This post was originally sent as a newsletter to Brave Self Care readers in March 2021
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I almost didn't send this.
As a Japanese American, I've been emotionally occupied with this week's shootings in Atlanta, Georgia.
Eight people killed, six of them women of Asian descent.
What, if anything, could I say in the face of such ugliness?
This week has been a strange mix of "feeling and not-feeling", as my friend put so well.
Feeling numb and not wanting to expose myself to the pain of thinking about what happened.
Feeling horrified by how a culture of anti-Asian racism has been fanned into violent, audacious flame.
Feeling guilty that my privileges (economic advantage; not having an Asian accent or last name; working from home) allow me to be less exposed to daily racism that others have no choice but to face.
Feeling pressure to say something insightful, powerful or sympathy-inducing.
Feeling vulnerable and small, like anyone could do anything to me at any time, and it could be explained away as someone having a "really bad day". (Seriously, WTF.)
I almost didn't write anything today, but I'm showing up to let you know what I'm thinking and feeling.
If you're Asian or Asian American, please give yourself grace.
You can feel numb, you can feel the biggest feelings in the world, or anything in between.
Your best thoughts and words might be sparked from this tragedy, or you might be completely without words, or anything in between.
Our internalized racism would have us stuff our feelings and feel ashamed to take up space. (Thanks to my friend Michelle for articulating this.)
You can take up space. It's okay. Look for the people who are holding space for you.
If you're not Asian or Asian American, and particularly if you're white, please take a few minutes to read this bystander intervention training and consider what you can commit to doing if you witness a racist incident.
Finally, I found these posts on Instagram comforting and cathartic.
Take a look if you'd like (if you're viewing on a browser, click on the right hand of the slides to flip through.)
>> Artist & author Gene Luen Yang: On #AsiansAreHuman <<
>> Illustrator Ruth Chan: "It could be me next" <<
>> Preacher & trainer Erna Kim Hackett: A moment for my Asian American sisters <<
With a virtual hug,
Self Care Coach
Brave Self Care
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