Sitting with an angry shadow

Sitting with an angry shadow

As I look around I see sisters in transformation rising up. Women’s issues in the workplace, particularly around sexual harassment and the way women navigate their way through these difficult conversations, is a very hot topic in Australia right now.

Recently, Grace Tame, 2021 Australian of the Year, refused to smile in a meeting with the Australian Prime Minister, it has raised a national conversation about the role of angry women as drivers of change.

I am hearing it in my own conversations about change with others who are dedicated to helping bring about systemic transformation, but are still coming to terms with the nuances of the changes needed to re-imagine our places of work and trade as inclusive and consensual .

People are noticing that women are speaking up more. That we are demanding that they listen more than speak. But they are not yet sure how to hear what she is saying.

While you spent  lunchtime yesterday listening to her angry outburst, she has lived the experience her whole long life. Can you hear her? She is my colleague, she is my friend, she is my sister and she is me.

She will not be my daughter.

I will not dampen my anger, I will not sit until I am calm. Sitting enrages me further, sitting allows me to see.

I see the way that want us all to stay smaller, to smile and be polite. Diplomatic. Aren’t I supposed to be some peace loving hippie? Why aren’t you happy all the time?

As I shed the norms of the good girl daughter and the pleaser wife, my expectations of myself fell to the floor with my clothes. Why would I stand against those I love but fall at the feet of those who have used me? Those who keep others small and contained everyday.

What once was designed to harness the energy of the non-land owning workforce continues with a tantalising promise of your own home. They realised they had to modify the game to keep you playing. Come work for us,  work for a while and then banks will loan you money, then keep working for the next 30 or so years and you can have this token of our appreciation, we’ll let you keep the house, probably.  And maybe you get clever and level up, and get a bigger house and a nicer car and go on longer holidays…..but you are still their slave. Your slavery has just been made more comfortable with built in rewards and that ever-present threat of punishment, the fear of losing it all.

Faced with an army of passive establishment soldiers, themselves enslaved by the delusion of freedom, the workers march on. But not I.

And not, so, so many others. For every person reading this blog there are many thousands of others thinking these thoughts too. Women and men who are tired of having their minds raped, their ideas pimped, their smiles sold; all for the privilege of paying off a mortgage on a house they couldn’t afford. We are done.

And so I will not dampen my anger, instead I sit with her in mutual rage. We sit together and wonder about what we should do with our time. How to show our daughters where to find the cracks in the system, to pries them open and expose the rot inside.

My anger loves me and my daughters just as much as I.

Simone B’Free – Identity work leads to shadow integration.

Shadow integration is essential for transcendence. The system relies on your continued passivity, your diplomacy, your ability to keep it above the fucking line.

There is strength in your shadow. She moves within in you with purpose, with meaning, with conviction and passion. Hold her back at your own remorse. Regret for things not done, for all those times you didn’t take a stand, didn’t say what you felt, didn’t act to change the way they assume that things should be done.

While we can take a non-violent path, one infused with empathy, with compassion, with lovingkindness for all; we must also have integrity in presenting what and who we are. If we are angry, it is fair and honest to let others know, I am angry. If I am frustrated, it is fair and honest to let people know my resentment is growing. Do I instead pretend that all is ok, enable you and allow you to continue to cause me pain and suffering, all the while my fear and/or hatred for you growing? Who does that serve?

Should people in positions of power, those with privilege and dominance and control, be allowed to continue in their efforts to enslave simply because they are polite and diplomatic about it? But the tearful, angry, emotional woman they have betrayed needs to go and calm down and get herself under control…???

Control.

Get yourself under control woman.

Can’t you control your woman?

Can’t you control your kids?

My father asked me this once. Screamed it at me from across the room. “CAN’T YOU CONTROL YOUR BLOODY KIDS?”. He sat at the dining table, expecting his quiet pre-dinner beer, his cheese and crackers, the dips and bread. But instead he was faced with the usual pre-dinner riot of pre-school children fighting for their right to keep partying…. children he didn’t know, didn’t ever lift a finger to help raise, didn’t accept their divergence. Didn’t know how to love.

And the answer is no. I can’t control my kids. I’ve never really tried.

My kids have been taught to think freely. To be themselves even when it hurts. My kids have taught me to be free. To be myself, even when it hurts.

And it does hurt.

So when you worry that my anger will make him uncomfortable, when you get concerned that he will be offended or maybe confused at my request to try something different, to see me differently, to respond to me, not his expectation of what I will be, your worry is not for him, but for yourself.

You are worried that you are also causing this hurt and this pain.

And you are angry that your wife and daughters, your sisters and mother, they’ve all suffered for this and for more.

And now you can hear the pain in her voice,

And you can sit with her anger and with her.

Now you see, it was keeping you small as well. If she is held back, you are held back, her potential is our potential, what is possible can be in service of us all.

Free your mind, your body and your soul, let your angry shadow strengthen your voice  and give you the energy to stand, to step up and step in.

Claim your life, your sovereignty.

Allow all of your self to be.

Simone B’Free – Allow all of your self to be.

From my desk, to yours… thank you for subscribing 🙂 Namaste

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