It is not easy being a human right now.
Turn one way – BAM! A new terrorist attack on innocent civilians. Turn another way – BAM! People of color being targeted and terrorized on our streets by those sworn to protect them. Turn yet again – BAM! Your own privilege (or lack of privilege) slaps you in the face. Why do I deserve to be safe, why do I deserve health insurance, why do I deserve to enjoy my life when others are suffering? Or, the flip side—why shouldn’t I have more security, safety, community, acceptance, love? Why do I have to live in fear or lacking basic security?
The layer of motherhood intensifies these thoughts and feelings.
Many of us put ourselves in the shoes of the mothers in these war zones, terrorist attacks, crimes of racism and hatred, and tune into what it would be like to have our children in harm’s way. Many of us know we would lay down our own lives for the lives of our children if necessary. Knowing there are women doing just that around the world is heartbreak of Everest proportions.
Honest Mamas believes that we are all family.
During these times of violence and turmoil, we want to state that we stand with our mamas of color as allies and advocates. We stand with mothers around the world who have no options. We stand with mothers who want their kids to be safe and sound. We stand with mothers who have lost sons and daughters in war zones and to other forms of terror like the attacks in Nice, Turkey, Paris, Baghdad and Orlando (among others).
We see you. We love you. And our hearts are with you.
We grieve with you.
So what can we do?
First, we feel. We allow ourselves to feel into our fears, terror and longing to make things better. We cry, we scream, we collapse. Deep knowing born of feeling sustains our commitments and our ability to care for ourselves while caring for others.
Then, we think. We think about what we can do in our own communities. We make space for thoughts of why and how. We look at our own lives for ways we have internalized the very types of consciousness we grieve over. Where are we small? Where do we have hate? Where is our own racism at play? Where do we struggle to accept or acknowledge other ways of thinking or being?
Next, we get honest with ourselves and others by taking the risk of making our voices heard in the face of disagreement, misunderstanding…and hatred.
And we take action…we reach out. We change. We extend goodness. We teach our children. We help generate hope.
Hope that this is not a dawning age of hate and terror but a dawning of an Age of Awareness—a time when we are really seeing the hurt and injustice driving the suffering of all people, something that has existed for thousands of years. A time when we join together in our shared wish for acceptance and safety for our children. A time when we come to terms with our own part in what is not working. A time when we understand collectively what is happening and take hard but caring steps toward understanding, alleviating, repairing and making amends for injustice.
We believe that slowly, with whole-hearted commitment, we can and will grow as a human family.
To all the hearts that are hurting today, tomorrow and yesterday—you are not alone.
Claire R. Colaço, LMFT, is a mother of two, a practicing psychotherapist, and the co-founder of Honest Mamas.
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