And Still We Rise
Inspiration and hope are hard to come by these days. As soon as one horrific news report of some racist / sexist assault on our bodies and minds is "trending" (including the post-Mueller Report deflation), here comes another soul smashing tragedy, and then another, and another, and so on and so on. Daily—everyday, all day, there are righteous outcries loading up our in-boxes and across social media begging us to get involved, care more, do more, sign the petition, send money, DO SOMETHING BIGGER!
It is overwhelming. Especially in this over-crowded city.
Recognizing that I was carrying around guilt (for forgetting my ancestors), plus a boat-load of anger and disappointment in our society and government, I definitely needed to take a break. After 18 years of calling myself a community and education activist parent, I gave myself permission to step back. Rest my weariness. Focus on my family. Just work on being a good, non-angry person every day.
That’s how weary, restless months became a year.
I am just now experiencing the slow comeback from a long hiatus in my activism and MANY work.
While still not encouraged to jump back in the struggle, it’s helped a lot to think of the ancestors. To think of the centuries of brutality and lost hope of freedom they experienced. It’s helped to ask myself, "Do I dare to feel this burned-out? What oppression have I really lived… in comparison to being born into slavery and dying without ever having a moment of feeling true elation, of peace? I have the freedom to eat what I want when I want, to sleep in a comfortable bed, to work the hours and days I set for myself. Most times, I even feel very safe. Am I not in some ways so very fortunate to be walking the path the ancestors paved with their toil, tears and very lives?”
The answer is yes.
Nonetheless, I think that as women and as activists, we have the right to get burned out. This life is back-breaking HARD. Maybe not picking cotton hard, but hard just the same. We are living in a time-warp of modern day, plantation mentalities. That's for real.
Thus, we women have the right to rest— without feeling guilt— whenever our souls and/or spirits are depleted.
Just remember, we sisters are each other's salvation's. A caring friend, a kind and unexpected call, a good word or smile from a stranger are simple, joyous things. Stopping to smell the roses has meaning. It gives us the nutrients to carry on, and to be reminded that no matter the hardship we endure, just like the sun turns night into day…
... just like the great Maya Angelou wrote, Still I Rise.
May your burdens never be so heavy that they can't be shared. Sisterhood is powerful.
Always in all ways,