Love that Is Willing to Roar

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“When we don’t confront reality and the cruelties being inflicted by our societal shadows, we set ourselves up to pay a terrible price. If we don’t personally and collectively embrace the changes we need to make for the evolution of our consciousness and societal awareness, I believe the price we pay will be in blood.” ~Bud Harris, Facing the Apocalypse, p, 61.

I was raised to be nice, to avoid anger and not act in anger. To behave with kindness and love. I still believe this. But I’ve seen and suffered the damage one can do to oneself and others by being too passive and pleasing.

I don’t want to be like that any more. I don’t like what’s happening in my country and the world. I don’t like the way politicians deliberately twist words to suit their greedy, power-hungry motives—even words like nice, and kind, and love. Even words like life and choice.

Consider the slogan, “My life. My Choice.” It’s been used by anti-vaxxers during the COVID 19 pandemic to assert the right of individuals to choose whether or not to be vaccinated. Others see it as a symptom of selfish disregard for the lives of others. Paradoxically, some anti-vaxxers would apply this slogan to themselves, yet deny women who would choose abortion the same right to choose what to do with their lives.

There is no  morality, no moral decision, without freedom. There is only morality when you can choose, and you cannot choose if you are forced. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, p. 262.

Consider the opposing positions taken regarding abortion under the banner of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice. If we didn’t know the underlying agendas, the vast majority of us would agree with both terms. I don’t know anybody who’s anti-life or anti-choice in the purest sense of the words. But the harmless words life and choice have been twisted by political and religious leaders to create anti-life and anti-choice realities. There’s a huge difference between using words to advocate understanding, supporting, and healing the suffering of others, and using them to promote power-seeking agendas without caring who suffers.

Somewhere along the way, our country forgot about Christianity’s commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. As Jungian analyst Dr. Bud Harris says in his new book, Facing the Apocalypse: A call for Outrageous Courage, Love, and Compassion, our highest values now are oriented toward achievement, materialism, and power. In the face of this self-destructive trajectory we’re on now, he writes the following:

“When we don’t confront reality and the cruelties being inflicted by our societal shadows, we set ourselves up to pay a terrible price. If we don’t personally and collectively embrace the changes we need to make for the evolution of our consciousness and societal awareness, I believe the price we pay will be in blood.” ~Bud Harris, Facing the Apocalypse, p, 61.

Life is complex and filled with paradox. I’m pro-choice and pro-life. But I do not believe that the stance on abortion known as Pro-Life is based on love. In fact, it promotes a self-righteous societal shadow that prioritizes idealistic laws over the rights, lives, and health of millions of women and children and those who love them.

Moral reasoning based on rules and laws will never heal our world. The desire to protect human rights is a higher order of morality, but even that can be twisted to mean whatever one wants it to mean. Consider the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution written by freedom-loving founding fathers who owned slaves and denied women the right to vote. The highest order of moral reasoning is based on authentic love, caring, and compassion for all. To profess these ideals but not live them is sanctimonious and hypocritical. We need to develop the integrity to practice what we preach.

I want to act from that level. I’m ready to answer Dr. Harris’s call to make the changes I need to make for the evolution of my consciousness and societal awareness. I’m ready to take my stand on abortion.

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religions, or political views, [or gender] that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe…our lives no longer belong to us alone; they belong to all those who need us so desperately.”  ~ Elie Wiesel

I believe everyone has the right to choose to manage their health and the health and welfare of their families. I believe it’s unconscionable for a religion or nation to force a woman to give birth to a child who will suffer its entire life for never having received enough love, healthy food, shelter, protection, attention, affirmation, guidance, or education. Laws which, in the name of Pro-Life, deny children the basic rights and needs every human deserves are cruel and barbaric in the extreme. They create poverty, resentment, prejudice, despair, rebellion, violent retaliation, terrorism, school shootings.

“Love must be strong. Love must be willing to roar. Love must be as fierce as a wolf;  love must be willing to fight for life and exist in the service of life.” ~Bud Harris, Facing the Apocalypse, p. 61.

