All the Same on the Inside–The Personal Side
As I discussed in the practical blog on this topic, I have felt overwhelmed witnessing the death of George Floyd and all of the events surrounding it. I have felt an array of emotions–felt moved to promote change and support the oppressed and yet felt powerless as one person mostly holed up at home due to COVID-19 until a recent conversation with an African-American friend which really encouraged me.
My friend is in a bi-racial marriage. He and his current wife have one child together and then he has 2 kids from his first marriage who are not bi-racial. About two weeks ago we had an open conversation and he was kind enough to let me share my feelings. I told him I felt largely powerless to evoke real change in society when it comes to the issue of race. His advice to me was enlightening. He told me to start at home.
He told me to have conversations with my kids about race, acceptance and justice. We talked about what these conversations may look like with 4 year-olds versus 15 year-olds. And he shared insight about how he addresses race with his own kids, as well as his extended family members.
The main thing I took away from my conversation with my friend was to keep talking. Keep having conversations with my kids. Keep talking to my husband. And keep being honest with myself about the emotions I experience when I witness human suffering and death. Where do I stand and why? What life experiences and conversations have I had growing up and how have these shaped who I am today? If you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed or anxious or just want a safe place to process your feelings about race (or any topic), please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862. Our experienced clinicians provide a safe place for you to grow and heal, no matter what issues you are currently facing.