Last week was challenging. I was an emotional mess and wept daily. And in that discomfort, I understood I couldn’t possibly ever know the true pain that BIPOC were experiencing and had been for centuries. I kept asking myself, what was it that made this time so much more gut-wrenching than ever before? What did I see differently this time?
Coming from a life of financial and emotional hardship in my youth, growing up I assumed white privilege was something others in a higher socio-economic class experienced – but not me.
And due to growing up knowing adversity is why I believe I’ve been anti-racist and pro marginalized people my entire life. I’ve always rooted for the underdog.
However all of that said, last week had me listening and learning with new ears and eyes and I realized I’d been semi oblivious to some of the subtleties of systemic racism and how it’s actually benefited me in my life. Even though I’d had my share of life challenges, I don’t think I’d ever really bothered to acknowledge the extent of my white privilege. And maybe that’s why I felt so much pain. My pain was empathy, but also embarrassment and shame. I’d always considered myself an ally – but with my recent introspection, I think I saw that my allyship was leaning a bit to the ‘fair-weather’ side, meaning whenever it was convenient or not too much work. So I dug deep last week. I made a long laundry list of my privileges and saw many things I hadn’t considered before. One biggie was that as a mother I haven’t really had to worry about my 16 yr old son every time he walks out the door. I can only imagine the potential fear I might have for him each day if we were POC.
My work here is to help people heal, transform, dream big and become the highest expression of themselves. I know from my own experience that discomfort is the catalyst for new growth. Well, my own personal breakdown last week has led me to a breakthrough.
As someone whose first instinct is to escape darkness, I reminded myself to lean into the grief and surrender to transmuting the rawness into love. In darkness new life begins. Breakdowns create breakthroughs. I’m ready. I’m listening. I’m learning. And I’m committed to being a true ally for justice. Not just now but always.
Here is just a handful of people I’m currently listening to and learning from on Instagram: Rachel Cargle, Rachel Rodgers, Trudi Lebron, The Female Hustlers, Preston Smiles, Kay Richae, Layla F Saad, Ally Henny, Rebekah Borucki.