I do spiritual, emotional, sacred work. I’m blessed to do what I’m here on this planet to do. I definitely believe that we should all love each other because we’re one (to put it in the blandest/shit-spiritual-girls-say frame) BUT I’m not sure we’re all on the same page of what love as oneness means. I think we, meaning white people, and especially many in the white spiritual community, have some seriously needed education around love. I’m not at all exempt from this education and I am not writing this to shame, other or dehumanize anyone.
Love isn’t ignoring the experiences of the people we share this planet with.
Love isn’t pushing down or away difficult feelings and experiences because they’re inconvenient or yucky or painful or confusing or uncomfortable.
Love, where/when/how we are right now, is not all blissed out sparkles. We know this. But it’s not the practice.
I believe that love is a practice. We can be better at loving.
I BELIEVE THAT CALLING OUT INJUSTICE IS A SUPREME ACT OF LOVE.
Naming it. Speaking it. Marching for it. Becoming a true ally for it. Unpacking that which lead to the injustice (white supremacy).
Because white supremacy is our collective story. And in my role as a coach/healer/ever-evolving human, I teach folks to get clear on their stories, speak them, see them, feel them, unpack them, own them, understand them, create forgiveness for them — so they can heal/release/become who they really are not who they were taught to be. So they can take their true power back and create the world and life they want to create and live. So they can become the story-teller.
If I’m not about that on the biggest levels, then I’m just a bullshitter, honestly. Letting the fear of rocking the boat/doing it wrong (jaysus, a big one for me) get the best of me. And I’m not really loving anyone or anything outside of my own privileged experience.
If I’m not about that on the biggest levels, then I’m not really understanding the power of love and I’m succumbing (yet again) to the toxic, tragic, broken, oppressive paradigm of “power-over”, not “power-with”. I’m then relating to power as a finite, scarce resource.
I’m participating and benefiting from white supremacy. As a white person, that’s my unearned privilege. And I’m not alone.
That “power-over” framework makes no room for real, transformative love. Only the teeny tiny intimate expressions of love with my partner or my work or my stuff or my friends (not love that = oneness but love that = separateness and semblance of safety).”Power is the ability to affect change,” –
“Power is the ability to affect change,” – Dr. MLK via Brené Brown (thanks for these distinctions, BB).
And white supremacy isn’t just angry, chinless turds in polos (Tina Fey’s words, not mine – #sheetcaking), it’s insidious and woven into every aspect of our lives. Below is an image that’s been making the rounds giving a framework to overt (socially unacceptable, ie neo-nazis) and covert white supremacy (socially acceptable, ie color-blindness & expecting POC to teach white ppl).
So how to love better? I don’t have all the answers. Like at all. But we, as white folks, can notice the ways we participate (benefiting is participating) in covert supremacy. We can find any of the millions of resources online (hey, you can always start with Peggy McIntosh’s “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” or look at any of my recent links) to help us really own our part of the collective story of white supremacy that is America. We can call out injustice and talk to each other. We must do better. We can.
Fuck, I’ll be honest. I’m scared to post this. I wanna reread a hundred times to make sure my words are right. I’ll settle for 5 times. Ok, I’m gonna reiki this and hit post.
Image via Decolonized Resistance (that’s where I first saw it, if there’s another author/artist please let me know).