There’s another ‘Conversations on Being Human’ to share with you. In this one, Amber Wheatley sheds some light on what it’s like to live in a black body, answering the unasked question, ‘What’s it like to be you?’
There are things I take for granted that Amber helped me understand.
Like how I can sit in my back yard, and when the police drive by, it doesn’t cross my mind that they might be coming for me.
Or how I can walk down the street in a sweatshirt and I’m not stopped and questioned by the police.
And how I can be just one person in the crowd, and if things go sideways, I will probably be the last person held responsible.
It never dawned on me that if I was born with a black body, I might be living in a relatively constant state of anxiety or paranoia, because these ‘normal’ situations of chilling in my garden, wearing a sweatshirt, going for a walk, and gathering in a crowd, might not feel safe.
That question, ‘What’s it like to be you?’, is a hard one to ask. Do we really want to know? Is it not easier to hide behind our own assumptions, creating a story about why ‘the other’ does what they do?
‘Othering’…. That’s another thing we touched upon. As you’ll hear in the conversation, this is really where I get my back up. Whether it’s white or black, Left or Right, Christian or non-Christian, fat or slim, we get caught in our own biases about what is right and what is wrong.
We all do it. I do it.
Call it a Universal Sin.
Today I was listening to Day 2 of Charles Eisenstein’s new course, Political Hope. I highly recommend tuning in to it. It’s free for another 5 days.
He also talks about this idea of ‘othering’, and named the underlying dynamic with even more clarity: a polarizing war mentality.
What really hit home for me, is when he named a potential cause for this war mentality that separates us into categories and groups: self-rejection and conditional self-approval.
If I make X amount of money then I will like myself. If I lose Y amount of weight, then I will stop fighting with my body.
Does this sound familiar? Maybe you have a similar if-then statement that dictates your life. An ideal outcome you’re aiming for that your self-worth hinges on.
Chances are that in trying to achieve that outcome, there’s a fight going on, if nothing more than an internal tug-of-war.
A need for rest, that gets bypassed because there is too much to do.
A desire for your work to be aligned with your values, which gets overridden as soon as a lucrative offer comes along.
An instinct that this person isn’t going to be good for you, that gets ignored because you’re craving relationship.
The truth that your relationship with food and exercise is doing more harm than good, but you’re not ready to trust your body’s natural wisdom.
The push-pull of wanting to achieve whatever goal you think offers safety and security, competing with a deep knowing that if you stayed true to who you are, you would walk down a different path.
Perhaps not a path that gets you as many likes on your Instagram profile, but one that might bring you more peace.
And once you’ve made peace with yourself, then maybe you could be a beacon for peace between you and another, a bridge between you and ‘the other’.
Listen on Soundcloud
The vision we have for ‘Conversations on Being Human’ is that they act as kindling; igniting a flame in your heart to gather with others to learn, heal, and inspire regulated steps towards peace. We are creating a way to do this through a membership-based ‘Sanctuary’, starting in September. There is one more ‘Conversations on Being Human’ on its way to you before we transition to a new subscription-based platform to support the ongoing creation of these conversations.
We are looking for a 3rd person to help with tech-support and spreading the word. Can you edit audio? Good with words? Have your own flavor of ‘marketing’ that values relationship over ‘the sell’? We’d love to hear from you and have you come on board by the end of August. Get in touch with Kendra through this link.
Are you ready to make peace with your body and yourself? I support clients with reclaiming self-worth, trusting yourself, and confident self-expression. Here’s how we could work together. Start with an exploratory conversation to see if we’re a good fit.