When I heard the news that Osama bin Laden had been assassinated, the very first thought that popped into my mind was, ďDing dong the witch is dead. Rejoice, munchkins!” Then a brief 10 seconds later, it was followed by a heaviness in my heart. Everyone all over the US was celebrating. Twitter was all atwitter with gleeful cheering. Facebook was one big PAR-TEE. There were parties in the streets.
And yet, I found myself crying, not because the world isnít better off without bin Laden in it, but because our reaction as a society breaks my heart.
Speaking my truth
So I wrote this post. And I tweeted it on Twitter. And I posted it on a Facebook. And I quoted Gandhi saying, ďAn eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.Ē
And then people started un-liking me on Facebook. And un-following me on Twitter. And I started getting hate mail. And that just made me cry more.
Not that I really care how many Facebook fans I have or how many people follow me on Twitter. And Iíve gotten hate mail before, so I know none of itís personal. But what breaks my heart is that people have such a hard time accepting opposing views. Thereís so much pressure just to follow the crowd cheering into the streets, even if you donít feel like celebrating. And so thatís what most people do.
Womenís voices have been oppressed for so many years, and itís still happening today. Iím a powerful woman with uhÖyou could say strongÖopinions. And after years of keeping my pie hole shut, Iím no longer afraid to speak my truth, even if I know it wonít be popular. Iíve spoken out about everything from abortion to male circumcision to vaginas. So I wasnít about to keep quiet about my jumbled up feelings about bin Ladenís death.
But I was still saddened that people felt the need to reject me because they didnít agree with my feelings.
Why can’t we live in love?
Why canít we create space for others who disagree with us? Why canít we stop the dualistic thinking that makes one person right and the other person wrong? Why canít it be okay that I feel both relieved and saddened at the same time? Why canít I speak my truth without worrying that some person I care about might decide they canít have a relationship with me because of what I believe?
When I wrote Whatís Up Down There, one person I love dearly decided to reject me. She just couldnít be in my life anymore if I could write that kind of book. And it deeply saddened me. Must authenticity equal rejection?
But whatís the alternative? Silencing myself? Sugar coating my authentic beliefs so they come across as more palatable to the masses? Spouting off things I donít believe so I can repair a relationship that broke down?
Regarding the post I wrote about bin Ladenís death, one person who has been a vital part of the Owning Pink community for two years, said, ďAs an American, a woman, and a human being, I found this blog to be very offensive! I understand that you are on a mission to help people live in love and peace, but some things are better left unsaid!Ē