Loyalty – a word that’s been in the forefront of my mind lately.
I’ve been curiously observing my first born.
A brilliant young man quietly going through life.
There’s a grounded energy in him.
A quality he’s always had.
Regardless of the shit storms often flying around him,
he remains a rock.
For all to lean on his fragile shoulders.
Carrying more than his own weight.
A while back I started suspecting that he was a type 6 on the Enneagram – the Loyalist.
A suspicion confirmed a few weeks ago as he took the test.
This saddens me.
Because he is more loyal to others than he is to himself.
Behaviour we see so often in the world.
For the greater part of my life, I’ve been guilty of this insanity.
Thinking there was honour in loyalty to others, even when detrimental to myself.
Protecting those who quite frankly was acting in bizarre fashion.
And because they were for the most part not physically harming others – only me so OF COURSE I must have deserved it,
because they weren’t leaving bruises on others – only me so OF COURSE this was my role to play,
because they were addicted to the drug infused state of alcohol,
or because they said it was just their nature and they couldn’t help it,
I excused their behaviour.
I stood by their side,
defending them to others,
hiding their secrets,
even though every action was in direct conflict with my core values, beliefs and desires.
I stopped being loyal to myself at a very young age.
I recall a specific morning,
living in a small town named Newcastle,
coward in the corner of the bathroom behind a locked door.
Listening as my brother raged on the other side,
pummelling fists against the door,
terrified that he would break through,
because I dared defy him,
because I dared to stand up for myself.
I knew that once that door was opened hell would rain down on me.
So I remained behind the locked door the entire day.
It wasn’t the first, or the last time.
I protected him,
keeping the secret of his violent nature from my parents,
not wanting to see him receive another beating from our father.
I rationalised, even at this tender age, that it was not his fault.
He was simply taking all the suppressed rage and frustration from frequently being physically punished and channeling it towards the smallest member of the family.
The fact that said smallest member was me, was simply bad luck – an ironic twist of my fate.
So it starts.
It seems so innocent, and you might write it off to normal sibling rivalry.
That corporal punishment is a necessary part of discipline in raising responsible members of society.
But it’s actually really fucked up.
We are indoctrinated that any behaviour inside our homes are justified.
That we NEVER speak to outsiders of what happens behind closed doors.
It would be the ultimate betrayal resulting in expulsion from the clan.
This is exactly how society keeps order through fear – fear bred into us from the moment we start receiving our first punishment.
What about the betrayal of self Darling?
What about loyalty to yourself?
It’s actually not fucking okay.
It’s not okay that we teach our children to keep our secrets because we don’t take responsibility for ourselves.
It’s not okay that we keep the secrets of our family to protect them from the consequences of their actions.
Why are there so many alcoholics in the world?
Because nobody is talking of the enormous scale of destruction they leave in their wake!
Nobody is talking about the verbal and emotional abuse these people are dishing out in their state of intoxication and by the time they sober up, they’ve forgotten and continue to live in denial.
Because their families remain more loyal to them than to themselves.
Why are there so many bullies in the world?
Because nobody is talking about how children are being bullied into submission at home!
Instead we call it discipline.
Nobody is talking about the fact that children are growing up in homes where one parent stomps around in rage, the other treading on eggshells.
Because children remain more loyal to their parents than to themselves.
We are taught to sacrifice our values,
suffocate our dreams,
turn away from ourselves,
all in the name of loyalty.
Everyone is calling for the healing of humanity.
Everyone is crying out about the injustice happening in countries of warfare.
Everyone is outraged at the increasing brutality in violent crimes.
Yet the only way to change the world, is to change our own behaviour.
The only way to heal humanity is to heal ourselves.
The only way to stop the violence is by becoming intolerant to the violence in our own lives.
We can blame societal norms and we can continue to excuse everyone because it’s simply all they know,
personally I’ve simply reached a point where I have zero fucking tolerance for this mentality.
Nobody is stupid,
most people are just too lazy to think for themselves.
That doesn’t give them a free pass to be an asshole.
In my humble opinion what is called for at this time is a return to self.
A time of remembering.
Who you are.
What you value.
What you dream about.
What you desire.
What is the legacy you came to leave behind.
it’s time to show the fuck up.
For your children.
The way we all say we want our children to show up one day.
Until you become loyal to yourself, we’re all doomed Darling.
Nothing left to hide.
For only death is inevitable.
Thriving is the choice of the brave.
With love always,