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Do you want to be inclusive in your life and in your business, getting firy when arguing with grumpy people clinging to an old world? Me too.
But while we deconstruct old models, there’s one aspect of diversity and inclusivity that is rarely addressed:
The one within us, and it has a cost, even more so for women.
Let me explain.
There are several channels that guide us in perceiving information from the world.
And one is really privileged and valued compared to the others; I will call this phenomenon the primacy of thoughts.
It makes us leave more than 50 percent of our power on the table.
IQ privilege is present in different circles—from thinkers, “I think, therefore I am” (of course it’s a dude saying that, and of course he is French) is the principle that influenced the western world into valuing the intellect, to spiritual seekers, “Everything happens for a reason.” This is more a belief, and everyone is free to believe what they want. But this one is frustrating when it comes out of the mouth of a spiritual bypasser, kind of gaslighting you, or of a coach who copies and pastes his own belief on you, instead of providing some tools.
We are meaning-making creatures who try to find explanations for everything and why they happen. This focus on reasoning and logic does two things for us:
1. It stops us from accepting what is.
2. It stops us to feel the pain arising from accepting what is.
The problem is this primacy of thoughts is as well cancelling a lot of valuable information coming from our bodies. Even more so for women who have already been conditioned to dissociate from their bodies for it to be others’ property for millennia.
Let me give you some concrete examples about how it can lead us to give our power away (trigger warning: stories of aggression and abuse):
1. Most of my clients experience feeling uncomfortable with an inappropriate comment, but they freeze and go to self-attack instead of saying something.
2. Ninety-five percent of women who have been aggressed in France say that they felt something wrong as soon as the person started to talk to them or walked in their direction, but they ignored that signal. Some of them even reported that they didn’t want to be perceived as angry and bitter women and that’s why they kept being nice.
3. My client who is in her 60s spent a tremendous amount of energy doubting that an abusive situation happened with her dad because her mother is in denial and tells her she is a troublemaker. She has no explicit memory (probably traumatic amnesia) but flashes and an immense sense of disgust about her dad. When I met her, she struggled to validate what she felt because she had no proper recollection of a sequence of events she could have put into words. She “just” sensed things. And doubting herself was truly exhausting and painful.
4. I have three girlfriends at the moment who are in a relationship with men who showed signs of being potentially violent. Their train of thoughts, stuck in a model saying “being single is bad,” and their dissociation from their bodies, which makes them confuse the adrenaline hit due to the fear with love, will, in my opinion, lead to a disaster sooner or later.
So if you remember only one thing from this article, may it be this:
If you feel it, it’s real.
What your animal body senses is always an important piece of information—as much as your thoughts and logic are.
You can argue, “Yes, but what if I have a traumatic response? What if I react strongly to a threat that was there in the past but is not there anymore?”
It’s totally possible; that’s what trauma does.
Still, what you feel is real in terms of what you need. And you don’t have to wait to heal or be more regulated to ask for what you need.
If you need to go slower, to avoid the crowd, to sit with the wall behind your back, to wait to have sex, instead of shaming it, approve of it.
This is your reality now, and this is totally okay. This is what diversity is; we are all different; we don’t have the same needs at the same time.
It is you today and you don’t need to wait to rise up to a standardized norm to have your desires met.
Women have been trained to ignore these signals and to always cope with less than what they really need. As a result, they always censor them as an adaptive mechanism, most often not to be perceived as needy.
When there’s great freedom in approving of your need for more love, touch, attention, and care, may it be a huge amount of it. Why not?
How do we end up attaching shame to what is the most human basic need?
And consider this: there are as well people wanting to give more than others. Hanging out with that crowd is exactly what would do some repair and help you to create more internalized safety.
You haven’t met those people because they are not around, but because you pretend being okay when you’re not.
You’ll meet them when you stop wanting to get out of what you feel with your thinking mind. When you’ll stop wanting to solve it. When you accept it, feel it, and get familiar with your wants and needs.
Let’s end the primacy of thoughts and practice inclusivity.