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Change For The Better

The Logical Heart Knows Best

None of our lives are pristine and perfect. We’ve all made mistakes and had our share of adversity. We reach adulthood where we can take full responsibility for our lives and make sense of where we fit into the world. With maturity, greater awareness, and hindsight, we hopefully wake up discovering what’s really true.

While we are young and still developing, we aren’t fully responsible because we aren’t at full capacity to have control over our lives. We are largely at the mercy of our non-chosen relationships and environments. Society and family mold us into what they want us to be. We comply to a large extent for acceptance and survival. We are hard-wired to seek belonging and approval.

But what if what we’re taught is harmful and exploitative to us? What if it’s so woven into the fabric of society, it’s accepted as normal? It’s invisible to us. What then? How do we deprogram and reprogram ourselves and society so we treat everyone equitably and with respect?

The first step is to reveal the truth where we can acknowledge it and change for the better. Instead of keeping quiet, we must speak the truth. Even when we feel vulnerable and the people who want to keep their power to exploit and control are using every tactic to keep the status quo. There’s nothing shameful about telling the truth. Until we speak the truth and stand up for what’s humane and loving, there will be a continuation of the web of exploitation, oppression, devaluation, marginalization, and destruction. It’s at the root of the ills of the world today. We must hold ourselves and others accountable. We can not afford to remain neutral while the world crashes around us.

The same goes for our personal lives. If someone is preventing us from speaking the truth when it’s something that happened in our lives, they are being abusive by trying to silence us. We have a right to speak the truth. If they’re saying it will harm their image if you speak up, then maybe they need to grow up and be accountable for themselves for once and own up to their mistakes, maybe apologize, make amends and change for the better?

Unfortunately, there are bullies and liars who never accept accountability. They seldom change, but that doesn’t mean we lie back and take it. We have just the same rights as everyone else and unless we claim them, the predators will take advantage and walk all over us.

What if no one ever spoke up about what happened to them in the #MeToo movement or #BlackLivesMatter? We have to speak the truth for things to change.

So I’m gonna speak some truth here from the perspective of my experience.

Our socialized heteronormative gender and sexuality norms are unnatural and harmful to us. Our society is sexually predatory. Do not harass me. I am not a piece of meat for you to ogle at, wolf whistle, and grab by the pussy. Sex is not a right. There must be consent and the ability to consent for sex. No one owes you sex, ever. No one is entitled to sex. Children can not consent to sex. I can’t believe we even have to keep addressing this. There are pro-contact pedophiles and ignorant people who support them, who think it’s a harmless “thought experiment” when others voice their pro-contact views. We can not afford to remain neutral about this. There must be counterspeech against this. We must uphold the truth. Look at where we are now in this pandemic because of people believing “thought experiments” about the vaccine, so refuse to get vaccinated?

Coercion and manipulation are abusive. They have criminalized it in other countries, maybe the USA will follow suit. I am not your property. You have no right to monitor me and stalk me. Women are not cattle to breed for babies. Women have a right to say what happens to their bodies.

Women are not your house-elves. Women are not your free emotional laborers. Pay women what they’re worth, especially the ones doing the sacred work of caring for the elderly and our children. And if you want us to have babies, then give us help with extended maternity/paternity leave and childcare, along with uniform, standardized, equal access to healthcare. Our healthcare system is craptastic and so impossible to navigate.

Another thing, believe us when we tell you what’s going on with our bodies. We’re not “hysterical” it’s not all in our heads because we’re women. There’s so much bias and misogyny, when will it ever end? And don’t weasel out of your fair share of responsibilities saying that you’ll let me do it because I’m better at it, it comes naturally because it’s women’s work. Bullshit.

We misuse religion to exert power and control that promotes abuse. Yeah, I’m gonna burn in hell because I need to repent or else. Heaps of shame and guilt foisted on us from religion for simply being human. A loving God would not approve of what they have done with most religions.

White supremacy, patriarchy, and colonialism drive our infrastructure. Dismantling can’t happen soon enough, but it seems it’s already too late. Hello, apocalypse.

Racism, there’s just too much to unload about that. Educate yourselves, because there’s a lot of truth available these days. Don’t be one of those people who choose to remain unconscious and biased. Listen, stay inquisitive, and be open to learning, growing, understanding. Where’s the harm in that?

We don’t need to eat animals. Why the outrage about people eating dogs when you eat cows, pigs, chicken, fish, etc. If we were struggling to survive, then maybe eating animals would make sense, but here in the USA, we have access to plenty of non-animal foods. The way we eat as typical Americans is devastating our bodies and the environment. Why be so cruel when you don’t have to?

We all could use a shift to more empathy and compassion. Except, don’t let it be your downfall. We’re taught to be nice, don’t cause trouble, be kind, polite, give everyone the benefit of a doubt, be apologetic even though we’ve done nothing wrong, smile (especially if we’re women) or we make excuses for people saying they can’t help their harmful behavior.

But what about you and your wellbeing? If we don’t stand up for ourselves, then where’s the empathy and compassion for ourselves? You can have empathy and compassion while maintaining healthy boundaries that protect you. Just because someone can’t help the way they are (though most people can actually, we all can make healthy changes) doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. If someone is abusing you, no matter the reason, it’s up to you to save yourself or to seek help to get you out of the abusive situation. No sense in ruining your life because someone else can’t help it. Love yourself, do what’s best for you, always. If the bad times with a person overshadow the good times, then maybe it’s time to say bye-bye. Choose yourself. Be true to you.

And here’s the bigger truth. All of this is temporary. We’re all dying, eventually. So to me, the best way to go about in this still beautiful and wondrous world, despite all my criticisms, there is so much love, beauty, and joy to be had. What matters most is to be present, grateful, and savor all the good there is. Even on the most stressful, fraught, frustrating, depressing days, I can find peace in breathing, marveling at the puffy clouds in the sky, and sharing a knowing smile with a loved one. I can be aware, speak up and stand up while also letting go of the things I, as one person, can not change. I work on being loving, creative, and sharing with others, hoping to help in a small way. How I’m living, being in, and enjoying my day-to-day life, the moments I am fully present make a life well-lived. I notice everything, then I let it go, making room for peace, love, and appreciation to guide me.

I am thankful for all the people who have spoken the truth, who lead the way to a more loving, peaceful, joyful reality where we all take care of one another. Sometimes everything has to fall apart to be built back better. Yikes.

Here’s a visualization from my Be True to You Challenge Day 10 to cheer us up, lol. 😍

Sit in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Listen until the music stops to practice getting into a meditative zone. ❤️

Michelle Miyagi

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