For years, I wasn’t. And the times that I witnessed injustice or some other blood-boiling incident, I took Gandhi’s directive to heart. I was the change. Or so I thought.
My weapons were love, compassion, integrity.
And silence. You know, because I chose to live by example…I was being the change.
Except that no one noticed.
When you’re quiet, you are effectively accepting things how they are, at least in the eyes of the rest of the world.
Yoga and Alanon taught me to accept what is with serenity, and the Law of Attraction 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.
Which makes sense.
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. People who harmed me were forgiven instantly – I was never angry at them, in fact, I understood them, empathized with them.
And aside from a brief lapse during the 2016 US Presidential election, I avoided sharing my opinions on social media. It was important for me to not get ego-identified with, well, anything.
But perhaps I misunderstood Gandhi’s directive.
He wasn’t silent. He just operated from a place of love.
He 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.
I’m still trying to understand what this means for me and how I conduct myself in the world.
But, I have a platform – this blog.
And I’m angry.
I’m angry that women are being silenced because the truth is inconvenient for some men. #metoo
I’m angry that sexual predators are being treated as victims.
I’m angry that the national campaign coordinator of a respected environmental nonprofit organization raped me in 1999 and that the two men I confided in about it told me to keep quiet, lest his reputation would be harmed.
And, I’m angry that I kept quiet.
I’m angry that I was too worried about how I would be attacked for what I was wearing or doing or what I should have expected to have happened to report it, even if those two men hadn’t told me to stay quiet.
I’m angry that I wasn’t the only woman he assaulted.
I’m angry about a few other choice things, but I’m going to stop here.
For the record, I forgave the guy who violated me years ago. But, I’m still angry, if that makes sense.