By: Angela Mayah Solstice
“There is something beautiful about being on fire for justice”
Dr. Cornel West
I have not always done well at being aware. If it was being aware of the people around me, or the realities of the world--I spent many years so self-absorbed I couldn’t see past my own issues. It’s safe to say when I became conscious again, I say again because I believe we all started out conscious, but depending on our experiences lost our way a little or a lot—It was an overwhelming feeling. When I was able to feel compassion and love for the world and others, even while sometimes going through my own stuff, I thought I couldn’t take it. I remember being up late nights listening to Malcolm X speeches or combing over pictures of Trayvon Martin—thinking I might just pass out with feelings of sadness and anger.
Talking to a close friend recently we both realized that we instantly thought about others right after feeling our own feelings, we quickly thought, “How had others gone through this.” Thinking about others had us to feel our own affections on a deeper level. We went from crying about our own stuff, to crying for everybody! I think upon random people when I’m at my most desperate and down ridden times, I always think on how someone else had gone through it a little less self-sufficient, a little less sure of themselves, with less support, and less resources be it psychologically or financially.
I remember a time when other people’s problems were too much of an inconvenience to take on. I had always admired good listeners, people who were able to be good friends, and feel emotions on a deeper level, but not in an overreaching or dramatic way. That through my own healing I’ve been able to come to this place again, gives me a peculiar comfort that I hadn’t expected. What I know for sure is this; I was able to do this after I finally allowed other’s to be there for me. I believe I was born with and for sometime possessed well meaning characteristics like patience, friendliness, compassion, and open heartedness—but through my own trials became lost and unaware. I thank God others showed me the way, and brought me back to a place where I could have love and compassion for myself, and others.
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