Communities Wielding Velvet Sledgehammers for the Sake of Healing
Act without doing; work without effort.
Think of the small as large, and the few as many.
Confront the difficult while it is still easy,
Accomplish the great task by a series of small acts.
The master never reaches for the great, thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty, she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn’t cling to her own comfort, thus problems are no problem for her.
Tao Te Ching, v. 63 (trans. Stephen Mitchell)
This is part of a “border” wall. It happens to be part of the West Bank barrier in Israel. Some call it a necessary means of protection. Others call it a physical manifestation of apartheid. And while it may serve some purpose and create a temporary illusion of peace or safety, walls will never be a permanent solution.
We all build walls (or inherit them…). We have to keep certain feelings, or memories, or people out — any of those things that may cause us discomfort — that may require us to experience vulnerability — that may ask us to change. Somehow, all the effort (and pain) that goes into building walls seems easier (or safer) than stopping and giving ourselves to the difficulty or discomfort before us.
But walls — more than keeping something out — keep us stuck within. They become a barrier for our souls, trapping us in an echo-chamber of fear. To deal with the noise, we numb (with drugs, or sex, or screens, or stories about how right we are and how wrong “they” are…), or we busy ourselves with work or activities or consumerism — busy-ness that we try to convince ourselves actually matters.
Walls blind us from possibility. They inhibit us from seeing the lost pieces of ourselves that reside in the others on the “other” side. They keep us from knowing the healing beauty of the sun rising on new relationships — on new discoveries — that would help us rise above yesterday’s lies.
What walls do you need help breaking down? Is there some pain and trauma from your past that is so loud in your body it’s got you trapped? Are there -isms blocking you from seeing another’s beauty? Have you been caught up in scapegoating those ____’s too long, and you don’t want to be comfortably uncomfortable anymore?
We get to help one another break down our walls, exit our echo-chambers, reveal our blindspots, and begin removing the barriers that would keep us from healing. In order to begin the demo work, we’ll need the support of community, the wisdom of the “other”, and the simple and courageous capacity to be honest.
We get to stop and breathe, and, together, give ourselves to the work. In community, rooted in love and trust and acceptance, we get to wield velvet sledgehammers and slowly and steadily break down brick upon anxiety-laden brick.
Beautiful sunrises await.
Intertwine’s gathering “Listen To Your Blindspots: Healing thru discomfort and community” is about helping one another break down walls. February 2, 2020 (10–11:30am) at East Side Neighborhood Services (1700 2nd St NE MPLS).
We’re beginning 2020 with listening. And some of the most important listening we can do is listening for our blindspots.
We are shaped by our culture and experience to believe certain things, to act/react to situations in certain ways, and to make assumptions and generalizations about the world around us. Maybe you could think of this lens for interpreting and interacting with the world as “the water we swim in.” But this way of viewing and interacting with the world is limited, and sometimes these limitations can make the water we live in pretty stagnant (e.g., Think of all the “isms” and how inhibit healthy relationships).
Another way of thinking about our limitations of understanding and perspective is that we all have blindspots. And these blindspots, if unaddressed, can cause a lot of damage to our lives and the lives of others. It’s important for all of us to actively become aware of the blindspots at work in our lives. The good news is, when we do, we grow our capacity for understanding, empathy, healing, and being in relationship.
One of the most significant blindspots at work in the world right now is the one created by racism and white supremacy. So, for this Intertwine gathering, we’ll be joined by the Tripolino family. The “Trips” are friends of Intertwine and active community members with our sibling community, Fabric. We’ll hear from Erin about a life-transforming journey she’s been on in becoming aware of how racism and white supremacy have impacted her life and body and relationships. We’ll hear about the work she’s engaged in with community around Resmaa Menakem’s “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies.” We’ll hear about how this work of healing that she’s been up to is contributing to the healing of her family and co-workers and communities in profound and simple ways.
We’ll engage in some embodied practices. Chris will bring some of his songs for us to sing together. We’ll make room for conversations and mutual support. Meaningful fun for kids. Good coffee and breakfast snacks. And plenty of invitations to heal and grow together!