Surrender… or Burn the White Flag?

“Surrender is the greatest act a human being can do.” – Krishnamacharya

I’ve repeated that quote for many years, adding, “What we surrender to does not matter. It could be to the floorboards beneath us.

It is the act of giving over. The art of letting go. The practice of feeling each cell relax and release. It is about trust, feeling supported and noticing how the more we let go…the more we feel this simultaneous paradox.”

So why am I obsessed with this song that is all about NOT surrendering? :

White Flag by Joseph

Your yelling’s getting loud
Keep it down now, keep it down now
There’s talk going ’round this town
Keep it down now, keep it down now

Noises closing in from all sides
Warning all the ways to die
They say “you’d better give up, you’d better give up

“I’ll be an army, no you’re
Not gonna stop me gettin’ through, ooh
I’ll sing a marching song and
Stomp through the halls louder than you, ooh

I could surrender but I’d
Just be pretending, no I’d
Rather be dead than live a lie
Burn the white flag
Burn the white flag

Whisper, move the air
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Sometimes it’s all I’ve got to spare
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?

Noises closing in from all sides
Warning all the ways to die
They say “you’d better give up
You’d better give up”
I say “I’ll never…

I’m obsessed with this song because it’s time for me to not surrender my voice in speaking my truth.

I’m stayed silent too long.

I know the importance of speaking one’s truth to end cycles of pain and abuse for our children.

And for me, it’s time to talk about sexual abuse. Together. Acknowledging the pain we’ve caused doesn’t’t mean one of us wins.

We’ve all suffered in this.

It’s time to sit down, dig deep, listen carefully, and receive each other’s voices. From telling our stories, we empower our experiences. We rise from our ashes by burning the past pain.

The past may feel gone. Like we are not those people anymore. Yet if we haven’t learned from it and evolved….doesn’t it repeat itself over and over again?

Isn’t it enough,, already?

It is for me.

I have been sexually assaulted by at least five men: the Hippie, the Frat Boy, 2 different “music producers,” and also by a long-time partner…that’s the one that is the most tricky because there is the most “grey area.”

None of these incidents were ever reported. I stayed silent. Felt ashamed. Moved on. Blaming myself for allowing to be in those situations.

I’ve come to peace with owning my parts in these experiences. I can see my behavior as acting out my own cycles of pain. So, I don’t raise any of this to harm these men for things they’ve done to me in the past. Because it really is the past for me now and I don’t need to cause them harm in return. I actually want their peace and happiness because that is the evolution…isn’t it?

So, I say this to raise the conversation around cycles of abuse, and most importantly, to encourage us to notice the patterns.

History has repeated itself enough. Hasn’t it?

These assaults were all done to me when:

  • I was unconscious or sleeping.
  • we were all intoxicated.
  • I had been flirtatious, or in a long-term relationship.

Who is to blame? All of us, I think.

Do we end party culture? No .

Can men and women develop different ways of interacting, though? Absolutely.

Can we establish mutual understanding around sexual respect and appreciation? We must!

How do we do this? A lot of ways, I imagine.

I believe we can start by doing these two things:

  • 1. Take responsibility for what is true for our personal self. Inquire within. What is the bigger pattern in our own life.
  • 2. Share what we realize about ourself, acknowledge our truth with a desire to evolve our mutual understanding of each other AND the greater context of the society of which we are a part.

Can we do that?

I really, really hope so.

…I just keep singing that song!

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