This morning I masterfully crawled out of bed from in between two sleeping children to try and get a meditation in before they woke up. I stood at the end of the bed and couldn’t take my eyes off of them in their blissful and innocent sleep. I wondered what they were dreaming about, what they would think about when they first opened their eyes, the last thing they thought about before they went to sleep, and what kind of world we were creating for them to grow into.
One thing I knew for sure was that they would NOT wake up worrying or frightened of their world because of the color of their skin, their nationality or religion. Because my children are white… and because of that they ARE privileged. Due to nothing they have ever done or not done. Yet, all over our very own country there are mothers looking at their sleeping children, swallowing back the paralyzing fear of what the future will bring them, putting on a brave face, begging for change. All over our very own country there are mothers waking up and opening their eyes after those first blissful seconds of innocence to the wakeful remembrance of the children they have lost. Lost to the staggering hatred and racism that the leader of our country refuses to pointedly condemn.
I am just one voice right now in an ocean of people blogging, posting, speaking up, acting out. We are outraged, shocked, bewildered, and so deeply saddened. Many are walking around with such heavy hearts that tears spring up in the corners of our eyes when we least expect it.
I am also generally a non alarmist. I always try to be extremely intentional about what I read, watch or follow in my feed when it comes to current events. We do have a responsibility to do our own fact checking and verifying when it comes to ANY news source. We know more often than not, most media sources are biased in one way or another and finding a story that isn’t spun in any particular direction is almost impossible. I tend to let the press hysteria calm a bit before I start diving into details.
Guys… This. Is. Not. A. Drill. White supremacists, antisemites, KKK members and Neo-Nazis gathered together from all across our country specifically to show the country their ability to mobilize quickly and in great numbers in an attempt to show the capability of their force, instill fear and incite more hatred and violence. If you don’t think that’s accurate, there are readily available interviews with the leaders of that march who are very eager and happy to clear that up for you. Maybe you are someone who agrees with Trump that there were also some “very fine people” involved in that march. If you were a “very fine person” marching with a group of people chanting the hateful, racist things they were chanting, I hope you would IMMEDIATELY think, oh shit, I think I’m with the wrong people.
The only way to rid ourselves of this darkness is to not fall into it. We cannot give them what they want- more hatred, judgement and violence. We MUST stand so fucking tall in our light. I recently attended a weekend workshop with Gabby Bernstein and one of the concepts she talked about that really struck me was around spiritual activism and the importance of not being passive while remaining in the energy of love. She talked about the importance of standing our ground, being active and making our voices heard, while also releasing judgement and exercising compassion. There were several points Gabby made that are so crucial today as we move forward.
- We must stand so firmly and deeply in our love that the “darkness from the past can not possibly exist with the light of the present moment.”
- Judgement creates more judgement.
- When you are using shame, you are using the lowest energy in the Universe. (Do you think Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. would be out there shaming Trump for his hair or skin tone, calling him names, or wishing horrible things would happen to him?)
- You cannot solve a problem by simply condemning it.
- People in support of separation, hate, racism, violence and terrorism are deeply wounded people.
- Speak up with LOVE, not the energy of fear and resistance. The greatest activists were not fighting a fight, they were proclaiming love.
I’m sure many of you are now wondering how the HELL you are supposed to have compassion for anyone waving around a swastika and calling for ethnic cleansing. I know that screaming “FUCK YOU” and waving around your middle fingers with as much enthusiasm as they are waving around their swastikas feels like the most natural and satisfying thing to do. Trust me, I feel you. The nitty gritty is that this is not choosing the energy of love. It’s choosing the same energy they are- fear.
Listen, one of the most difficult lessons I have learned in my life, and am still working on daily, is that true compassion can only be found when we stand rock solid in our own boundaries. Having compassion does NOT mean that you are a doormat or that you silence your voice from speaking out against what you know to be unjust. This is a lesson that needs to be carried over into every situation in our lives. I can’t say that I’ve completely figured it out yet, but what I do know is that we have to start down that path by intentionally and consistently choosing love over fear.
So what do we do now? I know many of us, myself included, are worried about attending rallies or marches because this past weekend has proven that they can be dangerous, even deadly. Now as a mother, I think about what that means for my children if I were to attend and something happened to me. I think about what it means for my children if we DON’T do anything. I think about the parents who put their entire families at risk for brethren and strangers by harboring them during Hitler’s Germany and the underground railroad. I am incredibly humbled by the courage and steadfastness of those people.
This is what I know I can do now- I find a way to stay in the energy of love as often as possible, I keep talking about it, and I stay open to ways that I can help.
- FIND LOVE- When you’re starting to feel overcome with fear or rage, find a strategy to get you back in the love energy and raise your vibes. Maybe it’s prayer, meditation, physical activity, listening to a favorite song, calling someone to tell them you love them, recalling a memory that makes you feel drenched in love. Just get back in that energy! You will be so much more effective at creating change.
- KEEP TALKING ABOUT IT- We all know this one. It might not seem easy, but it’s simple. Don’t stay quiet when a family member or co-worker makes a racial comment. Talk to your kids about it and tell them why these issues are so important. Bring awareness to the reality that problem exists. We can’t afford to keep our mouths shut because we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings.
- STAY OPEN- Pay attention. Train yourself to be looking and listening for places that you can help. If you don’t feel attending a rally is the best choice for you, there are so many other ways you can help. Donating to anti-racism organizations, paying attention to immigration bills and holding congress accountable, standing up for affected friends, families and businesses. Literally, all you have to do is Google “what can I do after Charlottesville” and you’re sure to get hundreds of articles with something you can do. Just don’t do nothing.
And keep on choosing LOVE.