I woke up this morning thinking about violence.
There’s violence that we can all agree is violence – war, murder, physically attacking another person.
There’s violence that we haven’t quite labelled as violence en mass. Rape, physically attacking ourselves, verbal, emotional, psychological and spiritual attacks.
There’s violence that many don’t see as violence. Thoughts. Beliefs that lead to actions of exclusion or the opposite of kindness. Prejudice of all kinds (including racism, misogyny, homophobia, ageism and disablism) is a form of violence. (Whether expressed out loud or hidden.)
The definition of racism is the belief that one race is superior and has the right to dominate others.
When someone looks at the color of my skin and assumes that I will laugh at racist jokes, does that person understand why I’m offended? Does s/he understand that -yes, even a ‘harmless joke’ – is based on her/his conscious or subconscious belief that s/he is better than whatever group s/he is belittling?
And the right to dominate others. What the bloody fuck? Who the hell believes they have the right to dominate others?
Do we even know what domination is and how it works and what affects it has on those who are dominated? Do we know where the desire to dominate stems from?
To control, to rule over.
How do people do that? Through violence. Harm. Sometimes obvious. Sometimes subtle.
Now that the world is starting to shift in meaningful ways, we need to talk about violence in new ways.
As attitudes such as racism, misogyny and homophobia become less and less acceptable to a growing number of people, the true core believers of these ideas are holding on tighter.
This is the power and the physics of change.
When one person is used to having something and feels that something is being taken away, s/he will fight. And will see any opposition (such as using our voice, rising up, loving ourselves) as a punch in the face.
So the fight, the power struggle continues.
The only way to end the power struggle is to opt out. Let go of the rope. Stop struggling. Surrender. Which, for those who have experienced oppression, is really fucking hard. And I don’t mean stop advocating or telling the truth or fighting for what is right. I mean there’s no point fighting AGAINST them, but FOR us.
The fight is not against ‘them’. The fight starts within and it’s not allowing those who struggle to accept loss of power and privilege to keep pulling us back into the drama.
As we start more conversations about what is acceptable and what is not, people will not change. They will not give up what they feel they deserve to have.
Those who don’t want to be called out as a hater have fallen back on more subtle ways to keep the feeling of entitlement to dominate and to rule over.
Oppression comes in many forms.
There are threats and intimidation as we rise up. Oppressors hate nothing more than an influential voice that shares opinions opposite to the way they want life to be.
When we’re down, there are tactics that influence us to doubt that we are worthy or that we are entitled to the basic human rights of safety, respect, dignity and kindness.
It doesn’t matter anymore who learned what from where or whether the intent is genuine. That is a distraction that keeps us caught in drama.
It’s time to stop. Violence begins to end the second I refuse to allow it in my home, my heart, my mind.
My worth as a human being is not determined on what I can or cannot offer you.
That is such a sad, sideways projection of self-loathing. And it all needs to stop.
Do you know where this desire to oppress, to exclude, to hate or to rule over comes from?
At its root, the desire to oppress comes from helplessness.
When I’m feeling helpless in any situation, when I’m feeling threatened in any way, my survival instincts kick in.
There is a part of me that wants to take control of the situation in some way. To become bigger or smaller than the situation. To feel like I’m doing something to stop it. Even in situations where there is absolutely nothing I can do.
Those who are threatened by loss of power or position react to that feeling of hopelessness within themselves as well.
We have gone on too long in this world with the majority of us living from a fear-based perspective.
But it’s changing. And there is some chaos because of these changes. It’s a sign of progress. It’s a blessing to be alive at this time in history. To be part of this great shift.
In fear, there is only mine or yours. Stepping up or being stepped on. Pray or predator. Domination or submission.
In fear, we cannot believe that true power comes from within and that it is gentle and tender and effective.
From an abundance-based perspective, violence is not required. Ever. Because once we all feel worthy and competent and confident and accepted in our own selves and our own lives, there is no hate.
Abundance starts with self-acceptance. When we cannot accept certain parts of ourselves, we cannot accept this in others.
For example, I am bothered when a friend of mine refuses to see the reality of his relationship with his ex and how it affects his child.
It bothers me because I spent some time in denial. And I haven’t yet learned to fully accept and love that part of me which chose to deny the truth in certain situations.
But that’s where my self work comes in. Instead of expecting that man to change, because I know he won’t, I look within to see why it piques something and I do what I need to do to accept that formerly denied part of myself.
When I do my work, instead of festering about that and then cutting someone off in traffic, I find clarity, peace and true comfort.
And we can all do this. It’s a big step toward accepting our interconnectedness as it is for what it is and what it’s not.
Ask for the courage to look within.