Updated: Sep 8, 2020
I am going to take a stab in the dark and guess that you are tired, your nerves are frayed and when you look around it feels like darkness and despair are all around. It is hard not to feel all those feelings when we (not just Americans) look at our world, look at the pain and suffering and wonder why the hell we are even getting up in the morning.
There are no quick fixes to climate change, to racism, to anti-immigration, to xenophobia, to discrimination and inequality, to treaties being broken, to overwhelming debt, poverty, and lack of affordable housing for the most vulnerable. But there are the slow and steady, not giving up, not staying silent, unglamorous and often dangerous to yourself fixes. These earthmoving fixes are so slow that the ones trying to survive in the middle of it, need relief. I don't know what relief could look like in systems where the wheels of justice move slower than anything has a right to move.
You might be saying what does this have to do with spiritual direction? Or is this just another political rant? It has everything to do with a spiritual practice! And a tiny rant, as well. What good is my inner spiritual life, if it takes advantage of those around me, if it doesn't learn to grow and own the shitty things it has done and participated in willingly or unknowingly if it fails to notice and stand with the oppressed if it doesn't question where justice for ALL is, it is a clanging gong or a sounding symbol - very loud but no substance.
"Until we are all free, we are none of us free" Emma Lazarus
When I am in this kind of despair, I am grateful for the words of Mr. Rogers's mother. "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
I know this is so simple and so much of what we face is complicated, but it sustains me and gives me that glimmer of hope when I see people responding.
The Helpers who are giving me hope right now:
The Women of Standing Rock, not only standing for their rights but everyone's right to clean water.
Shaun King, he is fearlessly standing up to the oppressor daily, and sometimes even minute by minute.
Hari Kondabolu and W. Kamau Bell, who have taught me so much about my white privilege and the political system through their badass podcast politically reactive. While still giving me grace (even though it's not their job) to face it. I am so grateful for what I learn from them.
Kathy Escobar, who keeps fighting for her community and the marginalized people of Denver to be heard and represented. She is a lover of people and a fighter for justice!
Micky ScottBey Jones, who is a badass feminist mother, who keeps fighting for justice and room for all at the table!
Laura La Forti and the Van Port Mosaic team, committed to giving every Van Port survivor a voice and not allowing history to forget them.
For every poet, teacher, musician, artist, counselor, storyteller, clergy, providing space and that are committed to speaking their voice, no matter the cost.
I see your work and it inspires me.
Thank you, Angie