It isn’t the political arena itself that disturbs me. That can be a fabulous forum for learning about others, working for change, finding common ground and truly being a crusader to help those who can’t speak for themselves among many other purposes. Politics enlighten us to others’ opinions and passions and when used for a higher good can be a liberating venture.
But when the media and political arenas are methodically and maliciously used to hurt, to inflict purposeful pain, to divide people from their place of connectedness with their fellow person/themselves/God, to destroy and mock for the sole purpose of making money or some vile sort of entertainment, that’s where I hop off the bus.
This weekend I’ve chosen many courses of action related to the “war on women”.
It has been particularly challenging for me not to lose myself when this type of negativity presents itself. Friday night was spent in a long distance phone conversation while my friend sobbed. She, like myself and many others, felt that heaviness of pain thrust upon us by a man who succumbs regularly to the urge and addiction to hurt. I watched another women attempt to be heard while comments and name calling were flying around on Facebook and while I don’t know for sure, I think she was trying to alleviate her confusion in the spirit of communion. And I’ve raged in my own way. Mostly I’ve reached out virtually to women I know in an attempt to “hold hands” with them as we sort through this together. It is a time when I need my tribe the most; to help me find the beauty and purpose that grounds me.
I do hurt for the women; their families, their partners and children. Wider than that, I hurt for their communities as the ripple of negativity plunges us under. We hear the word “slut” and it becomes more than just a bit on TV, it becomes personal. I think I actually felt a universal “wince” as those brutal words were played and replayed.
But true to the survivors that we are, we bob back to the surface, gasping for air, begin to clear our heads and process what has just happened.
And today, we are back. Still holding hands with each other for support, we slowly start moving again. We go to our gardens and look for the first sign of growth; some are reading to their children, others are silently praying for a more loving world while others are shouting it out. Our bodies go back to our jobs but our hearts still hear the faint reverberations of hate.
We sit and hold this pain until its evident that it has passed through us instead of sticking in our hearts. We again accept the challenge of how to love back in spite of the hurt.