As Long as Our Sisters Are Not Safe, Neither Are We.
As a therapist, I spend a lot of time helping people who are feeling anxious and panicky to feel safe in their bodies and the situations they are in right now.
The story goes — and it has a lot of truth in it — that we are largely running on unconscious programming from our early years, and we’re often in a traumatized state, having blocked off experiences of abuse/threat/violence in which we were in a helpless position, and which we could not process afterwards.
This leads us to live in constant fight-or-flight mode, making up, more or less consciously, strategies for survival in a dangerous world and acting in accordance with them in ways that ultimately perpetuate the suffering, waste our energy, and render us unable to see the actual situation under our noses.
It’s clearly essential to teach ourselves that we are basically safe inside our bodies, with the power to act, that we are not victims. This is our birthright. It’s essential that we learn who we are in the deeper, wider perspective too.
But if we are to undo individualism not vertically, or backwards in time, but horizontally, or simply by expanding our awareness in the present, we will find plenty of people who are in absolute peril right this second. And it makes sense to me that we should be aware of this pain right now, as parts of the same living organism.
In fact, it makes more sense to me that we should feel ripples, or flashes of the terror of women in war zones being raped and tortured, or in suburbia being killed by their relatives in honor killings, or incarcerated in prison and tortured for exercising or demanding basic rights right now than the terror we felt ourselves a few centuries ago in previous lifetimes.
It’s true that we can feel safe and grateful for progress that has been made, and that we are at an amazing moment in history in which the tables may be turning. It’s also true that at the same second, millions of our sisters (and brothers) are in real danger, the kind we may have mentally relegated to the past.
Statistics on sex trafficking, sexual violence as a weapon of war, and female genital mutilation are freely available, and make extremely sobering reading. Women in Saudi Arabia are probably not heralding the coming of the new age any time soon.
So, in the privileged crucible of awakening, it’s vital that we expand our awareness to allow both our safety, which gives us the power to change things, and the sense in which as long as our sisters are not safe, neither are we, because we are not separate.
The background anxiety, fear and trauma in the air, and in our bodies, shouldn’t be individualized out of existence. We are picking up information, and we can act on that information.
Let’s do that.
Sarah Luczaj (PhD) is a counselor/therapist, Reiki master, writer, poet, originator of the Creative Regeneration process (which brings together meditation, focusing, free-writing and intuitive painting) and co-founder of the terrealuma healing refuge, on a wild and secluded permaculture farm. She facilitates Creative Regeneration in various ways, from live group sessions, through month-long online courses, to 6-month intensive one-to-one activations, to get people plugged back into their natural state of bliss and power. Sarah is mainly based in Glasgow, and has two daughters.