I've been thinking a lot about abuse. Of course, most of us know about the domination, exploitation and need for control meted out by patriarchy, but I wonder if we have actually normalized many abuses? Abuse in the home, in the workplace, in our culture. Perhaps we accepted it unconsciously because so many of us are conditioned by religions who tell us to make noble sacrifices and tolerate suffering silently? I wonder if we're calling it out when we see it - often and loudly - or if we've become conditioned to quietly accept the abuse with little push back?
Do we normalize abuse or set healthy boundaries?
My intent is not to offend anyone with this. I want to find common ground and defeat the polarization we find around us, but our President is the poster child for abusive behavior. Do we recognize his lies and fear-mongering and so many of the ideas he gives credence and license to as abuse? Not only is he eroding our democratic institutions but he poisons the political, social and cultural arena with negativity, fear and hate, rather than uplifting us and encouraging us to evolve and be the best version of ourselves. I equate him to poison in a well from which we must all drink.
Of course corporations abuse society by their unfair advantage in the political arena - corporations are people - and the danger of Citizens United allowing unfettered money to drown the political process. So many don't pay taxes yet benefit from the societal infrastructure enabling them to survive and thrive. Their money has corrupted officials who should be looking out for the planet and the public good rather than the benefit of corporations. This is a whole essay in itself and I'll refrain from going on about abuse of corporations, from greedy landlords creating distressed rental markets, to the oil and gas industry, to Big Pharma, to the military industrial complex, just to name a few. Suffice it to say, it would not surprise me to learn cures for diseases are buried because "managing" the disease makes more money. There's so much more money in waging war than making peace. We might learn there are new sources of energy we are not tapping into. You get the gist. Greed is also abuse.
Getting back to real people, what about toxic and abusive women and men in our world? In our families, in the workplace, in our groups. I'm thinking of passive-aggressive cowards who manipulate or the sociopaths or the narcissists who have us walking on egg shells or breaking us down, little by little, every day. Sometimes the abuse is so subtle we don't even recognize it. We simply lose our self-confidence or wonder why we're always anxious or feel sick around certain people. It's like death by a thousand cuts. This is all abuse and I ask why do we put up with it?
In my deeper exploration of abuse and the infliction of emotional distress, I started understanding domestic violence in a very visceral way. Sometimes you are in a relationship with a person, maybe it's a boss, co-worker, or family member, and there is this roller-coaster ride that goes on for years. It seems fine for a time and you think you can manage the abuse and the daily chipping away at your soul and personal self-worth, then you feel the next blow and you think to yourself you can't do this anymore, but apologies are made. This is a classic abuse pattern. Think of the alcoholic, or the drug user who does the same thing. There the problem is a bit easier to see. It's harder when you're the target, not the observer. There's an attempt to have a reset and things are okay for a few days, weeks or even months, when you can breathe a little easier - until the next blow, literal or not, on your body or psyche.
Leaving is complicated and more fear-inducing than the abuse you've come to be able to tolerate or manage. Maybe it's too embarrassing to admit to others or yourself. Maybe you don't leave because you fear for your life. Maybe it's economic. Maybe it's because you have other people who depend on you and what you provide to them. Maybe you've invested so much time in this relationship or job you argue with yourself about the pros and cons of staying or leaving. Starting over feels daunting or finding something comparable monetarily seems doubtful. So you suck it up and suck it up and suck it up, day in and day out, year after year, until it's making you physically sick. Until your self- worth is eroded. Until you wonder if you have the strength to put one foot in front of the other.
Fortunately I've been married to a wonderful fella for more than 35 years so I'm not speaking about domestic violence first-hand, but I'd imagine when we're in a marriage of domestic violence, it's probably more clear there is abuse happening, between spouses, especially if there are bruises. I think we might not always recognize actions as abuse when it's happening within the immediate or extended family, in a social/religious group or in the workplace. We ignore lines are being crossed and we make excuses for the actions of others which might actually be intentional infliction of emotional distress or physical abuse of ourselves or others; Oh, she's just a spoiled bitch, or he's just a bad boss or "so and so" had a difficult childhood and that's the reason he does those things. Maybe it's she has a domineering father and if she wants her inheritance she'll tow the line - that's why she's so unhappy and spreads around the misery. Maybe it's an employer who exploits the uneducated or marginalized or good-natured employee. There are a million reasons and we tolerate the bad behavior toward us - why? Why aren't we schooled in setting healthier boundaries? Why aren't we doing periodic check-ins about the quality of our life and relationships? Maybe we aren't sure what constitutes crossing a line. Describing what crossing a line looks like could turn into a book, but surely, if someone is trying to force you into doing something you don't want to do, or asking you to break the law, or they're taking advantage of you, those are examples of crossing a line. If someone is hurting you physically or emotionally, or putting you in an unsafe environment, that's crossing a line. If someone is telling lies about you, taking loans and not paying you back, that's crossing a line. Ask a trusted friend whose boundaries you trust if a scenario you find yourself in might be one where you're being abused.
