The year of Self-Compassion #39 #HesaidShesaid

He said. She said. Is in the news all around the world. The fear of exposure. The remembering of pain and loss. The anticipation of pain and loss. It is all there – the great gender war of power and privilege. Always believe the woman. The great act of listening with more than your ears, your heart, your culture, your story all come into play.

Lost in the drama of it all those of us outside the national boundaries of this legal and democratic system on trial, may loose sight of what is at stake – the values of a nation corralled into a very tight corner where most of that nation does not fit.  A land that prides itself on diversity and pluralism continues to contract and gets so small that all that is left is the schoolyard banter of He said. She said.  So small is this banter it is the biggest conversation we are all involved in. Who do we believe and why everyone has their own truth.  The truth is always the one you most want to hold until it is no longer able to be held because of some irrefutable compelling piece of evidence – perhaps shocking, perhaps exquisitely beautiful – that pulls you up and you can no longer believe what has held your story in place, a pivoting point that has enabled you to function with ease and confidence, no need for second guessing, or too many clarifications. You just know and you just do.

Once the axis is disturbed you wobble, you might even be thrown to the ground, perhaps you are slingshot to another universe altogether – it is inevitable though – the orbit you were on is no longer. This is true for a nation too.  Falsehoods and fallacies, proclamations and platitudes of grandeur have made a nation wobbly and this kind of disruption to democracy is creating new pathways for change. The old rules don’t apply any longer. He said. She said. won’t cut it and from my vantage point halfway across the world civil unrest seems inevitable. The gender wars are only part of the story, and while foundational, race and class have already fired their early shots and will add their weight to tipping the axis.

While the billboards say He said. She said. hearts and minds are filled with vulnerability, anger, terror and an almighty thunder bursting to rupture into storms that will not be quelled by investigative journalists or the FBI.  These riots of pain from careless use of power for pleasure, take eons to heal and even longer perhaps to become publicly visible. I hear the anthem of the 60s Blowing in the Wind once again being prophetic. Just how many years does it take for a woman to feel she can testify, or for a man to be held to account, for a nation to face its demons, for a community to rally around an injustice, for a friend to say I believe you, for evidence to come to light to lift a veil?  Truths hidden in the dark are still truths and the dark is still the dark.

What we see we can no longer un-see. What we hear we can no longer unhear. These are truths in the dark, and in the light, and we all have our senate enquiry to reckon with.

How the power shifts in our perceptions is dependent on our axis. The power and privilege of the values, systems and perhaps even a single person, that enables us to orbit safely and navigate our paths with confidence. I came to this year of self-compassion having been thrown off course and have been stumbling around most of the year trying to get back on track. Many times I have been very wobbly and uncertain, second -guessing and often not trusting myself.

The scenes unfolding in the He said. She said. public display of discernment around the appointment of a supreme court judge in the USA, are inviting me to look at who sits on my judging panel and what questions I am asked or do I long to be asked. This is not a trial, it is a gathering of evidence on fitness to serve.  So for me, when evidence comes my way how do I treat it, what values guide me on, what entices me to form a view, what evidence do I interrogate to make a decision, when do I stop and pause before investigating further.  Self-compassion implies some self protection too and the answer to how to do that effectively still eludes me and perhaps is “blowing in the wind”.

How many roads must a man walk down

Before you call him out as a man?

How many seas must the white dove sail

Before she arrives on the land?

Yes, and how many times must the journalists cry

Before they are forever banned?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind

The answer is blowing in the wind

 

Yes, and how many years does she take to testify

Before she comes to be heard?

Yes, and how many years can he twist and lie

Before he’s allowed to serve?

Yes and how many times will we look to the screen

Shaken up by what has been?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind

The answer is blowing in the wind

 

Yes and how many times will we look up

Wondering if they sky will fall?

And how many tears will it take til we know

This is for one and for all?

Yes and how many times will we just look away

Hoping it will pass this day?

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind

The answer  is blowing in the wind.

 

And the original lyrics, Bob Dylan

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind.

Yes, and how many years can a mountain exist
Before it is washed to the sea?
Yes, and how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, and how many times can a man turn his head
And pretend that he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

Yes, and how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, and how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, and how many deaths will it take ’til he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

marco-bianchetti-582369-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash

One thought on “The year of Self-Compassion #39 #HesaidShesaid

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