TO THE CROOKED WATCHERS: STOP JUDGING, START THINKING

I see you studying my moves, poisoning my atmosphere with evil thoughts and misconceptions.

Why don’t you shut down your infected analysis and let me live my life in peace?

Wouldn’t be better to pass by without looking to control me or judging my way of living?

Is it so complicated for you to understand that there are different ways of existing than the one governed by your imprisoned mentality?

I don’t think your enslaved life protected by moral compromises and toxic attitude is in any way an option.

Despite your pride, your life is a total mess, not free-thinking, not a joyful, loving existence.

You have no courage to enjoy life and because you are a coward, you want everybody to be like you.

What a shame, I don’t want to live an ignorant life like yours!

It is a waste of time and energy.

I command you to focus on your life and to let me be Who I AM!

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Dear Everyone: Stop trying to Empower.

If you want to contribute to the continuation of oppression towards children and youth, empower them.”

Empowering our youth, empowering our communities, empowering our women, empowering others, empowering the world, empowering, empowering, empowering…. Stop, stop, and stop!

To empower is to assume that people are powerless and that someone who is perceived to have authority is required to grant or give power. The word maintains an oppressive state of mind. It fuels dependency on external sources to provide a gross sense of belonging that allows and permits happiness, freedom and peace. Empowering or to empower, is a short-lived experience. It can cycle victim hood, preserve savior mentalities, and sabotage any hope for long lasting change both individually and communally.

Close to 9 years ago we did a process of forgiveness in one of the workshops we offered. One of the participants shared at the end of the process that she did not forgive those in her process. I inquired and was interested in why she didn’t forgive. She reluctantly opened and admitted that it was the colonizers who were in her process. “How can I forgive those who are continuing to commit injustice and attempt genocide? How can I forgive something that is still happening to this day?” she stated. A valid point, no doubt. She went on to say, “I did forgive in my process though, I needed to forgive myself, I needed to forgive myself for giving my power away to the colonizer.” “How does that feel?” I asked. “It feels good! It feels like I reclaimed my power, it reaffirms the work that I am doing and will continue to do!”she replied. Her sharing really hit home for the group that weekend.

The truth is, it’s not about “empowering others”. It’s about holding space for people to open to the power that already exists within, to open into ‘self-power’ by reclaiming that power, through self-responsibility.

A conscious approach to being a part of long-lasting change is to understand that people have the resources within themselves to obtain happiness, freedom and peace. Even though you are not necessarily needed for them to experience this truth. You can definitely be an anchor, a reflection, or a reminder of who they are by embodying and practicing this for yourself.

If you want to continue to be a part of the oppression of those struggling due to social injustice, empower them. If you want to contribute to positive, long-lasting changes, hold yourself and others accountable to the truth within.

New Definition

A friend of mine inboxed me on facebook awhile back and asked about a different word to use for a hashtag, besides empowerment. She was aware of my views on the word and wanted to avoid using it. In our conversation she came up with the word, “InPowerment”.

InPowerment: The embodiment of self-responsibility/self-power through self-awareness and conscious choices, while holding others accountable to their truth within themselves – a practice of non-personal awareness while letting go of any form of control over others.

Let’s make InPowerment common knowledge for all those who are working in communities, with children and youth, and who are organizing events and programs for liberation. I’d like to acknowledge the amazing works of Shana Pasapa and Power our WomenReclaim your Power: Strong, Resilient, Indigenous apparel company, as well as Leah Arcand and the Miyopimatsowin program she teaches.

http://www.colbytootoosis.com/writings/inpower

WE ARE THE OUTSIDERS

We are the outsiders
We are the survivors of mental abuse and domestic violence 
Others behave much superior to us because we are the youngest of our families and have vaginas 
They laugh at us and have the arrogance to teach us how life works.

They have to realise that we are much stronger and intelligent than they think. They cannot destroy our personalities because we have a secret inside that is much more valuable than their hate and aggression and positivity wins over negativity. 

We won´t support the authoritarian, patriarchal structure
Because since childhood, we have experienced the difficulties 
Humiliations and beatings with belts, the silence before the punishment and then the explosion of violence on our fragile body and soul.

The time has come when we won´t have any fear anymore 
Because we know now that actually you have a very weak personality that only grows stronger if we are afraid of your appearance.   

I am a witness of the beatings of my mother and as a child I thought it is normal that women get beaten, labelled as whores and that men have the control over women. A long time ago my mother has lost almost all of her teeth because of the brutality of a man that is my father. I was myself controlled, terrorised and beaten by my elder brother.

As he came out of prison he once came to me to apologise for his maltreatment and all the pain he caused to me. While he was apologising he cried and for me it seemed that he has changed during his penalty. 
To me, It was plausible because he was five years in prison and from them one year in solitary confinement and he had a lot of time to think and reflect his own life and habits.

But now it happens again! The mental and verbal abuses continue…
Do you have forgotten that I was there for you when you was in prison?
At a time when your so called friends have forgotten you? Every time I thought of you and I did everything so that you can survive in this living hell. I was the only person that tried to get you out of the solitary confinement. And now you have got the idea to come to my place any time you want and behave disrespectfully?

I am a grown woman but I cannot be who I am
In fact, I was never allowed to be alive in this world! 
What is wrong with you? Why are you not allowing me to feel good in my body? Every time you want me to behave like a slave.

Our body speaks even if we are silent
They have planted in our bellies so much pain that we can´t move anymore. There is a landscape full of wounds inside of us. We are domesticated wild animals.

I know that I am not the only person with a miserable life.
I know that I am not the only person which wanted to kill herself when she was a child. I know that I am not the only person thinking it would have been better to run away when she had a chance to escape.