Being misunderstood is such a trigger for me. I believe to many humans. Which makes me curious as to why. I have tons of stories for it yet ultimately I cannot possibly expect to be understood nor understand 100% of the time. It’s impossible. I cannot control that. So, in the space of feeling misunderstood or in the face of my misunderstanding, I ask myself, who can I be to myself right now? What if misunderstandings are important for highlighting where I can allow myself the gentleness of the love I am. What if misunderstandings are vital alchemy that shows me where to expand my self compassion.
In today’s video on my YouTube Show Celebrating The Love of Being, titled ‘The Unconsciousness of “I love men, as long as they…”‘ [See video below ] I briefly touch on the bravado of self avoidance. Avoiding self responsibility is not ’empowerment’ but rather the bravado of not being responsible. This is a conversation that is present across the gender line and in this conversation I will speak about the unconscious bravado aimed at men.
Unfortunately, I am seeing under the guise of ‘female empowerment’ the bravado of avoiding self responsibility in relating with and having conversations about men and self. It is not ‘female empowerment’ to not be responsible for my listening of men and respecting a man’s ‘No’. For I must be responsible for listening to my own needs. And if I recognize my needs are important, how could I shame men for sharing their needs are important?
It is not ‘female empowerment’ to use defensive bravado as a way to hide from the fact that I am not listening to a man’s voice and am in fact shaming men for speaking up about their needs. This experience is not only under the precise conversation of ‘female empowerment’ it is also in any avenue where bravado can be confused as a woman using her voice ‘powerfully’ when in fact shaming of men is happening.
The bravado that is the basis of shaming men and the conversations of denigration aimed at men is in fact self avoidance. It can be uncomfortable to listen and look when a man says, ‘No’ to how they are being approached, being represented, objectified, demanded of and manipulated. I recognize that often this can be unconscious these actions aimed at men and yet, it is up to me to look and listen when a man points them out to me. I understand that facing my unconsciousness with men and with anyone is very uncomfortable.
However, in a society that is very quick to dismiss the unconsciousness and denigrating conversations and actions aimed towards men while also confusing and conflating this abuse of men as ‘female empowerment’ or ‘a strong woman’ I must absolutely be vigilant lest I allow myself to excuse my unconsciousness towards men. In a society where my self avoidance bravado of shutting down my listening down towards men is celebrated by a sleeping society, it is my responsibility to keep checking my own awareness of this. In this society it is easy to get swept away in the drunken acceptance of praise for being reckless and harmful towards men, I did before in my own unconsciousness. And this is why it takes hard work to look and question this self avoidance bravado cloaked as ‘female empowerment’ or it’s ‘a strong woman’ who speaks abusively towards men or shuts down a man’s voice. That is not ’empowerment’ that is inferiority parading about pretending ‘superiority’. I am very clear I am inferior to no one and that is why I choose to not to pretend I am superior either. There are actual powerful, vital and even beautiful conversations being had that support women in society and this bravado is not a part of this. Anything that is actually based on being hurtful and dismissive towards men is a masquerade of the real conversations that are important for women. Shaming men is not ‘female empowerment’. I choose to not entertain that myth.
To me there is nothing ‘strong’ about shutting down the voice of another. Such a desire to me is Fear baffled by the confrontation of the call to self responsibility. What is missed, is self responsibility is another way to recognize myself as a powerful being. Not powerful in the sense of domination as that is not power, powerful in a sense of recognizing the beauty of my being and in this recognizing the beauty of the being before me and that we are both important, not just me.
To me white privilege a mindfulness conversation of the reality that in US [and other countries] the basis is the white community as the ‘norm’ so to speak. A person of ‘color’, though I am not fond of that term, is most often seen as nefarious as is the undercurrent conversation that white is ‘good’ the rest less. White privilege is a mindfulness conversation that the black community is still rising and facing the undercurrent deeply ingrained negative conversations and views of the black community that came from slave times into times of Jim Crow and the poverty of this and residuals in modern society. White privilege is a mindfulness conversation for us as a society to be aware of all of this and to be conscious of this instead of project blanket views of black people are lazy, evil, violent, nefarious and less than. It’s about dispelling misconceptions and hatred rather than fuel it.
