Growing up in a Dominator Culture

You are not broken.

You are doing the best you can in a civilization that is antagonistic towards life and your essential nature.

By understanding this, we can cultivate a deeper compassion and resilience towards the challenges we face as we walk the path of healing. The truth of our being is love, connection to all that is, creativity, choice and freedom. The dominant economic and political systems on our planet, however, serve the accumulation of power and resources, with an extractive relationship towards both people and all life on Earth.

Institutions of culture and education are marshaled for the “manufacture of consent” and the justification of gross levels of inequality both within and between nations. In its most obvious form, this manifests as right-wing populism or genocidal wars, which employ nativist, racist, sexist, and value-based derogation of the “Other” to create division and obedience. More subtly, these agendas are served through creating “false consciousness,” where the fundamental injustice of the underlying system is made invisible. Its worst impacts are hidden in slums and foreign countries, distant rainforests, oceans and industrial farms, and people are numbed to and distracted from the disconnection at the center of their lives. 

This is the opposite of a generative culture oriented towards our empowerment, worth and sacred relationship with the living Earth. Our natural empathy, sensitivity, and freedom are simply incompatible with a system that requires disconnection from those who pay its most obvious costs.

Growing up in this system, we become divided against ourselves. Every time our connectedness, truth, or worth is suppressed, denied or rejected, we fragment; parts of us adopt varied and often conflicting strategies for survival, pushing the creative, free, and vulnerable aspects to retreat into hiding. This fragmentation causes us emotional pain, numbness, or even physical disease, and creates struggle in living the life we want.

There is a maxim, “As within, so without, as above, so below.” In a whole and just culture that celebrated our interdependence and spiritual connection, every aspect of life would be regarded not for its utility, but for its intrinsic sacred nature. On a personal level, we can begin to heal by repairing the internal relationships between aspects of our own selves. So many of us are familiar with harsh inner voices that say things like “you coward, you’re ugly, you idiot, you loser, you’re a failure,” and perhaps we can also hear the soft ones that say “I’m scared, I’m lonely, I’m heartbroken.” 

We need to discover these parts within ourselves, hear their origin stories, embrace them with love and understanding, and help them become a functioning community that addresses their needs and harmonizes their goals.  

This is the Hero’s Journey. And I stand ready to support you with the gifts of space, presence, acceptance, and compassion.