It’s been a challenging week.
My work of facilitating conversation and deep feeling around systemic racism continues in profound and heartbreaking ways.
I see how when discomfort arises we can fall back on familiar patterns of being, rooted in a hierarchical system.
I notice a tendency when things get tough for the most empowered in the group to insist that things are done another way, their way, the “right” way.
And no one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings or say, “the wrong thing.”
This includes me.
My own internal colonization has long been in the driver’s seat determining where I seek to “belong,” with whom, and the best modes for making that happen.
I’m coming to understand how my very presence in these rooms is in some way rooted in a desire to be liked by “the people in charge.”
Sharing my feelings about these realizations has been difficult and not always well received.
I wonder, am I equipped to do this work? Do I even want to be here? Do I need more letters behind my name or another degree? Am I saying it wrong? Should I have introduced it differently? Is something happening?
And I’m tired. So tired.
More tired than I’ve ever been
When my mother came to town this week, we went to the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. I wanted to escape and forget all the uncertainty of my world. The not knowing where I fit or how to “do it.”
Instead, I was reminded.
The flowers! What a beautiful tapestry such unhampered expressions created.
Each was an unapologetic display of itself — the reddest red and curling, dripping, spiraling phantasms. Magic.
This is why we show up in these rooms and feel the discomfort of it all. This is why I’m looking at the ways I’ve been trained to be something other than myself.
We want to be that garden — where all feel the availability to be authentically who they are, and where difference are celebrated as unique contributions to the beautiful human tapestry.
Getting dirty, breaking our back and sweating to pull out that which chokes and suffocates is how we intentionally create space for new seeds to sprout.