by Rev. Dhyana Kluth
There is no truth in race or class differences. I know this intellectually and in my bones and yet the conditioning that has been passed down through generations permeates even a conscious empath who has studied in depth the inner workings of the psyche and spirit. I am multi-ethnic and even I have been influenced by the inherited unfounded beliefs of white supremacists that have become embedded in the fabric of the illusion we perceive as reality, the reality of skewed interpretations of experience. Though I grew up in a multi-cultural city with friends from from all of the world, varied in race and religion and culture, even I was not immune to the influence of that insidious patriarchal wound.
As we became friendlier and deepened our conversations, I shared with my new suburban friends the notion that this woman I observed was perceived by me as "lower class" - knowing it was unfounded, feeling even the phrase was an elusive illusion that didn't quite fit the feeling behind the thought. What was the feeling? A fear? What was the thought? That I am better than she? The irony is, of course, I am not. Even more ironic, the family I inherited this un/conscious bias from, encoded in our DNA, were not of any class considered "high". They were farmers and then working class and then middle class. Whatever all those classifications mean. Rewards for conforming to the homogeneous group behavior. Steps in a system of patriarchy. In this case, the American Illusion. The dream is that the have-nots can have the pomp and circumstance of the wealthy elite. Yes, for a while people were able to improve their lives and some still do. More often than not we as a culture in America are left with empty displays of wealth, spending money to make other people rich, that leave us cash poor with our gold chains, expensive cars and the latest disposable fashions.
Ironic isn't it? This is why we have waged war upon each other for centuries. The real war is within ourselves. As we make peace within we can count on seeing a difference in our interactions with others. And we mustn't be afraid to engage in these conversations! To be curious with a child-like innocence about ourselves and others; to reveal our true nature and be especially vulnerable with our friends and loved ones. We might loose a few friends along the way who don't want to go there but maybe it will be only for a season. In the long run allowing ourselves to become vulnerable will be our strength. As we dialogue and share from our authentic selves within our communities, the bonds that remain intact will become stronger and deepen our understanding, compassion, empathy and unconditional love for ourselves and each other. We stop perpetuating the wound of conditional love by loving unconditionally.
I could end this story here but feel a strong pull to take a closer look under that burdensome rock of Fear...
What is this insidious fear? Where does it come from? Why do I feel inhibiting paralyzing fear about certain things- doing certain things, taking particular actions? As I write I think on how generations of women have had so much reason to fear stepping out of line, into the spotlight. And we are part of the collective psyche attached to generations of slavery and the deeply rooted Fear and Rage encoded in the DNA behind the masks we wear. A quick google search of "women and children slavery" will offer your cellular memory a jolt with images of the injustice and brutality of historical and present day slavery, of women being separated from children, of white children finding their only life-giving nourishment from the breasts of loving slaves, of women being laughed at while being raped, of women in chains... Make no mistake thinking we are separate from that. As I have been mulling this over I've pondered the many fears I have - visceral body sensations of fear. I am tapping into a collective fear, not simply my own.
None of us is immune to the often untold truth of our history. We have all been touched by the wounds inflicted upon the oppressed for thousands of years. Even men grieve for their sisters, mothers and children. And whether or not our blood ancestors were the victims or perpetrators, whether willingly or unwillingly, spiritually and energetically there is nothing which separates us from the experiences of others and the shadows of these wounds are a memory in every cell in our body.
We reclaim our lightness of being, our joy, power and freedom when we face our dark history and offer loving balm to these shadows within us.
Many things I feel empowered by begin with seemingly nonsensical fear that cause me to hesitate before leaping but this fear is deeply rooted in generations of experience. I feel afraid of traveling as a woman alone with two very young daughters - fear of the horrors that have been perpetrated on women and young children for thousands of years; fear of the racial suspicion and hatred of anyone not of Aryan descent; fear of not being able to take care of myself alone without a man to ward of evil and protect me and the children if the car gets a flat tire in the middle of nowhere...
I am afraid even of seemingly simpler things like going surfing by myself - which I have done but still feel paralyzing fear about - or of buying a surfboard and talking to salespeople about what board to get! This Fear stops me in my tracks and takes some energy to unstick myself from. Fear of putting myself out there and being perceived as a lesser being because I am a woman and not completely white and blonde haired. A sense memory surfaces around this - growing up I had repeated feelings of being overlooked as a child and as a girl. Even within my family. And though I am not very dark skinned many have assumed me to be Latina and I have felt the palpable energetic difference of that perception. The personal experience compounding the collective experience.
It's so elusive. These hidden thoughts and feelings surface and retreat again. Leaving wisps of insight falling through the sieve of my fingers. Eventually, the bits start to form comprehensible images of what is hidden in these depths and a greater sense of understanding slowly emerges from the shadows into the light of love.
What to do with this abstract fear which paralyzes life flow? The barely conscious judgements that trigger our senses and creates static energy?
Move the energy. Shake. Yell. Scream. Rage. Dance. Sing. Most of all, face it. I know I must do the things I am afraid to do. To take back my power. For myself and for all women. I know I must bare my soul, remove the masks, develop deep authentic loving connections with people. For women and for all oppressed people - which is all of us! None of us is free in a wounded patriarchal system. I must speak up to make just what is unjust. I must look myself in the eyes. One deep downward breath at a time.
What kind of world would it be if everyone shed our heavy armor and removed the masks we all see through anyway? Can we trust ourselves enough to trust others that much? To be vulnerable in our nakedness, without our armor, without the defenses that protect those hidden soft tender sensitive areas. If we gently keep digging deeper, walking into the dark abyss and seeing all clearly and knowing the truth of every thought, feeling, impulse, concern, instinct, love... (This is what we do when we connect to our womb and hara, the creative source, the darkness within, the primordial energy that births all, where seeds are planted and birthed into being, where we make manifest our ideas, thoughts, feelings, relationships, projects, stories, communities, our world.)
Would knowing myself this intimately allow me to feel safe enough to remain embodied in my experiences, and repair the fragmented paralyzing separation I sometimes feel? Yes, eventually, and it will not only allow this inner union, it will organically open myself into authentic relationships and connection to my community, and a deeper, more intimate union with my beloved. With continued nurturing love, gently and slowly, keeping pace with my felt sense of safety, I melt through all my resistances.
The static energy we create by unjustly judging others and resisting connection, and the paralysis we feel as fear exerts its control over us, creates a powerful invisible ripple effect, creating a rift in surrounding relationships, inhibiting life from flowing in effortless expansion and contraction as it is meant to flow, as a fluid as baby's breath.
We are all connected in this dance of energy. Every thought we have affects others and every loving act of kindness we offer ourselves is a loving act of kindness toward the universe and life itself. In our return to innocence, our natural and true state of being, the primordial creative state of existence, we let go of all that holds us back, all that keeps us separated from ourselves and each other, and begin to embody the experience that all is love. Even the scary shadows in the deepest darkest crevasses of our psyche. They can be monstrous or become playful in their innocence as we embrace the truth at the core.
Art credits: Mirror mask by Inertia Rose, Behind the mask by Shiny-Shadows-Art, Masked by RankaStevic, Girl with the mask by CindysAart, Removing My Mask by JennaDellaGrottaglia. Please comment if you know the credit for any image credits not found or mentioned. With gratitude <3
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Carol, Aine and Dhyana are Womb Priestesses and Fountain of Life teachers and mentors who love the path of motherhood, dancing, shamanism, creative living and sisterhood.