Feeling Your Feelings

I am nurturing a heavy heart as I write to you today, the events of this last week have held a palpable weight.

June 3, 2020

I shall speak the names of those murdered in recent weeks. Breonna, George, and Ahmaud. And I pray no others are added to the list in the day it takes to get this email out.

I know that if you are in my community you are committed to holding a space of non-judgment, and embracing the truth that we are all connected and our freedom must be shared. Thank you for holding and standing for that truth. 

We are being called to deeper work at this time.

Today I’d like to share one suggestion of a step that you can take this week. This is not intended to be a solution nor a Band-Aid, and this speaks primarily to the white people on this list.

To the BIPOC folks reading this email, please know that I have done the work at one level in my past work as a corporate diversity coach and as a public school teacher, and I am doing the work at a deeper level. I will make mistakes, I will say the wrong thing, but I will not say nothing. 

I am receptive to your input and contribution to my growth journey as a leader, and I do not expect it or take it for granted. I will pay for the support we need in this community to do the work. 

And I am sorry. 

When I came out of the closet, I was grateful to have people who supported me. And I was so happy to be walking in my truth. Yet when I looked deeper, I was also sad. I was sad for how long I’d had to live in hiding because it didn’t feel safe to be me. [I am by no means comparing my journey to that of walking this world in dark skin – I can hide my gay.]

One day someone noticed my sadness and said to me, “I am sorry the world didn’t help you get there sooner.”

I broke open. I didn’t even realize I’d been hiding from my grief over all of my lost years.  He was apologizing to me on behalf of our broken world, and it meant something to me. 

I feel hopeful that the current events are a true indication of reform. I know how long this fight has been happening. And I have seen more people speak up now than ever. I have seen more people willing to admit they’ve been wrong, which feels so important. I hold hope. And I want to say to the men and women of color, “I’m sorry the world didn’t get there sooner.”

I wish I could say I knew where ‘there’ is and exactly how to get ‘there.’ And I know when we get ‘there,’ we will have more work to do. But I am sorry. And I am hopeful.

And to white folks, imagine your grief at having had to hide yourself to get by in areas of your life, as I did. (I know you are called to your work because of this past pain). Now imagine this pain amplified, without the option to hide or walk away. 

I know at some level we are all feeling this right now., I invite you to feel the feelings. 

With light skin we have the option to walk away. To divert our attention to other matters that feel better.

I know for myself I’ve found it challenging to focus on business as usual this week. And that should be the case.

We need to be with and feel our feelings in order to work with them and channel that energy in a direction that makes an impact. When we ignore them and numb them out, we lose connection with ourselves and with Source. And choosing to use our privilege to do this is how we got to this place, in 2020. 

For our white readers, a specific assignment (I got this suggestion from my friend Amy Jo Goddard): Sit for nine minutes and feel your feelings about the current situation in our country around race. Even with your feelings around this newsletter. This is the length of time the police officer’s leg was on George Floyd‘s neck. 

Be honest with yourself about your feelings – the good, the bad and the ugly. Validate your feelings and ask yourself what you might do with this energy. Transformation starts with truth.

 I am not gifted at sharing detailed resources, I’ve read many over the years, and there are many being shared on social media at this time. I am starting the book “White Fragility.”  If you are new to this conversation, get educated. (Step one: google pyramid of white supremacy and print it). 

A solid resource and transformational conversation for people of all races is happening in the Facebook group White people DOING something: CLICK HERE

To the people of color reading: this assignment is not for you – you deal with your feelings in whatever way you choose. Numb, rage, grieve, or focus on your work. Let us carry the emotional work right now if you can. 

For anyone reading who wants to use your voice, and you are not sure how, or if you are qualified, or if you will say the right things, remember everything is energy.

Get quiet and hear what is in your heart, and dare to express yourself. Trust that people will feel your energy and the intent behind your words, even if you get it wrong.

Remember, my definition of power is being free to be yourself, speak your core truth, and receive what comes. 

This is a prime opportunity to deepen your relationship with your power. We must be willing to receive what comes, and trust ourselves that we’ve done the inner work to be able to be with what shows up in response to our expression.  To be able to receive feedback, discern what feels true, take in what we need, and learn and grow. You’ve been training for this! Get on the court! 

Let the people in your life know what you stand for. Do not let fear of doing it wrong stop you. 

Love

Darla 

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