In this deeply personal response to current events in the USA (important peaceful protests as well as abominable violent acts, all triggered by the brutal murder of George Floyd by a law enforcement officer), I acknowledge that I know and understand very little in comparison to those who are directly affected in various ways.
But, like most people witnessing these events, I am deeply affected as a human being who is able to suffer and feel empathy for those in pain.
[VIDEO: Talk, with musical healing improvisation at 20:40]
As a privileged white woman living in the “safe” suburbs, and as an artist who enjoys playing music like Bach on her violin, it can be tempting in times like this to fall into feeling powerless/helpless/hopeless…wondering about what I can do, given who I am.
My boyfriend is part African-American, but I don’t know what it’s like to be part African-American in this country, a constant target of racism.
I was married to a Hispanic for 25 years, and my kids are both Hispanic – but I don’t know what it’s like to be Hispanic.
I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood surrounded by Jewish families and friends, but I don’t know what it’s like to be a Jew.
Neither do I know what it’s like to be a man.
Powerful emotions, issues of self-worth, doubt, fear, lack of understanding, suffering, and empathy all come up in this spontaneous live video.
And then I talk about healing, and what IS possible, using my “5 Pre-Pearls”.
Let’s focus on what we CAN do – each one of us, regardless of our personal situation, or the color of our skin.
If we want peace and healing as a nation, as a world… we MUST look inward first. Peace and healing MUST begin within.
That does not exclude taking outward actions. Outward actions are VERY important to effect outward change!
But the FIRST action each of us must take is to recognize and accept our own feelings, including everything that is uncomfortable and painful – instead of blaming others, trying to fight them, fix them, change them, ignore or deny them, or run away from them.
We need to know how to transform those “negative” feelings into something that is constructive – this is healing – becoming whole, and it’s a process that must be practiced.
Being able to do this for ourselves is a skill. And artists are in a unique place to be able to do this, considering our training in methods of self-expression, though not all artists know how to do this effectively.
From that place of self-acceptance and self-compassion, healing for oneself AND for others can begin to take place.
Not from instinctive, animal, destructive violence. There is a time and a place for appropriate aggression – but it needs to come from a place of constructive stillness and integration, if that is indeed the best course of action.
Let’s start with ourselves first, and then we can wonder about what we can do together.
Anything is possible.
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