I am usually a very calm and low-key kind of person. The live-and-let-live type. The to-each-his-own type. The we’re-all-in-this-together type. But I realized this weekend—while at a meditation retreat—that I have been desperately meditating my way into deep denial.
Sure I can slow my breathing, empty my mind and calm my nervous system. I can feel the love that unites all beings, practice gratitude for life’s many blessings, and offer kindness toward strangers. Sometimes I can even trust in the greater good, the big picture, and a benevolent God.
But…damn it’s a lot of work to keep all this anger underground. All the anger I’m not supposed to feel or express. Good girls like me tend to just keep on smiling and hope for the best. We are taught to trust authority. Yet the news is at our finger tips these days, and the news is pretty scary. And all that anger is finally finding its way to the surface for many of us who dare to scream no more!
Basic human rights are being violated everyday. What century are we living in? Why in the world would we want more racism, misogyny and xenophobia? Have we learned nothing from history? Are we so afraid of losing our own little piles of toys that we just can’t share? Don’t we understand that this us-and-them mentality comes from our very primitive, reptilian brain, not our uniquely human, highly intelligent and creative evolutionary brain? Cooperation is taught in kindergarten people! Love thy neighbor is pretty basic, is it not? Take a tip from the Dalai Lama—religion equals kindness.
Our beloved Mother Earth has been used and abused—raped, ravaged, violated and in many places, destroyed—just like any of her people for whom white male privilege is not a descriptor. (I know—not all white men are bad—but historically, white men put themselves in charge!). It’s assumption of superiority—and its evil twin, abuse of power-- that are bad—bad for the people, and bad for the planet. Our planet and all her resources that sustain life need to be respected, and so do the rights and bodies of women, African Americans, Native Americans, Muslims and Mexicans.
At what price do we continue to divide and conquer? At what price do we continue to separate ourselves out into rigid categories for who is good and who is bad, who is right and who is wrong, who is deserving and who is not. Are we seriously willing to destroy this planet and each other in the name of pride, privilege and patriotism?
There is a new fierce cry in the wilderness, like a mother bear determined to protect and nurture her cubs no matter what, and it comes from the Great Mother herself. It is a call to action by the divine feminine. We all have masculine and feminine aspects within us. When the masculine and feminine are out of balance—there is too much greed. There is more taking in than giving out. There is more competition and less cooperation. There are more destructive actions and less constructive ones. The task of the masculine is to consider others in relation to ones self. The task of the feminine is to consider ones self in relation to others. Devaluing the feminine in each of us has devastating consequences for all of us.
It is time to speak up on behalf of the collective. It is time to shift from me to we. It is time to stop trampling over everything in the way of building your own damn tower. It is time to consider the rights of everyone over the hedonistic privileges of the few. People are people—not objects to annihilate. We are all equal only to everyone. And we are all in this together.
Julie Freeman, MFT