I guess we each have to be honest with ourselves and find the reason we tolerate the abuse, but we must come to understand what is being meted out toward us might actually be abuse and the intentional or unintentional infliction of emotional distress. No family member or friend, no boss, co-worker or religious leader, has the right to abuse or inflict emotional distress upon us. There comes a time when we must say enough is enough. Maybe it's because they've broken us and we've cracked, hit bottom and there is only up and out. Maybe the Universe takes the wheel and drives circumstances so that you no longer have a choice but to "get out of Dodge." Maybe something triggers a clearer vision and we find an escape hatch. Maybe a friend helps us through the steps necessary to maneuver an exit or a severing of ties with the abuser. There are as many different scenarios as there are people and circumstances. The point is we have to begin to consciously recognize this treatment as physical, financial or emotional ABUSE and call it out and not tolerate it anymore. We have to throw off any conditioning that has kept us tethered to this abusive relationship. We must set healthy boundaries. We must realize that abuse isn't always sexual and non-sexual abuse is just as valid and damaging. And we must sometimes reach out to others for help. This may not be something you can do alone, but it IS something you can do, with help if necessary. With Goddess, certainly.
Escaping these patterns is not easy. It can be down-right frightening, but we're talking about the quality of the rest of your life. Then once we get away, in time, we might find this monster who inflicted so much distress in our life was really powerless without our active participation in that dance we were both doing together. We might come to understand ourselves better as we process why we stuck around. We might find that light at the end of the tunnel was shining the way toward a healthy new beginning. That light wasn't the train coming at us, but the train to take us out of our dark tunnel - but we won't find peace until we're out from under the monster. Trust me. I know. And in hindsight, the challenging circumstances I faced, were the first steps on a road toward a true gift of a happy life for myself and Roy.
Calling all Goddess Women!
We wish to build a vibrant and healthy Goddess community, dedicated to making Her more known and increasing Her following. Those of us already in Her fold know how desperately what She offers is needed at this time in history.
We invite you to participate! Send us a proposal for a presentation to share with others who seek to know more about Her. Go to http://goddessspiritrising.com/ to get a feel of our beautiful Conference, and the presenter applications.
Awakening the Feminine...
Dismantling Domination to Restore Balance on Mother Earth
Third in the "Manifesting a New Normal" Trilogy Series
The domination and exploitation of patriarchy and predator capitalism has permeated every aspect of society far too long. We all know we've had enough. We just aren't all sure of the path ahead and role models are in short supply. Eradication of this oppression requires a rethinking of most things that have become normal to us even if it's painful or uncomfortable. We are like the abused wife continuing to return to the husband who she knows will always beat her because its familiar abuse. We know we need an awakening of our spiritual courage, a leap of faith so we might change course, but do we have a roadmap? Check out some paths forward put forth by our contributors --
Carolina Amor, Jeanette Blonigen Clancy, Wim Bonis, Stacy Boorn, David Chandler, Sam Daley- Harris, M. Isidora Forrest, Patricia Gallet, Heidi Goettner-Abendroth, Chelle Goodfriend, Donna Henes, DeAnna L'am, Lisa Levart, Heather Mendell, Ilarion Merculieff, Amy "Amalya" Peck, Mary Petiet, Oxana Poberejnaia, Lauren Raine, Arisika Razak, Paul Reid-Bowen, Libby Roderick, Joanna Silverwitch Medina, Sandra Sariel Spencer, Marilyn Steele, Tanishka, Karen Tate, Lauren Thyme, VajraMa, Preston Coyote Vargas, and Heaven Walker.
Special thanks to Heather Mendel for getting this uploaded on Amazon Create Space and to Amalya Peck for her cover art!
