The Seeds of Racism by Monique Ruffin

I was eleven in 1979 when my grandma took me to Lake Charles, her hometown in Louisiana. It was my first visit from Los Angeles where we lived. 

As young as I was, I could smell the racism. I recall seeing black people move off the sidewalk to let white people walk by and being deeply curious and confused. Yes, there were pleasantries exchanged, but at the level of heart the behavior was rooted in hierarchy and the unspoken need to make white people feel safe and superior. It made me sick to my stomach. The way in which we practice racism in this country continues to be as insidious as it was forty years ago. The fear of those on both sides—the fear of losing power and the fear of being at that fear’s mercy—seems like a never-ending cycle. It impacts our consciousness creating conduct that is deeply out of alignment with our souls. 

And yes, things are shifting and we are seeing marches and efforts toward change. But let me say that if we want change, marching is not going to be the solution. Dr. King has already proven that changing laws is not enough. If marching worked we wouldn’t be here today. I’m not saying don’t march, but I’m also asking, How can we get to root of this matter? We need to change hearts, not just legislation. Where do these ideas of inequality come from? 

To me, the root is in parenting children who see the value of others. Yes, I’m saying raise your sons to not have an idea of themselves as better than others because in fact they are not. I still see this subtle manifestation of racism today. On the street, in offices, at the farmers market, some white families are so unconcerned with those around them that they literally do not share the public space that we all occupy. What would happen if white mothers would raise their boys to share the sidewalk? 

A new understanding needs to begin in the earliest years of life. It needs to start at home, with mothers teaching their kids how to be in the world and how to be with others. Today I have many friends and peers who are white, and I often ask them what their parents told them about race in this country. And every one of them answers, “Nothing.” I have to think that this practice continues. Several years ago my son and I met a white mom whose white son was obsessed with brown skin. He asked my son about it repeatedly in a way that made it evident that his mother wasn’t teaching her son about race in any way. From what I see as a parent, most children, like their parents, aren’t being taught to be empathetic and compassionate around issues of race.

I know that attributing the phenomenon of racism to mothers is a very simple answer to a very complex issue. Yet, I see that mothers are at the root of our ideas about race in so many ways. Yes, our history and cultural practices reinforce it, but at home is where these beliefs are seeded. They say the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, and in America, white mothers are the nurturing force behind all the bigots who seek power over people with different skin colors. When white mothers—themselves given no education about compassion, oneness, accountability and empathy—provide no such education to their sons, black mothers infuse their fear of being victimized into their children. It’s hard to look at ourselves deeply and see what we’ve created, how we participate, how we benefit, and how we harm ourselves and others. We get so entangled in the stories, blame, and denial that we can’t see ourselves any longer only the other person. 

In the 2017 presidential election fifty three percent of white women, voted for a man who says he grabs pussies, promotes racist behavior and is a misogynist. Why would they vote this way? It’s my opinion they did so to protect the old guard and the status quo for their children’s sakes. They vote against the sisterhood to protect their children’s futures. 

Who was Donald Trump’s mother? Who was Bill Clinton’s mother? Who was Matt Lauer’s mother? Who was Paul Ryan’s mother? Who was Harvey Weinstein’s mother? How were they raised? What were they taught? The evidence is in who they become as adults. 

I’m grateful to see white women coming out and marching, but we need you to march at home with your children before they become cops that kill, bankers that steal, Hollywood moguls that rape, presidents and congressmen that lie and generate fear in the lives of anyone who is not a rich, white, man. They need to teach their children to become conscious adults that understand that they are not entitled to any privilege, and no one needs to make way for them on the sidewalk because they are white. Today we are still breathing racism and it’s in us at the deepest levels. 

I have many white liberal friends, and I’ve seen that generally they are not seeking to oppress but rather to understand. I also see that while they are not willing to give up their own privileges, they will fight to gain privileges for others. But none of us will have to fight for privileges if we acknowledge what we learned or didn’t learn from our parents, and make sure that we give our children a different education and experience. The same is true for black mothers, who are reactive to the cultural impact of white parenting and who raise their boys with fear. I’ve witnessed countless mothers who have so much fear of their sons being killed or harmed in some way that it keeps them from fully loving and embracing their boys. The legacy of slavery lives in our cells and shows up in ways we are unconscious of. When I was pregnant and learned I was having a son, I went to my car and cried from pure fear. I’ve spent the first decade of his life working to heal the wounded mothering the women in my family have provided for generations. Slavery and a history of white terrorism its effects lives in us today, and the fear of loss reigns in our parenting, making us complicit in reaction to racism.

