fear as a taught response – an inability to live the “no”?

ok this really does not have anything to do with art perse, other than a perspective, an understanding about reality….

I love walking the beach on my own in the dark at night.  It is one of my favourite things to do.  Many people warn me though, and are afraid for me.  For some reason I have little fear.  I cant genuinely say NO fear, as sometimes prickles of fear crawl over and under my skin.  But for the most part my theory has been – why should a potential fear stop me from doing what I love- why should ‘those’ ominous others have so much power over me?  And so I walk in the delightful darkness.

But I think about it.  And I know i have plenty fear about other things…and sometimes my wicked mind will meander into imagining how i would cope..if …god forbid…anything should happen.

Omar and I watched a film the other day – a french film with Monica Bellucci, I forget now the name, in which there is shocking graphic violence.  And a 9 or was it 13 min long unflinching rape scene.  The director explains that he wanted to expose the violence of rape.  That he did, but for some reason what disturbed me as much as anything was, the character Monica B played, her immediate reaction of paralysing fear and her presentation of being a very afraid woman who seemed instantly a victim (she was not the one the perpetrator was initially abusing).

On the one hand I dont want to talk about this as I dont want to give it energy, but on the other hand recently 2 women have told me stories about medical situations where, lets say, they were not able to articulate clearly a “NO” in to be fair, very different situations.

From those stories I wanted to impart this idea of “no” to my children.  But after a not too successful conversation which though I had kept it light, ended up with my daughter feeling disturbed, the opposite of my intention.  So of course this reminded me that words are lovely but at the end of the day , if I want to influence my children, then actions speak way louder than words, and they would need to see how I protect myself, by not accepting any infringements.  ( it baffles me how parents do not allow their children to say “no’ to them, yet expect them to say no to, for example peer pressure or drugs- how bizarre)   This protection I imagine is not a hysterical, emotional or even angry reaction, more a deeper voice that sings with an inner authority that is irrefutable.

Fear is a calculated currency in society.

It works to keep us under control, to make us agree to collective infringements all with the justification of keeping us ‘safe’.

It is an illusion, this safety “they” are trying to sell us.

So I am hyper sensitive to the portrayal of fear.

I do not want to insult or infer that anyone who has experienced any crime of violence that they could have in any way changed the outcome, as my thought is we are so deeply instilled with our image as female as weak and at the mercy of those wrong doers that there has always seemed no other imaginable choice.

I just wonder….what would happen if confronted by a typical terrifying situation, where the robber/mugger/ terrorist and worse are about to act, if our reaction was not fear, but a spontaneous and instinctual response from that inner authority.  We are never shown this in movies or books….we only see the fear, the panic, the victim.

As I said, it just makes me wonder if in this fear laden world there is a different way for us to respond?  ANd if there is a different way to respond….what would it look like, and how can we start sharing this image instead?

I remember hearing someone say that the truth about the holocaust against women, is that we agreed to it.  LIke we laid down some basic understanding that no one has any right to harm us, and we fell asleep and allowed it to keep happening.  I dont believe in stopping violene with violence, so can we as a collective decide now to make a new choice, that quietly but with a knowingness in the depth of our bones, will not tolerate the slightest infringement?

mmm I suppose we would need to start with ourselves and not tolerate any infringement on our own lives…..and gently but firmly hold ourselves in our center to follow our life as it is ours…..

still pondering……especially as this week I am all to aware of how I allow many small infringements in my life to keep the peace and to make sure everyone else is happy.  Is there a correlation?  How can there not be?  And maybe my passion to explore this is because of the weight of all those infringements and my inability to sing “no” with a sweet understanding that will not harm anyone, but will be well understood and of course respected.

My easy ‘yes’ possibly grounded more in wanting to please, not wanting to be rejected, preferring to acquiesce and throw myself away.  Afraid of what my “no’, no matter how sweet, will bring.  Or what will happen if I stand firm enough to say no to the other – a possible rejection to them?

And in looking for some conclusion, I feel that the only place my pondering takes me is to figure out what one wants and is nourishing for self, honouring of self, and then do it, gently without violence or aggression, but with a firm intent to honour nourish and most importantly HEAR oneself and respect what is being said, either a Yes or a NO!

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