Where to Now?

road
The ever-winding road

Like so many in the wake of the presidential election, as an American, a liberal, and a democrat, I am left to wonder what I should do now. I have an almost overwhelming need to do something, but I am not yet certain what that will look like or how it will manifest.

The irony of this situation is that I have been rudderless the last several years. I have poked around and done different things. Many of these pursuits have been passing interests that have sputtered into nothing at all; others have been gigantic shipwrecks that I am still trying to avoid drowning from (and succeeding at for the most part).

To have a direction, a goal, is something I have searched for, and longed for, since becoming a stay at home mom. Though raising a human being is, arguably, one of the most important jobs in the entirety of history and the world, I (most ashamedly on certain days), wanted something a little different, something that I felt had a direct impact on the world, rather than a secondary impact based on how well I raised my child (though that too is important, obviously).

I wanted to have my cake and eat it too… and as most people with similar situations, I never did much about it.

And then the election. Before the election I would have avoided speaking about my political and ideological views. The flagship of my stance was my avoidance in telling people who I supported in the election and why; however, since the election, I have realized that my voice, though limited to those few I know and the few readers I have here, is a powerful one, and by not speaking up, there is a possibility that I had a hand (no matter how small) in our current political (national) situation.

Therefor *deep breath*:

I support Hillary Clinton.

Not only am I #withher, but I am #stillwithher.

I doubt very much that she will ever again be as central in politics as she was these last two years, but what she does and what she has done, continues to inspire me.

She fights.

When the going is incredibly tough and bordering on impossible, she continued(s) to fight. I know the tiredness that stems from being a woman in a male-centric world. A week ago, I would have never talked about the sexism that I have known and seen my whole life… put on a happy face, understand there is progress etc…. but I am done with that way of approaching this world.

I am done with being a people-pleaser.

Because, I AM exhausted.

I am so tired of fighting against social norms and expectations, but, because we as a nation and world are nowhere near where I thought we were in regards to equal rights for women, or African Americans, or Latinos, or *fill in the blank here, you know who you are*… I am going to keep fighting in hopes that one day I can stop being tired.

Because if Hillary can continue fighting, then, damnit, so can I.

The Yellow Brick Road

But what does that look like?

Therein lies that most important question.

Do I start speaking out? Do I start posting things on my twitter? Do I go back to facebook (after a year away) and start engaging with others… including those whose views are, at times, violently opposed to mine?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am beyond scared to stir the pot. I have read the stories of doxing and that shit is terrifying. I have a young son! The  mama instinct in me roars at the thought that my political viewpoints, or social viewpoints, will be expressed at the expense of my son’s safety.

And then I hear what I am saying (or read what I am typing in this case), and I am horrified. Sickened. Disgusted.

Why?

Because the very fact that I am scared to voice an opinion because of the possibility of a negative fallout is the exact opposite of the very ideology that created this country.

In other words: unacceptable.

Because my message is simple: all humans matter and love trumps hate.

That kind of message shouldn’t cause violence or stalking or internet trolls, but it does… as I am sure you all are aware. Of course, deciding to come out of the shadows is not really doing anything… yet, but it is a first step towards something.

Where do I go from here, then?

I have fluttered on and off of the idea of going back to journalism, in a grassroots way at least. I am a news junky, so perhaps I could take what I am reading, analyze it and put it in historical perspectives. I don’t know if that will make any difference in changing people’s minds towards inclusiveness and understanding, but maybe it will?

Of course, I realize that kind of blogging is hardly be popular.

I know, through interacting with online blogs for awhile, that most people want messages of hope… they want to feel good after reading a post.The uplifting stuff gets clicks, ask any blogger out there. The negative is largely ignored.

Unfortunately, sometimes that feel good moment is at the expense of thinking.

(Ouch. That was hard to write… still haven’t gotten rid of the “I don’t want to offend people stigma yet.”)

So, if I was to follow a path of journalism in the way that I am imagining it, likely, I will lose a few of you in the process, but maybe I will gain a few more. I honestly don’t know. I DO know I want to do something to promote critical thinking, thereby leading (as it always has and will), to acceptance and understanding. That is the direction I want to help our country move towards (after being shown we have such a very far way to go).

The next step is figuring out how my contribution will look.

What about you, dear readers? Do you find yourself called to action, and if so, in what way? How are you doing it? What is your reality like now?

And if not a call to action, what is your reaction to this post 11/9 world?

What are your thoughts?

Reading Lives

Dawn
Dawn

An interesting thing has happened the last several weeks. It does not have to do with what I am posting, the exploration I’ve done in order to look into the shadows and shine a light; rather, it is the reading that I am doing as I peruse the countless blogs associated with wordpress.

I often despair at the interactions around me. The grumpiness. The hurry. The sheer frustration that peels off of people in chips bigger than my thumbnail.

But.

Here.

There is something going on in these blogs that is amazing. I sound cheesy perhaps, but it is truth. People are searching out truth.

It is amazing.

I have read blogs about women trying to find their sexuality in a world that works against that very sexuality. I have read about men doing the exact same thing with aching detail that shows, without a single limiting factor, that they too are moving against some limiting sexual construct.

