We are living in extremely turbulent times. The Black Lives Matter movement is at the forefront, as it should be. Being a White female, I’ve chosen to dive deep into looking at my privilege and unconscious biases during this time in order to become a better ally.
A lot of growth has happened. I’ve discovered that even though I think I’m extremely open and accepting, I have caught myself several times thinking thoughts that were not OK. That were based on stereotypes. That were voices of past conditioning. That sometimes came out of nowhere with no evident root. Instead of beating myself up about it, I’ve asked myself why I think that way and promise myself going forward that I will look at the same person or situation with different eyes.
To intensify my growth in this area, I have sought out external resources to help expand my mind. This is where Unlocking Us comes in. I’m late to the Brené Brown bandwagon, but I’m glad I finally hopped on. She deserves all of the praise she receives. If you haven’t experienced her wisdom yet, I encourage you to. She delivers thought provoking content and guidance largely based on research and science in an easy to digest way. She’s not super polished, she messes up, she swears – but I’m assuming that is why she appeals to so many people. She doesn’t try to be perfect – something I keep working at but can’t seem to master.
Taking advantage of the increased downtime COVID has created, I took on renovating our family cabin. This meant many two hour trips to and from Lansing. Listening to the Unlocking Us podcast was something I started to really look forward to. Brené brings on a wide variety of guests that touch on different topics. When the Black Lives Matter movement was surging, she did a few episodes tied to it. Two episodes I particularly enjoyed were her interview with Laverne Cox, a Black, Transgender advocate and actress, and “Brené on Shame and Accountability.” There are others focused on the Black experience I still need to listen to that I am very excited about.
I’ve also learned a lot from other interviews she has done, one in particular with Judd Apatow. He’s known to be a funny guy, but he offered some really interesting and insightful thoughts about so many different topics. Brené has a gift of getting people to be very vulnerable. The way he opened up was beautiful and unexpected. I took away a lot of valuable things to consider that I've never really thought about before.
The biggest thing I’ve taken away from Brené is this: “I am here to get it right. Not be right.” This moment in history is giving us all such a humbling opportunity to do difficult but important internal work, as well as have uncomfortable, informative conversations with others. Be open right now. Be gentle with yourself. Listen. Learn. Act. Identify your role in helping marginalized groups of people around you. If you are coming from a good place, don’t be afraid to mess up or be wrong. You want to get it right so you can be of better service, be a better advocate. Easier said than done, I know, and the road may be long, but if you feel strongly about something, you've got to stick it out and do the work.
Are you a Brené fan? What content from her should I check out?