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Suzanne O'Keeffe Headshot

The Gulf Is Us and We Are Done Being Abused

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I wept last night for our unconsciousness and our fear. For my inability to stir the hearts of women and men to action, to change, to any effect at all. I wept for the souls of the dolphins and turtles and pelicans in this toxic sloop, breathing the oil- and dispersant-ridden toxic air and feeling sick -- nowhere to go to truly escape it -- no doctors to heal them -- no news crews explaining to them what is happening to their world and why humans are allowed on planet anymore.

We should abandon it to them. We are not worthy of being here. We are not worthy of living here, so self-absorbed and blind people are to this world and its life in every corner, in every little corner. The weeds and the cockroaches are worthier than we are.

We cannot stand up to bullies, so scared are we of the authorities to whom we give all our power. We are afraid of BP, afraid of our government agencies, even as we know they are thoroughly corrupted by money interests.

This is the talk going on in the responsibility modules of our consciousness. It is in the piece of us imploring us to wake up -- to tune instead into our power and fearlessness -- to become conscious. It is the part of us that identifies with dolphins and knows humans have lost their way.

We need to mourn. We need to wail and grieve and pierce our hearts with mea culpas for not being brave enough to barge into the BP offices with citizens' arrest warrants and a phalanx of local police we can trust and arresting all of them, and any government officials who stand with them.

Close behind that are the mea culpas for needing a damn car in the first place, or for finding plastic bags useful, or for unknowingly filling our homes with thousands of seemingly inescapable petro products that now are covered in my mind with the sludge on those poor pelicans. And for allowing a government riddled with regulators who side with money and legislators who pocket campaign contributions to look the other way.

Then come the mea culpas for needing money. If we didn't need money, we wouldn't need to work for or cater to the abusive, arrogant, conniving oil industry and we could kick every last one of them out of every state and out of every level of government and immediately implement the clean technologies continuously emerging.

We're staring at the consequences of believing that if we want money -- an "economy" -- our only option is to tolerate major abuse. That if we want to survive, we need to shut up, suck it up and do what the abusers tell us to do. That we have no other option.

I don't know about you but I'm done being abused.

Abusers always tell you that their way is the only option -- that they don't need to change, or, under pressure, they give lip service to change, but don't. They deceive, they lie. They tell you that it's your fault, that what you expect is absurd, unrealistic, impossible, and besides you don't deserve any better -- so learn to live with what you got, 'cause that's all there is. They tell you all that to screw with your head -- to keep control.

But wise ones know better. Wise ones know what they really deserve. They have a vision of what they would choose to create for themselves. They know how powerful and resourceful they really are. They kick abusers out and they create a better life.

Time to stop beating ourselves up for allowing things to get this bad. Time to kick the abusers out of our lives and out of our government.

We are done "surviving." We want to thrive. We want to thrive with the same vibrancy that we want the Gulf to thrive. Abundantly, easily, because we love it. No other damn reason.

What we want for the Gulf, we want for ourselves: The abuse must end. No more being ordered around. No more being dumped on with toxic BS. No more lies. No more being put in danger to make other people rich. No more being stolen from without any regard for our well-being.

The Gulf's cry is our cry: We demand to be respected and honored, not because we can earn you money, but because we are worthy of unconditional love. Now. We don't have to earn you a damn thing.

This goes beyond oil. We need to forgive ourselves for not knowing how to eliminate the greed and corruption dominating our planet at the moment that makes life miserable for so many of us, kills our fellow creatures, deadens us to life on earth, and endangers the very planet that allows us to live.

We must decide, regardless, that we are going to rid this earth of the greed and corruption anyway. We are going to rid the earth of this broken operating system. We are going to go forward without knowing the answers, knowing only that we cannot stay in this abuse one day, one moment longer.

We damn well will create an "economy" that does not run on abuse or greed or corruption. We don't know how that will happen, but we know damn well we can do it. We will find a way, and we won't stop until we do.

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