I took a personality test today. The results were accurate to say the least. One sentence even explained exactly how I’ve been feeling over these past few weeks - …dejected and overwhelmed by all the bad in the world that they can’t fix.
I can’t handle what has been happening around me. It’s been like pouring salt in an old wound. Every occurrence related to race has me angry, hurt and powerless.
And I don’t like being out of control. I don’t like not knowing if someone is going to judge me based on the color of my skin. I don’t like thinking that I can’t trust those around me.
I realize it’s silly to think that those close to me would think differently. Yet, I can’t help but wonder how some really view me. Am I genuinely accepted or am I the “cool black girl?”
Then there’s this question: Why should I even care?
I’ve always been one to care what others think. I shouldn’t, but I do. And now that I have kids, I care even more. Whether or not my children will be accepted for who they are is on my mind almost every moment of every day. And knowing there are people that can’t relate to that or even acknowledge that is overwhelming me.
To the point that it’s consuming me.
So what do I do?
I’m not sure. Not completely anyway. What I’m working on is this:
Remember, Not Everyone is Bad. It’s really hard to do this at times. My anger gets the best of me and I get all, “if they don’t like me, I don’t like them either.” But it’s a small percentage of people that are like that. Even though, I wish it were zero percent, I shouldn’t believe everyone is like that. Because that makes me just as guilty as they are.
Don’t Shut Down. I don’t remember a time that I’ve felt this way about the world around me. Lost and hopeless. So much so that I just wanted to keep to myself and my family. I didn’t want to talk about it and I certainly wasn’t sure how to write about it. But I found that wasn’t actually helping me. If anything it was hurting me more. Even though the time to think was justified, I needed to get out what was bothering me.
Do Something. You know what’s more frustrating about seeing negative things? Feeling like you can’t do anything to change it. And I can’t make a whole group of ignorant people be suddenly not ignorant. However, I can be involved in the organizations in my community to be proactive about race relations versus being a non-activist. Being pissed fades. Taking action doesn’t.
Loving When I’d Rather Not. This is so hard for me. Mainly because it’s super easy to love someone who loves you back. When they don’t, how can you give them anything other than what they are giving you? Be the bigger person, right? So much easier said than done. But it’s not impossible.
Find Peace. Carrying this turmoil has weighted me down, emotionally, mentally and physically. Even though I’m still not sure how to process my feelings, I can make peace with it.
Carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders is not going to influence others to change. And I want it to change so very badly. But I’ve been going at this all wrong. I can’t make a difference by wallowing in my grief. I have to get involved so that I can shine some hope on myself and my family’s future. In addition, I think doing so will help me to heal and be connected.
It’s not something I expect to happen overnight. But as I said, I’m working on it. And I hope, if you’re reading this, you’ll work on it as well. Please don’t sit on the sideline thinking this isn’t your problem. Racial inequality is everyone’s problem.
We all deserve to live in a hate-free world. I’m ready to take a stance. Are you?