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Who is right?

One of the traits of patriarchy and colonial mindset is the need to being right. Always finding a way to defend ourselves and proving others wrongs. On the spiritual path, it shows up as avoidance of trauma and shadow, and the resistance to deep inner work by deflecting the problems on "others".

As I witness (as you probably do too) so much division in our world from political ideas, social & economical visions, to covid /vaccine / quarantine, and other subjects of apparent discord, it is evident that the need to be right seems more powerful than the desire to stay connected with each other. And yet that is this deeper desire that drives our sense of belonging, safety, and true individual & collective healing.

Sometimes the need to be right can be a mask for insecurity. We are worried about how others will perceive us if we show our not-knowing. Yet it prevents inner transformation.

The patriarchal and colonial model punishes those who are not right and often victims turn to perpetrators with endless arguments on "who is right". This has infiltrated deep even into the spiritual community that has ideas of right & wrong who not only prevents self-healing but also creates a massive divide within that community and with the "outside" of it.

The spiritual path tells us that no one really is. The middle way. The red road.

It also shows up often as intellectual elitism as a way to demonstrate superiority and is a way to create a "power over" other. Often leading to gossips (fake intimacy) and creating "clans against" to increase power over an individual, a group, or a system. Once again preventing self and deep inner inquiry.

From a mental health perspective issues like anxiety disorder makes people feel the need to always be right as a way to keep things in their mind and life plain and predictable. Significant disruption and unexpected surprises can be upsetting and trigger mental unwellness. It may feel better for their own peace of mind and happiness for that person to just stick to their opinion of what they think is right instead of trying to understand another perspective.

The problem is that it doesn’t lead to peace of mind and happiness. It’s a small bandage over a serious wound that needs closer attention.

Also, in a world that can feel or be very unsafe for many, indeed the nervous system and bodies are in a constant state of alert and dysregulation, looking for danger and safety. Anything that does not fit my narrative or my way of seeing the world can be perceived as a threat (as it often is for bodies of color, minorities, BIPOC, Native people, women, etc). If a different opinion cannot be heard, received, and held in a safe container (family, community, country, etc) then indeed I will shut down and prepare myself for punishment. Because we lost that capacity to create safety for everyone and belonging with each other, the "middle way" seems often impossible to reach.

In the Andean cosmovision medicine wheel, we learn that all is a reflection.

That what triggers me is something that wants to heal in me and provide wisdom to me. So we take any situation of disagreement as a blessing and return to the gratitude prayer, the first prayer, in an inward look to thank the teacher that showed up.

The medicine wheel also reminds us that there is no other and that my life is not about me but about the "others". It is a very difficult teaching to understand that my teacher said it usually takes around 40 to 50 years to embody. Because It is not a place of intellectual understanding as the mind and ego are in the way of it, my heart needs to soften enough to embrace those statements that can feel quite opposite to the mind that is always creating separation. Always protecting and defending.

The more I deepen embodied spiritual practices the more I will also realize that I do not know anything. That this idea of "knowledge" is a self-perpetuating myth, a construct, and dis-ease of the western culture that has the constant need to "know" and "explain" while a lot of the answers lie in & with the Creator, the Great mystery. It also has the constant need to "save" and "fix" often stealing each other from accessing deeper inner wisdom.

No wonder why our systems ridicule dreamwork, spiritual insight, unseen guides, rituals of transformation, and many native cultures who use all this as a foundation of a good & healthy life, a way to be and stay in relation with something way greater than the self, a way to stay in relation with each other, the mycelium of the collective wisdom.

So dismantling the systems of oppression, patriarchy, and colonialism is also to see how we become judges and perpetrators in the way our mind works by trying to control power dynamics. It is remembering that the softening of the heart is more powerful and needed than the hardening of it. It is also due to the fact that our model of "authority" is often based on oppression and not wisdom. So we push back hard on that authority because it has not proven its wisdom, earn respect, and acknowledge it is in the service of all. If that is the only example of authority we grew up with, anything that looks like it will trigger projections and transference.

In returning to our Heart, in softening it, we make the conscious agreement that I would rather stay connected to you than creating another split and wall. It is being able to step in instead of out. Acknowledging our own self-power & wisdom to return to safety and coming back into discussion and connection.

We see those models and systems of separation constantly at play in our economical, social and political culture. We have an individual role to play in dismantling them by starting with ourselves, within ourselves.

Often that vocal outer critic is the sign of a strong inner critic due to inner child wounding and lack of safety. So it is important to do that healing with gentleness, care, self-love, and immense compassion to not create more separation of our abandoned wounded parts. It is important to learn tools of self-regulation, and ways to dismantle our old narratives. To have rituals of connection and to often use vulnerability as a way to soften and being seen.

It is also one of the most rewarding works on the spiritual path that can be supported by shamanic journeying, soul retrieval, plant diet, ceremonies, sacred rituals, and community engagement through service and authentic gifting. Leaving the strong "me" for a moment to empower the more powerful "we".

The peace we find in staying connected with our hearts to each other is much more healing than the armor of being right.

May we lead from that place and learn how to return to it when we lost our ways in the shadows of the broken system.


Angell Deer

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