“They only deserve freedom, who are prepared to fight for it”.
I read these words over 25 years ago on a war memorial, and had forgotten them until today. This blog began as a platform for me to share my experience with cancer, morphed into a place for me to share my experience of life, and now with this post, I am moving into (for me) uncharted territory… politics and war.
If you have read my previous posts, it will hopefully be clear that I am not a fan of war. I have objected to the terminology of warfare being applied to cancer. The terminology of war is fear inducing and I do not believe it is appropriate or helpful in relation to cancer or anything else really. I do not believe that fear or violence or force is the answer to any of the problems facing humanity. I have believed for the last 13 years that my purpose and passion has been in slowly and steadily releasing myself from fear in its many forms. Fear of death, fear of cancer, fear of life. Fear of speaking my truth when someone may not like what I say, Fear of not being good enough, fear of looking like an idiot. I believed that the challenges and experiences Life has subjected me to were for the purpose of preparing me to help re-frame cancer so others could also use it as a tool for personal transformation and personal liberation instead of it being a harbinger of fear.
The last two months has brought a dawning realisation that my work has actually all been about freedom.
Releasing myself from fear was the path I took – cancer was the vehicle I used, freedom was the destination. I see that now.
It is a valid path to freedom. Fear is a prison. I spent many years trapped in the prison of a mind that was run by fear. Run by beliefs that were not serving me, that weren’t true. Beliefs that kept me small. Beliefs that bound me in bonds as effective as a physical prison.
Freedom is important to me.
My freedom has been hard won. I have achieved it through struggle and pain and tears and despair and a resolute refusal to give up. The price I have paid for my freedom is great. It cost me my marriage, my house, my business, my social network, my religion. It cost me my worldview, I have had to question every belief about the world, God, life, death and myself, that I have held. I have been pushed to the limits of my endurance – beyond what I believed I could bear. I have sat with the death of my soul mate, I have sat with the inevitability of my own death. I have sat with my fear of men, in a prison, in a room full of male prisoners and shared with them my vulnerability, my deepest wounds. I have have sat with my fear of responsibility, my fear of being alone, my fear of not being enough, my fear of not having enough, my fear of not being lovable….. I have sat with my fear, my fear, my fear……
And every time I sat with my fear and refused to surrender to it – I got stronger and my fear got weaker.
This path has not just been pain. The depth of my pain and struggle has been matched by the height of my peace and joy. I have learned to live. I have learned to love life. I have even learned to love myself – and that was possibly the hardest part. I have learned to love creation and Creator. I have learned to open to and trust a Divine Presence that I can barely describe, or imagine or quantify. I have learned to listen to the voice within me. The quiet voice that keeps drawing me back to freedom, love and peace. Every step of my journey, I was supported. As long as I showed up, willing to learn and grow, Life supported me. The right people, the right books, the right experiences, all showed up – exactly when I needed them.
Freedom is our birthright.
Fear takes away freedom. Abuse of power takes away freedom. Restrictive and separative ideologies take away freedom. Selfishness and apathy create an environment where freedom can be taken away.
And this is why I have chosen to stand up.
To do what I can.
My freedom, and yours, is under threat.
I have always stayed away from politics -I am a bit cynical – intelligence and ambition without deep personal insight is dangerous. Power corrupts. It takes a person with very strong and conscious values to keep pure intentions. We are good at fooling ourselves and justifying our actions. I have questioned unfairly at times, the intentions of those who enter politics.
I have barely read the papers or watched the news over the last decade because I object to the propensity of the press to report negativity and conduct fear-mongering. Little is unbiased, you never hear the full story. And I believed that the world was going to continue on its path whether I was aware of what was happening or not. I felt there was little I could do to combat the negativity and fear. So I turned my back on it.
But the world has changed.
I have changed.
There are two quotes that I want to share:
“”There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right” – Martin Luther King
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” – Edmund Burke
What I say in following is from the point of view of a person who lives in Australia, however it also applies to any other democratic country.
Our freedom is under threat from the ideologies of the China Communist Party. It is with great reluctance that I say this on a public platform. I may be wrong. I hope so. I may also be the last person in Australia to see this – after all I have made no attempt in the past to follow the news, but it seems very clear to me that the Chinese Communist Party has one agenda, and one alone: world power and world domination. For anyone who values their freedom, the time is now past to stay quiet. I don’t know a lot about living under communist rule – but the little I do know – doesn’t shout out FREEDOM.
Freedom is important to me.
How important is it to you?
Important enough to fight for?
I am not talking about fight in terms of guns and physical force. Lets hope it doesn’t come to that. I am talking about the people of this country being very aware of the threat, clear about what we want, united in our stance.
Do we, as a people, want to keep our freedom? I think we do.
So what can we, the people without any power but personal power, do?
Smarter brains than mine will come up with better solutions than me, but there are several things that occur to me:
It is naive to believe that the iron ore which has lined the pockets of the Australian economy and which the Chinese Communist Party has no doubt used to build aircrafts, aircraft carriers and battle ships, won’t one day be used against us. There is a point, and Covid-19 is demonstrating that very clearly – where a choice must be made between what is good for humanity and what is good for economies. Have we been blinded by greed? How much do we need before we are satisfied? These are questions that must be asked individually and collectively. I am as culpable as anyone in contributing to the current state of the world.
This is a call to arms. It is not a call to violence, blame or hatred. It is a call for us all individually, to collectively protect our freedom, It is a call to self-responsibility. It is a call to awareness of our own, individual part in contributing to a future of freedom. Or not.
We must arm ourselves with knowledge, clarity, rationality, morals and values. We must arm ourselves with self-awareness. With willingness to support each other and the greater good of democracy and freedom. We must all step up – or be stepped on.
Ultimately, it is a call to peace.
But it is not a call to peace at all costs by bowing to manipulation and threats.
We are stronger than that.