I won’t pretend I know what to say.
I’ve been thinking all week about how to address the recent events that have unfolded in the United States. I was going to say that it’s a sensitive subject to broach, but truthfully, it’s not. It’s pretty black and white.
You’re probably getting a similar e-mail from everyone you’re subscribed to. And rightfully so, because this is a time that we all need to own up to. This isn’t something one group of people can fix, it requires ALL of us to show up, speak up, and ask for much-needed change.
Like most of the world, I stand in solidarity with the black lives matter movement. My heart breaks for each person and family member that has to endure unfair systematic treatment simply due to the color of their skin. I lay awake at night thinking about all the tragedies that have recently unfolded, lives lost for no reason whatsoever.
I’m listening, reading, and trying to understand how I as an individual can contribute to the cause. And not just as an individual, but as a white woman. I’m keenly aware of the privilege I have and how lucky I’ve been to not face any such hardship due to my race.
I know it’s in my power, especially as a mother, to make damn sure I raise kids that fight for justice and that are kind to everyone they meet. It’s a job I take very seriously, and lessons I’m already imparting.
But there’s another part of me that needs to step it up. The introvert in me.
Because, see, my whole life I’ve avoided conflict. I’ve avoided uncomfortable conversations because I didn’t want to upset anybody. For fear, they wouldn’t like me. Gasp. How dare I speak my truth and opinions? I instead allowed others’ truths and opinions to rule over mine. Even when those were clearly damaging to the well-being of society. All because I was personally afraid of someone confronting me..
These past few weeks, I paused, reflected, and came to the conclusion that I can no longer hold my silence in order to avoid conflict.
This is something I’ve aspired to for an entire decade. This is the last remaining piece of my personality that I’ve been wanting to work on in order to truly grow into who I want to be.
And I’m not talking about walking around and aggressively throw punches when I disagree with someone. It means being confident enough in myself to not only say what I think but to feel empowered to walk away from someone that I believe has the wrong values.
I’m sure you have people like that in your life as well. But if we are to make a positive change in this world, we need to join the fight, regardless of how uncomfortable it makes us.
You don’t have to march in order to join the fight.
You simply need to be more aware of your space in the world and your responsibility to create a welcoming space for everyone else. That’s in our power. And as introverts, we have a way with words unlike anyone else. We just need to learn how to properly speak them at the right moment in time.
This is why, for the next couple of newsletters, I want to address the topic of conflict, and how introverts can learn to live in peace with it.
Because while uncomfortable, conflict creates the change we all seek.
Again, I won’t pretend I know what to say. What I do know, is that I’m here, doing what I can to help reduce social injustice. And it starts with me finally speaking my mind when I see or hear something that jolts my bones.
I hope you’ll join me, in whichever way you can.