Like Dominoes – Take #MeToo consciousness all the way to healing

(#MeToo #SexualHarassment #SexIsSacred #HealNow)

I’m old enough to know what dominoes are, but not how to play. All I ever did was line them up, then give the operative end a little push and watch them fall down in chain reaction—if you align them precisely. It was a lot of work for a fleeting, uncertain return. Kind of like finding a sexual partner.

Now some of the powerful men who have tried to take a shortcut to sexual satisfaction are being toppled, falling like dominoes as the #MeToo movement grows. In the 21st century, dominoes-the-game is hopelessly outdated. So is the behavior along the line from sexual harassment to sexual assault. You know, just to the right of flirting, where innuendo and jokes can go either way, depending on the circumstances. Of the dinosaur dominoes I say, “let them fall.”  It’s no fun to watch, but it does offer opportunities for healing.

#MeToox3

When I was younger I stumbled about, looking for love, unaware that the door to that infinite treasure is within each of us—including myself—and the key is simple choice. I was psychologically vulnerable, with porous boundaries. I was sexually harassed three times. These were significant incidents that affected my life, unmistakable in retrospect. Not the small, inappropriate remarks that happened so frequently they almost passed as normal back in the times of “good girls” and “bad girls,” when “women’s lib” was both controversial and spreading, and whether women belonged anywhere near combat was hotly debated. I am not proud of how I handled the harassment. But I’ve done my healing work privately and moved on.

Now the time has come to own what happened publicly, because now I am certain I’m not alone. Generous people sharing their experience—complete with unflattering details—along with their strength and hope, has helped deliver me to where I stand today. Everyone isn’t so bad-ass she flips the bird at her harasser as she escapes with her honor intact.

The first time was during an economic downturn in the early 1980’s in my very small hometown. I was freshly separated from a too-early marriage, freeloading off my parents and desperate for some kind of paid summer work before I resumed college in the fall. The local employment office sent me on a temp assignment to a gas station to clean the garage. As the manager explained what he wanted, I got uncomfortable. He wanted the place all sudsy and for me to hose it down while wearing a bathing suit. He insisted on the bathing suit. It felt inappropriate and creepy, but I needed the money, so I negotiated. What he didn’t know was that I was so insecure about my body I never could have pranced around in the soap bubbles of his imagination. In fact, I’d all but given up eating to try to make my body acceptable.

I said I’d wear a bathing suit with shorts. After too much back-and-forth he agreed. When I arrived the next day in a one-piece with cut-offs, he tried to talk me out of the shorts. I refused, and did the cleaning as instructed. I remember two things: that sleazy man in the window that separated the garage from the station store, staring at me as I worked, and the obvious contempt his female clerk felt for him. I felt sorry for her, and vaguely guilty that I’d let him talk me into being part of his sexual fantasy. No doubt he harassed her, too. Only now I realize he may have had a hidden camera.

I didn’t report it. I told my mother; she understood why I wouldn’t go back. It was the only tool she had in her kit for such a scenario.

The second was one of my professors at college. Like Garrison Keillor, #2 was bookish with a squeaky-clean veneer. We were supposed to be having a friendship. A few weeks in, sipping wine after an art exhibit, he confessed an attraction to me. As previously mentioned, when I was younger I was vulnerable and looking for love. He had me by the proverbial jangly-danglies in the moment of his confession, which I hadn’t seen coming. I thought I fell in love. Having an affair with him (relationship implies too much equality) didn’t change my perception of his traits: he was a squeaky-clean man who succumbed to desire. Eventually his guilt overwhelmed him.  He confessed to his wife and broke up with me. My perception of him then expanded to include how he had taken advantage of his position of authority. I’d also been struggling with suicidal depression and alcohol abuse at the time; in fact, I had reached out to him for some direction. I turned him in to the school and there was some kind of hearing with both of us present. I blamed him. I don’t remember much of what happened; he lost face, perhaps. But he ultimately became Professor Emeritus. I left school and ultimately became alcoholic.

The third happened a few years later because I hadn’t dealt with the second. This harasser was my supervisor at the best-paying job I’d ever had. Like Matt Lauer, #3 was well-liked and known among his workmates to have extramarital affairs (I later learned). He took advantage of the leverage his position of authority afforded him and confidently claimed a perk he felt he was due: me.

