resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties
things i did today to recover
1. i reminded myself of something i’ve learned in life which helps me focus: things are not getting worse, they are getting uncovered. we must hold each other tight & continue to pull back the veil.
2. i cried hard. woke up ugly-crying. at first i couldn’t even clearly say why i was crying, cause i knew/know all the analytical things. but i can’t deny that i feel the collective grief, the uptick of fear. the angle at which our uphill battle is being fought just got steeper.
i gave myself to the tears, and cried til i was spent. then got reiki and cried some more, letting the energy flow.
i realized that i had prepared my heart for the ache and compromise of a clinton win. but people who live all around me and all around everyone i love, and people who are related to me by blood, they came out of the woodwork in favor of someone who campaigned on violence and hatred towards everything about me and my loves.
perhaps it is in that shared blood that i feel the most pain in this moment. my ancestral line has slavery, genocide, rapists and scoundrels in it. yours too.
it also has all the people who survived and changed those stories. that means that while there is despair, i am not hopeless.
and my crying is not nostalgic, it isn’t denial – i don’t want to cling to the shore, emotionally flailing for a more comfortable, familiar narrative. right now there is justified grief and rage, my own and others, flowing through.
3. spent time with babies. in person and by video. babies who i love and feel responsible for, who reminded me to focus on learning, laughter and breasts.
4. i let myself go down a path of snarky, petty thoughts. such as:
– this election can best be summed up in the words of “Fake Love” by our neighbor Drake – “I got fake people showin’ fake love to me/Straight up to my face, straight up to my face/I can tell that love is fake/I don’t trust a word you say.”
– seriously 2/3 of voting white women – “who taught you to hate yourself?”
these thoughts did not really make me feel better, so i just let them slip by.
5. i found words that made me feel better.
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” – Kahlil Gibran
“Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – MLK
“Transform yourself to transform the world.” – Grace Lee Boggs
“Wage Love” – Charity Mahouna Hicks
“The only lasting truth is change” and “There’s nothing new under the sun. But there are new suns.” – Octavia Butler
6. saw people calling this a dark time and i was like NOPE. remembered that Steven Barnes, in the alternate history classic Lion’s Blood, flipped the script of who had power. in a world where Africans held power, everything was “a pale, pale time”.
it occurs to me that this is not a dark time at all, not a dark age. it is a pale, pale time.
7. remembered that octavia told us all about this. one thing that stands out today as i view the world through swollen eyes is that i have a responsibility as an empath, to FEEL this, to let my feelings matter and guide me.
i have been reading the parables over and over in this lifetime for a reason, because there is wisdom in them, there are tangible tools for survival, for empaths and everyone else.
a few other people had the same thought at the same moment, and we are generating a discussion guide to support people reading and studying it together. join us.
8. i connected with others.
– reached out to loved ones and we texted and wrote pieces and called and facetimed and hugged our way through the day. sometime mid afternoon several of us noticed a feeling of focus, a sharpening of our work. we carry it on.
– got together with others in Detroit tonight and generated resilience. it was a simple evening – sharing our fears, reminding ourselves that fear is an intelligence, a sign to be more alert. then we shifted to remembering what helps us recover from pain and trauma. there was a lot of expanding, galaxies, oceans, trees, stillness, rocking, laughter, song. we, especially those of us who feel more overtly vulnerable today than yesterday, need each other.
9. i also did my usual resilience practices: a bath, centering, cooking (gave myself a day off of food tracking), singing really loudly, meditation, watching things (atlanta, black mirror).
and this. writing to you all. i love you. all.