Understand: Putting the Pieces Together

Do the best you can until you know better.

Then when you know better, do better.

// Maya Angelou //

Understanding is what we need more of right now.

Not defensiveness, not denial, not argument.

We need more understanding. And it’s okay if you’re not fully understanding right now, it’s more important to be on the path than it is just to get to the other side.

Unpacking the trauma of centuries of oppression & that you may have experienced in life are not tasks to be checked off a to-do list. They’re not something you tackle in a day.

It takes time, it takes effort & it takes peeling back the layers.

We’ve been made aware of the ways in which we haven’t been understanding, we haven’t been listening, we need to educate & better understand the circumstances so we can DO BETTER.

Because right now - it’s not enough. To be fairly honest, we like to sugarcoat the way things are - in health & in our lives. We’ve definitely gotten ourselves used to celebrating where we are now & the success we’ve seen in the past - in our history & in our health. But in reality, it’s not enough.

We need to DO better. We need to BE better.

Yes, you are right now perfect as you are but we can always be better each moment to the next.

Each passing day grants us the opportunity to improve our relationships, our work, our impact in the world, our health.

Let’s put the pieces together so we can start to better understand.

The Goal: Understanding to Do Better

In order to make change, in order to show up better for ourselves & for our communities we have to understand the ways in which we’ve done wrong & the ways in which we can improve.

The Subject: Our Community

With the ability to access all of the information & shared videos of racial injustice we’re seeing now more than ever the reality of life for black people in our communities. It’s painful to watch, it’s hurtful to hear & it’s even more heart wrenching to know that we’ve contributed to the disease in our country.

But as we’re taking the time to listen, to learn, & to better understand what it means to live life as a minority in this country we can start to show up in our communities to better create change.

That means not just speaking or acting from one position, but understanding the pieces of our systems that work together that perpetuate oppression. Understanding how these systems in place are working against us & how we can start to unravel their stronghold.

The Subject: Our Health

As we approach the topic of our health, we need the same awareness, education & understanding of what it means to get better. What it means to improve & grow within our opportunities of health.

As we understand more, we can put the pieces together in building a holistic lifestyle of wellness. It doesn’t take just one tactic, but approaching the whole person - you as a whole person. It means understanding each of your habits, systems & choices that ultimately create your lifestyle of wellness.

The Problem: Lack of Understanding the Whole Picture

We tend to see issues as singular - or we start to blame the symptom of an issue, rather than looking at the root cause. So let’s assess the situation with a more holistic approach, from a larger viewpoint, with a more integrative perspective. For each of our prevailing issues - systemic racism & declining health, we need to look at the underlying foundation of what makes up each. We need to understand the pieces that make up the whole in order to address creating & enacting change in either.

The Next Step in a Solution:

Understanding leads us to better conceptualize the issues at hand. Understanding the ways in which we’ve done poorly & the ways in which we can now do better. If you’re realizing bias in your life or your institutions, it’s time to start addressing them. If you’re realizing disease in your body or life, it’s time to start seeking help in order to overcome your challenges.

When we understand, we can do better.

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