Shame & Race in the Workplace & Beyond: When the Elephant Is Destroying the Room

Like any other weekday, I went through my morning ritual of prayer and meditation, and then sat down with a cup of tea to check the morning headlines before starting my workday.  The last few weeks had been quite heavy and intense with the numerous protests against racism and police brutality after the most recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.  As a black male, I saw myself in George and Ahmaud, and Breonna could have easily been a member of my family.  With these events stacked on top of the COVID-19 virus wreaking economic havoc and social discord, along with provocative presidential tweets and the political rollercoaster of having national emergencies during an election year, I thought I was mentally prepared to see pretty much anything come through the news feed.

Anxiety Sobriety: Freedom from Being Overwhelmed

Full of adrenaline, I paced the room with a nervous energy that wouldn’t go away. I tried sitting down, but then instead of pacing I began wringing my hands and rubbing my arms and legs. My body seemed confused… searching for a movement, any type of movement, that would release the energy I was carrying. My mind was spinning, and I’m sure at some point my lips actually moved, mumbling in an attempt to process the flood of thoughts swirling through my brain. It started with one thing I was worried about, then snowballed forward into a torrent of unpleasant thoughts that consumed me with fear and worry. The restlessness extended into the night and I could hardly sleep. For some reason I just couldn’t relax. This might sound quite familiar to anyone who has battled anxiety.

Enough 1 (& Done)

I’m done. Done being pushed around by life. Done feeling like a spectator to my own story. Done trying to meet everyone else’s expectations. Done living based on what other people think. Done giving the best of myself to people who don’t appreciate me. Done sacrificing for those who always put themselves first. Done allowing others to dictate my schedule. Done making ZERO time for ME.

Enough 1 (& Done)

I’m done. Done being pushed around by life. Done feeling like a spectator to my own story. Done trying to meet everyone else’s expectations. Done living based on what other people think. Done giving the best of myself to people who don’t appreciate me. Done sacrificing for those who always put themselves first. Done allowing others to dictate my schedule. Done making ZERO time for ME.