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TavBlog Conflict Week Winter 2021_2

Disagreement brings about conflict, even within our own bodies. Our emotions are felt in waves, each one slightly different than the last. We respond in one of three directions: we adjust our footing and embrace them; we try to fight something bigger than our ability to contain it; or we retreat from the water line, avoiding the changing tide altogether. Our ‘choice’ is all relative to a combination of our mood and our personal triggers, similar to the tide itself. No sooner have we settled on a perspective, than a new idea lands in the middle of it, challenging (and potentially changing) our point of view. Conflicting thoughts do battle as we take new information into the fold. We begin to question our initial judgments and draw different lines around our knowledge, as we allow more space for our wisdom to work its magic. It’s always helpful if we recognize that we need information from others to truly contemplate anything, but our triggers can lead us in the opposite direction - away from the very people and information that might help us transform our conflicts and/or learn to live peaceably within them…

This happened to me as I watched an interview with Sharron Davies, 1980 Olympic Swimmer, about Lia Thomas and her record-smashing swim abilities. She is targeted to break several long-standing, impressive records; and like several trans athletes before her, is naturally spurring an examination on how to achieve a competitive environment that feels both fair and inclusive. This has been a regular and ongoing conversation in my own sporting life, as our Women’s fields continue to grow. For the past several years, these issues have raised relevant questions about biology, physiology, hormonal influences, olympic guidelines, and fairness, many of them specifically directed at me, as people reach out for my opinion. My own personal experiences and interactions on the matter have been an educational journey, following a natural path for my own largely ignorant thoughts to form considered opinions. My emotions were often stirred into conflict about the subject, but my more studied self has always come to the same conclusion: if not in the Women’s Division, then where? From my own viewpoint, if we don’t have a solid solution, then this is the best we can offer right now - even if it has an (arguable) impact on my own ability to win. For cis-gendered women, the physical margins and the reverberating psychological elements (also arguable) are now a factor of our participation in Sport, period. By and large, most of the women in my sport will place value on protecting a ‘separated group’ of people over winning a contest.

Sharron Davies placed her focus on the value of ‘fair sport’ and it kinda blew my mind. In my own musings, I haven’t entertained the idea of fair sport, because ‘fair human’ stands in front of that (for me, for now). She proposes an Open field, where all trans athletes are welcome to enter, and a separate, biologically protected Women’s division. I don’t disagree with her research or her argument. Her points are valid, but at the same time, I don’t believe we are prepared to place value on them at this stage of our games. Ms Davies hasn't convinced me to share her focus, because at least in my own sport, the field isn’t (yet) big enough to support that type of separation. What she DID do, was open my thoughts to what fair sport might look like in the future. I can easily imagine a day when non-binary human beings comprise a big swath of our population, and the shape of division in sports is able to reflect the changes brought on by our evolving minds and bodies.

In my opinion, (as well as many others with legit credentials to discuss the matter) we are in a state of shifting consciousness and one of the biggest arenas we are seeing it play out in is that of sexuality. At 53, I am learning an entire new language around ways of identifying in a human body that have never occurred to me. I could react with resistance to it, like many of my peers. I could remain stuck in claiming an inability to understand, like many other peers, even adding that I am in support while failing to understand. I can also see this as an indicator that we are now bringing generations of humans into the world that don’t have a need to identify as male or female. As we step away from building our ego energies and lean into leading with soul, we attempt to obtain a collective effort toward Ego/Soul Balance. By this energetic logic, non-binary identifying human beings are patently better equipped, from their very core, to serve a collective. At this point in time, we (human beings) have piled a whole lot of ego shame and guilt onto them for arriving with a different mindset, simply because we aren’t prepared to handle the imminent changes to our very being. Those who react violently or aggressively towards that which feels foreign to themselves are just in a greater state of denying the basic fact that we are all connected to each other. It is the very ego constructs we have put in place for our safety and support that now hold us separate from being able to experience our own lives in Wholeness, let alone the Whole of humanity. In short, if we can learn to allow core changes to human beings, without applying a need to understand the changes, we support the space for transformation and growth. Otherwise, we are just feeding fears.

Our Ego Energies are still very strong, but dawn is breaking on our Soul Energies as they rise up within each of us, carrying intentions to consciously place value on support for our communities that finds more balance with our individual gains. Older, more ego-saturated human beings are rapidly leaving the planet and lighter, more soul-centered humans are taking their place. This fosters the natural breakdown of so many hard-wired structures that were built strictly for personal gain, forsaking any intentions about collective growth. The 1980’s kicked our Ego Energies into high gear and it seemed they knew their party was about to get rained on. We raged as hard as we could until we began to crash. Now, individually, we are waking up to assess the ‘collective damage’, but not with the ego intentions of finding fault. We are doing it simply to be aware of Our Raw Material - that is, what we actually have to work with. Not what we should have had, or could have had, had someone else not caused “xyz” problem.

Fair Sport, as a singular concept, makes perfect sense to me. When you group it with all of the other issues we are facing in the world, fair sport finds a seat in the back. Personally, I can’t get behind man-made laws, biology, or a torrent of stirred emotion that ultimately excludes an entire group of people. Does it mean that many sports records held by biological females will be usurped by trans athletes? Probably. Is it fair? Absolutely not. And are these words my opinion? 100%. This is a personal issue for me, as it directly affects my life. The way I feel in my sport has forever changed, and it wasn’t welcome or welcoming. As the dust has settled, we have attained a fragile balance. I believe these interim rules are more of a comfortable compromise than a permanent solution, but they allow the conversation to continue as we gain additional information and grow the field of trans athletes. This is a conflict I can live with while I watch our soul energies find footing in these human bodies. I truly believe that when we pause, breathe and listen, our conflicts propel our growth, not our umbrage.

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