When you are reeling…

Garden nasturtium at a black fence. Panorama

Irma
Houston
Mudslide in Sierra Leone & DR Congo
Floods in Niger, Bangladesh, India and more
Earthquake in Mexico
DACA
White Supremacists
PNW fires
North Korea
Diabolical national leadership

We are reeling. We imagine you are too.

We must start by trusting that despite our wounding, we are not alone. It is our suffering that aligns us with fellow humanity.

And then we must reach deeply in for the roots that allow us to stand and keep going.

When we are reeling, we may feel the call of numbing. We may move towards perfectionism because of all the discomfort that is right in front of us. We may notice ourselves leaving intimacy and connection with others or ourselves while we reckon with intensifying pain and potential harm. It is sometimes our nature to distract or leave.

It is also in our nature to come back (though sometimes we are less practiced at this). We find our way back to the roots that support us when we stand our sacred ground in the service of what we hold most true. We do this in the face of fear and injustice—in the face of all that we cannot control.

What are the things that return you to your deepest knowing, your purpose and your resilience? What around you serves as a reminder of your wholeness? Lean in there and don’t let go until solid footing returns.

We love this poem by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It helps us keep going and reminds us of the inherent and essential value of our humanity and voice. It languages much of our contract with life—to show up despite the naysayers and let our stories and truth run free in the name of justice and belonging.

 

HOW TO SILENCE A WOMAN: RETRIEVING HER VOICE
By Clarissa Pinkola Estes

When someone says, “We’re saying the same thing.”
Say, “We are not saying the same thing.”

When someone says, “Don’t question, just have faith”
Say, “I am questioning vato, and I have supreme faith in what I think.”

When someone says, “Don’t defy my authority.”
Say, “There is a higher authority that I follow.”

When someone says, “Your ideas are seductive.”
Say, “No, my ideas are not seductive, they are substantial.”

When someone says, “Your ideas are dangerous”
Say, Yes, my ideas are dangerous, and why are you so afraid hombre o mujer?

When it is said, “It’s just not done.”
Say. “It will be done.”

When it is said, “It is immature”
Say, “All life begins small and must be allowed to grow.”

When it is said, “It’s not well thought out.”
Say, “It is well thought out.”

When they say, “You’re over-reacting.”
Say, “You’re under-reacting vato.”

When they say, “You’re being emotional.”
Say, “Of course I have well placed emotions, and by the way,
what happened to yours?”

When they say, “You’re not making any sense.”
Say, “I don’t make sense, I am the sense.”

When they say, “I can’t understand you when you’re crying.”
Say. “Make no mistake, I can weep and be fierce at the same time.”

When they say, “I can’t understand you when you’re being so angry.”
Say. “You couldn’t hear me when I was being nice, sweet or silent, either.”

When someone says, “You’re missing the point.”
Say, “I’m not missing the point, but you seem to be missing my point—
What are you so afraid of?”

When someone says, “You are breaking the rules.”
Say, “Yes, I am breaking the rules.”

When someone says, “That’s not practical.”
Say, “It’s practically a done deal, thank you very much.”

When it is said, “No one will do it, believe you, follow it.”
Say, “I will do it, I will believe in it, and in time, the world may well follow it.”

When it is said, “No one wants to listen to that.”
Say, “I know you have a hard time listening to that.”

When it is said, “It’s a closed system, you can’t change it.”
Say, “I’m going to knock twice and if there is no answer, then I am going to
blow the doors off that system and it will change.”

When it is said, “They’ll ignore you.”
Say, “They won’t ignore me and the 100s of thousands who stand with me.”

When they say, “It’s already been done.”
Say, “It’s not been done well enough.”

When they say, “It’s not time yet.”
Say “It’s way past time.”

When they say, “It’s not the right day, right month, right year.”
Tell them, “The right year was last year,
and the right month was last month,
and the right day was yesterday,
and you’re running behind schedule vato,
and what in the name of God and all that is holy
are you going to do about it?”

When they say, “Who do you think you are?”
—tell them who you are, and don’t hold back.

When they say, “I put up with it, you’ll have to put up with it too.”
Say, “No, no, no, no.”

When they say, “I’ve suffered a long time and you’ll have to suffer too.”
Say, “No, no, no, no.”

When they say, “You’re an incorrigible,
defiant, hard to get along with,
unreasonable woman,
Say, “Yes, yes, yes, yes,

and I have worse news for you yet—
We are teaching our daughters,
our mothers,
and our sisters…
We are teaching our sons
our fathers,
and our brothers
to be
just
like
us.”