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Heartache > Solidarity > Maybe a Big Awakening Too. (They seem to go together.)

Heartache > Solidarity > Maybe a Big Awakening Too. (They seem to go together.)

For so long I have craved more progress about racial justice. It’s possible (maybe, kinda, sorta?) a tipping point is happening, and I am daring to feel some hope, amidst the grief of all the pain that has led to this increased uprising.

I think it’s always like this, that important awakenings come out of pain. When we add in Solidarity.

You know that relief you eventually feel after leaving a job or a relationship? At first, it’s so hard to face, and then it feels so right when you say “Enough is enough.” Getting there is often partly thanks to someone who was with us in the dark tunnel.

We are all in this together.
… forever.

And right now, many of us have had it with big trauma for our Black communities, and we are ready for change, and even more ready to bring about that change.

Whatever you’re feeling today, it’s OK. It’s normal. I am with you if your heart is aching.

I’m also writing today to check in on what you’re finding to turn to for solace and direction. I’ll share what’s helping me.

I’ve been sad, angry, bereft, ready to march in the streets…. then hopeful. Then repeat.

It’s interesting that in the time since I started writing this post a week ago, I’m finding more reasons for hope already. What a difference a week can make.

Finding Solace, Hope, and Direction

I am fortunate to have found some solace and direction in community, in long talks with honest friends, in stirring music, in nature, and now in the signs of progress already happening.

Here are some favorites that have provided some clarity and energy for me:

  • All these signs of progress and a “Great Awakening” as a result of the protests, as outlined by Van Jones, one of my heroes.
  • Wise explanations from Trevor Noah (normally a comedian but so solemn and wise in this video and many other comments from him).
  • Stand Up, the theme song from the movie, Harriet (about Harriet Tubman).
  • Local high school students who are organizing peaceful protests in my town (where we all wear face masks).
  • White friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues talking about racism and white privilege more than usual, and organizing study groups and actions.
  • More open-hearted frank discussions lately with friends who are Black and/or Indigenous. It’s been a gift.

Solidarity Matters

All those people taking a stand around the world helps me feel less alone in my concerns. Solidarity really helps. It helps us all. It moves me to the core. Restores my faith in humanity. And it helps to point the way.

Did you know the trees in the forest are stronger and healthier than lone trees in a field?  It’s because their roots are literally interconnected. They nourish each other through the roots.

Interconnected tree roots

That’s solidarity. That’s some good medicine.

There are many stories of protestors and cops hugging and crying together, and this gives some people hope.

That’s good, and I know that individual acts of caring are not enough to erase the tension and the systemic issues we must deal with in bigger ways.

It’s that systemic thing that can sometimes get me down, and make me feel like no action will really matter because my mind says, “It’s just too big and too ingrained.” Ya know?

And yet…. I once heard a therapist say that what leaves the biggest scars is the lack of a caring response after something bad happens. That idea gives me some hope that my showing up in the moment matters, at least a little, even while the system is still a mess. 💗

So, I take solace in that and it fuels me to keep showing up. It matters for today, and the future.

What I Keep Turning To

I keep coming back to trusting in these things as my focus:

  1. Solidarity helps our hearts and souls even before systemic change can happen.
  2. The little things add up! It’s working.
  3. Each one of us is stronger than we think.
    We have already handled a lot, and we are stronger for it.
  4. Each one of us has valuable gifts to offer in any situation. It doesn’t have to look a certain way.
    Your way might not be marching or public speaking, but there’s always something you’re good at that someone needs. I listed some ideas and inspiration for introverts who care about social justice here.
  5. I can turn to nature for peace and all the life lessons I need.

In practical terms, I’m reminding myself of these daily and it seems to point the way to my next step. Taking one little step at a time helps me stay sane.

What Do You Turn To for Strength, Direction, and Perseverance?

Do you know where you find strength or something worth focusing on?

I believe we all have it somewhere, but it takes conscious effort to know what to rely on, and to remember to turn to it. Think about it. You can borrow from my list too.

Wait a Sec

Don’t let this post be one more thing adding to the noise. Take a pause. Turn to your heart. Notice what is staying with you in your heart.

My 2021 Update

Yeh, lots of backwards stuff and stagnation on this front. Big big sigh. Maybe it wasn’t a tipping point. Well, maybe it was but slower that we hoped? I dunno. Time will tell.

I continue to dare to be hopeful for all the reasons here.

Picture of Val Nelson

Val Nelson

I’ve been a self-employed career/business/purpose coach since 2009. I help introverts and HSPs (like me) who want to make a difference — in a way that fits our practical needs too.
Val Nelson | Coaching | Groups | Courses | Newsletter | LinkedIn

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