Grief work is social justice work. There can be no lasting social justice without discussions of how we come to pain – in ourselves, in each other, and in the wider world.
I have lots to say on this topic, but today, I want you to read this piece by Layla Saad.
Here is a very short excerpt, highlighting the need to be present with your own grief and anger in order to hear and allow the grief and anger of others. If you cannot stand in the truth of your own experience, you cannot allow others to stand in theirs. The way to make this world safer, more equitable, and more just for all beings includes making space for the reality of pain:
“To the extent that we are unable to tolerate and embrace these dark aspects, we will similarly be unable to do the work of sacred activism.
If you cannot be with your own rage, then you cannot be with the rage that arises when a POC is getting frustrated with you because of your white privileged behavior.
If you cannot be with your own grief, then you cannot be with the grief that POC feel as a result of living with the constant trauma of being oppressed and discriminated against.
If you cannot be with your own power, then you cannot make space for POC exerting their power through their voice, their boundary-setting and their no bullshit truth-telling.
If you truly want to do this work then saying YES to all of the above is a non-negotiable.” – Layla Saad
Grief work is social justice work. How we come to pain matters, in ourselves and in the wider world. Head over to Layla’s website and read the essay in its entirety.
Then come on back to this post and leave a note in the comments on your own intersections of grief, justice, and cultural change. I’d love to hear from you.