This adage has been rumbling around in my brain this week. I think I first heard it from my mother, but I can't be certain. I know it is one I have repeated to others time and again.
This has been a difficult week (and it is only Wednesday!). Another person I respected has disappointed me and this current situation has left me with a tight chest, shallow breathing, racing heart, and manic behaviour.
I find myself talking too fast, filling in the silences, running to the next thing - I know this behaviour well. I chatter away turning into a 'polly anna', when really what I want to do is a) go to bed and pull the covers over my head, or b) rail loudly against the injustices of the world.
I have been trying to connect with why the news of this week has rattled me so. Why I am endlessly reading posts about it on twitter, on facebook, on the internet.
I am just so mad. And sad. And disappointed.
And, at the heart of it, it brings up, for me, all the shitty things humans do to each other, and then justify in one way or another.
Someone I love very much was a victim of rape. It was someone she knew. Someone she had dated in the past. When she confronted him he told her to get over it. He told her 'it was just sex'. If it was 'just sex', why has it changed her life? Forever.
I don't pretend to understand all the different ways people choose to engage in sexual experiences with others. I really don't understand BDSM and I am not here to judge those that do, but what has made me very sad this week is that it feels, to me, in my limited understanding, that the part of it that involves violence against another person, rape fantasies, or 'hate f#$%ing' is beyond my understanding.
I really can not put into words what is upsetting about all of this, but I know to listen to my body, to my racing heart, to my 'still small voice', and to allow myself the permission to wish that it was not so.
To wish that people did not have to experience pain to experience pleasure, that women did not have to be raped by ex, or current partners, that people I respect did not have to fall so hard.
I am naive. I know that. But I do truly wonder if one can ever give consent for the things I have heard about in the news this week. Isn't there always a power imbalance of one kind or another? Teacher/student. Older/younger. More in love/less in love. Inexperience/Experience. Lonely/Predator.
I know that in the past I have done things, or gone along with things, because I didn't want to disappoint, I didn't want to be 'that girl', I didn't want someone to not like me.
I know that in the past I have not spoken up for all the same reasons, and also because I was ashamed.
"Here is an idea", someone I love posted recently on facebook, "Let's all be nice to each other."
That is a wish of mine too.
I know that 'if wishes were horses beggars would ride'.
I know that I will be walking for sometime yet.