I find myself in deep contemplation as the demonstrations and protests continue around the world in action to the deaths George Floyd and the black people before him. I contemplate the missing and murdered Aboriginal women in B.C. and Canada. And I feel ashamed that I have not truly and deeply paid attention until now.
I was born on the unceded territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations, the Lkwungen peoples. I work and live on the unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. I grew up never acknowledging these people, I grew up thinking the racism and the trauma that impacts the First Nations communities was not mine to worry about. I was wrong. It was only a few years ago that I began realizing how privileged I am because I am white.
The basis of my work as a counsellor is to support people to feel more safe and free to be uniquely themselves. And this is not possible if you are in a state of perpetual fear because of the colour of your skin. As a therapist, I use Family Systems Theory and work Somatically to support my clients. We are now, as a culture, aware of the impact that generational trauma has on family members and how unexpressed trauma is held in the memory of the body and the nervous system. Generational trauma can be perpetuated through systemic thinking which is a belief and thought pattern that is passed down through generations and cultures. In order to create change in generational trauma and systemic thought, we must learn to listen; to have compassion; to work to understand; and we must challenge the thoughts and actions that continue to suppress marginalized people.
I want every human being to have the same level of opportunity to grow and change and be freely uniquely themselves. This is not possible if we live within a system that minimizes, harms, threatens, abuses, exploits and kills people of colour.
I commit, as a white cis-gendered female, to better educate myself. I commit to creating a safe space where we can untangle the long held systemic trauma and beliefs. I commit to using my privilege as a tool to support others.
When we commit to change of any kind, it can feel overwhelming and really big. And in order to move through any challenge we take one step at a time.
This is my first step.
With deep care,