Sometimes I feel like we are all somewhere lost in the wilderness. When you lose the way, it can be hard to stop and wait. Waiting requires you find solace in the silence. You must come to terms with the understanding that you do not know and hand over the controls of navigation. I can’t grasp why I ever found security hiding in my blanket of shame, if only I had the strength to be transparent. I was anxious not being sure of where I was and where I was going, somehow I believed that pretending and substituting finding myself for what society presented to me as a representation of myself was going to smooth over the reality I was in.
Separating self and society is becoming increasingly difficult. As a black woman, I can feel the divide within trying not to allow the views, attitudes, and treatments of myself and my people to harden my heart. I try not to subscribe to the mentality of doing unto others as has been done unto me. I have found myself internalizing the prejudice, racism, and classism of the “majority” as though I am less than and undeserving of being viewed as human. I refuse to promote this skewed view of who I am and what I’m worth. I don’t expect anyone to understand or have compassion for the suffering of my people and those like us, I can only express on behalf of other black and brown people who are tired of the mistreatment, tired of the tears, tired of the heartbreak, tired of trying to love themselves under the pressure of self-hatred, and exhausted from the fight for the right to live. I’m not here aiming to educate on the struggles of melanated people, a simple Google search in this age of information can enlighten you. I can assure you that we are not the monsters and savages we have been made out to be. I can assure you that the mistreatment and manipulations of my people is not justified.
Sadly, there are so many who do not know that they are lost. I will never understand how the ideas were developed about my people, and believed so strongly that we would be killed. How can anyone see a living breathing being and allow color, language, and class to determine their worth? I will never understand looking in the eyes of an innocent child so full of purity and love and teaching them hate. I will never understand the levels of dehumanization that one must undergo in order to do the same to others. For all the hate I see and have experienced, I will not allow myself to adopt the same prejudice and racism. I will stand up and uphold my people in spite of how we are currently received. I cannot accept the place the world has positioned me, I am more…we are more.
Am I deeper in the wilderness or closer to the Promised Land, I’m still unsure. What I have discovered: keeping God close to me and first in all aspects remind me and keep me focused to love, to forgive, to reach outside of myself for the strength to do so and keep going another day. Only then am I able to understand the purpose of being directed through the wilderness…only then am I found.