I grew up in a predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhood. We were poor, but I didn’t really understand that until I was older. My home life was violent. My dad was an alcoholic. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde I called him. When he was sober, he was charming, funny and I loved him. When he drank, he became evil. So evil that I lived in terror of what he might do while in the throes of his alcoholic addiction. My mom had to become superwoman. She worked multiple jobs to keep food on the table. She kept us busy with games and books—the library was my sanctuary—and kept us out of harm’s way.
There were gangs and violence in the streets, but we were sheltered from that as much as possible.
My mom was a fighter. She was also a teacher—a damn good one, judging by the love her students had for her. My mom wanted us to have an opportunity for a better life, so we didn’t go to school in our neighborhood where gangs and teenage pregnancies were the norm. We were bussed out to predominantly white schools. I don’t remember very many black children, other than my sisters and I, at those schools. It was difficult to fit in, to say the least. But I tried. And my white friends became people I could never invite to my home—we lived in the poor part of town, the scary part, where white folks never set foot.
I recognize now how strange my life was. I never felt truly comfortable in my world, the black community, or the adopted, white one. I learned to navigate. I was bright, with a high IQ. I was the sweet girl all of my (white) friends’ moms loved. “Tracy doesn’t get into trouble. Tracy is so sweet and quiet. Why can’t all of your friends be like Tracy?”
I married a white man. Still bridging that divide. I won’t say my mom wasn’t concerned, she was, and, although I didn’t understand her dismay at the time, (what 20 year old would?), rightly so. I had no idea the hatred that would be hurled at me for daring to marry a white man and live in a white neighborhood. My mom knew, though, and wanted to shelter me from it. But I became very good at pretending.
I pretended everything was fine. I pretended that the glances and snickers and outright name calling didn’t bother me. I pretended I didn’t hear people that I loved and that professed to be my friends call someone a “nigger” behind my back, when they thought I wasn’t in earshot. One friend, when I challenged her on it said, “Not you! I don’t mean you, you’re not like that!”, she said, as if that made calling someone else a nigger okay. This confused me because the stranger had done nothing wrong, except for being born a color that was unacceptable to white folks. Did that make it okay to hate? Did that make it okay to belittle and menace innocent people? Not in my eyes. I continued to pretend I was okay after a gang of white youths chased me home, as I returned home from working very late at the office one night, although I managed to give them the slip, thank God. I pretended it didn’t matter when, looking for apartments, my husband was told they were available for rent, only to be told later it was a mistake, the apartment was taken, once I showed up with my brown face. I pretended I was okay after a car full of jeering, angry white guys threw open cans of beer at me as they drove past yelling “nigger” while I walked down the street to see my allergist, in a particularly expensive part of town. And, to this day, I’m still pretending: I pretend I don’t feel fear when I go to an event and I’m the only brown face in a sea of white. And I pretend the subtle ways I experience discrimination in my daily life, at the supermarket, at restaurants, on the subway, etc., don’t matter.
But they do. They do matter.
When a member of my family became gravely ill recently, all of that suppressed denial and rage came up. I tried my best to squash it—it’s really fucking painful to look at that, to feel it, to acknowledge it. I felt like I could cry for 20 years and not be done. I was tired of turning the other cheek. Tired of being forgiving. Tired of being considerate of other (white) people’s feelings over my own, and tired of standing up for myself only to be labeled as the “angry black woman,” no matter how reasonable and calm my demeanor and words. I grew weary of asking God to take away my rage. I have every right to be enraged at the treatment I’ve experienced at the hands of white people.
Asking God to remove it was not the answer because the rage isn’t a burden, although I spent most of my life believing it was. I tried everything and worked with enough healers to know that it should have disappeared by now, but it wouldn’t budge. And now I see, only too clearly, that this level of rage isn’t mine alone. It belongs to my ancestors, generations of women (and men) who were enslaved, terrorized, brutally beaten, raped, murdered and treated as less than human, all because of the color of our skin. And who continue to be discriminated against and marginalized, though in far more cunning and insidious ways, permeating the very consciousness of white america and humanity at large.
When I realized someone I dearly love could die—the panic, helplessness and sorrow tore the lid off my denial. And with the help of the Divine Mother/Shakti, the Dark Goddesses and of course, my soul, I allowed myself to be present to this deep, soul wound I had ignored for far too long. No matter how painful. No matter how deep the abyss. No matter how frightening my rage in its intensity, I welcomed her voice, her compassion, her wisdom, her fire and her love.
I needed a break, time alone, and so decided to go on hiatus for two months. This was a well that had yet to run dry and I knew I must see it through. I put my business on hold. Truth be told, my business never truly felt “comfortable” to me, all things considered. I was always adjusting. Tweaking. Starting over. Because I was avoiding the very thing my business was created to bring to light and heal. The words, “You’ll attract crazies”, “That’s financial suicide” reverberated through my mind like a metronome, day after day after day: tick, tick, tick. Yet again, continuing to bridge the divide. Until I read an article a few days ago that brought the festering, smoldering maelstrom of emotion to a head. It was an article written by a woman I don’t know and had never heard of. I will link it at the bottom of this message. She said the things I’ve thought, but have never had the courage to say out loud.
I’m sure you can understand why I chose a different path. The path I was born to travel felt heavy, burdensome. I didn’t want it. I thought, haven’t I suffered enough? Violence. Abuse. Addiction. When do I get to grab that brass ring, God? When do I get to relax and enjoy what I’ve worked so hard for?
But as I wept oceans of tears, I remembered what a coach once told me, “God doesn’t call the qualified, Tracy. God qualifies, the called.”
What is clearly evident to me is that the superficial aspects of my business are being burned away. Turned to ash, to make way for deeper truths, radical healing, liberation and, above all, paving the way for me to go to those places most will not: the dark underbelly of humanity, where racism, white supremacy, patriarchy, sex trafficking, animal abuse/torture and all manner of horrors reside. These atrocities haunt me and I feel compelled to do something about it. These issues, the people that promote and profit from them, the underlying cause of this moral decay must be rooted out. It must be brought into the light. And it must be healed for the betterment of humanity.
These nudges I’ve received over the past 2 years—no, more like a kick in the ass—are an indication that I have betrayed myself. I have betrayed not just my mission, but the very reason for my existence: the restoration of Sacred Feminine energies on this planet.This is the key to dissolving the domineering, power mad and violent construct that we have accepted as “just how life is.” I have allowed fear to keep me from following my soul’s calling and that does not sit well with me. And I will no longer be the bottleneck in my own inner revolution. There is too much at stake.
I’ll be real with you. In this moment, I don’t fully know what that looks like. The manual doesn’t exist. But what I do know is that it is time for me to embrace bold and courageous action and activism, not from hate or fear, but from the primordial energies of the Sacred Feminine: Fierce. Wild. Bold. Loving.
Today, I declare that I am ready to live brave, stand firm and embody my truth.
No matter what.
P.S., I may do a call on this at the end of the month. I’ll let you know in the next week or two so that you can join me.
P.P.S., Where I am going is not for the faint of heart. I am only interested in real, honest discourse and connection. It will get messy. It may look ugly. As long as we lead with love, we can bring truth into the light of day. However, If it isn’t for you, Unsubscribe at the bottom of this email.