“Being present and ‘accepting’ is NOT the same as tolerating or condoning unkind, disrespectful, violent or shaming behaviour.
I speak from experience, as a mostly-recovered ‘Mr Nice Guy’! I think back to the utter emotional violence I witnessed in my family as a child, and how I was always tolerating, tolerating, tolerating… stuffing down my sorrow and anger, trying to make everyone feel better, making excuses for their unkindness, swallowing my words, never feeling I had the right to say ‘no’…
Until one day I realised:
I HAVE A VOICE. I MATTER TOO.
From a loving place, our hearts fully open to the Mystery, grounded in a deep YES to all of life, deeply rooted in the clarity of non-dual understanding (we are ALL the same Consciousness), we can STILL give a clear ‘no’ to situations, behaviours, policies, people. We can let go of hatred yet maintain a fierce discernment. We can love deeply, and still say ‘no’. And have the courage and willingness to face the consequences.
You may feel a deep compassion and tenderness towards a person yet still say ‘no’ to their requests, their statements, their behaviours, their acting-out. Your ‘no’ emerges from a deeper YES to life, truth, authenticity. Seen in this way, the ‘no’ and the ‘yes’ are not opposites, as the Moon is not the opposite of the Sun but equally welcome in the unconditional vastness of sky, in the giant YES of Presence itself.
The ‘no’ is not necessarily resistance, or ego, or an expression of fear, or ‘running away’. The ‘no’ can be fierce love, too. The ‘no’ can be an expression of great courage.
Friends, unconditional love does not require us to become doormats, or tolerate violence, or squash our precious feelings and hide our ‘no’ in order to appear to be more spiritual or compassionate or nice or kind or ego-free or enlightened, beyond human feeling. Fuck that image. It is false. A mask that will suffocate you in the end.
A true boundary, a loving ‘no’, does not separate us, it protects us. It allows us to keep our hearts open to each other, relate honestly, yet know exactly where we stand.
Others may not like or agree with our ‘no’. They may judge us for it. Call us names. But we were never here to protect others from pain. We were always here to speak our truth, with fierce compassion.
And so we can say, without contradiction:
I LOVE YOU. AND I WILL NO LONGER TOLERATE YOUR BEHAVIOUR.
And stand there, free, in our awesome power.”
~ Jeff Foster
~ Yana Barbarian
Yes. HEAL. Love is the antidote.
“The phrase “holding space” is nearly ubiquitous. And yet truly safe spaces in which we can be seen and held in our vulnerability are still exceedingly rare. So let’s to take a moment to question: What exactly is a safe space, and how do we go about holding that for each other?
A safe space is one in which we are received fully, in totality, as ourselves. There is no lecturing or instruction in a safe space. There is no saving or even “helping.” There is no shaming or projection or demanding someone else to be more like us or do it “our way.” If we want to be a safe space for someone, we do not tell them not to be angry. We do not react fearfully to their sadness or pain, or freak out when they show their shadow. Neither do we allow them to place blame on us, harm us, or lash out in a way that serves no one. Holding a safe space, then, requires extremely strong and well-established boundaries.
In order to hold space, we simply witness the other with love, as though our consciousness itself is a set of warm and expansive arms gently holding and supporting—but never grasping. Like a butterfly has landed gently in our open hand, or like one holds a newborn baby, particularly one that is upset.
Being this for another is the most sacred act, the greatest honor, we can possibly undertake; it is the holy work. This simple state of being holds magical transformative powers, as the deepest and darkest of wounds can finally be witnessed in loving presence and so often transmuted and released just because they are finally met and witnessed. And of course, we can only be this for another as deeply as we have already chosen to heal and integrate our own selves…which for me is a tremendous motivation to do the work, and do the work some more.
But what happens when someone opens the special Pandora’s box of their own darkness to us, in confidence and in need, and we don’t meet them there but rather squelch and shame their expression? I am not quite sure our society as a whole yet understands just how toxic and deleterious this scenario can be; it can create divisions and wounds in the psyche that can last a lifetime.
For example, when a woman shames another woman, for being too much, too “negative,” and too herself —whether it be a daughter, a sister, a friend—she then creates in that girl that very vulnerability that puts them at risk of falling into the hands of the nearest hungry energy vampire/abuser/predator. The lack of safe space and even the subtlest of shaming, actually primes her to be abused by shunning and relegating a piece of her soul to the shadowlands, where only the vampires dwell.
