The world feels out of control to me even on the best of days, and as a sensitive sort, I tend toward disengaging from it to cope. This week I was simply unable to retreat from it. Bombings in Iraq and Turkey, police shooting unarmed black men, snipers killing police. I was overcome with grief and shame. I felt myself twisting a web around me, beckoning me to turn inward and examine myself and prepare for the sort of metamorphosis that occurs when the truth is definitively revealed. There was no turning back from this. I could no longer continue to be the person I was. I couldn’t turn away or hide from these truths. They were all at once my companions and I needed to process how to internalize them and evolve. I curled up into my cocoon and grew silent and still.
I’m stirring, and I’m beginning to understand what changes are taking shape within me. As I feel these transformations solidifying, I can start to emerge from my cocoon of grief and in doing so find my way back to the work. The biggest truth is this: We are all implicated in the continued suffering of our fellow human beings. Not a single one of us is innocent. There are no good men or bad men, there is no us vs. them, there is only we. We must resist the urge to pull away from each other. We must not listen to messages that tell us we are divided, because we are one people. We must not choose leaders who would divide us, or build walls between us, or tell us to fear each other. We must not hide behind our borders, or our privilege, or the color of our skin. We must listen to and believe each other. Those of us who have the platform of privilege must speak for those who are silenced until their voices are heard. We must stand up for each other, and stand by each other.
As you emerge from your own transformations, I invite you all to bring your exoskeletons, skins, shells and cocoons here. Cast them off because they are made of old material that no longer fits you. Let’s lay them down and build a bridge with them. Change hurts. It requires lots of energy and time. It requires stretching yourself beyond what is comfortable or familiar, but just imagine where you can reach if you just allow yourself the space to grow.