Paper and E-book versions of The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. The Wilbur Award-winning Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications.com. Jean’s new Nautilus Award-winning The Soul’s Twins, is at Amazon and Schiffer’s Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit. Subscribe to her newsletter at www.jeanbenedictraffa.com.

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Comments

17 Responses

  1. Jean, It is obvious you have thought/prayed hard about this issue and I truly respect your realization that until there is universal understanding and use of effective contraception (as provided by services as “A Step Ahead”), abortion is a personal right.

    1. Hi Sally, it’s good to hear from you. I appreciate your affirming words. And thanks for mentioning the need for effective contraception. It’s a crucial factor related to this issue. I’ve not heard of A Step Ahead but will check it out.

  2. Strong, clear, beautiful words, Jean! Thank you and as usual you reinforce my beliefs and convictions.

    1. Thank you, my bee-keeping friend. And you reinforce mine! Hoping you’re having a ‘bee’-autiful summer. 🙂

  3. What is in the mandorla between pro-life (protection of life) and pro-choice (bodily autonomy)? Just finished Healing the Sacred Divide. It was excellent.

    1. Thank you for writing, Tim. And thank you for reading Healing the Sacred Divide. I’m so glad you liked it. This is a really great question. I would say the mandorla is a place of fierce love in which one is free to make the healthiest and most compassionate choices for oneself and one’s loved ones. It’s all about one’s true motives. And that takes a lot of self-awareness and inner work to discover. Motives that spring from hatred, fear, self-righteousness, or a compulsion to prove oneself, please someone else, or attain worldly power do not come from the holy place of the mandorla. They come from a wounded and one-sided ego. Blessings, Jeanie

  4. Thanks Jeanie, you say this all so well. It honestly makes me gasp at how the anti-abortionists would be in favour of a child growing up with no basic necessities being met. And that a child who is raped MUST bear the infant. In all instances it seems as if the male gets off scot-free. It’s a dystopian world for sure. What would happen if women withheld sexual intercourse I wonder. We do know that right now there is a desperate desire to cling to power, it’s happening here in my country and I know elsewhere too. It’s a bloody battle …
    I love your quotes, thank you. I’ve read Bud Harris’ book. It’s wonderful.

  5. Hi Susan,

    It’s shocking and appalling to me too. And I don’t think things will change in any lasting way until the majority of people recognize the detrimental effects of the powerful shadow of patriarchal thinking. This shadow is the unconscious, obsessive masculine need to war against and obtain power over everything other than our conscious ego selves that makes us afraid and threatens our survival.

    This includes our unknown, unconscious selves, people who are different from us, religions that differ from ours, women who threaten the male ego, and the poor and vulnerable who remind us of our fears of being poor and vulnerable.This shadow makes us want more resources, property, and material goods because we think that will protect us from everything we secretly fear.

    We all have the same need for self-preservation and these same fears, male and female alike. This is not a general statement about men. But under patriarchy, a system based on male dominance and masculine values, children are taught that men should be in charge of and in control of everything, including the rights of women and anyone else who differs from mainstream values and ideologies. Such is the power of this shadow that women who are raised in extremely patriarchal households rarely question this belief. They deny that they are second-class citizens and side with powerful male authorities without realizing that they’re sabotaging their own rights as well as the rights, hope for fulfillment, meaning, and wholeness of other women.

    The only thing that can heal this situation is when males and females alike acquire more self-knowledge and become more self-aware. Self-awareness brings authentic compassion for oneself and others. Acquiring that is a very long and difficult process. Jungian psychology has helped me enormously. That’s why I write about it so much.

    Your remark about women withholding sexual intercourse gave me a chuckle and reminded me of the Greek comedy by Aristophanes called Lysistrata. It’s about how the women of Athens swore an oath to withhold sex from their husbands until they signed a peace treaty! I imagine you’ve heard of it. Perhaps that’s why you mentioned it. It’s interesting that this play was first performed in 411 BC. Over 2,400 years ago and humanity still struggles with the same masculine shadow!!!

