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— You Must Give Yourself Permission

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You Must Give Yourself Permission

Mariel Witmond
Mariel Witmond

04 June, 2020

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You Must Give Yourself Permission.

To speak up. To be seen. To be human. To get it wrong. To learn. To own your mistakes. To take a stand.

I haven’t honestly known how to respond or what to say. As I allow myself to process the many emotions I have been feeling (deep sadness, fear, guilt, shame, not enough-ness) I’ve also used this time to educate myself, to listen to the voices of people I admire, to better understand the role I inadvertently play. My staying quiet is part of the problem.

I’ve been scared of saying or doing the wrong thing. Of getting something so important wrong. I’ve been more concerned about how my speaking up will be interpreted that I’ve lost the plot. When events this important happen, we must give ourselves permission to say things that aren’t fully fleshed out or perfect, but take advantage to be a part of the change we want to see in the world before the moment passes.
We need to go deep into these conversations. We need to be ok with getting it wrong to understand how we have been getting it wrong our entire lives.

What happened last week is not new. How do we make sure the impact this time is different? Is lasting?

Being uncomfortable is actually a good thing - it can open up doors to important conversations and even though they bring up awful truths that are easier not to talk about sometimes, they NEED to be talked about. It takes courage to speak up, to stand up, to be uncomfortable, to be honest with where you have failed. We need to embrace vulnerability. Doing this is the only way I see things changing long term.

I have struggled with some responses that in being so aggressive have merely caused people to remain quiet or react aggressively in return, but I have also realized that I need to make space for people who get upset, because they have been upset for a long time. This is bringing up a lot in all of us. All I can keep asking myself is what can I do to help?

Intent is everything. People may disagree with me or my approach but I firmly believe that all positive contributions are welcome. We need to get the conversation started, and to keep the conversation happening until change happens, and happens for good.

In the words of Tara Mohr: "I believe that for those of us who want to be allies and accomplices – and that includes me – this cannot be a mood, a trend, or a phase that gets our temporary attention...that every human being is unspeakably valuable, unspeakably sacred; that every human being deserves a life that reflects that sacredness – a life in which they are met with care, respect, opportunity, and justice. That means we have a holy responsibility to fight against the oppression, dehumanization, and racism – including within ourselves – that denies that sacredness."

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