The State of the World: Anxiety And Fear
Some of you have probably noticed that I’ve been rather quiet on the events happening in the USA (and world) lately.
Trust me, it’s not that I don’t have an opinion. I am incredibly opinionated on virtually every topic, and racism/neo-Nazis/Trump/the state of our world is pretty high on my list of things to be opinionated about. Typically, I’d be the first person using every platform possible to share my opinion that can be summed up pretty simply:
racism/neo-Nazis/Trump/inequality/hate = BAD
love/equality/compassion = GOOD
However, there’s a reason I’ve been salient, I have a significant weakness when it comes to these subjects. And, I have to admit my weakness on this current subject.
I know many people would expect me to acknowledge my ‘white privilege’ as a weakness. As my views and my perception of world events is directly related to my experiences as a Caucasian women. As far as I’m concerned this ‘white privilege’ cannot be overlooked/ignored when talking about racism, as I don’t know racism the way others do. But, my ‘white privilege’ is actually not the weakness I want to talk about today.
Other’s would probably point out that I live in Canada and this really isn’t “my” problem or my fight. To which I’d say, that racism knows no boundary, and while it may not be as prominent here (yet), it absolutely still exists especially as we are inundated with USA produced media. Also, I’m pretty sure that at some point it will cross the border to my part of the world. In fact, I know racism is here simply by listening to people’s conversations on immigration, so it’s naïve to pretend Canada is immune to all of this. And then I’d go on to say that it’s not okay for us to sit on the sidelines and watch from afar when we know better and should be standing up together in the name of love and peace.
Which leads me to the weakness I want to talk about right now – I have been sitting on the sidelines as I’m in a state of almost crippling anxiety over it all. Honestly, I haven’t even made it through a single news article about the events of Charlottesville – heck, I haven’t even been able to read news articles about Trump policies in a few months and at one point asked my doctor if it’s possible to have a Trump induced ulcer. And truthfully, I’ve been avoiding all conversations (controversial or not) on the topic like the plague. You see, just the mention of all of this puts in me in a downward spiral – I can feel my jaw clench, my heart race, my back tense up and my stomach churn. I can feel the anxiety growing within me as a physical manifestation that could take over my body within seconds. I feel as though I’m on the verge of crippling under my fears and my anxiety.
Yet, I realize this physical response isn’t allowing me to be part of the solution. Heck, even worse, this response is putting me on the sidelines without a voice. And, maybe even worse yet, I suspect I’m not the only one who is almost paralyzed by fear. And, letting my fear win is simply not an option, not when the stakes are as great as human decency, love and equality and eventually our basic freedoms.
So, how do I overcome this? How do I start to use my voice, while acknowledging my inherit bias as a Canadian Caucasian female (with a child who is a bi-racial USA citizen), to add to this conversation in a constructive manner without a fresh wave of nausea and/or heart palpitations?
Imagine, how great the love equality voice would be if all the people consumed with fear (like me) were able to find a way to speak up? How can we all find our inner Heather, and talk the talk while walking the walk? We have to, for the future of our society, for ourselves and for our children.
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