PHOTO CREDIT CarlaGoldenWellness.com
As I was preparing my blog entry, my world was rocked. A lot of people were rocked when we heard about Prince’s transition. And it started to creep over into my preparation, besides the songs running in my head throughout the day! A mashup of When Doves Cry, I would Die for U, 1999, Little Red Corvette, and so many others. I started to think about how he blurred lines. Artistic lines, was it soul, funk, rock? Gender lines. Race lines. No matter how you saw him, his gender bending, his race, his music; it in no way detracted from his genius. As more and more people are speaking up, we now see his generosity, his humanitarian work. He never sought the spotlight for what he did, he just helped where he could, quietly using his gifts to make the world a better place. The gift that he most publicly gave us, was the gift to shift our perspective. To look beyond appearances and to appreciate the talent, the beauty that exists in that state of being. He offered us the opportunity to go into The Mystery. Being able to step into and embrace the unknown, the unacknowledged within ourselves. The gift of letting go of our dualistic thinking. But, we NEED that dualistic thinking, to separate male and female, white and black, rich and poor. It seems to help us figure out where we stand in the world. We even divide our Divinity into Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine. The Truth is that we are both. We live in a world that sees dualistically, when our Essence is Unity… our essence is Oneness.
As a woman, I am humbled and proud, I am in awe of the ability to bear a life. To know that my body was designed to nurture, protect, bring forth and nourish that new life. I relish being soft, compassionate, loving, laughing, crying, allowed to be vulnerable. I love my curves, my softness. I enjoy playing with make-up, getting pedicures, painting my nails with bright colors and wearing dresses. I also enjoy feeling my muscles work, feeling strong after I lift weights or after a challenging yoga session. I know that I am capable of supporting my family financially and emotionally. I assumed both mother and father roles for my kids for years. As an entrepreneur, I know how to negotiate contracts and deals, my contractors know that I care about them as individuals and that when appropriate, business is business and is separated from the personal in the most compassionate way possible. I have nursed people back to health, was present when both my grandma and my mom made their transitions, cried myself to sleep, cooked, cleaned, nurtured my family, expressed my emotions, I have also mucked out horse stalls, built fences using a post hole digger (not for the weak of spirit or back!), baled hay, hauled 10 gallons water buckets one in each hand, I love theatre, ballet and grew up watching heavy weight boxing, I enjoy listening to White Strips and classical music, I have kept my cool under pressure, I have also lost my temper and swore in ways that would make a sailor proud. And I spent years of my life being jealous of men. Being jealous of the ways they seem so much more free, how they are celebrated, how success seems so much easier, how no matter what I did it was really great “for a girl”.
I am blessed to have as a partner a man who embodies masculinity, who is big and strong, he has a commanding demeanor, a sharp wit and intellect, as a LMPD officer he protected the people of this city, worked as a training officer and a commanding officer. I am blessed to have watched him cuddle his kids, I have watched him gently stroke the hair off his daughter’s forehead when she was sick and wipe her face with a cold cloth. I watched him sweep our dog (120 lbs of tail, teeth, muscle and love!) up into his arms and carry her when she had surgery and I watched him lay on floor next to her speaking gentle, encouraging words. I have taken care of him when he doesn’t feel well and he takes care of me when I don’t feel well. We comforted each other when we both lost our moms. At the gym one particular day I felt like running a bit as we were warming up, he didn’t. There was no competition, nothing, he simply said “go on ahead”. There is that knowledge that we will be there for each other and that when one succeeds, we both rise up. I am blessed in this relationship.
In our dualistic world…Successful women are aggressive, successful men are assertive. Women have bitchy resting face, men are intense, men who attract younger women are admired, women who attract younger men are cougars. A man is a great athlete, a woman does really well…for a girl.
It goes both ways, women are sensitive, men are weak. A woman is a nurturer, a man is said to babysit his own children. A woman can be vulnerable, a man is supposed to stay on that white steed in his shining armor no matter what. If a woman wants to stay home with her children that’s acceptable (not admired , but acceptable), if a man wants to stay home with his children he must not be a real man. We know who wears the pants in that family, don’t we? And god forbid a man want to be a nurse instead of a doctor.
No one is immune to this dualistic thinking and it harms us all. This us vs them creates a deep chasm. Whether it’s men vs women, young vs elder, white vs black, the U.S. vs everyone else, Dem vs Repub, rich vs middle class or poor. These labels give us permission to think of someone else as less than ourselves, as less than human. They also give us permission to feel justified in our own victimhood. It isn’t us vs. them. The Truth is Humanity , Divinity, Oneness.
We strive to be fully human, yet we can’t, we won’t experience that until we embrace it all as us. As you and me, as male and female, as members of the same family, as Thoughts from The One Mind. Go with me for a minute down this rabbit hole, don’t you think that the Creator could just as easily have made us all to look the same? No gender, no races. There are species who procreate quite nicely without being gender specific. Do you really believe that we couldn’t have been created the same? I believe one reason is so the Dearest Creator could experience every possible scenario. Mostly, I believe it was so we could learn to embrace differences and have the opportunity to see our similarities. So we can celebrate what makes us unique and at the same time go deeper and realize that we are all One.
When we create separation, we cut ourselves off from opportunities to learn, to grow, to get out of our self imposed comfort zone and embrace the mystery, to be of service and to be helped, to love and be loved. We take away our opportunity to be fully human.
We have those times, times of natural disasters, tragedies that touch our hearts when we come together to aid those affected. In these times, we don’t ask what their party affiliation is, what their gender preference is, we see another human being in need and we reach out our hand. Even in lesser emergencies, when someone’s car battery dies, do you ask their religious beliefs before you offer to jump start the car? Would you only accept help from someone who looked like you?
I locked my keys in my jeep and we have no spare so I had to call company to open the door. The van pulled up and out stepped a mountain of a man, with a side arm, a knife, wearing a kilt and combat boots. Here I am in a dress ,wearing my mala and have a namaste bumper sticker. As we conversed, we realized that we had many things in common, we laughed, we joked.
My invitation, my challenge to you this week is to have lunch or coffee with someone who holds a different life view than you do. Ask them how they experience life and really listen. For extra credit, do this with someone who holds different political or religious views than yours and listen without having to counter what they say. Take the opportunity to see where they are coming from, you can agree to disagree; I promise you will learn something in the process.