Is anyone else feeling a shift they’re not exactly ready for? But on the other hand, you are SO ready for it?
Throughout 2019, I hungrily learned about conscious parenting, intersectional feminism, the black lives matter movement, systemic racism, self-care, mental wellness and ego. I wasn’t necessarily practicing anything in particular, just absorbing.
I learned about other things to a lesser extent such as epigenetics and decolonization. Everything was so fascinating and interesting and puzzle pieces started to come together in my mind.
When the BLM movement began being recognized on a mainstream scale when George Floyd was murdered, I felt like a soldier who had been trained for battle. My years of being a closet activist could finally be actualized. I could brazenly shame white (and non-white) people who were not woke and those who thought they were woke into wokeness. It was fucking great.
And I did for a while. And what an ego trip it was! It felt so good to release my decades of bottled up anger on (mostly) unsuspecting white people.
I even contemplated severing my relationships with white people that I loved or liked. I was in it to win it. In my head, I was the poster child for passionate activism.
And then it didn’t feel great. I felt ashamed, and sad. I also felt like while I was trying to be true to my values (equality for all), I wasn’t being true to myself—a person who has always thrived on being empathetic, uplifting and an advocate for all things lovey dovey and hippie dippie.
I continue to follow the work of passionate activists, and popular black and brown feminists. The work of these people is extremely important, thought-provoking, righteous and based in complete reality.
The level of discomfort that comes from “doing the work” to dismantle internalized racism and sexism is a literal blessing. I learned so much about myself as a woman, mother, professional, daughter and partner. It also broke my spirit into pieces and shone light into the depths of my soul that I had no idea existed. This work is intense and absolutely necessary for everyone to do.
With that said, while there is a certain fire that this knowledge and an anger that is completely justified—especially when black folx are dying disproportionately in every sector of our society—I am personally trying to transform my fiery passionate activism to a more compassionate activism.
I will try my best to compassionately listen to those who are confused, have questions, feel afraid, shamed, hopeless, want to do better but don’t exactly know how. I want to answer questions and I want to hear / know perspectives other than my own. Through compassionate dialogue is where I think real internal non-performative understanding and necessary global change can begin.
I’m by no means an expert, as I am not black. But I have my experiences with racism, prejudice and sexism and no one person will have all the right answers. But I’m willing to show up and try to have difficult conversations because really, what else can we do in such a dire time but to seek and remember each other’s humanity?