demons. Do you understand me? That's the difference. You only can find inner peace when you live with your demons. It is even impossible to get rid of them. Jesus wouldn't have spent 40 days and nights in the desert if he hadn't demons. Theoretically impossible. That is the lie Christianity makes. That you have to get rid of the Devil and sin. My God, then you give away all your powers! I'm just like Faust, baby, just take a seat. When you're gonna dig in your shadow patterns, you find a part of yourself you could call the Wicked Mother or the Evil Queen. Well just talk to her. Make a deal with her. 'Cause she's part of your life. People who think they've gotten rid of their demons are gonna do crazy things for compensation. They're gonna do weird, kinky sex games. Sniffing the underwear of little girls. And those guys think they're rid of their demons. No! You have to dance with your demons, raise them. When you get to know your demons you grow as a person. I'm beginning to know mine... [Oor (Dutch) - September 18, 1999]

There has to be a balance... I don't see dark as evil and light as good. I see it as the unconscious, things hidden that you have to see. The reason I say the Christian church has to claim its dark side is because so many civilizations have been destroyed in the name of Christ. I don't believe for one minute that his teachings were about destruction at all. People harnessed Christ's teachings. The Protestants have so much guilt to come to terms with... Those in the patriarchy making these decisions have been really terrified of holding the spiritual side and the physical side of themselves. There is a line in "Zero Point," where I sing, "Take off, lift off, creaming Jesus still." To me, if you are really in the balanced state, you are creaming the divine. [Pulse - November 1999]

t o r i p h o r i a
tori amos digital archive