“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
It has been a while since I have posted but I have been busy doing some amazing things. I am planning to start back writing once things settle down. This week has been rough for many reasons. I have been working nonstop since October 31st. Today, as I am leaving the office, I am totally drained from dealing with my patients, students, soldiers, and dealing with my personal feelings. Tomorrow will be my first off day since October 30th. It’s taking me a while to absorb the news coverage of our presidential election.
This week I had several patients, each of whom spent the entire session discussing their personal grief, fears, shock, and concerns about the future of our country. Each of the vets explained how they experienced racism during Vietnam, and after returning from the war. I also had several students who shared their opinions and concerns after class on Tuesday. This week several people expressed that everything has been compromised so badly, and their hearts are breaking, and crying and feels hopeless at the thought that everything we stand for, and all the people are now at risk.
I have distracted myself with my daily activities, but I can’t ignore it any further because we still have so much more work to do to regain the wholeness of our lives. I explained in detail about micro-aggressions during sessions. Micro-aggressions are intentional or unintentional brief slights that communicate derogatory messages toward individuals based solely upon their marginalized group membership. Micro-aggressions can and do occur everywhere and anywhere including work environment, group therapy, neighborhoods, public transportation, classrooms and other public spaces.
It was difficult, but I was forced to bring up and model healthy strategies to get them through this week, including focusing on what we can do to promote values that are important to us. Things you can do as an individual if you find yourself grieving during this time.
We need to continue to be politically correct which is behaving in a way that will gain you approval from others. It makes you look kind to those in power (voters, friends, family, parents, social media outlets, peers) so that they will think favorably of you. We need to focus on being inclusive to other people. Being inclusive is a mindset and commitment. Not all medicine needs to be ingested. Some are heard, some seen, and some is felt. We have to pass through where others are stuck.
To help us during these times I reminded of Maya Angelou’s words. Perhaps her words will help everyone through the healing process so that we can get ready to continue supporting our communities, fighting to maintain civil rights, dealing with everyone who is disenfranchised, poor, unemployed, as well as how we teach others how to treat people with respect and learning to accept people who are different from them.
Michael D. Gatson
Still, I Rise
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
Cause I walk like, I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high
Still, I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Digging in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak, that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.