Watching the new details unfold about the killings of Ahmaud and Breonna gave me chills. The video of George Floyd’s murder certainly triggered something in me. I even began to have nightmares. I asked myself, “What is it that triggered me?” Was it watching him cry out for his mom? Was it how their souls transitioned from this Earth in such a brutal way? It was all of that and more. I’m a very empathetic person and I can feel the emotions of others so strongly. Physically, I became extremely fatigued. Mentally, I was engulfed with thoughts and worry about what would come next. Emotionally, I was exhausted from anger and sorrow. I prayed about it and I realized that suppression had been my defense mechanism. I suppressed my feelings to be able to function and go about my day, to do my job, to remain vigilant in my studies, to be a “good Christian”, to not be seen as the “angry Black woman”, and the list goes on. But I was convicted because suppressing my feelings hid my anger and I was DONE with the façade!! So, I gave myself permission to FEEL!! I feel angry. I feel tired. I feel hurt. I feel like boxing and “squaring up”. I feel like screaming. I feel like crying. I feel all of the “FEELS”!! So, what was I going to do about it? How do I move forward? I have decided to share my list of things I’ve done, as well as things I’m choosing to do, to help me be balanced while advocating in this movement for change.
- I pray to God for strength and read The Word for daily reaffirming.
- I ask the Holy Spirit for guidance and discernment.
- I avoid isolation by staying connected with my church ministry and friends. Community is everything. During times of high stress, it is important to stay connected to your sources of support and strength.
- Prioritizing the schedule. I am prioritizing my schedule so that I can be involved in the demand for change and justice. This can be through ministry, various forms of outreach, networking, monetary contributions, donating materials, volunteering for phone banks, asking “How can I help”, etc…
- Vote, Vote, VOTE!!!
- Acknowledge emotions and feelings, even if they are negative. I disagree with the notion that just because you are a Christian, you should appear to be “unbothered”. I believe that when I’m honest with God about my TRUE emotions, then He can restore me. Then He can give me the strategic insight on how to channel those emotions toward purpose.
- Schedule REST! I know that it is easy for us to pour all of ourselves into the things we are passionate about. I have learned from experience that you cannot pour from an empty cup. So pay attention to your mind, body, and spirit when it tells you to rest and regroup.
- Be safe! I have to remind myself that we are still navigating these treacherous times during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Be sure to wear protective gear.
- I remember the Fruits of The Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP) says, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law”. I believe that these Fruits equip us with the resilience we need to push forward.
- Remember your “WHY”!!! Take time to reconnect with your “why” and always stay true to yourself. For me, it is about my future legacy and wanting reformation to demolish injustice and oppression.
I don’t have all of the answers nor do my feelings speak for others. I just hope that I’ve said something that helps bring encouragement, or merely just to say that you are not alone in trying to process your feelings. Hang in there!!