The world may feel like it’s ending right now. A lot of us are at a loss for words to capture how we’re feeling amidst this chaos of a global pandemic, the largest civil rights movement, and the turmoil of our own lives as we learn to adapt to the politics of living and doing.
Asking, “How are you?” seems like a question that can be presumably answered all-inclusively. A lot of us are not well right now. How does anyone manage to be okay when we’re losing so many people to the pandemic of COVID and the crisis of racism, police brutality, and injustice? Unemployment rates are sky high, ICE is recklessly forcing international students who’s universities are completely online to return to their countries of origin 2 *months* before school resumes, people are selfishly refusing to wear masks in the name of their freedom, and we are all beginning to learn that we all love and know someone who has sexually assaulted someone as more survivors of sexual assault are courageously coming forward.
These crucibles feel like an attack on our humanity. How are we going to show up for ourselves and each other? How will we position ourselves when oppressive experiences become apparent to us? How are we going to call into the realm of possibilities using the skills we have learned? Where will we choose to stand in history?
And within all of this, how will we take care of ourselves?
For me, that means showing up for my friends and family more actively. I ask them how they are holding up and I share their excitement at the delivery of good news and my empathy when their world shakes. It means making room for life-giving and hope-affirming things like playing with my dog, writing, connecting to others, and learning. It means identifying other ways of knowing hope;
People are still showing up to protests and rallies to demand a better system that works for all of us and keeps each of us safe. Many mental health clinicians are offering their services for free for those who are directly impacted by the racial violence in our city. Community gatherings are bringing people together for healing, bonding, and food. There are community organizers, healers, and social workers leading efforts in our parks to provide for those that are homeless. Our city is taking care of each other in such profound ways. I believe it is our innate responsibility to take care of ourselves and each other because the systems that are in place right now are not built to do that for us.
As much as I know our humanity is being pushed at and questioned and challenged, we are showing up for one another in tender and affirming ways.
The world may feel like it’s ending right now and truthfully, I think many systems are workably being dismantled. So yes, the world may feel like it’s ending right now, but really I think it’s just being re-built and reimagined. There are good days ahead, we just have to get through this one. One day at a time.