I have a very complex relationship to activism and in particular to awareness-raising even as I partake in it.
It is so important that people realize the truth of how badly the system is hurting us and how inherent that is to the system, how the system was designed to function in this way, to hurt us and to continue to hurt us even as it is ‘reformed’. And it is so important that we realise the full brutality of it and that we fight back.
At the same time, we are constantly saturating each others newsfeeds with death, torture, abuse, and a never ending line of pain as it is experienced by our siblings, without taking time to consider what we are doing to ourselves. Is it healthy to spend an hour mourning every day as we read our social media or talk about politics with each other? Do we take the same amount of time to hold each other, to dance together, to laugh?
Is it strange that we spend so much time fighting each other, when we are all full to bursting with tears we haven’t cried because before they could manifest, before the pain could settle, we were already processing a new trauma, a next injustice? It seems like a miracle that we occasionally manage to be kind and forgiving to each other at all.
In our activism we often treat each other the way our bosses treat us: work now, recover later. Push yourself further, get it right, don’t fuck it up, work harder, recover later. Or don’t recover at all as long as you keep working. This is no way to treat each other while we stand in an ocean of our uncried tears.
So more often than before, I try to raise awareness about my vulnerability. I try to raise awareness of our raw open wounds. I try to raise awareness of our need to heal, to hug, to rest. I try to nurture kindness in activism and whimsicalness and flawedness. And I fuck up a lot, so above all, I try to remind myself to ask others what they need, how I might help them, what pools of uncried tears inside them I should be aware of.