The sun is filled with ice and gives no warmth at all
The sky was never blue
The stars are raindrops searching for a place to fall
And I never cared for you
These lyrics of Willie Nelson’s get stuck in my head today. For a while, I’m in the auto-pilot windmills of my mind, thinking about a man who used to be in my life. He would demoralize my emotional ways, make me feel guilty for having them at all, which ultimately made me feel small and not at all like a powerful woman who uses her emotions for action. To him, emotions were not intellectual enough because they weren’t cerebral. Hence, emotions were inferior to thoughts of the mind. To him, they got in the way.
Women are often accused of such insults. I even hear pundits and guests telling journalists on NPR that they can’t think emotionally on certain subject matters (like politics), as in, that sort of reaction is not allowed. We shouldn’t make room for our emotions to help us think and act. They get in the way of the work day, of progress.
To that I say: “What on Earth are you talking about? Yes, I have feelings. And Yes, I respond to them. Why wouldn’t I?”
I do know why some people don’t. It might make make them feel morally conscious. I think that’s exactly why the United States is in the financial quagmire that its in. Not a single person on the Wall Street stock exchange or in the Senate or in the White House was thinking with his gut. And I am not being politically incorrect with my pronoun here.
What the world needs now are more women in power. Not just women who put on the man suit and do their political speak and cozy up to the corporate giants. Hillary Clinton is playing that game right now because she wants to be Secretary of State - its rather indicative of the current Administration and Senate.
But just think: What if there were women in power who actually acted on behalf of the other women in the world!
What I’m talking about are leaders who advocate for childcare options in the workplace, because they need them too. Women who advocate for maternity leave because they need it too. Women who respond emotionally to situations and speak up. Women leaders who dress like women and don’t get sunk into the sea of suits and ties, making them to feel small in their shoes and like they have to feel and act like men do. I mean - and this is key - women at the bargaining table who speak up for the other women who can’t be there (because they’re out working to put food on the table or at home nurturing their families). Overtime.
I mean to call upon some of the women I admire out there: Winona LaDuke and Louise Erdrich, Oprah Whinfrey, Nina Simone and Mother Jones. Sharon Olds and Erica Jong. The Suffragettes and the Rosie the Riveters (my grandmother Monica and great-aunt Dorothy included in this bunch). Harriet Tubman. Maya Angelou. Susan B. Anthony. These women speak and spoke up for women and minorities everywhere and of all times.
I would agree with those who say women tend to be more emotional than men. But so what? Isn’t that one of the things that sets us apart from one another and make us distinctly human? It takes a balance of all people in this world to make it a healthy happy place, and right now our world is out of balance and in many ways not so happy.
We live at a turning point of human history, whether we all know it or not. Everything is changing faster than we can get used to it, which is cause for much strain. If we all turned on our emotions more, I think there would be more outrage in the world about misuse of Earth’s resources, exploitation of workers and the mistreatment we do to one another.
Outrage doesn’t directly translate to anger. (Anger happens with ineffective and/or unwillingness to communicate.) Outrage is defined as an act that violates accepted standards of behavior. People protesting peacefully can be an act of outrage, as can be putting your money and your vote where your mouth is.
When a truth is being misconstrued, our emotions can help us take note of that. Using our emotions can help us get to truth. So when we see and read of things that just don’t sit right with us, that’s that’s our emotions telling us to get involved in what’s happening around us.
* * * * *
I feel Spring in the air today as I walk around the north side of Lake Union. As I move up hill, the wind lifts my heart to speak for what I believe is good that dwells there - that dwells in all of us.
I think of one of my favorite poems, The Waking, by Theodore Roethke.
“We think by feeling…” Those words have gotten me out of many uncertain times and encouraged me to use my gut, my instincts, my intuition.
“What is there to know?” This doesn’t mean to act blindly. Its a humbling reminder that we just don’t know anything for certain. There are so many people in power right now, either in big business or government (or rallying to get in power) who are so emphatic about their truth being THEE truth. There are other people who are fundamental zealots, who dominate those around them with rules, and get them to feel small, thereby snuffing out that other person’s inner emotional voice.
The only truth is that none of us know the truth for any other than our own self.
What there is to know is to listen from within. Listen to your intuition. It is your voice. It is the little angel (and little devil too!) balanced on your shoulder. That’s your intuition knocking at your heart’ s door wanting to come in for a cup of tea. Answer it. Let it. Listen. That voice is you. Don’t let anyone else club it into submission. If you want, call it God.
Either way, I plan on listening to my intuitive voice and emotions extra closely this Spring. Like a flock of robins, first there will be one, then a whole choir. When we all sing with our truest of voices, then the world can rise up and sing a masterpiece.
To quote a man beloved by the world, “Some say I’m a dreamer. Well, I’m not the only one.”