Creating Listen Culture ~ In Response to Rape Culture
Listen … listen .. listen …
Listen to my story. Listen with not just your half-ass ears, mind somewhere else waiting for me to finish so you can jump in with your story and your comments, your defense…No.
First…listen with your Heart, your entire body, mind and soul. Lean in, sister. Lean in, brother and HEAR my story. Hear it with your cells, here it hit the wounds in you, hear my rage and my grief, my joy and my wonder. Open all the way to my story dear
… and I will listen to yours…
Tell me, sister of color, sister of abuse, brother of violation and police violence, tell me your story. Tell me gender queer friend, of your journey to identify your place in this world, tell me your story. Tell me daughter of the subtle violence you face trying to navigate a world that is full of judgment and body shaming and how this hurts your self-confidence as a human being.
Tell me your stories of rape, abuse, violence and terror…I will carry some of it too.
I will listen with my whole heart. I will hear your tears of sorrow and your tremble of rage. As a white, cis-gendered queer woman, I may have no idea what your experience was like for you exactly…but my soul will HEAR you and I will carry a part of your story with me.
Too acknowledge, listen, hear…just as the tree hears, and the ocean takes our tears and the sky shows their stars, we can be like that too. We can listen and honor and hear and take a bit. We don’t have to be SO sensitive.
“For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard. There isn’t any other tale to tell, it’s the only light we’ve got in all this darkness.” writes James Baldwin.
To listen is to to hear when someone says NO and to recognize true consent. To listen is to approach with reverence each human being on this planet who has a right to a joyful existence. To listen is to take accountability for all of our actions, our choices our path in this life.
Recognize that you have a long way to go to getting good at this. To really listening. I certainly do. Your ego may say differently, but we have so many stories to hear to take in and transform into power and love and ACTION, however that may look for each of us. Compassion is love in action and we have so much potential dear humans, now is the time.
The world is chaos~crumble~wild and we are the changemakers. If we are not listening, observing, tracking our inner selves then we are useless. Use every single moment to create change.
I observe every reaction to a black person I see inside me. I notice my racism within. I track my judgments of women who dress provocatively and I allow them to rise, rest then dissolve. I view my expectations of my intimate partners around sex and see where they are contaminated with my own inner violence, shame, anger and frustration.
In the Buddhist practice of Tonglen, we draw in the dark, dismal, chaotic suffering of the world and transform it into brilliant compassionate light. We do not deny the terrors of this earth and the people who experience them, instead we step into it, willingly and do our best to transform this. We recognize that we are not a victim, but a warrior, fearless yet not without fears.
We can support one another…there are hundreds of posts right now offering their story and to be heard. Listen. Read. Take it in.
As a queer woman I have only barely begun to scratch the surface on LGTBQ, trans, gender, consent issues and my passions move in these directions. Share your resources with me. Educate me on gender and consent. Tell me your story.
I am here, I am an ear and a heart and a soul and I am listening.
Quan Yin the goddess of compassion is the one who hears the cries of the world. She listens and weeps over our suffering and sorrows. At times she wields weaponry to fight the injustices, a warrior who stands fierce and uncompromising.
May we discover the courage of our vulnerability and soften our hearts to listen to those who need to tell their story.
May we discover the power of our rage and turn it into compassionate action, both small and larger steps.
May we discover the transformative wellspring of our grief and allow the tears to water the fertile soil of rebirth and discovery … creating a world that invites all the expressions of human wonder and soulful beauty.
“Out of the huts of history’s shame/I rise/Up from a past that’s rooted in pain/I rise,” ~ Maya Angelou.