Profound: 1a : having intellectual depth and insight. b : difficult to fathom or understand. 2a : extending far below the surface. b : coming from, reaching to, or situated at a depth : deep-seated a profound sigh. 3a : characterized by intensity of feeling or quality.
Merriam Webster Dictionary
“The Personal is Political” was an important rallying slogan when it was coined in the late 60s by feminists who wanted to point out that women’s daily reality was impacted by politics and that through politics and action, the daily lives and experiences of women could improve. But times have changed and I think we need to rethink this slogan, which has enjoyed a bit of a heyday in these polarized times.
I remember when yoga became “problematic”. It was kind of a personal loss for me because I used to love yoga. Sure it was all a bit faux spiritual with its expensive juice bar and Buddha statues in Central London, but it was far from problematic. It was a place where people could come to de-stress from their intense London existence, a place to calm down amongst the beautiful aesthetic of glass and brick.
At some point Social Justice ® started creeping in. Benign things like knitting, taco shops and hairstyles became “problematic” overnight. Soon enough yoga was also infected. I saw slogans such as “If your yoga isn’t political, it’s not yoga”. As someone who hates slogans and hates being told what to think I naturally rebelled. Instead I started to only practice alone and eventually stopped investing in classes at all.
We are far from the days of needing people to see the real lives and consequences of politics. Nowadays it is being injected into every space we have.
The politics of trans ideology is having a real impact on young people and I wanted to start something to provide an alternative.
And as I reflect on the other aspects of my life: sexual, intellectual, spiritual, relational, psychological the more I am aware of how the political side of life can be as big or as small as I choose to make it. The political definitely had something to do with me starting “Life Detransitions”. The politics of Gender Ideology is having a real impact on young people and I wanted to start something to provide an alternative. But the project is so much more than that. The project is about healing and finding the beauty in life again despite our differences and wounds. There is no political agenda and people of all political leanings are welcome.
I recently communicated with a detransitioned woman. She asked me how she could not get triggered by the constant posting from people, who I’m sure mean well on some level, talking about mastectomy as mutilation and using the scars of detransitioned females to make a political point. She said she was just trying to move on with her life and find the beauty in her body despite its scars. My advice was to tune it out, turn off twitter and other distractions and focus on her own path, filling it with inspiration and creativity.
Politics can be myopic, aggressive, and boring. It can overlook the myriad ways in which we are all connected, choosing instead to focus on our differences.
Politics can be myopic, aggressive, and boring. It can overlook the myriad ways in which we are all connected, choosing instead to focus on our differences. It can be a projection landmine where people’s deeper personal unresolved issues find meaning and validation in political causes. People lie to themselves all the time in their politics and people act out. And politics can make people bitter and sour-more interested in being on the right side, than working on themselves first. Politics can also make people insufferably self-righteous, as I’m sure we all know first hand.
So that’s why I encourage people to look beyond politics and meditate on the interconnectedness of all beings. I guess it’s the therapist in me which believes in thinking about all the ways in which we can express love, kindness and understanding, even to those different from us. Ask yourself: How can I water the seeds of creativity and wisdom, rather than of tribalism and self-righteousness?
Let me know in the comments your views on politics and how you handle it in your own life. Have you also felt stifled by the politicization of everything?