Welcome to Friday, my dear friends.
This weekend, I’d like to encourage you to do some emotional processing. As a country and as a community, we’re reeling, and many of us have jumped immediately into action. It’s important to check in with yourself, to figure out how you’re doing, how you’re feeling, and what you want to be doing right now.
I’ve posted 12 journaling/processing questions below. I think it would be really helpful to pick one or two, and sit down with a notebook, and write down some thoughts. If journaling isn’t your thing, and writing is the wrong pace/medium of thought for you, just think them through. Pose the questions to yourself, and write/think your instinctive answer, then break that down and see if it feels tenable or healthy.
– Why do the attacks on communities of color affect me? How do I feel about that?
– Who am I spending my time with? Do they have similar values to me? If not, does that hurt me?
– If I am feeling negative emotions, which specific emotions are they? Am I sad? Am I angry? Am I surprised? Am I frustrated? Whether I’m feeling one or several more specific negative emotions, why am I feeling them?
– What are the concrete steps I can take every day to fight for justice? Do they feel attainable? If not, what would it take for those steps to be attainable? Can I do it on my own, or do I need help? Who can I work with?
– Who is in my support network? Can I ask them for help when I need it? Are there ways in which I, or anyone else, can compensate for the emotional labor I ask of them?
– Where is my energy going? Where am I spending my effort and labor? Do I value those places? If not, what are ways I can reallocate energy to places I value more?
– When did I realize what was happening in this country? What tipped me off? Were there signs I ignored, or messages from my loved ones in minority groups that I didn’t want to hear? Why did that happen?
– How can I make sure to hear and prioritize the voices of people in minority groups? Where can I go to hear those voices? What can I do with those messages?
– Why do I care?
– Is my social action sustainable? If not, what steps can I take to make it sustainable?
– If I am part of minorities groups other than communities of color, what are ways I’m taking care of myself? What does it mean to be a queer/Jewish/immigrant/disabled/trans/native/Muslim/etc person in America right now?
– If I feel alone or hopeless, what are steps I can take to feel connected and hopeful?
Pick the prompts that you feel like you need, and try to spend 20-60 minutes thinking and processing.