I’ve been struggling with what to say for more than a week now; I’ve written blogs and trashed them. I’ve been feeling sad, a bit hopeless and withdrawn. I truly believe that black lives matter, and I want to be an ally – but I’m bumbling around and I’m not sure how to do it effectively. I’m wondering if it makes a difference if I say the same things that have already been said…
It’s easy for me to show up for my clients as a coach; I know what to do, feel competent and can help folks find solutions to their problems. What’s harder is for me to show up as a human being and communicate on a deep level when I feel powerless or like don’t have any value to add. I certainly don’t have any solutions for the enormous problems surrounding our society’s failure to uphold its agreements with all its people, especially Black and Brown people. (Trevor Noah and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar both said it better than I can.)
So I’ve been watching what’s happening; sometimes thinking about things and sometimes grieving; and checking on friends and clients. Some folks are feeling heartbroken, others are angry. One summed it up by saying “it’s hard being Black in America right now.” And, surprisingly, I’m also hearing that some people feel excited and inspired, believing in the possibility of real change.
I saw the same thing last week in my New Memphis Institute Embark online workshop when I asked people how they were feeling. At the beginning, they used words like “heavy” and “tired.” After talking about service-based leadership and how they might empower others as well as identifying their core values (what’s most important to them), they reported feeling “supported,” “thoughtful” and “motivated.” Me, too.
When I’m not isolated, I hear perspectives that are more hopeful than my own.
And here is the lesson for me (there is always one in every difficult situation): I need to show up. I need to listen. I need to use the one voice I have, if only to let people know that I see them and I care. I don’t have to comment on everything, but when it’s important, I have to come out of isolation and say the things that feel scary and vulnerable to me.
The thing that finally pushed me to post this imperfect blog was George Floyd’s daughter’s joy when she said “Daddy changed the world.” Gianna, he changed me, too, and so did you. Thank you for being a light in the darkness.
Thank you all for being a light, whether you are just hanging on, taking the small actions you can, or out protesting. We all make a difference in our own way. Keep showing up – and please keep showing yourself and others a little extra grace right now. We all need it.
Much love to you all.
p.s. As always, your comments are welcome on this post at https://www.facebook.com/jenfrankcoaching. You can also reach out to me at email@example.com if you need someone to listen. ❤Read More