Dear Friends

Dear Friends,

A few weeks ago, I tweeted, “Work is an addiction that will literally kill you. We are all replaceable to institutions, but not to those who love us. Reminding myself because I need to hear it.”

I was feeling the heaviness of all the labor, paid and unpaid that I have been doing, certainly since March, in a pandemic, but long before that, for over 40 years, to prove my worthiness to multiple individuals and institutions, when my worth should have been evident in my humanity.

Addictions are so hard to break.

But here is what I am realizing as I fight against this addiction, as I fight for the right to my life, for the space to thrive, for the time to dream, as I fight to use the privileges that I have to live my life in a way that honors the sacrifices of my ancestors which gave me these opportunities:

We cannot foster transformation within oppressive structures.

We cannot freedom dream without time, energy, space to dream.

Of course, we are tired. We are working so hard and seeing so little change.

If we “blow it all up” (metaphorically) to start from ground zero, there will inevitably be so much collateral damage, and this is not humanizing.

If we work through intentional, incremental change, it will be painful and exhausting. We should expect this pain and exhaustion. But it is not easier to bare when you expect it.

There is power in being seen and affirmed, in weakness and in strength. This is innately human, the need to be seen and affirmed. The need to be embraced for our whole selves, even when we are broken.

Some days, weeks, moments, survival actually is the only goal.

Follow through makes the vision realizable.

Being valued in word alone only goes so far. Actions speak loudly. Who do we show up for?

Our stories and experiences matter. Sometimes, we have the words another needs. We never know when that moment is.

Community carries me when I cannot stand on my own.

Cycles of grief and trauma may come to remind us of our deepest humanity.

My friends, this is a hard season for me. You may not see the challenges, but they are always there for me in the background. Sometimes I hide it better than others. If I don’t hide it from you, it is either because I am just too tired to hold it in anymore or because I trust you to carry it with me. PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME WHAT IS GOING ON. If I want to tell you what is going on, I will. But if I don’t and you love me, I ask that you hold space for me, in my full humanity. Just hold space, and maybe pray or offer blessings. I continue always to move forward because I have never had a choice and I do not have a choice now. I will, I am sure, one day, be okay, maybe later today, maybe in 6 months, maybe in 5 years, but I am moving towards better. I trust my community and myself to get me there. I acknowledge that it is a process.

I share this letter with you now, in the openness of my humanity and in a public forum, because I am not ashamed of my humanity. I want people to know that people are carrying things that you may have no idea about, people you admire, people you love, people that love you and are there for you.

Because feeling the pain of humanity is a start, being honest about where we are is a start. It is not always inspiring, but humanity is not always inspiring.

We have to be able to be with our whole truth.

This is my truth.

Peace to you all, and deep love.

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