One of Peter Nygard's buildings burnt down, on the day of the full moon in October.
Peter Nygard, a well documented serial rapist and sex trafficker, who at the time of writing this was custody here in Winnipeg (he has since been moved to Toronto), had an apartment in this building which had been his home here for the last 40 years (though he also has homes elsewhere in the province and the world - most notably the private island in the Bahamas where he lured and trapped his victims).
That building is not too far from my home and I woke up to the smell of smoke that morning.
When I found out what the fire was about, it was satisfying to know his only home in my city was burning to the ground. It felt like just rewards but it also felt like "thank God that monster doesn't have a home here anymore" even though he is an old man and even with the most lenient sentencing, I don't believe he'll ever be out of jail.
So I shared the news article about this on my personal Facebook page.
Which always sparks discussion, especially here in Winnipeg where he was from. THIRTY YEARS AGO I was taking fashion tech classes and being warned about him by my teachers, because he is the biggest employer in this city in the fashion industry and as a young woman, if I was going to work for him I had to be careful.
Women have been warning other women about predators for so long.
Meanwhile, our culture nurtures them.
This man amassed a fortune that gave him the opportunity, resources and power to traffic women internationally for over thirty years.
This is insane.
We all know this.
It feels so hopeful to see the tides begin to turn, to see this man in custody.
And this reckoning is BIG. Much bigger than this one predator.
And it sparks A LOT.
It's totally normal to feel.... feelings. Grief or anger or joy that he is caught, or fear or terror.
It's also normal to go numb and not want to feel anything.
This is BIG and our feelings about it may also be BIG. They may feel like more than we can handle.
This is a healing process that is feels personal and collective at the same time.
And it's political. Like most healing is.
My business is the Creative Dream Incubator, my expertise is helping creative people navigate the inner and outer growth it takes to pursue a dream.
And this is a part of it.
Because we don't dream in a vacuum, we dream in this world. In this sick culture that allows horrific things to go on and on and on and on.
One part of working with our dreams is saying NO to the ways this culture wants to tell you who you are, and what you are capable of.
This is on a personal level like if your 3rd grade teacher said you're not that good at art and to this day your inner critic uses that as fuel to stop you from being the artist that you are.
And it's on a collective level like this agreement we seem to have that it's ok for women to not be fully safe in this world.
And then that collective also impacts you personally. And the ways it impacts you personally CAN cause you to uphold these sick agreements.
Like - they feed each other. In so many ways on so many levels.
One of the ways this happens in the New Age Community is where we gaslight each other with Love & Light.
So when I shared my post about Peter Nygard - and I wasn't even sharing GLEE about his home burning down, just that it felt right to me - an old friend from the new age community I used to be a part of (someone I hadn't seen in at least 11 years) came in to let me know that I shouldn't "stoop to his level" by sharing this, that I must be "spiritually disconnected" and that we need to "remain loving and trust those powers to be just."
This is really where the New Age goes with this Love & Light as gaslighting - the idea that sharing the news that this building burned down and feeling like this is his just rewards is somehow equal to over thirty years of international sex trafficking and serial rape.
The New Age, in it's fear of human beings having human feelings, is DANGEROUS. This is exactly the attitude that ALLOWS sex trafficking to go on for over 30 years.
Also, to remain calm and loving in the face of abuse is more likely a trauma response than spiritual enlightenment.
The New Age Community never had the skills to handle human beings having human feelings because - as I have written about before here, here and here - it's all cherry-picked culturally appropriated practices taken entirely out of context.
We need to make space for our feelings. This is what helps us be fully human. This is what helps us BE as powerful as we actually ARE. Avoiding weakens us, facing strengthens us.
We need to not try to gaslight other people who are having feelings. We need to recognize that they are strong enough to deal with their feelings, work through then, and come out even stronger on the other side.
If you feel you can't handle your feelings - by all means get help. I know therapy is expensive, you can also seek out other forms of support, like a lot of women's centres and community centres have free support groups. Or get some books from the library about trauma. Don't trust everyone who calls themselves "trauma informed" to actually BE trauma informed, but get in there, start learning so you can face and heal your traumas that stop you from being able to handle your feelings.
Being "spiritually evolved" so you don't have to feel your feelings is NOT healthy. Not for you or for our culture. And it actually stifles your dreams.
One of the ways we change the culture is by doing our own work, by learning how to be our true selves out loud in the world.
This is the "big umbrella dream" that ALL other dreams fall under: Everything that calls you, everything you wish for, is a piece of this puzzle of what it means for you to truly be YOU - free of all the ways this world has tried to change you or cage you.
Being your true self out loud is complex and multi-facted but one part of it is definitely being a human being with human feelings.
This does NOT mean throwing them at other people or using your feelings as an excuse for poor behaviour or getting stuck or lost in your feelings.
Allowing your feelings means congruence. Honesty. WHOLENESS.
Of course you're angry sometimes.
Of course you're sad sometimes.
Of course you feel righteous sometimes.
These are human feelings and appropriate responses to the things we encounter in this world.