DICHOTOMY - a division of two esp. mutually exclusive or contradictory groups.
A friend and neighbour said to me a couple of days ago that I am a dichotomy. On one hand, I create this delicate needlework and other arts and crafts and on the other I get very angry at injustice and take action on it. I gave this some thought and realized that this is what women are - compassionate, kind and gentle and yet very strong and able to withstand enormous pressures and pains. This led me to thinking about Princess Diana who, I think, was an extremely brave and strong woman and yet had a capacity for such love for her children and compassion for the suffering. To stand up to the royal family and leave Prince Charles was an extreme act of courage on her part. Mother Theresa was also a dichotomy of strength and compassion. I mentioned both of these women together because they died within days of each other with a huge out pouring of love and grief for Diana, while Mother Theresa's passing was like a whisper in the background. Quiet and humble as she was in her life.
I believe that their two deaths within days of each other was a message to the world that we need to return to the Mother. We are unbalanced with too much of the Father. There is a loss of compassion, caring and courtesy and we need to find it again. An interviewer asked Maya Angelou what the world needed now, she replied, "courtesy". I so agree, it seems to be lost.
We, as women, have this capacity for deep compassion and caring and enormous strength and courage. I believe that women have lost their way and often try to be like men, when they get into positions of power they act like men. Possibly forced to be that way to get to where they are. Organizations are structured hierarchically and that is not women's innate way. Men are about power and control, women are about co-operation and support. I experienced this way of working for a short time at a women's shelter and it was a wonderful atmosphere to work in. Everyone was supported and encouraged to be who they were and do what they did best.
So we need to "grow down into ourselves", trust our intuition, listen to the whisper of the voice who keeps telling us what we need to do to be healthy and happy. Know thyself.
I am reading a book called A Summer All Her Own by Rosanne Keller. It is about a woman who has been a housewife, mother, her husbands supporter in his career. Her husband dies suddenly of a heart attack. She was very happy in her marriage but, as so many women do when they are left on their own, she realized she doesn't know who she is and she had given up her art because there wasn't time. She goes to Greece (she has lots of money) and spends time there trying to find herself.
She meets a man and he tells the story of a guru: "when the guru sat down to worship each evening, the ashram cat would roam about and distract the worshippers. So the guru ordered that the cat be tied before the evening worship (not a very nice guru). After the guru died, the cat continued to be tied before evening worship. and when that cat expired, another cat was brought to the ashram so that it could be duly tied up during evening worship. Centuries later, learned treatises were written by the guru's scholarly disciples on the liturgical significance of tying up a cat while worship is performed."
And that is what we do, we are tied by cultural and family rules that don't fit us, don't allow us to be who we are, we are squeezed into what family and culture think we should be. So many people are like sheep, afraid to make waves and stay living in impossible ways and/or situations. We need to be brave and stand up for what we believe in.
I have written a letter to try to get some things changed in the building where I live and the caretaker thinks we are not backing him when, in fact, what we are proposing would make his job easier and his living conditions better. He just sees it as an attack on him and gets defensive. I hope he will be able to see it differently. It has been very hard for me to take a stand about these things because we are requesting that three people be evicted, but their behaviour is making life very uncomfortable and unhealthy for the rest of us. The meeting is a four o'clock today so I hope we get a good turn out.