Look at the places you withhold the truth - therein lies your complicity.
Personal Check In: My children are 2 and 5, and they're JUST learning to play together in ways that are delightful to overhear. There's a whole heap of precious happening in this house, and I'm grateful.
Today's message returns to a piece I wrote in 2020. I was pregnant and isolated in a drafty house during the California wildfires and peak of the pandemic. I was being asked by those close to me - during the uprisings related to human rights for Black Americans, what can we do?
A dear friend of mine re-shared my writing on social media this week. I was able to feel the visceral impact of those times, and feel the balm of my words. I hope they can inspire you, and offer you a way forward when you feel helpless during social shifts and these changing times.
"What You Can Do"
I've received beautiful texts, calls and emails this week asking how I am; asking what I need; offering support.
It's beautiful. Being seen in my Black experience, with compassion, is a gift.
So I went into silence this week and really, really asked myself: what do I need? What do we need? What is needed?
As I say this to you, I say it to myself.
Look at the places you withhold the truth. THAT'S where you contribute to our world staying as it is. THAT'S the nonlinear nature of how culture shapes socio-economics. If you’re tolerating that person you need to fire; if you’re allowing that toxic relationship dynamic to go unchecked; if you're procrastinating on a necessary hard decision.
Complicity in one area of life, in the micro, echoes complicity in the macro. RACISM EXISTS BECAUSE OUR COLLECTIVE MICRO-COMPLICITIES SNOWBALL INTO SOCIETAL COMPLICITIES.
You want inner joy and peace while still acting to end suffering?
Accept that joy is a choice divorced from comfortable circumstances. Accept that mature, transformative joy comes from connection, which is often painful. Accept that peace is a practice derived from choosing to face and integrate your rage, bitterness and grief.
Learn - about our economic system's reliance on dehumanization; about what it took, and takes, to embed a racial identity stronger than logic and personal interest; about the faces of racism before it was about dark skin, when it was tribal and practiced by most cultures across the globe, at some point in human history.
Learn until your view of life is so inexplicably shifted you’re uncomfortable. Learn until the way you engage racism is second nature, a part of you, a visceral response. Then keep learning until you have been humbled by the vast, interconnected nature of historical and current oppression, until you know you can never know it all.
Connect to the Earth, God or whatever you respect that is larger than you and commit to not destroying yourself or others with that knowledge. Ask for guidance on how to be the brunt of other's pain as your clarity illuminates their fear. Ask for the stamina required to feel the true, mortal threat to the things you love and keep your heart AND mind open. Ask for grace. Ask for compassion.
Let all that learning and practice flow into every thought, word and action.