Engage Your Pain: It's time to use our voices


You would have to be living under a rock to miss the events that transpired down in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend. 

Ben and I were in Charlottesville three weeks ago, having an incredible weekend with friends and our team just miles away from the place where white supremacists lead a nationalist rally in which, the lives of those who stood for social justice, were brutally lost and critical injuries were sustained. 

Our 32-year-old soul sister, Heather Heyer, who was known as a passionate advocate for the disenfranchised, was killed. 

It was terrifying to watch it all unfold.

And the truth is...this thing we've so clearly wanted to pretend doesn't exist, was glaring at us from every screen as far as the eye could see.

There was no way to hide from the legacy of our lifetime and the foundation upon which our country has been built while it was staring up at us from our iPhones.

I woke up on Monday morning feeling edgy, tender, angry, helpless and as the morning progressed, my neck began to stiffen.

It felt like I had actual whiplash and there was no physical injury to attribute this feeling to. 

And as an intensely sensitive being, I could feel the collective pain throbbing all around me and in our space of personal growth through light workers and leaders I look to for guidance.

And here's what I've discovered is waiting for us on the other side of these events...

An invitation for love fueled resistance like the world has never seen before.

An opportunity for white women, like me, to awaken and register to the reality of what's been happening to our brothers and sisters and their babes for as long as time exists.

An opening in to the places and spaces that our parents didn't know how to put words to...for us to, now, walk courageously through.

We are the ones who must make a decision.

We're either in or we're out.

There's no fence straddling on this one.

We're in it for the love...or we're going to continue living in fear.

And since we talk about being more committed to what's right than we are to making sure our words come out just right.

Now is the time.

And let me just be crystal clear...

This doesn't mean we're going to say it perfectly...I'm terrified that I am saying the wrong thing to you rightthisminute.

I have wanted to hit delete on this email too many times to count.

But not saying anything, not taking action the only way I know how is no longer an option.

Because pretending + pushing the uncomfortable feelings aside is what got us here.

We live in a time-space reality where speaking our truth is more accessible and acceptable than ever, ever, ever before.

We can no longer live in fear of speaking the truth, not knowing how or being too afraid to stand united because the truth of others is louder and scarier.

Because it turns out our silence is even more dangerous.

I sit here thinking about a future in this world for my white best friend + her partner and their 2 beautiful black boys...about what life is going to be like for them as they grow older, what those conversations around the dinner table are going to sound like.

I'm thinking about my daughter and the fact that she will at one point in time feel ashamed of her white privilege even though she doesn't understand why or how it happened.

And I'm thinking about my husband, a former cop, who has so much to say but has been systematically trained to not say a word who, too, is ready to speak up and be a part of this love fueled movement. 

What I know for certain is that the only way we move forward from here, knowing what *we* know now in this world we've collectively crafted...is that to speak up, to ask the questions & to lead with love in all things is the only way to get where we want to go. 

Because hate cannot eliminate hate and only love is real.

And to remember that: "Nobody is more ready to show up than anybody else. It’s just that some people show up before they’re perfect and before they’re ready."
- Sister Glennon Doyle Melton

It's time to fully engage our pain. 

As we did when we birthed our babes, said no to the thing we knew was no longer for us and walked away from what no longer served.

It's time to question every-single-thing.

It's time to see the world with new eyes and to recognize that a ripple starts small and gains momentum...but someone has to be willing to start it.

Because Nn matter what the perpetrators of hatred have to say...

Love does win. 

My family absolutely, positively denounces white supremacy and we have committed to learning, doing and loving better. 

Here are some of the ways you can join us:

(Thank you to my soul sisters Karen Kenny, Jessica Fish, Emily Ballard, Megan Hale, Layla Saad, Laura Thompson Brady, Kate Northrup and Paige Filliater for your sacred activism, work and inspiration)

1. Join this program with us: Diversity is an Asset  with Desiree Lyn AdamsEricka Hines and my dear friend Jessica Fish. It kicks-off on September 6th (my birthday) and it's something I've wanted to do since last year and now is the time. I encourage you to consider joining too

2. Read this guide: Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center

3. Soul-sisterpreneurs (and brothers): Read this powerful article by Lalya Saad - "I need to speak with spiritual white women about white supremacy (Part One)"

3. Donate:

I stand united with you with the whole hearted intention to lead with love in all that I do, not fear, even when I am scared as hell.

Pretending this isn't reality because we want to stay in "alignment" and don't want to "law of attract" any negative vibes in to our life experience is not actually helping anyone.

So maybe for today "getting involved" is just clicking "Share" on an article you read that was especially helpful.

Maybe it's going to a meeting in your community or asking questions without having to sound like you know what you're talking about.

Maybe it's understanding what white privilege really means (without shaming or guilt) and peeling back the onion on processing why WP, in and of itself, is exactly why we want to run away from this.

What an important invitation to deepen our sacred work in the world, {{firstname}}.

Whatever you decide...make it about love.

And remember that when you build a brand + business that allows you to be who you really are, you up the ante on positive change making potential in the world. 

How's that for some life-lifting ripples? 

Amber LilyestromComment