I ran out of steam today. I feel like I need a break from the screen I can’t seem to put away, more than anything. In these times of lockdown, especially, everything important seems to be on a screen. Right alongside everything damaging.
The bounds of the screen are comfortable for me. Even so, I’ve been having uncomfortable experiences in that space of late.
I was lucky that I started doing the inner work required to embrace the Black Lives Matter movement fully a couple of months ago. It wasn’t deliberate really, but the journey of personal growth and healing took me there. Four or five years ago, I think I would have reacted like many of the people frustrating me now. In between then and now, I was so lost in the moment of my own tumult that my reaction would have been anyone’s guess. But when this wave crested, it made complete sense to me, and I didn’t have to fight it.
I got to get right with myself in private, after putting down a good foundation of resiliency and facing a lot of deep and relevant fears. I didn’t have to get called out at my most fragile. I got to learn in silence, and I didn’t get thrown into a situation where I felt I had to speak up about something I really knew nothing about.
But still, I am new to the movement. I actually don’t know what to do, exactly. It wasn’t until the beginning of this year that I started feeling able to turn my focus outward, after an intense period of inward journeying, and find ways to be of service. And I thought I was going to do that by volunteering with Samaritans and singing with people suffering from dementia. Not by becoming an anti-racist activist. So while I was well primed for this moment, I was not well prepared.
So my discomfort comes mostly from trying to figure out how to embody the activist my soul is so ready to be. As I navigate clumsy conversations with other white people, where I feel like I’m being simultaneously too lenient and too harsh, and I wonder if the effort is having any impact, I am getting just tired enough to start doubting myself. I have been giving my energy away to worrying whether I’m handling things the right way, or how I could have handled things better, or whether I should have even bothered trying.
It’s not serious, but it used up my fuel reserves today, and I need to regroup. Or just sleep. And then I need to get a bit more disciplined about the things I pay attention to, and the way I deal with my bloody fucking notifications.