Updated: Mar 9, 2020
Cover art by Reyna Noriega
World changers focus on facts. When the facts are harmful, hurtful or dangerous, we tend to try and figure out solutions to obliterate the pain they cause right away. Unfortunately, we beat ourselves up when we cannot implement change right away which frustrates us even more, and then we feel worse for beating ourselves up for feeling frustrated. It's truly a vicious cycle!
I'm talking about the world changer's often present condition of feeling Bogged-Down. It's that place between mad and frustrated and it is a common symptom of conscious, world-changing visionary type women who feel stuck, unequipped and powerless.
Honestly, I used to think the verse in the book of Philippians where Paul says, "Think about whatever things are lovely, noble, pure and admirable" was a weak verse that justified avoidance, (Hey, listen I love flipping over tables in the temple Jesus, Jesus was playing not games that day okay! That's my style of justice!) but Paul was admonishing them to be intentional in spending time focusing on things that were mentally healthy and peace-giving in the midst of oppressive colonization, reconstruction, division and war that the church was experiencing during that time. It was a response to their desire for something better. Desire gives birth to hope. Hope is a sign of certain change that hasn't manifested yet. Solutions will practically implement change. When you think about solutions more than you think about the problem, those solutions become salient in your mind and begin to carry more weight. It's how you get through and it's how you stay healthy enough to make change.
Hard facts should not be dismissed, but their impact in the world shouldn't be allowed to take up the bulk of mental space in us. That should be left open for solutions right?
I know, I know, we believe the fight for social justice leaves no room for any lightheartedness. It feels like you are betraying the victimized if you are not constantly replaying the struggle in your mind, but if we constantly allow the injustice to take up more space in ourselves than our desire to change it, we become mentally, emotionally and physically bogged-down and ineffective for change.
My wish for you is to take some time today to focus on the idea that desiring to right a wrong is Holy power. Let that feeling sit with you today, and just give it permission to be beneficial to your mental and spiritual health, give it more space inside you and allow it to be enough for today.
Let knowing that you want to make a difference, heal some of the trauma brought on by the injustice.
Give yourself permission to sit with the idea that caring is a super powerful part of your identity that God will use, and be ok with not being able to solve the entire world's problems in one week.
Capitalism, slavery, harmful and abusive narratives deny women the right to just sit and be ok with not moving. We are always fiercely fixing, planning, stressing, churning, proving and running full speed. There's a place for that, but we're not meant to do that every moment, every day because that is not all we are.
So for today, just sit with the fact that you care and see it as true progress today towards your bigger goal for enacting change.
Sis, sit down. Even if it's just for today.
Art by: Jordana Alves
What specific injustice are you focusing on in this season?
How does it make you feel? specifically naming your feeling ( i.e., instead of just saying "bad"-dig a little deeper- "disappointed, betrayed, lost") is very therapeutic.
Do you focus on the injustice more than you focus on solutions?
Do you feel powerless to enact change? Why? Why not?
Do you know what steps you would take in order to enact change if you had the power and resources to do something today? be honest, "No" is not a bad answer.
Do you view your desire to make sweeping change as power?
What one practice can you implement to help you mentally shift from feeling bogged-down?
Who's in your corner? Link up with them and encourage them today as well!