Generally, in traditional talk therapy, the client isn’t allowed a bird’s eye view of the therapist’s inner dialogue or mindset. As most of you know, I am not a traditionalist when it comes to therapy. For transparency, trust building and fostering a solid working relationship, I do believe it is important to allow my clients into my inner world when appropriate. This is one of those times.
These last several weeks have been challenging. Social injustice is difficult to watch. I can only imagine how difficult it is to experience, but only within the limitations of my imagination. Social injustice and racism are difficult to bear witness. It stirs up questions that do not always have easy answers. It stirs up fears from myths, inaccuracies and lies we have been exposed to, sometimes by our family of origin, a religion or our community. It forces us to look deep inside ourselves.
Watching the protests and listening to individuals speak out has been emotionally and mentally exhausting. The pain, frustration and anger are palpable. It is difficult to hear and see hateful resistance and lack of compassion in leadership and sometimes within our own communities.
It is difficult to acknowledge how little we collectively know and how little we have collectively done for positive change and action.
I’m a processor. But for me DATA IN does not quickly lead to DATA OUT. I need time to compute. I really need time to mull it over, let things percolate and see what rises and then probably mull a bit longer.
I need to reflect on my observations, be aware of my reactions and feelings, pick apart my understanding of the experience vs the actual message of the experience. I need to understand the meaning of the DATA IN before I feel good about my decisions and course for action for the DATA OUT.
I have mulled and percolated and mulled about what to say to my clients about BLM and the current climate within our country. Like everything currently, it seems to be ever evolving, but here are my most current thoughts:
We have seen ignorance, hate, invalidation, and injustice.
We have seen frustration, desperation, deep hurt and anger.
We have seen fear on both sides.
We now understand that silence and inaction can become an action of complicity.
But we have seen the spark of positive action and forward movement.
We have also seen strength, resiliency, hope, and love.
We have been challenged to question the status quo.
We have been challenged to look deep inside our hearts and minds to evaluate our core values and beliefs and recognize any conflicts with those and our current social norms, policies, and laws.
We have been challenged to acknowledge our miseducation and missteps.
We have been challenged to rise together for healing and social justice. But we may have a few more questions, such as:
- How can we express our humility and openness to learn more and increase our understanding of the issues?
- How can we show our strength, our resiliency, our hope, our love, our compassion, our understanding, our commitment to change?
- How can we better protect and support vulnerable populations in our communities and around our country?
- How can we facilitate healing and social justice reform?
- How can we use our talents, abilities, and voices to become a vehicle for change and peace?
I am still mulling and percolating on all of those.
But what can I/ we do while waiting to see what rises?
- Be open: Let go of the impulse to say, “I already know”. Be open to hearing a different perspective. Be open to change. Do not fear change, progress or evolution.
- Explore: Increase your awareness of what you have learned (right or wrong), experienced and behaved. Understand how this currently shapes your attitudes and behaviors. Check out: https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/summer-2019/whats-my-complicity-talking-white-fragility-with-robin-diangelo OR https://www.lionsroar.com/facing-my-white-privilege/
- Educate yourself: Educate beyond social media posts and memes. Really dig into books, essays/articles, interviews/podcasts, videos/ documentaries to give me better insight, understanding and education. There are plenty of resources to get me started, such as https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BRlF2_zhNe86SGgHa6-VlBO-QgirITwCTugSfKie5Fs/preview?pru=AAABcsMzTdE*WUCA0ruI86ex1GyGsMIiLw or https://oyc.yale.edu/african-american-studies/afam-162
- Support the message: Sign petitions, contact local, state and federal reps
- Support initiatives and movements: Check out https://blacklivesmatter.com/resources/ or https://eji.org/
- Support community: Support businesses through https://blackownedchicago.com/black-owned-businesses-in-chicago/
- Donate: Donate to victim funds through NAACP or ACLU or to local movements
- VOTE: When the time comes; vote. And fight against voter suppression. Make your voice heard but also support that all voices are heard and counted.
If you are needing any extra support during this time, please feel free to reach out. We can schedule a 30-minute to 60-minute call or video session to support your mulling or percolating process. Or schedule a Distance Reiki Session via call or video to soothe, relax and balance. Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sending healing energy to you and the world,