One of the most manipulative social ideologies I've witnessed in recent years is this idea of Privilege.
It gets split up into factions too
You name it, we can take any advantage a person has and attach the word privilege to it.
Issues such as racism, sexism, class-ism, homophobia; these have created much pain on this planet. But can we truly heal by just turning the tables on who has the power over others? Creating mental simplistic labels and imposing them on another without any genuine connection to them as a human being diminishes them (and ourselves). Diminishing a person solely for being a financially successful white male is not that different than diminishing the precious being that happens to be a transsexual woman with dark skin.
Personally I love being inclusive when it feels authentic to me! When it feels real there is joy and expansion in it. But if I’m being inclusive only based on trying to avoid being socially ostracized, labelled, or judged than I’m not being inclusive at all. Because I'm excluding myself. I’m conforming out of fear.
The chaos, anger, and pain that continues to surface in the collective makes the times we are living in ideal for doing our inner healing work.
Chaos precedes clarity. Pain surfaces when we are ready to heal and break free of something.
Anger too can be a good sign. For example I was in a relationship years ago and would experience sudden bouts of intense anger at my partner. I was reacting to my partner's subtle but controlling behavior. The anger meant progress because in the past I was submissive and focused on how to please the man in my life. My inner power was rising up but it was chaotic. I knew I needed to work with my anger because it wasn’t fair to my partner to throw my personal history of repressed frustration and pain at him.
When I worked with my anger and frustration triggered by him I saw that there was still an insecurity in me that was looking to men to validate my self-worth. I realized that I was unconsciously expecting him to give me love and validation. I also saw how much pain he was struggling with. When I started looking inside and waking up my ability to love and validate myself I stopped having all those heated power struggles and have attracted healthier and less volatile relationship dynamics. I experienced much more mutual respect with everyone in my life.
If I would have concluded that it was his “mansplaining” or "male privilege" that was the problem and that's that, I would have continued to outsource my personal power. I would have also had to face the pain of my inner conscience for participating in violence towards another.
One practice I do is to observe my mind and my thoughts. Over the years in doing this inner work and observing my mind I've come to recognize that anytime I have repeating thoughts about how someone did this or that to me I know there is something for me to see about myself related to that situation. When this happens it's an opportunity to break free of something that has been limiting me. The person or situation is just the trigger.
This doesn't mean there was no injustice or wrong doing in the first place. There is injustice AND we can learn and grow from it.
Something else that I see a lot and often comes with the ideology of privilege:
You owe it to use your voice to speak up for those less fortunate than you.
Who says we owe anything to anyone? Who decides that? Can compassion be imposed on us from outside of us? Does it follow rules about who deserves or who doesn't?
It can take time to genuinely start to question or see through these things, especially if we've taught ourselves not to question.
I was so use to following the crowd because it's how I've survived that when I tried to find my own voice I would cry because of how impossible it seemed. There was so much clutter in my mind and energy.
But I persisted. I have been releasing so many layers of mental programmings, ideologies, beliefs, outside opinions, judgments (about myself and others), etc. As I've done this my inner voice (my intuition) has become much stronger and clearer.
I may want to stand up for another person or group. I may not. But I alone am responsible for that decision.
I know that I can only make a conscious impact if I’m learning to take greater and greater responsibility for my life and my own individual and unique self-empowerment.
Here are a few similar blogs I've written:
The Game of Women's Empowerment (If you don't mind a rant mid-way about being accused of belonging to a cult)
How to Spot A Manipulator (I think this one freaks people out a little, but it's one of my favorites)
Adventures in Dating (If you like hearing stories about my love life, or my almost love life)
I’ve always had this gift (curse?) of making something small and enlarging it, expanding on it, embellishing it. Stretching it for miles and miles.
I did this with situations that were painful for me. Creating all kinds of fear scenarios. All kinds of stories. Rolling them around in my fearful worried head. Hanging onto it for as long as I can.
What used to seem like a bad habit, I’ve made it into a gift now. I’m now making mountains out of what feels good. Taking tiny beautiful moments and pulling whole universes out of them.
The way the air feels on my skin. The feeling of the floor I’m sitting on as I write this. How it feels to hold the pen I’m writing with. The textural sounds that silence makes. The sound of the heated air coming out of the vents. When I wash dishes, the texture of the plate, the way the water caresses my hand.
I collect these moments. As if they are shiny gold pieces and the brightest ruby and shimmering emerald stones. Treasures often found after digging through the mud.
And. The more ordinary the better.
And it’s not some grandiose noble idea on how present I'm being. It’s just noticing that some things feel really good. If I let them. If I give myself permission to indulge it as much as I want.
Letting myself swim in it.
Letting life in.
