I woke up this morning with a lot of positive energy. Then I spent the last 30 minutes sobbing through the end of Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield. Now I need to sit down and process through some feelings.
It’s really easy to get overwhelmed in life, isn’t it? I have a tendency to get overwhelmed, to try to do too much, to try to make too many things better or different at the same time. Multitasking = efficiency and I love efficiency. I had developed a pattern over my first 20ish years alive of overwhelming myself with responsibilities and tasks, “breaking down” (having an anxiety attack), and then getting right back to it. I broke the cycle last year at age 29.
In the past couple of days I’ve been seeing a few of my friends share about a current crisis in Turkey. I confess I haven’t read about it at all, haven’t clicked on any of the links or scrolled down to any of the comments. I feel like I can’t take the knowledge of one more tragedy that feels fully outside of my control.
I acknowledge that that is my privilege.
When George Floyd was murdered I, like many people, jumped into Black Lives Matter mode. I quickly felt overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. I wanted a checklist of how to be a good ally so that I could pat myself on the back for getting things done. That’s not how change happens, or communities or allyships work. Again, my privilege.
I know that focusing on one task, setting one goal, helps me to actually be effective. I waste a lot less time feeling like a failure when I set a cleary defined goal. My goal, my passion, my heart, my calling, has always been creating and being a safe place for children to be and learn and grow. This remains my goal, my passion, my heart, and my calling… even though I left the house only a dozen times in the past 3.5 months.
The best way for me, me as Suzanne living this life in this skin, to be an ally to the Black community, to the larger BIPOC community, to the LGBTQ+ community, is to continue to be and create a safe space for ALL children to be and learn and grow (and be celebrated!).
Sarah Bessey wrote these words months ago and I pinned them to my desktop and a reminder to refocus:
“Be mindful of loving this particular world and your particular people and your particular place and your particular self. Call it to your mind: love is not cautious but extravagant.” – Sarah Bessey
My particular self has been equipped to be and create a safe place for particular children. I cannot save every child from every hurt or abuse or injustice. But I can be a part of a community who works towards safety and love and justice for all children. I do not do that by overwhelming myself with feelings of inadequacy looking at all of the brokeness in the world. I do not do that by ignoring my privilege and pretending like it doesn’t exist, nor do I do that with performative allyship, or by closing my eyes and ears to the reality of life for marginalized Americans.
I am a part of a gloabl community working towards safety and love and justice for all children by using my particular self in my particular place to love the particular children in my life and in my care.
My love will continue to be informed by not only our current reality, but also a hope and vision for a safer, more loving, and more just future for all children, especially those for whom life right now is statistically more likely to be less safe and less just (Black children, children in the BIPOC community, and LGBTQ+ children).
Current goal: extravagant and particular love.