By Lisa Lister
A little more than a month ago, I took a social media break over a weekend. When I returned to Facebook, I got a little pissed about being told how to ‘think’ and ‘show up’ online in response to news, society, and politics. So I posted a slightly ranty pre-menstrual response:
If I post a picture of a puppy it doesn’t mean ‘I don’t care’ and that I’m not doing anything about the issues that are in the news.
If I post about politics and news events that I care passionately about and/or cause an emotive response in me, it doesn’t mean I can’t laugh and smile about the good things in life too.
If I choose to pray, meditate, and dance to deal with the harshness of life, I can.
If I choose to get all angry and activist, I can.
If I share memories of love and happiness, it doesn’t mean I don’t care about the injustice either.
What’s with the sudden policing and controlling of people’s emotions, spirituality, and dealing mechanisms? Not cool.
Now, I think fundamentally it’s the fault of social media itself. Social media is a place where we only share thoughts and opinions in certain amounts of words making full conversations and debates much harder because the nuances of in-person-ness are lost.
But honestly, I believe it’s up to each individual how we use and negotiate Facebook. The same ways it’s up to the individual on how they navigate life.
For example, I’m fully aware that I’m in a privileged position to be sat in my white skin, in my nice home being able to have an opinion right now.
I’m also aware that I’m a woman who has been shamed into not having a voice, and the last thing any of us, men or women, need right now is being told how to show up and then being called out for showing up in the ‘wrong’ way.
Offering support, guidance, your own thoughts, and opinions? Hell yes. We need that. More than ever. Telling people what to think, feel, and how to act? Not so much.
I’m not ‘spiritually bypassing’ if I chose love over activism.
I’m not being unspiritual if I choose activism over passiveness.
I choose love and activism.
I choose to watch trash TV to numb the pain sometimes, while other times I’ll take to the street to protest.
What’s happening in the world right now hurts my heart. I’m sure it’s hurting anyone with a heart. We’re all dealing the best we can, so let’s cut each other a little bit of slack as we navigate these crazy times, yeah?
I’ve been called out when I share pictures of happy memories by people telling me that because of the ‘position I’m in’ (whatever the fuck that means), I should give more of a shit about what’s going on in the world.
If I do share about what’s going on in the world and my views on it (which I do loudly and often), I get called out for daring to have a voice. I get told I’m white and should be grateful, yet I’m treated differently on a daily basis because I have a womb.
I get told to speak out and make my voice heard, yet women that have gone before me have been burned and persecuted for doing exactly that.
It’s all a big Kali ma mash up out there right now, and we’re all trying to find our way, but as a cyclic woman, there are some days where I want to shout, cry, rage, and scream loudly about the injustices of the world (and I do) and there are times when the pain of it all really hurts and my way to deal is prayer and meditation, so I do that, too.
Through it all I’m trying to stay rooted in my own truth.
Check yourself and act with maximum love and compassion.
That’s my mantra right now.
The world is messy. We’re messy and all any of us can really do is show up in our wholeness where we’re at right now, and know that our personal landscape at any given moment as a woman, is subject to change. As you learn more, it may change. As you move through a different phase of your menstrual cycle or season of nature or when you experience something joyful or traumatic or one of the gazillion possible emotions in between, it’ll change.
The bottom line is this: I will fuck up and disappoint people.
Guess what? So will you.
And it’s ALL okay.
We’ve got to make it okay.
We’ve got to make it okay to be this messy and not have any of it figured out.
We’ve got to have total, fierce, and deep compassion for each other as we fuck it up, as we struggle to find the right words, inevitably say and do the wrong things and upset each other during these ‘interesting times’.
Until then, I’m going to dance furiously, make love and do all the things that make my heart womb, and heart light the fuck up.
How ’bout you?
For more self-study, Lisa recommends Hard Times Require Furious Dancing by Alice Walker.