I lost 20 pounds last year by learning how to be uncomfortable.
Not like wah, I can’t have a donut.
And not because I starved myself.
More like, I learned to endure uncomfortable feelings like fear, frustration, and inadequacy instead of soothing myself with food.
I used to think, I’m uncomfortable, so something must be wrong. I should get comfortable, and I did that with food.
I thought comfort was my goal and birthright.
I know better now. Comfort is but one of the many human experiences.
Last week it was uncomfortable to be a human.
I watched white people.
I watched people of color.
I learned a lot, too much to include here.
To summarize, by watching white people I learned that it’s possible to be:
- smart and wrong
- loving and wrong
- well meaning and wrong
- safe and wrong
Those paradoxes can be hard to accept.
Being wrong feels uncomfortable.
We will insert ourselves into narratives, get defensive, presumptuous, and dismissive just to avoid the discomfort of being wrong.
And I’m talking here about we white people who are “on the right side of justice”, not the racists, abusers, and inflictors of violence.
I learned that my world is very white. It’s my responsibility to figure out why.
I have to educate myself and find solutions instead of shrugging my shoulders and believing things like I guess people of color aren’t interested in what I offer or my friendship.
It’s easy to hide and stay small when you’re white, easy to stay comfortable.
But I’m committed to seeing the ways I’m wrong, inadvertently, blatantly, accidentally, obliviously, and obviously wrong when it comes to racial inequity and injustice.
I’m committed to sitting with discomfort instead of hiding, soothing, avoiding, defending, or building an energetic wall around my heart.
I started by watching this YouTube video that addresses privilege.
After, I realized I was one of the kids that would have been closest to the money, I understood and accepted that I was a holder of privilege.
So what do I do with that, the knowledge and the privilege?
It’s unfolding as I write.
I’ll start by apologizing.
To the people of color who read this, or who do not read this because I’ve unintentionally excluded you, I’m sorry.
I will learn to use language, timing, access, pricing, and content that serves all mystical women, not just white women.
I will participate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness coaching and training.
I will intentionally seek out and support makers, leaders, and professionals who are people of color.
But most importantly, I will continue to be honest with myself about who I am, who I “get to be”, and how I got here.
Next week is Summer Solstice. As the sun climbs to its zenith of the year, there’s no better time to see from a high vantage point.
From way up there, we see our blue planet, yes.
But we can also see the glaring racism, unfairness, and inequity on our planet.
Seeing is a valid and appropriate first step.
And, seeing is a choice.
We can always slam our eyes shut or look the other way in effort to stay comfortable.
We know it’s impossible to unsee.
By seeing, you are staking your claim in some pretty uncomfortable territory.
Can your heart take it?
Are you brave enough?
Remember, a scorpion can kill you. But it can also be dinner.
love & listening,