I few days ago I invited women to share their experiences with me concerning their views on recent events. Specifically the election. Someone sent me this email conversation between herself and another women. I think it is heartbreaking and speaks volumes. Their correspondence follows:
“I can’t even describe how sick my heart feels.
I think you and I are generally peaceful souls that try and co-exist with others who hold opposing opinions with genuine respect, an empathetic heart and an open-mind.
However, I don’t know how to move forward right now. I’m at work and I feel like I can’t concentrate on anything but this situation. I have loved ones who don’t seem to be bothered that people we know will be discriminated against based on their race, their gender, their kindness and compassion towards others…. That our political parties cries are differentiated by “What about me?” versus “What about us?”. That we can tell others get out of MY country/stay out of My country, when MY country is built off the backs of immigrants, including the POTUS-because he doesn’t look Native American to me. As a friend of mine put it, soon a corpse will have more rights to determine what is done with their body (via organ donation) than a living woman.
I try very hard to keep updated on what is happening right now. Some of these new policies give me hope (giving women more time for bonding), some news opens my mind*, but most of it just makes me nauseous through my entire being. I don’t want to fight with my family and friends. I’m trying desperately to drink the kool-aid from the other side. that is drowning in it’s artificial flavorings and alternative sugars but I just can’t keep it down- the taste is so terrible.
I don’t feel comfortable posting my opinions in an open forum. I live with my in-laws who are highly Pro-Trump. One of them particularly mirrors many of Trump’s opinions and qualities. I’ve taken to explaining to my daughter, during moments we are alone, that just because some of the fruit snacks are different shapes and colors doesn’t mean some are yucky and some are not. They are still all fruit snacks. I know most of this doesn’t make sense to her but I feel like I need to explain this in a way she understands before other examples take hold first.
I’ve never thought of myself as a liberal or a feminist but I’ve been told I’m acting like both. I’m not sure what to make of it. It’s like trying on new clothes for the first time and trying to gauge if they fit…To be honest I’ve never thought of myself as anything but just that…myself. The only good thing, is I think this will be the year that I really do care about politics and become active in them. I just need to find a new place to live first…*sigh*.
I admire your courage to always speak your beautiful mind. Feels like my heart and my head are constantly battling even though I know if my heart loses, there’s no point in moving forward.
“I dont even know what to say right now. Its like my throat is closed and I want to cry but I have no tears left in me. Im shaking. Your words have really really moved me. They hurt me too. I can feel your pain, right now it feels almost like a dull ache in my heart and tightening in my gut. And rather than getting better with time, these sensations just seem to intensify. In these moments I remind myself to pause, breathe deeply and slowly, and ground. Do you know how to ground? Its really easy if you don’t, just google it. But basically it just putting your bare feet on the earth and consciously breathing for a moment or visualizing a cord extending down from the base of your spine into the center of the earth like a root. I like the root visualization because I can then imagine the earth sucking out of me all that which I no longer need (fear, self-doubt, stress, anger, jealousy), and turning into nutrient dense, rich, fertile matter. At the same time I can also feel the earths core energy being drawn up through this imagined root, or grounding cord, as it is sometimes called, up through my spine to heal and invigorate my entire being. It also makes me feel more solid, and connected to the world, especially when my mind seems like it wants to spin off into chaos, which seems to be more and more these days. So I’ve been using this technique a lot. Especially when I’m inside, when I find myself getting emotional, or when I feel like I’m the only one really paying attention and taking this shit seriously and if I don’t invest all the energy thinking about it, questioning things, making plans, and making changes, who will? All this mental activity sometimes takes me far away from actual reality and the present moment which of course defeats the whole purpose and is contradictory to everything I believe, so yeah…..nothing about this process is going to be easy. But I also don’t think it needs to be a traumatic transition either.
You are right in saying I am very empathetic. That is easy. It comes naturally. I think this is a gift especially strong in our sex. I make a real effort to stay open minded and respectful and honestly love a good debate. I love daring people to prove me wrong, and then stepping back and offering them a real opportunity to do so. I am not threatened by the idea of being wrong. I am terrified by the idea of becoming complacent and get off of the chance to expand my horizons.
You are also right, so SOOOO right, in saying it is not about our political parities. Its not about ME, but WE. (As above so below, notice how its present even in the symbolic representation of our words and what they stand for!) And the fact that people don’t see this, that they in-fact seem incapable (or just unwilling) to see this, is what has me really upset.
