Emotions actually make you feel a lot of things. Like the song says, it will make you cry, fall in love, and be sad all at the same damn time. Before I get into it, I would like to take a quick second and formally introduce myself and usher you into what you can expect from this six week series. I am a social worker and as such, I look at the world through a certain lens that may not always be understood by greater society. It is my belief that when you know better, you do better and are able to make better informed choices.
So many of us came into 2020 with a clear vision in hopes of achieving our goals, overcoming obstacles, and knocking things out of the park. Many were even hopeful of the possibility of getting the occupant at 1600 evicted this upcoming November. As we see, at best that so-called 20/20 vision is blurry at best. Clearly 2020 had other plans in mind. It’s no wonder our emotions are all over the friggin place.
With that being said, in order to get the full benefit of this series, getting in touch with our emotions is actually required. I know I’m asking a lot, but I say this because the deeper I go into these posts, we may need to disengage from these very emotions and feelings that give way to behaviors that limit us and unfortunately blind us; leading us astray. Hell that’s partially how we got stuck with the occupant in 1600 – well, that and those damn kitten heels Hillary wore- nevertheless, we must maintain focus. So, before we delve deep into this series, I invite you to bring ALL your emotions to the forefront. While you read this post, allow yourself to feel all of those emotions and feelings to wash over you as we make a collective attempt to digest this thing called race and behavior in America. Black people in America have struggled for generations and have in many ways attempted to reconcile ourselves to the traumatic existence we’ve had in this country.
Now, most of us understand that life is all about relationships, even the ones we have with our enemies. But, right about now, how we are relating to ourselves and one another is all over the grid and TBH, we are in a very dangerous place. We are hella triggered as a community right now which is why I feel it’s only appropriate that the first post pays homage to our collective grief. Physically, mentally, and emotionally I know that we are hurting. Our emotions are raw. Breonna Taylor, #sayhername. George Floyd, yet another black man that could not breathe. Ahmaud Arbery chased down and killed like prey; and this has all occurred within the span of this year. All this loss and re-traumatization on the brink of an election that is surely to be one of the most contentious to date has many on the edge of their seats. I know, I’m sending you a virtual hug as I write this. We all know that nothing stirs emotions among us like religion, politics, #44, who brought what to the cookout, and of course issues of race. Because of our traumatic history with race in this country, we often take our suppressed feelings and emotions into the ballot box and cast our votes accordingly. IMO, Emotional voting, doesn’t serve us well. Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t exercise our vote at all due to the many lies, betrayal, and offenses that have been committed against us. Yet, this is still a pivotal year and ever-changing; which is why voting is non-negotiable in November.
In the classic R&B ballad, Emotions, Dino talks about a bunch of firsts that made him aware of both his humanness and the ever evolving intensity of emotions and how certain things can stir up feelings of love, pride and other feelings. Sounds similar to our experience in America, except our emotions, are seemingly on this endless cycle of repeat. Unlike Dino, G.I. & Shazam, we aren’t coming into our own and discovering new relationships. America is a monster that we have lived with and know all too well. We’ve been in this relationship with America for quite some time – a little over 400 years- and it’s been quite toxic to say the least. Slavery was our original suitor and once we were released from that unfair courtship; we were left with the scars that had been etched in our hearts and minds passed down from generation to generation in the form of historical trauma. Think back to the first encounter you had with race. How it made you feel? How did you react in that moment? Or when you realized that you were different and your presence was a perceived threat. Have you allowed the events of today to throw you into a state of fear and hopelessness?
Our existence in this country is all about emotions, which is why today’s post is the pre-cursor to the pre-cursor. I didn’t want to jump right into triggering topics without first acknowledging where we all are because I’m feeling that way too. I really just wanted to take the time to feel; no desensitization here. No matter where you find yourself on the spectrum, what you’re feeling, how you’re feeling, and even how you are processing these emotions are valid. Sit with the weight of your thoughts and emotions. Consider how to move forward both individually and as a community? Again, if you feel numb and just can’t seem to come up with nothing, that’s okay. Shit is heavy right now.
Feeling hopeless and scared; like we are at the mercy of this corrupt system is overwhelming to say the least. But, despite everything, I urge you to take this time – until the next post, of course – and sift through your emotions, so when you come back you will be in a better place and space to digest the next post and dope song to add to your playlist. Besides, if we don’t get our emotions in check, someone else will.