Art by Isaac Murdoch
I was reading Micheal Redhead Champagne's blog post about The Resiliency Trap.
I love Micheal and have always seen him as a remarkably resilient person. And so this really hit me:
But the way resilience is often used in academics and media is so problematic, I warn that when we only focus on how strong people are, we ignore the many challenges they should never have had to overcome in the first place!
My automatic view is to see Micheal as remarkably resilient because I don't know what I would have been as strong or brave or upbeat as I see him being, if faced with the same circumstances.
I mean automatic as in - that's how I see it before I really sit with my thoughts. It's just my automatic way of seeing him.
We're not really to blame for our automatic ways of seeing things.
However, this response isn't helpful just like lots of our automatic responses are not helpful. So it's good to challenge ourselves, look deeper, and see where we can create new ways of seeing the world.
Resiliency has been on my mind a lot lately.
At one session with my therapist, she asked how I had been doing and I said "I'm just so disappointed by my lack of resilience"
And, in the emotional state I was in at the time, I thought she would say something like "Oh that's tough, let's look at how we can get you better resourced to be more resilient"
But instead, her face fell. She looked sad and said "Oh Andrea, it makes me so sad to hear that you don't think you are resilient."
She challenged my belief around how resilient I should be and offered a new perspective:
Everything has just been so fucking hard lately do I really need to make it harder by judging myself for not measuring up to my own standards?
I am crying a little as I write this as I hit that place in me that DOES judge me when I don't measure up.
I did NOT handle the pandemic in the way I had hoped I would.
I got depressed. I got lethargic. I was frustrated and snappy with my husband. I put things off. I ate a lot of chips. I watched a lot of Netflix.
At the same time: I kept my business running and helped so many people stay in touch with themselves and their dreams in a hard time, I offered healing + support to everyone in Dream Book, I made a whole free class on self care in the pandemic,I helped my step-son finish grade 9, I got AMAZING at making pizza from scratch, after being intimidated to try to bake with year I became really good at making bagels, baguettes and crispy artisan rolls, I worked on my dream project which is now almost finished - I did a lot.
I can see it that I wasn't very resilient or I can see it that I was super resilient.
But I'd rather move away from judging and measuring at all. And I want to bring it back to Micheal's post about The Resiliency Trap.
Because focusing on my level of resilience, measuring it in any way, IS the trap.
And this is why I've started writing so much more about politics in the last 4 years.
Because it's not right that we have so many obstacles to overcome in order to listen to our intuition and get our outer lives into alignment with our inner truths. And it's not right that different people have different levels of obstacles.
And ALL of the systems that make it hard for us to be true to ourselves need to be torn down.
Your dream is calling you towards your true self, it's asking you to live your truth and showing you the way to get there.
All of the internal obstacles you face - the fear and self doubt and the places where you hold back and don't believe in yourself - these were created because you live in a sick culture.
As Micheal said - these are challenges you never should have had to overcome in the first place.
Now he is speaking to the colonial systems that cause inter-generational harm.
And when I say that I want to live in a world where no one feels self doubt because we are properly nurtured and nourished that includes everything he is talking about.
And this is why I've been so frustrated by the Live Your Best Life Industry's "I don't want to get political" "I can't read mainstream media it's too negative" head-in-the-sand approach.
A guaranteed liveable income, safe affordable housing, free quality ACCESSIBLE mental and physical health care, a green economy and Indigenous sovereignty are the building blocks of creating a culture where we are all free to pursue our dreams.
Otherwise, you are leaving out everyone who doesn't have a certain amount of money and privilege in this white supremacist patriarchy colonization culture.
And you're leaving all of these harmful systems intact.
We are all connected.
Our dreams are all connected.
We need each other.
Our dreams need each other's dreams.
And it feels like most of the Live Your Best Life Industry just doesn't care enough about marginalized people to want to fight systemic injustice for their sake. Like it's not worth climbing down from their "high vibe".
They'd rather celebrate people like Micheal who overcame so much, in ways which cast aspersions on everyone who DIDN'T rise above debilitating system injustice.
So maybe they can consider that systemic injustice is hurting them, too? Maybe that would get them to care and get involved? Because our dreams need each other's dreams.
None of us are truly free until we are all free.
You know what I think is TRULY positive, powerful and empowering?
Facing the truth.
Calling things what they are.
Shining a light on where our culture does harm.
Looking for ways to support the people who are out there actively fighting systemic injustice to create a better world.
This is what's on my mind this Canada Day. I think Cancel Canada Day is SO NEEDED and so exciting.
Today my husband will be speaking at Effy Wild's Cancel KKKAnada Day event - an afternoon of reflective art-making and listening to Indigenous voices.
And then we're going to a march + sacred fire to honour the children whose bodies have been found, and those whose bodies have not yet been found.
This whole movement to bring awareness to the genocide that birthed our country and continues to this day, to cancel celebrations, to reflect and learn - this is how change happens.
We are doing it! We are 154 years too late but we are starting.
If you're in Canada and upset by all this news, I suggest:
- Read the reports from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: everything is in there. We've known for a long time that a lot of bodies would be found if we searched former residential schools and have, until now, chosen to ignore this fact. Canada would not exist today if not for the abusive genocidal residential schools. As Canadians, we have to be able to understand this before we can do better.
- Read the calls to action from the TRC and look for ways to apply them in your life.
- Understand the treaties that were signed to create this country - which will show you that Canada has never honoured the treaties. What does it mean that you, as a Canadian citizen, do not know what's in the treaties? How are the treaties being honoured if the citizens don't know what's in them?
- Research the Indian Act