The Native American issue is a whole other topic. One I feel VERY strongly about and one I feel we as a culture and American society need to address. What we did to the Native Americans was a crime against humanity. And we never really claimed it. Never really apologized for it. Heck even as recently as my education, I was still being taught all the bullshit about columbus discovering America and what progress we as a country have made since then. Its a very important topic because its one we are still not taking responsibility for. Native Americans are still marginalized, still unprotected, still abused, still overlooked by our “system”. The suicide rates of children, CHILDREN! on reservations is gut wrenching. And no one is talking about it or doing anything about it. Drugs and alcoholism run rampant. Poverty is the norm. We did this to them. Our country and what we represent. Its not right.
Same thing with the immigrants. Just like you said, I feel like telling every person who complains about illegal immigrants to go home and stare in the mirror for a couple of hours. Or to start doing some digging into their family history. Anti-immigration and proud american? Hmmmm….seems a little contradictory doesn’t it. Especially if you actually do care about where our country came from and what it stands for as you so adamantly claim to do.
Its makes me smirk like a psycho to here people in southern california complaining so vehemently about the immigrants. First of all, at least in my area, just come out with it and say Mexicans and stop trying to make yourself feel better about the fact that you’re a fearful racist jerk. Secondly, be aware of the fact that up until very recently in our countries history, california was a part of mexico. THIS WAS MEXICO! Taken by us with clever scheming and dirty negotiating. Research it. So it’s YOU who is out of your element, not the immigrants. The immigrants are trying to make the best life they can for themselves given the cards they’ve been dealt, (the cards WE dealt them) just as you have asshole. grrrrrrrr.
The right to maintain control of our bodies is one of the most important fights we can fight. You and I know this. It needs no explanation and I only pity the woman who thinks otherwise.
The POTUS is a joke. A sick joke with essentially a mail order bride. No self respecting woman would stand beside a man like that. How do we not see the irony?
Stop drinking the Kool-aid. Its toxic. You can feel it making you sick. You can feel your body resisting. When your body needs to puke, to purge, to remove the toxins and the source of the illness, let it! Don’t hold it in! Don’t keep taking the “medicine” that keeps you from responding in the way you are naturally meant to respond in order to heal and protect your health!
I am a liberal and a feminist and I am proud to be both. Yet ultimately, these are just labels I use to crystallize my individual identity, which I am starting to question more and more by the way. These labels help me to focus my energy and remind me to stay vigilant and on high alert. They are little reminders of what values are important to me. Right now, every warning bell in my system is going off. I would be stupid to ignore it. Whether you identify with such labels or choose to use them for empowerment or for discrimination is always up to the individual. What you are is a woman. A powerful aware woman and a part of god. You are connected enough to FEEL what is happening here. And this is what we need more of. That understanding, that knowing that comes not from books or the news or statistics, or the majority of your friends on fb, but from deep in the womb, the gut, the heart. Don’t let people make you feel bad about having these powers. Don’t let the names they call you because of these powers shrink who you are and what you are capable of. You are right. You are just yourself. You are nothing. And you are everything. There is extreme power and freedom in that knowledge. But I a still deciding what to do with it.
Realize most people don’t even know who they are. They don’t know how to care for themselves. They don’t know how to think for themselves. They don’t know what makes them happy. They don’t know what their emotions are or how to work with them. But YOU, you are in touch with your soul. Don’t look the other way. Protect it, and it will protect you.
All I can say is thank you. Thank you for being brave enough to be you, and to allow yourself to feel what you feel. I know how scary this is. I also know how frustrating it is to be surrounded by people who don’t seem to be all that bothered about what is going on and are apparently perfectly content to just go on living life the way it is no questions asked. Even those who are “liberal” and upset by all this, and I count myself amongst this category, are complaining too loudly and focusing on all the wrong things. But no one is actually doing anything about it. I don’t see anyone asking, what can I do, what can WE do, right now, today, to effect change? No one wants to stop driving cars. To stop buying packaged food. To turn off the lights and go to bed when it gets dark. To have to deal with waiting for cloths to line dry, or to have to chop wood and build a fire for heat. But from my perspective, this little shit…this is the stuff that really matters. Its choices like these that are going to make a real difference, and are really our only hope in the long run.
