Now I Will Show You Who I Am
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist.
Do you know who you are?
I have always known who I wanted to be. What kind of woman I wanted to be. But I wasn’t always her and I am not always her. But I keep trying, standing up straighter, learning, leaning in, thinking and of course, trying to figure it all out.
When I started my life coaching certification training in 2006, I remembered how exciting it is to learn. I stayed home to be with my kids and I used all of my skills and experience from teaching elementary school. I used common sense and books, and trusted my instincts which turned out to be really good for being a mom. But when I found myself revisiting psychology and learning how to coach, I got so excited! When I attended my online classes, my brain came alive in a different way. I loved the material, the ideas and the perfecting of listening skills.
One area I ended up going back to repeatedly was what I learned about values. Values are those interests that you feel strongly about and that you say are important to you. The way I used this in coaching was to help the client find inconsistencies between what they said they valued, and what they were actually spending their time and energy doing. This leads to really interesting self realizations. I have used this for myself.
But I was thinking about the truth of values in a different way lately. As I “clean house” and I am very clear that that is what I am doing, I use my values though I can feel very uncomfortable. I am now vetting anyone I hire for anything. In the past, we all seemed to be able to live side by side with our neighbors and the rule that I grew up with was to not talk about politics or religion. Now we see. That is all blown to hell. We were living an illusion. I was living an illusion. I may not ask outright who they are voting for, but I am paying attention.
After I helped organize the Women’s March Pittsburgh in January of 2017, and white women organizers were accused of racism, I knew I had a lot to learn. I was not doing enough. I am not being sarcastic when I say it isn’t enough to be a good person and respectful of all. It’s not enough. It never was.
It’s like I tell good men. It’s not enough to be good men anymore. You have to do more. You have to support women in their fight against rape and violence. Now I know, I have to do more. And I am.
I see more clearly now than I used to. The murder of George Floyd hit me hard. My heart ached the same way it did after the shooting in the nightclub in Florida. I will not support anyone whom I know supports Trump.
Obviously we don’t often know that someone is harboring hate for a particular group inside.
Oh wait a minute. We kind of do.
They show us.
What do your actions show?
Being white, I can go along my merry way, no one knowing that I would support a vulnerable person in an instant, both physically or verbally; whatever they would need for support. So I have chosen to wear items of clothing that clearly state my beliefs. Every day. In the house, out of the house. I have worn protest clothes since the murder of George Floyd. That is something that I feel reflects my values. If something goes down, wherever I am, and someone feels uncomfortable or scared and only sees white faces, I want them to see me; there to support them, watching their backs. I'm here if you need me.
It may sound like virtue signaling, but I wanted to give you examples of outward showing of values. So I guess it's value signaling.
Speaking up when someone is treated badly. Spending your money with people who are minorities or perhaps vulnerable. Helping others.
Am I always comfortable? No. But it isn’t about me. It’s about making sure people know not everyone is filled with hate.
For those of you who read my previous post, I was recently shown very clearly who my neighbor is. I had let misogynistic comments go in the past. I will not let #hate get a pass anymore.
My sister said recently, in reference to someone she will not be continuing doing business with, “Well, we know who he is.”
Now we will show you who we are.
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