I have to say something about the movement for equality in our country. I am feeling hope that we’re waking up. This is really a message for my white community.
We’re living in unprecedented times and this virus that’s driven us into quarantine has created a pressure cooker that’s bringing all our unhealed wounds to the surface. Racism is an issue that we have been sweeping under the carpet as a society for years, decades, centuries. We haven’t been looking at it so it’s getting louder. It won’t be ignored until we heal it. This is a cry for love. Blaming and shaming ourselves and each other are not going to get us any closer to peace. The radical aim that I want to offer you here is compassion. Now hear me out because I’m certainly not suggesting a spiritual bypass here. Far from it. I understand that compassion isn’t necessarily the popular choice for most people right now, but I do believe it is the quickest and healthiest path to peace. Compassion comes from taking 100% responsibility for what is going on. This is actually true for anything that comes up in your life. When you take full responsibility, you are empowering yourself to be a part of the solution instead of perpetuating the problem.
I was talking with some girlfriends last night and my one friend mentioned how there is no way she could find compassion for the cops who brutally murdered George Floyd. In fact, she said she had a hard time not wanting the same thing to happen to them. And believe me, I get it. I have had the similar fantasies running through my own head, but how are these violent images of vengeance in my own mind any different than what must have been in the minds of those officers? The hatred and violence they acted on, IS actually no different than the hatred I’ve felt against them. Sure, I wouldn’t take action on those fantasies, but to deny that I am also capable, is to separate myself from the responsibility I have, to BE the change I want to see in the world. Change starts within me and if I am denying that I’m a part of the problem, then I am only perpetuating the problem. The change that needs to happen starts within. It starts with admitting that I have within me the capacity for everything I see. The beautiful and the hideous. I am all of it.
You are the very thing you judge. When you can own that you are capable of all of it, you will begin to cultivate the compassion that’s needed to act from a place of love instead of hate.
Denying you have the capacity for hatred and violence and claiming to be above all that is removing yourself from the responsibility we all have to make a difference. For me to deny I am racist, keeps me from educating myself on how systemic racism has influenced how I think and how I move in the world, and keeps from being anti-racist. I have benefitted from a system that was built on racism and so have you. Denying that you have white privilege is to deny the responsibility that comes with that privilege. Because there IS a responsibility that comes with the privilege we were born into, and that is to stand with your black brothers and sisters for equality.
So what I am suggesting here is simple, just to stop pointing fingers in blame and look inside for how you are not so different from the ones you judge. The point is not to shame yourself for being a part of the problem, because playing victim is not what is being called for here. What is being called for is the highest form of empowerment there is, owning your part in it and taking responsibility for being part of the solution.
If it makes you angry that people are racist, look at how you are also a racist. Saying they are the problem doesn’t get us any closer to a solution.
And saying that you cannot believe this is happening just shows that you’ve been denying the inequality that has been ongoing for centuries. And that’s okay. I am not trying to shame anyone here. WE ALL FALL ASLEEP. We have all been asleep, but this is a call to wake up. That’s all. It’s time to wake up. If there is one thing our current president has done for us, it’s to wake us up to what we have been denying. It’s all out in the open now for us to deal with.
So maybe we can stop pointing fingers and decide to look inside instead. We all have a shadow that lives inside and that shadow is the very thing you are judging. And when you are willing to own your shadow, then you have the power to choose who you want to be in this world. If I shut you out of my heart, it’s only because I have not yet learned how to love some part of myself, but I promise you I am working on it. Each one of us holds a piece of the answer and when you can begin to take 100% responsibility for your role in it, your heart will show you what to do.