I was going to write something else this week, something that had nothing to do with anger.
Maybe even finish a few lingering book reviews and have a little bit of a palate cleanser after the last few weeks’ writings.
But here were are, again. With the news of shadowy figures making decisions about my body and many other bodies.
I want to scream. I have screamed.
I know I’m not alone.
Moving with Uncertainty
For me, anger has always been scary and a sign that things could go wrong. That I could be left alone, that I could be disliked, or (the horror) given feedback about how I could make a relationship better.
I’ve grown, thank goodness.
But my body is also wired for protection and survival.
The unsurprising news of another attempt to dismantle Roe vs. Wade is complicated. And it’s personal. It’s woven into the story of my life, the story of many of my friend’s lives, and it is the potential start of a chain of rights being stripped away from many more groups. It is not just one group’s issue.
It’s all of our issue.
Even if you can’t get pregnant. Even if you don’t want to get pregnant. Even if you don’t want an abortion or would not choose to have one.
The fall of one tenuous right leads to the downside of all of our rights.
And even if you don’t believe it would happen to you, a lot of others thought that same thing.
Sitting and Acting with Anger
In sitting and listening to voices during my life, there is one thing that I know to be true: there is no ‘best’ strategy outside of this: coming together. Working collaboratively. Working to support and sustain each other where we are so that no one person or group is responsible for everything.
So no one burns out too quickly. Leaves too early in a fight that is many tenacled and certain to last longer than we think.
I want to offer a few things to resource yourself for the long haul.
- Find out what’s already happening at the local level and ask how you can support.
- Find out how you can support online groups that are already doing the work.
- Focus on what is sustainable for you.
- Take time to rest, but come back.
One of the toughest things I’ve navigated in the necessary unlearning of colonizer thinking is how I was taught that I needed to care for myself first before I could care for others.
Even that description calls out the flaw: others. In that action, I am ‘othering’ as though I am not a part of the collective. As though there is a part that is ‘other’ than me.
Instead, I invite the possibility that even the smallest things you CAN do are things that offer support. I am not interested in shaming people for not meeting some lofty goal of activist perfection. I am interested in holding people accountable for doing something if they can.
I do not know your situation, as you really don’t know mine. But we are in this world right now at this time.
Anger can be a fuel for inspiration. But let it be a slow burn.
There are many people to warm.
Author note: This blog could have been a lot longer with a lot of resources and links and other thoughts and fleshed out ideas. I keep things short and often incomplete because there is always more to say. Always more to consider. Always another idea to shift my thinking and my perspective. In this moment, this is true for me. But tomorrow, who knows?