Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Is it a Power Trip?

At the end of May, I joined an online Mystery Quilt happening in a FaceBook group. It was called a June MQ, and there were only three steps to it. Much to my surprise, the steps were removed before I got a chance to copy them. Emailing the facilitator was frustrating and we did not seem to be on the same page. Finally, after I made such a public plea on the list, the four parts I needed were sent to me. 

This is where I left the project, cut and ready to piece, and then once pieced, ready to assemble. Its going to make a lovely combination and I want to finish it!

I've worked in women's community for decades now, and most of what we learned and practiced were supportive acts and affirming words to women. We read and discussed such books and authors like Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique, Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, Sandford and Donvan's Women & Self-Esteem, Davis & Leonard's The Circle of Life: 13 Archetypes for Every Woman, and Phyllis Chesler's Woman's Inhumanity to Woman.

For some silly reason, I thought all women were evolving and joining each other in mutual support these days. I thought that being mean to each other was left on the playgrounds of our childhood, and that being stupid was no longer fashionable in our interactions.

Well, not all of are created nor raised to evolve. 

And just because its a woman's group doing art that for so long has served us as women's work, doesn't mean that we treat each other kindly.

I'm not sure if was just a power trip or that it had to do with copyrights (nothing was listed on the pattern that it was copyrighted nor was there an end date), as much as it falls into the scarcity thinking that there is not enough. She was resistant (without reasons) to everyone on the group asking for the links to be replaced so they could finish their MQs.

We have a long way to go, even in our women's groups, even in our quilting groups, to remember to be kind, to remember to be generous. 

Just because I am living with my ethics, doesn't mean others have the same values. Its like building a quilt from a pattern that everyone is working with at the same time. We choose differently and the results, while looking similar are never the same. All my wishing and hoping for the evolution of human spirits around me is not my responsibility. They get to choose.

And I get to choose. What I learned from this experience is that its my responsibility to know what I am getting into when I join any group, formal or informal. Individuals bring their energy to the table and if I sit at that table and share the metaphorical meal that is served up, then each bite I take better nourish my soul; or it can get pushed to the side and left when I stand up again. Standing up again means I stand for something, stand for myself, and stand against what is dysfunctional for me. Not for them, not for others. For me.