Sunday, 22 October 2017
As I scrolled through my Facebook in particular, I saw dozens and dozens of female friends post this phrase. Seeing the amount of it was heartbreaking. I posted it too, and like the other ladies I received words of encouragement and support from my female friends. It was great to see women supporting each other and realizing they are not alone. One thing did bother me though - the lack of male voices in this. I saw only two men reference it and received no words of encouragement initially from any male friends or family (except the BF who is not on Facebook). I thought what is going on here? Why are they silent on this? Seeing this was very discouraging and disheartening. I couldn't help think. I thought men were better than this, or at least the men I knew. I have to say I did receive a really nice message later from someone of the male persuasion, so at least a couple of guys I know are decent after all.
I asked a trusted male why this was, and his response was "it makes some people uncomfortable." My response - "good. Because it should." If you can scroll past dozens of women you know all saying they have been assaulted or harassed at some point, and you are comfortable with that, then I don't even know what to say to you. If you are comfortable with that amount of suffering around you, then you need to do some serious self examination. It shouldn't make you comfortable.It should disturb you.
And if hearing these stories makes you uncomfortable, that's too bad, because living it is infinetly more uncomfortable. Let me tell you from personal experience that being assaulted is uncomfortable. Having people bully and blame you is uncomfortable. And as uncomfortable as that is, the silence of others is just as bad. People are uncomfortable so they don't want you to talk about it, and they don't want to address it, they want to pretend it never happened. The silence of others ignoring it is uncomfortable. The only feeling I can compare it to, is if someone died, and then no one around you acknowledged the death or your grieving. And it is because of that silence that this issue continues on. When we are silent we let the perpetrators get away with it. We let the sickness continue.
As women we have been taught for too long that our job is to make others, and particularly men comfortable. We are taught not to make waves, to be pleasant and nice, and that lesson does not serve us in this situation. We as a society have made predatory men too comfortable for too long. Its time that we all get uncomfortable, and face the proverbial elephant in the room. Actually I compare it to a rotten cake that we have put a doilie over to try to make nice about it. But we all know its there, and the longer its there, the more it stinks.
If your a guy and you don't know what to do, you want things to be better, but are feeling uncomfortable about all this, I have a couple of suggestions for you. If you don't know what to say, a simple "I'm sorry that happened." or "that really sucks." is better then saying nothing at all. Or you can listen and hold space for those telling their story, without blaming them, even if it makes you uncomfortable. You can commit to speaking up if you hear someone making a rape joke or about violence towards women, or bragging about taking advantage of someone. Because when you say nothing you make predators think its okay. And most importantly examine your own behavior to make sure you are practicing informed consent.
In short, its time we put the responsibility back on those that are perpetuating the cycle of violence. It's time we made them very uncomfortable.
Monday, 9 October 2017
Accountability in Heart Centered Businesses or Why I Won’t be Ordering a Shining Year Workbook This Year
“Please, however, don 't email in to process your feelings about this. That is for your journal or your therapist. I am not asking for feedback.”
If you are running a business, complaints and criticism are part of the game. No one likes it, but it’s important to hear feedback. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with it or even take it to heart, but hearing your customers is important. Can you imagine going to a restaurant and having the waiter tell you they don’t want to hear if there’s a problem with the food, or about changes to the menu?
This comes down to accountability. If you set yourself up as a teacher, or take money for products and services, then you have to be prepared to deal with feedback, both positive and negative. You do owe something to those that have paid your bills, even if it’s just hearing what they have to say, regardless of wether you agree with it or not. Some people want the money but if someone complains or says something they don’t agree with they don’t want to hear it. How can anyone trust a teacher that refuses to take responsibility for their actions? Are we so thin skinned in the metaphysical and heart centred community that we don’t want to hear anything we don’t agree with? It doesn’t speak well for us spiritually if we freak out and build walls around us so we only hear echo chambers of agreement. We can’t grow if all we ever hear is how great we are.
I’m not in anyway saying we should accept abuse or hostility. We have the right to protect ourself from those that cross the line into harassment or abuse or even rudeness. What I’m talking about is not wanting feedback at all, or blocking or deleting questions we’d rather not answer. Are we that fragile? Or unable to deal with conflict? In this community we talk about shielding and energy protection, but it seems for some that this crumbles at the slightest wind.
If we have a complaint or concern on our end, then we can be polite and to the point about it. And we have to be prepared that we may not like the response, and that unfortunately we may be ignored or blocked. However if someone does that, it says more about them than it does about you, and then you know where not to spend your money.
What are your thoughts about accountability, and heart or spiritually centred businesss?
As always I’ll end with a song. I was sad to hear this week of Tom Patty’s passing. And in his honour and a spirit of resilience needed here’s my fave song by him “I Won’t Back Down”.
Sunday, 24 September 2017
|Me posing on the BFs bike. Such a badass.|