The last few weeks have shaken this world to its core. First, I want to say to my BIPOC friends… I’m sorry. You are loved. I stand with you. I am here for you. I will do what I can to make changes to create more love, justice, and inclusion in this world.
I don’t usually post about social or political topics. I know you’re here to talk about clutter. But everything about this moment feels like an awakening to clutter on a large scale.
Clutter is a block in our lives. It’s often an excess of “stuff” that doesn’t serve us anymore. Clutter damages our daily experiences, peace of mind, and self-esteem. But clutter is far from simply being the jeans that don’t fit you anymore or your old gas receipts. Clutter can also be the way we see the world and the systems we exist within. Racism, injustice, and a general lack of inclusion are internal and cultural clutter. Dismantling racism is like deconstructing the web of clutter in our physical spaces. Complicated, stressful, and overwhelming.
For every box of unsorted “stuff” in your home, there are probably 3 more you don’t know about. And for every box that you think you know what it contains… it actually holds the stuff you never wanted or even knew you had. The issues we have in our physical spaces are also present in our minds and the social systems that feed racism and a lack of inclusion.
Clutter is abundance. Abundance is privilege. And privilege creates blind spots. These blind spots make it hard to see the truth of what is going on. Without assessing it neutrally, it’s hard to even know it’s there. Sometimes, we’re so much a part of the clutter/system we stop seeing it. And the problem often doesn’t seem as big or far-reaching as it actually is.
No one is exempt, myself included. A few weeks ago, I inappropriately used the word ghetto in one of my classes. I’m embarrassed to say that I had no idea that word was offensive (though it makes perfect sense now). I’m so grateful to the women who brought it to my attention. Because of this moment, I was able to grow. I researched the word, apologized to the class, and can now do better going forward. We can’t know, what we don’t know. And when we know better, we can do better. Racism is an invisible killer that we must root out of our lives, minds, and words. It’s not easy, but it’s time to show up and do the work.
It’s important to handle the clutter in every area of our lives. This includes our biases, prejudice, racism, and lack of inclusion.
For as challenging as it is, clutter is also an invitation. It is data and information about the life we’ve been living. This is not an invitation to beat ourselves up, but to forgive ourselves for what we did wrong or what we didn’t know. From there we can step forward into a new way of seeing the world and living our lives. As Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve a problem from the energy of that problem.” It has never felt more true than today.
I have learned that I cannot make a positive change from either complacency or rage. If I do, I get more experiences that align with those feelings. Instead, this is a moment to stop. Honor everything being felt. There is room for every feeling. They must be honored. Take a breath. And redirect the path of our lives. For me, this is an awakening to align my actions and words with my values. It’s a moment to put a light on my own blind spots, privilege, contributions to injustice, and limitations so that I am better able to do good in this world.
Bringing another down doesn’t lift you up. Lifting up those around us does. We are only as strong as our weakest link. Focus your energy on strengthening those around you. The ways we have preyed on other people (in systematic ways), our planet, and ourselves is not the world I want to live in. I want a world of love, inclusion, and peace. That world is strong and powerful… truly capable of anything.
As a white woman who can’t always see or understand my privilege, it’s hard to know what to do next. So, I will do as I always do when things get hard.
Stop. Take a breath. Get centered. Look for the next right action.
For me, the next step is to educate myself. I’m beginning with the books Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad and White Fragility by Robin Diangelo. Then, I’ll move onto Rachel Rickett’s Spiritual Activism 101: Anti Racism Webinar. There are countless books, classes, organizations, documentaries, and resources available to help on this path. Fire up Google and find what resonates with you at this moment in your journey.
I am going to make mistakes. I’m going to offend people (I may even be doing that right now). But I’m going to keep on this journey anyway. Because I choose to walk the path of love. And that includes loving myself and my imperfections as I move forward in contributing towards positive changes on this planet.
I choose to be anti-racist. I choose to act as an ally. An ally of beings of all ages, races, genders, religions, sexual orientations, physical abilities, cultural backgrounds, socio-economic states, countries of origin, immigration status, genetics, social status, income, and mental health. Because at our essential truth, we are all one. Loving you is loving me. This is a practice I will commit myself to every day.
Be patient with yourselves and the world around you. This problem didn’t happen overnight and it won’t be solved overnight. This path is not a quick fix where we can learn it all in a week and then things will magically be better. Anti-racism and inclusion is a daily practice. This is not something we can heal overnight. This must be healed every day for the rest of our lives. And then, passed down to the next generations so they can pick up where we left off.
Love is the answer.
Love is the way out. Loving ourselves, each other, the planet, and all beings. If we look with eyes of love, we will find compassion instead of judgment. And from that compassion, we can work towards a better reality… for all of us.