2020 was painful in so many ways and undoubtedly, we all were ready for 2021- a representation of a fresh start. Over the last year, I often heard the hope that if we could just beat COVID-19, that we could then go back to "normal." But what exactly is "normal"? The continued upholding of white supremacy culture, systemic racism, late-stage capitalism, colonialism, patriarchy, gender binary, ablism, and all other forms of oppression?
There is an opportunity for us to redefine what "normal" is, where all folx are included, feel seen, feel safe, and valued for just being. This requires not only a shift in our own thinking (i.e., decolonizing the way we think), but also systemic change.
Over the years, it has become increasingly clear how important connection with others, and community is. We are inherently social beings and historically have relied on each other to survive.
Radical healing from the traumatic impact of oppression (e.g., racism, colonialism, sexism, ableism, etc) is strengthened by the spirit of collectivism. Our personal healing and liberation is tied between and within each other- our community. Particularly in a time when we are forced to physically distance ourselves, while simultaneously trying to process and move through grief, anger, anxiety, frustration, and all the other emotions that are coming up during this time, we need to connect with our communities more than ever.
In 2021, I am committed to continuing to working towards decolonizing the way I think, decolonize mental health practices, and increase access to and advocate for community care.