I hadn’t planned to watch the intensely emotional funeral service for George Floyd yesterday. When such events are televised, I feel like an awkward and unwelcome intruder, entering a quiet, private wasteland of grief. As if I could comprehend the pain of losing someone I love to a violent death. I’d gone out to run errands, still masked and gloved where I live. While I waited for the Curbside Attendant to bring out my items, a thought popped into my head: didn’t I have a kind of duty, as a citizen of this world, to listen? To hear, to feel, to engage ? So I turned up the volume, to Reverend Sharpton’s words of righteous outrage. Unable to see the actual gathering he presided over, his powerful words sent me far back into the past, to the deaths that marred my childhood. Martin Luther King. John F. Kennedy. Robert Kennedy. And I wondered: will this be the point in time that it finally stops? The slow drip of poison…not caring about how we treat others; about the violence done in the quest for power…that has seeped into the body of humanity for so long? These events, and subsequent tragedies in my own family, eventually led me to conclude that all injustice begins in the human heart, as we learn to ignore our inner guidance systems. Change requires re-balancing of our thinking and emotions.
Still waiting for my stuff to emerge from the Big Box store, I thought back to the moment that Melania Trump wore the now-infamous jacket with the jagged white lettering, “I Really Don’t Care, Do You?” on its back. Media tongues wagged about the statement. Was she giving the middle-finger to her husband? Was she proclaiming her indifference to the suffering of the country she was about to visit? Was it an obscure and totally meaningless fashion-statement that FLOTUS had no clue was totally inappropriate for the moment? No formal explanation was ever given, and we here in the U.S. were left to try to figure it, and her, out. I’ve now been churning through six decades that I’ve lived on this planet – trying to survive, to thrive — without explanations (let alone apologies) for the serious and grievous wrongdoing of others. Sharpton’s words pierced my heart yesterday; and, as I sat in my car I realized that I was unconsciously nodding my head as he spoke. Neither apologies, nor explanations will stop injustice completely.
Finally heading home with my purchases, I felt new clarity about my own life. On a mini-scale (compared to the complex social terrors we’re living through now), I considered the ways that – over the years – I was submissive to the reckless, selfish and even vicious power-grabs of important people in my life. Not only allowing injustices, but accepting them as something I must have somehow ordered-up. As I’ve grown older, however, I’m more clear that Injustice went rogue in my personal life because of my own inner imbalance. I gave, always too much. Others took, whatever I offered. That was my pattern. I ignored Red Flags. In the name of Love, I let others take advantage of my peaceful and patient nature. My adult son is famous for saying, “Mom, you’re just too trusting.” He’s actually being kind, because it’s totally worse than that.
Valerie Sterns, VP of Affiliate Services at Mental Health America, wrote a great Post on 5, June, 2020: “How Will You Fight Injustice?” In her piece, Sterns discusses how completely exhausting coping with Injustice can be; necessitating that we all practice consistent self-care. But I would take the great advice Sterns gives one step further. As we look outward this day, at the bigger picture of how completely Injustice has infiltrated our lives, I believe that we also need to look inward. As women, especially: are we living in a State of Imbalance that allows others to convince us that we’re unworthy of recognition, respect, personal power and love? Injustice begins in the human heart, when we fail – as we often do – to recognize and nurture ourselves into the total wellbeing we need, in order to bring about vital changes in our world. Leave Hate Alone; Hitting The Wall: feeling saturated by News, Opinions, Prognostications & Hindsight