I am a woman.
I had periods and bled on sheets.
But my voice does not matter, my voice was not wanted. My message fit in with those who were told they were not welcome to march with the women of the world, so while the march spoke out for women “everywhere,” I sat at home.
I sit with many women who chose a different path than many of those who marched. That choice, evidently makes us all now, women who do not matter. We do not have a place at the table. Our input into important issues is not permitted. We are the women, who are sent to the outer tents when we bleed. We are not allowed to contaminate the others, except our exile is not for one week of the month . . . ours is permanent.
There can be no doubt that we are women. We had mothers and fathers who loved us, we played with dolls, we did all the girl things with the other girls. We went to university or got a job. We married and some divorced, we had kids and some of us grand babies and even great grand babies. We have careers or stayed home. We met situations that were difficult and yes, some of us were raped, some of us abused. Some of us were/are paid far less than we are worth. Some of us have been horribly discriminated against. Some of us are religious. We are rich and poor, overweight and underweight. We are varying degrees of attractive. Some of us conquer mountains, some of us conquer diapers. We are women no different than those who marched. But they told us we were not the right kind of women, and so we couldn’t join them. While they said they wanted “everyone’s” support – that did not include ours. Had we marched, had we said anything, our voice would have been “booed,” because these women are not about love and inclusion … this is just one big mean girl’s party. Continue reading
Ask a roomful of people to consider a toothpick within a 2 minutes timeframe, to come up with as many uses for it as they can think of, other than the purpose for what it is made, and you will be amazed. The combined ideas will create a long list. Some of the ideas will be common in most people’s responses and some will be unique to maybe one or two people. That group of people will be pleased with their efforts.
Now, if you were to replace those people with a new roomful of people and ask them to do the same thing BUT you show them the first room’s list, you will end up with even more suggestions.
Brainstorming is a very useful tool when a company needs to get the creative juices flowing. It is a great way to stimulate new ideas for answers to problems that are not responding to the usual answers. But this practice also demonstrates how we see things. We often only see the purpose for which we think (our education, our upbringing, our beliefs)it has been created. In the exercises above you will always have those people who struggle to come up with any other ideas, or who produce only a couple more than the original use for which it was intended. And yet others produce a list full of really different ideas that everyone can agree, would work. Should an object not be perfect, it is often considered useless and is discarded. In the example above, if you opened the box and found a broken toothpick, most of us would throw it away. Some might even take the whole box back to the store and demand our money back. Continue reading
In the light of all that is happening in the world, I find myself sitting alone. Off in the distance, I can hear the arguing. I am shocked at the raw emotions of people stripped back of all social pretence. We are an incredibly ugly, unkind people when we are wounded and backed into a corner.
I think I expected more. I expected better.
I am trying to hold on to my belief that this too has meaning that will find its way to a better place and it is just my smallness that cannot see. Forgive me for that.
Instead, I offer a few findings that speak to my heart, and perhaps will do the same for yours. Continue reading
“There is a LIGHT in this world. A healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering and too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.” Richard Attenborough
This is not particularly against Bill Clinton. It is not a political statement. It is just he is the latest in a long line of rapists who make the same assertion.
They don’t want anyone discussing their past criminal activities, “it isn’t fair.”
People think that IF a person is caught, (which, btw, is the only thing that stops them, at least temporarily, because none of them voluntarily stop, and most of them resume their activities as soon as possible) and IF they are prosecuted, and IF they are found guilty, and IF they do jail time . . . that once that time is over that is all there is to it, the whole thing can just go away.
They feel it is completely unfair to make them forever have to live with their mistake. The further the distance between the time of their incident and when someone brings it up, the more unfair it is. Because the passage of time, after all, fixes everything. Doesn’t it?? Continue reading
I have spent a lot of time examining my belief systems and how and if they have benefited me. I have also seriously considered how and if they have damaged me. Sadly, for the most part, I have to side with the latter.
I have strong clear memories of the many times I was instructed not to do things because it was not what other people were doing. I am not speaking about setting fire to the family dog kind of things, but rather things that were expressions of who I was and harmed no-one like wanting to wear my green pants with an orange top. The only damage those types of things caused was to my family and their desire to fit in and to appear as “normal” as possible. Success was measured by how well you could do what everyone else was doing, as long as you did it in the same way everyone else was doing it. Life was one big chorus line where, to be perfect, you danced in sync with everyone else and never, ever, drew attention to yourself. I was to be assimilated, to be part of the whole and not an individual.
This, they assured me, was the path to true happiness.
It wasn’t. It never was and never will be.
The problem with trying to fit in and not being yourself is that you end up with people in your life who can and will destroy you. If I had just been myself there would not have been any ambiguity regarding our compatibility. Those people would have walked a wide circle around me and I would have been better off for it. Instead of spending so much time in complete pain, destroyed by the many unkindnesses from people who were never going to understand me, I might have found people who were actually capable of loving “me.”
Not because those people are bad people, or I am some precious snowflake, but because we both deserved the kind of love and friendship that actually was intended for our lives. Instead, we were all forced into a game of engaging one another simply because we paid the admittance price and once paid, everyone gets a ride. Continue reading