I’m white and privileged beyond my comprehension. I need to evolve that comprehension and enact it.
I want to preface this post with this event page: http://makennaheld.com/leadershiprecipelive/ I had NO IDEA we would dive into white privilege, colonialism, racism, cultural appropriation and other corrupt systems. In my naivety, I really thought it was just another women empowering event.
FUCK ME. I was wrong.
It was so much more.
I researched one of Layla’s posts and now I am skimming the surface of a deep ocean without a mask or snorkel and the waves of emotion make it hard to breathe.
Here’s my understanding thus far. I am at the beginning of integrating this journey, so bear with me as I unpack this mess with time.
We all experience hurt.
I believe it’s a part of the human condition.
Some far more than others.
A heart that feels broken is different than a heart that has been suppressed, extinguished or marginalized.
I’ve never experienced these ‘differences’ before.
I was told to “sit” in the uncomfortableness that arose, so that it may resonate and provoke awakening.
I didn’t realize in my ignorance and innocence that it was because of my white privilege.
Now I must sit with that.
I didn’t know that I was looked at as the “sparkly white girl” or that was even a term. I didn’t know that even if I hadn’t physically caused violence in this lifetime that I was perpetuating violence still by not speaking up, or that I had a saviour complex that wanted to ‘save the world’ without even really knowing the systems at work that got us into this segregated state in the first place.
Now I sit with that.
I sit with the hurt, the blame, the shame, the discomfort, the ignorance, the innocence, the guilt, the deep sorrow that comes from realizing that what you’ve known up until this point has been a huge fucking distraction and at the same time exactly what I needed to get me here.
Thinking outside of myself and stepping into the shoes of another that has had a human experience in complete contrast to mine and not changing or taking a damn thing is peace.
Allowing people to have their own sacred practices, their own identities, their own culture and their own expression in the world without saying otherwise is harmony.
Being open to change, togetherness, celebration, forgiveness, and unity will heal our wounds and our hearts will have an opportunity to expand and educate.
Asking the questions: Who fought for my survival in generations past so I could live the life I now occupy? Who has my gene line hurt? What did they take, and from whom? These questions are mandatory. How will I truly evolve or avoid doing it again without the knowledge of my ingrained history?
Up until this point, I hadn’t seen the significance of looking back. I had kept my eyes looking forward and around. Asking for ‘light and love’ to be the change, instead of diving deeper to uncover and acknowledge my own historical facts.
I sit with that.
I didn’t know I had a colonial mindset. That in fact “having anything I wanted” is basically UNTRUE. I am not entitled to it all. Some things will never be mine even if I thought I was upholding or honouring tradition.
Holy fuck. This alone has me seriously unpacking.
I didn’t know that not all people of colour are willing to work with me through this dismantling. And if they are willing, they should damn well be greatly compensated for it.
I’ve already taken so much. It’s NOW time to honour, respect and uphold other cultures as if they aren’t my own and never will be. They can be admired and encouraged from afar unless otherwise granted.
Cultural appropriation is a new term for me to find equilibrium with.
I sit for real on that.
Life hasn’t been fair to all races. We know this and by not acting in a way that could bring about social change and justice, we are silently still causing the disconnect and denying basic humans rights.
We cannot live like this.
I don’t know exactly what an OUR WORLD looks like. It’s always felt like mine and now I have come to realize that that thought alone has been my privilege and we have to make some huge pivotal shifts to create a globe that embodies this term. A lot of new and emerging voices must be heard. “White sparkly women” need to take a back seat and learn and listen to the others who are fighting to have their voices heard. The real warriors.
I sit with that. And listen.
Thank you to Makenna Held for holding this space for us to explore new truths.