Edit at the bottom of post: There's already an edit?!
For many years I've thought, "Well, I'll ignore it, I just won't respond," when confronted with racism, sexism, and homophobia. I recognize that it's easier for me since I'm white and straight. Plus I come from a time where women weren't respected by men so it's normal to back down, hush up—it's my pattern.
Ever since Celita ran over me last fall, I've been struggling with back and neck pain. I can't shake the feeling that it's throat chakra related—which is all about speaking your truth.
A couple of weeks ago, I painted and wrote this Stand by Me post, and it seems the floodgates creaked open, allowing some words and pain to release. Someone sent me something sexist and racist and it became a trickle.
Recently I saw a sign in a Facebook friend's daughter's bedroom, "Silence is violence." My silence lets people believe that I'm okay with what they are saying—gives implicit permission that I think it's just fine that they continue to share these things with me. People of color, LGBTQIA+, and women have to fight to be heard. Every day. I've pushed my personal piece, being a woman, aside because my own background says that's what we do. When a person, particularly a man, is pushy or aggressive with their "sharing" in whatever form, we often back down.
I'm tired of being silent. I'm tired of shutting down. I'm tired of turning away. I'm no longer going to follow the patterns of generations. It's time to break the cycle.
It's my job as a mom to a black son, as a woman, as someone with LGBTQIA+ loved ones, as a human being, to stand up to injustice when I see it.
I have to say, I'm a little afraid of the pendulum effect. You know, where we give someone zero boundaries and allow someone to walk all over us—and then realize, oh my God, I get a say in how I'm treated and who I have in my life? And the pendulum swings hard to the other side. I tend to go way overboard in my fury but eventually realize that it's unnecessary and it's "just" (haha) a matter of finding and keeping boundaries, and the pendulum goes back to the center, ticking gently back and forth, keeping a balance.
To me, 2020 is asking humanity to stand up, speak up, to overcome our learned biases around people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, women, etc. in order to fully give and receive love.
We are being asked to be more God-like. Will we rise to the challenge? Or fall back on old fears and learned behaviors? I say "learned" because this wasn't how we came into the world, all fresh and new—straight from God's arms. We knew the truth and then "they" (the big they: damaged family, society, church) got a hold of us and we forgot our precious soul that God sent us here with.
It's still there you know.
Growing up in our culture, I suspect we all have some yuck in our backgrounds and some guilt about the way we've treated people. We are all called to break the negative patterns of our past, to stand up and to speak up. It's our job as human beings, to learn and then do better.
Maya Angelou said, "When you know better, you do better."
This isn't political, that's just a divisive cover to keep us in the human "fear game." When we play the game, we forget the truth about exactly who we are. We are here to heal our pasts and patterns and exude love, out of our very pores so that others can heal too. We don't have to stay stuck in the fear of the past, we have to make a decision to step forward into our soul's light and love and then share that light and love with others.
Edit: I wrote this on July 6th and have been sitting on it ever since because, well, this stuff is hard. Change from generational yuck is hard. It's never black and white, there are always shades of grey—and that grey is a tangled web.
I was talking to my coach this morning about all of this and realized that my hesitancy in posting this was accountability. If I post this, I, if not others, will hold myself accountable for my words and actions.
Wouldn't it just be so much easier to sink back into complacency? It seems that way but no, there is a price to pay. The Body Keeps the Score. My body has been keeping that score for a long time. Speaking up and having boundaries isn't in my DNA but I have been practicing for many years—it's been a hard slog through heavy mud, from an inkling of awareness to action.
My biggest work right now is to allow my imperfection and just keep practicing.
Rise up and slog on my friends, I'm right there with you.
Love to all from the Mother Ranch,
Let me give you a big ol' hug!
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