Everything is working in your favor. This concept went so far over my head the first time that I heard it. I could only feel my struggles and had a multitud of reasons to justify why. Even if I tried to feel it as a truth, my inner critic would scuff, as if to say ”That is not available to you. Work hard, do it yourself and deal with the hand that you have been given”. Not that I have been dealt a horrible hand. My life, while not perfect, is incredibly blessed. As a sensitive empath in a black body, I live a pretty guarded life because life can seem incredibly harsh: I have chosen a town that is diverse and I have chosen friends that can recognize that racial differences exist. I have worked through many of my own defenses to free myself from the framework that our society demands. I have done my best to live with an unarmored heart, even when I am met with disdain. And I have tried to stay open when those around me tone police, deny or downplay my experience. And, I do my work so that my emotional baggage doesn’t cloud my judgement or spill out over those around me. It is not frickin’ easy. These months in quarantine have been absolutely fine for me. I’m a natural introvert. I prefer to feel myself in my own experience instead of trying to find myself while with others. I have my weekly grocery delivery and an amazing espresso maker. I have been able to take a myriad of classes. Everything from bootcamp to meditation is available from the comfort of my own computer. I do not need to leave my home except for my daily walks with my dogs. I am relishing in my solitude and I feel like I am hearing my souls directive clearer that I ever have before. My family probably feels different about quarantine, but hey, I am good. In one of my classes, the concept of “everything working in your favor” came up again for the 100th time. I was like, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah…sure it is”. In my weekly meditation group, the theme for the month was, you guessed,… ”Everything is working in your favor”. And then I got asked to join a group for the book The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. Guess what the premise of that book is?…”Everything is working in your favor”. It is not that I did not believe this to be true. My life really is a testament to that Truth. From where I came from to where I am has been nothing short of miraculous. I can trust what I have: asking for any more feels like too much. I know you are trying to get my attention, but I have filled my quota, so move along universe. Surrender is not my favorite word. A mentor once reflected that my body had an adverse reaction to it, that softening will allow my system to open. For me, surrender feels like giving up a fight. Even when I will myself to surrender, in the deepest recessed I hold a belief that there are times and places to take a stand. I am slowly learning how to have a fierce righteous heart when needed, but not let the unending alarms of danger keep me on high alert. I do this by asking myself how and where can I soften? I believe that softening is precisely what life wants us to do. When we soften, we become pliable. We can be molded into different ways of being and seeing. We can let the small ways that life is showing us its ultimate goodness to find its way in. I had to go out yesterday for the first time in weeks. The desire to not look at holes in my walls became greater than my desire to be a hermit. To my surprise, the people in stores were in good spirits, the frenzy of an impending snow storm usually bings out the worst in people. I easily made my way to the drywall section after not needing to throw elbows to get salt for the patio. A gentleman who was also grabbing drywall items took the time to help me get the right materials. He didn’t treat me like a damsel in distress, he was genuinely willing to help me without an ounce of condescension. Then he departed wishing me well. After such a curiously good experience in my first stop, I wondered how good could I let it be? I made my way onto the freeway bound for my next stop. People let me merge easily in traffic. Not a big deal if you are in other parts of the country, but in New Jersey? This state is not known for its kindness on the roads. I arrived at a packed Target and found a parking spot 3 cars in from the front door. There were no carts, so I went back outside. A couple was lifting their last few bags into their trunk 10 feet from where I stood as I exited the building. I took the cart, planning to grab a wipe to clean it down when I got back inside. A gentleman that wasn’t there 2 min before offered to disinfect it for me and then cheerily sent me on my way. I got paper towels AND toilet paper. That has not happened since before quarantine. I needed 4 new bins to match the bins I use to organize toys in my son’s room. Though they were not available when I had tried to order them earlier in the week, they had exactly 4 of the kind that I needed on the shelf. The check out line was extremely long, but I found a sweatshirt that I love because I wasn’t solely focused on being irritated by the length of the line. And it moved faster that I thought it would. When I jumped back in the car, every song from the time the wheels started rolling until I turned into my driveway was one of my favorites. No small feat while listening to the radio. What I realized is that through softening to the goodness, more goodness flowed. I have friends that have spoke for years about life working in their favor. They recounted story after story of life showing up in such joyous, supportive and easy ways. To be honest, hearing their stories irritated the shit out of me. Mostly because I saw so much evidence to the contrary that was race related. I had pangs of desire for something that felt completely out of my grasp. Yes, racism is real, but I wanted to open myself to the possibility that DESPITE my race and people’s reactions, life could still working in my favor. I have spent the last 9 years peeling back the layers of conditioning that trapped me into a narrow scope of reality. Feeling supported by life is not an easy task when you are constantly being told in conscious and unconscious ways that life is stacked against you. Our social systems are incredibly broken, and those systems have to be dismantled, primarily by those that built them. As black people, we are only able to move the dial so much by working from the outside of a system that we weren’t meant to ever be a part of. When we begin to dismantle the systems from inside our own beings, we no longer carry the coding to even allow someone’s narrow view of us to separate us from the goodness that is here. I believe that this is how we make generational shifts.
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