When I consider if i think white women are capable of making the changes needed to help this country heal, I don’t have much faith. It’s been 500 years and we are still at the effect of their apathy. My faith is in the growing numbers of non-white people in this country that will soon vote, run companies and become parents themselves. My faith is also in the thousands of white families who are adopting cross racially and making great efforts to bridge the gap left by the generations who preceded them.

This may be a difficult leap for many to make. Seeing mothers at the root of this might seem far reaching. But if you are a mother who spends time making every choice for your children, you understand your impact. Also if you’re adult, you know the the most influential person in your life, was your mother. No matter how old we get, we still feel our mothers. They live in our DNA and we live in their cells. The connection to them last our entire life. 

If we are to heal and make real lasting changes in our nation, we must be willing to ask the hardest questions of ourselves. We must be willing to take responsibility for what we are experiencing now and ask ourselves, how can I contribute and build a new reality. As mothers we must see that we are mother to all children, not just those that come from our wombs. In the earliest centuries of this country my ancestors cared for white children and nursed them into maturity with their blood sweat and tears. I think white mothers, especially southern ones have a debt to repay. And now is as good a time as any.

Monique Ruffin has been a contributor at Huffington Post, the Fine Line, Mom.me and Purple Clover. She is a life-coach, with a focus on spiritual evolution and personal development. Ruffin has authored one book, Open Your American Heart.  She currently lives in Los Angeles where she sees clients, studies and practices astrology to accompany her coaching practice and facilitates workshops.

Monique Ruffin has been a contributor at Huffington Post, the Fine Line, Mom.me and Purple Clover. She is a life-coach, with a focus on spiritual evolution and personal development. Ruffin has authored one book, Open Your American Heart. 

She currently lives in Los Angeles where she sees clients, studies and practices astrology to accompany her coaching practice and facilitates workshops.

Patterns and How they Break

I was inspired to write this for those who may have written out their ideal, but have had trouble in the past letting go of toxic relationships or stick to one particular person. Law of Manifestation very much depends on the willingness the let go of our ideas about how- by inventorying our past behaviors, and choosing new thoughts, new beliefs and the most powerful new actions! 

I started thinking about addiction. My roots in advising actually stem from addiction and trauma release. And love is no less a drug than anything else. Whether it's food, sex, drugs, validation- these experiences create a chemical response in the body. A "high" so to speak, that can completely assert itself OVER someone's willpower. Can you imagine? Not being able to say "No" even when you want to? We've all had situations similar. But for the addict, who has a trauma-related (PTSD) neurological connection between a substance, person or experience, and a good feeling, it's impossible to say no. 

Thinking of it from the LOA perspective, certain people, places, and things hold energetic frequencies. We may think when we get away from them that we are "free" from the emotions of that experience. Then another encounter with it reminds us of the pain, the emotions and the absolute misery we used to feel in that situation. So we might want to think of it less as a thing of the past- more as a definitive channel that does not change. Only we change and choose. 

I think of Hollywood movies that seem so inspiring; the person of the past makes their amends and has utterly transformed themselves. Yet, in my life and work as a life coach, I hardly see this done with success. That person would have to have such a significant personality and spiritual change, they would hardly be the same person they were. That can only be done with massive help and work. They must take responsibility for themselves, their actions and their beliefs. Not everyone is capable. 

So why not? Why is it so hard to break patterns? 
This is a certain inspiration for your Visualization and Ideal. One of the questions asks that we write out how it makes us feel- cause ultimately our Manifestation is an outer consequence of our Interior Condition. When we put too much weight and value on the outside, we diminish our chances of ever truly obtaining it. We MUST first and foremost be on the right channel, and that comes by identifying the core of our desire and all it's truths. 

Many times when someone has become obsessed with an outside figure and is struggling to put it down- the real reason is that of the relief it gives them. If it's a particular person, the pain of being in that toxic relationship may outweigh the pain and misery of not feeling like enough; of loneliness, hopelessness, depression that all make for emotional AND physical pain. Their core beliefs are so significantly diseased and altered by their experiences; it hurts to be alive. 

