Friday, October 19, 2012
Turning Mountains into Molehills
National and Jr. High politics have me reeling this week, struggling to come to terms with how we as a social group or a culture or a nation, and how I as a human being, categorize and define values and issues and how I act on those categories and definitions.
My Jungian training teaches me, over and over again, that when I have a problem with someone or something, I need to turn my eyes inward and look at how what is eating at me from the outside is actually festering somewhere inside of me.
So this week I'm thinking about things like:
How I work to protect myself through accumulation of wealth instead of offering generous help?
Why I continue to be silent when I know I should speak, or hold on to a safety net when I know I should leap?
Where I get triggered into magnifying minor issues and minimizing important information I need to act on?
When I marginalize others with humor or unconscious insensitivity?
What defenses I hide behind to mask my vulnerability and my truth?
Who I find it the most difficult to love and where is that person in me?
It's easy to stay asleep, to operate unconsciously, habitually, following the comfortable patterns and processes I've always known. It's easy to point fingers and place blame. It's easy to jump to conclusions and bring down a hammer of swift and decisive action relying on my perceived strengths. It's easy to distract and to hold things at a distance and pretend I'm somehow above the fray. It's easy to size issues and injustices to fit my instinct to either fight or flee.
But it's hard to speak when it risks my safety. And it's hard to consider my actions before reacting when my wounds get pricked. It's painful to look at where I create injury to another in order to protect my own vulnerability. And it takes real effort to engage instead of distance or distract.
I see, with a little attentional observation, how the election politics make mountains out of molehills. And I see, with a bit more effort, how I do the same thing, usually because something has uncovered a tender place or festering sore in my own self. But I also see how it works the other way, how as if looking through a telescope backwards, we distort mountains into molehills and convince ourselves to turn and walk away. How I let my fear of upsetting someone or losing my position of privilege keep me silent about real harm and injustice.
Triggered by my own messy emotions this week, I created unintended injury by turning a molehill into a mountain. And I watched silently as a boyscout leader said something to the effect of "let's not blow things out of proportion", trying to turn a mountain into a molehill.
I don't know how to sort through the mess. I read a host of writers who are talking about a new paradigm, a feminine form of leadership. Sometimes their writings stir me, sometimes they make me want to run away in fear. I read news stories about repeated abuse and misuse of children, and those without standing in society. And yet I resist a role as an advocate, because advocacy almost always offends. I shy away from political statements and I feel like I'm hiding a part of myself that needs to stand and be heard. And I point fingers and cast blame for repression and marginalization while I wait for my next fix of Jon Stewart or South Park because poking fun at someone for being different can make me roll in the floor with laughter.
Who, What, When, Where, Why, How? How? Why? Where? What? Whom?
I'm not sure I'm getting any closer to the answers.