I'm learning, for myself, that I can still stand for something that's important without making it about allegiance or having to follow a social ruleset like a religious belief. I can encourage empowerment, mental health support, and emotional regulation on my terms. And do so without belittling, being hateful, dramatic, reckless, damaging to my health, or destroy Interpersonal relationships.
Not only that but am learning the importance of honoring discourse, thrashing, sharing energetic space, holding space for expression, and solving problems as opposed to treating people as problems.
I firmly stand for the notion that there is no good and evil in the world, only human intentions acted upon based on complex neurosis and needs. That we can all cultivate purpose and meaning for ourselves. That we have inherent strengths and value to support others who need it.
I've felt the possession and addiction that comes from a feeling of righteousness for my own inability to have meaningful discourse and had replaced emotional intelligence with intellectual garbage. I've owned that. And for a long time I felt shame to stand back up.
Now I feel that I trust myself to do the best that I can. I believe others are doing the best they can even if they're fixated on drama, there's a reason for it all. There's a personal biography and system emergent within us that needs attention and fine tuning. No one is broken.
I know that people are working with that they have. Whether that's education, racial history, Interpersonal knowledge, upbringing, culture, etc. So much we can't control. And those things are not excuses but valid reasons to acknowledge pain, struggle, thrashing, and bias.
That's not to say there aren't going to be dangers in the world or people who are locked into their fixations. Closed minds obviously exist. Arrested minds obviously exist.
And while I don't see people as evil, I'm also not naive to the harm people can cause with words, bullets and other weapons of mental, physical, and spiritual destruction. Strength, protection, and fortifying is valid and needed.
My mom always taught me to not mistake kindness for weakness. We can be kind and strong. You can do both. We can do both. We can stand firm for what is helpful, be confident, and supportive for humanity while also being loving, kind, and holding space.
Jackie Chan is one of my personal mentors because he always depicted himself not starting a fight but finishes it. The same with Bugs Bunny. I admire that embodiment.
But the importance of all of this is that I stand firm for me, my family, friends, and what's important to me. I'm not another body for a cause or hash tag and I think I used to feel that way, therefore I resented it and lashed out on anyone who opposed.
Seeing a different perspective as opposition omits an entire section of reality that is valuable and valid. That's why I encourage personal work and loving of the self as a means of loving others. You simply have nothing to prove and your work can be pure and unshakeable.
Because if your world is built on self-sacrifice and you give give give...without a strong sense of self you may be asking "what's in it for me?" and reacting as if you have something to prove or someone owes you something without even realizing it.
It's not unshakeable conviction about an idea. It's full trust in yourself and what you can bring with you as consent to honor any movement you believe in. There will be no resentment, you'll see people for who they are, you'll have nothing to prove and you can do good work.