“The extent to which Canadians have been, and in many cases remain, unable to meaningfully acknowledge the crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Indigenous people is commensurate with the depth of trauma that is embedded in the fabric of Canadian society.”
Over the last month, Senator Lynn Beyak has been excoriated for her perspective on the residential school system. Condemnation has come from almost all quarters, especially coming on the heels of the Truth and Reconciliation Report (TRR), which has shown, in no uncertain terms, the horrors of the residential school system. Indigenous leaders have also, understandably, piled on Senator Beyak, who could scarcely be an easier target.
By most accounts, she deserves to be on the receiving end of the scorn that has been hurled her way by millions of Canadians. Indeed, her apparent audacity is such that instead of backing down, she has double and tripled down on her seemingly absurd stance. Accordingly, we have relegated Senator Beyak to the ‘bad’ column because, after all, isn’t it an open and shut case?
On the contrary, if we dig deeper we might recognize that Senator Beyak is revealing deep truths about where Canada’s relationship really stands with the Indigenous people.
Why can’t we feel the pain of the Indigenous people? Why can’t we treat our Indigenous brothers and sisters with compassion, respect and honesty? Why do we as a society have such trouble feeling much of anything at all other than anger, anxiety, sadness and apathy?
As we go about our adrenalized day to day lives, many of us are unable to delve into our own personal and generational traumas, so painful they are, let alone to engage with what hangs over our country like perpetual second-hand smoke that we can’t escape.
For many of us, our programmed response to Senator Beyak is unmitigated rejection because we want nothing to do with the exceedingly uncomfortable feelings that she elicits. Senator Beyak has upset our Febrezed culture that deals with ingrained and nasty odours by simply covering them up. Anything to avoid having to do the actual work of wading through the muck and cleaning things up.
Indeed, what if Senator Beyak is doing us a big favour by shining a spotlight on the continued failure of Canada to do right by the Indigenous people? The problem is that unlike The Truth and Reconciliation Report, which approaches the subject from the acceptable victim’s perspective, Senator Beyak speaks on behalf of the perpetrator, which is politically-correctly verboten. Coming via the perpetrator’s perspective, the spotlight is blinding and stomach-churning – a challenge to the formidable, generational defenses that we have put in place in order to avoid feeling, acknowledging and remedying the unfathomable crimes perpetrated against the Indigenous people, especially their children.
What is at the root of this system-wide disconnect? The Rational Man Project (RMP). The RMP involves a brain that is “over-trained in rationality, has turned away from empathy and has mastered and normalized dissociation in its most severe dimensions; it is consequently incapable of recognizing the fault in its own system.” (Nick Duffell, “Wounded Leaders: British Elitism and The Entitlement Illusion”, 2014) “Rational Man was (and still is) permanently at war. He was at war with himself and with the world he created. The self he was at war with was his own indigenous self, the natural, emotional, innocent, spontaneous, sometimes lazy, sometimes erotic self.” (Duffell)
To varying degrees, Western man and woman have exiled this poor self, who fills the void with a cornucopia of addictions (food, shopping, illegal drugs, sports teams, sex, cell phone, pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, working, pain, working out, coffee, surfing the internet, Facebook, soft drinks, pornography, sugar, television, video games).
With the arrival of the ‘The Age of Reason’ in the 17th century Western world, spirit was supplanted by science and reason. Man now controlled his own destiny. Regardless of circumstances, when God was at the centre of most people’s lives there was a direct connection with the unknown, the mysterious, the feminine. The Rational Man Project ‘civilized’ and sanitized the misogyny and racism which had always been there, and then exported it to the colonial world.
“The fallout from the British Rational Man Project is alive and well” in Canada. “It causes our society grave problems as: (1) It maintains the inherited class structure with its… male elitism intact (2) It prevents emerging new paradigms” from coming to the fore – “due to fear of foreigners and fear of losing the status quo. (3) We do not notice the Rational Man Project’s grip on us because we are too close to it, like the fish who do not know the water; identified with it, we believe it to be our hallowed tradition.” (Duffell)
The main pillar of the British RMP was, and arguably remains, the boarding school system, upon which the residential school system was based. The British boarding school system had two roles: (1) churn out men who would be sent around the world to run the greatest empire the world has ever seen (2) be a ‘home’ for the children of these very same men who were far away from England.
With succeeding generations of abandoned and betrayed boys running the world, including Canada, logic became bereft of feeling. When you have a system in which the elite have for centuries sent their own children to boarding school, it should not be surprising that the Indigenous people were subjected to the same training. Naturally, the powers-that-be would have believed that they were giving the savages a gift by converting them to the most superior system of existence yet devised by man.
Further to the alienation of the feminine, Psychiatrist and Oxford Professor, Iain McGilchrist, writes in his book “The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World”, about the respective roles of the left- and right-brains and how our culture, having been overrun by the Rational Man Project, has become predominantly left-brained. Unfortunately, while the left-brain approach “facilitated the accumulation of knowledge and skills, its downside has resulted in a crisis of Compartmentalization.” Duffell on McGilchrist, “there is a precise order to how the two hemispheres work: thought and language are born… on the right, then grow up… on the left, to provide the ‘necessary difference’ for self-reflection.” Crucially, what is sent to the left then returns back to the right, “where a new synthesis can be made.” (Duffell)
The right-brain is more concerned with the feminine, visual, non-linear, heart connection, receptivity, softness, sensitivity, creativity, the instinctual, the unexplainable, the conscience, the feelings, emotional IQ, big picture, cooperation and doubt. The left-brain is more concerned with the masculine, verbal, linear, logical, details, organization, structure, labeling, analysis, specialization and hierarchy.
So, we men – and women – grow up in a saturated Rational Man Project environment, which is overwhelmingly persuasive in pulling us into the left-brain. Throw in our own personal traumas on top of that, especially ones from childhood, and we’re left with a population of people who have had to create Strategic Survival Personalities (SSP) in order to cope (The SSP is a façade, a wall; to mask trauma, to protect the heart). The issue is that the SSP might have served us well as children but is problematic if we don’t recognize and jettison it as adults. If the protective wall remains in place it makes it challenging to become mature and balanced adults. This is why so many of us become defensive so easily. It’s our SSP kicking into action when we feel a threat. Depending on the level of our trauma our facade is that much more convincing – and impenetrable – which can and does lead to isolation, violence (especially against women) and an epidemic of mental illness in our society.
Hence, we have a culture in which so many people, especially men, have little regard for and understanding of women – or the feminine energy within themselves – or cultures such as the Indigenous people that do honour the feminine.
Periodically, we single out one or another of our institutions – Media, Corporate, Banking, Legal, Police, Health, Government – for their failings and excesses. Unfortunately, meaningful change is predictably problematic because it invariably does not align with RMP dogma. And yet, we the people have created these institutions. We work in them. They represent us. We are tacitly, and in most cases unwittingly, complicit in their actions.
From my piece on Brexit:
“RMP failings are most visible in the hands of our leadership. It’s easy to sit back and scrutinize our leaders for their shortcomings, but if that’s all we’re doing we’re missing the boat. Granted, it’s difficult to admit that they are an accurate representation of us within the political sphere. Many of us don’t want to see that, or can’t see it, in the same ways that we create revisionist history – and denial – in our own lives in order to avoid pain; to avoid looking at the past; to avoid looking within and taking responsibility for how we are living and what we are putting out into the world.
How many of us regularly take the opportunity to unleash our incredulity or anger on a random person, even over a harmless infraction? As pedestrians, cyclists and drivers we are ready to wag an accusatory finger at one another over some apparent advantage taken, or a moment of unawareness, that might have delayed us from reaching our destination by thirty seconds? No worries. We’re on it. We’re on high alert at all times for these situations where, based on one moment, we can identify a person or a group of people as being lesser than us. Less intelligent. Less aware. Less considerate. And while we are fiercely condemning them for their act, we instantly take in their appearance, their race, their gender, their age, their sexual orientation, their fitness level and come up with a personality profile that is born of ego, fear, judgment and bias; that conjures vulnerability in the other; to make us feel better; superior; to give us the justification we need to avoid recognizing our role in creating that very experience; to show us our state of consciousness.
Meanwhile, on some other occasion we’ve likely made the exact same unforgivable mistake as the moron who is currently invoking our wrath. But it was probably okay when we messed up. Oopsy. Whatever. We wonder why the accuser is getting so bent out of shape. “No big deal. Take it easy. Oh really? Well fuck you too…”, as we size them up and concoct a violent insult cocktail to deflect and protect from the over-the-top reaction that is being hurled our way. “Served them right!”
Empathy on life-support. Ready to defend. The need to feel a semblance of control over something… anything that’s easier to latch on to than the confusion that reigns when we have a wobbly relationship with our right-brains. We are perpetrator and victim all rolled into one, based on a recipe consisting of systemic, collective and personal betrayal and trauma; masculine and feminine, dissonant.
Our leaders? They are like you and me though the higher they go, and the deeper their childhood RMP training, the greater the RMP commitment. Regularly, we witness our representatives’ embarrassing behaviour in Parliament. Then again, what can we expect from our leaders when so many of us barely behave like adults in our own lives? Projecting our frustrations on to others; left-brain justification on over-drive; self-reflection and empathy an afterthought. There is a straight line between this low-level type of buck-passing and the mass-scale obfuscation and violence practiced by our leaders, in government and corporations.”
Is it any wonder that as a country we have been so incapable of doing right by the Indigenous people? With that in mind, let us examine some of Senator Beyak’s most controversial assertions, for which she has been denounced by most people.
SENATOR BEYAK’S STATEMENTS
She said that the people who worked in and ran the residential schools were ‘well-intentioned’. On first blush, especially in light of the TRR, this seems tough to swallow. That is, until we understand the residential school system as a perfect representation of the overt colonial racism employed by the British throughout the world. The Indigenous people of Canada were regarded as lesser-than humans by the vast majority of British. They were savages who needed saving and civilizing. The abuse that was heaped on them was justified under this ignorant framework. Whatever the costs were from the abuse, for victim and perpetrator, these surely paled in comparison to the eternal damnation it was believed the Indigenous people would suffer if they didn’t assimilate. From this position, it is certainly not a stretch to say that the residential schools, run by the Clergy, were ‘well-intentioned’. After all, look at the suffering Christ endured. He was the template for the suffering that some might have to experience, especially the lesser-thans, in order to be saved.
This brings us to another statement made by Senator Beyak, who grew up in Northern Ontario, in which she suggested that she has suffered alongside Indigenous people who were sent to residential schools. “I’ve suffered with them up there. I appreciate their suffering more than they’ll ever know.” Surely, this is outrageous. Once again, on its face, this seems absurd… until we dig deeper.
The suffering of the Indigenous people is incalculable and devastating. However, in this equation, the suffering of the perpetrator is always, and logically, overlooked. Suffering of the perpetrator you ask? How on earth can we place these two seemingly disparate positions in the same space? We can and we should. Because what the perpetrator inflicts on others, he inflicts on himself. If this goes on long enough, the perpetrator becomes a slave to shame and guilt inflicted on the victim (ie) present day Canada.
It’s easy to paint all of those who ran the residential schools with the same vile brush. It goes without saying that some of the school administrators were mean-spirited and cruel. But surely ‘good’ people were also involved. Unfortunately, all of them were at the mercy of the overwhelmingly racist and arrogant influence of the RMP Church, government and culture-at-large. How many of these people did their thankless jobs with lumps in their throats, the official justifications constantly at odds with their deeper humanity?
The administrators of the residential schools fulfilled, what they were told was, a necessary and significant role in the building of the country of Canada. They were at the front lines. They took one for the team – and paid a monumental price in the process. Because, however well-intentioned or otherwise they might have been, their mere presence in a system that ripped children away from their parents – and annihilated their identities – cannot have been anything other than soul-crushing for them on a deeper level. Try to imagine the mental and spiritual gymnastics that some of them must have employed to survive living and/or working in such an awful environment.
Regardless of their level of consciousness, these poor people lived with that shame and guilt – in most cases unacknowledged – and passed it down to their offspring and so on… and so on… until the present day. It’s still happening. If we actually require studies to confirm what is obvious, a “study of Holocaust survivors finds trauma passed on to children’s genes”. Centuries on, Canada lives in a calcified state of generational shock. It is only very recently that we’ve begun to scratch the surface of the centuries of disowned brutality that victim and perpetrator have experienced.
So, yes, anyone who worked at these institutions , or was related to those who worked there, or lived close by, or who lived in Canada, suffered to varying degrees. The closer the association, the more direct the suffering. For many northern communities, this suffering is still ongoing, as the Indigenous people undertake the grueling process to recover from hundreds of years of having a giant thumb grinding them into the ground.
The extent to which Canadians have been, and in many cases remain, unable to meaningfully acknowledge the crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Indigenous people is commensurate with the depth of trauma that is embedded in the fabric of Canadian society.
In light of the Truth and Reconciliation Report, what steps are being taken to right some of these wrongs? Again, Senator Beyak lets us know, though in keeping with our general cultural denial, we’ve managed to ignore yet another inconvenient truth that she has revealed.
PRACTICALLY NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE SINCE THE RELEASE OF THE TRR
At a recent meeting of the Senate’s Aboriginal Peoples Committee, of which Senator Beyak was a member, until she was removed last week, “She said the commission proposed few new solutions to address the poor socioeconomic conditions faced by many First Nations people today. ‘There are excellent calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Report, but, frankly, I did not see any new light shed on these issues.’”
Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister shortly before the Truth and Reconciliation Report was made public in late 2015. The TRR contained 94 calls-to-action. One year on, at the end of 2016, “The head of the Assembly of First Nations [Chief Perry Bellegarde] says he has seen zero movement on the government’s promise to implement 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, more than a year after the commission’s conclusion. Opposition critics, Romeo Saganash (Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik-Eeyou, Que.) for the NDP, and Cathy McLeod (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, B.C.) for the Conservative Party, also say there has been nothing but silence from the government benches about its commitment to the document.”
Partisan party politics being as pathetically tiresome as it is, the protestations by opposition critics, including from Romeo Saganash, ring hollow since no political party of any stripe, provincially or federally, has done much of note when it comes to doing right by the Indigenous people.
The reality is that, after hundreds of years of Canadian betrayal and abuse, the historic lesser-than status of the Indigenous people has become baked into a generational bureaucratic inertia.
I honestly don’t doubt that the Prime Minister, and others in government, is sincere and well-intentioned when it comes to the welfare of the Indigenous people. I take at face value his Indigenously-appropriated forehead-to-forehead greetings and his occasional moist eyes when attending Indigenous events. Sadly, while good intentions are great, Senator Beyak has pointed out the reality on the ground.
Case in point: Water. How is it that in 2017 upwards of 100 Indigenous communities have water advisories? ‘Water advisory’ is classic, euphemistic, bureaucratic double-speak for what in Toronto would be called a ‘water emergency’. When ‘water emergency’ is not taken seriously over a period of decades, it eventually transforms into ‘water advisory’, which gives the impression that it’s a temporary situation.
How is this possible in a country which ranks in the Top 5 in the world in access to fresh water? The answer is succinctly summed up by this Globe and Mail headline: “Why is Canada denying its indigenous peoples clean water?” It is not that clean water is not available, it is being withheld, as are compassion, respect and land that is theirs under treaties that have been reneged upon by all Canadian governments.
While there is no doubt that some Indigenous communities have contributed to this ongoing water fiasco, once you delve into the record, it’s clear that the lion’s share of responsibility lays at the feet of an unconscious RMP system that still views Indigenous people as third-class citizens. This perspective is self-perpetuating because so many Canadians, steeped as they are in the historic lesser-than narrative, look at Indigenous people and wonder why they can’t just get on with it; get over it.
Besides, how quickly and well do most of us deal with our own personal and generational traumas? How quickly should we expect hundreds of years of trauma to dissipate, and for the Indigenous people to start to thrive instead of just survive?
If we did a Vulcan mind-meld with literally any Indigenous person we would not only unequivocally feel the trauma of that generational abyss, we would likely crumble in the face of the horror of it all. At that point, we might begin to understand both why the Indigenous people cannot just move on, as well as the unbelievable strength and perseverance they have displayed in surviving the onslaught. From this perspective, it’s fair to say that less than two generations removed from the end of the residential school system, Indigenous people have been bent to max but have not broken. Meanwhile, though it is easy to focus on the plight of the Indigenous people, they are now on the move. Incredible strides are being made every day by Indigenous peoples through the country. Nevertheless, healing takes time, especially when you don’t have support.
It goes without saying that Indigenous/Government relations are outrageously complex. But, is that not also the case with the intersection of municipal, provincial and federal governments? Question: If there was suddenly a ‘water advisory’ in Toronto, how quickly would these three levels of government come together to fix the issue lickety-split? How much outrage would there be for delayed action, and how would a delay influence any upcoming elections? If only there were enough Indigenous people for their votes to matter in elections.
That is the difference. The Indigenous people are like the ‘low class’ people of Flint, Michigan, multiplied by a racist-million. The Canadian caste system is as follows: upper-class, middle-class, low-class, Indigenous-class – at the very bottom of the Canadian totem-pole of priorities. Hence, why even with the very public release of the TRR little or nothing has been done, even with an apparently keen Prime Minister at the helm.
‘A SILENT MAJORITY AGREE WITH ME’
Senator Beyak’s coup de gras came after she was removed from the Senate committee on Aboriginal Peoples, when she suggested that, “a silent majority of Canadians agree with what she said — that there were “good deeds” and other positive elements that emerged from the country’s residential school system”. Previously, on March 27th, Senator Beyak said that she had received hundreds of positive remarks. By this point, that must be well into the thousands.
‘A silent majority’? This lady is off her rocker, right? What she has said is absolutely unacceptable, right? Well, let’s put it this way: If the majority, silent or otherwise, really cared for the Indigenous people, would Canada still be doing so little? Ultimately, on the odd occasion that the majority make their wishes known, government is usually forced to act, so beholden it is to maintaining power. Government has not acted because the people are not remotely in the vicinity of wanting it.
While a majority may not exactly or consciously agree with Senator Beyak’s statement, if we take the blinders off we could conclude that the majority of Canadians (1) do not really support the Indigenous people (2) are such adherents of the RMP that they cannot adequately comprehend or feel the suffering that the Indigenous people have endured – to this day.
But, again, this unfeeling, ultra-patriarchal, neo-colonial approach is par for the course in all aspects of Canadian culture, including in the treatment of women, the poor and our traumatized soldiers. So, in a way, it’s not personal. It’s not on purpose. It’s simply systemic.
Our collectively compromised heart connection means that, on a profound level, we know not what we do. If we did, we would be mortified. The vast majority of us are well-intentioned. It’s just we have been on generational autopilot for 300 years. The reason for the inertia, with respect to allowing feelings back into the equation, is self-preservation for the perpetrator. The truth is too much to bear so the system vigorously resists change. Because change will mean having to go through a terrifying cleansing process. Ironically, guess which people have the traditions and methods that could help Canadians with that cleansing?
If we look from a different angle, Senator Beyak has provided a needed jolt to this RMP inertia; another opportunity to evolve our wonderful country to the next level. Let us not succumb to the easy vilification of Senator Beyak. That she has been removed from her position on the committee is an attempt to make the icky feelings go away. It’s a typical RMP band-aid solution to dealing with circumstances that don’t fit within neat and tidy boxes. Pretend it’s not there. Take a pill. Spray some Febreze. Moving right along. Nothing to see here.
Some may ask what the solution is to this generational impasse. What 10-point plan can we come up with to address the situation? Well, how many plans have there been over the decades? And what has changed? Very little. Shall we commission yet another study whose recommendations neither we nor our representatives will have the consciousness, will or courage to implement? Unfortunately, progress has not, and will likely not, come via left-brained institutional solutions. As we can plainly see from decades and centuries of poor results, RMP solutions are largely self-defensive obfuscations.
It may be time we stopped looking to our leaders to be progressive and to do right by the people. It hasn’t and will not happen. Why? Because they are more steeped in the Rational Man Project than the average person. They are too beholden to corporate power, too obsessed with gaining or maintaining power, too lost in the RMP maze. One cannot reach the upper echelons of government, business and the judiciary without sacrificing important parts of themselves; without embracing the very thinking that makes it so difficult to lead in a holistic manner. Institutional avoidance is predictable, understandable and stifling – in every area of our society.
So, pointing out the ills of our RMP system is one thing, but how do we move forward, for ourselves, our country, and this case, in a fashion that brings the Indigenous people into the fold as partners? This process is, first and foremost, personal.
THE WAY FORWARD
This from the conclusion of the aforementioned Brexit piece (which is underpinned by the very same RMP approach):
“Many of us will say we’re not addicted to the RMP way, as we fill our every waking hour with something: coffee, get the kids ready for school, work out, eat, work, surf the web, coffee, email, snack, Facebook, cigarette, coffee, eat, work, snack, pick up the kids from daycare, have a toke, make dinner, clean up, Facebook, bathe the kids, put them to sleep, collapse on the couch in front of the TV, have a drink, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TV, news, have a drink, late show, stay up way past when we should because we don’t want to go to bed. Oh, it’s morning again. Oh God. Whatever, gotta keep moving; to escape the pain. Weekend? What weekend? What rest? Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Are we not addicted? We frown upon those who shine a light on our collective malaise by abusing a specific addiction, especially one that has arbitrarily been deemed unacceptable, such as drugs. Apparently, these people don’t know how to colour inside the lines; and it’s awkward for the rest of us to have to witness that, especially as we are working double-time to escape the pain. The reality is that most of us find ourselves somewhere on the Addiction Continuum, our location correlating with our level of disconnect from our feelings and with the depth of our trauma.
As the untenable nature of the RMP approach comes into sharp relief, more of us are wondering if this state of affairs really is inevitable. More of us are starting to recognize that this mass confusion, mollified by our normalized addictions, is no longer sustainable. How much longer can we maintain this exhaustingly addictive façade?
We are approaching the nexus where universal and inconsolable stiff-upper-lipping-it meets a place we have not experienced before. We get snippets here and there of this mythical place, but we don’t know what it looks like. We think we need to know what it looks like before taking the plunge. But looking, and the left-brain evaluation that accompanies it, is not remotely as effective as feeling it.
Here’s the mission should we choose to accept it:
(1) Forgive ourselves;
(2) Forgive our parents;
(3) Forgive our ancestors;
(4) Regenerate the pathways back to the right-brain; back to our hearts; back to our long-lost feelings.
(5) Make amends where possible
But before that can occur there is one critical component of courting a viable and juicy dance with compassion and non-judgment, without which little changes: space. We have so little space in our over-scheduled and addicted lives to invite in something new. How can anything change while we suckle at the teat of our permanent hyper-adrenalized state? There is a violence to this routine of addiction. When we engage with our protective walls from this place we are met with a corresponding resistance; a painful rebuff that serves to confirm for us the improbability of safely reconnecting with that far-off place. We are owned by the things we resist most. As with our relationship to the trauma inflicted on the Indigenous people, the greater the resistance to anything, the more in common we have with its energetic signature; not with the exact characteristic but with the feeling underlying it.
Courage is required to create the space needed to reconnect with our hearts – and compassion for what will arise from this place. Crucially, as Dr. Gabor Mate, says, “Real compassion doesn’t have to do with helping somebody feel good. It has to do with guiding them to the truth because it’s the truth that will liberate them.” A friend of mine took a course with Dr. Mate last year and she asked him about “joy” – because when you look at him over the course of many videos he doesn’t seem to exhibit much joy and lightness. He responded in a way which is entirely congruent with what he is sharing with the world. Uncovering joy and happiness is a process. Many of us don’t even know what joy really feels like. We are attempting to manufacture it from out of thin air. We haven’t known how to be joyful. So, extracting it is not easy. But the more of it we extract, the easier it becomes.
The introduction of this space, and the accompanying gentle pace, into our lives is a path through which we can gain access to the heart side. Of course, this cannot happen without making some changes.
Despite the sway of infinite growth, we can take a step back: maybe downsize our home; change our job; simplify our lives; reduce our addictive consumption; limit our exposure to unhealthy relationships. No doubt, this is hard to do when confronted by our peer group and family when they are still operating at warp speed. Hence, courage, to slow down, in order to feel; to be able to deal with the fear that comes with change. When the fear comes, as it always does, we acknowledge it and feel how it is affecting us and then reach for the better-feeling thought.
The endgame is to feel. Feel the bad stuff and release it. Feel the good stuff and invite it to stick around. Sustained clarity comes from maintaining and nourishing these newly forged channels to our feelings; knowing all the while that this is a life-long process that will sometimes feel like one step forward and two steps back or two steps forward and one step back. At all times, we are encouraged to be as compassionate with ourselves as possible; to cut ourselves continual slack because we are doing the most demanding and honourable work there is.
An antidote to the confusion that is so prevalent in humanity is the process of gaining access to our feelings. It is only from the increasingly balanced place where right-brain feeling has been re-integrated that we can recognize the patterns, destructive and otherwise, that are governing our lives. Moreover, this personal journey becomes a conduit to decoding larger scale unconscious patterns that dictate our familial, national and global behaviour (eg) the Indigenous people.
Questions we didn’t even know we had, or have been avoiding because they are so vexing, can suddenly be asked and explored. Why did I marry my wife? Why am I an alcoholic just like my father? Why is my brother in a terrible relationship with his partner… again? Why am I sick… again? Why am I going through the motions with my job… again? Why is my relationship with my mother so problematic? Why am I perpetually unsatisfied and unhappy? What is up with the world?
Over a period of months and years of accessing our long-dormant feelings the dots begin to be connected as we experience revelatory moments of really understanding the programming behind the scenes. But what’s really fascinating and exciting is that the more insight we gain into our personal patterning, the more we see the generational patterning at work within our own families and our world. Trauma is trauma and betrayal is betrayal, regardless of class, race or religion. With this felt understanding, the artificial walls that separate us begin to fall away. We see ourselves. We see each other.
We can stop running. We can rest. We can feel the exhilarating liberation of letting things go. Letting go of the illusion that we are defined and judged by our trauma, most of which doesn’t belong to us anyway. We can feel the power of peace and gentleness. We can feel that it’s going to be okay. “
The more Canadians engage with this kind of personal healing, the greater the available empathy for the suffering of others, including the Indigenous people. Real change takes time, courage and effort. The deeper we go, the more we’ll recognize that Senator Beyak, the Indigenous people, you and me… we all have far more in common than we have differences. We’re all in this together, so let’s consider putting down the Febreze 🙂
A week after this post I wrote a follow-up piece in response to a gentleman on Facebook: Senator Lynn Beyak: Epilogue
The Ghomeshi Case, and the treatment of women in Canadian culture and the judicial system, is underpinned by the very same RMP forces. You can read that article here.
American culture and politics is also underpinned by the same RMP forces, the extremity of which we are now witnessing with The Trump Presidency. You can read that article here.
The aforementioned and quoted piece is entitled, Brexit: An Invitation to Dig Deeper – Reflections on the Patterned Role of Betrayal, Trauma and Boarding School on British Politics and Culture. Great Britain being mother and father to Canada, America and Australia, the very same foundational forces are at work in these countries, as illustrated in the above Ghomeshi & Trump articles. The Brexit piece started as an article but turned into e-book. However, you can read the entire work for free at boardingschooltrauma.info