It’s a feeling I’ve known all my life – it’s called ‘Me and my Big Mouth’. It’s an all too familiar experience: I say something back and suddenly the ‘group hum’ around me falls into silence, whilst I get a ‘well-meaning’ shhhh or “you’re not supposed to say/do/think that” from someone who thinks they’re only in the audience. Well, what’s done is done and I need to honour the woman who did it.
It was an interesting experience – going back to re-read it the first time. All I could see was my own racism but then I would be surprised if it wasn’t there – it was a part of the becoming-conscious zeitgeist of the generation I was born into. Rosa Parkes refused to move to the back of the bus a week before my first birthday. It means I was raised as both a part of the problem but with the Spirit of Refusal still powerful in my country. We said No to fascism in the same way we said no to racism in our minds but failed to see that it forms a part of who we – my generation - are. Every generation is time-limited in what we can deal with. I see it very clearly in my own mother as her intolerance levels increase and, now, as I see my own increase too. It is a painful experience but it is not insurmountable.
The group process I sought to interrupt by my intervention contains no possibility of redemption or forgiveness. NO human being has the ‘right’ to create an energy devoid of these qualities because to do so is to usurp and corrupt the Law of the Sacred. It does not matter what colours are in play here – this Law holds True in every authentic expression of the Divine I have ever had the privilege to meet, atheism included. I don’t have a problem with withholding or putting provisos on how we – as humans – earn that forgiveness. I do have a problem with unforgiving behaviour – regardless of who is indulging in it. I will not tolerate it with silence – this is why I speak. All I speak is my own personal truth – let others speak for themselves.
I am more than happy to ‘check my white privileges‘ – as more than one commenter has already suggested. So tell me: now that I’ve confessed my sins, which way does pathway to redemption lie? What do I have to do to redeem myself? And what does it say about your ‘demands’ if all I can do to achieve this is to cease my existence? There is always a path to redemption in a mentally healthy world – even atheists know that. Those who disagree with me are free to do so in my reality but they also have to leave me alone with my own opinions. I am willing to agree to disagree. I’m more than willing to learn but I find that ability is becoming more difficult as I grow into becoming the past – I’m sure I can ‘book’ myself another lifetime where I get to learn this stuff properly. At the moment, I’m stuck with what
I’ve been able to achieve so far. I know I’m only at the beginning but placing me in a projection that allows no path to redemption – a Catch-22 – is not on in my reality. If that is exercising ‘white privilege’ then it’s about time the other Colours of the Medicine Shield caught up with the privileges of their own colours. There are honourable women in all colours – I know because I’ve met you – and there seems to be a consensus amongst the wisest that adding more racism to an already bubbling pot will not cure the problem.
No I’m not the way you think I ‘ought’ to be. I’m the way I am when I’m doing my best to make room for new ideas in an aging mind. I judge myself fairly close to death at the present time – whether that ‘death’ be physical or circumstantial – so I place few fetters on what I ‘permit’ myself to say. I might as well go to my death speaking my truth – however ‘wrong’ other people think I might be. The comments arriving on my blog cannot reflect the whole of me – a part of the projection will be accurate. There is a lot I have left to evolve. But the rest? These are reflections of the speaker – these people don’t know me. We are a mixed bag of ‘truths’ – it is what we extrapolate from those ‘truths’ that I question.
I’m not talking to those who don’t want to hear me. The world is a big enough place for us to co-exist together, or it ought to be. It isn’t. I’m all for growing the relationship between us but I don’t have to listen to abuse. Abuse is where there is no forgiveness. Whilst there maybe some truth in the need to express how we feel about the experiences we have been subject to, that does not earn us the privilege of abusing others unless it’s for learning purposes only. To abuse for it’s own sake is a hate crime – I have to oppose hate crime, even if I’m the one you are hating. Somewhere in the mob you assemble around me are people capable of waking up. Those are the sisters I’m talking to – and it’s their free choice whether they choose to listen, just as it is their free choice whether they choose to forgive me. This is what haters try to control. They tell us there is only one way to think and we must all agree with them or cease to exist. This is an envious attack. The only answer to envy is gratitude.
So, I am grateful to this group process for being such familiar ground as I reflect on the outcome of my foot-in-mouth experience. I have been attacked in this way all my life and I’ve learned that the way to survive it is to be true to myself and what wisdom I can fund for myself in the moment. All I have left is myself. If I am being informed that the only contribution I can make to life is by ceasing to exist – something I have been ‘told’ many times – then this belief needs to be tested. I apologise for your inconvenience but the Great Spirit doesn’t seem to be willing to oblige you. This means I have as much ‘right’ to exist as you. It doesn’t make me ‘better’ but it certainly doesn’t make me worse. If you expect me to collude with yet another power game, you’ve chosen the wrong woman. I don’t agree with you. Now lets see if you can leave me alone. I’ll continue reflecting on my experience and you do whatever it is that is right for you. We met – we taught – we parted. I am very grateful for the lesson because it has enabled me to discover whether some of my old emotional pathways still worked.
