Hope, as Bishop Desmond Tutu eloquently put it, is having the conviction that there is light despite of all the darkness that surrounds us. Without having this conviction, our view on the future would quickly turn grim and it will be translated into our day to day actions. It is something we need to cultivate and we need to start by setting time a side to work on your thoughts and emotions.
By taking time to work yourself you are investing in your mental, emotional, and physical health that will enable you to re-calibrate yourself. A practice known as Self Care. A necessary routine that becomes even more so when life seems to demand from us more than what we can give because without it we cannot see the future with hope.
In light of the recent tragedies involving the police and the black community. it is necessary to give yourself the time to process everything that is happening. Without it, you will only get caught up in the tension, unable to find our voice or your place. Without the time to process you might lose yourself to the anger, fear, anxiety that these tragedies brought along and lead you down the wrong path.
Start with understanding the life-giving notion that The Black Lives Matter movement and my personal experience have taught me: The color of my skin does not define me or my future and that I cannot and will not let the color of my skin be used as a tool to put me down. As a black woman, I have experienced the prejudices and pressure to fit the stereotype but I refused to conform to them because the greater truth is that I am more than my skin color and so are YOU.
So, in this circumstance how do we maintain a lifestyle that help us deal with the anger, fear, anxiety, and the sorrow? The pressure is real and it is heavy but do not let the weight of it beat you down as there are steps you can take to keep moving forward in this journey
- Disconnect from technology
- Affirmation from your community
- Learn to Love your skin
- Learn that you are more than your skin
You already know that the media will keep re-posting the coverage and being connected to technology will only complicates your emotions further and takes you away from having the much needed break for yourself to process everything that has been going on. Disconnect from technology for a couple of hours, find a quiet place and get in touch with your inner thoughts and feelings.
This is what we often lack, affirmation. With an emphasis on self-sufficiency we often forget there are others in our circle, who love and care without any hidden agenda or prejudice and are able to see that our value and worth far deeper than just our appearance. Find them and let them speak to you
You can subvert the label put on you according to your skin color because did you know that your skin color is beautiful and rich? Carrying within it centuries of history and deep cultural heritage and significance, drenched in stories of struggle, triumph, and celebration. The history that your skin color carries with you will be foundation for the future. A future that is YOURS to write.
What you are capable of is never a product of your skin color. It is a product your determination in the face of difficulties, your willingness to stand up for the truth that You are more than your skin, your courage to keep going forward even when the odds are against you. Your skin is a part of you and carries rich history but that is not the only thing that makes you who you are.
There are several things that we need to understand in light of the recent events. First, racial injustice cannot disappear in a forth night but it can be changed. Second, it is not the circumstance but how we respond to it that defines us. The actions of a group of black men in Baltimore who stood in front of police officers as their shield in the midst of a protest shouts out loud to the world that “Despite the injustices, we refuse to respond with violence and anger”
Anger without proper management will turn into a wildfire that will burn you and others around you. But when it is properly handled, it becomes a fuel that drives your engine to propel you forward. When anger is overcome, you’ll be able to see things clearer
So take the time away to re-focus and process the emotions that are going on within, learn to understand that they make you human but they are not the master of you. Don’t let them cloud your judgement. Look ahead with the conviction that there is light in the midst of the darkness, that HOPE does exist.