Survival

This morning, I woke up enveloped in a heaviness and disconnection that I rarely feel unless in extreme cases of survival healing mode.

Across my campus, across the state, across the country, across the world; there is this fear. There is this disconnect with the reality of a violent, racist, and powerful entity who will be inaugurated into the presidency come January 20, 2017.

I woke up, eyes open, and still, I lay in bed. Right now, I am afraid to walk outside my room. To walk outside into the world because of fear, of anger, of hurt, of any kind of emotions that swirl and fester. They’re trying to dominate and fight one another.

Yet, what I feel and hear the most are the fear and the hurt.

Not just from the people around me, but the people behind me. Who in all of their tears and hurt, are trying to provide me the strength and energy to walk out that door and do what I have always done: survive.

My 2 minutes on Facebook, my messages, and my emails are filled with words of love, words of care, and words of survival.

I am being told that we, the Other; Black people, Latinx people, Muslims, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Hawaiians, LGBTQ+ people, migrants & immigrants, and Native & Indigenous peoples, have survived, and will continue to survive.

As much as I appreciate these words of encouragement and survival, it does not make the pain go away. It does not quell my ancestors’ fear.

It does not provide the time and space to heal.

Yet, at the same time, that truth to survive, hurts and spins around me.

As oppressed peoples, we have always survived, and we will have to survive for what is to come.

Right now, I just need to heal.

As I pray this morning, to the Creator, to the holy people of my land and the land I am currently on, all I feel in that moment is a disconnect, a stillness that is waiting and breathing.

They know, and I know that what each of us needs right now are an amount of strength that this world has never felt before.

There has always been that fear at the back of our minds. At the peripheral of our vision, that is silently waiting to make itself known.

As I pray, I feel this disconnection, I sense that stillness – and I know what it is. I have felt it before whenever I invite my ancestors in the room. It is a feeling of anticipation.

It is the beginning for our means of survival and fight.

And that saddens me and hurts me in a way that cuts at my spirit. I should not continue to have to survive and fight.

We should not have to continue to love and to comfort each other in times of everyday violence and fear. 

And, yet, we must somehow ensure our very existence. 

As I lay in bed, afraid to go outside my own room.

Afraid to go outside my house.

Afraid to have to walk right into that very fear and hurt that is circulating around me and is clawing at me. Tearing bits and pieces of my emotional, mental, and spiritual resilience.

I lay in bed.

At some point, I know that I must leave.

Because I have to continue to survive and fight.

If not for me.

If not for my people before me.

Then for the people after and around me.

I exist in my room with tears falling from my face. Letting all of my own hurt and fear to leave my body.

Because, right now, with all of this hurt, with all of this fear, with all of this love. The only thing I am capable of doing right now is crying and existing, connected and disconnected.

And that is alright.

My mother tells me that I need to heal myself. She tells me to pray. She knows and I know that I need to ensure my own survival.

Because, if I take care of myself today, if I listen to my mother’s words, then, I can provide the healing, the prayers, and the ability to ensure others survival tomorrow. Next week, next month, and next year.

Because with all of this hate and violence in the world against Black people, against Indigenous Peoples, against Muslims, against the Queer community, against Trans* & Gender non-binary folks, against Latinx people, against migrants & immigrants, and against anyone who has to continue & are forced to survive to this very day, I, myself, have to fight against that evil with the love, the strength, and the resilience that I inherited and gained from the very communities who continue to shower me with their love and their hopes for a day tomorrow that liberates all of us.

I write this in hopes that it is alright for each of us to allow ourselves the time and space to voice our anger, to voice our hurt, to voice our fear – to channel them and to release them.

So that, we can absorb the love, the care, and the resilience of others into our lives and into our work for liberation & peace from the everyday trauma and violence.

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