Ya’ll. This has been a tough couple of weeks to exist and hold space in. In the midst of a pandemic, we have found ourselves again mourning the loss of lives at the hand of police brutality. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. The list of names continue to grow and plant seeds of despair within the black community, leaving many of us in a state that feels much like what one would imagine “the sunken place” to feel like. For a lot of us, this shows up as an anger so intense it blocks out everything we thought we knew as truth. For others, it is showing up as a deep sadness that makes any sort of reason seem pointless. And there is also the ever-growing feeling of distrust within the collective black experience. I think it is important in this moment to highlight and validate all of these feelings. It is okay to not be okay. I’ll say that again. It is okay to not be okay. You may be the strongest person that you know. But grace is extremely imperative in times like these. Grant yourself the opportunity to feel these emotions. This is grief. This is trauma. This is the revolution.
To me, it seems like for the first time this series of events has united us all in our feelings of and need for change. Perhaps it is because a vast majority of us have nothing but time to ponder these injustices and our role in the shifting. I want to take the time to offer some points for anyone who may find themselves in a new place.
- Allow yourself to feel it. I myself had trouble with this one. I would open my laptop and close it again over the last two weeks, all the while feeling shame that I had neglected this blog. But I had to realize that my own healing was just as important and needed to be first this time. None of us can pour from empty vessels. Given the circumstances, I’d say it’s a safe assumption that many of us are not walking in our full potential at the moment. This does not mean, however, that you are not walking in potential at all. I challenge you all to use this time to cultivate self-grace and allow yourself to observe how growth plays out in your lives.
- You do not have to be the Lorax. As with all injustices, there will be some that will want to know what they can do better to advocate for friends and loved ones. I encourage to take stock of your emotions and ask yourself if this is a task that you are emotionally suitable for. If you find that you are not, there is nothing wrong with that.
- Take a break. Social media and news can be overwhelming even when we are not in the middle of chaos. But we are. And in the coming days, my feelings are that these updates will become even harder to stomach. Remember that there is a fine line between staying educated and causing self-harm. Disconnect from the phone. Turn off the television. Take a walk and get fresh air. Allow yourself to commune with nature and all of the peace that it can offer. And don’t be ashamed when you have to take a break. Remember, we must be good stewards of our vessels, in whatever way that looks for each of us.
My hope for us all is that even in this trying time, we are able to grow in grace. I pray that we all find a balance between our truths and the present reality that allows us to push forward and continue walking in the potential that is ours. And most of all, please know that this tribe supports you. We see you. And the souls in each of us honor every other soul here. Namaste.