Ep. 04 Overcome Overwhelm to Fight Injustice
This message is for you if there are specific injustices in this world, which you're not the one being oppressed, but it breaks your heart and you want to be part of positive change. However, you're feeling overwhelmed by the size of the problem, wondering if you can even help and those thoughts keep you from even showing up.
I've experienced both sides of injustice, and seen the harm done when people don't show up because of being overwhelmed. I'm a survivor of sexual assault and I've experienced firsthand the injustices of how survivors are treated, and how the silence and inaction of others actually help perpetuate sexual predators to continually cause sexual harm to other people. I've also been on the other side of injustice in which I am not the one being oppressed, but my heart breaks for those injustices, and at times, overwhelm could keep me from stepping up to help.
In this message, I draw from both of those experiences to help you find ways to overcome overwhelm so you can stand up against injustices that are important to you. Let's start by talking about the two problems that occur when we don't show up.
You are Not Being True to Yourself
First is that you aren't being true to yourself. If it's something you're passionate about, but you're letting overwhelm keep you from getting involved. You're saying "no," to parts of yourself. You're probably flipping the channel when this injustice is on the news, because each time you see it, you're overwhelmed with how you want to help change. but you don't think you can do anything. So it's easier for you just to cut it off and turn a blind eye to it.
The problem with this is it also causes negative ripple effects into every area of your life. When you start saying "no" to yourself in certain ways, especially ways you are very passionate about to your core, you are strongly dishonoring yourself.
By saying "no" to yourself, no to things you're very passionate about, you're not honoring yourself, which causes a negative ripple effect in other areas of your life. It leads to you living a life of less authenticity and less alignment.
Less Positive Change Takes Place
The second problem when you don't show up to injustice, is that less change is happening. Obviously, you're one less voice that's in the fight. But also, typically, it isn't until we're in the fight, until we're really investing in these areas of injustice and trying to cause change, that we realize all the ramifications of the injustice itself.
Therefore, we don't realize how we may be contributing to the injustice, and perpetuating it to continue to exist. Thus, your decision to not take action, in fact, actually becomes action for that injustice to continue.
It's Time to Show Up
If you want to be true to yourself, to what breaks your heart, and you want to be part of the solution, not the problem, then it's time to show up.
When you do, overwhelm is going to be there and ready to pounce on you. Especially by making you feel as if this problem is too big for you to help with, and that it's too complicated to even know where to start, so you probably just shouldn't even start. But I'm going to show you how neither of those things are true, and how to overcome them.
No One is Asking You to be the Hero
For starters, no one is asking you to be the hero. You alone cannot solve all the problems in this world. Most injustices have been going on for decades, if not centuries.
This point in history is just your chance to jump in to be part of positive change in the story, but not to carry the story - that is not your responsibility.
Do what you can, with what you have, at a pace that allows you to stay in the fight, to stay in the story.
It's Not "Too Complicated" to Start
The second place that overwhelm will try to attack you is the idea that "it's too complicated" to know how to start. The amazing truth is that the first step isn't complicated at all.
Next week's message will focus more on this, but the answer is education. Education is the most important thing you can do. In many cases, the education is free or is the low cost of a book.
Education is so important. Next week we'll focus in on why education is so powerful, how not educating yourself often means you are perpetuating that injustice and/or allowing it to continue to exist, and the implication when we think we don't need to be educated - which is one of the most dangerous things.
Also, if you are someone whose heart breaks for multiple issues, and you're overwhelmed by all of those issues, I'll show you how educating yourself allows you to take part in so many different causes that you're passionate about.
Get in Tune with What Breaks Your Heart
I challenge you to get in tune with what breaks your heart. Which injustices are weighing heavily on you right now, and tempting you to shut your heart off - or perhaps you already have.
Commit to showing up. Know that no one is asking you to be the hero, and that it starts with educating yourself. If this message has been helpful, please share it with others. As always, live a life of courageous worth by standing up for yourself and for others.