I had an experience this weekend that reminded me how much internal work I have to continue to deconstruct systems of oppression from within myself.
I had the typical set of reactions when confronted with a call-out/in: shutting down, getting defensive, falling into self-hatred/shame/guilt, intense internal grappling, and then eventually working my way into acceptance and gratitude.
The phrase I come back to in moments when I’m prompted to do better and feel like my personal worthiness is on the line is, “It’s not about me.”
Which doesn’t mean this isn’t my work, because clearly it is, but a reminder to not allow my ego to get wrapped up in all that I’ve done wrong and to instead return my focus time and time again to the harm I’ve caused and the path to doing better.
I was carrying this energy and these questions with me when I did a tarot pull this morning: How do I walk this path of deconstructing systems of oppression? Where do I turn in moments of doubt or confusion?
The Four of Pentacles is a reminder that so much of my work is in the form of equity — in relation to resources, power, influence. Despite my immense privilege, I’ve lived from a place of scarcity for most of my life, so unfortunately, this affects how I occupy social justice spaces: I enter them doubting if there’s enough love, resources, and acceptance to go around.
When I relate from this place of scarcity, the results are counter-productive at best and harmful at worst. I forget that that which I consider “mine” has come to me as a product of a corrupt and murderous system. I forget that love is not a finite resource. I forget that acceptance and accountability go hand-in-hand.
Which brings me to the reversed Four of Swords — the desire and inclination to turn inwards for answers, to contemplate and ruminate.
Processing is a necessary part of acceptance and integration, but it’s important to do so with an appropriate amount of weariness for the ego, which is fragile and never wants to be wrong.
Oftentimes the answer is much deeper, older, and wiser than our minds.
My work, in moments of confusion around causing harm, is to pause and return to that place. To trust that there is a path forward and that finding it is a matter of letting it find me.
In short, my focus is on releasing that which I have been disproportionately given by society (while also working to dismantle such systems). And to navigate from a place of trust when someone calls out my entitlement and blindness to my privilege, to trust that understanding will come, even if it takes time.
And to understand that there is a place inside me that knows better than my ego or mind ever will. A place that knows how to navigate from deep abundance and love, that will lead me to the fruitful planes of reconciliation, acceptance, and accountability if I simply move out of the way.
May I continue to learn that this path forward is not a punishment, not a reflection of my lack of personal worthiness, but an invitation to create a more beautiful, luscious, abundant, and free world. One in which, more often than not, getting out of the way and following the examples of others is both the calling and the antidote to my feelings of confusion and shame.
I am here to serve, and when I pause, listen, and check my ego, that becomes a much clearer, more harmonious path. ❤