It has been a heavy week here in the US. We are living in the midst of coronavirus in our new normal, and all of a sudden, racial tensions come to the surface with the murder of an innocent black man. We cannot hide and turn our heads at this by saying, "well I'm not racist." We are being called to heal, each and every one of us. Healing is not always comfortable, it can be messy, but it's necessary. When we heal ourselves, we do our part to heal the collective energy because we are all connected.
There is so much pain being felt in the world right now. We have black members of our community dying by the very hands that are hired to protect them. We have riots and destruction of property which have taken the focus away from that which is truly important; love and equality for all people on this planet.
My big question in the midst of all this is, "How are we back here? Haven't we evolved past this?" Then I realize the sobering answer is that we never left. It might seem as if extreme racism and discrimination are a thing of the past, but it is here more than ever. It just takes the form of something more palatable to those of us in a place of privilege. Slavery and segregation may be in our history, but mass incarceration and unequal treatment are happening right now. These are just different versions of the same thing.
This is a deep wound in our society that, if left unresolved, will keep arising. This deep wound is that of separateness, of seeing people physically different than us as 'other'. We all originated from the source. God, Allah, Universe, whatever you choose to call this divine energy. From that source energy, we manifest on earth as different genders and different colors. This variety was created as an opportunity for us to learn and understand the world in a broader sense.
However, there is a duality at play here. We are different, but we are the same. It is important to deeply understand the connectedness of all of us while also celebrating the differences that make us each unique.
In SE Asia, there is a common saying, "Same same, but different." I think this is a great way to summarize us as a human race. We are the same, yet different. These differences should make us fascinating to each other, not threatening. When we resist what is different and see our way as the only correct one, we are in a dangerous state of thinking. This is when discrimination and violence happen.
I believe that right now we are being called to come together, to meld. Acknowledge the fact that your neighbor is different than you, but look beyond that and take comfort in the fact that we are also connected, at the very deepest level.
A wound, like racism, that is so deep and systemic is not one that will heal overnight. It can feel overwhelming even knowing where to start or how to best create change. I would say that we need to start with ourselves, while standing united with each other.
Dive deep within yourself and see how your thoughts and beliefs may have contributed to this collective wound. Talk with others and be willing to have those uncomfortable conversations. Listen to the stories and experiences of those who are being oppressed. Stand together with your brother or sister who is hurting and commit to creating a better world.