This is a tough week. Here in the United States, we are facing the inauguration of a man who did not win the popular vote and whose policies threaten the fundamental humanity of women, LGBTQIA+ folks, disabled folks, immigrants, Muslims, people of color.
What can we do? is the rallying cry I keep hearing. To which we all respond: march on Washington. Call Congress. Write Congress. Protest. Set up monthly donations to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Southern Law Poverty Center, NAACP. Talk to family who voted for Trump. Put in emotional labor to educate clueless coworkers. Get in on the ground floor and work to change the hearts of those around you.
Even with all this, I also keep hearing this statement, resounding through conversations with family and friends and clients, on all social media platforms:
It doesn't feel like enough.
People who donate to Planned Parenthood, volunteer at their local shelter, call their Congresspeople a few times a month -- these people feel like they aren't doing enough.
Maybe you don't feel like you're doing enough.
So I want to ask you: what does enough look like?
Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. While every movement has - requires - leaders, it is vital that we remember that it is never the effort of one person alone that affects change. It is many people doing small things in community.
It wasn't just Martin Luther King, Jr. who brought about (more) civil rights for black Americans - it was his wife Coretta supporting him, it was Congressman John Lewis marching beside him at Selma. It was every person who put their life on the line at lunch counters and bus boycotts and protests.
Community. Deep and lasting change required the commitment of the community.
To reduce movements to single individuals is to flatten the rich tapestry of efforts and the history of a movement's resistance.
I say this not to discourage those of you in leadership (we need you!), but rather to encourage all of you who feel you are not doing enough.
What would "enough" look like, to you? Have you defined what "enough" is, or is "enough" a vague, amorphous feeling of guilt? Because guilt is not productive. Your guilt will not help. Your guilt will not enable you to operate fully in your gifts and purpose - your guilt will limit you.
And we need you to show up: we need you big and brave and operating in your gifts in full confidence. We need you to cook meals and offer housing to protestors and contribute money to post bail and incorporate intersectionality in your lesson plans and choose diverse reading material for the children you babysit and parent and and and.
We need you where you are, now.
This week - and in all the weeks to follow - I want to strongly encourage you to acknowledge what you are doing and have done. Literally. Make a list right now. I'll wait.
For those of you who are spiritually inclined, I would also ask what spiritual work you are doing and want to be doing? What praying, candle lighting, spell casting, and even hexing and binding are you engaging in? Are you reading tarot for social justice workers and activists who desperately need spiritual support? Are you supporting and engaging with your community? Are you posting thoughtfully and in a way that encourages? Think about all the things that may not feel like enough, but are.
To encourage you, here are a few quick encouragements that I'd recommend:
- Chani Nicholas' horoscopes are pure affirmations for inauguration week
- Abbie posted a gorgeous tarot reading for the resistance over at Northern Lights Witch
- ICYMI: Siobhan's 7 Questions for Earnest Allies is a must-read
- Autostraddle's really rad new Be the Change series, with lots of activist advice
- Also ICYMI: my own Open Letter to White Business Owners
Lots of love, beautiful.
You've got this.
We've got this.
P.S. This post was originally sent as a tinyletter to my email list. If you'd like to sign up to receive this kind of biweekly love note, click here.