I just listened to the latest episode of On Being titled "The Inner Life of Rebellion" featuring Parker Palmer and Courtney Martin. While hunting through the transcript for Palmer's definition of safe place I found the following bit on rebellion. I am a rebel, and there's nothing wrong with that. From the transcript:
“It’s an act of rebellion to show up as someone trying to be whole.” And I would add, as someone who believes that there is a hidden wholeness beneath the very evident brokenness of our world, and somebody who wants to say that somehow part of that hidden wholeness is love, part of that hidden wholeness is our fellow feeling for each other, part of that hidden wholeness is a desire to make this thing work, and to work it out together, the act of persisting in those fundamental beliefs that something better is possible. I think this is courage. And I try to call myself to it every day. And I often fail...
So, rebellion can be that very small thing of swimming upstream against a tide of cynicism or against a tide of scarcity, and trying to witness to that in your life day in and day out. And it can really, really make you hurt." Parker Palmer
This brings to the fore a distinction that I reached in a meeting just this morning. I wrote a bit not too long ago regarding being "OK" vs. there's nothing wrong. At the time I couldn't really verbalize my quibble with the "I'm OK... It'll be OK..." thing. I just got it this morning, perhaps obvious to everyone else... Just by the act of saying that (It will be OK) you're assuming the opposite... that there is something wrong that it's NOT OK in this moment or it was in the past or may in the future Not be OK that there is something wrong. What I surrender to is the fact, TRULY THERE IS NOTHING WRONG, EVER! What I rebel against is the cultural idea that there is automatically, always something wrong. The belief that things need to be "fixed."
That dovetails nicely into the following quote about safe places... LOVE THIS!
"So, I think first of all, safe space needs a facilitator. I don’t think it happens automatically. And I think the role of the facilitator is to keep the space safe, even when someone tries to break the safety. I think there are some simple rules, there are some not so simple rules, but one of the simplest is no fixing, no saving, no advising, and no correcting each other. Well, what we’re going to do in the absence of those behaviors, is we’re going to learn to listen deeply to each other, and we’re going to learn to ask honest, open questions to hear each other into speech. Which I think is another of the most critical tasks of our time. So many people unseen, unheard — they need to be heard into speech. So there are things we can do, but it’s a discipline." Parker Palmer
I'm craving this safe space he describes. It makes me cry, literally, that I don't have such a space as this. I'm feeling lost and alone, drifting and questioning AND I surrender AND I know there's nothing wrong!
There's magic everywhere when you take a moment! A reminder: chill out and enjoy! Excellent photos at www.themindunleashed.org 100 best photos without Photoshop. Also I love this episode of On Being... A Wild Love For The World - Joanna Macy.
If you don't respect yourself, chances are somewhat slim that others will respect you. I have a recent experience with respect to try and express. What I noticed, what comes to mind straight away is the realization that I am conditioned to tolerate a pretty obnoxious level of disrespect.
Sometimes subtle, shrouded or later excused away or apologized for... it still seeps in and accumulates. I was aware of the accumulation of the individual incidents... of the feeling of lack of something missing... hard to put a finger on it. Flippancy? Dishonor? Contempt? Rudeness? Distrust? I looked the other way and gave my permission by making excuses for the abuser. I avoided and blamed myself, questioned my talents and skills.
Abuser... Bully... strong words - ideas - labels. I usually don't want to judge, but I do anyway. I am expressing my experience with the words that fit best. A person must have power to be a bully or abuser. You give them the power, at least I did. It seemed so incredible, so unbelievable... I must be wrong. There must be something wrong with my perception of the situation... she must be right because she's good and respected and spiritual and... and... and...
What did it take to snap me out of my ennui, my apathy? An absolute, unmistakable, undeniable accusation. An action and statement that stood on it's own without any of the previous evidence. So blatant and untrue that my response was guttural, unwavering and unconditional. No excuses could possibly explain this one. No amount of overlooking could get past this one statement. 8 words via text... "No more digging around and searching my documents."
