Do we need a perfect world to thrive and not just survive in?  Is that a necessary component of the concept of thriving?  Do we need to have zero oppression in order to achieve it?  70% less?  50%?  What level would we be happy with?  I’m asking because I’m exhausted as a Black woman in America.  America…land of the free so long as you’re not anything I represent.  That hurts me to even write it down.  Sigh….

So, in all my efforts to do this thing that’s called “healing of generational traumas” as I can list out too many for digits on my body from my family without missing a beat.  And I love my family dearly but damn.  It’s heavy sometimes when it’s just family!  What about when it’s also the stresses of trying to raise children and not pass this garbage on?  What about when it’s trying to forget in my male-dominated professional career that my lack of exterior genitalia renders me silent far too often; especially when I have something of value to say.  What about when it is when I read in the media, over and over again, how seemingly too many black men not only don’t have our backs as black women but actively put us down while holding up ideals completely out of our realities?  What about the insidious issues between female, black friendships that seem to only have enough substance before one of us gets a man, and then it’s this stupid fear that our friend might try to take him?  What if it’s the easy target of whites and their slippery, greasy, purposely forgotten, and often forgiven atrocities to live the very lifestyles too many of them enjoy?  Yes, it’s exhausting.  

I still want my children to not have these issues on their backs…even if I’m so damned used to them I’m not sure I’d remain anchored to mother earth if I let them go.

So … to thrive?  And is it necessary?  Are we so comfortable with all the modern definitions of trauma that we’re re-traumatizing ourselves?  Modern definitions are so much broader.  We include so much, rightfully…without any real understanding of how to heal from them, if that’s even truly possible, or what it even looks like on the other side.  Yes, as Blacks, there is no denying the trauma of our daily lives, at least for us Blacks.  Other ethnicities have not fully caught up to this fact yet, or are still actively denying it as a modern issue, LOL….

How many genocides in this world?  How many of us on this planet live with not only current but generational trauma?  Why is anyone of them more important than the other?  It’s not about that!  It’s not a competition to see who has it worse…we all do in our own ways.

Each of us has our cross to bear and we all need compassion.  Even for those who are oppressing; for somewhere in their past, they were oppressed, for sure.

Why is it that in love we say sometimes you are the loser and sometimes the winner?  Sometimes the one who hurts and sometimes the one who is hurt…but we don’t realize how this simple rule is life!  We all are sometimes the asshole and sometimes the one subject to the asshole behavior of another.  This is life and that is why we are here.  To learn what it means to live in this 3rd dimension….what it means to be physical and bound by space and time.  We chose this!!

Are Blacks all over the world looked down upon as less?  Yes!  Are we?  Hell no….why can we say so with such certainty?  Because we are kings and queens…and not just in title but in the strength of person and constitution in ways this planet doesn’t yet understand, quite willfully.  It only fears and so reviles and seeks, in any way possible, to degrade and put down.  But by any means necessary, we survive.  We always have and we always will.  

Thriving is possible….it is.  But we need to live in this world as we are not monks.  We cannot all just go to the mountains and live peaceful lives in perfect harmony with nature.  After all, mother nature may send us some crap that will kill us anyway! When has mother nature truly shown us harmony that didn’t come with a healthy dose of violence?  It’s not all as peaceful as we romanticize it to be.  

We need to live in this world and embrace it.  Love it…love the good and most especially, love the bad.  Recognize that it’s all judgment anyway since neither good nor bad exists.  Love the oppression as it’s our cross right now as Diasporans…yes….we should coin that term…Diasporans.  People without land.  People without a home capable of truly embracing us.  We are beautiful and complete..with or without a home.  How many ethnic minorities are living on this planet as such?  Why are we different?  Why can we not thrive as such?  Of course, we can!!  And we shall.  If we choose.

Maybe it would be better to teach my children of the crosses I know they will bear in this world and how to navigate them effectively for inner peace.  Maybe that’s how we truly break generational traumas, breaking the cycle.  Not by cleansing the world, but by understanding that the world isn’t our business until we’ve cleansed ourselves of the need to.  I’m not saying that we should do nothing to make the world a better place, of course not.  What I’m saying is that we need to be at a place of peace first…and that peace doesn’t come from a perfect world.  It comes from within, right in the midst of the societal hurricane or social tornado, it comes from a place so deep within ourselves that the outside world has no influence upon.  It comes from a place of understanding that the external circumstances are irrelevant, what’s important is that we come from a place of love.  

Self-love is where we start and then we can express that externally.  That’s how you truly change the world.  Sometimes the benefit provided is simply not to get caught up in and add to the nonsense and sometimes it’s family-focused only.  Sometimes its community-based, regional, national, or even global.  We can never know.  All we can know is that we need that internal first.  And if that must be first, it must come regardless of the world at large.  History has shown us we simply can’t rely on it…the external world fails idealism over and over again and that’s not pessimism.  We are here to add to the world but before the world gets the best parts of us, let us have whole parts to give.

Written by: R.M. Thenard

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