I know from personal experience that those very predators—who are paying attention, and looking for weak spots, and hoping to feed on her soul—will be willing, in fact all too happy and excited, to “see” those parts of her that have been forced into shadow and shame by others. They will provide a reflection of that part of her where others have failed to do so—and by being the only one willing to hold her in her darkness, they will gain a very unholy control over her.
In particular, the absence of truly safe space for empowered feminine sexuality has made our daughters vulnerable to the worst sort of predation. Further, the destabilizing and and shaming of the feminine actually threatens to destroy our entire world by creating a massive imbalance that only love can heal.
The minute we force another woman into a box, and accept her only conditionally according to her ability to satisfy our requirements of “good” and “appropriate” behavior, and have her modulate and curate herself to our liking (or more accurately, so as not to trigger our own shame and wounding), the minute we force her to change in order to receive our approval, we are being a puppet of the age-old agenda to syphon and steal power, and we reiterate the cosmic wound. We are part of the problem. Period.
As noted, when a someone shames someone else simply for being, it is really her own judgment and rejection of herself, which she is imposing upon another. If we can catch that and heal that in ourselves before inflicting it on another, we may quite literally be changing the course or even saving someone’s life. If we do the work within ourselves and really have a good hard (loving) look at our own shadows, we suddenly find ourselves able to hold space for another in a way we had no idea we could.
I would say it’s a big deal, a huge responsibility, and high time to rise to it. The energies that are resurfacing right now— in us—are so raw and delicate that they depend on us remembering how to enact this on Earth once more. And if we should fail, the fate of the Earth is also at stake.
With the shadow that’s looming over the entire Earth right now, a veritable sea of unprocessed darkness, it is so essential that we all make the commitment to healing our own.
So do a good deed, and starve a vampire. Commit to holding truly safe space, for yourself, for those you love, and for the Earth that we call home.”
~ Sara Sophia Eisenman
Thousands & thousands of years worth.
Mother knows exactly what She is doing.
“If you want to change the world love a man, really love him. Choose the one whose soul calls to yours clearly who sees you; who is brave enough to be afraid. Accept his hand and guide him gently to your heart’s blood where he can feel your warmth upon him and rest there. Burn his heavy load in your fires. Look into his eyes, look deep within and see what lies dormant or awake or shy or expectant there. Look into his eyes and see there his fathers and grandfathers and all the wars and madness their spirits fought in some distant land, some distant time. Look upon their pains and struggles and torments and guilt; without judgment. And let it all go. Feel into his ancestral burden and know that what he seeks is safe refuge in you. Let him melt in your steady gaze and know that you need not mirror that rage because you have a womb, a sweet, deep gateway to wash and renew old wounds.
If you want to change the world love a man, really love him. Sit before him, in the full majesty of your woman in the breath of your vulnerability, in the play of your child innocence in the depths of your death. Flowering invitation, softly yielding, allowing his power as a man to step forward towards you… and swim in the Earth’s womb, in silent knowing, together. And when he retreats… because he will… flees in fear to his cave… Gather your grandmothers around you… envelope in their wisdom, hear their gentle shushed whispers, calm your frightened girl’s heart urging you to be still… and wait patiently for his return. Sit and sing by his door, a song of remembrance, that he may be soothed, once more.
If you want to change the world, love a man, really love him. Do not coax out his little boy with guiles and wiles and seduction and trickery only to lure him to a web of destruction, to a place of chaos and hatred more terrible than any war fought by his brothers. This is not feminine, this is revenge. This is the poison of the twisted lines, of the abuse of the ages, the rape of our world… and this gives no power to woman it reduces her as she cuts off his balls. And it kills us all and whether his mother held him or could not show him the true mother now. Hold him and guide him in your grace and your depth, smoldering in the center of the Earth’s core. Do not punish him for his wounds that you think don’t meet your needs or criteria, cry for him sweet rivers, bleed it all back home.
If you want to change the world love a man, really love him.
Love him enough to be naked and free, love him enough to open your body and soul to the cycle of birth and of death and thank him for the opportunity as you dance together through the raging winds and silent woods. Be brave enough to be fragile and let him drink in the soft, heady petals of your being. Let him know he can hold you, stand up and protect you. Fall back into his arms and trust him to catch you even if you’ve been dropped a thousand times before. Teach him how to surrender by surrendering yourself and merge into the sweet nothing, of this world’s heart.
If you want to change the world, love a man, really love him. Encourage him, feed him, allow him, hear him, hold him, heal him. And you, in turn, will be nourished and supported and protected by strong arms and clear thoughts and focused arrows because he can, if you let him, be all that you dream.”
…from a random tumblr post