It's so humbling and heartbreaking to see the world continue to be at war with each other, over the seeming differences in who is allowed to be treated as a human, and who is not.
This is much to say about the terror happening in Israel and Palestine at this time, and probably so much more around the world that we are not being shown, but when my heart aches for the pain and suffering of this world, it always brings me back to the same questions:
What can I do to make this better?
What am I doing that is perpetuating the problem?
**I'd like to preface that is is my own lived experience and opinion, and also a little longer of a read (worthy of your time I hope), so I invite you to take a deep breath, hold me in the light of being an imperfect human, and read through the lens of compassion. This is an attempt to return our awareness back into our own bodies and lives where we can make positive change and metabolize the impact of horrific world events and tragedies.
So my answer to these questions has been actually, another question (story of my life, to be honest).
Where in my own life do I casually or unconsciously dehumanize others?
What does this "do" for me?
Extra Credit: What views do I have of the world that actually center myself as a more important being than those I am viewing?
I honestly invite you to pause and see what comes up for you....
What does your body feel like?
What instant answers want to come out to mitigate going deeper into these questions?
How much do you want to stop reading this email already?
"JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE UNCOMFORTABLE DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE NOT SAFE."
Ok, so -
When I asked myself these questions, it actually became super clear where I, considering myself a profoundly loving and kind human, actually do subtly dehumanize others, and myself, all the time.
Whew... we can't become aware if we are shaming ourselves.
So I can look at this, and you can too, and just get honest, so that we can actually make positive, humanizing, loving change from right where we stand.
My confession, aka my liberation, aka my growth, aka my humility (humanity) is this:
I have dehumanized the police to justify my dis-like of them
I have dehumanized my mother because of her consumerism addictions
I have dehumanized myself even, for being less than those I idolize
I have dehumanized the workers who just painted my house because I don't speak Spanish and can't connect with them
I have dehumanized people all over the world simply through not knowing anything about them or their culture of their needs
And, I am still a good human, learning more and more about her own conditioning and colonial imprinting every day.
After saying that, do you feel different about me?
What is dehumanizing anyways?
Well, it's simply the thought, action, or lack of consideration for another human based on a belief that for whatever reason, they are lesser than you, that they deserve less consideration or respect, or that you are in an assumed role of authority or heightened position of supremacy.
It's the seed to all the horrible things we don't want to see in our world.
But, it's a shitty seed that was planted in most of our psyche's without even knowing it, and then every so often, we get given a change to reach down into the dirt, and pull some of the roots out from the source.
The answer is simple, but not easy.
We need to re-humanized (and also de-center humanity but that's a topic for another day), and practice, in every moment, with every person, what that ACTUALLY MEANS, and looks like.
It looks like sharing a conversation with someone where you're not just trying to get your point across, but you're actually listen to the other as a powerful and unique expression of life, completely equal to you in value and worthiness.
it looks like de-centering your own views and beliefs as absolute and knowing that everyone across the globe has the human right to think, feel, act, belief, and live in whatever way they choose (wether you think this is good or bad).
This looks like living your life with your own sense of self trust, and bestowing that unto others.
This looks like unlearning the belief that different = bad. It looks like learning how to feel safe in cultures and contexts that are different that the one you live in.
This looks like surrendering to the face that no one has all the answers.
This looks like doing the deep inner dive to notice where and who you have those "little thoughts", or talk a lil' shit about, and stopping that cheap trick when you catch yourself doing it.
That looks like doing whatever the hell you have to do to viscerally remember that we are all children of the earth, one human family, and are equally dependent on the sun and water and food and air to survive, and that this hyper focus on our differences is just feeding a war-machine driven by the fuel of us vs. them mentality that actually keeps us all slaves.
Ok, I had to get that last part off my chest.
You get the point by now I am sure.
This level of humility is so hard when we get into the nitty-gritty of our comforts and privileges and biases.
But, this is the only way forward.
And given the urgency of this global moment, this astrological moment, and the fact that this moment is the only NOW that will ever exist... it seems like a good time to keep practicing radical re-humanization as the pathway forward, for the sake of life on earth.
-----(insert deep and audible breath here)-----
Thank you for reading. I hope you're feeling what you need to during this time as well, and taking the actions that feel most humanizing to you and those in your spheres of influence.
May these words from my heart spark something important in yours, too.