Ill Will & Name-Calling

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Today I’m fired up.  I get in a state when there are impending catastrophes, especially given the fact that we’ve already got one or two well underway.

Years ago, I committed to living my life well within my own integrity.  For me, this means loving people, giving folks a chance, and embracing humanity.  Um, there are a lot of folks I opt to love from a distance.  A safe distance.  From very, very far.

I also changed my language.  I spent a 30-day period not speaking negative things… which was much, much more surprising than I expected.  It was a life-changer; one of those pivot points that you didn’t understand until years later. 

Here's the thing, in light of all this.  I’ve about had it with the name-calling.  From everyone.

We have a president who can’t help himself.  He behaves like the schoolyard bully, and we all know that bullies call everybody names.

The rest of us don’t have to.  The stronger thing is not to.   No, I’m not judging you for doing it if you do.  I’m saying:  is it what we really want?  Is it within each of our own integrity to operate in that energy? 

When we insult people for any reason, we are operating energetically from a place of pain in some way.  Perhaps disempowerment.  Perhaps lashing out. I get that.  One of the concepts I like from Martha Beck’s life coach training is the idea of “clean pain” and “dirty pain.” 

It is my sense that when we call people names that we are operating from a place of dirty pain.  It’s an indirect way to insult; to lash out.  But it belies a deeper truth.

What about if we spoke that truth clearly?  Plainly?  What about if we dig into that pain?

Look, I’m no fan of the president (or his supporters), and I did go through a short period before the election of calling him “the orange one.”  But it didn’t feel quite right to me, and after the election I shifted my approach.  I am very careful about how I reference the man, but I am now using some form of his title or his name - although rarely together.  My energy on this feels clearer since.  I don’t like it, but it feels authentic.

Ill Will vs. A Need for Empathy 

So we have these hurricanes this year.  As we speak, Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida – expected to hit on Saturday. 

Just now, I saw a post on Facebook of a Trump property impacted, off the coast somewhere.  The person posted “‘An 11-bedroom mansion owned by President Donald Trump on the Caribbean island of St. Martin is reported to have been torn apart by Hurricane Irma.’ Mar-a-Lago next.”

So I get that people are ticked off.  Here’s the thing, though:  we need some empathy. 

We are going to keep fracturing as a society if we can’t build it.  I don’t think a resistance or an opposition will work if it can’t embrace humanity.  Fear is not the path of true leadership.  Tolerance and light and love and tough truth is.

I don’t like the president either, but people’s livelihoods are tied to these Trump properties.  Will they have jobs after such destruction? 

Wishing a hurricane would wipe out Mar-A-Lago inherently means that HUGE SWATHS of other folks would get wiped out, too.  I know that’s not what people mean, but….

Is that where we are as a country?  Hoping for destruction?

It’s not where I am.  I’m sitting here, quietly trying to embrace humanity in a swirl of catastrophe, pain, anger, and quite a bit of meanness. 

No, this does not mean we should all go hug a Nazi.  I do think that the punch-a-Nazi memes though are of the same ilk.  I don’t know the solution to white supremacy, but I am never going to joke about encouraging more violence.  Violence begets violence.

Lest you think I am some hippy-dippy granola sandal-wearing left-coast liberal (not that there’s anything wrong with being that), let me assure you that I worked in the US Department of Homeland Security for nine years.  I’m pretty solidly moderate, and absolutely back the national security machine and rational law enforcement.  I have no tolerance for BS conspiracy theories.  I am a science advocate.  I love liberals, and I have been known to support conservative principles before the party members became such completely unabashed condoners-of-racism.

Anchor & Flank

We can find our power when we act in alignment with our own integrity.  In an era of overwhelm, that may be tricky to ferret out.  Give me a call if you’d like some help finding yours.

In the meantime, we can all ask ourselves if we are acting from a place of love.  A place of authenticity.  We can take actions and make statements that our rooted in our deepest beliefs; in our own integrity.

We are more powerful when our energy is clean.  When our intentions are clean.   When our actions do not carry resentment, or disempowerment.

In wildland fire, there is a concept of finding a safe spot that won’t burn in the back end of the fire, and working the flanks to fight it.  You anchor and flank.  It’s a powerful metaphor for life.

Get grounded.  Find your anchors.

Work out from there.


Interested doing some integrity work?  Check out private coaching at inclusive pricing ratesWe can work together to find a way forward.
If you are looking for more, check out the Be Intentional & Purposeful focus area.  My favourite tool to dive in is "Change Your Language, Shift Your Life."   You can start anytime.


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