Your Voice Matters (and Coming into Contact with Reality)

A lot of people are saying, “It’s not that bad,” “Let’s wait and see.” Some men I know are telling me “everything is going to be OK.” I personally don’t want to be told that everything is going to be OK right now. This is the power of denial. When someone shows you who he is, believe him. If someone mocks a person with disabilities, believe that person is cruel. If that person lies and say they never mocked the person with disabilities, we are dealing with a pathological liar.

I think I have a high capacity to look at the terrible shit that is happening in our country now because of the commitment I made to healing my own shit about four years ago, and this is what I am writing about in my current book project and what I help some coaching clients with. Healing from sexual abuse or assault. Sometimes people didn’t come to me with that but it comes up as we talk about other parts of life.

As I am reviewing a draft for a class where I need to submit 125 passages and an outline, I see a lot of the passages I wrote about my own life apply to this political situation too, the desire to throw your whole life up in the air in a radical way because everything feels so shitty (what some Trump voters wanted to do, voting for Trump for them was like throwing a grenade, and I did that in my own personal way years ago), the natural human tendency toward denial to stay comfortable (what many liberals such as Jon Stewart have been doing by saying, It’s not so bad, and what I did for decades), the need to look the truth in the face to make change and heal (that’s our only way forward, being real about what is going on).

I am writing about a churn in my life, and I think we are going through a churn in our country.

Here’s one passage that makes me feel this.

“I was in denial for a long time. It was too painful to look at the past. So I just kept moving, making lists, making plans, next date, next man. Until someday the fun catches up with me and I realize I never actually got to connect with anyone because I realize that I never unraveled whatever painful things that were holding me back. If we never look at the truth, we will repeat the same patterns. I would never suggest that everyone should move to another continent, but I would suggest that everyone take the courage to look at whatever they have been avoiding looking at. The thing you have been avoiding does seem to hold the key to freedom. What I would say much later is that the churn is for people who need a radical change in life, and the churn is what will bring their subterranean problems to the surface. There were things in me that were so deeply embedded that the problems were not obvious, what was causing me to be so unhappy, to believe I was unlovable, and to get lost in a job that I didn’t want, and it was through submitting to the wild ride of the churn that I could even discover what was actually even going on in my life. In essence, a churn is not to solve all your problems but to even know what your problems are. This is a big step. In order to heal you need to look at the thing you have most been avoiding looking at. In that thing you avoid the most, that’s where you find the path forward.”

Many will deny reality.  In personal growth work and politics I believe that the path forward is always about coming into contact with reality, painful as it may be. Denial is very seductive but we cannot afford denial. And there’s a lot of fertility in shit. We need shit to fertilize our gardens.
Believe in yourself, believe in your voice. Quirkyalone is permission to take up space in the world whether you are single, coupled, gay, straight, bi, trans, disabled, any race, any religion. You as an individual have a dignity that is sacred. The worst instincts of people are being unleashed and magnified by a pseudo-leader who has legitimized cruelty and hate. But your dignity exists and it cannot be taken away.
This vision of the world being advanced by Trump would take us back 50 years before the civil rights and women’s movement. Quirkyalone emerged in a historical context where women have economic freedom. Where we learned we could choose relationships out of desire and not because of our need to be in them for economic survival. The world that Trump is advocating and his supporters long for is a patriarchal world where the white man is at the head of the table, and he saves us (and jobs) with his so-called strength. It doesn’t matter what his policies are or that they change constantly because his supporters trust him as the white male savior. We have come too far over the last 50 years to give up our dignity and go silent.
Your voice matters. It matters now more than ever. Every individual voice adds up to a vaster chorus of people calling for kindness and sanity.

With love,

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Sasha Cagen is the author of Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics and To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us. She coaches women on sex, dating/relationships and career via Skype from Buenos Aires where she also leads transformative tango vacations to help her clients reconnect to their confidence, sensuality and lust for life through tango.

Posted in Personal Growth, Quirkyalone
6 comments on “Your Voice Matters (and Coming into Contact with Reality)
  1. Rhesa Menkens says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this article Sasha. I’m in Australia and I’m thinking of you all over there very much. Yesterday in Melbourne there was a heated anti- Trump protest and there were many young men fighting against the Trump supporters. I know violence is not the answer and yet this show of support gave me great hope. We do have to stand up and fight I believe. Thanks again and peace to you

    • Sasha Cagen says:

      Peace to you too Rhesa! Thanks for sharing this, it is a global event and it’s good to hear the voices and hope from your side of the globe too.

  2. Jahnava Devi says:

    I really was touched with your post Sasha.
    I don’t wanna talk about political aspects, but about me…just bc I ‘ve been doing a big effort to heal myself…there’s a lot of pain inside, shame, I feel like I lost…like you mentioned, I’ve been avoiding what is holding me back…bc everyone says: “you need to move on, have different friends, activities”…blah, blah, blah…my husband left me, right in the moment I needed him the most…I came back to my country with nothing…I left my job, my family, my place…to “have a new life with him”, all these shit for what??? I can’t even talked about this with my family, with friends…cause I feel embarrassed, lost, defeated…and I’m conscious that this is overwhelming my existence…
    I need to heal myself…I really want to overcome this…
    Thanks for giving me the space to comment and get rid of this burden!!
    The best for you Sasha…Always!

    • Sasha Cagen says:

      You are most welcome Jahnavi, I’m glad you shared! It’s good to express yourself in writing sometimes–it helps.

  3. Peter Lloyd says:

    Hi Sasha,
    Thank you for your honest and insightful post. Men and women here in London, England, are gravely concerned about the ramifications of Mr Trump’s election, both for people in the USA and people everywhere else in the world. Sadly, I see no reason so far to believe that President Trump will pull back from the uncivil behaviour and rhetoric of his election campaign. I fear we are all in for a rough few years.

    • Sasha Cagen says:

      Thank you Peter for this kind note! It feels good knowing that people all over the world are pulling for us. I agree, there is no reason to be optimistic about Trump. Everything he has done so far confirms it. So yes, time to chip in and do the work to contain the harmful effects of his election and build for a better future.

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Sasha Cagen in Buenos Aires Hey, I'm Sasha Cagen. I'm the author of Quirkyalone + To-Do List, and a coach for women who provides a creative, action-oriented alternative to therapy. Since 2000, I've been helping single people shed that feeling "there's something wrong with me" while also helping people craft relationships where they don't lose their individual spark. I now live in Buenos Aires where I coach my clients via Skype worldwide and teach tango as a metaphor to help you reconnect with your sensuality and even find your own feminine power through a 7-day Tango Holiday in Buenos Aires. Want to get to know me? Read more here.

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