Cindie Chavez ©2019
“Wrathful compassion” sounds like an oxymoron. How can we be angry and compassionate at the same time? Is it even possible?
The answer is yes. We need to understand this because it will be the very foundation of our ability to change things, and if we’ve ever needed change, it’s now.
Our education in suppressing anger starts early for many of us, especially those of us who grew up as little girls.
“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” is a maxim that many of us heard as we were being groomed to be young ladies. Little girls were supposed to be made of “sugar and spice and everything nice.”
One of my best friends has recounted to me that as a young woman her mother instructed her to “be useful as well as ornamental.”
God forbid we show any sort of emotion that doesn’t read as “pretty” – because, you know, “pretty is as pretty does.”
We’ve learned that it’s correct and permissible to be pretty, useful, and quiet (if we can’t say something nice).
The corollary is that we shouldn’t be ugly, or angry – or outspoken.
I’ve written about this before – in an effort to help women realize that their happiness may depend in part on them being willing to stop being so damn nice.
But now it isn’t only our happiness that is on the line, but our freedom.
So, I’m addressing it again with a whole new vigor. Because I’m angry.
My sweet husband has resorted to a one word reply to my ranting as of late – “Choir! Choir!” (okay that’s two words.)
Louisiana is my adopted home state – and there are so many things I love about living here – “Southern Hospitality” is a thing. The food is amazing. The landscape and architecture are gorgeous. The capacity to have fun is unmatched. (Mardi Gras Y’all!)
But, there are some things that have been very hard to take for this girl born and raised in California, this woman who has long supported the Equal Rights Amendment and a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body.
On May 8, 2019, Louisiana had the chance to be the final state to ratify the ERA, but failed to do so.
Louisiana will be the next state to pass a draconian law that will severely restrict a woman’s right to control her own body, joining Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio.
These extreme “heartbeat bans” not only ban abortion in nearly every situation including rape and incest but also include language that will possibly make having a miscarriage a criminal act, or at least subject to a criminal investigation.
Not to mention the sly marketing aspect of calling these bills “heartbeat bills”, as if a 6-week old fetus has a heart. (It doesn’t.)
Laws that deprive women of their bodily autonomy are unconstitutional.
And ideas that cause people to suppress anger in favor of being nice support the patriarchy in creating such laws.
The injustices we see in the world, be it homelessness, abuse, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, school shootings, and laws that deprive women of their constitutional rights can be remedied.
But we have to be willing to speak up and take action. This is where compassionate anger plays a part. We can be kind, and compassionate, and mad as hell at the same time.
The Dalai Lama has said, “Suffering should make us angry. This type of anger moves us toward a wrathful compassion to take action to end suffering.”
Society as a whole suffers when women don’t have control of their own bodies. Women’s rights are human rights.
In order for a woman to control her destiny, she must have the right to control her own body.
And this includes her right to be angry.
Bottling up anger, suppressing anger, ignoring anger, will damage your health.
However, recognizing that anger is a healthy, human emotion and learning to use it in a compassionate and constructive way will not only improve your health, but could safeguard our freedoms as well.
It isn’t wrong to be angry, in fact, compassionate anger is the thing we need right now.
I’m mad as hell. I’m full of compassion. And I’m ready to take action that will make a difference.
Our liberties are at stake. Now is the time to act.
If you value freedom you can make a difference by donating to Planned Parenthood.
More by Cindie:
Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONTREAT™ – and she has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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