Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 50

needs for love and belonging, are routinely used as part of patriarchal upbringing, it leaves an overwhelming number of us with a propen- sity to believe we are fundamentally “wrong,” leading us to hide our “unwanted” parts and cease our “unwanted” behavior in order to re- gain acceptance in the group. The overwhelming majority of us accept this extremely difficult deal, difficult because both of these sets of needs are essential for survival. We give up much of who we are, our authentic expression, our truth as it lives in us moment by moment, for the hope of being seen and accepted (even if only partially) as part of the whole. We must, because Through both coercion our survival in relation and shaming, one of pa- We have forgotten, especially in to these needs depends triarchy’s core ways of on others. We thus have the most recent period of such interfering with develop- no choice but to extreme polarization and hostility, almost ment takes the form of conclude that freedom separating and opposing that trust is our natural state, not is impossible even as we two sets of crucial needs. 6 keep longing for it from fear and not shame. One is the cluster of secu- afar, or finding hidden rity, which includes needs and sometimes destruc- such as trust, belonging, and being seen, and tive ways for having at least some of it, since the other is the cluster of freedom, which in- even hidden it remains essential to our life. cludes needs such as self-expression, truth, and presence. The tragedy of socialization within This is patriarchy’s “success:” we become the patriarchal world we live in is that the two obedient and disconnected from ourselves and triangles polarize. As children, our security from life. And because this is the only game triangle is not a given; we have to earn it by in town, we are then more likely to internalize being “good,” which means, essentially, overall patriarchy’s messages and pass them on to our obeying and following adults’ ideas and in- own children and less likely to challenge either structions. specific people in positions of authority or the system of patriarchy as a whole. This means we get a subtle and profound mes- sage that the price of security and belonging is A very small minority of us, in the same cir- loss of the freedom to be who we fully are. cumstance of polarization, choose freedom, recognizing, consciously or not, the immense cost that this choice incurs: living without safety, belonging, or being seen. This choice is never articulated as an option, partly out of care for us when we are young and partly out of loyalty to the internalized versions of patri- archy that our parents and teachers have them- selves absorbed. Without the option of choos- ing freedom over belonging being named, and since, as children, we are so dependent on others for safety, it is not surprising that only few of us make that difficult choice, almost tantamount to a willingness to risk our lives for freedom. Credit: © Miki Kashtan and Arnina Kashtan, 2018 “ 50 W W W .T I K K U N . O R G ” WINTER 2019