I see a lot of people talking a big game about love and peace and getting along, but not a lot of people turning to their neighbors and saying “how can I help you? How can you and I work together to ensure we are helping to contribute to a community we can be proud to be a part of?” And I am guilty of this as well. Why? Because I’m afraid. Im afraid of the fallout, of being ostracized, because my community is very pro-trump. And history hasn’t really favored anyone who vocally thinks outside the norm until after said person/s have long since been martyred for the greater good. Think of the witches. Think of Joan of Arch. Think of Jesus and all the Saints. Honestly I don’t want that to be me. But I also don’t want to be fearful and intimidated. Generations of staying silent and enduring this insane repression have gotten us nowhere and it is costing us everything. Maybe thats why I’m so mad. Im mostly mad at myself. Because I know I need to be doing more and am still just trying to build up the nerve to leave my comfort zone. I’m just as bad as the rest and its maddening.
Its maddening because were not really crazy! We’re a few of the sane ones, the ones who for whatever reason have been blessed with clarity of sight and thought and for the sake of our children, and the sake of our own souls, we cant just ignore what is right in front of our faces.
It blows my mind, BLOWS MY MIND, that people, people I love and care about, like my mother and my husband, can see what is happening, are also enraged by what is going on, yet are still not doing anything about it! They act like they don’t have a choice! They say they have no other options. And they do!
I understand responsibility. I understand the value of security, but at what cost??? They are wasting their lives. Literally wasting their lives, going to work everyday, just to get money. Just to meet our basic needs. Just to get by in a system that is built on the mistreatment of LIFE. They are spending the majority of their lives away from family and loved ones, working to make someone else a financial profit, doing things they don’t enjoy, just because they feel like there is no other way.
There is always another way. We may not like that other way. That other way may not be as comfortable or convenient as what we are used to. But there is always another way.
And to me, nothing is worth the smiles I get from my children. The embraces I melt into with my husband. The times I walk out into nature with my girls with no agenda and nothing that needs to get done expect for feeling the wind and sun and hearing Mother Earth sing and sigh around me. I want more of those moments. And maybe it shouldn’t, but it infuriates me that (———) is ok with sacrificing these moments so he can be the family bread winner and feel like he is “doing his job”. Fuck jobs. I want to LIVE.
I see why he feels this way, I understand, I do. But its like, once you have been made aware, how can you just look away, how can you remain ok with business as usual?
And I know this is all easier said than done. I know that unlike my husband and my mother, I have been blessed enough to be put in a position where I do not have to work, where I am removed from the situation and can watch what is going on from an outside perspective. Because I don’t work, I have had the time and space to be a mother, and to do the personal introspection and soul work I find necessary to do in order to be the best mother I can be. The reason I have been so blessed is BECAUSE OF my husband and my mom, so this is hard to talk about with them. They have sacrificed for this freedom I enjoy they each did so willingly, out of love for me, and never asked for anything in return. And in return they are held bound to the system. Its not right. Its slavery. I want them free. But it seems like I want their freedom more than they themselves do. And heres where I get stuck. Where do I draw the line between respecting their own perspectives, choices, and personal sovereignty, and feeling like because they have given me this gift of awareness it is my duty to return the favor and use my time and resources to find another way of living that is more in alignment with the kind of people we claim we all want to be…yet when I talk about it they say they understand and want out of the system, they just need to stay in it a little longer for XYZ. Its easy for me to talk about and think about. Because I don’t understand. I don’t have to work. I am being cared for. I am not responsible for meeting the financial needs of my family. And I don’t know what the answer is. Where do I respect their choices and where do I stick up for MY choices when their choices are affecting my life in ways that make me uncomfortable. (And I cant even imagine what you must be feeling because at least both hubby & mama are total open minded hippie folk. And yet they are STILL seemingly hesitating to take action. As am I. I know it). Maybe this is what infuriates me:
My family has other needs that are more important than financial that are not being met. Such as:
*The need for freedom.
*The need for open land in all its natural glory and for fresh air.
*The need to be NAKED, to allow the sun to touch every inch of our skin. It is a nutrient! We NEED it! And yet being naked and showing our god-given bodies is offensive and illegal??
*The need for healthy, nutrient dense food that enhances rather than diminishes vitality.
*The need for making art and being creative, and having the time and space to do so.
*The need to feel part of a community. To work together with other human beings as part of a greater whole. Human beings are tribal! We are pack animals! (herd animals more likely it seems).
*The need for a clean fresh water source, and a home that protects and nurtures and is free from toxins and carcinogens.
