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Dear Humanity, I acknowledge you and everything we are

As I watch the events of the past few days emerge, there are so many words and emotions that come into my mind and that are also carried within the collective conversation. There is sadness, confusion, outrage, frustration, fear, pain, victimization, perpetration, persecution, demonstration, peace, violence, love, lack, abundance, rationalization, denial, delusion, illusion, history, future, separation, togetherness, divisiveness, identification, objectification, and on and on.

As I sit here feeling helpless, and desperately wanting to help, the best way I know to connect and uplift is through writing, so I hope that sharing this today helps in whatever way the universe sees fit. With the utmost of compassion, this is me and Beaute Nouveau standing up and speaking out against racism, oppression, and inequality. 

The very first thing I can do, and we can all do, is CONSCIOUSLY ACKNOWLEDGE THE EXISTENCE OF RACISM, OPPRESSION, AND INEQUALITY.

After completing a BA and 3 years of graduate school studying Sociology, I can definitively state that there are scientific methods that quantify and measure oppression, inequality, and racism… and its existence is NOT arguable.  Even if we want to argue that it doesn’t exist - or shouldn’t matter anymore - there are thousands of studies that PROVE its existence - and that it does matter – it creates very different life circumstances for different groups of people, which influences behaviors and opportunities. But, proof isn’t even necessary.  As a conscious human, it is palpable and it can be FELT. This is why racism, oppression, and inequality are such EMOTIONAL issues.

When things are happening in the world that are so overwhelming and I feel helpless and full of emotion, I find guidance and solace reading some of Eckhart Tolle’s work. He is most commonly known for writing The Power of Now (maybe you have heard it), and his book A New Earth is most helpful in helping to feel less-helpless and actually powerful, even if you can’t “do” anything.

I thought it might be helpful to share some of his words, so that we could most powerfully form our own words, and come together to assist in the changes we all need to bring about together. 

Are you familiar with the concepts of a “pain-body” and “collective consciousness”? Eckhart Tolle explains the pain-body as “any negative emotion that is not fully faced and seen for what it is, in the moment it arises, and that does not completely dissolve - it leaves being a remnant of pain. Each remnant of pain joins together to form an energy field that lives in every cell of your body. The pain-body is not just individual in nature. It also partakes of the pain suffered by countless humans throughout the history of humanity, which is a history of continuous tribal warfare, of enslavement, pillage, rape, torture, and other forms of violence.The pain still lives in the collective psyche of humanity and is being added to on a daily basis.”[1]

“The collective pain-body is pronounced in Jewish people, who have suffered persecution over many centuries. Not surprisingly, it is strong as well in Native Americans, whose numbers were decimated and whose culture was all but destroyed by the European settlers. In Black Americans too the collective pain-body is pronounced.Their ancestors were violently uprooted, beaten into submission, and sold into slavery. The foundation of American economic prosperity rested on the labor of four to five million Black slaves.In fact. The suffering inflicted on Native and Black Americans has not remained confined to those races, but has become part of the collective American pain-body.It is always the case that both victim and perpetrator suffer the consequences of any acts of violence, oppression, or brutality. It doesn’t really matter what proportion of your pain-body belongs to you, your nation, or race, you can only go beyond it by taking responsibility for your inner state now.”[2]

Basically, this means that we ALL, collectively, have to acknowledge deal with the pain these historical events have imprinted on our world, pain that still exists today. This pain exists in all of us and is pronounced and extremely heavy to the groups that have experienced it directly.  Acknowledging the pain, acknowledges the events - and vice versa. When we acknowledge that pain, and we acknowledge the events that caused the pain, we begin to have compassion, we begin to work together in soothing the pain, unraveling the institutions that keep it alive, and building new equitable ones, all the while becoming truly conscious of ourselves and the people we share our world with - our fellow Humans. 

We have to choose consciousness and awareness – “there is only one perpetrator of evil on the planet: human unconsciousness.”[3]

We cannot unconsciously say, those events live in the past and don’t resonate anymore. We cannot question why people are angry and demand that they shouldn’t be.

Three months ago we were #AllinthisTogether.It’s not just a rhetoric that can be used situationally. We are always in this together, in everything.

We may not have been alive during the time of overt slavery, the decimation of native tribes, or the separation of people when the borders were drawn, but that pain and those emotions still live on today and have not been faced, dealt with, begged for forgiveness, forgiven, or forgotten.  Even worse, the pains have been amplified by being dismissed and ignored through politics, institutionalization, propaganda, and covert oppression.

We have to start saying, “I understand and acknowledge that horrific events from the past have inflicted suffering and unspeakable loss on you and your families for a very long time and the effects have been devastating and have prohibited you from the peace and safety you deserve.  I am wholeheartedly sorry that you have suffered and I want to ensure I do not add to that pain. What can we do to start making that right? What can be done to take better care of you and your families? How do we build a healthy relationship with each other?” 

How do we face all of this? How do we address it and get through it? 

How do we do that? Eckhart gives us this exercise that can be applied to many situations where pain needs to be understood…Imagine a child who has had a melt-down. After the fit has subsided - talk to the child about what happened. “What was it that came over you yesterday when you wouldn’t stop screaming? Do you remember? What did it feel like? Was it a good feeling? That thing that came over you, does it have a name? No? If it had a name, what would it be called? If you could see it, what would it look like? Can you paint a picture of what it would look like? What happened to it when it went away? Did it go to sleep? Do you think it will come back?[4]

We can apply these questions, acknowledge the answers, and work through it together. “Instead of blaming the darkness, we bring in the light.”[5]

Much love, much peace, no pain. 

PS: I hope this was helpful and supported you. If it wasn't, or didn't, please just put it out of your mind. My intention was not in any way to incite anger or question religious beliefs or push a political agenda. It was only to provide one way of possibly contributing positively to those of us who are looking for a way.

[1]A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle page 141-142.

[2]A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle page 159.

[3]A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle page 160.

[4]A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle page 171.

[5]A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle page 160.

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