Lateral violence

The last couple of days, I have had such stress and anxiety in my system. So profound is the stress of standing/speaking up for the rights that nature and human beings ought to have to a healthy life and environment.

I know that part of becoming a competent human being and an elder is the ability to course correct from my mistakes and learning how to gracefully execute every word and thought with love and compassion. This is where I call upon the wisdom of ancient spiritual practices, because I still have much learning ahead of me in the effort to become a competent human being and honorable elder.


The emotional and spiritual aspects of the environment we work in are permeated with a pernicious spirit of passive aggressiveness. The mental disease of gaslighting is grossly engaged by people whose agendas are constructed to espouse a very narrow framework. In this environment one can very easily lose sight of the importance of keeping to that high and steep road. One might more easily give in to the temptation to engage in the tit-for-tat warfare. Giving in to participating in the lateral violence of this tit-for-tat warfare is too easy. It is catching. Like a virus.

This morning I realized that I caught the virus. I’m participating in acts of lateral violence, reacting to the slings and barbs others are sending out like viral spores. Once I acknowledged and accepted my responsibility for this, my energy shifted, relieving so much stress and anxiety.  Like breaking a fever.

This is a choice point for me: I can keep playing this tit-for-tat game and exposing myself to the virus – or I can be responsible and choose to not play the game. I can rise above. It is a choice point for all of us. We can all rise above.


I’m not saying it’s easy. It is definitely the high and steep road. I know from experience how hard it can be hard to walk away from the pettiness and leave people where they are, but I also know it is the strongest thing I can do. The inoculation from the damages of the virus requires me to infuse my mind and my spirit with compassion, with unconditional love.

It’s true – the stakes are high. And the time is short. We all feel the urgency and enormity of the challenges we face. It is precisely because the stakes are high and the time short, that we must increase our efforts to rise above the snark, the passive aggressiveness, the gaslighting. I believe it is the most strategic thing we can do.

We know the truth. Let’s keep telling it. We have big work ahead of us, requiring us to have the focus of eagle, the stamina of salmon and the kindness of the orca. Remind ourselves of the lesson of Kich-Sabe, Sasquatch, to be honest in every thing and every thought. Let’s not engage in the spiritual act of killing our own wounded. Bend like the tree in the wind, so we don’t break. Let our spirits carry the fragrance of the rose. Let our love be persistent like the blackberry. Let our words be as healing as horsetail: ancient, adaptable, supportive.

I apologize to those of you who have been the recipient of my negativity. Please forgive me. I thank you.

Published by

Twylia (the 'i' is silent)

~ I am Anishinaabe-kwe with Scottish heritage and Sami DNA. I speak on the behalf of no one but myself. My ancestors inform and guide me. My voice is but one of many who are calling for change. We have much work to do to create a good space for the real human beings who are waiting to be born.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.