This blog contains political content, and I am naming names.
The older, wiser, and more awake I become, the more political action I take. This year I have called, emailed and written my local, state, and federal representatives dozens of times to express favor or opposition for legislation – all relating to agriculture, civil rights, animal rights, humanitarian concerns, and Citizens United.
I’ve contributed to Senator Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, the only Democratic candidate whose campaign is funded by individuals, not Super-PACs or corporations who purchase political power by owning the candidate.
Not everyone has a price.
Some people can’t be bought. And I am one of them.
I’ve reached a point in my life where I can’t watch as the parade of corruption, deceit, ignorance, and unconsciousness rolls by on the decorative party float – tossing out just enough crumbs to the masses to keep the people from rallying.
I won’t be silent or silenced. And I ask you to do the same.
To be free of chronic stress, you must honor your voice without apology.
I share because this week especially, I witness my friends, clients, and acquaintances limit themselves to what is politically and culturally possible. To question if their vote is “wasted” on a candidate because of the voices that question if Bernie Sanders can win the Democratic nomination. This is ludicrous. It’s the voice of the oppressed.
As we continue with the topic of Letting Go What No Longer Serves, Step 4 in the Freedom from Chronic Stress Program, I could speak to you about letting go of perfectionism, guilt, judgment, self-criticism and such.
But there is a force that supersedes all of these that needs to be identified within you so you can be free.
This great force is at play in our lives as individuals and a culture. It contributes to the suffering of all living beings. It is within all of us.
It is the voice of the Oppressor.
As a society, there is a Political Oppressor. A Religious Oppressor. A Racial Oppressor. An Educational Oppressor. A Gender Oppressor. A Sexual Oppressor. A Corporate Oppressor. A Medical Oppressor. The Establishment Oppressor.
Within your individual life, there are likely several Oppressors. An Oppressor from your family of origin. A Bully Oppressor. Ancestral Oppressors. Generational Belief Oppressors.
I know a thing or two about Oppressors. I’ve freed myself from many of them. And it damn sure isn’t easy. It’s the hardest work of my life.
I learned in high school that we speak the language of our Oppressor. Certainly is why I speak English. Why people in Mexico speak Spanish. Why many African countries speak French.
But as I got older, I realized the language of the Oppressor was far more systemic than the words coming from my mouth.
The language of the Oppressor is entrenched in our beliefs, our sense of self, and how we consciously and unconsciously engage with the world within and around us.
The sad thing about being oppressed by the Oppressor is that you don’t even know you are being oppressed.
As Mark Twain said, “It’s easier to fool people…than convince them they have been fooled.”
Here’s how you’ve been fooled:
You think it is the way it is. You think nothing will change. You think nothing can change significantly. You think and act as if your voice doesn’t matter. You think a terrible sacrifice that isn’t worth paying for has to take place for positive change to occur. You think you’re ungrateful if you ask for what you want or need. You think something is wrong with you. You think other people are against you. You think self-sacrifice is required to get what you need. You think you’re alone. You think resources are so limited you have to hold tight to what is yours to survive.
There is no way to be free if you are fooled.
To be free, you must identify what is your voice versus the voice of the Oppressor.
The Oppressor needs oppressed people to survive.
The Oppressor BANKS on you operating that there are no good choices.
The Oppressor DEPENDS on your fear, doubt, and uncertainty.
The Oppressor NEEDS collective opinion to normalize dysfunctional beliefs and behaviors.
The Oppressor SHAMES those who stand up, speak out, and question the status quo.
If the oppressed were to become aware that their suffering was from the language of the Oppressor – not from themselves – they would finally have a choice.
My wish for you is to distinguish your voice from the voice of your Oppressor.
The Oppressor has common traits….common threads of operating that are necessary for it to continue to have control over you.
Below are 7 common qualities of the Oppressor. Take an inventory.
How do these show up – no matter how large or small (after all, it’s the Oppressor that manipulates you to think it isn’t that bad) in your life?
- The Oppressor provides and leverages resources you perceive you need to keep you under its control.
- Think an unhappy housewife with limited job skills in a terrible marriage. She thinks she’s trapped because she can’t make a living for herself, so she stays put.
- Think a skillful, educated worker whose worked at the same employer for many years but absolutely hates it. Soul sucked dry. Miserable. She thinks she’s trapped because there is no better job out there, no way to keep her same benefits, so she stays put.
- Think a privileged child who thinks the only way to be safe is through the protection of their family’s money.
All are voices of the Oppressor. There is no other way to be provided for without the Oppressor’s resources.
