Stepping into the River

River Samsara - original art by Sarah Greenman

When someone beats a rug, 
the blows are not against the rug, 
but against the dust in it.
- Rumi

This past week I attended a workshop on racial justice. I've done this work before - many times. And I've had phenomenal mentors and professors who have helped me awaken to the truth of our brokenness. We are all filled with ugly impulses. We are all filled with secret judgement and embedded bias. We are all part of the nightmare of racism, classism and sexism. Everyone.

Transformation is painful. When I was younger, I thought that I would transform - just once - and then I would become who I was meant to be. Just like that. End of story. Of course, that sentiment seems silly now. Transformation is a lot of work and there is always another layer to uncover. The more I excavate the true and authentic yearnings of my life, my work and my purpose the more uncertain I am of the earth beneath my feet.

I want things to be different. I want to transform. I want my neighborhood to transform. I want my state to transform. But I don't want to just dream about equality and dignity and wholeness for all people, I want to create equality and dignity and wholeness for all people. And I am doing things - good, important things. But I must also begin (again) the deep-soul-dive, the very difficult spiritual work of lovingly and patiently walking through the mine field of my own participation in systems of oppression. This is what lies ahead.

The river is before me.
It is time to get wet.