    But we are evolving and I have hope.

    Love and gratitude,
    Jeanie

  6. Thank you for articulating this so well, Jeanie. I’m thankful for the words “Forced Birth” because they seem to clarify what’s happening to women and young girls. I’ve always known that if I’d had to make the choice at a young age, I would have chosen abortion–and I’m grateful I didn’t have to make the choice thanks to a mother who was clear about birth control education. Another excellent piece about this issue is “An Apology to My Daughter” by John Pavlotitz. (https://johnpavlovitz.com/2022/06/26/an-apology-to-my-daughter/). Like many, I didn’t quite believe this could happen or that the Supreme Court would become a tool for repressive political control, but that shows how naive I am. It also shows I’m from NY State where the right to abortion is not questioned, but that could change. It’s naive to think otherwise. This is a brave piece. Thanks again.

  7. Thanks, Elaine. The corruption in politics and so many politicians has always been so disturbing to me that I’ve avoided it. I’ve preferred to focus my energy on learning about the inner life and sharing what I’ve learned in my books. I’ve seen my major contribution to society as helping people understand and accept themselves and others. I believe that self-knowledge is the only lasting solution to the terrible damage we’re doing to ourselves and our planet. But I also know that if we don’t take a stand on social injustice and speak up about it we have little hope of influencing others. It’s been scary for me to do that in this post but I’m so glad I did. It’s been very well received.

  8. Another explanation for my reluctance to speak up on controversial matters is that my personality type is extremely conflict-averse by nature. Interacting with the readers of this blog has strengthened me in that regard! Thank you all!

  9. Jeanne, I have never read my views so eloquently expressed as in this post. Thank goodness you have a platform to do that!
    I wish we could reconnect in person. Enjoy NC! ❤️ Donna

    1. Thank you very much for letting me know this, Donna. I knew from the first day we met that we have a lot in common. I guess that’s why we hit it off so well. I wish we lived closer too. We have so much to catch up on. Love, Jeanie

  10. Dear Jeanie,

    Thank you so much for lifting your head above the parapet and being willing to roar out your love on this topic! I remember the moment I heard this news and my heart just sunk in total despair. In fact, disbelief was closer to my reaction at the decision of the Supreme Court. Incredulous also comes to mind, or perhaps that was what the BBC newsreader said whilst reporting the story here in the UK. I pray, pray, pray that nothing like this (il)legal decision ever comes to pass for women here. I’m hopeful that things will get reversed in many US states as protests grow and thousands of stamping feet bring us out of the darkness and into the light.

    Having an INFP, conflict-averse personality, I can resonate deeply with you re finding the courage to speak out (loudly) at something that is just morally wrong! Yet, speak we must I guess, for the time of silence is over. We must go forward and find our voice, learn to roar, for women’s stay in the shadows of great pain, injury and confusion have endured for far too long.

    So thanks again for holding a lamp high enough for even us quiet ones to see. I can imagine how furious the goddesses are, especially Hecate and Kali with their fierce “Divine Feminine” love and outrageous courage! Okay, I must get back to unpacking my case and putting another load of washing on as we’ve just returned from our mountainous and lake-filled holiday today.

    Love and light, Deborah

  11. Hi Deborah, it’s lovely to hear from you. I hope your holiday was enriching and absolutely delicious!

    Thank you for your heartfelt support. Knowing you also feel this way emboldens me to do more of this kind of writing. I truly believe we need to face and address our own shadows and wounds before we can change the world in healthy, lasting ways, and I’ve never been a politically-minded person, but there comes a time in the evolution of every consciousness-seeking person to face and address the shadows, wounds, and injustices of the world around us.The goal of my writing is not just to empower women, but to empower the feminine in all of us. We need to hear voices from both sides of the divide loud and clear as we try to create a healthy world.

    It’s always been the role of elders to share their hard-earned wisdom with the next generation, I guess it’s our turn. We’ve never needed wisdom more than we do now when the future of the planet is at stake.

    Love and light, Jeanie

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