I don’t need to go far to witness people wanting change in the world! We all can see some glaring issues, inequalities, and outright abuse. Many of the issues appear to be systemic, so naturally, we call for systemic changes.
We gather and call for changes to happen on the outside! I have to say that this is important and needs to happen absolutely, although I feel that if we focus too much on the change happening on the outside we may lose ourselves in the battle.
We all more or less understand that we cannot control anything outside of ourselves, our own actions, our thoughts, our feelings, and our reactions.
So if we break down our personal power and influence we could say that the place where we are the most power and influence, is in our own domain. We have 100 percent authority, and autonomy over ourselves, our choices, and how we feel inside. Even though systmes may try to pursuade us to belive otherwise.
Then we could say that we have some influence, more or less depending on relationship health, with our loved ones, our family. Our families will likely not respond to us telling them what’s best or how to live. Yet when we spend time together we definitely influence each other through our actions and how we show up. So when we do our own work and embody healthy traits, we begin to notice more of the healthy traits in our loved ones.
This is not a one-way street, when we do our own work we learn to be open to more of who we are. from this place, we are able to accept more from our loved ones. We are also taking in embodied traits from our family as well as learning from their lived experiences. (this is a powerful exchange)
Then if we take another step away from the most influential place within our own hearts, minds, and bodies. We reach the place of the larger community. It is here where through my limited perspective see many trying to exercise their influences.
I think this is an exhausting place to expend too much energy trying to influence change. Many people in our communities don’t know who we are, they don’t have an established trust or connection with us. So it makes absolute sense that they would shield themselves from our ideas and influences.
As well, many of us do not have the platform to share by example to the larger community the change that we wish to see in the world. Community is a stretch these days. It’s rare to find a community of people that we spend enough time with to develop the trust required to let our walls down, and see the humanity in each other allowing a free and honest exchange of information and lived experiences.
So I choose to spend most of my energy where I have the most influence and that is over myself, the way I show up for my family, friends, and community. This is a hefty practice to take on, to notice how I am feeling and responding to people and the environment. What is mine? What is repeating? Is it really their fault?
When someone in my family or community triggers me after I find a place of feeling centered again I can use this as an opportunity to learn more about who I am. This is the gift of family and community that is there to support each other. We are not going to discard each other just because of politics, or public opinions.
We need to remember that these systems are made up of people, who just like us have needs, and deserve to be heard and respected. I am definitely not canceling the need for direct action against injustice. This is definitely needed to raise awareness and then it is through established relationships, conversations, and connecting within safe spaces with family, and friends that these changes take root.
And if we change the systems will change in response, because there are family, and friends within the system. This to me is what decolonization looks like as a lived and embodied practice.
Without mutual repect there can only be ”Us” and ”THEM”
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2 thoughts on “Mutual Respect”
Well said Devon. I’m looking forward to the upcoming work!
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you are really on to something with your approach Devon. Thought provoking and relevant. Thanks for sharing
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