My heart is heavy, but it’s also so full. I have never been a master of the right thing to say, I don’t have a filter and I often put my foot in my mouth, but this past week has been beyond enlightening, to say the least.
I had a moment of clarity remembering a conversation my ex and I had towards the end of our relationship. I was sitting on the floor in our kitchen after a night with friends, and he and I were vehemently arguing about the murder of Nia Wilson, a beautiful young black soul stabbed by a white supremacist in 2018. He said I could not and should not use the BART public transit after dark any longer, and I was completely against this. I said, if you and I, as white individuals SHY AWAY from these institutions, and others follow suit, we are doing a disservice with our privilege. If the elected officials and police deem our white skin as more beneficial to protect, it is up to you and I and every other white individual to use this as an opportunity to contribute pushing for change and advocacy. This is not where we should back away and retreat from but rather throw ourselves full fledged into the ring of fire. He did not feel the same.
In my youth, I was extremely passionate as an activist, human rights and the injustices of the world weighed heavy on my young heart. I wanted to be a politician to enact change and bring a voice to those who couldn’t be heard. Seeing the system push those voices into silence and no change ever be accomplished deflated my drive, I’m ashamed to say. And being an empath did nothing for my ability to balance seeing all that was wrong with the inequality of humanity and my personal psychological well-being. I like to think by studying psychology and cognitive science I did my younger self some justice. But in reality, nothing could come close to that young girls dreams of saving the oceans, leveling the playing field of humanity, and making our stratosphere one of opportunities for all of us- no matter race, religion, socioeconomic status.
I believe white America has had a shake up coming, well-deserved, and I have been feeling EVERYTHING with this beautiful revolution. I hate that I am able to take a breather from racism, that I never created a mass movement or complete anarchy like my young self believed I could. I didn’t study history or politics or any other subject to enable my ability to take action in the long and often unrewarding work of social reform.
But I’m here now. My compass has always always pointed me in the direction of what is right, what is my truth, and my lack of a filter might just be the biggest blessing to get my heart broken again and again while standing up for what is true and right in the world.
I’m coming clean to my past self. I’m sorry I abandoned the work when it was too draining on my psyche to push forward. That I allowed myself to let go when it became too consuming for me to handle. I’m sorry my allyship was not cast out in a farther net than my LGBTQ community I so wholeheartedly support until my last breath. It is my honor and privilege that I am able to serve and lift up voices that would not be heard. To create change not only within who I am in contact with, but outside of my immediate circle utilizing what I have been born into. We have all been put on this planet for a purpose, and actualizing that purpose takes a lifetime whether we see that in the present tense or should it take longer. I need to pick up my work.
The empathic toll is taxing, but I am lucky to feel so powerfully, to love so unabashedly, to experience the pain and cries of my fellow humans. As so many have stated the past week, I will never understand, but I feel, I stand, I pledge to do the work no matter the toll. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you feel my unabashed love. I hope you know my spirit. Now. For the next steps forward…