Scared of your heart breaking? Here’s what I know- when your heart breaks open is when the healing can begin.
Thursday morning after watching the George Floyd video, I cried. I could not stop for hours. The tears had in them pain and fear for my people to appreciation for those who are finally using their voices. Worry about how we’ll move forward. Anger for the last few hundred years and the history so many of us were not taught.
It did not stop with slavery, it simply continued in both insidious and visible ways. Racial discrimination also doesn’t just happen with the killing of a man already in handcuffs.
It happens when someone asks me if I’m the dog walker (of my own dog), or the delivery girl in my neighborhood grocery store. It happens when people use terms around me like “ghetto” or “thug”. It happens when people look in awe and surprise at my success, with the very clear- “wowwww, look at you”. Or when I can sense someone doesn’t 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘺 want to meet me as a white friend introduces us.
The most painful one, is that it happens when people who care about me and whom I care about stay silent. In the last 24 hours, I’ve learned about “white silence”…so while my dinner table has buzzed with racial conversations about social justice and discrimination and change, every single time my extended family gathers since I can remember, maybe some little girls/boys had tables where people used slurs and their parents said nothing. Or worse.
My closest white friends have asked, “what can I do?” Their question feels heavy with fear of facing their conditioning, shame of family ties or their actions, and sadness. So many of them have laid their hearts on the table. And for that, I’ve cried too. Cried at how love really is the only way forward.
But here’s the thing, for now, love in your heart isn’t enough. Put love behind your actions, here are a few ways:
- Face it. Face your privilege. Face your past. And then face your power, that matters most now.
- Be agnostic with your kindness. For now, just notice in the world if you’re kinder or less kind based on an assumption.
- See color. Learn our country’s 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡 history and tell your family, friends, kids.
- Read. White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo.
Courage is scary, Heart break even scarier. But it will change the world. We can weave our broken hearts back together with gold. One person at a time.