It’s all so incredibly alive. So much so, that sometimes I wonder if anyone has ever exploded from the hugeness of it all.
And the world... well so much is happening isn’t it? But I keep coming back. Back to *here*.
I’m sharing this especially for those of you who have a sense that you are here to help. How easy it is to confuse helping with carrying the world on our shoulders. Taking on the suffering of others.
But really, it’s only you that you need to save. In that saving you recover your true self. And in letting yourself be alive as who you are, it creates powerful ripples. Those ripples travel to the places they are most needed.
And without our effort they do exactly what needs to be done.
To me this is what it means to be of service. Being in service to our aliveness. Do you feel it? How the world is just aching for aliveness?
Every moment you gift yourself soulful pleasure, you gift it to the entire planet. Yes, all of humanity but also our beloved Earth herself.
In my personal connection with our momma Earth I've noticed she doesn’t seem to care so much about my carbon footprint or joining a cause in her name. She is not interested in being saved.
In my ecstasy I can even hear her sigh sometimes… as if to say “Ah yes, that! right there! yes, thank you!”.
So you see? Our work doesn't always have to feel like work. We are just growing our beautiful inner swirly and pulsing light and allowing it to shine itself brightly.
Yours in shiny ecstatic light,
PS. This opening to ecstatic feel goodness, yes it also can bring moments of agony as well. We start feeling the entire spectrum of our inner landscape. The agony has its own uncomfortable and strange richness and beauty. I wrote about the relationship between Agony and Ecstasy here
It’s February, the month of Love. It's another excuse to turn up the heat on your Inner Flame. Drenching each cell in your body with ruby red, juicy, and luscious love.
Even when you are howling from that deep bottomless ache inside of you. Even when life feels impossibly hard and there is pain and fear. Are you willing to open to the possibility of embodied pleasure and love? Even if it just means letting yourself feel the coziness and softness of the bed covers you are hiding under. Or smelling your favorite oil or perfume and noticing how sensual and yummy it makes you feel. Letting that in. For even just a moment.
Next time you are in front of a mirror look into your own eyes and say “I love you”. Not as an affirmation or mantra to repeat. But to experience being told you are loved by someone who looks
Watch what happens inside of you as you do this. Can you let this love in and fill you up? Or do you feel uncomfortable? Is there a voice saying you are not lovable in some way?
It doesn’t matter who you are, what you have done, what has been done to you. No matter how old you are, what you look like, and what your job, financial, and relationship status is like. No matter what other people think of you. You ALWAYS deserve to find your way back to love.
It doesn’t have to be the mirror exercise, it could be anything. The possibilities are endless. Sometimes it takes feeling around that hard brick wall for quite a while to find the opening, the sweet spot. The place where life can enter us again.
Sometimes that feeling around and being lost seems wasteful but it’s not. It’s fruitful. There is a certain creativity and wisdom that grow underground during times of frozen heaviness and being lost. If there is some part of you, maybe a very subtle still voice inside you, that knows you don’t need to struggle with or fix anything... A subtle Soul Sense that it’s all okay. Yes. Trust that voice. Trust your trust.
One second of sweetness that you give yourself can open you up tremendously. And the fact that you did that for yourself, that you allowed yourself to enjoy and be loved. The great thing about doing this is that you can then spend the rest of the day feeling so proud of yourself. “Wow I did that!” “I did that for myself!”. Go ahead and milk it.
You can have all sorts of issues and wounds and although you cannot always change what is showing up, YOU can show up. A moment here and a moment there, they add up. You can be the loving container for it all. The loving container doesn’t need to change it’s contents.. it just holds it all. With Love. Acceptance. Spaciousness.
All the things that you are doing so you can relax. Working on those accomplishments so you can feel a sense of completeness and worthiness. Working hard on a relationship so you can experience love and connection and belonging. Why not try cutting out the middle man and go ahead and give yourself what you are actually, deep down, trying to get to? (I hope a light bulb went on when you read that, but if not now, don’t worry it will eventually)
I know that in the middle of fear it’s so tempting to grab the fixing and get to work with your strategies. Yet consider that your life and all that comes is a mystery to be unlocked rather than a wrong to be righted. If we rush to fix something before we unlock the mystery that is asking to be revealed we miss an opportunity for beautiful self-discovery and magic.
So, go ahead, drop everything for a few seconds (or hours, days, a lifetime) and take a LOVE bath. You never need a reason..or permission. But I'm giving it to you anyways.
Time-Travel Side Note: Maybe someday, when we are 90 years old we will talk about the time when we started a revolution in our hearts. and even though we had no idea that it would be so challenging..
It was worth every moment. Because we and the planet are made of more love now.
All because we dared to follow the invisible thread.
Leela Haris ~ E x p a n d i n g Consciousness