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Not Lateral Violence

 
Today, a special message for the indigenous I work to empower, those brave men and women who have chosen to follow my work so as to hear my words.

Today, a very important message that I pray you can hear (although my guess is that it won’t be easy to hear).

Here it is – it isn’t lateral violence that is holding you back.

I repeat – it isn’t lateral violence that is holding you back.

To explain, lateral violence is a manifestation of internalized oppression. People who have been oppressed for a long time (like we have) begin to internalize the oppression. In simple terms, they begin to believe the b.s.. They begin to believe the stereotypes about themselves and about others in their group. These are the indigenous people who believe we are less intelligent than non-indigenous. These are the indigenous people who don’t think education can help us and on and on.

Once internalized, oppression manifests in two ways. One is lateral violence. When members of your own community tear you down or judge you. It happens in every one of our communities every single day and it is awful.

And for years we have taken seminars (and I have delivered seminars) on how to stop other people from doing that. And as we all know, there is no power in trying to control other people.

BUT there is something even more powerful (and even more devastating) than lateral violence and that is the other way internalized oppression manifests – in how you talk to yourself.

But you see, it is easier to blame others right? It is easier to point fingers than to admit we call ourselves the most HORRIBLE names, in our heads, and we believe them. We beat ourselves up worse than any abuser ever has. We judge. We condemn and we talk ourselves out of speaking up or even trying for that new job. We talk ourselves out of leaving the abusive relationship and we talk ourselves out of going to school.

And it has to stop.

BUT THIS IS WHERE IT GETS EXCITING!

One, we control our self-talk. IT IS programmable! You can change it! I know because I do and now FOR THE REALLY EXCITING PART!
When you change your own self-talk, it gets harder to hear the b.s. others say. The lateral violence continues BUT IT NO LONGER HAS AN EFFECT and overtime, the naysayers and the condemners get sick of not having an impact and they move aside, leaving you surrounded by people who say great things to you, the same great things you finally started saying TO YOURSELF!

It starts with you, and it can start today. You can break the change. YOU have the power.

I believe in you.

Now if you need help, talk to your community about hosting my seminar “Silencing the Hum”. It is all about breaking this chain because you have been held back long enough. It just wasn’t those other people doing the holding.
 

I love you!
HUGSSSSSSS
Sandi

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