(Language alert. If you don’t like swear words don’t read this post. I am in love with language..all language and sometimes I like to use an F bomb or two! Peace.)
I love social media. I love the power it has given us to connect in ways we never imagined. I love that it gives ordinary people an extraordinary voice. I also hate it…hate what comes with it and the lack of responsibility we feel around how we share things and the impact it will have on the world.
“There are 7 billion people on this planet and all of them are afraid of one another.” I felt these words ring through me when I heard them at the Landmark Forum in October 2012. It wasn’t the first time I heard them but it was the first time I got them. Right to the core of my being. Yes, we are all actually totally fucking afraid of one another….people’s faces flashed in front of me, their eyes full of fear and loneliness, some I knew and some I didn’t. In the same way that Alton’s eyes, his fear, will now be forever embedded in his children’s, his family’s, and the eyes of every person that has watched that video. There’s no going back from that. And no moving forward…
Hate begets hate, and the one thing the fury, vengeance and rising up I am experiencing in my own body as well as seeing all over the planet, is not providing anyone is any solace, it’s not changing anything. Our past is becoming our future and I feel like I’m screaming into a big empty canyon. The racism and the fear is on both sides (I’m sorry that I have to even use that word ‘sides’ because I truly don’t want to buy into the righteous that is creating them but forgive me for being human just like you and trapped by language and ideas). We (human beings) are afraid of one another.
At the moment we are mostly pouring a big vat of fuel on that fire of fear and here’s my take on why. Our past is in our future. We think we are taking action when we say “That is so wrong”, “That group of people are so bad they need to take responsibility”, “I’m not racist because I have not had the privileges of that group”, “They are just doing what they need to do to survive”. NOTE to YOU – how you read those comments is what is inside YOU – I purposely wrote them so they could be said by anyone in anyway but YOU read them a certain way didn’t you – go on fucking admit it!! Because guess what? We all have judgements we all have racism, sexism, attitudes etc. We all think we are right! And in a way you are. There can always be justifications – he shouldn’t have been killed, he was doing nothing wrong. YES ABSOLUTELY. They should not have been shot they were not doing anything wrong. So many rights and truths. None of it matters because your past in is your future. Same again and you are not willing to do a fucking thing about it because you are afraid…of everyone.
I have sat on my meditation pillow this week with all of the rage and hatred and righteousness and sadness and grief welling up inside me. I have many friends from every race, nationality and culture all over the world and I thought of them., how I am afraid to speak the truth to them in case it comes out wrong. I am afraid of the anger that is inside me, the judgements that come out of that. I’m afraid it will never be any different. I am not better than anyone else, in a lot of ways I have had a very privileged life but I know this – disease, death, heartbreak and grief does not give a fuck about race, creed or colour. Ultimately we will all be affected and have been already I’m sure. As Caroline Myss says “we’re all terminal, no one is getting out of here alive”. #TRUTH
I have shared this a little this week with mostly not great responses but here goes again! It’s all in you. Whatever you see in this world that you want to change, start in you, with your own anger, racism, hatred, grief. Deal with it, face it confront it. If you can’t, I promise you that you are part of the problem not the solution, if you can’t then you can’t make your life matter. The struggle for people like Alton to make his life matter is real. Maybe they will do much more in death than they were able to in life. Sad but true. Don’t ask how, ask why. Why am I here? Why am I choosing fear over love? Why am I not doing the things that matter? Why am I am afraid? Everytime you ask how – how can this happen? How can we change this? How can we stop this? We come up with the same frickin’ answers. I’m done. Seriously. I spend every day of my life searching for and leaning into that WHY. I work on myself I start with myself – I fail sometimes (ok a lot!) but when push comes to shove I see the finger pointing at someone else in hatred and I feel a knot in my stomach as I realise there are three pointing back at me. It’s you, no one is coming. You are it, and if you keep projecting all your fear onto someone or something else I promise you that what you resist will persist. There is too much sadness and fear being generated on the news we don’t need to add to it. Think about it – if you brought love,forgiveness and generosity to your own pain today what could that mean for the world? Not much you think? Well I say different. That police officer’s (that killed Alton Sterling) pain and hatred came from somewhere, the pain and hatred of those snipers in Dallas shooting 11 police officers started somehow, the vengeance and fear of that Oman Mateen felt when he killed 50 people in that Orlando nightclub started somewhere. The hatred and fear of the Baghdad bombers came from somewhere. You can’t fight hate with hate, I have tried, it just creates more pain. Let’s not have the loss of all those lives, not matter.
So please I’m asking that if you are not out there doing some kind of work on yourself on a daily basis, don’t comment on this post I don’t want to hear from you. Your time is better spent elsewhere right now. But if you’re open take on that #ALLLIVESMATTER and you can choose that today by starting to see the value in yours, so you can give the gift of looking someone in the eye and saying that you’re not afraid, and taking responsibility that you are in fact at the source of it all. Imagine a world wherever everyone felt like that? I have tried to! It’s hard! But we’ve got to start somewhere, It’s not about being perfect, getting it right, not being angry or sad but it is about knowing that if we keep saying we care but acting out of fear, then past…in future…same again….nothing new. Stop trying to rile other people up with videos’ that you share because you think embedding the fear will somehow stop the racism and destruction it won’t. I notice that when I HATE how women are treated as less than, inferior, it doesn’t make me do anything constructive but it does make me afraid and hateful towards men. We have to get better at looking for another way. It’s a way we don’t know. It feels counter-intuitive in some ways. It starts with WHY not HOW. It begins inside you, not pointing the finger. That’s all. Peace out.