Facing the -Isms. One Trick to Break Down Barriers

There is so much on my mind today. With so many conflicting ideas and circumstances, it is interesting to me that the only consistent in all of the mess we live in is fear.

Fear of disease from the rapid spread of COVID-19. Fear of police brutality. Fear of riots and for the safety of ourselves and our cities. Fear for our jobs and financial security. Fear for ourselves and our loved ones.

The really ironic part to me is how I spent the entire weekend with my cup feeling so full of wonderful people, blessings, opportunities, and most importantly, full of love. The dichotomy of the experiences is staggering to me.

In a world full of such conflicting ideas, experiences, and “sides” I am in awe of how much we all share in common with current events. We share fear. We are all simply afraid in one way or another. We all hurt. We mourn those lives lost.

None of these experiences should be disvalued in any way. Each life, no matter the color of their skin, no matter the position they held, no matter how imperfect the person is, the loss of life is tragic.

What happened to George Floyd was inexcusable. I’m not here to defend his murderers. And I’m not going to tell you to stop what you are doing about it. Peaceful or not. I’m not to here to say things are right or wrong.

I live in Salt Lake City and yesterday my city was trashed. But today, it is being cleaned. That is our responsibility. When messes happen, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, it is our responsibility to heal and clean up the messes. And that process is going to look different for everyone.

For all of the damage done yesterday… it was just stuff. There were people injured that shouldn’t have been, but there were no lives lost, and for that I am grateful.

I understand the hurt and the rage that comes with an untimely death… I can’t tell you how many plates I have smashed in anger at losing my brother. I can’t tell you how many tears I have shed, I can’t tell you the fear I’ve felt getting involved in the case.

I get where the destruction comes from. I get where the fear and the hurt and the anger come from. I’ve felt it before. Different circumstances, yes. But the emotions are the same. I’m not here to tell you what to do about things that come up in life. I’m here to show there is a different option if you choose it. One that has brought so much more joy and peace and love into my life.

Isn’t that all any of us want?

We want to feel loved and protected. We want to be happy and joyful. We want to feel safe.

And we should feel that way. We all have that right. But that doesn’t come from the circumstances around us. That comes from within each one of us. That comes entirely from love.

If we don’t love, we don’t understand the fear and hurt of others. If we don’t love, we don’t heal.

We aren’t here to pick sides and/or tell others what to do. If you have a side, you are part of the problem. If you are disgusted and telling others what is wrong about what they are doing, you are part of the problem.

I invite you to hold your family and friends just a little bit closer- you never know how long you have them by your side. I invite you to expand that love to others around you. It doesn’t matter the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, their age, or any other difference you may perceive.

Because really, that’s all it is, a perception. Deep down, we are all the same with thoughts, fears, hopes, dreams, and emotions trying to do our best and be our best.

We are all human. We are all connected. Give to others the love and peace you want to feel, and I promise it comes back.

I love this quote from Nelson Mandela: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”




I tell stories. I scream. I like ice cream. paulajeanferri.com

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Paula Jean Ferri

Paula Jean Ferri

I tell stories. I scream. I like ice cream. paulajeanferri.com

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