Originally published in The Christian Citizen.
Let’s begin with resilience.
Take a moment to remember your peak experiences—those times that stand out because you felt particularly happy, free, successful, inspired or creative. Now think about times when you’ve overcome adversity—ways you’ve shown strength, handled stress, and coped or even triumphed when things were difficult.
Finally, bring to your memory times when your mind has been opened. When have you changed the way you’ve been accustomed to think about someone or something? When has your world gotten bigger and offered more possibilities because you were able to shift or expand your pattern of thinking? If you have a moment, make a list of 10 or so such experiences, then picture each one and hold it in your mind, savoring each of these aspects of your lived experience.
You’ve just completed a tool called “Remembering Success,” inspired by Desert Storm veteran Steve Robinson and included in the remarkable book “The Power and Price of Survival: Understanding Resilience, Stress, and Trauma” by Pamela Woll.[i] You’ve reminded yourself of your own resilience. If you’re really interested in moving forward from the trauma of racism, you’re going to need it.
LeDayne McLeese Polaski is the executive director of BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz.