On being compromised 

I’ve been obsessing lately about making a false move. I want to bridge all of my worlds and embrace being all that I am but I’m scared of the potential consequences of exposure, especially of getting to a place where someone who would want to know could find my location. Last night I couldn’t sleep, asking over and over again, why am I so terrified of this? Then it hit me. It’s because part of me thinks that if something bad would happen to me, it would be my fault. It would make it my fault because I choose to do what I do and because I didn’t protect myself well enough. Omg. This is a huge aha moment for me. Because really, if someone ever decided to harm me, why would it my fault and not theirs? If someone chooses to harm me, it’s them that is the problem, not me. This might seem so dumbly obvious but I’m serious, somewhere in my mind, I’m really not clear about this. And it’s really pissing me off to realize that.

I mean sure, risk management is a part of life. You take your car on the road, you’d better have insurance, a license, know how to drive, and expect that others may not be thinking along as well as you are. But still, you take your fucking car on the fucking road, you don’t leave it in the fucking garage (ok so I’m a little riled up about this, but I feel pretty entitled to). Ships are safest in the harbor, but that is not what they are built for. So, if I acknowledge that I’m not doing certain things, not fully going for my shots, because I’m afraid it could mean being harmed in a way that would be my fault, well then that’s not risk management, that’s being fucking COMPROMISED.

I actually recognize this, this is victim mentality. The assumption that any harm done to you would result from something you did. This gets perpetrated all the time, in the media, in how we frame the conversation around violence, especially sexual violence. We end up looking to the victim, asking how their behavior attracted or enabled what was done to them. This is how victims so often end up re victimized. This kind of thinking is the default reaction of victims themselves, who of course are the product of their culture.

This is how behavior gets policed, choices get curtailed, freedom gets tarnished in ways we are not even aware of. I’m not really free to engage in what I want to do if I’m constantly afraid my actions could open me up to any sort of assault which would be blamed back on me. Seriously, this has so many consequences. One of the biggest being that I can’t really allow myself to be vulnerable, even though my vulnerability, my softness, my openness are the very sources of my creativity, my power, my agency. Without them, I am a dimmed version of myself.

This is so important because I have all sorts of hopes and dreams for my project (and myself) but I’ve been standing still, petrified of getting into more trouble than I can handle. It also explains why I’ve been spending so much time justifying myself, as an insurance policy. But at some point, you have to stand for something, you have to walk your talk and grow past the conditioning that keeps everything the same. Let me rephrase that. At some point, I have to walk my talk, I have to stand for what I believe in. Awareness is always the first step but the follow up question is, what are you going to do about it?

I want to point out that one of the reasons I had this awakening is because of Natalie Portman’s speech from this year’s Women’s March. Portman spoke extremely powerfully about how her own choices were affected by the world’s reaction to her sexuality. (I highly recommend listening to her if you haven’t already, I relate so much to her story and her conclusion about the need for a revolution of desire gave me goosebumps.) We will never know what kind of Natalie Portman could have been had she grown up in a different, safer world. The same can be said about me. The same can be said about everyone. Those are losses we have to grieve. But past the grief, past the awareness that we are not as free as we think we are, we have an opportunity to create something new and better. I don’t know much about the future but I do know I want to be a part of that.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “On being compromised 

  1. I doubt very much that trouble will find you.
    There is an area of being where the human ego manifests which can be perceived objectively through disciplined meditation or, more painfully, encountered through misadventure, catharsis or trauma. It is a reservoir of fear – the adrenalin of evolution – and in its purest form this dark energy is free floating, unattached to meaning or circumstances.
    However it erupts in the human psyche as trepidation, anxiety, dread and terror especially when the ego is in danger of being unmasked. Whenever a person’s true consciousness and nature begins to unfold, the ego reactively employs this shadow power to preserve and establish its existence. It is not unusual at the dawning of a deeper awareness for apprehension and even paranoia to infect projections of the future; for dread and shame to glaze memories of the past.
    A sense of menace, of some ominous event in the near future, haunts the imagination. To copper-fasten this effect, the ego decides “something bad will happen to me, and it will be my fault”. A toxic caution learned in childhood, usually from a controlling parent, which in later life poisons the horizon of possibilities and makes it increasingly difficult to live in the present.
    Of course the opposite to fear is love, and because you are so actively (and courageously) seeking the compassion that is at the heart of your higher Self, that love will inevitably protect you.
    And still there is an irony, beautiful Rain: you are already free – but you haven’t yet grasped your freedom.

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    1. This is extremely interestingly, I am aware of what you’re describing and yet I hadn’t made the connection with this particular issue… Sadly violence is a real reality and it does show up in too many places, but I also see what you are pointing to here, that maybe this current increase of fear is due to how much more deeply I want to commit to “unfolding my true consciousness and nature”… And if love is the opposite of fear, then it’s what I shall use to find my way there. Nothing is more important to me than love. As for grasping my freedom, my initial reading of that is to reach for, like take hold with my hands. But then I think about it and I see that grasp also means comprehend, perceive… Maybe I just don’t understand yet how truly free I am.

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  2. I can understand why you feel this way. This world of ours has gotten meaner and arguably more dangerous. I swear one of my worst nightmares is being the victim of some viral video, an unwitting subject of something that becomes unavoidable. It is very frightening how this world has shrunk because of technology and how quickly things spread. I can understand the physical fear- “I’m Rain Robert from_______ and this is what I do. From a personal safety standpoint it probably would not be advisable. But then again, there could be an element of-well you know where I am…but not where I am. I live in Queens. I live in Astoria Queens….that narrows it down, but my neighborhood is vast and where I go (or don’t go) in the neighborhood would take an awful lot of figuring out!

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    1. Yeah, it’s a funny world… Figuring out how to live in is definitely an interesting game! I think I just have to keep playing and see where it takes me. I have no desire to be reckless but I also need to feel like I’ve got room to grow. At the end of the day that’s what’s important, growing! Strong roots keeping you grounded and long branches reaching for the sun…

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  3. Reckless and a fuck it attitude might feel invigorating but it seldom lasts past the initial buzz. And then it might become something you really regret. Which I don’t want you to experience because I love what you do. As usual you have the right approach. I like that last line. 😄

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      1. As you may have surmised from my photography, trees and water are pivotal to me. Its not a spiritual connection per se. Just what I need to connect to. Said it before-I love our conversations 😊

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  4. If there is one place not safe to a ship, it is in a harbour. It is safe anywhere it is most unlikely to hit anything, out in the open. It is the same with you. You are safest out in the open, where you can move and outrun whatever attack.
    But of course you must be realistic about danger. And out in the open there are no ears, you have to care for yourself. What are the real threads? It is most likely unintended violence, like implied love gone wrong. Best stay away from the harbour unless it is secure.

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    1. This is beautiful, thank you. I know I belong out in the open. I wither away when I am securely tied down. I guess I have to trust that I have learned enough to care for myself no matter happens out there…

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