*The need for the time, space, and energy to treat lovemaking as it should be treated: Something sacred. A VERY important part of overall well being. A bridge between our mortal selves and the divine. Not something to be rushed, squeezed in, hurried, or performed out of obligation.
*The time to eat slowly, gratefully, consciously, and the presence and awareness to do so.
*The need to celebrate life and holidays in a meaningful way with people we love, not our pathetic commercial marketing ploys and gatherings where everyone is too out of touch, scared, and insecure, and medicated to make any real connection with anyone else.
*The need to have a purpose and a spirituality that means something, that speaks to the truth of our hearts, and not just to what our forefathers have done and majority does around us.
*The need to live a life where you can confidently say with your last breath: I have no regrets. “I lived this life fully. I held nothing back.”
Money plays a part. It is not everything. And it pales in significance to what I really value. And are these really my families needs or just my own? And again, where do I draw the line?
I dont know what I’m waiting for. I feel like Im a wolf, and I married a labrador when I should have married another wolf. Now we have little hybrid babies. But when I look at them, it’s clear. They are mostly wolf. Like me. And we belong in the wild. We don’t belong in this zoo, this madhouse. But now I’m in love with the labrador, and he doesn’t want to leave behind this life we’ve built together. He would rather remain and be comfortable and miss out on the majority of his daughters childhood. On the majority of me in my sexual and creative prime. On the majority of HIS life as well! This is insanity to me! and yet I honestly love him. It pains me to see him living this way even though he is perfectly happy. Why? How do I navigate what I want and what the people I care most about want? Especially when my spirituality leads me to believe, to know in my heart, that we are all one and the same. We are all connected. We are all just little pieces of God or Goddess or the Universe or Spirit or whatever you want to call it. So how to I integrate this inner knowing with this outer ego. This divided reality?
I know I will wither and grow either resentful, crazy, or ill if i remain living life the way we are, and don’t get me wrong, I love life! I am actually really really happy! I have it made! But that doesn’t mean I’m blind or stupid. That doesn’t mean I don’t see whats really going on. My comfort is built on a shaky foundation. I am placing comfort and the illusion of control and security over freedom and true responsibility. My lifestyle is hurting other people. Its harming the environment. I claim to give a shit, but I’m just over here taking the blue pill. I believe all relationships are mirrors and maybe this is what frustrates me so much about my man/ mom. Maybe we are all just waiting for the other person to take the first step, to give the green light, when really, the power lies only with ourselves. Ultimately I know I’m talking the talk and not walking the walk, but I don’t feel like I can do it alone, and the people whose support I need are not ready to walk the walk. They want time. They want a few years. A few year to figure things out. Figure what out?! What is there to figure out??! finances? really!? We own houses and shit. We own houses in CALIFORNIA. We are the elite of the human population. Sell houses, but land, learn to live. To really live. Why are we waiting? Why do we feel like we have time to spare?
I also know if I get the Labrador to follow me into the woods he will thrive. He will flourish and be happier than ever living more like a wolf. But it breaks my heart to feel like I have to drag him…..
People act confused, perplexed at the state of things. Its really very clear to me. We have enslaved ourselves. We are supposed to be free and wild, as life is free and wild, yet we’ve put ourselves in these zoos and cut ourselves off from the natural world completely. We have even deprived ourselves of the basic skills needed for human survival. Skills like fire building, hunting, gathering, making things, caring for our own bodies, using natural medicines, giving birth, having sex, reading weather patterns, understanding the language of animals… the list goes on. How is it that knowing who the 35th president of the united states was or what positions are held in the house/senate is more important than knowing how to survive? How is it, that it is more important for us to prepare our children for college and a good career, rather than teaching them how to meditate, take care of their bodies and the environment, and be happy, healthy individuals who add value and diversity to their communities?
I’m still trying to figure things out myself, but the only thing i can say to you is stay strong and follow your heart. For both of our sakes I am going to try and do the same. Listen you your body. It does not lie. Your intuition is always right. I know this. Yet I still question myself (although I am getting better at this, through a lot of hard work and positive affirmations lol).
