Its been a horrifying few days for the world; on top of the nightmare of the pandemic we have been privy to displays of elite privilege and at the other end of the scale, the cheapness of life when you are black in America.
The death of black men, women and children in America is horrifying, its no longer shocking because its not new and it keeps happening and nothing changes. But is stays being horrifying, every single one. And it doesn’t just happen in the USA, its here and all over the Western World.
And I’m sorry, so bloody sorry, not only that this violence is ride and being perpetuated without fear of lawful punishment, but that racism in all its various ugliness is systemic and ingrained in America, UK, Australia and Europe.
And we’re all guilty of it in one form or another and most of us can’t even see it in ourselves but scratch the skin and its there. We who have white skin have no idea just how much harder it is when your skin, hair and eyes are darker. Why would we? How could we?
Its only when we educate ourselves outside of our normal reading habits, watch tv and film outside of our usual choices that we might begin to see that no matter how hard we might have it, those who have black or brown skin have it much harder.
How do we reshape and reorganise society to be fair when it is systemic in all our institutions and much of our establishment was built on the profits of slavery. I don’t know but it starts with listening to our black and brown friends, neighbours, fellow citizens and not interrupting, not saying ‘not me’. Instead say, ‘I’m sorry, what can I do to help?’
We have to change the political and economic base of our societies.So all are equal, whether black, women, LGBTQ+, differently abled. I want to be both peaceful and radical and bring down the established order that pits us against each other, rather than joining forces to make a fairer, decent society where all are valued and offered a chance to contribute.
I do try not to speak politics in my work usually, but we are in exceptional times and I can’t ignore what’s going on, especially because it impacts people’s hearts and minds and health.
And my job is helping people recover from trauma and all I see is traumatised people everywhere I look.
Here in the UK, the lockdown is easing, for reasons that may not be as clear cut and honest as No.10 would have us think.
And for some, a lot of fear remains, as trust in those who govern us and decide on the rules has plummeted. Many of us just don’t know if we can trust them with our lives.
In situations like this, I say do what feels right for you in your unique set of circumstances, without letting fear override your common sense.
If you want to wear a mask, wear one. If not, don’t.
If you want to wear gloves, wear them. If not, don’t.
If you need to speak to your doctor, call them. If they need to see you, take all necessary precautions as you can and go see them.
I suggest we go back to what we were told before the Lockdown.
Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
Drink lots of fluids
Adhere to social distancing measures as much as you can.
Wipe down surfaces, wash your clothes and hair etc if you’ve been outside and came into contact with other people you don’t know and can’t be certain they are virus free.
For you, I say be compassionate and patient and loving with yourself and as gentle and kind as you can be with those around you.
None of us knows what’s going, we have to take care of ourselves first and then everyone else.
Here are links to several audios that may help you right now to avoid stress and panic and encourage calmness and peace.