Week 4, Day 5 – Standing Up For What We Believe

So these were the choices for today:

  1. Think of a movie or a book where the hero or heroine takes a stand and stands up and does what he or she believes in. what was the action of the believer and the others. On what knowledge was the decision based? Write about how that made you feel.
  2. Write down the ways you feel unsettled about conflict. How does this get in the way of taking a stand? Explore any unsettled feelings. How does this tie in with not wanting to stand out?
  3. We all have stuff in our way. Imagine reaching into your body and removing “unnecessary stuffing.” what would it look like? What story does it tell?

Ok, so where do I start.  Norma Rae, Freedom Writers, oh so many. But the one that always inspires me is rabbit proof fence. I love the character of Molly Craig. Yeah most of the stories are about real people, but this was a girl who was 14 at the time and traveled with her two cousins 1500 miles to get home after being taken away from her family. The first time I watched the film I remember cheering for her the entire time. There were moments I so understood her indignation. I cannot imagine being fourteen and being taken away from your mother and the only home you have ever known. I guess in that situation I am lucky in that I do not consciously remember my birth or foster parents. I do not consciously remember being moved to the next family. I am sure at some level, those feelings and memories are imprinted, but unlike Molly, I was not old enough to remember. I can’t imagine the indignation of having to have someone I do not know wash me or tell me what to eat or how to pray or how to do anything in my life. I am so grateful for that. I could understand the renaming of Mr. Neville as Mr. Devil as he was the one who destroyed families and lives in what he believed were their best interest as he sought to breed the aborigine out of people. I found myself getting angry at how those in power were making choices for others about when they could go home, when they could buy shoes, when they could see family members. Ok, so Molly didn’t know a lot of these things, but you could still understand how witnessing the abuse and punishment of others who had been taken to Moore River was enough to make her say I am not going to tolerate this. I am not going to conform to their teachings. Where so many of the others who had been taken here conformed, Molly stood up and said no and in her own way, using her own knowledge, her intuition, her spirit, everything she had learned from her mother and the other women in her clan about tracking, hunting and survival she outsmarted everyone for months and found her way home. And when they did it to her again later in life, she outsmarted them again and again found her way home. I cannot imagine what it took to be able to do that when you are 14. To have the confidence to know I can do this. Maybe it was the not really realizing what was involved, maybe it was the not thinking about how overwhelming a task this would be that enabled her to do this. Maybe it was just knowing I CANNOT do this. I won’t stay here. I will not be colonized like this. I have to get out of this place.

Every time I watch this film, I am inspired. I realize there is nothing in my life that is not achievable. I know if I believe in myself and lean on my own intuition and gifts I can escape my own Moore River and follow the rabbit proof fence home. It was actually after watching this film again for the umpteenth time that I decided it was time for me to stand up to the authorities of the denomination I once served and say I will not be treated in this way anymore. I will no longer tolerate you lying to me; I will no longer tolerate your abusive behavior. No one will ever lie to me, yell at me, or treat me in a disrespectful manner again and still tell me they love me. Love does not abuse. It was the day I took the last swing to my spirit and fought back. 

And I remember feeling like Rocky Balboa for a moment when he is in the ring and the last swing comes and it gives him the momentum to fight his way back and win the bout. I think I needed that last blow to wake me up and find the strength to say you will not destroy me. I am a survivor. I refuse to continue to work in a dysfunctional environment. And I walked away. And in doing so I came to realize that what was most important in my life was that, I stand up for myself and not allow anyone else to abuse me. It was the day I realized that others could only abuse me to the same degree I was willing to abuse myself. 

It might not have been 1500 miles I had to travel following the rabbit proof fence to come home, but I did have my journey and it was not always easy, but I survived. I found the courage to come out of Aristotle’s cage and never go back into the darkness. I met my heroine and she is me. Do I still have work to do on myself? Yeah you do gurl, but you are woman. And every day I hear myself roar louder then the day before. I am woman, hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore and I know too much to go back and pretend. So I am so not ever going to pretend. From this point on in my life is about living my life with love and integrity and being the change that I want to see in this world. I want this world to be a more loving world, so I seek to be more loving. 

As corny as it may sound, I love the fantasy of the old coca cola song – I want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. Yet I know that the way for me to do best do that is to begin with me. as I become a better person, I am able to make this a better family, and be part of a better community which will help this to be a better region, which will help this to be a better state, which will help this to be a better country, which will help this to be a better world.  With everything, I say and do, I remember that it is making a difference. Just my being here is making a difference. There are some Moore Rivers I have escaped in my life and others that I still need to escape, but I am escaping all the Moore Rivers in my life, one re-education center at a time.