He started to reel me in as soon as I was hired, making a point to stop by often to see how I was doing, joke around and make me feel valued in a male-dominated industry that had only recently opened to women (beyond clerical positions). Within two or three weeks he asked me to help him select a gift for his daughter. How could I say no? When he arrived at my apartment, ostensibly to take me to the mall, he made his move. How could I say no? He was my supervisor, and I was on new-hire probation. Don’t tell me this intelligent man 20 years my senior didn’t factor in that he would advise the company whether or not they should keep me when he calculated his chances of scoring. Don’t tell me he didn’t understand that he left me no good option. We never went to the mall. An affair ensued; again, I thought I had fallen in love.

Throughout the years from #2 through #3 I was a highly functional person falling apart at every seam. Rarely was this apparent, except in private or when drinking. But I exuded the energy of a woman with porous sexual boundaries, discernable mostly to predators because they’re looking for that. They could feel me, but I couldn’t see them coming. Looking back, I feel blessed that I wasn’t also raped.

To get psychological—worthwhile because it points to a path for prevention—I had daddy issues. My father, a wonderful, talented introvert, shut down emotionally after a series of traumas before I was even born. He was physically present but distant and emotionally-contained. My unconscious craving for his validation was expressed in my grown-up relationships with men who could never make up for what I missed with my father. I gravitated toward older men who had some kind of authority. My mother—also a wonderful, talented introvert—bore the weight of multiple childhood traumas. No one knew how to help traumatized people back in the 1930s, not even in the 1950s. But if they had, my parents would not have been able to afford treatment. So, like many others alive today, my parents’ unhealed traumas contributed to my profound sense of insecurity as a child and young adult, which in turn contributed greatly to my vulnerability.

With both #2 and #3, eventually I got drunk, went to their homes and made a scene. As I said, I’m not proud of how I handled the harassment. I am sorry beyond my ability to express that my selfish actions traumatized the wives, whom I betrayed as women by not holding marriage as an uncrossable, sacred line. Those who enter into marriage have every right to change their minds. But I had no right to insert myself into someone else’s marriage, or allow myself to be drawn in.

Both times I was arrested. While I was still in jail, #3 called our employer and told his version of the story. He was demoted and moved to another workplace. I sought treatment for alcohol addiction; my employer required evidence of follow-up, meaning I had to attend a number of AA meetings and get a signature to prove it. That pressure for accountability may have saved my life. To their credit, neither #2 nor #3 claimed I was lying.

Predators in Our Midst

Sexual harassment is predatory and injurious. Most women who’ve been sexually harassed (80% by one count) leave their jobs within two years and suffer major financial consequences. I stayed at the company of #3 for eleven years (I was represented by a strong union), and got sober during that time. I was ostracized, but not by everyone and not forever. I couldn’t have stayed so long without owning my part. I had been hungry for attention and validation, especially from men. It got the best of me. As I began to heal, I became determined not to leave because I was running away but rather by choice.

Some of the recent dominoes were perched higher, the falling more hurtful, their public accomplishments and personas more likeable to me: Al Franken, Garrison Keillor, Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer. Fame and acclaim clearly gives us humans a hard on—both the famous themselves and some of those around him or her.

People use sex like a drug. That’s undoubtedly a factor for the high-performers getting called on sexual harassment and assault. What do you do with the pressure to perform and produce? What do you do when you’re responsible for so much, you barely have a free hour? When you can’t afford time-consuming modes of checking out such as drinking, drugging, overeating, gambling, shopping? When your achieving nature/insecurities push you toward perfection via a grind that resembles addiction? When you’re on display wherever you go? Quite possibly you have sex—especially if it can be accomplished in less than half an hour. Side effects: feeling hot and powerful with a burst of extra energy.

Predatory behavior is deplorable. Some is extremely conscious and calculated; some is more confused floundering, an uncertain attempt to get what one wants. What starts as floundering may turn into a calculated behavior pattern.

Deplorable behavior calls for correction. Metaphysically it’s a call for love, voiced by imperfect human beings groping for an answer to pain. Healing is what is truly being sought, but that motivation is unconscious. If one could read the meta-review of the Akashic Records/The Book of Life, a disproportionate number of souls who have preyed on others would be propelled by insecurity and shame—especially into the priesthood, military and police, theatre arts and positions with authority and a high local profile. As many are called into positions of service from a wounded place as from an altruistic desire to serve, and both motivations may operate within one individual.

