Your writing, in part, reminded me of the ongoing struggle over comprehending the difference…

Thank you for amplifying and validating my words. You do that often. It means a lot to me.

The parts about how you screw up — I do too! Also, that’s what I was getting at when I said we must have radical acceptance if we are going to dig our way out of this mess. The acceptance must go both ways. That means we openly, honestly and respectfully discuss these things.

Impact means we will be offended sometimes. Acceptance means that the offended party gets to express that without fear and without being told their perspective is wrong because ‘intent.’ Turns are taken. We don’t move on to the perspective of the offending sender without first acknowledging the receiver’s return.

The offending sender hears their receivers words, doesn’t argue and accepts their feelings. Because it is about impact at that point.

But you’re right to call out the privilege blinder. Without recognizing our privileged window (seeing ourselves) we cannot see how we contribute to our miscommunications. Without accepting, radically, that we are looking out from a privileged window, we cannot work on positive and healthy conflict resolution that makes working together more productive and enjoyable.

The INCONGRUENCE in our culture — interpersonally and systemically — is one of our biggest hurtles. You are right to call that out as well.

People sitting on lower rungs of the privilege ladder are skilled at detecting incongruence. We know before the person behaving incongruently often knows. We are hyper aware of incongruence as a matter of survival. Like prey animals — a herd of horses will not respond well to a human walking around in the pasture full of incongruence. It freaks them out.

If we didn’t notice incongruent body language and tone overlaying ‘nice words,’ a number of bad things can happen to us — the spectrum of bad is very wide in that case — including physical harm.

People who have learned about boundaries understand the basic rule that — if the actions, words, nonverbals and tone do not align that incongruence should raise a red flag. Therefore, those in minority groups are walking around all day having that “incongruence alarm” set off almost constantly. It is heartbreaking, mind-numbing, soul crushing business to be washed of trust in this way. It is at the root of PTSD and it causes suicides, I promise.

It makes us anxious and when our anxiety is met with more anxiety instead of radical acceptance, that’s a new wound, a new incongruence alarm with which we must contend. All that just builds up and builds up because we cannot trust we will be met with radical acceptance when we try to release it. This leads to explosive defending of ourselves.

But we gave only about 150 warning kicks that didn’t land before we landed one across the face of our attacker — our warnings went unnoticed because we weren’t seen or considered.

I so appreciate the way you talk to me. How you cite the great resources you link in your writing and how you positively reflect my words while contributing to the conversation, veganelder. I really love that about you. It is your unique style, consistently loving, kind and amplify that would be so great to replicate.

You’re not the screw up you think you are by a long shot. You make me think, help take my processing to a whole new level all while honoring my words. This thing you do helps me heal.

-Cyborg 🌸