Protecting My Energy
But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” … But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” – Romans 10:16 & 10:21 (NIV)
I’m so glad that wise Black women in my life taught me how to protect my energy, because recently, I’ve needed that skill more than ever.
The combination of Black people being killed by police and the disproportionate impact of COVID on Black people has made the collective grief for us nearly unbearable.
When I see people being anti-Black on social media, it can be tempting to jump into their feeds and correct them. There was a time when I spent a lot of time online trying to fight every racist I encountered. I used to put pressure on myself to explain basic concepts about racism over and over again.
Lately, I’ve started to accept that a lot of people already know they are being racist; they just choose not to correct it.
Combatting racism is already draining enough. I’ve learned I don’t have to spend what little energy I have left proving that racism actually exists to people trying to gaslight me.
It should not be incumbent upon any Black person to spend their time proving to obstinate people that racism kills. Black people end up spending so much time arguing about the value of our lives that we don’t actually get to live them.
I realized it’s wasted energy to keep explaining my truths to people determined not to believe me. There is so much more joy in focusing on being human instead of debating my humanity.
Life is full of debates that will harm and deplete me. Lead me not into temptation. Amen.
Marchaé Grair is a spiritual director, facilitator, and the Director of Public Relations and Outreach at the Unitarian Universalist Association. Follow her work at marchae.com.