As allies of our brothers and sisters, we might not always be on the front lines. It is not a struggle where we as allies should be at the front and in charge. It is a struggle where we amplify and encourage and validate, where we listen and where we stand alongside. It is not the main struggle–we are the supply wagons and support staff and the community of brothers and sisters. We can do what we can, without taking charge. It is not about us, but the work does require us to be about the work.
And we must not go farther than we can go. We must take the time not only to encourage and restore our brothers and sisters, we ourselves must find time to rest.
If you are involved in supporting others, you also must take the time to support your very selves.
Yes, do the work of what you can do. But be careful when you do what you need to do. The work required is overwhelming and you will burn out in despair if you do not take time to refresh and renew with your community, whether it is your faith community, your neighborhood community, the larger community of people of good will, other other life-affirming communities.
Even as allies and uplifters and amplifiers and supporters you will find you are weary. It is perfectly normal and to be expected, and while it might not seem important when compared to the weariness of those oppressed by those whom we only oppose, it is still weariness, and it can lead to collapse if we are not careful.
Find the people who uplift you, who encourage you, who energize you. Take a walk with them for the moment. Be refocused and re-energized. Follow your heart but understand the seasons.
Take on the empathy and wisdom you learn about oppression and response. Take on deeper understanding of our brothers and sisters directly affected. Be compassionate with those who are breaking down and given them space to be imperfect, frustrated, angry, reclusive, combative, which are entirely human responses to being overburdened past breaking. Find it in yourself to be an uplifter and supporter yourself when you see others falter.
This is a journey, a marathon, a life’s work, not a sprint.