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Inner Voices that Belittle--Pernicious or a Doorway...? (Part I)

I arrived home on the late-ish side last night, strangely sad after a day full of blessed conversations, discernments and celebrations. I got to practice some basic barbel lifts in an early CrossFit class. My doctoral facilitation & Fire&Water lives converged seemingly effortlessly, having a conversation of deepening pilgrimage-listening with two colleagues-friends-elders who’d never met one another before. I got to imagine the possibility of an Immersion Experience of United students to Ghana in fall of 2023 with another. And I got to sit with three beautiful black women as the four of us shared our lives a bit, all that Godde is doing for, with, and within us.

Yet I arrived home irritable, cranky, almost meddlin’ for an argument. I was care-full, awakening to the crankiness within, so argument avoided! But blue. Sad. Awash in inner voices belittling and deflating me inside…How could they hold such sway after such a blessed day?!

  • It was a day of surrender, and yet I know not what I’m doing…or how I fit or what I may bring into the collaborations all around me.

  • Looking at life through the slave archetype is my invitation these days, as I prepare to co-lead a pilgrimage retracing the steps of freedom in Alabama with a Beloved Community cohort and masters’ students. What am I enslaved to, as an aware-I’m-white woman? What emerges here as resistance (first), anger-irritability (second), and finally, now, sadness?

  • I arrived home to a soul-partner whose strategies of learning/processing for this same journey—he will be with me—are information-based, preferably historically oriented precision used to debunk things that challenge him emotionally. (Potential recipe for disaster within which he and I are already listening, discerning for loving with one another well enough…)

  • This morning, I’m sad. Tearful. Exquisitely aware of my white skin.

  • I am grieving, in other words. A deep belly sadness, tinged with edges of anger, feeling deeply whatever it is

Does it matter?...that everyone I met with yesterday was African American? The capacity for hopefulness and joy in each, in his/her own way, always startles me. Challenges me too. I feel my quietude, my reserve, a mis-fitness (maybe sometimes shame?) in my church-wound when surrounded by black church voices...

Did I recede? Was I present? Did I show up?...I find myself wondering...

...but in each interaction, there were times I was close to tears. All for different reasons, in response to things of resonance or hope, not suffering or fear. This suggests to me I was present. Yes, I did show up. Each space.

My belittling voices condemn me for being white, for not doing enough, for being who I am in a system so hostile to dear souled people I got to be with yesterday. Whom I get to be with today, these days, blessedly...

Tears. Yes. Getting closer…

Oh how I wish the world were different than it is, than we have made it...

Belittling voices can be pernicious...but if befriended, perhaps a doorway into something better...or at least a good cry.

Enough for now.

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