By Jesse James
The world has a lot going on right now.
There is a lot of anger, a lot of chaos and a lot of pain.
While the circumstances are less than ideal, it does make me happy knowing that so many people want to show support for events happening worldwide.
It is important to keep in mind as we do however, that the ways in which we should be showing that, are meant to be determined by the groups and individuals that we are looking to stand with; and for us to simply respect.
This applies widespread to any and every situation of support, but especially when it comes to any which affect marginalized groups of people.
There are a vast variety of ways that we can show up for someone without physically showing up; and sometimes being supportive means to simply hold space without condition or expectation—doing so in a way that meets some need or desire at another’s request.
Sometimes this will mean that someone will request that our presence not be there, which is a boundary that we should follow out of solidarity for their process.
If however they request us to be present, then by all means, show up and be there wholly; in body, mind, and spirit. Or whatever other ways that we can manage.
The rule is that we let others decide what it is that they need though. That’s it.
When we don’t recognize this, we end up pushing ourselves into spaces that are not for us to take, in order to try and be of service. But it is important to understand that it is not about our feelings of guilt or of helplessness, or even of wanting to partake, that are the priority. It is about showing up and being a solid support to someone else. It’s about doing it in a way that feels right for them.
The intention to be there without being asked, is noble in theory and not lost on me. But it is worth noting that when doing this in such situations, we typically end up doing more harm than good.
It’s about asking what other people require of us when we want to stand with them in the fight forward. It’s about respecting when we are told to keep a distance as well.
Solidarity doesn’t happen by force. It happens by communicating respect on all fronts.
Just something to keep in mind. May we all eventually come together to figure this shit out.
Jesse James (pronouns she/her or they/them) has been called an old soul living in a young body. At 24 she is a storyteller and Creatrix of many things; an equal blend of mystical, myth & science. As an activist and advocate, they work with groups like Food Not Bombs and make a point of speaking out about the causes they care about; poverty, full-spectrum equity, environmentalism, as well as the violence/politics of Birth. Jesse takes on the role of Reiki Practitioner, Tarot Reader, Placenta Alchemist, Birthkeeper (labor, postpartum & abortion support), Sexual Health Advocate, Artist & Writer (among others) through their business Artemisian Artes. She loves working with herbs in making natural remedies and concocting up delicious kitchen alchemy is a second nature after breath. They worship the Earth, thrive on art, and on forming meaningful connections with others. Their mission is to make that around them more beautiful, or at the very least, to help others see things that already were, in that way. Connect with Jesse here.
Editor: Dana Gornall