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June 7, 2020

I’m privileged

This whole buzz feed  “privilege” score that’s being passed around is fascinating to me. Apparently my challenges make me 30/100 privileged. Or “not privileged.” It seems to mark privilege as a moment of very specific (political) social invalidation.

There’s no category here of being abused- or a single parent- loving or carrying responsibility for addicts or people with mental health issues. What about our culture of gross age discrimination? Attempting to rank our privilege is – interesting to me.

I’ve overcome a lot, but I do not affirm for one second I’m not insanely privileged.

First, I want to ask you all- if you score higher in privilege are you less likely to share your results?
Honestly,  does it feel like we teach shame for our blessings and support systems instead of focusing on acknowledgement and gratitude for them?

I’d like to think that maybe our privilege is something that could be celebrated/appreciated and used to uplift each other. I’d like to think that we are also not a culture that competes in our hardship and victimization. In that, could we create a culture where we celebrate privilege? Where as a rule, we focus on empowering ourselves and others?

The goal of quiz I took is to bring awareness around the judgements and challenges minorities often face- I’m all for sharing our stories, perspectives, opinions and really seeing and acknowledging each other and our differences. I think we suffer from an inability to converse and to really listen.
I’m all about it.

I AM privileged with a life that I’ve uniquely built doing what I love, with an empowering and loving community that I’ve chosen around me. It’s true I’ve grown into a place that I didn’t start from. I did that largely because I wasn’t fully following a need for social validation. My “challenges” are exactly what gave me the understanding that my self love and empowerment didn’t belong to anyone else, but I didn’t do it alone.

It’s still a life long unfolding.

Each perceived challenge takes me into a new awareness of where I’ve allowed limitations to be placed on me-and where mine and others beliefs may limit my power – my power to be in appreciation and growth in my life. I didn’t do this alone or without support and privilege.

It’s true that if and when I share many of my stories people are often shocked. However, I can not say that my challenges were not also the catalyst to breaking me open to re building more fearlessness- more authenticity- more expression -more appreciation- more focus on supportive community around me- and ultimately, more of what I perceive as “privilege” in my life.

I’ve met wealthy white entitled men living in more shame and isolation than I can bear to imagine. I’ve met people with almost nothing with more joy than I can fathom. We all have our lessons to face- and grow from- whether we carry the shame of perpetration or victim wounds- they both carry a weight of burden.
I’m not belittling how hurtful our social experiences can be- I know it. I’m also not underestimating the power of communal/ tribe support.

I think we need rethink and redefine our perceptions of privilege.
I don’t think privilege is about a specific moment of facing adversity- or if your homosexual or even if your overly abused and suppressed-
It’s about our access to a support system when we do face it. That means a system of acknowledgment, holding space, opportunity and access to tools for cultivating strength and sustained basic needs. Can we let go of the illusion of a hierarchy in this exchange? These tools include both internal reflection and responsibility, as well as access to practical support in basic needs.
I’d like to remove any undertone that we are competing for or rating our victimhood or our privilege. I’d like to celebrate privilege as a potential moment of identifying the success of holding each other while we remain in our personal power to be the creator in our own lives.

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