Saturday, February 27, 2021

Comments by Elevesque

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  • Today I started my work day arguing, then crying, then talking and finally hugging. Not a traditional way in which someone might start their day at work. Not traditionally the way I start mine either, but today wasn’t typical, it wasn’t just another day. It was the day we had an open discussion about these proposed budget cuts, with the community members in our Springfield space. It was the day that we held some really heavy information together, and were frightened by the potential outcomes of that information. Not because we’ve never been faced with big emotions before, but because for the first time ever, those emotions were attached to information that is threatening our ability to sustain the life of our community.
    I listened to people ask questions like ‘Have we done something wrong?’ and ‘Why would they do this to us?’ I sat with people who cried and talked with people who were curious about ways to help. It was an intense day. There will be more.
    The Western Mass RLC is the only place I’ve ever worked, or even been to, where we can talk openly and honestly about our feelings and how we are effected by the things that are going on around us.
    Today was exactly why I do this work. Not because of some certification (that I don’t have), and not because I think that in some way I can ‘fix’ other people…I do this work, here at the Western Mass RLC, because I get to be real. I get to sit with people in their sorrow and their fear and support them to move through it. I also get to stand up for what is right and know with confidence that I am not alone and that I am always supported. In this moment, when faced with yet another form of oppression, I get to stand in solidarity with my fellow revolutionaries and refuse to give up this fight.

    That is what we do at the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community. We do not give up and we do not encourage others to give up, or to comply, or to follow anything or anyone without an informed desire to do so. We are a community, not a place or a set of rules. We support one an other, even if that sometimes means sitting with uncomfortable feelings, or crying, or hugging…or being human.
    ~Erin