Foundations...for those who wait (Email 5)
4 minute read
Note: This is an archive of an email from the October 2021 series and pre-enrollment for those on my email list who have been waiting for Foundations to open up again after a year away to grieve the loss of my beloved.
So far on this journey:
We set off to create a world filled with belief (email 1).
Scaled the mountain of staying put with one another (email 2).
Found our way through the dense forest to reclaim hope through healing (email 3).
Braved the desert by anticipating a world without racism (email 4).
Which means that today is about holding on.
This is the terrain of water.
It could be the white water rapids of a rushing river.
Or the vast open spaces of the ocean.
In any case, it’s an environment we cannot survive because we don’t have the anatomy of a fish.
My youngest son is pure adventure in a human body.
He is brave.
But always adventure...
Except when it comes to water.
The first time we went to a water park, he climbed the stairs with no problem but when he realized we were going to get on an inner tube, slide down a tunnel with water, and possibly get splashed in the face……………..nope.
We reminded him about the life-vest he had on...
We showed him the handles he would hold...
We pointed to the little bit of water in the tunnel...just enough to slide on...
We asked people who were already wet “was it scary?”...
Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope (looking at me like “they are WET so it’s OBVIOUSLY scary, duh!”)
As a last resort before climbing back down all those stairs, I offered him:
“You want to sit beside me? I’ll hold on to you and you can hold on to me?”
And said “ok”.
Logic won’t do when we are battling our fears.
The life vest wasn’t enough.
The handles weren’t enough.
The tiny dribble of water; too scary.
But someone (or something) we can trust?
That’s what we can hold on to.
Which means there is also something to let go of.
AKA, doubt’s best friend.
Doubt is banished when we cultivate belief (as we’ve been doing these past 5 days).
Fear is more tender.
Fear is about experience.
Which means we need to examine the experiences that many of us are having within our white liberation spaces. For many of us experience tells you that:
If you mess up, you may get called out.
When you cry, you are “fragile”.
There’s no time to rest.
“It’s not about you”.
White people are incapable of change.
Had my son gone to the water park with someone he trusted less, he may never have been able to access his bravery and end up having the time of his life.
Bravery isn't very accessible without someone/something we can really trust.
The kind of trust that comes with experience.
So we must cultivate trust through experience.
We need to have experiences that cultivate trust; and
We need to be the kinds of people that recognize which experiences in our community need correcting and who create the environment for other people to have an experience that cultivates trust.