How we make ourselves better.

Erin Kay Anderson
6 min readOct 8, 2019

#TruthTuesday #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

#TrueWellness #Wellness #Yoga #SameTree

“If we start being honest about our pain, our anger, & our shortcomings instead of pretending they don’t exist, then maybe we’ll leave the world a better place than we found it.” — Russell Wilson

It’s mental health awareness month & we are encouraging everyone to start talking. We’ve been having some pretty deep discussions as of late. That of familial trauma, historical & present day. How it shows up in our bodies, how we pass it down in blood line & daily (in)action, in language & the sentiment attached to the existence of a phrase, a coupling of words.

Acknowledging that I am white. I’m going to address how the concept of “White Supremacy” has manifested our greatest fear — that in our current human state, we as white people are not as powerful or gifted as black people, that we are less than.

The outright and silent violence that is written on the hands of white people and in the bloodied soil of this earth due to our ancestors’ outright violence against Black & Indigenous Families coupled with our inability to atone & take responsibility is the reason for the current state of our individual mental health & the overall health and wellness of our nation.

The memories of terror, destruction and death have been coded and upheld in our dna. The blood of these families has been absorbed by the trees and has been processed into the money that passes through our hands and hoarded in our bank accounts.

Our inability to assume responsibility for our ancestors action plays into the the darkest places of ourselves. Our greed & fear has festered causing disease in our bodies and communities. We see it in mass shootings, suicide, cancer, auto immune disease, addiction and the list goes on.

I had a conversation with a friend this past week, when I needed to make the statement aloud and to myself that black people are better than white people. The first time I said it, it was almost a whisper. The second time, I said it was aloud and with acknowledgement black folks are better than white folks — that black people are better than me.

Did it hurt to say? Hell, yeah it did.

Do I feel better upon saying it & writing about it now? Yes, I do.

Why is this so, that Black people are better than white people?

As stated by my Black friend,

“It’s because we have had to be.”

It’s blatant reality- The logic of biology aka science & what we inherit from our ancestors.

Black people have needed to be better in order to survive & not be killed by white people. For generations in creativity, sports, song, intuitive design, sex — Black people have had to run faster, train harder, work smarter, sing louder, & remain nonviolent as a collective people in order to survive & to continue to set the more godly example of how humanity should operate. The manifestation of the work that folks have put into their bodies & voice — the history of their hands have been passed down from generation to generation; built upon & improved, yielding a group of people who can out perform, think, & work better than the vast white majority.

It’s important to remind ourselves that in our language there is not the term “Black Supremacy.” The statement Black Power, yes, because black folks have needed to reclaim language in order to take back a power space, to uplift people, in order to continue to survive & thrive.

We ask ourselves, why Black Supremacy is not a thing, why the counter to “White Supremacy” was not Black Supremacy.

Answer: Because Black people know you don’t fight Fire with Fire or at least not a full on blaze; however you do need to put a little water on the fire at the roots in order to create steam so it burns just enough to give a little taste , to change the temperature of the air— to invoke emotion — so white folks can feel it in our bodies. To feel the aire (error) of our ways.

The only way to help people develop empathy is through emotional understanding. How we feel it in our physical bodies is a direct correlation to our humanity & must be followed by communic(action) around the issue at hand.

The statement White Power came as the counter because some white folks could not stand the thought of Black people having or being empowered.

But let us remember the opposite of love is not hate, it is fear.

If there is one thing that white people know by our own hands, the hands of our parents grandparents & greats whose memories live on the spectrum of dormant or active space in our own bodies is that of war, violence & rage. We know how we would react if we & our families were caged, chained, tortured, raped, drowned, separated, and killed — we would react with the premise of an eye for an eye.

Our fear as white people is that we will be met with the same violence that we have given. That we will be left with nothing and that our feelings of self worth which are often rooted in money will be taken from us or worse — that we will lose our lives & families in the process.

But what I know of Black people and Black culture is the power of their love. The level of godliness that lives in their hearts & carried in their spirit. That they believe so much in the beauty of humanity and life that is in all of us, that they will nurse our children at their breast understanding that in order for us to be well we must all be well, while also knowing that these same babes will fall victim to the same hate rhetoric that will continue to oppress them & us as people. But they do it, just the same.

We as white people will never know the depths of the trauma and terror that has happened to Black People. Some white folks bock at reparations, shout out terms of ‘reversed racism,’ try to find ways to coddle white folks so we can all feel good about giving back, all while never truly apologizing or understanding the pain of whip on our back just for being black.

How do we change?

  • We strive to be a better version of ourselves each and every day, that we “do the right thing” rather than the. “white thing” more than our ancestors.
  • We assume responsibility & atonement for a false supremacy & privilege — one that was never given by god but rather made up to stroke our own ego to “shelter” us & our insecurities.
  • We better ourselves — we too work better, smarter, faster, harder. We face everything & avoid nothing in order to pull out the weeds that suffocate and fester.
  • We admit that some cultures of people are better than us based upon the history that has been coded into our dna.

We understand that if we do not do these things, we White people will become extinct. We will not be strong enough, smart enough, fast enough, creative enough to survive.

I’m saying this because I love Love aka God. I love all God’s people — ever race, gender, age, creed, regardless of good or bad deed. I love this land. I love that all America was written to stand for & and I want us to build together. But we cannot do this by not acknowledging our short comings, by not not correcting what our great & grandparents did. We gotta process this. We gotta get better. We must get to a collective consciousness — true wellness

& when that day comes we can all live and thrive as true equals in the light of love and the grace of peace. Remember that we are all interconnected, all of the #SameTree of Humanity.

Namaste.

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Erin Kay Anderson

Woman + Human + Yogi (200 YTT) MA intercultural youth & family development BA Sociology & History Novice in this study of “life”