Agency

When gathering in online spaces you inevitably encounter people who have different beliefs from you and it’s okay as long as everyone is being respectful. But what if you encounter someone who has beliefs that are sociopathic and ethically disturbing to you. What if it’s in a space where you’ve established a high level of trust with the community and now this new person is in the space that has values that indicate you can not trust them. What do you do?

Nothing unless they overstep your boundaries. As long as they’re following the rules and behaving appropriately then you accept them and treat them with respect as well. But you always know in the back of your mind what they truly believe and it’s hard to be comfortable around them because it’s like being around a person who believes in harm who has values that promote suffering in the world. But you can keep your distance and treat them as an equal human because they are, but it’s okay to honor your feelings too.

You don’t have to be friends with everyone or like everyone. And it’s okay to be triggered by sociopathy. In loving, spiritual communities we try to love and accept everyone. But some things are harmful and you can not accept them or be complicit with them. You have to speak up in order to be loving or you risk becoming a sociopath yourself. It’s good to be honest and upfront about your concerns in a respectful way.

So I’ve been psychologically triggered the past couple of days. How did I deal with it? I was gentle with myself and allowed myself to surrender to the feelings and I didn’t do too much, rested, watched a movie Midsommar (maybe not the best choice, lol, what an interesting trippy horror film). I basically allowed myself to shut down and cocoon for a bit. Now I’m feeling better. I figured I can lose a few days of productivity to nurture myself, the world wouldn’t end and I can catch up later. In the past, I would’ve fought it and maybe emotionally ate or gone to purchase alcohol, come home and have a few drinks to take the edge off. Now I just allow it and it’s so much better that way. I sit with the icky feelings, maybe journal it out and it passes with greater ease.

Ideally, we want people who are loving and who are in alignment with us in our personal sphere, who don’t tend to trigger us, but we don’t always have control over that so we navigate as best we can. We can diminish our contact with those who are unhealthy for us and increase contact with those who are healthy for us in our personal lives, that’s where we have the most control. We choose who we spend our time with and live with. It took me a long while to be able to release people who weren’t healthy for me. I always felt obligated and guilty, too patient and loyal. I finally got to the point where I stood up for what was healthy for me instead of succumbing to fear, obligation, and guilt. I am now empowered to remove myself from toxic situations, to save myself.

Our country is rife with toxicity these days. But I can’t escape it, we can’t travel to other countries, we’re banned. Not that I have the means anyway, lol.

It’s so unfortunate how there have been so many anti-maskers and racists going on the attack. As an Asian, I do not feel safe in public anymore. I can’t control that though, so I control what I can and minimize my time spent in public. If I were working right now, I would not feel safe. I was already feeling unsafe back in February, the hostility towards me was palpable if looks could kill, I’d be dead. Some people have faced this level of racism all their lives. That’s why I support Black Lives Matter.

People still don’t take the virus seriously. They can switch bodies with me and maybe that would convince them.

I look for overarching reasons why I’m still relapsing with symptoms, post-viral syndrome after all these months and maybe it’s to keep me close to home, to keep me safe? I try to find greater reasons to reframe the situation to find some sort of solace when I grow weary.

I do the same regarding the state of the world. Maybe on the other side of this, we will transform into a healthier, more loving reality. I hope so.

Though I don’t trust people who believe in harmful things, I can trust myself to know how to navigate and take care of myself. I can also trust that there’s a greater reason for why things are unfolding, that ultimately there will be some good in the end. I can do everything within my power to be loving and create a loving environment in my wake. I can find something to appreciate at any moment I choose. There’s always something to be thankful for even if it’s as simple as a hot cup of earl grey tea, a juicy novel and a long hot bath.

I get to choose how I conduct myself in the world and it’s okay to take care of me first so I can then serve the greater good in whatever capacity I’m uniquely qualified and able. And it’s okay to just be for a while too, whenever I see fit. It feels good to finally realize full agency over me.

Love and hugs 💖

Michelle Miyagi
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