As is quite obvious from the date stamps on my blog entries, I haven’t been writing much here lately. Life – lovely, gorgeous, busy life – has been getting all up in the way. But it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking, and listening, and talking. A lot of topics have been at the top of my mind lately, namely being an educator and dealing with the big questions around consent…and so I thought I’d try to capture some of those thoughts, in short form. (And thanks for the prod to do so, Sheryn!)
What is vital in my life is the ability to create learning & growth opportunities for others while keeping my ego & expectations in check. I believe that being given the chance to help shape & change opinions by being in a place of power or fame is a sacred responsibility. I believe that, if you seek out or accept that power or fame, your ego has to take a back seat. It becomes a sacred act each time you speak. I believe that if you let ego overtake humility, your words become out of balance, and so does your sense of self. You push people away, rather than attract them. And if you push them far enough away, you have no hope of them hearing your truth.
What is also vital in my life is my sense of autonomy, my ability to choose my own path and my own fate. It’s a birthright for each of us, and while not all of us are able to be self supporting in the same ways, we all have the right – and the responsibility – to make our own choices. We also have the responsibility to live with the repercussions of those choices. One of the things I remember my first 12-step sponsor telling me is that I could do anything I wanted to…as long as I was willing to accept the consequences. And she was right.
I am able to give consent, or to withdraw it. Everyone is. Even if you think that you are prevented from doing so, you still have the RIGHT to do so. If your consent has been violated, call the cops, file a complaint, fight back, speak your truth. If it may have been an accident, then communicate with the person that you believe violated your consent. Tell them what they did, and why it crossed a line, and how you felt. And for goodness sake, use your voice before the fact to clearly state what is okay and what is not. A person who does not wish to harm you in any way can still do so if they do not know that their words or actions may cause you harm – and that’s especially true when you’re talking about sex. But if you say that something is okay, clearly and without undue influence, and later find out that it really wasn’t – speak up, and take responsibility for your own well being. I cannot read the minds of my partners, and unless they tell me that the boundary is close by or about to be crossed, I have zero hope of ensuring that I continue to be a responsible partner.
The best thing about being right where I am, at this very moment, is that I can act in ways that were not possible five years ago. I have learned more about myself and about what my path is. I’m better able to remove my own expectations from how that all turns out. I cannot be the Big Name Educator that others are; and you know, I’m pretty cool with that. Screw quantity of events, to hell with where on the list of presenters my name falls (or even if it’s there at all). What matters to me is that I’m still growing at this life thing, and while I’m here, I believe that my job is to help provide other people with the tools to do the same. With all my flaws, and all my failings, my greatest wish for my own life is that I remain teachable and accountable. And that is good enough for me.