There are blogs about people coming back from depression, anxiety, self-harm through all sorts of different avenues, but always with this blanketed feeling of hope.

There are those whose journey is physical. A wandering of wonder as they move from continent to continent, always with this idea of looking, examining, feeling the world in their bones and under the soles of their feet.

So much searching.

So many questions and attempted answers.

But so much hope as well.

It is this that I have come away from in my couple of weeks of being and seeing this community. I have issues. Serious and dark ones. Isolating factors that have created personality quirks that no one would want; however, I have found that there is a solidarity that exists. It does exist. These people might live in India, London, Scotland, Canada, or Brazil, but the commonality exists.

The world is a huge place.

Humans scattered all about it.

But we are so much the same. All of us.

I suppose I should have known that already, and I have, at some point… this thought is not unfamiliar.

It is awfully nice to be reminded though.

So, my dear, lovely readers out there who write your souls and who share your worlds, thank you!

It is an amazing thing you do.

A Beginning

The Masks
The Masks

I mentioned in my post yesterday that one method of self discovery is understanding how we interact and assign meaning to certain archetypes. A name for this journey is individuation. Individuation is a spirit journey, “the process by which a person becomes a psychological ‘in-dividual,’ that is, a separate, indivisible unity or whole” (Jung).

C.G. Jung underwent a series of self-examinations during a three-year period (1913 – 1916), using creative methodology to find his personal myth. This process of individuation he collected and later put together in one folio he called Liber Novus, better known as The Red Book.

The process he underwent was a deeply personal one, and during that time he continued his professional work, developing his theories on the psychological types introvert and extrovert; and later, partially due to his personal exploration, the idea of archetypes and the collective unconsciousness.

I say we undertake a journey of our own, going through the different archetypes and exploring how we view them. Let’s start at the beginning and work through how each archetype gives us clues as to what is True for us (understanding that Truth is not a singular construct).

Before we get started, however, let me break down some terminology.

Collective Unconscious

“A more or less superficial layer of the unconscious is undoubtedly personal. I call it the personal unconscious. But this personal unconscious rests upon a deeper layer, which does not derive from personal experience and is not a personal acquisition but is inborn. This deeper layer I call the collective unconscious. I have chosen the term ‘collective’ because this part of the unconscious is not individual but universal; in contrast to the personal psyche, it has contents and modes of behavior that are more or less the same everywhere and in all individuals. It is, in other words, identical in all men and thus constitutes a common psychic substrate of a suprapersonal nature which is present in every one of us” (Jung).

This is the home place of archetypes as Jung explained it.

…and just to reiterate.

Archetypes

Ancient mythologies, religious texts, fairy tales and modern media all deal with the SAME kind of forms and images that appear to transcend time and place. Jung says the “archetype is essentially an unconscious content that is altered by becoming conscious and by being perceived, and it takes colour from the individual consciousness in which it happens to appear.”

Archetypes have no inherent meaning, the viewer (the subject, us) assigns meaning, but we know them when we see them. Most anyone has and does attach meaning to the concept of “mother,” “hero,” or “trickster.”  Jung used archetypes in his work with patients, having them “converse” with different archetypes as a way of reducing their psychosis in the way of an alchemist reducing metals into their pure form. He called this active imagination.

THE ARCHETYPES

anonymous-maskPersona

“The persona is a complicated system of relations between individual consciousness and society, fittingly enough a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and, on the other, to conceal the true nature of the individual… Society expects, and indeed must expect, every individual to play the part assigned to him as perfectly as possible…” (Jung).

The persona, the mask, is an essential aspect of society’s health. We must play roles; neurosis develops when those roles overtake the individual self. The Mask has always existed as a Role(s) that is required. We, through interaction and social pressure, assign meaning to the universal image. Often times this meaning is in the form of our gender-based identity as a male or female.

Anima/Animusyin-yang-male-female

“It is a well-known fact that sex is determined by a majority of male or female genes, as the case may be. But the minority of genes belonging to the other sex does not simply disappear. A man therefore has in him a feminine side, an unconscious feminine figure – a fact of which he is generally quite unaware. I may take it as known that I have called this figure the ‘anima,’ and its counterpart in a woman the ‘animus'” (Jung).

In correlation and intertwining with the idea of the persona, is the idea that we encompass both the masculine and feminine. Like the idea of yin/yang, we combine the male and female to create an individual structure, SEPARATE, from the persona that we present to the world.

The anima/animus are those flashes of “otherness” that take hold on occasion, those quick feelings that are opposite of how we would normally act. Our anima/animus present themselves in dreams (day or sleeping) and in bursts of energy, thought, or even vocalization that is at direct odds to how you would normally act.  

Where to Go From Here

With the persona and the anima/animus in hand, where should we start our exploration, or more specifically, where am I going to start my journey? My persona and my animus are linked, pieces of identity, but as I have talked so much about social expectations and what I am versus what is expected of me, I think I am going to start with the masks… the persona.

This should be interesting.

Where is your jumping off point?