“Every Storm Runs Out Of Rain” ~ Maya Angelou — Living through a global pandemic.

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I read the quote I used as the title for this blog posted on Facebook this morning. It filled me with hope as I related it to everything I’ve experienced recently in living through the COVID-19 Pandemic and an uprising in the Black Lives Matters campaign for social justice. It feels like I’ve been living through a storm of sorts. Challenges and obstacles appear to be popping up everywhere, but at the same time, it’s been an invaluable learning curve.

I think that challenges can really force us into a position where we really have to let go of the bullshit that we carry because in the face of challenges it becomes too heavy. Thoughts about our reputation, what people might think of us, and worrying about how we might be perceived seem to take a back seat when faced with real-life challenges and responsibilities.

Truth has an opportunity to come to the forefront.

“Truth never damages a cause that is just” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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When the truth of what is happening (and of what we think and feel about) is allowed to be at the forefront of what we do it makes life simpler, even in times of great difficulty.

Saying something is easy- when it actually feels hard- is worse than just admitting that it’s hard because not only do you have to deal with what you’re doing being a struggle, you now also have to try and live up to the illusion that you are finding it easy. It’s hard to do this when there are very real dangers and threats being displayed around us and so I’ve learned that it’s much easier to just be honest about the reality of what is happening and if something is hard, admitting it is hard.

Living through this pandemic is hard. It’s been the biggest real-life threat that I have had to deal with in my lifetime and I imagine for many others too. The uncertainty about how to act in times like this has been difficult- as well as assessing the conflicting information being circulated in the media.

“Wear a mask.”

“Don’t wear a mask.”

“Support a vaccine.”

“Don’t support a vaccine.”

To be caught up in the back and forth of what to do and what not to do is enough to give me a headache and so I find peace in looking to a different source of support to guide me in the decisions I make.

The natural and universal source of the energy of life.

The energy that creates and sustains everything.

The energy that supports us in ways we may not even acknowledge or recognise on a day-to-day basis.

This intuitive wisdom that has grown my body and provided it with the wisdom of how to get through difficult circumstances is what I am looking at for guidance and support. This is where I look to know how to make the best choices in trying to navigate through this situation. I imagine I will get things wrong at times, I always do, but it’s been supporting me since the dawn of my conception, so if I’m betting my money on anything, it’s that. The natural wisdom and intelligence that we all have access to within us.

I also think that this wisdom can support us in all kinds of scenarios we face within our lives. Such as the Black Lives Matter movement.

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

I had no idea that this movement would hit me so hard in forcing me to wake up to and challenge my own ignorance and insecurities around discussing race and promoting social justice.

As a mixed-race woman, I found it difficult to know where to place myself in the debate. I was raised in a town that is notoriously racist and I have experienced racial bullying throughout my life. This treatment conditioned me from a young age that I should never challenge a white person to a point where I might piss them off because I represent not only myself but my entire race. Conditioning taught me that if I make trouble for a white person then that risks me making trouble for another black person somewhere else in the world who might have to deal with the backlash of that behaviour.

I’ve found this debate and process so enlightening in helping me to see through the bullshit of my own ignorant thoughts and that I can be a whole human being in life. That I can behave in a way that might risk pissing people off without feeling like I’m burdening the entire race of black/ mixed-race people with my actions. I saw how I as an individual could live fully and in peace, as a mixed-race woman, regardless of how anyone in the world might view that. I saw that this insight is what I can offer to others in this fight for social justice.

We can live as ourselves in wholeness, in peace, and in love. Our capacity for freedom is not derived from the thoughts and opinions of ourselves and anyone around us. It is determined by our presence and existence in life which is already defined. It cannot be given to us or taken away by anyone. We can only recognise it, or fail to see it for ourselves.

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

As we wake up to our freedom as individuals we can share this understanding with others. That we are each free to live our lives in peace, love, and wholeness — regardless of our defining features- and we can stand up to injustice where we see it.

I think the quote from Maya Angelou spoke to me because it feels like we’re in a sticky part of the pandemic where everything feels uncertain. There is no real end in sight as yet and no real way of knowing how this is all going to play out.

In the darkness of that uncertainty it can be helpful to remember that even in the darkest and heaviest of storms, the rain can’t last forever.

Lots of love, Shaneen x

Everyone is free.

It’s difficult to know how deep this feeling of freedom goes until we chase it right to the bottom of our experience of being. In doing that, not only do we realise our inherent freedom, but also the freedom of every single living being on the planet – In the universe. We are all free.

Everyone is free.

It’s not something that we can even describe in words. It’s a felt knowing. A deep experience of finding the truth within your own being and then really seeing that this is a universal truth. We are free.

We are all free.

In embracing freedom it looks like having the power to make choices. It looks like feeling able to say “Yes” when you want to and “No” when you want to. It looks like taking care of your body and your loved ones. It looks like making sure that everyone is ok, as many people as you can take care of. It looks like love. It looks like love nurturing love. Peace taking care of peace. Life taking care of life.

Love is freedom. Love is that heady beautiful feeling of knowing that no matter what, everything is ok. Just fine. That we can let go of needing to control or take care of life beyond doing what we feel we need to in the moment to be ok. It looks like being who you are.

Freedom is being who you are. Unconditionally and without fear. It is finding that safe channel between you and the rest of the universe knowing that you can continually express yourself into it. Knowing it will be received, understood and acknowledged. It is clarity.

Freedom is clarity.

It’s knowing that who you are is who you were always meant to be. Dancing with the flow of life. Unhindered. Unburdened, light and free. It is expressing yourself clearly and knowing that no obstacle can get in the way of your conversation with the universe. That there will always be space for this. For communication with what is. For connection to the present. For being who you are. There is nothing that can get in the way of this. Of you being you. Of life being life and the joyous connection you feel to it.

There is lots of light in this. There is openness. There is liberation. There is seeing all there is to see and being all there is to be. There is recognising truth and seeing through the bullshit that binds us. There is knowing that no one is exempt from this feeling. There is knowing no one is exempt from this feeling.

No one is exempt from this feeling.

We are all free

Everyone is free.

Lots of love,

Shaneen x