I’m angry. But for years, I buried it.
You must be the change that you wish to see in this world.
attributed to Gandhi but he didn’t actually say it…
Whenever I witnessed injustice or some other blood-boiling incident, I took “alt-Gandhi’s” directive to heart. I was the change. Or so I thought.
My weapons were love, compassion, and integrity.
And silence. You know, because I chose to live by example…I was being the change.
Yoga and Alanon taught me to accept what is with serenity, and the “Law of Attraction” (don’t get me started…) taught me to focus on only having positive feelings. To be angry meant to keep my vibration low, which would result in me attracting more things that would make me angry.
Plus, anger is a mask for fear. And living from a place of fear is no way to live. So for years, I meditated on compassion and forgiveness and love (I still do).
I believed with all of my heart that I wasn’t angry. Except that I was. And I am.
I’m angry that black and brown and indigenous peoples are murdered with impunity. I’m angry that women (#metoo) are both raped and silenced while sexual predators are treated like victims. I’m angry that much of our culture is hostile to giving starving Americans money to buy food but supports the same trickle down bullshit that primarily benefits the uber-rich. I’m angry that we refuse to save Mother Earth from ourselves.
It turns out that I’m angry about a lot of things – far too many to blog about.
When I finally realized that I was angry, I felt like a spiritual failure.
After all, my entire identity was wrapped around the idea that I operated from a place of compassion and love. And, I had no idea how to navigate the coexistence of anger with these higher expressions of consciousness.
But perhaps I misunderstood alt-Gandhi’s directive*.
He wasn’t silent. He just operated from a place of love.
Ghandi understood anger. He used it to fuel his mission. And yet he still loved. Deeply.
But – and this is key – he didn’t alienate. And, if he were still with us, he wouldn’t be slinging mud or engaging in name-calling. Neither would the other great visionaries – like MLK and Jesus – who were incredibly effective in inspiring the masses to live from a place of love while, at the same time, not tolerating bullshit.
As for spiritual white women sending “love and light”…
Being all “love and light” doesn’t mean turning a blind eye under the guise of working on ourselves. Yes, we must do that inner work, as we’re far more likely to inspire others to change if we radiate love rather than condemn hate. But we mustn’t stop there.
Privileged spiritual white women like me have a pulpit, unfair as it may be, and Love calls on us to use it for the betterment of others even as we actively seek to dismantle it.
I’m still trying to understand what this means for me and how I conduct myself in the world.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, but please keep them respectful (they will be moderated).
*for the record, what Gandhi did say was this:
We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.