Think about how you want to raise your daughter, what you want to teach her. She can sense the energy around her, just as we can, no words are needed. If the energy around her is constricting, fearful, racist, or divisive, this is what she is going to be imprinted with. If you are quietly explaining to her in your moments alone the importance of diversity and acceptance, it is definitely doing her well and better than nothing. Goddess bless you from the bottom of my heart for being a good mother, I really mean that. Yet also be aware of what your actions are teaching her: To remain silent in the face of opposition and endure. To favor a false sense of peace over facing the truth and learning to handle emotions and conflicts. To see speaking of acceptance and love and empathy as something to hide, to not speak freely about, a topic not fit for daily conversion. And I know why you are doing it. Its a safety thing. Do you want her growing up around that or do you want her growing up in an environment where everyone is always arguing and her mother is always feeling attacked and on the defense and there is always a sense of tension in the air? But what of neither of those options is good enough. Then what can we do?
And this is something else that makes me really mad. Everyone looks at me like “oh you have it so made! you are so lucky you get to be a stay at home mom and that you husband is willing to go to work to support you and your children! You get to do whatever you want. You are so spoiled and pampered. What an easy life. Staying home with the kids all day making sandwiches and playing in the garden.”
Yes and no.
Yes, I AM veeerrryyyyy lucky. I am so fortunate and feel so so grateful for how blessed I am.
I would not change anything about my choices or where I am now. I don’t want to do anything other than raise my children and enjoy life together with Andrew and I an so grateful to him and will love him past eternity for giving me this chance. I chose to be a stay at home mom and I stand by that choice. That doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge what I have given up.
I have sacrificed, and I continue to do so everyday. But where once they were sacrifices I gave willingly, not I feel they are being expected, or even taken. Everyday I feel like I am sacrificing part of my freedom. Every day I feel like I am being forced to be a hypocrite. Why? Because of the fact that in choosing to be a stay-at-home-mom I gave up my personal sovereignty. I gave up my financial freedom (and my sexual freedom!) and therefore any right to have too large of a say in our lifestyle because, “Im not the one who has to provide for the family”, (are you fucking kidding me???). So while I really want to just seriously figure out how to disentangle myself from this mess, like NOW, I am forced to sit here tapping my foot and twiddling my thumbs waiting for those I care about, those I love, and those I essentially depend on, to feel confident enough to make the changes I want because said person/s is ultimately in control of how we live and everyone supports this arrangement, whether it is spoken or not. And I know he is only acting out of love and with the best intentions, but i feel like the house is burning down and he’s calming packing his bags and calling the carpenter to let him know were gonna need a new floor installed when I just want to get the fuck out and we can figure out the details later. Am I wrong? Maybe. Fuck I hope so. I really do. Am I crazy? sometimes I feel like it. But deep down I know I’m not. Deep down I know I’m not wrong and Im actually very very sane because I am in touch with what is deep down, what is in the dark, in the shadows.
How long am I willing to wait for the life I ultimately want to be living and what am I willing to give up to get it? I honestly don’t know. I just know I need to be brave enough to go after what it is I really want. Im not there yet, but I am trying.
I told my husband I wanted an open relationship. It did not go well. To me, its not about sex, its about freedom and control of my body. He does not see it this way. We’ve worked through it and come to an agreement, and I can talk to you more about this if you want cuz I can write a whole book on this topic alone, man it was a wild ride..I mention it only to show you the kind of drastic changes I think need to be made. A radical shift in thinking, mental programming, and child ingrained habits, and a new level of awareness and willingness to venture into uncharted territory.
I DO think it is important to speak out and share our stories and experiences. Even if we are doing so anonymously. 1) It is VERY therapeutic and often offers radical insights into seemingly complex emotions and situations 2) It gets us used to using our voice and speaking our minds, and doing so in a way that can be safe and easily controlled 3) It shows other like minded individuals that they are not alone, they are not crazy, and that these feelings and experiences we are having are real, they are valid, and they are shared.
If we as women claim our power, and make a commitment to protect, defend, and stand up for not only ourselves, but each other, we can save the world. And so so with grace, ease, and true beauty.
Thank you so much for writing me. You have really inspired me. Just the fact you had the guts to face and put a voice to what you are feeling. And what you are feeling is so so powerful and should not be ignored. I think women ignoring that inner voice in favor of “peace” is part of what got us so deep in this mess to begin with.
Much love to you. Know things will be alright. Nature always wins. And we are part of nature. As long as we are in touch with who we really are. If we aren’t, we become an agent of disharmony, and we all know how life handles that which causes disharmony. Life force is constantly trying to create harmony, to restore balance. We can use that to our advantage or not.”