Ukrainians escaping Russia’s invasion crossed into neighboring nations like Romania, where at least 19,000 people had reportedly entered since the fighting began. “It’s surreal, we’re shocked,” one refugee said. https://t.co/OT4jZaMSEX pic.twitter.com/IwedBI3vWb
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 26, 2022
I don’t usually write politics—leaving that to those who can articulate the matter better than I can.
When I was in my 20s, my maiden phase, I often made the comment that I didn’t get involved in politics because it was too destabilizing. Later, in my mother phase, I realized that I wanted to understand the world around me and hopefully be an influence for a more equitable society. Now, as a crone, I am much fiercer about protecting what is dear to me—things like democracy, and everyone’s right to a peaceful world.
Even so, I may sometimes hide in my witch’s practice, choosing to cast a spell for desired outcomes rather than speaking out publicly. The last couple of days though, I was awoken to a very present danger within the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
I consider myself a free thinker, a critical thinker, a rebel for worthy causes. Questioning the world around me and the information that is presented to me or that I seek out is something that feeds my soul. A transplant from Communist Poland to Canada at the age of nine, it is fair to say that my family and I were familiar with propaganda. I may not have understood what it meant at that age, or how it functioned, but I did live the consequences of it.
That’s how I currently view conspiracy theory—propaganda. Not because we should not examine our existence and the influence of politics or those who manipulate the systems we live under, but because it can take a rather dangerous turn. I do feel vulnerable writing this, as I do have friends, acquaintances, and online followers who are heavily invested in conspiracy theory. The last thing I wish to do is undermine their character or right to inquiry. Live and let live is my usual mantra. Who am I to question their way? And yet, I do. I will explain.
I worry about the world we are leaving to our children and grandchildren. I wonder about economics, the climate, and the probability of war. I am extremely saddened about the war in Europe—and equally sad about war anywhere.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has triggered memories of stories my maternal grandmother recounted about war and that her worries it would return to Europe convinced her it was better to adopt me out to Canada after my parents passed. I can feel into the trauma of my ancestors who lived through two world wars.
It has been difficult these last days, to hold both the joy and privilege of my present life, along with the shock and sadness of war in Ukraine simultaneously in my heart. How do we do this? Balance these two extreme polarities?
My heart is broken open with empathy and compassion for the Ukrainian people and the Russian people who are protesting against the war of their president.
Here is a smidgen of the conspiracy misinformation circulating on the internet. It echoes the propaganda of Vladimir Putin urging the Ukrainian nationals to turn on their own democratic government.
Ukraine is bombing its own people.
Ukraine is refusing to let refugees leave.
Ukraine is not a sovereign country, it is a state of Russia.
Obama and Biden—the “deep state”—financed the local mafia to overthrow a previous Ukrainian government, and now Russia has gone in to eradicate the drug and child trafficking mafia, and free Ukrainians.
Trump and Putin are the good guys, eradicating evil in the United States and Russia.
Everything about the invasion is mainstream media BS.
Nobody can dismiss human or drug trafficking, or believe that it does not go on in every country. Even here, my beloved Victoria, B.C. is a hub for these activities. No one can deny that a mafia exists in many countries. We can all agree that anything we can do to stop this heartbreak is necessary.
I cannot bring my brain around to believing that Putin is interested in anything but establishing himself as the person who brought the old USSR back into power. He will even sit straight-faced urging the Ukrainian people to abandon their own sovereignty and take up arms against their own democracy.
Unfortunately, when people are already in a trauma bond with their country’s unstable existence due to continued violent interference, when confusing rhetoric is pumped through the internet, when conspiracy seeks to convince them to doubt their own good sense and love of their country, we enter psychological, dangerous waters.
My anger has risen where normally I would entertain a conversation with someone who holds those views to at least respectfully try to understand them.
Dr. Gabor Mate suggests that people who take to social media to spread conspiracy theory do so out of unresolved childhood trauma; that the sense of belonging within a group of people who support conspiracy beliefs brings temporary pleasure and a sense of power to the vulnerable—finding a political outlet for their anger and mistrust. He was addressing the anti-vaccine protests at the time of this conversation.
Who trusts their government or policy implicitly? Not me. I do question everything and come to my own conclusions. Sure, we need to hold politicians and society accountable. However, life in a constant drama of mistrust or anger about how things are puts us in fight mode, and that’s not a place from which peace grows.
I’ll admit that this was a huge trigger for me, being born on European soil, and having lived the lack in Poland at the time. I can’t erase the visions of Russian tanks parading around town on May Day from my heart or mind. I hope for continued sovereignty for Ukraine, and that those who hold with conspiracy will consider the well-being of its people before supporting Putin’s maniacal actions.
I’ll be called “asleep,” “unconscious,” stuck in 3D consciousness. That’s okay. I know where I am most effective, and that is being fully human in an incredible, hurting, beautiful, often confusing world.
May all be well.
If you’re Canadian, here are some ways to Help Ukraine
Read more here: 4 Things Everyone should Keep in Mind about the War in Ukraine.