I feel like I am drowning in a sea of opinions, disasters, tragedies, trauma, harm, violence, and misunderstanding – every bit of this present on social media. It is the sea in which many of us find ourselves swimming – reaching for a life-ring or anything which will allow us to feel just a bit more safe, a bit more attached, a bit less graspy and gasping.
Still, many, many times and days, it just sucks us under and swallows us whole.
Or maybe it’s just me.
I’m not suggesting that we no longer engage with social media. (Though that may be the exact-right answer for you).
What I am suggesting is that we turn within our very selves, listen to the profound-and-powerful wisdom we already hold, and then choose to respond – or not – from there.
So, when I do exactly this? When I listen to the wisdom I already hold? Here’s a bit of what it sounds like: Division, rancor, in-fighting, and accusations are the expertly-wielded tools of the patriarchy.
“Divide-and-conquer is its strategy,” my friend Lianne says. I don’t want to perpetuate any aspect of the patriarchy. I want something better, something redemptive, something healing, something strong.
I want the opposite of divide-and-conquer. I want to join-and-heal. I want to call forth and witness the Feminine – invited, embodied, enfleshed, and intentionally taking precedence over all else.
It’s dicey, I realize. Incredibly important voices – almost always those that have been silenced – need to be heard. Perspectives and experiences need to be honored. Wrongs need to be righted. Responsibility needs to be taken. And both integrity and accountability need to be not only demonstrated, but lived by. This applies to me, to be sure. And to you. To all of us.
Here’s what I keep returning to:
As women, we have the capacity to do all of this and then some – to honor our distinctives, our opinions, our stories, and especially our differences – AND come together, stay together, join-and-heal.
YES!!! We do!
This is what women have done throughout all of time: they have gathered, they have joined, they have healed – themselves, others, and their communities/world. And in their best moments (if not lifetimes) they have set aside their differences – while acknowledging that they still exist – in order to offer each other the kindness, respite, support, respect, and strength needed to face another day. In Red Tents, in Sacred temples, in underground churches (even above-ground churches), in hidden rooms-basements-barns, in quilting circles, in book groups, in domestic violence shelters, in recovery movements, in neighborhood coffee gatherings, and yes, even in Facebook groups.
We join. We listen. We do our best to understand. And in such, we heal. When we don’t understand, when we struggle to listen, and even when we disagree, we still-and- always stand alongside one another in unity, compassion, empathy, and commitment. UNSWERVING COMMITMENT. To each other. To the shared-and-common-and-human difficulties, challenges, struggles, and beauty inherent in a woman’s life; in all women.
And why? Because we recognize in each other the profound and ineffable strength that must be encouraged, fanned-into-flame, called forth, sustained, and believed in! We recognize that WE are the ones to do this. And we KNOW that if we do not,
no one else will.
There are stories, stories, stories in my mind of when and where women have done exactly this. I could tell them to you. But what feels far more relevant and hopeful is to follow their lead: to gather, listen, honor, befriend, take the high road, say we’re so, so sorry, even forgive, and let every bit of our innate and indomitable wisdom reign.
Whether it’s Donald Trump or Harvey Weinstein or Black Lives Matter or Puerto Rico or immigration reform or LGBTQ awareness or any and every other thing that matters…deeply…truly…always…
…what matters most is that WE CHOOSE EACH OTHER – NO MATTER WHAT.
I get it: this is far easier said than done. But WE ARE UP TO THE TASK!
Maybe it is just me. Maybe. But I am not naive. I am a woman who knows-knows-knows what is right and generous and kind and nurturing and healing and beautiful and good and, and, and.
I am not willing to perpetuate the status quo – no matter how risky or scary or old or irrelevant I may sound.
And I’d rather not do this alone.