Yesterday on stories and here today, reconnecting + reflecting with you all after a week of muting my voice in solidarity with & participation in the #amplifymelanatedvoices campaign.
I’m grateful for the new voices I was introduced to over the last week through this campaign: incredible black women who are doing life changing work in the HAES/IE space who I had not previously been connected with. As well as new (to me) activists, artists, educators, mothers. It was powerful to connect with their voices, hear their stories, and to discover new ways to take action to end white supremacy, racism, racial inequality, racial injustice in our society & more than that to amplify, lift up, celebrate the voices, work, and lives of black people.
The week was a powerful reminder that there is so much to do & so much that can be done . The work didn’t start last week and it doesn’t end there.
Over the last week, I’ve had many private conversations with people in this community (some of whom have chosen to leave, which I have deep peace about). From the many conversations there are two things I want to share here in reflection:
As white people it can feel like whatever we do is ‘not enough.’ And I want to share that it’s important for us to let go of the expectation that anything we do is going to be enough because it won’t be until there is no more racism + the systems of white supremacy are no longer in place. Let go of the idea that anything you post, any protest you march in, any tough conversation you have, any donation you make, anything you say, post, or do will be enough… because it isn’t enough and it won’t be enough for a very long time. But (!) this doesn’t have to be something that discourages us. It can ENCOURAGE us to continue to learn (from black people) + take action.
The other common theme was how uncomfortable it feels to be confronted with our own internal racists beliefs / biases, our own white privilege, our own complicity in this system. To come face to face with that discomfort can often make us do one of two things: first, ‘this is uncomfortable it must be bad.’ Or ‘this is uncomfortable, I don’t want to deal with this so I’ll go back to how I was doing things before because that was more comfortable for me than this.’
Just because something is uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Anti-racism work in ourselves, relationships, communities is (at the very least) uncomfortable because it requires us to come face-to-face with how we are part of a system that is oppressive to entire groups of people and it requires us to take responsibility for how we intentionally or unintentionally caused harm to other humans. And it’s (at the very least) uncomfortable to take action imperfectly, to stumble, to not know exactly how to do this.
It’s been uncomfortable for me for years since the first time a dear friend gave me the gift of calling out my white privilege years ago that started me down the path of doing this work and it continues to be uncomfortable every day.
HOW COULD IT NOT BE UNCOMFORTABLE to confront the fact that you’ve been part of a system that has harmed human life? And to have to unlearn the way you see the world and yourself and move forward in a different way?
It’s so important to remember that it’s not going to be enough AND it’s not going to be comfortable. Neither one of those things means that it’s wrong or that it’s not worth it.
I share these reflections so you know if you’re feeling these things you’re not alone. I feel them, too AND it’s our responsibility as human beings to show up and take care of others and our communities and break down / break free from these systems of oppression that have benefited me as a white person (and you, too, if you are one). It is our responsibility.
As it relates to the work we do here in this space specifically around intuitive eating, body image, and practicing more self trust and compassion, I want you to know that fatphobia and diet culture are DEEPLY ROOTED in racism. So, the conversation about anti-blackness and anti-racism is not separate from what we talk about here! The body positive movement was started by + created by black women. And I can do a WAY better job (and will) of amplifying black voices around how these are so interconnected with all we talk about here.
By being here and doing this work in yourself, you are also beginning to dismantle part of an oppressive system. If you’re interested in learning more about this, I cannot recommend reading Fearing The Black Body by Sabrina Strings enough. And, I participated in a workshop on anti-racism in wellness with Chrissy King yesterday that was very powerful (link in her Instagram bio to sign up).
At the core of the mission of my work and the conversations we have here are these embedded truths:
· Each person deserves to feel enough.
· Each of you is worthy.
· Each human is meant to feel safe and at home in their body.
· Each body deserves to be treated with respect.
The absolute truth that BLACK LIVES MATTER is an essential part of this.
Please no cookies or kudos for this post (thank you @iamchrissyking for teaching me the importance of explicitly saying this in your workshop last night).
Unlearning is a lifelong commitment – I’m here to do the work and I’d love you to come with me. I am and will continue to be open to feedback and commit to non-defensively listen when you share with me how I can do it better.