Scared of your heart breaking? Here’s what I know- when your heart breaks open is when the healing can start.
Thursday morning after watching the George Floyd video, I cried. I could not stop for hours.The tears had in them pain and fear for my people to appreciation for those who are finally using their voices. Worry about how we’ll move forward. Anger for the last few hundred years and the history so many of us were not taught.
It did not stop with slavery, it simply continued in both insidious and visible ways. Racial discrimination also doesn’t just happen with the killing of a man already in handcuffs.
It happens when someone asks me if I’m the dog walker (of my own dog), or the delivery girl in my neighborhood grocery store. It happens when people use terms around me like “ghetto” or “thug”. It happens when people look in awe and surprise at my success, with the very clear- “wowwww look at you”. Or when I can sense someone doesn’t 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 want to meet me as a white friend introduces us.
The most painful one, is that it happens when people who care about me and whom I care about stay silent. In the last 24 hours, I’ve learned about “white silence”…so while my dinner table has buzzed with racial conversations about social justice and discrimination and change, every single time my extended family gathers since I can remember, maybe some little girls/boys had tables where people used slurs or made bigoted comments and their parents said nothing. Or worse.
The most important thing is to stop the beliefs that divide us. And there is no possible way to do that without looking into the deep, dark, scary corners of all of our pasts. Yes, it’s painful and I can promise there is shame hiding there for us all. But on the other side of spoken shame, is release and freedom. But if you don’t face it, you’ll never speak it and if you don’t speak it, you likely won’t feel empowered to change it.
My closest white friends have asked, “what can I do?” Their question feels heavy with fear of facing their conditioning, shame of family ties or their actions, and sadness. So many of them have laid their hearts on the table. And for that, I’ve cried too. Cried at how love really is the only way forward.
But here’s the thing, for now, love in your heart isn’t enough. Put love behind your actions, here are 4 ways:
1. Face it. Face your privilege. Face your past. And then face your power, that matters most now.
2. 𝗕𝗲 𝗮𝗴𝗻𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗻𝗲𝘀𝘀 - for now, just notice in the world if you’re kinder or less kind based on an assumption.
3. 𝗦𝗲𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗿- learn our country’s 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡 history and tell your family, friends, kids.
4. 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱 White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.
Courage is scary, Heart break even scarier. But it will change the world. We can weave our broken hearts back together with gold. One person at a time.