The Oppression Connection.

 

If I really wanted to participate in social change for all – to heal the oppression for all – if I really believed in unity for all – and we the people – I’d  have to go nowhere other than looking into my own eyes to see what wants to be seen.
 

 
It’s your oppression. My oppression. Their oppression. America’s oppression.
We are all oppressing what we are capable of.
It’s not a right or wrong, but it does need skillful attention so we can move forward in a meaningful way – in a way that guides us toward sustainable change.
And it’s inner attention that’s needed. This is nothing less than the connection of our own oppression that wants to be felt, heard, seen, and attended to.
 
A Riot is the Language of the Unheard. – Martin Luther King Jr
 
We are all responsible for this change. Even if you don’t have a direct influence to help others, you do have the influence to direct change within yourself – because the healing process of oppression affects all of us and will take all of us to participate in the change.
George Floyd seemed to be the catalyst of representation: suffocation. A death of being deprived of that which one needs to live.
In Floyd’s case, specifically air. And deprived of his integrity to face what he needed to face (the good, bad, or ugly). It’s important to understand the four police officers did not have integrity and therefore could not give integrity to another man. Integrity was not present on the scene. As evidenced by no integrity.
We cannot give to others, what we don’t have for ourselves. This (current culture) is an opportunity to go inward. It’s a practice of healing our own oppression that is connected to all oppression.
A bigger opportunity for change is to realize we are all deprived of inner resources that have the power to create sustainable change. We are deprived of personal integrity, of self-respect, and deprived of love. If we don’t have it within us, we can give it to others.
An even larger opportunity is to understand that inspired change is sustainable change. To demand change, to argue, fight, and destruct as a means to have one’s oppression be heard is unskillful change. Inspired change matters and can get us where we want to go sooner than later. We each know this to be true for ourselves. 
This is a choice; destructive change or inspired change. 
Human-Beings being deprived
We are all deprived and watching others being deprived. Watching human-beings being deprived of basic food and shelter. Beings being deprived of the freedom to live in America. Beings deprived of being able to walk and live safely from violent assault. Being deprived of reasonable and just justice. Being deprived of fair and reasonable income – of reasonable housing cost. 
We are watching human-beings being deprived of their voice, of opportunity, and fair healthcare (I didn’t say free, I said fair).
We are watching ourselves, as Americans, being deprived of essential inner resources that give life. We are deprived of love, care that creates change, and acceptance. We are deprived of our own self-respect and deprived of personal integrity. We are deprived of inner beauty and deprived of creative expression. We are deprived of living life on our own terms in a way that’s sustainable for all.
We are deprived of being human.
We are all deprived. If you are not suffocating from the lack of food and shelter (from basic survival needs), then you are suffocating under all the consumerism and distractions that have a chokehold on your life.
The Power of Inspired Conversation. 
I’m not really sure the moment it happened. I was listening to the two of them in conversation, and the next thing I knew, I stopped the podcast and was having a conversation with myself. *
I asked myself, “Where and how am I oppressing myself? How am I oppressing my health? My finances? My career as a female? My voice? My independence? How am I connected and contributing to oppression?”
My nervous system had a hard time digesting the reality of my own oppression. 
In my own self-hatred – hating the parts of my life that felt suffocating- parts that felt like I had no control – if I looked – really looked – I was connected to the hate feed. And oppressing the reality that I had more control than I wanted to realize.
If I really wanted to participate in social change for all – to heal the oppression for all – if I really believed in unity for all – and we the people – I’d  have to go nowhere other than looking into my own eyes to see what wants to be seen. Go nowhere other than my own voice to hear what wants to be heard, and nowhere other than my own heart to feel what wants to be felt.
When you really understand, “We are all united,” then you will understand why You matter, and why giving attention to the parts of You that have been oppressed will begin to heal the bigger oppression.
It took a few days to fully digest that conversation in a way that I was able to move about with change. It took a few days to honestly self-confront my oppression.
I don’t live in Seattle. I don’t live in Portland. I don’t live in these cities that are desperately crying out for help. Nor am I in a position to influence those cities. I am, however, in a position to help the collective human race. I am in a position to create change within myself – to tap into my inner resources- so that I have more to give when it’s needed.
The Hard Truth.
In my honest self-confrontaion, I was oppressing myself at some level in all the areas mentioned above.
Fair healthcare is bigger than “free healthcare” – fair healthcare is the understanding that we are responsible for what we are capable of regarding the health of our individual bodies.
If we stop oppressing our individual health, we can reduce the burden on America’s healthcare system and offer more resources to those less capable and/or in more need.  
I was oppressing my own health. Not engaging my body in what I am capable of offering it. Why would I not offer my body what it needs for increased strength and sustainable health?
Why do we not offer to others what they need to strengthen themselves and sustain life?
If I’m not living up to, at least, what I am capable of, how can I get angry at others who are not living up to their capabilities?
Where and how am I oppressing what I am capable of?
 
The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. – Mahatma Gandhi
 
Feel the truth of those words.
And to let people do what they are capable of. Because when we don’t, we are keeping other people oppressed.
Just as I feel suffocated, angry, and in my personal case, hatred (toward self)), keeping people oppressed will give rise to feeling suffocated, anger, and hate.
This is important to understand. Hate begets hate. Oppression begets oppression. Lack of respect begets a lack of respect. If I don’t let my clients do what they are capable of, they won’t respect me, nor themselves. The same is true for our children, and any other human we have influence over. If you keep oppressing someone out of a distorted-justified-sort-of-love, the receiver will stay oppressed, learn to hate themselves (or others).
If I don’t respect you enough to do what you are capable of – if I don’t allow you to keep the integrity of your own capability (while I am helping you), then I am fostering a lack of respect and a lack of integrity.
And even though I am giving you external resources, I am depriving you of the inner resources that give your life meaning – I am suffocating you from being human. 
It’s both. And that’s the integrity piece. It’s we. Am I doing at least what I am capable of, and am I allowing others to do what they are capable of?
Where is my own authentic sense of self-respect and integrity? I have to know this to be true for myself, to know that’s it’s true for another human being. I have to know the life-giving value of self-respect, integrity and doing what I am capable of, to know the value of these things for others.
Capable. It’s a word that can revolutionize our culture. It’s a word that can change your life and change the lives of others.
 
The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems. – Mahatma Gandhi
 
I know the immense value of helping people where they need to be helped, and equally as important, to hold them accountable for what they are capable of. Without the latter, you get nothing. You don’t give people the chance to gain their own self-respect;  you get oppression.
To stop oppressing capability. My capability and the capability of others. To stop oppressing our human capability to live with and offer more self-respect and integrity.
And to first do it for ourselves so we can understand the value and offer this value to others.
I believe we the people are capable of more skillful action. The question is, where in our own lives are we capable of more, and can the natural overflow of that serve others?
 Laura
 
*reference – Podcast