Beloved community is a vision of a world where all are included in the circle of care, where all needs matter. So the work in this part is to wonder about the current edges of our care, where it is not easy to see the humanity of others, and to include our own needs, to really check if we are leaving out anything of ourselves. And then to ask if we have the systems, processes, skills and support we need as a community or society…
- Where are the edges of our care?
- Where do we hold blame (for others or ourselves), and what might the mourning be underneath?*
- How do we make sure always that our own needs are included, and check for real willingness?
- How do we set up restorative systems that support us to reconnect when there is tension?
(* I’d highly recommend checking out more of Sarah Peyton‘s work around blame and mourning – you can find a detailed version of the ‘Transforming Blame into Mourning’ process here.)
An important reminder for me came from Roxy Manning‘s sharing, that there might be situations where we need to say to people in our lives “you are still part of my community but I won’t let you harm us” – Beloved Community has to include us and our families, our own safety. I enjoyed these questions posed: When you consider the invitation to live in beloved community:
- In what circumstances do you exclude yourself? What needs does this meet?
- In what circumstances do you exclude others? What needs does this meet?
- How would it serve you to strive to include yourself or others more in the circumstances you named?
We will have moments of ‘I just cant do it’, where needs for safety, understanding, care, rest and others are at risk, where it feels really challenging, and we need support to find the next step.
“If you are not struggling to love people, if you are not trying to build understanding with those you disagree with, then you are not really doing the work of building Beloved Community. The work of building Beloved Community is understanding that we’re not trying to win over people, but to win people over.”Kazu Haga from ‘Healing Resistance’
It’s important for me to know that while I so want a world where all needs matter, and wish for everyone to want that too… and to know that’s not the reality, I can’t expect anyone else to, and this is part of the work.
Coming up next – Principle 3: Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil >