What's Up With That? ~ Katy Byrne

Katy Byrne Katy Byrne, MFT is a Psychotherapist in Sonoma, editor and animal lover. Her private practice specializes in: life transitions, couples communication, eating issues, moving forward, conflict resolution and the kitchen sink.


The Trump within

Posted on July 12, 2019 by Katy Byrne

Why, oh why, did people vote for a bully as our President of the United States? When something bothers me this much, affecting my sleep, my gut, and my moods, I just have to blurt out an emotional hairball, to try and understand why we can’t we have a more humane civilization. 

I wonder: are white men the problem with our world? Cruel, belligerent, judgmental, greedy males have been allowed to run roughshod over everything for centuries.

Enough already.

I’ve been flashing back on history, from the white wigs in courts to kings and cowboys enslaving blacks, killing Jews, animals, Indians, Chinese, immigrants, children and women, etc. Men have been busy harming nature, cutting, butchering, and raping life. This is what little boys learn about what it means to be a man. 

Oh please, can’t we stop putting these archetypes on a pedestal? Many men became like their Dads or some warrior figure. Are we all somehow allowing this ongoing poppycock? “Our government is acting cruelly and unmercifully right in front of our eyes, and responding to criticism with a brazen, ‘Yeah, What of it?’ This must not be allowed to stand.” Marianne Williamson.

Cockeyed violence has to change. I found myself reflecting on my father growing up in a farm family of 12 kids and my mother feeling powerless in a world that hardly heard her voice. Nobody knew how to mature with integrity for ages. John Welwood, Ph.D., explores males’ unconscious issues:  A man’s fear of woman reflects an inner suspicion and distrust of “his softer, more receptive side. We are afraid that being open and yielding will undermine our power, identity, and autonomy.” 

My point is not to put men down; both genders need to grow. I want to understand the horror of history and how we can all stop being complicit, allowing children to be torn from their mothers, school shootings, animal extinction, ravaging and destroying life. Women have been bitter and insecure, having suffered a long history of subjugation. Now we can own our power in constructive ways, and men too.

We have all learned roles that are no longer useful – from families, Hollywood, or beliefs passed down to us. We are challenged to change. Both genders can get better at generosity, vulnerability, asserting our wishes, insisting on ethics, decency, respect, protection and valuing the common good.

I once met a man who worked with a group called “Men Evolving Non-Violently,” in Santa Rosa. Rob was genuine, authentic, and full of compassion. He explained how the guys there were learning to be real, to talk openly and become whole. I was deeply moved by his stories, and hopeful.

It is essential that both genders stand up for kindness. Having balls can take on new meaning. We can all emerge from old habits. We can all make our needs heard, clearly but without throwing hardballs. We, the people, don’t need to allow unfairness and rage in ourselves or in our midst. Humanity can become decent, integrating patience, becoming good guardians with listening skills and growing in wisdom.

We can stop the “fight or flight” impulses bred into us. We can rise above our ancient instincts. It is time for the evolution of the species.

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