As the groundbreaking superhero film Black Panther is freshly released, this week the concept of being the hero and how much we are socialized towards a heroism model of leadership and healing has come up several times.
I was the oldest child in my family and very much took on that hero role in my family constellation—being the oldest, wisest, accomplished—taking care of things when they were hard (and they were in a single parent household where my dad was just trying to hold it down), taking more responsibility, having high expectations put upon me. I became an achiever and carried that buckle-down-and-just-do-it approach into adulthood. I learned it well from watching my dad knuckle through for so many years.
Of course, any of us who have a parent abandon us at a young age and are left to figure things out for ourselves or any of us who leave home early and are forced to become independent before most of our peers also know the isolation of learning you have to go it alone. Often we take on the “don’t ask for help” attitude that falsely makes it seem like we’ve got it all together. Nobody does. Everyone needs help.
The success narrative in our culture teaches us over and over that the hero’s journey is about that solitary figure (usually male) who pushes forward against all odds and survives, conquers and wins. Lots of casualties along the way, but our hero always comes out on top, triumphant.
On the other hand, we learn that women, especially moms, are supposed to be superhuman and be able to do it ALL, single-handedly and there is some flaw in us if we can’t. So many women beat up on themselves for not having the perfect household, successful career and delicious nutritious dinner on the table every night. And we wonder why our sex lives suffer?
The American rugged individualism narrative is getting tired.
We are getting tired.
This is unsustainable and undesirable.
Thankfully there is a new-old conversation about collaboration, interdependence, connection and working together that is vibrant and necessary.
We are coming together in our culture to co-create in ways we haven’t before.
We are standing for social justice and our numbers and solidarity are an undeniable force.
The world is ripe for change.
It really means circling back to old ways of being, to the ways our ancestors lived in community co-creation, tending to agriculture and the needs of the community together, rather than in competition. Everyone contributed for the well-being of the whole community, else the community would not survive.
We are at that point. Our relationship with the earth is threatening our very existence. We will not survive if we don’t learn to do it together.
We are unhappy, we are harried and rushed and we are challenged to make time for the people we love and want to be connected to. Yet if we were focused on those connections in our work, our play and our creative pursuits, we would be in radical connection and collaboration that would take us out of the painful isolation and loneliness we feel and into powerful relationships that support us personally, and also contribute something greater to the world.
In our sexuality, we also learn to isolate. We learn not to talk about it and to keep it “private.” Ever wonder why it needs to be so private? What about sexuality begs for that, besides our discomfort with it? This doesn’t mean we share everything, we get to keep things for ourselves or for sharing special moments with partners. Yet bringing sexuality out and talking about it and growing it in community has immense effects on people’s lives. I’ve been watching this miraculous process for over 20 years over and over and the results are consistent.
People want to talk about sex. We want to understand this vital life force. Sexuality is about connection and relationship to self, body and others, so to keep it to yourself or think you must deal with the feelings and issues you have about it, or that you can’t wonder in curiosity with others makes no sense. Sexuality needs community and connection.
Every Gay Pride there are folks who say, “Why don’t we get a straight pride?” Because you’d have to come out of your isolation about your sexuality and create something with others. Because the sexuality of the LGBTQIA community has been a connecting force and because we have needed the solidarity to create visibility for ourselves.
We need to heal the ideas that we have to go it ruggedly alone to be truly successful. That we have to be acknowledged by a greater force for what we do for our lives to be meaningful. That becoming a star everyone fawns over is the greatest achievement. Many stars end up killing themselves either literally or with alcohol or drugs because they feel so lonely and isolated. The irony.
Isolation will not enliven you. That doesn’t mean we do not need contemplative time alone to meditate, study, create and grow ourselves. Yet in relationship we can heal, flow, and grow with the pulse of life. That spark will keep us interested in a more loving world and in expanding our truest natures though the power of our families and communities. We rarely heal alone. We need others to heal and move into a greater state of being.
I am blessed for the community of people around me as peers and friends, and the students and clients who have come and created a truly vibrant community of seekers who want to live life more in that zone of creativity and vitality.
If you want to join us, we welcome you. It’s an inspiring tribe where beautiful love, healing and connection happen.
LoveSkin Erotic Mystery Live Intensive is next month in New Orleans. A small group of women are coming together to deeply explore and honor their sexuality, desires, pleasure and bodies. There are a couple spots left and we would love to have you join us. There are a couple spots left.
Want a longer-term approach from where ever you live? Fire Woman Virtual Women’s Program is accepting applications on a rolling basis.
I hope to see you soon.
With so much love,