Anger. Rage. Hurt. Fear. These are all emotions that many of us have felt and are still feeling as we ponder the increasing numbers of black men being violently killed. Current technology has allowed us to repeatedly view these horrific deaths. One young black man’s name was Ahmaud Arbery. I first learned about Ahmaud’s death a couple of weeks ago (which transpired in February; unbeknownst to many). Tears stung my eyes and deep despair that I cannot adequately describe came over me.
Similar to what I was personally feeling, a client expressed her struggle with feeling a deep sadness. Her sadness stemmed from all of the heaviness she saw regarding Ahmaud’s story, along with feeling the need to actively voice her support for justice. My client stated that she “felt overwhelmed by all of the injustices affecting black people”, yet also felt the need to protect her spirit and find enough balance to continuing living. Her question then became, “should she have immediately gone to Brunswick, GA to march on behalf of Ahmaud Arbery”? Written letters? Gone to the State Capitol to protest? Many would say, yes she should have done all of these things. However, I do not believe that anyone should risk their own health and well-being. I suggested that my client take 24 hours to heal and meditate on where her voice could stand for justice in the most impactful way. Taking this time would allow her to rest and begin to heal from the racial trauma that we all have experienced when reading or hearing anything regarding Ahmaud Arbery’s murder. If writing a letter would help with this process, I suggested that she write the letter for her own healing to honor Ahmaud.
In the short amount of time between speaking with my client and writing this article, another unarmed black man, George Floyd was killed as a result of a police officer pinning his neck down to the ground in Minneapolis, MN. Immense anger, despair, and sadness have ensued again. Although I am perplexed and saddened by the amount of hatred in the world, I stand by the importance of healing.
Can we positively impact justice while we heal?
Some may say that this is not the time for healing and may argue that this is the time to fight for justice. I agree that justice must be achieved, but we must be alive and healthy to ensure that justice is served. We must remember that our bodies, minds, and spirits are affected by every emotion, experience, and thought. I implore us all to consider how we can MOST effectively impact justice. How can you use your voice? As painful as this is to write about, I commit to being used as a vessel. We all must do our part. In our own way. No matter how big or small.
AHMAUD ARBERY… GEORGE FLOYD…WE CONTINUE TO HEAL AND LIVE FOR YOU.