Owning my Weinstein

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It's easy to condemn Harvey Weinstein. What he did was wrong. Point the finger. Judge. Make an example of him. Shame on him. The boundary came in for Harvey way too late. He seems to have been very skilful in the way he isolated and manipulated women and used his power to go on to abuse them, and hurt them, physically and emotionally. He deserves all the subsequent consequences because he is responsible for his actions. He is hurting now too. Perhaps he was always hurting. Maybe that's why he did it.

Instead of standing on the boundary throwing rocks, I am looking inward, and examining my own dark masculinity. Because there is a part of me that wants power over beautiful young women. A part of me that would like to take their power away and have my way. The dark masculine that lives within me wants to devour innocence, penetrate and overpower the divine feminine. This is part of me. I own it.

What stops me behaving like this, is all the other complex parts of my being, my golden masculinity. My empathy, compassion and love, owning and channeling healthy anger, allowing my grief, being responsible for my actions whether intended or unintended, knowing the boundary, enforcing it, respect and awe for and of the feminine, being the loving, caring father of a baby girl, being aware that every day I am modelling what it means to be a man to my young sons, being powerful, being vulnerable, speaking my truth, choosing to be a man in the world and not allowing myself to think I can be an irresponsible little boy or a reckless teenager in a powerful adult man's body.

That doesn't mean the Weinstein part of me goes away. It just means I take responsibility for it and try not to let it leak out in hurtful ways into my family, my community, my world.

Sometimes I like to read Bernard Cornwall novels about marauding vikings. They desecrate the Anglo-Saxon churches, kill their men and rape and pillage their women. The Weinstein part of me loves this world, revels in it, wallows in the fantasy of actions without consequences. The real-life part of me understands clearly in every moment that this is a fantasy world and has no place in the real world. I own my darkness, I give it space to breathe in fiction and fantasy, and then I draw a boundary around it. In this way I can operate from a place of sovereign, I can often be the man I want to be, that is a blessing to others rather than a burden.

In Indian and yogic philosophy, samskaras are the mental impressions left by all thoughts, actions and intents that an individual has ever experienced, in this life and beyond. They can be thought of as psychological imprints, ancestral wounds. They are below the level of normal consciousness and are said to be the root of all impulses, as well as our innate dispositions.

Through yogic practices it is possible to look within and come into contact with the inner samskaras, below the threshold of everyday consciousness. Samskaras are considered to be evidence of rebirth and the root of both our pleasurable and painful experiences.

I actively work with my own shadows and samskaras as a matter of course, as maintenance for my soul, using many different tools, within yoga and beyond. It is hard work but essential for me, to shine light on my darkness, if I am ever going to heal the wounds that hide in the shadows.

In my world, right now, I will stand firm between Harvey Weinstein and those women he seeks to dishonour and wound, and I will draw a clean, clear boundary, that will not be crossed, protecting those less powerful than him.

But as I look into his face and hold that line, I will not shy away from the reflection of my own dark masculine that I see hiding in the shadows of his eyes.

YogaBen

#ownit

Ben Parkes7 Comments