I was nervous reading Glennon Doyle’s Untamed, knowing how powerful and life-changing her experiences have been, and fully aware that once I have seen the truth, I cannot unsee it. I was afraid that my nice, comfortable life could get turned upside down once she held a mirror up to it.
But, Glennon’s words didn’t need to do that, because life itself decided to shake things up – from lockdown to black lives needing to matter more than ever, from a global pandemic to global protests, the world has been far from “normal” over the last few weeks & months.
So today, when I ran freely on my morning run, energised and alive, I realised I had been tamed before – I had been help captive – not by my job or my relationship or any other traditional, potential indicator of constraint, but by my fear of being different.
My fear of not being white had held me back.
My fear of my non-whiteness being revealed constrained my voice.
My fear of confrontation, aggression, judgement and shame, kept me silent.
But not any more.
Black lives matter.
Not a political position.
Not a debatable issue.
Simply a statement of fact.
Racism is horrific. And it is paralysing, shaming and distracting. It invites judgement and discrimination. Separateness and otherness. Injustice and inequality. It excuses the most cruel crimes and inhumane acts. We allow it to continue because it isn’t happening to us, because we believe we are immune to suffering of that nature, protected by…? Our wealth, our geographical location, and maybe the colour of our skin?
So we stay silent. To protect ourselves.
We allow children to remain in cages, while we stay caged ourselves.
We allow desperate human beings to drown in overcrowded lifeboats, while we drown ourselves in our denial and disconnection.
We allow racism to fester in so many ways in our society that we struggle to even recognise it, let alone accept it, because we are part of it.
We choose not to be.
We give ourselves permission to set ourselves free.
We stop holding ourselves back for fear of being judged, fear of being different.
We allow ourselves to live our lives however we want to live them.
All of us.
Finally feeling free.