Predatory patterns are learned when we’re vulnerable, most often in childhood. So, if we want to change how the powerful treat the vulnerable, we must protect the children. All children.

Sacred Sexuality

We have predatory sexual behavior because we tolerate predation in our consciousness and in other spheres of life (politics, business, academics). We take individualism and competition to a predatory place. We have failed to emphasize (or, in some cases, recognize) the profound difference that must be practiced in sexual interactions. Humanity has had the answer for hundreds of years in the teachings of sacred sexuality such as the Tantric and Taoist traditions. In modern sacred sexuality, the first and foremost premise is ONLY among consenting adults. That means bilateral consent each and every time.

Part of what needs healing in each of us is humanity’s collective history of sexual trauma. Epigenetics demonstrates in three dimensions what the wise have described as energies passed from generation to generation. We’re in the process of graduating/healing from generations of raping and pillaging each other.  These remnants are apparent in sexual harassment and assault. We can transcend this low expression of human sexuality, this willingness to exploit others for sexual gratification. It’s a choice. Sacred sexuality, based on the supremacy of free will, is the mindset that bridges us back to Love.

It’s tempting to wonder why men do what they do in the murky realm of contemporary predatory sexuality. That’s an excellent question for individuals to explore. Perhaps it boils down to a broad sense of entitlement, coupled with a fear of not getting. But in the public arena of work, school and politics the answer doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, it must stop so our daughters and sons can be free.

The complexities of what is or isn’t sexual harassment boil down to a basic spiritual choice:

Do you share with others?

Or do you take from and/or manipulate others to get what you want?

Viewed in this way, any situation becomes clear cut. The other’s free choice is paramount.

Sexual harassment is a spiritual issue for both men and women. As such it calls us to grow. In the past we have taken what we wanted one way or another. In this New Age, we are being called to share what we own. Or to say, “no thank you.”

Like Dominoes

All that is broken and dysfunctional is falling, including but not limited to domination based on sex, power, race and wealth. Corrupt leaders and political systems are falling. Churches that have lost the meaning of the message are falling. Oppression and exploitation are falling. All that opposes humanity’s free will is falling, despite appearances to the contrary. On two occasions, Saint Dominic (1170-1221) attempted to sell himself into slavery to the Moors to obtain the freedom of others. But now is not the time to trade places because no one is meant to be enslaved. These relics of the past are falling so that the new, open-hearted, compassionate energy of Aquarius can rebuild.

All that is broken and dysfunctional is falling. It’s not fun to watch, but it is good. It’s not going to be cold and gray and sexless, it’s going to be good. We’re reclaiming the joy of sex. When we hold sexuality as sacred it is good. Life is going to be a lot less like a gauntlet and more like a party with Bruno Mars and the Hooligans.

 

Locked Out of Heaven – Bruno Mars

Meanwhile, as our transition advances, Love calls us to pick up the dominoes. Bend with the song of forgiveness, grasp the tempo of practice, extend to forgive others and self. All are worthy: the predators and those who have fallen for them.

Humanity can heal its sexual trauma. Here’s a starting point.

  1. Protect the children.
  2. Teach children about the primacy of consent.
  3. Practice consensual relations always.
  4. Invest in psychospiritual healing.
  5. Forgive each other and ourselves.

I am not a body. I am free. For I am still as God created me.

Only my condemnation injures me.

(A Course in Miracles Workbook Lesson 218)

I’ve forgiven #1, #2 and #3 and I’ve forgiven myself. Freedom feels fabulous!

With Peace, Love and Joy,
Mira Carroll

www.alohaservices.org
www.healingloss.biz Purchase paperback
www.smashwords.com/books/view/108990 Healing Loss eBook

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Healing Loss: Choose Love Now by Miradrienne Carroll
outlines spiritual principles and practices
for anyone who wants to heal, at any time,
from the context of healing grief and loss.

Copyright © 2017

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Comments
2 Responses to “Like Dominoes – Take #MeToo consciousness all the way to healing”
  1. miracarroll says:

    If you’re amused (as I am) by irreverence, fire and a salty bit of “language” in the service of making a point, Chuck Wendig puts it very plainly:

    “Dear Mens: Keep your shitty demon hands to yourself. They are in time-out. Stick them in your pockets if you must. Duct-tape them together. Burn them with cigarettes if they seem motivated to stray. Keep them hidden or someone is going to rightfully chop them off.”

    https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/504267/posts/1690162331

    Like

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