A year or so ago i had a strong vision during a drum journey. There was an old white man lying down who was dying. He was full of tension that i knew intuitively was a result of his own ‘meanness’, how his ego and stories had driven him to hold on tightly even to his own body. I looked up and there were some indigenous medicine people that gave me some liquid to give him, not to cure him but to soothe the dying process. I understood this is what i am here to do.
The vision has puzzled me ever since. I am drawn to supporting groups and communities to create new systems, to move from hierarchy to collaborative ways of working together. I have been part of protests and campaigns, naming injustice and calling in what i see, but it doesn’t feel core to my work. Finally today, the pieces have slotted into place and this mission is clear.
I want to be part of dismantling white supremacy, patriarchy and the binary gender system. And i want to do it in a way that soothes the dying process, makes letting go easier and less painful. I want to find a way that is from love and not from more self criticism.
Dismantling injustice with love
I am totally committed to seeing through social constructs of race and the illusion of white supremacy, and dismantling systems of oppression. I want to live in a post racist world, where we see each other for our potential, where we welcome people who have been forcibly displaced, and where people who are gender nonconforming interact with systems that are designed for their reality too*. I want us to see through our unconscious bias and co-create conditions and systems where we can all thrive and fulfil our potential.
I identify as white and female, and I see that often in spaces i am in, our attempts to do this often look like more self monitoring, more self criticism, more right and wrong, more effort and tension. We try to keep track of not being racist, not playing out white fragility, not using the wrong pronouns, not asking when we should be doing the work, not taking up too much space. I feel in myself and see in others how trying to live from a place of constantly falling short of some ideal cuts us off from flow, from who we really are, from our life force, and from the self love and wholeness that we all long to feel deep down.
Finding another way
I want us to find a way where we can undo the violent separation of these systems, see what is really true, and do it in a way that is kinder, more forgiving and connected to our hearts.
I want us to find a way that is easier on our nervous systems. I want us to feel more love not less.
I want us to become anti racism without more guilt, blame and shame. I want us to take responsibility and at the same time not believe it is ‘our fault’, to know we were socialised into a racist society and make different conscious choices naturally because at a fundamental level we are interconnected, one.
There is fear that in hearing this people might have a story that i am not committed, that i am not willing to see, not willing to go into the pain, not willing to change, that i will fall back to the dominant paradigm, that i don’t really care. It is a story i have told myself too.
There is fear that people might have a story that i think i am the only one saying this, when there are many amazing people doing amazing anti racist work with love. I have also experienced great love and wisdom in spaces led by black people, and i wonder if this is another idea of whiteness we are unconsciously playing out? (Spending time with brap and others doing this work for 3 days recently inspired this thinking.)
So often it feels as though a critical mind is the sharp knife many of us are trying to use to do this healing work. It can also make this work less accessible to some of us who find lots of concepts hard to process, especially when also dealing with trauma, marginalisation or lack of access to resources.
I want to find ways to do the work with more empathy, understanding, self acceptance and compassion that i know can heal separation, alongside the strength and courage and willingness to sit in the fire that it takes to do this work.
I want people alongside that can both challenge and support me, call in what i don’t see and meet me with love and gentleness, and i want to do that for and with others too.
I want to learn from people who are finding ways to do this work that is simple and accessible enough for people with a less conceptual kind of wisdom to understand and embrace.
I want to integrate this wisdom and these practices throughout my life and work, and share it with others.
For us to have a chance at co-creating a more just, equitable, caring and sustainable world, it feels vital.
I am more committed than ever, as many of us are. I would love to know your experiences and where you see this happening, to receive your support and challenge with equal gratitude.
In solidarity and humility x
I intend to start a list of relevant resources/links here as i find them or people share with me – i hope that is useful…
*NB: I acknowledge many other forms of systemic oppression and marginalisation, and this is where my heart and attention is drawn at this time in my life for various reasons (circumstantial and unknown).