Maaaaan, I have not been in a good place. Last week was really rough on me. I've mentioned before that I'm affected by news of people who look like me being senselessly murdered by the police. And then after the police ambush in Dallas on Thursday night, I was pretty much through. In fact, on Friday morning, on my personal Facebook page, I ranted:
Let me just share this here, and then I'm going to log off.
Here's where my headspace is: I'm spent. I'm just so angry. And as I mentioned yesterday, I just don't have it in me to try to fix this anymore. I feel like I've make it my personal mission to spread love and light, and write about diversity and difference and inclusion; and nonetheless the world -- or at the very least, this country -- just sees me as a target. I feel like despite intentionally focusing on connection and beauty, I still get followed by cop cars, I still get skepticism about my background, I still deal with microaggressions on a weekly basis, and my brothers and sisters still get killed. I still worry about my daughter as she approaches her teenage years and gains more independence in a world that will see her as a threat, as well as the black and brown children of my friends. I am thisclose to shutting it all down, because none of it seems to matter. I resent continuing to show love, when my adopted home, America, seems to hate who I am, all because of the skin I walk in (generally, not specifically, relax, I'm not talking about you).
And then Dallas. I mean, what the hell is that? I have no idea what the motivation was, but whatever it was, it doesn't possibly help ANY situation. It doesn't help eradicate racism, it sure doesn't help cops' distrust of citizens, it doesn't help ease the tension that exists in this country. All it does is kill and injure innocent people, and cause pain to their families and friends. All it does is make minorities want to watch their backs more, and good cops do the same. It just puts everyone on edge. Hate begets hate, man. Every damned time.
And then, God help me, Trump.
So, yeah. Not my best moment, and clearly I needed a break.
And so, I took one. I logged off, made myself a mug of tea, grabbed a light, fun, summer read (this one, for what it's worth), and I sat down in our biggest armchair and went analog for a couple of hours. That night, our family had dinner with friends of ours who have made connection, nonviolence and spiritual guidance their lives' work, and they were gentle with me: they let me know they understood how I felt, and moreover, it was natural and totally acceptable to feel that way. During the rest of the weekend, I spent time with Marcus and Alex. I went on long, solitary walks, despite the heat and the humidity. And then, later in the weekend, one of those friends we had dinner with Friday night reminded me of a truth that was missing in my Facebook rant; a truth that, to be honest, I often forget when I'm angry:
Hate does beget hate, but love also begets love. And I don't have to work change the world, or even the country -- just my world. And I can begin by "loving my neighbour as myself." The trick, of course, is remembering my "neighbour" is everyone who crosses my path.
Oh, right. My neighbour is everyone.
And so -- with a deep, deep breath -- I recommit. I'll keep sharing love and light. I'll keep blogging, I'll keep shooting, and I'll keep sharing stories of good in the world and good in people. But lest you think I'm fully enlightened, let me name this: as I type this, I admit I'm still dealing with some anger and resentment and even fear. And honestly, it might take me a little while to fully recover. But the truth is, I'm way better than I was last week. I'm calming down. And I've realized -- in fact, I'm convinced -- that angry is no way to live. Because if we live angry, the bad guys win.
So, here's to recommitting to leading with love.
I hope you'll join me, neighbour.
Soundtrack: Send your love (Art of Peace Mix) by Sting