Balancing Activism with Introspection
Elephant sheds light on looking in before we act out.
From May, 2019
How can I create understanding and make change?
Be Light. Be Light. Be Light.
First, the burden is not all yours and neither is the choice. You have to prepare for the idea that your way is not necessarily the way to create a sense of safety for everyone around you. There is still too much fear and too little understanding. Understanding will take some time and it will be a painful process for most. You will need to create a lot of empathy. You will need to create a safe space for everyone who has regret, who will make mistakes and who will be part of a larger campaign that will ultimately create suffering. ALL of these people have and will have trouble looking at frightening and ugly truths that will eventually emerge. And ALL of us are people who, at some time in our lives, will have to look at our own ugly truths. Decide right now whether you think those people deserve compassion and act accordingly. Treat yourself and everyone around you with that degree of compassion.
Be Light. Shine Light.
Do what you can to create understanding, but do it simply by shining light on the truth and by modeling your truth. You cannot force anyone to understand. The tools you have are those of sharing, listening, understanding and inviting. Try to hold true to your principles in every interaction. If you don’t believe in coercion, you must avoid all forms of coercion. If you believe in choice, you must support choice. If you believe in love, be loving. Always.
Be Light. Don’t Carry it All.
If this pursuit is to be part of your journey, you must find a way to manage the journey. If this becomes a burden that impacts your health, perspective or wellbeing, put down your load and take a rest. Find a way to nourish yourself and share the responsibilities of this journey. Others will show up to lighten your load and you must both allow them and embrace them. This is not a journey that is lit by one giant sun, but by millions of twinkling stars who are lighting the way through darkness. Let each little star shine its light. Accept those gifts and set your ego aside. You were not meant to be the sun throughout this challenge. You were meant to twinkle alongside others to light a new path. It will take time, but it will be a labor of love and cooperation and you will find your way together. Take a look at the sky on a clear night if you can find such a night (go to the mountains) and you will get a sense of what is needed for change.
Be Light. Have humor.
Smile. It will literally change the energy. Dwell in your hope and your knowing that there is good to be found in the hearts of others if only they felt safe enough to open them. There is so much fear. Remind people of joy. Make them laugh. Laughter opens hearts, creates safety, builds friendships and fosters hope. Find the ways to nourish joy and happiness. Reinforce wisdom with wit and our healing instincts to just stop and laugh from time to time. You need it. Your community needs it.
This will be a slow and steady walk. Remember the impactful steps of an elephant. Each step makes an imprint, and together those imprints create a path. Like elephants, you must use your big ears, your kind eyes and your enormous presence. Sometimes that is enough. For elephants, aggression is a last resort. You are not a predator. No need to be sneaky and rely too heavily on strategy. You are not a fox. Just keep owning your truth. That is how you will get it done.