Letter to Doug | Slavery | Embody Peace

Bandaged heart

Aloha Doug and Friends!

Something I never thought I’d be hearing on the U.S. news in my lifetime is this: “The Capital has been secured.” A right-wing white supremacist mob rioting in the people’s temple to democracy. An insurrection. A low point in our human history.

But also, it is a contrast we need to see, to create something fresh, a turning point.

Doug wrote to us right before the siege on the democratic electoral process in Washington. “I’m doin’ my best to rise out of the illusion,” he said, “and stay in the center-point of peace and joy! … and, see the divine perfection in every moment!”

Me too! He also asked: “So, what’s the divine perfection in this moment??? … is it just to bring the darkness into the Light for us to make more conscious choices???”

Good question, and yes, and there’s more to it. I don’t pretend to have the answers. I do have choice, however. Not everyone has choice, and that is, in my view, the nexus of the community and global problems we face.

Slavery in its many guises is a clear example of a cycle of violence that has traumatized generations of people, of all colors. Slavery, trauma, and the attachment disorders they leave in their wake need to be deconstructed so people once again feel they have choices and can choose to be empathic, attuned, and compassionate.

This is not a problem to be solved. This a gaping wound that needs healing.

Traumatized people acting on unexamined implicit memories often make poor choices, or they don’t feel they have a choice at all. They have triggers, reactive patterns, and too often, grudges, which they don’t know about. The violence of slavery and white supremacy lives has limited their ability to choose.

Trauma resides in our bodies, so the understanding of how our bodies feel and function becomes fundamental. The neuroscientist Candace Pert says that the body IS the subconscious mind, at least until we awaken it.

Unconscious bodies commit violence against the Earth, animals, and each other, and it harms us all. Such violence is committed in boardrooms and bedrooms as well as on battlefields by people who have been traumatized by violence or insecure parenting or both. Often, they don’t even know they are wounded.

Because trauma lives in the body, we can talk, philosophize, and conceptualize all we want, but only embodiment practices can promote the personal and collective trauma healing for the wound of slavery. “Somatic abolition” has become a catchphrase for the renewal of bodies capable of making real choices, unencumbered by unhealthy implicit memories.

Our awareness allows to know our own confusion. And admitting our confusion is at least the beginning of clarity. If we can sit with our own energy without getting snared by the drama, acting out, all the ways we’re going to be afraid if things don’t’ go our way, if we don’t stop them, or get that….facing the fullness and complexity of our situation with equanimity let it settle, and then, from a clear perspective, we choose from basic sanity rather than confusion.

Conscious movers are a different species from the ones who marched down Constitution Avenue and tried to break the spirit and ideal of a “more perfect union.” The U. S. hasn’t reached that, by any means. But we begin anew, every day.

As long as our choices and body movements do not harm others or spread falsehoods that tear the bonds of love and community, they are supportable.

Embracing those like us and especially those unlike us will deconstruct the world of slavery. To name the wound as slavery begins the healing that leads to the forgiveness that can create a new reality. Only transformed people transform others and the world around them.

We limit potential with structures we create – poor schools and unsafe neighborhoods are good examples. Many of our current structures – especially during this pandemic — limit our ability to get to know people who could really challenge, love, and support us – who could help us be more human.

We are stuck in models of hierarchy that are not only reflected in physical structures but in our own heads. Our bodies and minds are too often places of imprisonment.

Our own limiting voices like “I can’t do that” or “who am I to do that” keep us from creating healthier structures and communities. Voices that rise with “what would we rather have instead?” and “who can help this peacebuilding community extend itself into the new form?” nourish the soil for “divine perfection” to grow more visible.

I keep thinking of Kurt Vonnegut’s lines from Cat’s Cradle: “Life is a garden, not a road. We enter and exit through the same gate. Wandering, where we go matters less than what we notice.”

Let’s notice that even people who have great confidence in acting in the public arena sometimes have imprisoned their own empathy because they consider emotions and feelings to be weaknesses. I am not pointing fingers because if I did, I would have those three fingers pointing back at myself. What I know for sure is that we do help each other with our encouragement and love and presence.

What matters is that we commit to a gradual path of openness, with moments of clarity, communion, and communication growing stronger, so that our peaceful presence spreads out like songs chanted in the rarefied air and prayer flags planted across the lands.

Slavery was enacted so long ago by our ancestors we barely notice the limiting ideas and inner voices, until we do. Fueled by intergenerational trauma, slavery is the historical trauma that hits home for many, as we see cultures we have admired and teachings we love drenched in its violence, racism, and misogyny.

Restorative Justice may well be the “divine perfection” we seek. Amy Potter Czajkowski writes on TRANSFORMING HISTORICAL HARMS and Preventing the Multigenerational Transmission of Trauma thusly: (my CAPS)

“Offenders have usually been victims. And the harms they committed are usually explained by harm they experienced. In order to understand the bigger picture out of which the harm is coming, you need to understand where that harm came from. Part of what victims need is an understanding of why they were treated the way they were. Was it their fault? Was it the result of a random harmful universe? Just making sense of what happened and why can be healing. WHEN OFFENDERS REALLY GET THE EXTENT OF THE HARM THEY COMMITTED, IT CAN ACTUALLY HAVE A REHUMANIZING IMPACT.

“They see another human being that was harmed rather than a stereotype. If there is to be a larger healing initiative that brings people together, all the sides need to be considered.”

For the moment, I pray to the Galactic Light Bearers and envision that enough Cabinet members have the chutzpah to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment (Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution, that says that if the President becomes unable to do his job, the Vice President becomes the President.

But what really matters is what we do now, here, with our shared breath.

May the love and light of the Ancestors bless you with affection and healing!

Namaste, Marya

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