Each morning, the first time I rise the sky is still inky blue and outside still smells like night time. I brush my teeth and sit in my meditation corner. I pray in love for peace and preparation. I ask our Creator that if lives must be sacrificed for change, that this change is forever and we never have to repeat this moment in history.
My heart gets quiet while my soul listens to the ancestors whispering, and I sit.
When it feels right, I get up and feed the cat and the sense of anxiety begins to swell. I read the news. There are several news outlets that I receive emails from because skimming the sites isn’t safe. I am not willing to subject myself to live motion pictures of Black and Brown people taking their last breaths. I will not participate in the 21st century online lynching parties.
A large part of my paid work includes me reaching out, or finding people who I may not know personally, but I am connected to by two or three degrees of separation. This just means, I spend time on Facebook and LinkedIn looking for and learning about people, which can be a mine field of images and automatically playing videos.
What is self care when we are maneuvering psychological, technological, emotional, spiritual and physical warfare? Self care is waking up before the masses, putting on makeup, pushing myself past my limits at the gym, and loving on my wife, friends and family members.
Self care is reading, preparing for police engagement, and sharing information with my community.
Self care is drinking water and eating well. Self care is painting and dancing and laughing and crying and remembering my own humanity. Self care is acknowledging that it hurts sometimes and embracing the tears the come intermittently throughout the day. Sometimes self care is closing the door to my office and letting my colleagues know that another life was senselessly taken and I don’t want to talk.
When you think about the events that have been taking place all over the country, and you put them in really common language they sound even more horrific than the CNN version. “This Black guy is driving in his car, sees the blue lights behind him. He says “okay,” and he pulls over. Officer gets out, asks him for his license and regsitration. Black guy reaches to get the stuff; officer shoots him dead”
That does not make a drop of sense. It’s totally illogical, but totally a regular occurrence. If this country is made up of diverse individuals, then our goals are to live with consideration and compassion for ourselves and others. What fear is there in other humans?
What reasons are there to murder others for the act of living?
To both questions, the answer is none.
It is our duty to love and protect each other.
Artwork by Shanté Wolfe-Sisson