I have witnessed the RAGE of women. Ashley Judd epitomized this when reciting the words of Nina Donovan at the Women’s March on January 21, 2017. With those words I recognized my women friends, colleagues, strangers and myself.
As much as we have tried to drown, ignore, or work through the RAGE, it is still there. It carries the echo of women’s voices past. It is raw and necessary.
I see how men react to this expression by women. For some, I get a glimpse of a hidden rage against a patriarchy that has done its best to beat feelings and vulnerability right out of them. Some try to stifle this rage. Disconnected from their core, unable to articulate love in a healthy way, they have undergone a lobotomy of love and now the only thing they feel and are taught to feel is anger, hate and to disconnect from love.
Between the rage of some women and the reaction of men is the experience of the LGBTQ community. Still not accepted or understood, they too experience a RAGE that is complex and different from heterosexual men and women.
In this state we find ourselves engulfed in a global eruption of conflict. The catalysts for the present resurgence of global conflict are arguably the Arab Revolutions, the Occupy Wall St. movement, Idle No More, a rise in fundamentalism, the crisis of refugees, a rise in xenophobia, the crumbling of the European Union, isolationism, consolidation of power internationally in the hands of the few and the election of a new president in the United States. It is here we find ourselves on the precipice of change. With change comes conflict.
This eruption of what has been simmering just under the surface is not pretty but it’s necessary. There is no space for love and peace. Not just yet. There is too much pain.
So what do we do?
We need to feel this through. Before we can address the problem, we need to embrace the anger. We have stifled it for too long. As long as it is there we cannot move forward.
This of course does not mean we lash out and hurt others. This does not mean that we embrace hate, intolerance, misogyny, racism and fear.
No. What it does mean is that we start taking care of ourselves.
THIS is tough.
When everything seems to be going wrong, the last thing we are taught to do is pause. Usually we are scrambling to find a solution or someone to blame. We are not taught to let go of judgment and make way for curiosity. Asking the question, “How did we get here?” is not something we learn to ask. Nor are we nurtured to be with harsh realities that are a result of asking the tough questions. We are taught to use band-aid solutions, deflect ownership of our contribution to the problem and blame others. We are not taught to be compassionate with ourselves or empathetic with others.
As we experience the turbulence of change there are some tough questions we should consider:
Can we be angry, feel the rage, and still see the humanity in those who anger or challenge us the most?
Can we prioritize creating and reinforcing healthy boundaries so we can address the issues that need addressing without burning out?
Can we take time to practice mindfulness so that we are in tune with what triggers us and why?
Can we learn to acknowledge each other even if we don’t agree?
It’s our choice of course.
We can choose to keep doing what we are doing and end up with this exact and current reality.
Or, we can try another difficult path that comprehensively and holistically addresses the problem.
There are no short-cuts to peace, well-being and happiness. These have to be nurtured within if we are to have any hope of having it surround us.
I expand on the ideas above in my free toolkit for Clarity, Empowerment and Resilience. Click HERE and sign-up.
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