Change Begins by Processing Your Emotions
As a Shaman, it is my job to help bring the light into the darkest places.
Remember that darkness is simply a lack of illumination.
At a macro-level, helping people to see the faulty structure of today's society, the corruption, the injustice, the divisiveness, comes part and parcel with my journey here.
And yet, I would put forward to you that it is not the macro-level where change occurs.
CHANGE ALWAYS BEGINS WITHIN.
In this time of turmoil, creating a new construct, a new system, is necessary for us to thrive on the planet. And yet, if we are not thriving within, change on the outside cannot take place.
I am obviously not a person of color, and therefore cannot claim to understand fully that viewpoint. All I can do is work to empathize, educate myself, and spread that knowledge to others.
I will put forward, however, that there isn't anyone on the planet that hasn't experienced some kind of prejudice, and it is from that experience that I write my point of view.
Let me start by saying I think it's important to understand the difference between ignorance and being hateful.
Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge or understanding. Someone who is ignorant can be taught.
Being hateful is having or showing a desire to cause someone pain or suffering for the sheer enjoyment of it. Very different than being ignorant.
My experience with hate and prejudice comes from being Jewish. I understand fully Anti-Semitism.
I have experienced hateful Anti-Semites. Those that show outright disdain and hostile tendencies towards those of my lineage. People who have asked me, "Where's all your money?" or people who have claimed "The Jews deserved" WWII.
I have experienced ignorant Anti-Semites. People who have confused Zionism with practicing the religion of Judaism (two totally separate things.)
I have had devout Christians ask me if they could pray for my eternal soul and that Jesus would show himself to me. I told them yes--I'm always open to prayers. These people had no idea they were being rude and therefore I took their intentions the way they were meant. These people weren't being hateful; they truly wanted what was best for me. In my world, intention matters.
I have had a mentor insist that I must put a cross above my bed to protect myself from evil spirts that were causing nighttime attacks and nightmares. He told me I had to get past my attachment to the anger I felt from the Anti-Semitism I had experienced and get past that experience as an emotional trigger. He wasn't wrong. And yet when I said I was uncomfortable with the imagery of the cross--to me it represents torture and death-- he insisted that the strength of the symbol and the protection it would afford me were my only choice from the nightmares I was experiencing. My thoughts and feelings were of no consequence to him. While I agreed that the emotional trigger caused by Anti-Semitism in my life was something it was important for me to heal from the inside out, the work of forgiving him for this experience also became part of that journey.
Standing in my own power and standing by my own beliefs came as a gift from that experience. If you're wondering, I didn't put a cross above my bed...I chose a Dream Catcher with crystals instead. The nightmares did go away.
I can give other examples of prejudice I've experienced-- bullying for being the Teacher's Pet. Sexism from having large breasts. I can't tell you how many times I've had to tell men to speak to my face instead of my chest, or how many times people were surprised by my intellect because of the size of my breasts.
HOW DO WE GET PAST THE PREJUDICE AND THE HURT?