Since writing Part 1 of these two blogs, I have mulled over this privilege thing a lot. It keeps blindsiding me! I find myself replacing the word “blessings” with “privilege” and it just doesn’t feel as great. Although, I will not continue to wallow in these yucky feelings (they do no good to me or anyone else), I must say, there has been a deep awakening in me this week. I am seeing the world differently. Questioning more. Wondering more.
So whether I call this roof over my head a blessing or a privilege (I suppose it’s both really), I am still so grateful for it. So grateful, for every little blessing/privilege/lesson this life has brought forth, as I continue to grow and evolve with the ever changing world around me.
There is SO MUCH I could write about, but the bottom line is, as I’ve sorted through all these thoughts, and my desire to help others, I realized there are many layers to this work. For my own sake (and for yours too, if you feel as overwhelmed as I did!), I broke these layers down into four practical steps:
STEP ONE- take care of ourselves
Seriously, how can we help anyone if we are just angry, bitter and burned out? This type of energy just pushes others away, leaving us feeling worse then we did in the first place. In my case (a single momma with a young child to care for) I need to be realistic about my priorities. Just a few days ago I wanted to throw off the shackles of society and devote my life to serving the world. Whoa, how crazy can I get? I know myself well enough, that would lead to nothing but trouble for me and my kid. My energy best serves others, when I am caring for myself, and I feel my best when I know my kid is feeling his best too.
STEP TWO- nurture and care for our families
This step leads pretty naturally from caring for ourselves. When we feel healthy and strong we are best able to care for others- our kids, our parents, our siblings, and everyone in our families. I had the reality check thought- what purpose do I serve helping others if I cannot even take the time to care about the well-being of my own family? This is where the ripple effect begins.
STEP THREE- connect with your community
Sometimes, this step can be challenging, but it’s really important. For me, working in the community has been a deep part of my livelihood and passion for life. I love people, and am especially passionate about supporting youth (they are the future). It has always been natural for me to serve. It just made sense, that people should help one another. Learning our limits and boundaries is really important here though.
I was a person who would give, give, give, and sacrifice to see others happy, or other businesses thrive, or to help lift new projects off the ground. I used to have a hard time saying no, or would feel guilty if things didn’t work out. Since having my son, and facing my own life challenges (severe burn out), I had to pull away from a lot of the organizations and community projects I was once apart of (Back to step one! Self-care).
The last few years I have worked really hard to re-gain balance in my daily life and schedule, along with re-building my energy and capacity to help/share with others. I am finally at a point in my life that I feel re-filled enough to start re-emerging in my own community, and taking small steps to create change where I can. One of my favourite quotes is Roosevelt’s “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” Whether that is time, energy, resources or locations, it is very wise advice when it comes to helping ourselves and others.
STEP FOUR- connect globally
In this day and age of global connection, it amazes me how much we still focus on segregation. We should be celebrating our differences, not still stuck in old beliefs and stereotypes that limit humanity’s evolution and peace. Race, gender, sexuality are how we are born- how can we hate someone for their natural birthright? Can we not just learn to be decent human beings, and honour one another? I mean, if you’re an asshole you’re an asshole, but that has nothing to do with race, gender or sexuality. That’s a whole other issue.
Over the years, as more and more human right issues come to the light, I’m seeing how all these minorities, all these small groups of people who are discriminated against, are making up the majority. The phrase that keeps coming into my mind is “The Minority IS the Majority.” Whether this is actually true or not, I do not know; but it is a powerful vision of all these people standing together, supporting each other.
I must say, I have no energy for fighting the old. I want to help build the new. Support peace, understanding, love and our global evolution. In my last blog I shared some information on current world events. I will end this blog with some of the more recent, good (or at least better) news, that have given me a wee bit of hope for humanity:
- We Were Made For These Times
- Global Drum Prayer United We Rise
- White Supremacists Being Shut Down and Called Out
- Confessions of a reformed nazi
- Time to face the west was built on racism
Friends, please look out for one another. Remember to be gentle with yourself, and in taking care of YOU, you can better help care for others.