The news is horrible. The news is always pretty bad but right now it is exceptionally horrible.
I try my best to not pay attention to the ‘news’ these days. As riveting as political shenanigans can be, I only pretend to care as required in polite company.
To be totally honest with you, when I pay attention to the ‘news’, I mean actually listen and take it seriously, I feel all kinds of negative emotions including terrified, angry, hopeless, frightened and like I can’t trust anyone ever again. I feel like I’ve been flattened.
I used to listen to the news religiously because I thought that was how adults stay in touch with reality. But that was when I also believed that being a woman meant I’d been oppressed for my entire life by male chauvinist pigs and argued on behalf of this belief by declaring things like, ‘the divine feminine has been usurped by male dominating aggression and in order to stop the annihilation of civilization women need to take over.’ Because this was when I also believed that if women ran the world, the world would be a more peaceful place.
Now I’m not so sure.
On those rare occasions when I do listen to punditry it’s soon clear there are as many angry and aggressive women out there as men. There seems to be gender parity when it comes to those who are “fighting mad and not going to take it anymore”.
It seems to me that it’s neither one nor the other, and it’s not either/or, and it’s definitely not them or us that’s going to be the antidote to this perilous polarized time. It seems to me if we’re going to survive we’re going to have to realize that we are all, as a matter of fact, in the same soup.
Yes we can stand in the middle of our skin and choose to hate and hurt and despise and fear everyone around us. You can can do that if that’s what you need to do.
Or we can stand in the middle of our own life for a moment, and breathe together, breathe deeply together, connect with one another, and choose love — and preferably all of the above at once more of the time.
Everything we think, do, even feel, is our choice. What do you choose?
I refuse to think of myself as a victim, despite all the reasons I’m told I can make that claim – the prejudice I experienced because of my heritage, the limited opportunities and increased stress because my parents were poor, being silenced by male elders, being demeaned by younger male bosses, getting paid less than my male counterparts, being sexually assaulted — among others. These are negative experiences, circumstances, in the whole tapestry of my life, but they don’t make me a victim.
I honour your right to think of yourself as a victim if that is what you need. But I choose to not be a victim of any circumstance. Instead I choose to think of my life as a spark of light of infinite divine creative source of love and joy. And as an infinite divine creative source of love and joy I won’t give my energy to the concept of being a victim.
I don’t believe the challenges I face will be solved by blaming other people. And I don’t believe our problems as a human species can be blamed on old white guys. There are quite a few of those in my life whom I love and respect. On their behalf especially I abhor the fact that ‘old white guy’ has become a term ominously reminiscent of other labels used for dark intent.
My husband for example, is an old white guy of the very finest nature, a supportive, patient, passionate, decent, loving, human who happens to love ‘footie’ almost as much as he loves his family. And there’s my brother, another old white guy who’s been an organic farmer and advocated for social justice and environmental sanity for more than half a century now.
And then there’s my white guy son who’ll be old one day, and my white guy son-in-law. Not to mention three grand sons who, all going according to nature will grow up to be old white guys.
I refuse to judge these people based on the colour of their skin and the amount of testosterone in their glands.
Instead I will continue to listen and observe the actions of each individual. And I will consider ways in which to communicate with intelligence and compassion and with an open listening and learning heart. And I will continue to aspire to find conversations that inspire deep understanding and wisdom.
I refuse to be influenced by the anger and intolerance that’s being pumped out by the media to pervade our culture.
I choose love.
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