The Flag We Really Need Right Now is Love
By Jane Tawel
June 14, 2022
It is the fault in us, Horatio, and not in our star-struck eyes.
It is society, and the culture of our own bent and broken time and place,
that has informed us, tried to misshapen us, and taught us falsely
that our sexuality is our identity.
Whether I have been straight or gay or I prefer to check “neither of the above”;
when I have let people think that my sex or my ex,
or my having or not having a certain defined relationship to my gender,
is what defines me,
then I have succumbed to the ills of the age.
I have fallen prey to the false religion of our times.
And the religion of this place and time is
that what I Do is Who I Am.
This world will try to tell me that what I do,
in the board room or the back room or the bedroom,
IS who I am.
But “IS” is not defined by some public agency.
“IS” is the agency of being.
“IS” is a being verb.
And yet, being is the scariest, most active thing a person can “do”;
and yet once one decides that being who she is,
is more important than any thing she does,
then he can be the very best self they want to be.
“Can’t we all just get along?”
Oh, I am old enough, if not yet wise enough,
to glimpse that when I fight you, I give you more strength;
but if I giggle and guffaw at how you try to define me,
and if I but hold my pride and need for you to approve,
as lightly in my hands as Mother Teresa held the lepers,
then I defeat your ability to tell me who I am.
I don’t need to heal myself of my gender or my sex or my color or my race.
I only need to heal myself of the world’s definitions, not of who I am,
but healed of the false definitions of who the world says, I can not become.
All I need is healing to become my true self,
and that doesn’t come from out there,
but from inside of me.
Who I choose to love is not the truth of me.
The truth of me is that I choose.
The truth of me is that I choose to love;
choosing to love me and love you.
Why do we fly so many different flags?
The flag we really need right now is love.
Why do we carry so many weapons of heart ache and words?
The only weapon we should be carrying is the weapon of unfettered hope.
Why do we put our faith in the gods of definitions?
The only God we need is the One beyond all defining.
No, what the world has told us is not the truth.
Are we all too afraid to unmask the lies?
Or are we too used to living behind our masks
to recognize the lies we live within ourselves?
Surely nothing is true when it becomes the mile-marker of who I am.
World, I take your erasable markers writ on me
and I use my magic eraser of self-worth,
to clear the chalk-board of your scribbles on my soul
and then write in large letters of indelible ink:
“I Am Worthy.”
I am much greater than my color or my creed,
my gender or my sex,
my body or my intelligence.
I am not checked-off boxes on the world’s identification censuses.
I am proud to be myself,
but I don’t need your pride in me to give me my grade.
And I don’t even need my own pride in myself
because I am worth more than ego-fulfillment by anyone’s standards,
even the standards I have sucked in
from the world’s alluring but empty teats.
I won’t accept your judgement or mine.
I don’t need anyone’s a-okay.
I am great, not because of anything I do or don’t do.
I am wonderful;
because who I am
No, whom I choose to love is not for anyone to judge,
except of course, for me and them.
Because they that I love will be the only ones
who hold the scales of judging any thing.
What we are all just trying to do,
no matter who we say we are, is this —
We are all just trying to love and be loved.
No, who I choose to love is not about my gender or my color or my sex
or my race or my religion
or my nation or my education or my station.
But That I do love
Truthfully and truly,
with all my heart, soul, and mind —
That is all that has ever defined any of us,
And if the body, which is only a symbol and nothing more,
follows the heart in that love,
then that can not be me
if it is just my gender or my sexual self alone.
My body, my symbol,
And all symbols, whether of peace signs,
Or crosses, or raised fists, or rainbows,
All symbols merely point the way
to true and whole being.
No one defines me, but me.
And if God defines me too,
Then She defines me obviously not by gender, since THEY have none.
No, definitions are meant for crumbs to lead us on the way,
But they are not The Way,
For there is neither Greek nor Jew or male or female,
But all are One. Or so it is foretold.
And also, just to point out,
who we shall be, our true definitions,
are unknown by all,
except, I believe (and hope) that
who we are and who we will become is known,
by that Universal Good that some call God,
and some call Awakening, and some call Woke-ness, and some call simply,
My body, my choice.
My I.D., my voice.
Their silence, my noise.
But when the world has told me that because
I am a woman, I have to be a “feminist” to get the same rights as a man;
or because I am a white man, I should be a “proud little boy”;
or because I am not heterosexual, I have to fight for my rights in only one month out of the year;
or that because I am Black or Native, my great history
should be separated from the history books because it makes imperialists uncomfortable;
Or that because I work with my hands or live in this neighborhood or talk with an accent,
that I must be “deplorable”
and not bright enough to know that something is wrong,
very, very, very wrong.
Then if this is who I am,
and who you are,
then shouldn’t we all stand up for each other and say —
Don’t we have to say,
“There is nothing wrong in us.
There is something wrong with the systems
that set us up to use definitions against each other.”
NO! it is not some thing “wrong” in me or in you —
It is the deep, deep wrong in the unseen and unseeing energies,
in the systems allowed to mutate the narrative,
against our wills.
It is something wrongly seen and lived in the whole set-up
of the place and the time in which we live.
But we can right it.
We can if we believe we can.
We must make it right, if not for ourselves, for our children,
and for the children of the birds, and fish, and trees.
