I work in environments where I experience a lot of oppression, people putting roadblocks in my way. It’s like playing chess. You have to stay focused and motivated to get the work done.
Know why you are doing the work. Know your worth and purpose. If you don’t know your purpose, one way is to think about your passion or what motivates you to get things done. I heard TD Jakes said, “your passion will lead you to your purpose.” Take your time!
Let go of judgment, comparison, and competing. If people have harmed you or you hurt someone, practice forgiving them and forgiving yourself. Set yourself free from the pain caused by shame. “This, too, shall pass.”
I created the acronym PIMPPPS because of my experience working to live as a black woman in what is called “peer” support work and experiencing pimping, people wanting me to use the language they use, or see myself how they see me. When I don’t, I get excluded often, and they just get another person they could pimp to do it.
I first thought of PIMPPPS because a white woman said that Snoop Dogg was responsible for the popularity of pimping in human trafficking. I told her that a better example would be the stolen women, men, and children from Africa, the bondage of chattel slavery, the rape and murder of tens and thousands of black women and girls. This conversation was before the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and she wasn’t able to receive what I was saying. After the murder of George Floyd and people started talking more about what was swept under the rug in everyday communication, the person let me know that they understood what I was saying now.
The person is passionate about the advocacy work in human trafficking that they do and is now curious to learn and share with others about the history of injustice inflicted on black people. I didn’t need to defend Snoop Dogg, he could do that for himself, but before the upheaval started, I felt alone in my environment speaking up about racism and asking for the light to be shined on it. I know that I had been taking care of myself to transmute the pain. Still, no one else around me was changing with me because they received support and held titles in their roles for their worth and had no desire to change. One quote that often came up for me was, if you are in a nightmare, you would be quicker to wake up than if you are having a nice dream (paraphrasing). I had turned my life situations into a nightmare, so I was curious about waking up, and whatever I learned, I felt compelled to share.
Learning from spiritual teachers, I tried not to judge, but I often thought, that’s their karma, not mine, I can’t change anyone else but myself.
But still, often, the pain-body that I identified with for a very long time thinking that was me, was provoked. I found myself reading and listen to Ram Dass, Eckhart Tolle, Don Miguel Ruiz, Iyanla Vanzant, Maya Angelo, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Michael A. Singer, Gary Zukav, and many other people. People who have been through difficulties, moved forward, and shared what they learned with the world.
PRIVILEGE (that people take for POWER in their titles & roles)
IGNORANCE (from the shame that blinds people)
MONEY (how they keep your paycheck small and promote people that look like them because the money and titles become the product of a person’s worth)
POLICIES, PROCEDURES and POLICING (what they use as excuses not to give you what you need to get the work done because of their fear that you might actually get shit done but getting things done means recognition and everyone wants to be seen and heard, and so there is the fear of not been seen and heard, fear of not enough)
SUPPORT (what they give to each other to step on your neck and as you lay dying, and shit on yourself, use your shit and turn it into gold).
No one person in a leadership role causes pain and frustration by themselves. Others have to support their behaviors why they get away with it, because they are all profiting. On the spiritual realm of it all, they are hurting themselves and causing pain to fester in this world. I think that the person who has the keys to the building that is keeping the babies locked up at the border and in detention centers has a choice of how they treat those children. Mostly we become complacent and just go with the flow. Speaking up could be hard.
It could feel lonely, but the peace of mind to rest your head to sleep at night is worth more than silver, gold, and accolades. In your solitude, learn to have gratitude.
Remember not to worry about the people who seem to not care about anyone else but themselves and who they chose to support. Learn to be grateful for the people who see each other regardless of titles, roles, or skin color and pick each other up. Learn to accept and give back the empathy and compassion that you receive and keep moving forward.
But that’s just my awareness talking. I am having this human experience, working to keep my serenity and to not have people’s foot on my neck while working to live, I play this game like chess and see the energy-suckers coming like The Matrix. You could replace energy-suckers with motherfuckers, but my theater teacher said I don’t have to curse to get my point across/thank you, Donna Sue. However, there it is! #ThisTooShallPass #AwarenessIsEverything #IAmNYMP
I went to bed last night after scrolling through social media and watching a black man getting shot in his back and learning during the day that promotion will happen in the workplace without any consideration for me to apply for the position, and this is a reoccurring situation.
I know for sure I’m just having this human experience the same as anyone else. Sometimes I connect to the pain that thinks it is real and allow it to shake my faith. This pain is of the ego’s feeling of separateness. It let me believe that I am making chess moves why racism doesn’t defeat me; however, I could see now that that is also deceiving myself, or perhaps in the words of James Baldwin, “I live in America therefore I am forced to be an optimist.” (paraphrasing)
In this song Higher created by DJ Khaled, John Legend, and the words from Nipsey Hussle that says, “I was thinking chess moves, but it was God’s grace.” It’s one of those reminders to accept the things you cannot change, courage to change the things that you can, and wisdom to know the difference. It helped me to let go of the shame and helplessness I went to bed feeling the night before. Exploiting my vulnerability by using the word “motherfucker.”
