So many of us are overwhelmed and heartbroken by the pain and suffering that has erupted in our country over the past week due to the pervasive and rampant racism in our country.
Many of us have wanted to say something, do something, be something different to make it stop. We want to fix it.
But at this moment there are no perfect words, hashtags, or pictures that can fix it. This leaves us feeling helpless. We do nothing because we’re worried about doing the wrong thing.
If you’re unsure where to start, I want to share with you an impactful action you can take right now: Allow yourself to FEEL your feelings while holding space for others who are suffering to do the same.
When we are in a rush to fix something, this often means we are not giving ourselves the time and space to feel our feelings, which ultimately perpetuates the problem. We know there is a problem, and we’re frantically looking for ways to fix it, but we don’t take the time to educate ourselves, we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to have deep conversations with people on both sides of the issue, and we don’t tune in to our own wisdom or intuition for guidance.
When you allow yourself to feel your emotions, you come to deeper realizations about yourself and how you may have consciously or unconsciously contributed to the problem.
We all have blind spots, but if we are not willing to pause and feel our feelings, we are at risk of missing very meaningful revelations.
Have you ever been in a fight with someone where your feelings got hurt, and all you really wanted was for them to see you, and acknowledge your suffering, your pain, and upset? Knowing you’re hurt, the other person wants to rush into making you feel better – or fixing it – and it just upsets you even more. You want your pain and suffering acknowledged. You want to feel understood. You want to feel, period.
It is imperative that we take the time to feel our own feelings while we hold space for others to express how they feel, which will allow us to have powerful conversations about possible next steps.
How long can you sit with someone who is really upset?
This is a skill that I have been working on for many years. Many of us cannot stand the discomfort of being with someone who is angry, hurt, or heartbroken, but this my friends IS what we need to do right now. We have had the luxury of comfort and silence for far too long. Our black friends and family are hurting and we need to hold the space for them to express themselves.
You may want to run away, hide, or end the discussion because it’s uncomfortable, but we have to be willing to feel this discomfort in order to see some change. It doesn’t feel good to have someone yell at you, or to point out something you have done wrong or not enough of, but we have to hold the space anyway. Remember, growth is never comfortable, and change is seldom easy. The reality is, we have to do it anyway to stop this senseless violence against black Americans.
People want to be seen and heard when they are in pain. It is our job to listen, learn, and above all, be an ally in this fight against racism.
Start by listening to yourself, processing your feelings, and taking care of yourself in whatever way makes it possible for you to make space for others who are hurting. Hold the space for them, be there for them, and I trust that the next action steps will be revealed along with a ripple of love in the world we so desperately need.
We are stronger together, but we must come together in order to leverage that strength.
If you need any emotional support surrounding this, please send me an email so we can talk. I’m here for you. My gift is helping others with their emotions, and I am committed to taking care of mine while holding space for yours. I promise to provide you with a safe space to feel your own feelings so you can hold space for others that need it most right now.
In the coming days, I’ll be hosting a FREE live coaching call with my coach and friend, Sherina Hill, where we will follow up on this with an honest and raw conversation about what we can do to be better. Keep an eye out on my social channels and in your inbox for the details. You don’t want to miss this, and right now – we all need it!
Let’s rise together my friends.
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.