How might this process feel differently depending on a person’s race or identity?
It is really difficult for all of us to come together and be able to recognize the oppression and injustice that exist in the world, in the spaces we occupy and in the relationships we have, and to be able to personally address those damages and tackle it together. And it’s also incredibly rewarding and necessary.
For white and white people passing by:
If you are doing this spiritual work to see the suffering of others as your own, you must be ready for everything to change. You haven’t fully seen the world around you because the prevailing culture has taken white into account. Hence, it is often a complete and complete overhaul of everything you ever knew about yourself or how the world works.
It’s about not thinking about whether you are racist, but about whether you are racist and in what way. You begin to delve into the ways in which you have harmed blacks, indigenous people, and people of color – especially black and indigenous women. You are beginning to understand that you have maintained white supremacy. When you’re stuck with the idea that you are the good guy and not part of the problem, examine what is going on for you: Is that shadow self, that ego, that wounded inner child, flaring up? You need to realize that if you want to see yourself as good and right, you cannot fully commit yourself to racial justice.
It’s damn hard. It is painful. It is a challenge. And you don’t come to the other side. There is no other side. This is lifelong work. But if you keep unpacking and leaning into racial justice, it’s also incredibly healing and liberating and liberating and connecting. You understand the systems that serve the world and how you worked in them. And you will find out how to better connect with yourself and with others. Because when I talk about anti-racism I am not just talking about racial oppression. I’m talking about ending all forms of oppression as they currently exist. This is what it means to liberate all blacks, indigenous peoples and colored people.
“I don’t think that you can be a truly spiritual person and that you cannot actively work to create a more just and just society for all.”
It is painful to sit in the truth as different systems work to oppress and discriminate against us. It can be easier not to look. But it’s also incredibly affirming and affirming and liberating to be in rooms where you can see and understand that it’s not your own fault, but the fault of the systems that harmed you.
In many of my workshops, black and indigenous women came up to me and said they had never felt safe in a room with whites until they came to my workshop. This is no exception, but generally the rule: whenever white and colored people are in the same room, the damage is great. It’s just this world.