Three Questions I Am Asking Myself Right Now
Current events have brought power dynamics to the forefront of our collective consciousness. There is a chasm within myself that feels reflective of the division that has been present in society but unseen by me. In noticing this inner chasm, I have found myself falling into similar patterns that I have fallen into in the past. I’ve noticed how I want to simplify, avoid, blame, and control. My belief is that when we all engage in this work, we are that much closer to returning to wholeness as individuals and a collective. It is our responsibility to return to ourselves, to our fellow humans and to the whole.
Familiar with family of origin and trauma work, but mostly unfamiliar with anti-racism work, I have found a correlation. Here are three questions I have asked myself in regards to doing inner work and that I have found helpful in approaching anti-racism work.
Am I willing to go deeper?
When everyone in my life gives me similar feedback and I have decided they are all wrong, it’s usually a good time for me to go deeper. For anti-racism work, this means looking at history and how the structures set for our country have systematically disempowered people of color.
There are lots of books and google articles on structural racism, which makes it easier to understand than our own familial patterning, usually involving following a thread of wounding in contrast to healthy dynamics, and locating enough security to process.
In both cases, we are being called to take a second look at structures that have always guided us and in whom white people have always trusted.
Am I willing to own my darkness?
“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole.”
- Carl Jung
In being presented with my racism, I have had to not only go deeper into the structures that have informed my patterning, but into my own propensity to do harm. It is a reality that modern white people have been born into a harmful and racist society and that we have perpetuated the cycle.
Similarly to our family patterns, currently, racist patterning is natural and expected; and we are simultaneously accountable for our orientation and actions. Acknowledging and integrating our darkness is our responsibility if we want to maintain integrity and a stance of working to do no harm.
Am I willing to be limited as an individual and do my PART in the whole?
In an effort to mitigate the discomfort of the shadow, my personal defense can be to attempt to fix the whole world. Engaging with the chasm that has been created in this society means we must show up in uncertain circumstances, vulnerable to grief, rejection and shame. Doing anti-racism work and other inner work means recognizing our role. We are an important part of society and not the entirety. We are limited, and yet vital to the total healing of the collective.
Where are you in your process?
What are you noticing about your orientation to anti-racism work?
How can that inform you to go deeper and own your shadow so that you may contribute to the healing of humanity and greater whole?