Let’s right this ship,
so that our children have easier sailing,
so that there is a Mother-Ship left for them to sail;
and a planet and world in which the tides are always running in our grandchildren’s favor.
Are you in or out?
When the Powers that Be
try to define me,
I want to say: “No More!”
And when the Powers that Be,
try to define you,
I will say: “Enough!
I stand with her or him or them, and we have had enough.”
I want to stop fighting you, my brother and my sister.
Let’s link arms and fight what does not want us to be free together.
When the Powers that Be,
try to define me,
I want to stop fighting within my better self,
and I want to laugh at them and say:
I don’t need to show you or prove to you who I am.
I don’t need to fight the Powers for my pride.
My ego, my pride, doesn’t come from anything that I do,
or any one I do it with,
or any one I do it for.
The egos and powers of the age don’t define me.
And neither do they define my neighbor.
My neighbor and I will begin this day
to redefine ourselves
And my only goal will be to be a better human Being,
and to let you be the best human Being you can be, too.
And now, let us become.
As a matter of fact, my ego trips me up and defeats me.
That’s what ego-trips do.
Just like your ego, whatever name or pronoun or adjective it goes by,
does to you.
Now don’t get me wrong,
the problem with pride, is that our world hasn’t given some folks
as much self-esteem as they have handed out freely to others.
But when did people start letting governments and nations
and religions and institutions
“I am Human! Hear me roar in numbers too big to ignore.”
If we are honest, don’t we all realize somewhere deep inside,
that only those we love and who love us can define us.
And the definition of Love is —
Well, that’s just it, isn’t it? All the poets and saints and gurus and teachers and lovers in the entire history of the world have never been able to define Love.
But we all know real Love when we see it.
And we all know real Love when we are it.
Beloved children of the One Great Parent:
To be a part of the ONE, means we are One.
And that is beyond anyone’s understanding of who any one of us is.
And if I know I am One with The One, and One with all of you,
then no definitions of who we are, are ever necessary again.
We are One in Love.
And so, we march for pride,
and march for justice,
and march for life,
and march for rights,
And Oh Yes!
we should be, must be –
marching, marching, marching,
with hearts pounding,
like the drum beats of reckoning and righteousness.
And we have always had to march.
But can not you and I also walk gently and peacefully together
in The Way –
together just as we are,
Does it really matter what color I am,
Or where on the spectrum you are,
as long as we live,
and as long as we love,
we are all a part of the same Rainbow?
We march for justice and freedom and happiness and love for all,
Rolling down like thunder.
And we march not just for our sense of justice, but for the kind of mercy for everyone,
that we think that we ourselves deserve.
And we march not just for who we think we are,
but we march for what all humans
are meant to have been,
and still might become.
We march for what we are meant to be
with a bit less ego,
and a bit less humility,
and a bit less fear,
and a bit less anger,
and a bit less defeated-ness,
and a bit less push for success,
and a bit less power,
and a bit less powerlessness,
and a bit less pride,
and a bit less sense of worthlessness,
and with less of all that –
we could find so much more within ourselves —
and find within us
a lot, a lot, a lot more love.
Well, you may say that I’m a dreamer.
But I’m not the only one.
I hope someday, you’ll join us.
Then the world will live as One.
Even our marches,
should not define us.
No, what defines each of us
is what a once powerful guy
who gave up his power for Love once said:
“If I have not love, I am like a loud, brassy gong,
Cuz without love, I am nothing.” —
We live on a planet with lots of sounds,
full of fury but signifying nothing.
Full of fury, but too much in a hurry to be defined.
And we raise our voices or raise our fists,
not with enough self-esteem to see it isn’t about just our own team.
Without love we are all just blinding ourselves with giant planks,
while picking the splinters’ out of our neighbor’s eyes,.
And if I am blind, then I won’t see,
that I am still letting the Powers that Be,
Take back your power to love who you want to love.
But make sure you are truly, and truthfully,
Because some of us have learned the hard way,
that we use other people
to define ourselves or get the love we need,
and that has never been
and will never be enough true meaning;
without love, no one’s identity can ever
be enough to live by.
So, love yourself for who you know yourself to be.
And then find as many people as you can to love as they are.
And then with those we call our enemies who seem hard to love —
Don’t love them for who they are defining themselves as,
but love them for who you secretly define yourself as –
a beloved child of The Super Power of Great and Mighty Love.
Because when our bodies are gone,
and our minds are gone,
and our marches are in the dust bin of history –
Love will remain.
Not just in pride month,
not just in Black History month,
not just at Gentile or Jewish or Hindu holiday months,
not just in the U.S. of A.
or in the Ukraine or in Babylon or Rome,
not just in A.D. or B.C. or in AC/DC,
and not just in you or in me.
But Only Love will Remain.
I offer you here,
All the pride you need –
Be proud to be
wholly and completely the love you have in your heart.
All you need to know with the certainty
of place-lessness, and time-lessness,
and face-lessness, and mind-lessness,
and me-moreness and you-moreness,
all we need
this month, this year, this century, this place and time
this moment –
all you need to be whole-ly you, proud to be you, humbled to be chosen to be you,
all that is needed to know who I am and who you are –
© Jane Tawel, June 2022