stand for or stand against?

Standing against creates resistance.

Resistance creates heat.

Heat creates inflammation.

Inflammation is an early step in the healing process…or,

untreated, unseen, unsupported, can lead to infection.

Infection, if left untreated, can lead to death.

I recently put my toes back in the pool of social media, specifically Facebook. A two and a half year hiatus was necessary for some essential healing of wounds that stunned me, and reminded me of many lessons I had forgotten about the realities of life in these times. That time provided the necessary space to hone my observation skills and to deepen my listening to myself and to others.

I have been watching myself and others as we have navigated the pandemic and all of its multiple challenges. Layer on top of that, the racial injustices in my country, and it appears that all of the fissures which have been in place in our societal foundation are now cracked wide open. I, for one am grateful that so many have awakened to the inequities that are pervasive in this country, and from what I can see are also present in others as well.

I am not in the streets protesting. I AM supportive of all who are. I am finding ways to provide support from where I am. We are at a necessary tipping point. Evolution is an imperative and we will either go with it or our resistance will create harm for ourselves and others. I am listening, I am reaching out to my friends who are black or brown and even though I thought I knew a lot, my eyes have been opened to so many aspects of their experiences that I couldn’t have possibly known…had I not inquired.

If we are not listening, and only talking as we attempt to defend our positions or beliefs, we cannot learn anything. Listening is scary. Why? We may see and learn something about ourselves. Our old assumptions and beliefs are challenged. We fear that deep dive into who we think we are.

There is no better time than RIGHT NOW, to listen. Listen to yourself – your fears, your assumptions. Listen to your friends. Listen without defending. Just listen. Reach out. Reach out to those in your life who do not look like you. Ask them how they feel. Ask them to tell you their stories. Listen without judgment. Do no interrupt them to try and defend a belief that you have. Remember…you are listening to THEIR story. Defending yours or your positions is disrespectful, at least.

Having gone back to social media, I see very clearly, the emotions on many sides of the issues before us as a human family. The fear is pretty intense…and sadly those who are showing it aren’t aware of it. When folks have chosen to post memes and old articles that appear to defend their positions, I used to get upset, wondering how anyone could be so separated from the realties of our collective humanity. Now I feel compassion for them and sadness at the same time.

As leaders of our lives, we choose. We choose what we believe. We choose how we listen, what we listen to and what we think or say in reaction. React is what many are doing.

As leaders of our lives, we choose. Standing up with those who are standing for their lives, is a gift of love and respect. Responding is what many are doing.

We will either work together and take the necessary steps to right the inequalities and injustices across the world which have served the few rather than the many, or we will all go down together.

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

 – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I pray that light will get in; more eyes will be opened, more hearts and minds will open and we will find a way forward to honor all members of the family of beings which inhabit this planet, including Mother Earth herself.

May the fissures which are now BIG cracks, open us all to a new way of being – together, in true community. May the light begin to shine in the darkest places within ourselves – our perspectives and beliefs, so that we see old things with new eyes and can bring our best to the challenges of our times.

There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

 – Leonard Cohen

Stand for love.

Stand for light.

Stand for healing.

Stand for ALL.

6 thoughts on “stand for or stand against?

  • As a brown person, I have such mixed feelings about this all. A lot of the reaction to the Black Lives Matter has me uneasy. Black businesses and ideas rejected a few weeks ago, suddenly praised. Every company in America not only making a statement but also judging others’ statements. So much feels less than genuine, and I’m sad about how we got here. We’re trying to fix this not with kindness, but with an urgent race to say the right thing in the right tone.

    It’s been hard for me to articulate just what this looks like from somewhere in the middle. So I’ve largely stayed away altogether. Not with my head in the sand. Not by putting myself through the wringer for prejudice I didn’t know I had. Because I’ve examined myself, and the only conclusion is that I’ve treated others with compassion, regardless, and that I will tomorrow and the day after that. If only we could all have done this from the start.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Eli, I appreciate your honest comment here. I feel as you do regarding the way I treat others. Although that hasn’t changed, I am still diving into learning more about how racism, or the mistreatment of those who are different – colors, cultures, financial status, education and so on – is so deeply systemic, embedded in our cultures. The current unrest and focus on police brutality is one aspect of a very large system, consisting of rules, regulations, policies, procedures, designed to protect “white bodies” at the expense of others. I know that I treat others well, and I know I can learn even more. As far as how it may look from the middle, I feel it’s important to know or to learn how we feel about this moment. What does it mean to us, individually and what are the implications of those feelings collectively? As a family of humanity, what are we now called to be? Its a personal and individual process of examination that will lead us to the next better version of ourselves. These incremental and critically important actions make a significant difference for and in the collective…in our world.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Listening is such a powerful gift Carrie, that we can give ourselves and the world. I agree with Eli, if our feelings are not authentic, then don’t display them publicly. This is a time to face ourselves, face the truth of what we have done and each day begin to heal the deep wounds within us. 🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

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