To All within our beloved ACTS community,
I am unsure of where you are in this present time. I do not mean your location in Google maps, locale, nor where you reside. I am speaking of this ability to identify the location within ourselves. I often am working hard to determine my own location. What is my position on certain matters? Where do I land with my thoughts related to decision making? What are my true feelings about what has happened, is happening or will happen?
Given my life experience that has been laden with trauma and oppression, I realized that my location is often one of anticipation. I am anticipating everything. Oppression and trauma make it very difficult to rest in the present. I work very hard to stay present and it has become my practice of locating myself. This practice has been very healing for me. It brings me a sense of autonomy. The ability to recognize where I actually am versus where I want or need to be. It brings me a sense of control when I have none in other areas of my life. It also helps me to be clear and realistic about what I am able to do and not.
I think many of us are working to make sense of the things around us. Our reality is being slammed in our faces continually and set against our values and thoughts of the ideal. There is much chatter and rumbling about the anticipated reopening of our community and country. There are many demanding that their livelihood and freedom be returned to them, while others fear that a requirement to return will threaten their life or the lives of their loved ones.
There is one location in which I find myself today… simply exhausted. Not the exhaustion from working hard or having long days. It’s the emotional exhaustion and absolute depletion related to carrying, holding and being required to once again face reality. The reality that those who look like me and darker than I are seen as disposable cattle that are not worthy of the healthcare, wages and quality of life as our white counterparts.
I know that you are familiar with the plagues of our country and its’ history. The challenge is what location do we need to be in collectively in order to create change. In my community growing up I would hear, ‘things will change when you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.’ Well, I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.
As a community and a nation, we are given an opportunity right now if we will identify our location. An opportunity to create platforms for voices unheard. Opportunity to create systemic change that provides livelihood and a sustainable quality of a life for all. When I think of my heroes and role models of the past, they located and identified that it was time for revolution, and they created it! I am asking you today, “Where are you?” “What is your location?”
My faith tells me that new creations are born every minute, that old things pass away and all things become anew. This is where I desire to locate myself in this very moment of time. Letting go of the past that so easily entangles us and distracts us from the beautiful opportunity in the present and sacred humanity of our future.
Consider not just the busyness of organizing, but the productivity of impact, influence and change that is needed to bring this new creation into our present reality. I have determined that I am not comfortable with a return or just a reopening. I want more for my children, grandchildren, friends, colleagues and congregation. This is our opportunity to step into time and create anew. A revolution that catapults humanity into the places of mutuality, interdependence and where reciprocity thrive. I leave you with this amazing quote by Sonya Renee Taylor to provoke your thinking about your location.
“We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature.
These opportunities are here now:
Join us on May 14th at 7:00 pm for the Clergy Caucus Town Hall meeting
Join us at the Leadership Council Meeting on May 19th at 7:00 pm
Begin to think of who you can do a 1 on 1 with to form relationships and understand our greatest issues
I hope to see you in the coming weeks. Abundant blessings, protection and most of all, love.
In solidarity and with great expectation,
Angela M. Douglas