Claudia Shkatov and Ann La-Forker.
“Sometimes it is not enough to meditate or pray.
Sometimes we need to ride the dragons.”
The time for war and violence is over. Now is the time to cease the fires that are still hurting our human integrity. And for all of us in whom this simple fact has not fully surfaced in awareness, the time has come to become clear at last.
I am a German woman. I am a mother to three sons and married to a Russian man. While being aware of all of the love we have shared, I also need to honor that war has always been present in our marriage in very many ways. As I am writing this, my father in Germany and my father-in-law in Russia are preparing to leave this life on Earth. They were both born during World War II. They have always lived in a subtle fear of scarcity, illness, attack, and guilt. And they have never been able to experience deeply intimate relationships with those they love most.
I stand here today as their daughter and as an Earth Citizen. And I wish to share what I unshakably know about living and dying on Earth.
Women are Life and give Life. And men are guardians of Life and protect Life. I have given Life to my sons for them to become guardians and gardeners of planet Earth with love and integrity. My sons – as all sons – are designed by Life itself to take care of Life – never to take lives prematurely. Every woman knows this intuitively.
Death is a natural process that comes when a soul decides that it has experienced everything for it to experience on this planet and wants to move on to the next challenge. Death was never meant to be done to sentient beings by other sentient beings. Life is sacred. And so is Death. Every man knows this intuitively.
Living and dying are two sides of Life that belong together. As a human being – that is a spiritual being living in a human body – I know that death is not the end of Life, but instead is a transition into a new form. As such, it is nothing terrible at all. It is a reason to celebrate, like every transition. At the same time, I know with every cell of my body that Life on Earth is not about dying. Life on Earth is about growing and thriving as a soul in a body. Life is about living. And living is about peace, joy, expansion, health, wellbeing, companionship and togetherness on multiple levels.
Our history has shaped us with stories of threat, shrinking, loss and separation.
And these old stories have distorted our natural connection with the truth of who we are and why we are here as humans. Abandoned to the dungeons of our subconscious like disgraced dragons, this truth longs to be seen and to be lived. And despite the old shaping that still dominates a large percentage of our thinking, feeling, words and decisions, we as a species are now irreversibly moving forward into a completely New Story. And we are doing this at rapid speed. Most people on the planet might not be aware of it yet, however, that does by no means alter our course as humanity. Our old stories have created momentum for a giant energetic wave of longing for and knowing of peace, wellbeing, community and prosperity on earth.
Dragons of the past we are here to tame and to befriend you. And you will love it.
Women, take the lead and join me in putting out the fires of violence and ignorance in all earthly places that have been left unattended to by our love and integrity. Men, remember your true mission on Earth and stand unmissably by our side as the guardians of Life that you are and have always been meant to be.
It is 2022. We as humanity know how to do this. Answers and solutions to our most important questions have long been found. Join me in laying down every action and every report that does not directly serve Life. I call you to pause, to breathe, to feel the life within you. Then take a clear stand for life from here. Only you will know what that means for you.
Until all weapons are silent.
The responsibility and the power to walk the change lies with each and every one of us. I suggest we dare to face the abandoned dragons in ourselves. And the deep-rooted shame and guilt about not being who we truly are. Shame for killing and fighting. Shame for not wanting to kill and fight. Shame for feeling wrong or believing we are powerless. Shame for feeling more or less than others. Shame for hating. Shame for loving while everyone else is hating. Shame guards the treasures under the claws of our inner dragons. As soon as we respectfully lay it down on the table in front of us it will, under our open, loving gaze, like sun dissolving clouds, evaporate into pure Life energy – fresh, beautiful, filled with a multitude of flavor, color and sound. And we will set free the magnificent beings that we are, designed to make the world a better place every single day.
It is this deep inner dawning of our truth as human beings that will eventually appease, fulfill and satisfy us.
(1) The English and Russian title were inspired by the eponymous film Dragon – Love Is a Scary Tale (original title: Russian Он – дракон/On – drakon), a 2015 Russian fantasy adventure film.
link to the film (engl.)
(2) The German title was inspired by the film Drachenzähmen leicht gemacht (original title: How to Train Your Dragon), a 2010 U.S. fantasy adventure film Link to trailer (engl.)
These lines – and the invitation that comes with it – were inspired by a very lively exchange with my friend and colleague Ann La-Forker, trauma therapist, shame gourmet and activist for a soulful revolution of humanity towards itself. And this is what she shares….
My name is Ann. I am living in a white body. I am a woman. The country where I was born cannot be found on an atlas anymore. It dissolved in the nation that is now again called Germany. My hometown Dresden was known to be a fertile ground for Nazi propaganda. It was also the place where my grandmother dreamed of a future life with her beloved when being a young girl. This place and also her dreams were bombed to ashes. The soil of the land I grew up on was filled with deep sadness, regret and despair. Time didn’t heal the wounds of the loss of the most beloveds, of horror and guilt. Family secrets of both colors held a decent amount of confusion for my identity – the hidden great grandfather with Jewish roots on the one hand side and the outlawed Nazi henchman on the other side of the lineage.
Born even 30 years after the end of World War II in Germany I was still thrown into the undigested memories of war, kind of swimming in the waters of numbness, overwhelm and confusion, strongly influencing my own sense or rather non-sense of self, disturbing my friendships, my love relationships – missing home on earth and for a long time lacking any sense of something that is worth to be called future. It took me 40 years to realize that the deepest wound or the most severe loss was located on the level of my soul. The subtle feeling of not being able to fulfill my original mission – to be in service for thrive and beauty here on earth – kept pulling me deeper and deeper into a bubble of shame I could barely escape. Only grace could save me from this reinforcing vicious circle of self-hatred. And it did. This is when I decided to quit my conventional job and started to support other human beings in finding their way out of the misery and to enjoy their creators force to the fullest.
War has always been with me ever since I walk on this planet. But it was on February 24, 2022, when the tension between Russia and Ukraine escalated, that for a painful moment, I felt as if the devotion, growth, love and effort of at least two generations in contributing to what I call „the third way“, were just in vain. Until I realized that this is only true if I agree to the story that I can be again unwillingly thrown into another battle field between good and bad, how it is still proposed today. I had to remind myself that I stepped out of this logic of war a long time ago and that the time has come to speak my truth.
This is when I met Claudia, the author of the text you just read.
Looking right in the inexpressible face of war, we – Ann and Claudia – are here to know that war is over. Humanity has grown out of the need to use simplifications and the pattern of scapegoating in order to manage life on earth. We can do better! We as a species matured, and the limited world view of right and wrong simply doesn’t reflect the truth of our soul anymore. Is it as simple as that? Yes, it is.
This article has also been published in German and Russia at newslichter.de. You can find it here.