I hope we can all come from a place of compassion for these people, and possibly ourselves. They certainly did not become this way overnight. It took time, trauma and possibly horrific abuse to cause this. Though other people's bad behaviors, they stored that experience and it's implications into their Soul. It's heartbreaking, and I see it everywhere. 

So what can we do about it? 
There certainly needs to be classifications of people when working with the LOA to see where on the grid they land. 
Sometimes recovery groups are available; there is no shame in being supported. It's the utter opposite of loneliness, abandonment and feeling unworthy. They find a place to be. 

The other alternative is to address the real core issue. This comes up in your inventory- what does this experience make you feel. If another person is making you feel validated, supported, loved and even worthy- it's essential to identify people and situations in your life that also do this. 

But if you struggle with letting go of toxic relationships or ones that don't meet your standards, ask yourself, 
what relief am I getting by this Manifestation? What Pain do they take away? 

If you can identify the pain and integrate that belief system into something positive, you have just saved yourself YEARS of pain, agony and possibly really expensive therapy LOL!!!! 

If you feel weak in this; if you feel your willpower fails you in those situations, this is great knowledge. 
This is an indicator of a sneaky belief system or pain, that is present that must be addressed. If you address this pain alone you may be very capable of completely changing your channel that easily. Everything else comes organically. 

Let us not forgot- we MUST make our lives better NOW rather than that reality. 
I really feel grateful for my life and existence. I practice these steps DAILY and they help me to RECEIVE. 

SENDING YOU ALL LOVE!

GRACE
 

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GRACE SMITH

Remembering Jack

There’s a memory that I just can't seem to shake. I’m in a park, talking to a friend on a beautiful summer’s day. We’re chatting about nothing important, laughing, feeling great on a gorgeous afternoon. After a few minutes, my friend’s son, I'll call him Jack (not his real name) rides up on his bike. I like Jack. He always has a grin on his face and is a delight to be around. After a couple of minutes of banter, he takes off to go home.

Jack was murdered at Columbine High School, on April 20, 1999.

Every time there's a mass shooting, and there have been dozens of them since Columbine, I remember Jack and that day in the park. The Aurora theater shooting took place 10 minutes away from my house, and Jack's smile was in my head for weeks. Whenever I hear of a another senseless shooting, the memory of that summer day plays out in agonizing detail.

Valentine's Day turned out to be a terrible day for all of us. I spent the afternoon and evening weeping, angry, confused and frustrated by the fact that this rampant insanity is seemingly allowed by forces more powerful than the agony and grief of the thousands and thousands of mourners who lose someone to such violence.

This is a sickness that grips our cities, our rural areas and our suburbs. The disease is rampant in Chicago and on the coasts. It has spread to sleepy, picture-postcard towns and has struck in mighty cities that never sleep. It is always present and lurks around every corner. It is an atrocity. 

What could possibly be more powerful than the accumulated grief of an entire nation as it watches its innocent citizens be murdered? I ask that question of myself constantly, and the only answer I can come up with is a complete lack of conscience and an allegiance to special interest groups that have bought the souls of the very people responsible for protecting us.

My memory of Jack has run in a loop for days. I can't decide if I want it go away, or if I should cling onto it for dear life. It's become much more than a simple memory. Jack has become a symbol of what's right with the world, falling into the clutches of everything that's wrong, and it tears my heart to shreds. 

Why hasn't anything changed in almost 20 years? How can we, as the most powerful nation in the world, allow such atrocities to occur without genuine, concerted attempts to actually stop the carnage?

I have a sense that my recurring memory will be with me forever, as will be memories for all who’ve lost someone to violence, torn away for no reason. They are part of us and I now realize that that is how it has to be. Memories can spur us forward to do whatever we can to change the paradigm. Only by standing together and not being distracted can we bring changes that need to be made. It's up to us.

I promise you, Jack. I’ll never forget.

Mo Abdelbaki has been a student of metaphysics for over fifty years. He studies and practices Tarot, Vedic Astrology and life. He was once considered a long-haired, bearded freak. As he submits to the occasional hair cut, he’s no longer considered long-haired.
— Mo Abdelbaki
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Mo Abdelbaki has been a student of metaphysics for over fifty years. He studies and practices Tarot, Vedic Astrology and life. He was once considered a long-haired, bearded freak. As he submits to the occasional hair cut, he's no longer considered long-haired.