Now this is what white privilege is not: It is not about ‘white people are evil’ or ‘the root of all violence throughout time’. It’s not about superiority/inferiority. It’s not about shaming white people, the whole point is pull shame out of black community not project more shame into the world. White privilege is not about white people hating themselves, no one should hate them self. It’s not about blaming generations of white people for being white. To me those conversations actually cloud the experience and voices of the black community, not highlight. When everyone is considered a NeoNazi, ‘Neo Nazi’ means nothing. I find such implicatons dangerous as it minimizes actual racial violence. To me the white privilege conversation is about all of us being mindful, it’s not an action, it’s simply a mindfulness. If action is inspired & authentic cool if not cool, it’s simply about awareness. If there is an action being requested, people hear requests that are not shame laden but rather fueled by inspiration and call to community and unity. However, to say there is a need for action & shame those who do not, rather than support those who do, and to not lead by inspiration to me affects those who rely on their voices being heard the most. I would rather support the black community than hurt the black community.
Any conversation of white privilege that is fueled with hatred and division to me is not the conversation of white privilege but rather ‘white privilege’ being used as a banner to be hateful as any activism can be. The main conversation of white privilege right now I am seeing is fueling hatred and division and I cannot abide by that. To me the conversation of white privilege is about opening listening of the black experience in community and view point, as an expansion in human connection rather than restriction. It’s about awareness, mindfulness, understanding and inspiring human connection. My experience as an AfroLatina is different than a Caucasian in America and that is a fact. To deny that I would be bypassing reality. I also realized I do not need to use it to hurt myself- as I used to- rather I allow it to fuel my inspiration. Every experience in life is different, it just is, we are all different. I also know that what I am saying may never be understood. I no longer need it to be. I am not reliant on understanding to live a life of thriving. As long as I am aware of the reality of white privilege and do not use it to fuel self loathing or resentment or division or a interpret it as a wall of self limitation, rather simply as an awareness and a practice of compassion.
What do I want to see? What conversations do I want to support in the Black/Latino community as well as all communities? Aliveness! Art! Celebration! Culture! Joy! Play! Love. How? All rooted from authenticity rather than panic to ‘achieve’ or ‘prove’ anything. To slow down and relax enough to allow my actions to be an extenstion of my self care rather than an avoidance of. To me it all comes back to self care, which is prioritized through self love. Celebration of life, celebration the beauty of life that I am a part of and belong to! Simply celebrating the love of being, loving myself is the greatest shift I seek. Self love is an all inclusive conversation. My root is human connection. I allow myself simply to be.
Officially introducing my hashtag campaign: #MyRebellionIsSelfLove
For me self love is the most important ‘act’ of rebellion, which is instead- simply being 😊❤️
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When hate gets passed onto me- and who knows how far it has traveled to get to me- I have a choice what to do with it once it’s in my hands. I feel its impression as it permeates in finger tips. I feel my fear, pain, rage as it shines a light on my own hate in me.
I now hear myself ask, ‘What do you want to give them?’, just before I’m about to rage at someone else over the hate a person shared with me. And I can’t do it. I can’t pass on the hate. I cannot get into the details my body will not let me.
I choose to let it end in me. I set a boundary with the person being heinous, which is my self love, my right to say ‘No’, I do not have to allow myself to be hurt.
If I am to let the journey of such hate end in me, I need to love myself with an uncomfortable brave ferocity.
So I do. I love the reflection of the hate in me this person has shown me as I am not separate from them. I give my love to the coward in me that writhes in attack. I bow to the innocence in me as the origins of all of this is self preservation, aloneness, abandonment.
And I rise with the self respect in me that calls for what is right and respects what needs to be done to transmute this hate and then give what I truly want to give. Love and honor.
To give this I must let all that is not, end in me.