After all the news out of Charlottesville I have spent the last 2 days writing and journaling and trying to put together my reactions and views on all the hate that has come out into the open. I went down a rabbit hole of hopelessness. I could barely bring myself to read my own post. I didn’t even know what to say. I wanted to give comfort and encouragement but I didn’t know how. I even went on a long confession of my shortcomings hoping the a public purge in myself might bring about a cleansing of this world.
I saw Brenè Brown’s FB live video. I feel better. I feel validated in what my focus is.
This is what I took from her insights. This is how we can address the hate. This is what we can do right now.
“Power is the ability to affect change.” Martin Luther King, jr
We have been witnessing the terrible acts of men in power and the violence of white power. Then Brenè talked about our power. This is the first time I have thought about power in a positive way. The idea of being a “powerful woman” always made me uncomfortable. I thought of powerful as contentious, fighting everyone but Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote is so simple. This I can do. I have changed so many things in my life. What can you change right now?
Only “Power Over” is finite.
I have power. We have power together. We can pull people out from under the power of others. My purpose it so inspire others but now I want to add that I empower others.
We are seeing “Power Over’s” last stand. People are afraid to share power, they are afraid to move over.
I have watched the news so heartbroken and confused. There are all these questions: How can people be so awful to each other? Why are we so divided? Where has the love gone? It was like there was no hope for change or improvement. In a simple answer, this is a misunderstanding. This we can fix! It’s just a matter of people having the wrong perspective. I will live out my life and show people how life is like to share power with others. Be strong and of good courage.
“Shame cannot stand being spoken.”
What Brenè Brown said was that when we wrap words around shame it loses its power. Use the language that most accurately describes it. It’s time to speak up and be brave. It’s time to talk about our history, to talk about our misconception and have a conversation. It’s time to acknowledge what we feel ashamed about and bring it out in the open. We have to do this. We have to dig deep into ourselves and heal our pain because pain cannot be ignored and buried.
Pain will not be denied.
Pain is in our history and we have tried to deny it and bury it. It is time to acknowledge the pain and shame so that we can truly let it go. If you don’t know how to reconcile with our history, work on yourself. I am starting out on a quest of self love so I can uncover my own shame. Let me be a tool to help others heal.
Fight for Love, Purpose, Joy, Belonging
The core of what it is to be alive is love, purpose, joy, and belonging. This is what we live for and this is what we have to keep in mind in all this turmoil. Don’t let these things be forgotten or put aside. In my defiance I will live in love. I will live my purpose. I will be joyful. I encourage belonging. I will be a part of my community.
“Your job is to take care of yourself so you can take part in the hard conversation.”
We have limited reserves and strength. We have a long way to go. Eat more vegetables, get more sleep, take a quiet moment of reflection. Step back from the dissension. And reconnect to inner peace. Anger will wear you down.
Anger is a catalyst, don’t let it lead to bitterness
I had to learn about the power of anger. In Chinese medicine anger is part of the wood element. Think about the force that is required for a sprout to burst from a seed and the force it takes to create a tree. There is a power in anger that we can harness to move forward. Just don’t let it stay with us. I fight for inner peace in all.
2 million acts of courage is needed
It is going to take a big movement, a lot of people to make a permanent change. Brenè Brown said we will need 2 million acts of courage to change the world. So what acts are you going to do? Every day you have a goal to work toward:
Don’t let people be dehumanized
We are all in this together. Recognize language that separates us and stop it. I do have a question about this. Is the term “Nazi” dehumanizing? I know it’s a real organization. I know there are people out there that think they are better than others because they are white but do they actually, like truly support what the Nazis did? I guess I am having a hard time believing that anyone would be a actually choose to be a Nazi. It’s so monstrous, so cruel. I can’t understand.
We are the movement
How you move through life, the choices you make every day. When you speak up, when you don’t speak up. Do it on Facebook but better yet, do it in person. I will live my life in a way that I want the to world to be.
Raise Consciousness through curiosity, questions, and love
It is ok to not be perfect! It’s ok not to know! And best of all, it’s ok not to know what to say! I am so happy and so relieved to understand this. Just ask. Ask. Learn. Grow. I have so many questions and I will ask so many questions. Be loving, patient, and kind. In all things I will be curious and explore. I will seek to understand.
Speak Truth to Bullshit
The hard part is that to make change we have to fight for truth and what is real. This will be my biggest challenge but Brenè said it in such a simple way. I can speak truth. I can recognize bullshit. Brenè is so eloquent and she generously gave an example of dialogue to use:
“I don’t believe how you’re framing that argument is real”
As we dialog it will get tiring having to hear the same arguments over and over but patience can do so much. Also, in this time of wrath and indignation try to understand first before make conclusions about people. Have a conversation where both can feel safe to share and to express themselves. When someone feels heard they are more likely to listen and once they listen there is a better chance that they will change.
“I’d much rather be mistaken than have an inaccurate belief.” – Karen Graves
So, as a reminder, here are Brenè’s steps to Empathy. I just wrote an article on Empathy and I shared her wonderful video about empathy here. Brenè came through for me tonight when I was feeling so lost. I appreciate her work so much. I want to share it to everyone.
Steps to Empathy:
Communicate back Emotion
Please take a moment and watch Brenè Brown’s video. It’s about 30 min long. It gave me perspective, validated my life choices, and gave me comfort in these times. I feel like I have a purpose and a plan to move forward. That what I do will actually make a difference. You can too.
In conclusion, I believe my place in this world is to be an artist of inspiration and hope. I try to live my life in a way that the will inspire others and I try to write inspiration but thanks to Brenè I can go back to my painting and inspire others with beautiful colors and imagery. I hope this has helped you work through some uncertainties. If you’d like to see some imagery of hope and inspiration please sign up for my newsletter, I have new paintings to share soon. We’re all in this together. Please make sure all your friends see this video.