Right Within Continued

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Now Right Within has a solidified place on this new journey of identifying what healing from workplace trauma looks like for me. This blog is a major part of that vision. Harts’ words opened my ears to my vascular surgeon, allies at work (thank you Heathers, Brookes, Hollys, Lindsays, Lizettes, Josies, YBs, Toyas, Peggys, Millis, Ericas, SBs, VGs, Zacks, Jays, Tonys), other Black women Danis, Ruths, Roxys, Jocis and soooo many others) my council of aunties, my amazing daughters, and my mom’s affirming voice lingering in my spirit to admit that racism at work had deeply damaged my mental health and I had to get a healing going. I stopped thinking it was my own fault and I started thinking that I had what it took to own my career. I decided it was time to not only make a living but make that living an actual life. I started paying more attention to this blog. I created my own consulting start-up and booked enough clients to pay bills! I thanked God for smiling on me and sending people to remind me that, in Minda’s words “success is not a solo sport.” I even got to spend a few hours with another person who was healing from trauma encountered in one of the same workplaces and say to them “what happened to you is real and I see you.” That person recently filed a complaint and started their own healing journey! Reading this book and making it part of my “vibrating higher step” of Harts’ Racial Mosaic Framework was truly a highlight of 2021 that will stay with me for a long time.

So why did I think writing this would make me sad? Well. There was this incident on a social media app. I don’t want to rehash it because I had to do a lot of therapy, relying on loved ones, and having compassion for myself to get past this incident. But a few months back I tried to share my enthusiasm for Minda’s gift with a few heroes. Black heroes. Antiracism heroes. And I was faced with yet another reality of this healing journey. Not all the people who perpetuated racist and misogynist harm in my work life have been dominant culture folk. Not all of them have been other BIPOC folk in denial. Some of them have been the wokest captains of Black empowerment in the space. The heroes (and a host of pick-mes) tried to shame my celebration. People I thought were kinfolk revealed that dreaded s at the beginning of my unknowing adoration for them and it hurt. Their words threatened to ruin an exciting last quarter of my start-up year and a fearless moment in my career. And I almost let them. Almost.

But then I remembered (come on and sing with me) “I remembered I remembered when I lot my mind. There was something so pleasant about that place. Even your emotions had an echo in so much space.” I gave myself space. I allowed myself to acknowledge that this was another moment where it would have been possible to think myself crazy. But I left the “possibly” alone and looked in that mirror again. I processed. I talked about it in therapy. I thought about sending the lead shamer my session bills but I didn’t. I decided to move on, let it go, and reclaim my space, my power. I decided to be grateful for the many many folks who called that lead aggressor out on his disgusting screen protected behavior. I wrote about it. I let my husband go all the way off about how wrong it was (my Benjamin is not easily riled; he is a forgiving and giving soul). I then watched Ben shake it off and go right back to his focus on peace. And I turned to one of the pages in Right Within on forgiveness (77 to be exact). I read the part about forgiveness making it possible for us to move freely. I made up my mind to try forgiveness even though I am certain that person will never ask for it or even remember that he did something hurtful.

It isn’t over. I still have times when I hear of a situation at my old job and I cringe. I still wish I could go back in time and say what I should have said to all the “so articulate” praisers. I still have to protect my gut when I apply for positions or bid on RFPs. I still go on social media fasts. I am still healing. My right within has no timeline. I will retool and reassess it as often as needed. Because I’m worth it. Because as you may have heard a lot in 2021 “it’s the me for me.” And that me is how I am able to also have radical care for the we. Minda Harts is every bit as talented as I said she is and more. She continues to be an inspiration to me and so many others. And I am convinced that she has a table being prepared for her the likes of which we haven’t even seen yet let alone had a seat at. May she continue to be blessed. May we all. May we have a year of more healing. May we continue to rise. May we take the healing pledge again and again. May we win. Over and over again.

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