Earlier this week, I wrote the text below to a friend who has been experiencing some scary situations with male clients she works with as an addiction counselor. She felt scared and alone. After the mail bombs, the grocery-store shootings of two black people by a white supremacist, and the synagogue massacre–all this week–I felt I should share it here, slightly modified.
The order that has been in charge for millennia, and perhaps most especially in North America for the last 400 years as a settler-colonialist, white, male, Christian, heterosexual, capitalist-extractive, “productive” force, is recognizing that their rule is being questioned and challenged now more than ever. Though in the past there have been movements and efforts to expand rights and seek equality, they have generally only “allowed” marginalized groups to mold themselves into the desired image of the system.
But now many are choosing to live and express themselves as they are—and rejecting the prescriptive “norms” that have been provided. We want to be women as we value womanhood, femininity and the divine inside us. We want to be sexual beings as we are and express our gender in ways that help us feel fully seen. We want to explore spirituality, connection, religion, enlightenment, and wisdom from our ancestors and to learn from others across the world and to delve within our souls rather than passively receiving any traditions that denigrate us. We give ourselves permission rather than seeking it from others. We are learning to speak unashamedly in our languages, accents and dialects that share with others who we are and where our people come from. We pare down consumption in favor of creation and connection. We protect the water and the earth in the face of threats. We flee violence and persecution even when it means where we arrive may not welcome us, to protect our children and our futures. We declare ownership of our physical selves and demand accountability for those who have trespassed. We seek to know ourselves and be seen and valued by others for all that we are, truly.
None of this happens easily in a world that still does not fully value each of us as beautiful, sacred and unique beings. And many of us are squashed back “into place” at times for our efforts. But these violent outbursts and threats are coming from those who fear they are going to “lose” in the new world order. They recognize—though sometimes not even consciously—that they have benefitted unfairly from the old system and that things are changing. Or they are invested in the current system—despite the fact that it obliterates their own lights—because they think they’ve learned how to play the game and “win.”
And as the old way dies a bit more with each person who stands in their truth, it is experienced by some as a threat. And they respond with fear, numbing, and sometimes rage and threats and outbursts and violence.
Those who carry the light so clearly and fully–as my friend does–are targeted by the fearful. The fearful see that those who are tending their light have something that their soul deeply needs and they are angry about their perceived lack. They don’t yet know that they carry a light, too, and that it takes seeking and tending to bring forth. But not knowing their own light, in their ignorance they seek to extinguish others so we are all in the dark together.
So they threaten and violate and rage and destroy.
These behaviors are all symptoms of the larger structures in which live being on shaky ground. It’s a death rattle of the old world order and the birthing cries of the new world to come. We have to be strong for ourselves and for one another. And perhaps you may choose to take your light to a place where it can shine brightly in safety for a long while or just a bit and that is absolutely a valid choice. But I hope it helps to see yourself as not alone in this, but rather as part of a beautiful transformation that we are making—and that we must make—to move TOWARD a future that reflects our full potential to live in love and light and connection as a species of animals among all the other beings seen and unseen. Being you–your full self–in a world that seeks to diminish and destroy you IS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE.
I’m here to witness and validate your struggles and your efforts to keep yourself safe but hope you are able to do so in ways that help you continue to evolve and expand and grow and shape yourself, the people around you and the world toward love.
Sending love to all of you in this time of darkness. Shine your light.