Acceptance, Faith, J Catherine ghoneim Whitney, Musings, Self-Love, Trauma

You Do Not Have to Stand for the Pledge

High profile people(athletes) taking a knee with hand over heart for the pledge and speaking truth to bullshit in peace and with love is breathtaking courage and faith.  The message of “I love my country and all of its people.  I believe in equality for all and that means taking a stand(knee) for those without a voice.”  That is the wholesome badassery that I live and strive for.  Of course this is uncomfortable for those who insist that loyalty is politically correct and willing to pretend everything is ok or ignore and remain silent to the fact that everything is not ok.  This is neither loyalty nor patriotism.  That is systemic fear and shame cloaked in righteousness.

In recovery, I am learning how to live responsibly, to stand up for myself and others with civility and without standing against others.  I am finding a voice to express my truth without screaming, (too much)profanity, or diminishing those with whom I disagree, no matter how offensive I find their behaviors.  I no longer have to resort to the legacy of those old ways.  Nor do I have to remain silent or enter into active denial about  behavior which is dehumanizing, belittling, shaming.  My recovery teaches me to change the things I can– and to accept and share about the process, including acceptance(meaning do not fight against or with) for the things I can neither change nor accept.  With program principles, everybody’s voice is invited, needed.  Nobody’s voice is more or less valued.  We enter from a position of “We will work on this until…We will keep having hard conversations, and listening to understand and seeking transformation if not resolution.”  The zero-sum game, my way or the highway, “You are with me or against me”–To that I consistently respond with “When you are ready to have a longer conversation, I am here, and willing.”  The dynamic in which the oppressor throws down the gauntlet  is intended to squelch dissent, open discussion, and problem solving through considering opposing views.

In that arrangement, even the truth does not matter.  The focus is on what one person thinks, claims, demands, not the facts or even a shared value.  Brené Brown discusses the use of FALSE DICHOTOMY for those seeking power and rightness:  Either you do and think this or you are _____________________.  This is meant to be intimidating, to even those who are not being targeted by playing on the fear of banishment, disconnection, and belonging and possibly becoming a target for the shaming and belittling.

Take a knee.  Take a stand.  But just remember, what you settle for is what you end up with.  So many Sunday church goers and pledge standers whose value for appearance is greater than their respect for character.   Political Correctness does not equal moral goodness.  My sister has been dishonest and dishonorable in her dealings with me since I was quite small. I honestly believe that she feels her greatest achievements are NOT BEING ME or like me and marrying UP.  I think she has become confused into thinking that by marrying a wholesome and upright man, a judge, that she is vested by proxy.  It does not work that way.

She wears all white, stands for the pledge and throws a nice dinner.  Those things are true.  What she has done to divide our family is also true.  I will not stand for that.  I cannot change that but I can share and heal through it and use it all as a cautionary tale for my sons.  I share the sentiments of WBA Viola Davis:   “I will not put what you say about me– on my load.”  I also will not pretend you did not say it.   “I will not be a mystery to my children.  They will know me.”  What you do to me and to them is a part of my story, mine to tell.  If you want a different ending, I am here to co-create WITH you.  Always.

I feel strongly about the facts of what has been expressed in no uncertain terms spoken and written(otherwise easily denied), and continues to happen at the expense of my boys.  And yet, I would listen to understand and find that third way.  The old me would just say Fuck you.  You are a bully.  Your white 365 apparel is as awkward as your interest in my ex.  My children do not like you and had to be forced to write the greetings and salutations of Dear and Love on recent thank you notes to you instead of the TO and From which they originally wrote.  They do not find this arrangement to be dear or loving.  Check yourself.

But I am in recovery now, so I will not say those things because they are shallow, petty, and reactive.  I am striving toward wholesome badassery. a work in progress.  I am not unaware of how the last paragraph may be lacking in wholesomeness.  I own my anger and my healing.  Healing is messy!