- The Oppressor proclaims gestures of grandiosity, superiority, and exclusivity. No one is as good as the Oppressor.
- Think political propaganda as the United States being the best country in the world and the only place to be free. The masses brainwashed to assume superiority and not take ownership or demand accountability for our massive failings and shortcomings.
- Think religious doctrine that excludes specific groups of people from being welcomed. Only ‘x’ are good enough to get in.
- Think a psychologically manipulative partner. “You’ll never find someone who’ll take you in. You’ll never find someone as good as me.”
All voices of the Oppressor. Actions are justified because some people are clearly superior to others and the Oppressor wants you to feel either superior or inferior to not question its oh-so-generous provisions.
- The Oppressor expects rote obedience and does not tolerate investigation or questioning.
- Think the shaming of Jenny McCarthy as she questions the medical establishment on autism treatment and vaccine safety.
- Think an authoritative parent, doctor, partner, or boss who reacts with anger and defensiveness if you ask a question about a decision they made. You are the one that is crazy.
That’s the Oppressor. Don’t question me. If you do, I’ll make sure you regret it.
- The Oppressor relies on a culture of secrecy, denial, and cover-ups. The Oppressor does not take public ownership for wrong-doings and minimizes hurtful behavior.
- Think an uncle who abuses a child within the family. The family finds out but rallies to keep it a secret, continues to have contact with the uncle, and tells themselves because the child was ‘only 4, she will ‘be fine.’ Voice of the OPPRESSOR.
- Think university and military systems that prefer to keep systemic abuse ‘within the family’ and develop unspoken cultures of fear to prevent those who know from going public.
- Think a government or leadership board that doesn’t publicly acknowledge, apologize, or make right for policies, errors, or behaviors that harm the people under their influence.
All voices of the Oppressor. Keep quiet. You’re bad if you share your truth. It’s not worth it and probably wasn’t that bad anyway.
- The Oppressor manipulates you to think something is wrong with you. You are at fault, never the Oppressor.
- Think being told you’re always too something. Too sensitive. Too naive. Too nosey. Too demanding. Too bossy. You have so much already, you ungrateful bitch.
The voice of the Oppressor silences your voice and curiosity by imprinting shame, doubt, and fear.
- The Oppressor is the Great Distractor.
- Think being overly occupied with responsibility and work so you perceive you have little to no time to take action on worthwhile causes or endeavors, let alone have the right to just be and enjoy life.
- The Oppressor relies on you barely treading water…working long and hard to stay afloat and survive while engraining in your bones that only worthy people are those who self-sacrifice in the name of hard work.
What you do and who you are is never enough for the Oppressor. The voice of the Oppressor generates chaos and a culture of lack so people are too consumed with their own lives to have the energy to engage in personal or social change.
- The Oppressor pits people against each other. The Oppressor skews your viewpoint to think we live in a world of scarcity. People not like you are a threat to your safety and security.
- Think refusal of countries to welcome war refugees or immigrants seeking safe haven.
- Think refusal to offer health services and basic necessities as a human right.
- Think a political system that relentlessly pits parties against each other to maintain the status quo.
The Oppressor always wants to make sure you know other people are not like you and threaten to take away all that you’ve worked so hard for.
The influence of the Oppressor is vast.
We make excuses and justify the Oppressor. We identify with the Oppressor and side with the Oppressor everyday. This is how the Oppressor reigns.
As you read through the traits above and you identify and say oh, yes, that is what my Oppressor does, then you are a victim of your Oppressor. A victim of oppression agrees the Oppressor has the upper hand.
A non-fooled person – one who is not oppressed – operates independently of Oppressive forces, even when it is unpopular and uncomfortable.
A free person recognizes Oppressive forces as delusions and sickness, whereas the oppressed agree and argue to maintain delusions and illusions.
The world needs more people to claim their freedom from the Oppressor.
What other coaches call work to ‘overcome your limiting beliefs’ or ‘free yourself from negative self-talk,’ I say phooey. The error is in assuming these are YOUR problems when it is really a psychological imprint of fear from your Oppressor. It’s not even you.
What do you do then? You don’t negotiate with the Oppressor. You don’t take the Oppressor to therapy with you or post affirmations on your mirror to counteract the Oppressor’s voice.
You abandon the Oppressor. You move away from it. You shift and act in accordance to your truth and values and let the chips fall where they need to fall so your life is organized around function instead of the Oppressor’s makeshift land of delusions.
It’s the only way.
For the love of all things holy, RISE UP and stop speaking the language of your Oppressor.