Often women – all women – are forced into positions where we must carry the consequences of the ‘shadow’ of others. That is what I think this eruption of woman power is about. Responsibility must return to those who are responsible and mutual responsibility begins with mutual respect – regardless of the human being we are dealing with. Nevertheless, we are all emerging from a highly abusive human system and the vast majority of us have been damaged by it in some way or another. It is said, among suicides, that it is not the psyche that wishes to die, it is that the Soul wishes some aspect of Life to die. To perform an act of suicide is to turn our killer instinct upon ourselves, so I am familiar with this aspect of myself. For those who can sense my killer instinct at work now, please understand this. When it comes to racism – or any kind of bigotry – it’s the system that causes it I want dead; not people. Turning our killer instinct on others only exacerbates our collective problems. If you want my dead body to crow your success over, go ahead! Have it! But you’ll have to join the end of the queue. I’ll die when I’m supposed to die but, whilst I’m still here, I’ve had it with people trying to hurry that process along. It’s a murderous intention and I will have no part of it.
The walk across the fields of my emotions back to the light, after an envious attack, always begins with me feeling like a lone survivor in a nuked city. There is nothing left standing or alive, apart from myself. All my emotional nerve-endings are laid bare and, as a child, I could find myself abandoned in this emotional wilderness for long periods of time. The world I learned to inhabit was as monochrome as the TV’s I grew up with. Apart from a very brief experience of ‘life in colour’, I didn’t learn how to leave this world until I was thirty and went into therapy. Over the seventeen years that followed – in both individual and group therapy – I learned that the way back to life is through balance. My internal or psychic devastation is caused by the impact of an idea that I have no worth or that I have committed some heinous and unforgivable sin. The very fact that the idea has impacted upon me actually proves this ‘idea’ false – it is a paradox. Only those capable of walking in balance – no matter how out of balance we may be when this idea-projectile hits – have this experience. Those who launch such ideas are apparently unaffected by them, so utterly convinced are they of their own ‘rightness’. This is what is known as self-righteousness – the inability to perceive and/or repression of another’s viewpoint. True righteousness is only understood through behaviour – self-righteousness is an idea that we know better than other people. Those who are able to experience the devastation caused by ‘cease-to-exist’ ideas are not the problem. What gets shattered is the onset of growth – the shattering represents the ‘death’ experience – we can emerge changed. The real problem, however, is that many don’t because they believe the lie. People who are forced to live in such ideas or ‘memes’ die early, in my experience, because they can’t find their way back to the light. This is what concerns me.
In a world that consists of true Love, the shattering caused by ideas that we have no worth must be challenged because they are lies. This is not true. It is not even true in Hell. Our path back to our new wholeness is paved by everything we have said or done on the way into the experience. It doesn’t matter who we are. As far as I know, this applies to everyone but for any of us genuinely affected by idea that we have no worth, the way back is through evidence. What evidence can we produce that the heart of this missile in ourselves is a lie? We’re not trying to reach perfect – that’s not possible in my reality – we’re trying to reach ‘good enough’ – the point of balance. This is my way of doing it and it works.
Demand, from the ‘voices’ that attack you, that they tell you something good about yourself. If they can’t – they are bigotted and it is reasonable for you to ignore them. Until they can produce evidence of your worth, then they are attacking your existence. Look for evidence in the behaviour of your existence for the truth. Whilst our beliefs don’t have to be true for anyone else but ourselves, the measure of our true worth lies in our behaviour. We’re looking for evidence that we know how to learn from our mistakes. If the evidence is there, then watch for signs of growth to lead you out of the devastation to where your heart needs to take you. Don’t be afraid to own your mistakes – they are our greatest teachers – they are both our way in and our way out because we live them. Our mistakes balance our ‘good’ with our humanity.
These pathways may not work for everyone – these are the ones that work for me. They remind me that no matter what other people may think, what’s important is my relationship with what is Sacred. Other people don’t get to define that for me. If we are at all personally responsible – we have to define it for ourselves and then live by that decision. It’s a matter of Free Will. In my reality, that means I reserve the right to disagree with hatred in whatever form it takes. Nevertheless, I strive to agree to disagree because that is a matter of mutual respect.
Unless more lessons come from this process, I’ll probably leave the matter here. There are more interesting opportunities for grow appearing on my horizon that could bring practical benefit to sisters in genuine need. Hopefully. they won’t mind if the offer of practical help comes from a white woman’s hand.