Untangling the Ties of Privilege that Bind Me

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In my youngest years, I always felt special.  

I grew up thinking it was the oldest child syndrome, where the world revolved around me for my first few years of life before my sister was born.  

My parents tell the story about my first year of life living in Italy.  Apparently, I cried anytime someone who spoke Italian tried to hold me.  Since I don't remember this time in my life, I can only assume that it is part of human nature to be fearful of something different. 

Children, who don't have filters yet react and say things that as we grow up we are taught to quiet, hush, not look at or even acknowledge.  We are literally taught by most people around us to not speak the truth or look at our differences, which only increases the divide that was placed there long ago.  

When you were a child, do you remember when you realized you were different?  

It may have been the language you spoke, the color of your skin, which gender box you were put into, or a religion you were raised in.  Do you recall that moment?  How old were you?  Where were you? And most importantly, how did it make you feel? 

The immersive nature of our family of origin, good, bad or indifferent, shapes the way we see the world, our language and our belief systems due to our inability to filter out truth from myth at young ages. 

As adults, this causes significant challenges in untangling our own inner Truth (with a capital T, the divine deep truths and values we hold) from the “truths” we have been fed from a young age.  

As children, it is inherent for us to seek love, and to do whatever it takes to receive love from those who we are closest to. 

This can show up in the form of being a caretaker to an alcoholic parent to be seen as important to the family.  Or, showing up as the clown in the family to gain or keep the attention on themselves.  The list of ways we adapt as children to feel love is massive.  

Then, as we age and seek acceptance from our peers, at some point our differences make their way into our consciousness.  Perhaps, it was through a traumatic moment of teasing or bullying.  Oftentimes, it is simply someone stating their belief that diminishes your existence.    When that happens, we all sought to conform somehow to be accepted.  

And, here is where this goes deeper. 

Understanding that for myself, as a white woman, I had the privilege of conforming.  I could change my hair, my language, my friends, and I was still going to be more accepted than those with more diversity than me. 

In this last year, I have begun to look hard through my hetero-normative lens of privilege.  My primary focus for the last few years has been to focus on the oppressed community of being female vs taking a long hard look into where my privilege lives.  

I refuse to be caught in the Spiritual Bypass lane.

As I seek to be allies for marginalized and oppressed communities, I will be shifting my own language to fully represent my inner Truth (with a capital T).  This is deep work for all of us since our thoughts, beliefs, and language has been passed down to most likely oppress someone else. 

It may be that you were infused with oppressive beliefs and language around a particular gender, race, sexuality or religion as a child.  This may show up in continuing to marginalize a community or in micro aggressions, that we are being called to address now.  It is time.  

I love all human beings and seek to hold space for those of all races, religions, gender, sexual preferences, ability, class, and lineage.

I will be sifting through my website and shifting my language to be gender neutral and inclusive of all.  

I will be changing some offerings to stay in my own primarily British, Irish and Scandinavian lineage in support of the de-colonization work being done around me.  

This work is big and deep.  What was handed down to us goes back many generations and it is our duty to all fellow human beings we are walking this Earth with, to do the healing work needed to support equality for all.  

I am releasing the ties of what has been past down by my ancestors and society that were meant to keep me small as a woman, and privileged as a white person. 

As I untie each one, I am looking it over, paying attention to what runs through my head and out my mouth, and shifting to language and energy of love, acceptance, inclusivity, and justice for all.  

Huge love to each and every one of you!

Nicole