TTIN: Set down your weapon (Email 2)
4 minute read
Note: This is an archive of an email from the May 2020 launch series of The Time Is Now (Early Adopter Edition).
Based on the growing size of this interest-segment, this email may be your first. If that's the case, you'll wanna start with the first email:
TTIN: Watch out Florian (Email 1)
Let's return to our friend Florian...
Standing in front of the King’s guards with a huge, sharp sword overhead.
Heart beating like the heart of a race horse.
"I, I am one of the King's servants," Florian said.
The guard looked at him puzzled.
"No really, I just haven't been here in a few months and I don't think you and I have met before," Florian continued.
The guard backed away, consulted with the King's advisors and said some version of "sorry about that" as Florian walked past, still a little shook up.
It was true that the Florian hadn't been there in months.
It was also true that without being summoned to appear before the King, you could be killed.
It was also true that Florian had a plan.
Florian didn't agree with how this King had run things prior to the destruction of the city. There were many days where Florian served the King, head down. Silent. Filled with contempt.
Florian felt different now.
Joining with the collective moaning of the city for all of those months had birthed a softness. Compassion. Sadness. Feeling with the city in it's pain.
When Florian approached, the King saw this change.
"Florian, I have never seen you like this, what gives?" asked the King.
You see, authentic vulnerability creates curiosity.
Very few of us really live soft-hearted when in the presence of power.
When at work, we are silent.
When talking with a parent that harmed us, we are silent.
When our racist family member is around, we are silent.
When we see our neighbor - who isn't as conscious as we are, we are silent.
If we want to create a just world through love - fear is our enemy.
What's the fear I hear most often?
"I'm afraid I'll do the wrong thing."
This fear is rooted in internalized superiority.
Go with me here for a minute...
Most of us receive a socially conditioned message in childhood that Black, Indigenous, and brown people are to blame for why our world is the way it is. It isn't your fault that you received that message. You were a child living in a racial caste system.
Along the way, you decided that you didn't think that was really true. But rather than heal from this internalized superiority, we pivot it's focus. No longer willing to blame Black, Indigenous, or brown people - now all white people are the problem. This is what I call weaponized whiteness.
Superiority never loses its grip.
Sometimes this superiority shows up with:
Silence. Jaw clenching. Contempt.
Other times it shows up in call out culture or cancel culture.
Still other times it shows up in a belief that you can't be a part of the solution.
And every now and again it shows up by believing I am the expert.
I know you know what I'm talking about.
Friends, we must heal and release our superiority.
Because when that superiority-rooted fear loses its grip, something changes.
Authentic vulnerability is one way to do this.
The thing that allowed Florian to show up this way, was that period of mourning. Florian not only felt the pain of the city, but also the pain of participation. There had been reports for a long time that the city walls were vulnerable. That many people in the city weren't doing very well. The King had ignored those reports. And Florian remained silent. Afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing.
When it all came crashing down - Florian felt with the city and that pain was overwhelming. But rather than run from it, Florian embraced it.
So many of us were taught not to feel.
With every cohort we run, there is at least one person who says "you keep talking about feelings, but I don't know how to feel". Most often, there are several heads that nod in agreement with that vulnerable statement.
This numbness many of us are experiencing is the effect of the encasement of comfort.
Growth takes courage.
Growth takes feeling able to risk something.
Growth takes the fire to burn away the encasement of comfort.
We have been through that fire.
We are sitting, as seeds upon the ground.
The only question is whether we are willing to crack open in order to sprout.
We’re at over 600 words, so I’m going to end here.
You'll want to reread this email a few times, then internalize the nuances of what's been said.
If you have questions, or if you wanna share an insight you had about The Time Is Now, hit reply and tell me about it. I'd love to hear from you.