This week in my community a public press release revealed the grand jury investigation surrounding the sexual abuse of children by many clergy in the Altoona Catholic Diocese. Not only were the many acts of abuse revealed but the decades long cover up by Bishops continued to leave children vulnerable and those already victimized further disempowered and traumatized. To top it off, the statute of limitations for these crimes has passed so the Bishop that is alive cannot be charged with these offenses.
There is within the local community toxic interactions with people who are self proclaimed leaders wanting change and it is “vigilante Old West my way or the highway, you are with us or you are against us” and no one seems to care about the common good. Only their own agendas.
We have on the national stage a debacle so insidious and ridiculous that rudeness is celebrated here in the race for the highest political office of our Nation. Here the loudest voice reigns. The one that can target the most marginalized groups and with cheers and fanfare push to legally marginalize Gays, Muslims, Mexicans, anyone who wants to come to America that has brown skin.
Power. Pure and simple. Worldly power. Controlling power. Power over. Power that says Me. Power that exists in scarcity mode. Power that envies. Power that resents. Power that craves. Power that fears. Power that actually stems from a feeling of powerlessness.
For my and many other hurting, broken, thankfully malleable hearts, there is another kind of power. A connecting power. A power that deeply listens. A power that recognizes we are all part of a whole and that I don’t have the whole answer and you don’t either but with all of us we can move forward ALWAYS IN INQUIRY,
This is connected power rooted deeply in Judaeo-Christian Ethics, the foundations of a democratic society and for me personally also grounded and rooted in the ethics of yoga and Eco -Spirituality.
I hurt but I refuse to hate. I cry but I will not be broken.
I grieve and mourn, acknowledging the pain and suffering of the victims and my own but I will rise.
I will remain committed as a survivor myself to my on own going healing and to be creating spaces of healing for others, with others in community.
I will not scream in someone’s face but I will not be silent.
I will do whatever it takes with what resources I have and combine them with others who share a vision of an empowered community, an empowered nation to build a strong, connected social fabric.
In my corner of the world, I am so blessed by the presence of the Commission On Hope, the Community Connections Team, our tireless District Attorney and her amazing staff and all those who love to rabble rouse for justice in positive, affirming community building actions.
The Rhythm Renewal Family is a balm and recharges my batteries every year. These folks joyfully support all manners of expressing love through music, dance, writing, drawing, deep inner work, personal and collective growth, snacking and sweaty hugs!
Across the country and beyond, I am blessed to know and be supported and lend support to the Yoga Service and Off the Mat communities, these beautiful people showing up in hard, hard places and shining their light as well as doing their own work.
Why I refuse to hate is also because of all of you. Namaste.