SPECIAL PRICING for AWAKEN THE FEMININE !!
$15.00 through March 31 (Including S&H in the US only)
Using Paypal - PayPal.Me/karentate
Manifesting a New Normal Trilogy Series...
Book 1...Goddess 2.0 - Advancing a New Path Forward
Book 2...Voices of the Sacred Feminine - Conversations to ReShape Our World
Book 3...Awaken the Feminine! Dismantling Domination to Restore Balance on Mother Earth
Some Early Endorsements
Now that we have been subsumed by a more extreme phallocratic form of patriarchy we need this delicious thought provoking book more than ever to strengthen and revitalize the deepest core of our Feminine Spirituality so that we can appropriately fight back.
-- Cristina Biaggi, Ph.D, Author, Artist and Foremother
This book carries a message that is powerful, profound, inspiring and challenging, helping us to become aligned to the Divine Ground in the service of Life.
-- Anne Baring, author of The Dream of the Cosmos, a Quest for the Soul
Here, Karen Tate brings together a million watts of candle power and the almost forgotten song of the Divine Feminine. Dispelling the darkness and healing the soul, these powerful voices of brilliant women and men throw open the closet doors, exposing the skeletons, their grim secrets of the past and revealing the specter of the future. In doing so, the authors encourage us to straighten our spines and chart a course for hope.
-- Angie Buchanan, Founder Gaia's Womb
At this crucial time when all living systems on Earth are severely threatened due to unbridled greed, exploitation, and toxic domination, this wise and dynamic anthology affirms our individual and collective powers to manifest social, spiritual, political, and cultural transformation. We are called to "rethink everything" and to step forward in honor of diversity and mutual respect for each other and for all life on Earth. Thank you, Karen, for assembling this inspiring collection of voices.
-- Joan Marler, Director of the Institute of Archaeomythology
And just in case you missed this earlier newsletter.....
Goddess and Socialism
The Association Has Been Known for 100 Years!
I'm a recovering Catholic from the Bible Belt who didn't discover the Feminine Face of God had been hidden from me until I was thirty years old. It took another 25 years to discover Goddess and Nature have been associated with socialism and marxism for 100 years, while christianity, patriarchy and capitalism are in alignment. Why did I have to learn this from Erich Fromm, a deceased German psychologist, (To Have or to Be?, The Art of Loving) rather than our feminist foremothers and wayshowers?
Yes, Riane Eisler has been talking about partnership and caring economics, citing the Scandinavian Democratic Socialist countries as role models, but she spoke out against socialism in Center for Partnership Studies classes. Genevieve Vaughan has been speaking about gift economy for years. Heide Goettner-Abendroth has been teaching about the values of matriarchies. Carol Christ has been talking about Goddess related to liberation theology. Of course I couldn't read everything out there, but the only Goddess foremother I've found directly connecting the dots between Goddess and socialism was Monica Sjoo (Great Cosmic Mother).
Why were we not taught this in our women's studies or goddess classes? Could it have been radical enough to be talking about Goddess? Could our foremothers have been fighting to get out of the kitchen and into the workforce - the capitalist system - to get a piece of the pie? Or did they not connect the dots either? How many know it was the unionists, socialists and communists that pushed FDR to create Social Security and capitalists have been chipping away at it for decades.
Socialist Economist, Richard Wolf, often seen on PBS, shared in an interview (interview 1 - interview 2) on Voices of the Sacred Feminine, if a professor wanted tenure in college he could not teach about the benefits of any economic system except capitalism. Is it any wonder then so many Americans are ignorant about how average people would benefit from democratic socialism, just as the Scandinavian countries do - countries noted to have the best quality of life. Could it be socialism does not get fair coverage in the media because the media is designed to benefit corporations and the 1%?
These are conversations we must have. If we want to birth Goddess as deity, archetype or ideal into the world in any meaningful way, we must have the courage to go beyond Goddess 101 and make the leap toward Goddess 2.0. These values can change the world into the one we dream of - if we have the courage to buck the system and educate ourselves then teach our students about the predator capitalist system that's destroying us and the planet. And to those who would keep spirituality and politics separate, I say, our politics are a direct reflection of our morality and both should be in alignment with our spirituality. Let's reconcile our spirituality and our politics otherwise we're just hypocrits.