“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell”
March 16, 2020 was my last day in the office. That Friday prior was my daughter’s last day of school. COVID-19 had shut NYS down. We were encouraged to only leave the house for necessities. While it was devastating for so many, it became a blessing in disguise for me.
For the first time in 10 years, I did not have to deal with white society in any significant way. I didn’t have to put up with white people’s shit at work or at my daughter’s school. I didn’t have to rush to be somewhere in the morning, or go to bed at night with the dread that I had to do it all again in just a few short hours.
“The most powerful work is done in response to an opportunity, not in response to a problem”
Everyone was in panic mode, and full of fear, uncertainty, and dread. No one knew what to do about this new world we lived in. It was all over the news and it was all anyone could talk about. Above their masks, you could see the terror in everyone’s eyes. And yet I saw a way out.
“The way we see reality generates our experience of reality”
Our enslaved ancestors usually panned their escape from the plantation when the slave masters would be distracted. Either at a significant event (wedding, funeral, or party), around the holidays or when there was something sudden and unexpected that caused panic or chaos (unexpected storms, fires). That was their best chance of leaving without being noticed. And when they did finally notice, it was too late and they were far gone. This was my chance to escape. This was my opportunity to be free. The white world was completely distracted with the coronavirus and it being an election year. The time was now.
No, we are no longer in physical bondage, but I can hear the click clank of the mental and spiritual chains of white supremacy. I decided that I would never again fall victim to the bullshit expectations of white society. I decided that I was not going to be pulled into the fear-based mentality and way of living that dictates so much of how people live their lives. White people complicate everything. They over think, over analyze and they get bogged down with details. They live their lives from a place of deep fear and inadequacy. Do more, have more, work more, spend more. It never ends…
That is not an African centered way of being. We are designed to thrive in the simplicity of life. We are driven by self-love, family, and community. Our connection to the Creator, the ancestors, and Mother Earth is the foundation of our existence. We understand that for every problem, there is a viable solution. There is no real need to worry or fear. Our soul is our truest oracle and we are surrounded by forces that seek to help us solve our problems. I was mastering these concepts. I felt peace and joy. I felt so light and free…
And then the world started opening back up. My daughter is back in school. I am back at work in the office and out in the field. That dread started creeping back in at night. My energy was heavy. I felt the anxiety creeping back into my thoughts. I had to brace myself to pick up the burden of being black in a white world yet again.
“A negative and a positive emotion cannot simultaneously occupy the same space. You either feel fear or you feel love”
But then I remembered. Yes, I am in this world, but I am not of this world. I have the power to determine my experience and my reality. I will not be consumed with fear or dread. I will not get on that proverbial hamster wheel of white society ever again. The first day of online school was a disaster for my daughter. We had the wrong homeroom, her iPad wasn’t working, the instructions were in three different apps. I texted a friend and I said, “I ain’t bout to let these white folks stress me out” and I meant it. They are not about to stress me out. Coronavirus, Trump, or Biden. I will focus on my health, attaining wealth, my personal growth and loving the people I hold close to my heart. The rest will work itself out. Because it always does.
I am black, my energy is light, and I am free. I am centered and grounded in an African based reality and I will live my life on my terms. I’m in this world, but my soul has no parts of it.
“No man is free who is not master of himself”