What Egypt Can Teach Us About Our Dreams

Street Traders in Grand Bazaar Khan Al-Khalili, Cairo, Egypt - Buy at Art.com

I don’t know about you, but ever since Anderson Cooper got roughed-up in Cairo I’ve been glued to my television set watching Egypt’s honest-to-goodness revolution.

What made it most compelling for me was the utilization of non-violent techniques and the cooperative strategies that connected Egyptian citizens traditionally separated by class.

The parallels to breaking the bonds of toxic moms kept rising up in my mind.

  • The Egyptian people were ruled by an autocrat for 30 years.
  • For so many undutiful daughters of toxic mothers, 30 years is just the beginning of a life long purgatory.
  • The Egyptian people were afraid to speak out against their president; with so many spies around there were valid fears of being reported.
  • For daughters of toxic mothers, telling the truth about your relationship is a terrifying prospect. If a daughter said out loud that her mother was toxic what could that set into motion?
  • The Egyptian people had no guarantees that a thoughtful, peaceful and calm strategy would protect them from retaliation or attack by military forces.
  • For daughters of toxic moms, knowing that you’re the sane one doesn’t shield you from toxic mom insanity.

So, we all have our glasses, our filters, our perspectives and for me, the 18-day stand-off at Tahrir Square was as thrilling as the first time I told my mother she had hurt me for the last time. All week long I found my heart racing whenever CNN announced a press conference.

That old meanie Mubarak was going to get his. Good!

As of this weekend the Egyptian people are betting on themselves. On a very human level, the people of Egypt taught the world that you can stand up to an oppressor and survive. If they can pull off free and fair elections, God willing, they will thrive.

So many daughters of toxic mother are muzzled; afraid to speak out. I want to say to you speaking out is the first step to freedom.

There are inspiring stories all around us if you just allow yourself to see the parallels.

America was founded by dreamers

Last fall my husband and I vacationed back east and spent several days at Historic Colonial Williamsburg, the town preserved by the Rockefeller family as a living, breathing, city-sized theater allowing us a glimpse of our country’s revolutionary beginnings.

Actors in costumes played the part of many real historic figures while others filled in as shop owners and buggy drivers and waiters. It was as if you were a time traveler; a fly on the wall.

At first, it seemed a little goofy, a little silly. I mean, we were wearing tennis shoes and checking our email.

But when you stumble upon characters in the street discussing the aggravation of continually rises taxes and what can be done about it, pretty soon you’re ready to offer your two-cents too.

By the first afternoon’s reenactment of a coffee shop fist fight over mad King George, suddenly American history is your history.

By day three after listening to Thomas Jefferson speak we were walking around oozing gratitude to all the participants in the American Revolution — from Lafayette to the nameless blacksmith.

We were grateful to them for calling bull-dinky on taxation without representation. We were grateful that they had the balls to stand up for themselves and load their muskets.

Everything is hard until someone shows you how my dad used to say.

For daughters of toxic mothers there are examples of standing your ground, refusing to be abused, rejecting tormentors and rebuilding healthy, positive and balanced lives all around us. You just have to believe that there is common ground.

Gandhi is famous for saying: Be the change you want to see in the world. Well, when it comes to your little world, that means you have to change first.


Rayne Wolfe’s dream is to write her first book Confessions of an Undutiful Daughter by the end of 2011. She completed her dream journey May of 2011 on 8WD after a year living her dream. You can find her at Toxic Mom Toolkit on Facebook.

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  • Remy Gervais, Top Photographer

    Rayne, amazing post. I was glued to the tv more than normal – and your phrase of speaking out is the first step to freedom – gosh that rang true for me, on alot of personal levels. xox Rem

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  • For many people, their dream is the freedom to have a decent job — along with food to eat and a safe, comfortable place to raise their family. Egypt is an example of what happens when the ruling class interferes with this basic human dream for too long. Egypt is an influential country in the Arab world. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

    Cath