I hope you are well. I wanted to check on you because some of the events of last week were horrifying and frightening.
Along with the rest of the world, we were stunned to watch an angry insurrectionist mob violently storm the United States Capitol building in Washington, DC. We were shocked as we watched people push through barriers, break windows, assault Capitol police officers, invade the building, create terror, and, unfortunately, cause at least five deaths.
Since last week, I have not slept well because my nervous system is still on overdrive from having been assaulted by the haunting images of violence, vitriol, and deadly entitlement.
For me, as a Black woman, the scene triggered deep emotions of fear and disgust because it represented the same kind of frenzied, racist mob energy that terrorized many of our ancestors. It dredged up images of a shameful past that included the lynchings of thousands of Black people and the burning down of scores of Black churches, homes, and businesses during the Jim Crow years of White Rage in the South. The mob that invaded the capitol building channeled the same terrifying energy that has brutalized, raped, and murdered countless Black women, children, and men. It was a revival of a destructive ugliness from our history that continues to destroy lives and livelihoods today.
So much was lost: Lives; Faith; A Sense of Safety; International Respect.
None of us can predict the future, but what I do know is that our country will never be the same.
I also know that we are not powerless: we can affect change. The work will be hard; it will be challenging for all of us. But without doing the soul-searching work, we can’t shift or evolve into a more equitable nation or embody the principles of the American Constitution.
To effectively do the work to rebuild our county, we must:
- Get curious and engage in honest conversations about power, privilege, and race and critically assess how all three create barriers for some and advantages for others.
- Question our cultural assumptions and inspect our points-of-view to see how our history continues to affect and infect our future. We must check our own blind spots and biases that cloud our views of others.
- Learn to discern truths from falsehoods and properly verify accurate information so that we do not buckle under peer pressure and blindly follow groupthink or get swept along by inflammatory views.
- Openly listen to people who have different perspectives, different histories, different memories, and different access to the American dream so we can see what’s missing or what’s distorted.
- Consistently find ways to build bridges with people we don’t agree with AND learn how to disagree without disconnecting and dehumanizing.
- Invite and incorporate compassion, empathy, and psychological security into our conversations and reform our national culture that too often demonizes victims of oppression and shames them into silence.
Rebuilding our collective trust will require deep discovery and honest dialogue. It will demand that we explore the issues of racism, colorism, and colonialism so we can see patterns and pitfalls in systems that dehumanize and devalue people. Reforming our conversations and re-humanizing our culture will demand that we dismantle and re-construct how we perceive others and how we see ourselves.
If we fail to undertake this change journey, we risk replicating oppressive systems, supporting unjust laws, telling untruths, parroting lies, and perpetuating toxic thinking that will keep us marginalized and divided. And constant division will prevent us from having what we all need to thrive and to feel safe…. peace.
If you believe that undertaking this change journey can help you understand and heal our nation’s soul AND help you become a better parent, partner, leader, and business owner, I want to invite you to two unique opportunities.
- “I Dare To Be Me” is a 6-month high-touch mastermind community where you can unpack your social conditioning and critically evaluate some of the messages you learned as a child. Sometimes we replicate oppressive systems and internalize hurtful messages that rob us of our ability to make decisions that honor our hearts and honor the hearts of others. But when we learn our history and understand its impact on our lives, we can make personal changes that result in meaningful cultural shifts. Click here for more details.
- Deciding To Soar 2 Book Club – is a year-long book club that gives you an opportunity to discuss and examine your life experiences. In a safe place, you will have an opportunity to talk about systemic issues and personal views that affect your life. Most importantly, you will have a chance to practice skills and create strategies to help you live a life that totally aligns with who you are and who you desire to be. Click here to learn more.
I hope you will consider joining one of the programs. We would love to add your voice and unique perspectives to the discussions.
My friend, last week, was scary. It was a frightening reminder of what happens when people hold on to outdated beliefs and paradigms that fail to honor all diversity, mutual dignity, integrity, and the collective good.
Although emotionally shaken, I am committed, like you are, to doing my part to heal the racial divide so that my grandchildren and great-grandchildren can live peacefully with your grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the years to come.
Please continue to take care of yourself because the next few weeks will be emotionally and politically challenging. Also, please stay connected to a community or join me in one of my programs or sister circles. During these times of unrest and uncertainty, nobody needs to be alone. Let’s connect.
My deepest belief is that breakdowns precede breakthroughs. We will get through this…TOGETHER!
I am thinking of you.
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