for those of us on the ground struggling to make sense of the power dynamics and systems that are supposed to be “for the community” yet seem to not always be what we had hoped for.
one of the things that i am most grateful for right now in my life is TIME. i have/make the time to visit with amistades/fellow organizers/thinkers/movers and shakers so that my thoughts, ideas, and actions are constantly being challenged and developed by the people i trust the most to give me guidance and support.
this morning i had breakfast at simply wholesome, a restaurant and market in the south l.a. community (who knew i didn’t have to go to the westside to get healthy and veggie food!). i met with a friend of mine and discussed everything soul/heart related to on the ground work that seems so disconnected that we are left confused and in doubt.
the conversation was rich with learning and positive energy. i left my friend feeling good and ready to start my non-profit day. as soon as i turned the corner of her work driving in my borrowed car since mine is “temporarily out of service”, i saw a 30-something year old man crossing the street.
he was dressed a lil rugged; i went to his eyes to see what i could find.
there i found a deep confusion. a “what the fuck, so disappointed in my fellow humans, what’s life worth living for” type confusion. the confusion that tells us that his trauma has been left without a witness, leaving his heart in doubt and a deep sorrow.
my heart went out to him immediately and i quickly tried to center myself back in the life-giving conversation i had just had just had during breakfast. i know the importance of feeling witnessed. i think we all do. i used to text or call a friend that i just knew would “get it” and share the heaviness of my heart with her. this morning my instincts were to call her. but i had to remind myself that it was okay to have his story and my witness of his story witnessed by the conversation had that morning.
sometimes we can’t reach out as much as we want to or when we feel we need it. there are lots of reasons why the timing might not be right to recieve support from those we want it from. we may be at work, at a meeting, dis-connected from those we love, or simply have no form of communication at a moment’s time. it is those times that we need to remember other healthy ways of being our own witness and/or looking for other more creative ways of being witnessed.
more on the role of witnesses to come.