Being a relatively newly minted emotionally expressive being... my physical reaction was wild... I was vibrating, literally and feverish and momentarily speechless and without thoughts. Dare I say boiling over and frozen at once? Maybe this is the "fight" portion of the famous fight or flight response I've heard so much about? I wasn't hurt or offended I was gobsmacked and flabbergasted and GOD DAMN PISSED OFF!
What do you do regarding a bully or abuser? I had a chance to explore the answer to this question... a friend advised... Disengage. Politely - Professionally walk away with your dignity intact and your head held high. This is exactly what I did. While I was dying to say a few things, to have the last word, to be understood and justify my reaction. I didn't. I've reclaimed my power and I'm happily processing this latest most interesting lesson about respect and tolerance, boundaries and excuses. How to listen more intentionally to my inner creature, my true self. And perhaps most importantly how to act in a way that is caring, responsible and sustainable.
My goal was to disengage with dignity and in such a way that there would be NO MORE THOUGHTS about it. No internal revolving carousel of reflection, attention, scrutiny of what to do or not do or what I did or didn't say... blah blah blah.
My objective, usurp the ultimate "evil" - self torture over the whole situation. Ultimately this situation was an incredibly gentle and loving way to assist me in identifying the abuser within. What an inconceivable souvenir, a grand take away! I now possess an attentiveness and fresh context around my own internal bully and tools to "handle" her with dignity, love and confidence. Thank you!
There is something bubbling to the surface. It's been coming up for a little while now. I realized this morning that it's really not pretty at all, not politically correct, or flattering or even morally "right." I also realized that I'm writing this blog for me, not for anyone else and "there's nothing wrong."
The human condition seems to be wired to be constantly comparing if not downright judgemental - competitive - ambitious - aggressive. Silly girl, I imagined that I was above that. Taking a high road somehow. Silly girl! While I don't actively harm anyone or wish them ill, I am desperately jealous for those things I imagine I don't have. Situations, ways of "being" or "looking" that I perceive would make me happy or even make me look good enough to fool other people into believing that I'm happy and grounded and mature and wise. Silly girl!
I, perhaps, could fool myself also into forgetting that I'm alone and missing caring unconditional loving support. Truth: I'm basically too afraid or proud to reach out... Writing this just now, I realized, I'm not alone and the support is available I just have to learn how to ask.
My pissy and rebelious laziness rears it's head and rather defiantly reminds me that I don't want to go through the strain and effort of asking for help. It's just fine to be alone, other people basically only care about themselves in the final analysis. That has been my experience after all - so far. So suck it up and get on with it!
If I'm going to be jealous and envious, I might as well be smart about it.
Camping? Why yes, thank you, I think I will. Sure thing! Nothing better! Camping, the tent in the wilderness type... not a Holiday Inn, not even a nice travel trailer or 5th wheel. Oddly enough I couldn't tell you the last time I really did this type of camping. I enjoyed the planning, no surprise, and the packing and preparations. A single-site island on the pristine Lake George? (Our camping island has it's own web page!)
It was only 3 days, 2 nights but WOW what an amazing, awesome experience. Nature breeds connection and silence creates the space for communication. Chris and I have been together nine years and this was the first time we took the time to be frank and open, honest and intimate about many things in a very long time. There's something about a raging campfire and a star packed night sky that allows an irresistible reboot.
The photo is for real... the most amazing sunset I've seen in a very long time!
What shall I create this day to amuse and delight?
I decided back in November 2015 to make my poetry available and journal online. I'm not exactly sure what "blogging" means but I am quite sure this is an online journal. Feel free to read on with an aire of open minded curiosity. At no time do I intend to offend, judge or pretend to know anything really, I'm just an observer and explorer, as we all are. Feel free to "boldly go" through my observations and perhaps it will spark or inspire. Comments are off because I don't want to be worried about political correctness when I'm writing. I'm not thinking about "you." I'm just writing because it feels "right". Feel free to enjoy or surf on.
Fibber McGee's closet!