Relentless inequities are still the reality of the world in which I live even if it is not the just world for which my sister and I have been working. But I am not proposing magical thinking by saying we must take time to look at the clouds in the sky. Neither as I say we should convince ourselves that we can insulate ourselves against ignore violence, pretending it isn’t so bad, until the danger goes away or death takes us.
My point was that we must be intentional about healing ourselves and our communities in the midst of resistance. Like the violence, the idea of self-care is not new. In Ready from Within, Septima Clark said "I never felt getting angry would do you any good other than hurt your own digestion – keep you from eating, which I liked to do." James Baldwin wrote in I Am Not Your Negro, "In America, I was free only in battle, never free to rest – and he who finds no way to rest cannot long survive the battle."
Challenge yourself to keep heading forward, but not at the expense of your health, sanity, or well-being. Routinely do a body scan to identify where you hold stress. Is it perpetually hunched shoulders, or an acidic stomach, or that endlessly bouncing knee? Allow yourself to feel those sensations so you learn to detect their presence, then pause to look up at the clouds. Create a moment of respite and release. Take time to feel whatever you are experiencing. It's not therapy, it's strategy.