Revoking Consent


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I often say the vast majority of our suffering is either self inflicted or happening with our full consent. I know this to be true in my own life, and in the lives of those around me, but oh boy, does it ruffle some feathers saying such things.

Revoking consent is a gentle thing, peaceful and nonviolent, and simply amounts to turning away and not participating.

No victim blaming either. I’m not saying anyone is to blame for cancer or the death of loved ones or having been used as someone’s punching bag. I’m just saying the vast majority of our own suffering is not caused from having a gun held to our head. It’s something we voluntarily come into alignment with. We consent to it, often unaware, but still we grant it permission.

Our problems in America right now are also spiritual, psychological, and not necessarily material or physical. Like so many other afflictions in life, we have gone and consented to our own misery. We have complied. We have failed to say “no” when we should have. We have allowed our neighbors to make poor choices at the voting booth. We have allowed division to dominate rather then common sense, moderation, and cooperation.

We have played the game and bought into the drama. No shaming intended either, we all do it, we all get caught up in circumstances, and drawn into the world. To some extent that’s even a good thing. We are designed for community, I’m just saying when your community goes off the deep end as mine has done for a number of decades, one way to fight back is to simply revoke your consent.

I know a whole lot of people in bad relationships and sometimes that can get really intense and kind of scary, but here’s the deal, step one is always all about, just calmly and quietly revoke your consent. Stop buying what they are selling. Stop perceiving yourself as the injured party waiting for some lunkhead to treat you justly. Stop seeing yourself as a victim. You are an adult, you have the authority. Revoke your consent.

Stop complying. Stop investing. Stop participating. Just say no.

This of course is always easier said than done. It’s a bit like telling an alcoholic all these bad things seem to happen when you’re drinking, so just stop drinking. That’s true too, that’s the solution! Your misery is self inflicted so simply revoke you consent and stop being miserable.

Anyone who has ever dealt with human beings, especially addicts, knows how silly my words are in a practical sense. Romans 7 speaks of this truth in some really profound ways, “For I do not do the good I want to do. Instead, I keep on doing the evil I do not want to do.”

The bottom line is, “But I don’t want to revoke my consent.” I love how Jesus always asks, “do you wish to be healed?” This is a harsh truth, but a lot of us don’t because we are invested, we are entangled, we are afraid of change, we got unresolved trauama, the list goes on and on.

I’m just a huge fan of the notion that you have the right to revoke your consent at any time, for any reason. Just say, “nope”. That’s not only good for your mental and spiritual health, it’s freedom and empowerment, and really needs to be loudly proclaimed because we’re living in a land of alleged mandates, force, and relentless compliance.

My pronouns are, “nope, not playing.”