I studied The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown, who studies shame. I validated this from my experience time and time again that the cursing and the anger comes from a deep place of shame caused by helplessness. I tried to remember that my soul is not helpless, even when this human experience seems powerless. Other times embracing the vulnerability helps to remove the veil of shame that causes some of the hopeless and helpless feelings and allows the creativity and the innovation to begin flowing. So I sat back down to write some more and share what I’ve been experiencing.
It is with that awareness I woke up this morning and knew where the shame occurred. It was coming from being silent about the injustice that I face every day working to live. It is not that I am entirely silent because I have told everyone that I think that I should be asking for change to happen. I’ve joined committees, and I show up and speak the truth of what I’ve observed, but nothing changes. People get support to continue doing what they are doing in their roles because they have people backing them that is profiting from it.
I continue to practice forgiveness to move forward, and it helps my spirit, but it doesn’t solve the circumstances of equity, liberation, and inclusion. I chose forgiveness over-reporting to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) because I’ve been there and done that before. Although it ended favorably for me, it took too much of my energy. I am not a fan of lawsuits. I find it is a severe part of the problem in the world because of the lack of forgiveness that happens.
I am aware of the necessity of judges, courts, lawyers, and lawsuits because, as people, most of us are on the level of consciousness one and two that Ram Dass describes. The first primitive level of food, sex, sleep, and that’s it. He describes the second level as the socialization roles, parent, child, lawyer, doctor, manager, and so on. Level one and two people care mostly about what is happening to them and not much about others. Survival is the name of the game. So, we have the law to step in to make things right. It seems money has been the thing to make people feel right. The money I received lasted a little while, and then it is gone, and connection with the people who caused me harm is severed, and we continue the pain of separateness.
What I work towards now is connection, and this calls more for forgiveness than it does for lawsuits. But the list of things that have happened and don’t seem that they will stop while working to live are cause for alarm. I’ve seen titles made and then taken away, and people fired without explanation. I’ve seen a young black man kill himself because his creativity was misused, and his energy drained. He then needed a break, but when he asked for what he needed was dismissed. I’ve seen people beg for transparency, but secrecy and only a handful of people get to know what is happening continues to be the norm.
I went to sleep, thinking, “those motherf*ckers.” Falling asleep with such thoughts of pain, I woke up feeling vulnerable. I had to face the fact that there is nothing that I could do by myself to change such an environment. When the leadership in the country we are living in is acting out the same kinds of behavior of privilege and ignorance. It is the level of consciousness that only their interest and the people that look like them matter. It is the same in workplaces across the country, and as this leadership keeps the titles and the money that goes with it, it leaves others feeling helpless.
However, you know it is possible to move from the first and second levels of consciousness. For example, in the case of Joe Biden, losing his wife and son, the pain taught him forgiveness, empathy, and compassion. When you are a person like the current leadership who gets support with money and people not speaking up to them, they continue at the same level of consciousness and not waking up, and they have turned their dream into many other people’s nightmare.
My understanding from Ram Dass teachings looks like what former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama were talking about when they said at the Democratic National Convention that the current leadership of the free world cannot rise to the occasion to take care of all the people in the country during this pandemic or the unrest caused by social injustice. The murdering of human life due to the color of their skin needs to be taking seriously that everyone’s life, our soul depends on the injustice to stop.
Leadership needs someone that could have empathy and compassion. If you are just continuously giving everything you want, protected, and shield from the emotional pain and suffering in the world, you keep just looking out for yourself and expect everyone to look out for you too. I heard Ram Dass said, If you are not born into a family of enlightened beings, you pretty much stay at the level of consciousness that wants to eat, screw, sleep and then the next level of titles, money and socialization values in the world (paraphrasing here).
I need not curse anyone because my awareness knows of the oneness we are, and I would, therefore, curse myself. I simply need to admit; the situation calls for change to happen now and staying quiet about it doesn’t cause change to happen.
We need the injustice in the workplace to stop—the inequities of institutionalizing people to stop. We need to give access to people who are lacking basic human needs for survival. Access to accurate history lessons, where we have been, why we are where we are now, and how do we move forward with reverence for human life. Access to proper education. Access to alternatives that goes beyond the single story of moving through pain and suffering. Access to excellent health care. With access, people gain awareness and get to make informed choices and have the ability to take care of themselves with confidence and dignity.
Most importantly, we need the killing of black people to stop now for the rising of human consciousness that elevates all of our lives.
Previously Published on Mitzy Sky Blog