 

Much Love,
Magda Gee

For shorter, more frequent and fun posts, connect with me on Instagram by clicking the pic- Wholesomebadass. https://www.instagram.com/wholesomebadass/

Author: Magda Gee

I am in a program of recovery for those whose lives have been affected by someone else's drinking, drug use, mental illness. I am new to the experiences of faith and hope and courage, qualities absent for me in proximity to my family. No Contact has been the way to keep safe from diminishing words and actions directed at me. I think I have listened for the last time to how I deserve mistreatment. By holding out for something more wholesome and loving, I have been both banished and demanded to return. I prefer serenity to proximity. I will continue with my program and faith in the best possible outcome, so long as I do my part-- to stalk GOD as if my life depends on it.

4 Comments on “You Do Not Have to Stand for the Pledge

  1. True, they don’t Have to stand, even though in the case of NFL they are obligated to do so according to the same policy manual that prevents other forms of self expression, fines them for not adhering to dress codes or conduct codes. Fact is they have purposely picked an offensive manor to demonstrate as a means to get attention. That doesn’t mean there can’t be consequences. The supposed purpose of equality and unity in my opinion doesn’t match the demonstration. Our Flag and Anthem are symbols of Unity and they are using them as a means of Division, spitting on what the Flag represents. The athletes saying they love America and respect our flag while showing contempt for that same flag are two faced hypocrites. Their words don’t match their actions, and actions have consequences.

    1. oooh, I love differing views. They are not sitting or turning their backs. Hand on heart, down on one knee is as wholesome a demonstration as I have yet seen. People burn the flag and riot and vandalize. Here, a public figure says, I love my country and everyone in it. This is peaceful freedom of expression. If you read about the statements of the men who have done this, you may be willing to see things differently. I think peaceful demonstrations are beautiful. People wanting and expressing love and resources for all are gorgeous humans. Our president is angered by the stand against his decision to exclude and diminish. I love you for sharing your truth, thou I respectfully disagree and am raising children who will honor love and social justice more than protocol or posture. Love warriors are my people and I feel an immense source of hope.

      xo
      Magda Gee

  2. Yay, you! I can identify with this entry in your “log” more than any other, it seems to me. That’s because, in addition to expressing so much of my heart-held belief, it sorts right through some of the agonizing problems I’m wrestling with in my family right now. They turned from fairly OK, even charming loves, to MONSTERS. I have the one good brother and 2 out of 3 grandchildren who are probably on their way to becoming better all the time.
    You are able to say what you mean and mean what you say. I don’t know whether I can do that, and surely I cannot do it without saying it mean.
    I am getting closer and closer to telling my daughter I want her out of my house. She claims to love me SOOOO MUUCCHHHH, yet she whines, she puts me down for everything from having an Apple computer to having a house with too big a yard.
    For this last, I’ve had to pay and pay, and I do mean $$$. Her new riding mower (according to her, I should have had one long before she moved here) is just an example, and she insists that I did NOT buy it under pressure from her — she merely had to have one because her legs hurt when she used the walk-behind, self-propelled one.
    Her legs hurt because she believes that exercise wears her out much worse than it does anybody else.

    Oh, I could go on and on. I am not writing against personal moral turpitude (Love that word), so you have the high ground on me, but maybe it’s still OK to just bitch. Maybe it’s like not standing for the Pledge. Did you learn that you would go to jail if you failed to stand when you were in school? I got that impression.

    Well, there she came and tried to get things back on a slight uphill grade, but believe me, it does less than what’s needed.

    Love and aces, Dear Girl,
    JJ

    1. I think standing in peace for what we believe in, taking a stand or a knee that says there is a bigger conversation in need of having is so badass. It takes courage and will be criticized by those who do not agree. So fucken be it, let them criticize courage, how does that serve the issue? Whether it is the lawnmower or healthcare or labor law. Showing up in a way that says there is a third way, let us find it or continue to tear me down and I will continue to do this and we will remain separate and between us nothing will change…but we can contribute to great change by objecting peacefully with a willingness to share openly and listen with the intent to do more than rebuttal.

      I adore you.

      You are kind and loving. Bitching is real and necessary and just plain human. And at some point, for those if us intent intent on spiritual striving, in time, may lead to a wholesome and transformative discussion. Being the critic and shaming people, does nothing good. So bitch away until you are ready and then it will be time to see what the next right thing is to do.

      xo,
      Magda Gee

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