Note: More to Life with Faith and Lois is designed to be heard, not read. We hope you’ll listen to the audio, which includes emotion and emphasis that won’t be on this page. Our transcripts are generated with speech recognition software and may contain errors. 

 

 

Lois 

Welcome to the podcast More to Life with Faith and Lois.

 

Faith 

I’m Faith.

 

Lois 

And I’m Lois.

 

Faith 

Our podcast explores the things you face in life that inspire and daunt you.

 

Lois 

Hi, Faith.

 

Faith 

Good morning, Lois. How are you doing?

 

Lois 

I am doing well. You know, every day we start with a wonderful morning, right with all in store for the day. And these days are these kinds of days that are just filled with far more uncertainty than ever before. And I think that’s been the theme, you know, we’ve gone through not gone through, we’re still part of what’s going through with COVID. But now we add all the tension that’s that’s going on around us and so I wake up with a lot of hope, and then I get jarred a little bit and then I figure how am I going to move through this day with that balance of discomfort and hope It’s a kind of a, I think I’ve always had that discomfort and hope and now it’s just really up. It’s boiled over for me.

 

Faith 

Well, let’s face it, there’s been a lot that has been stockpiled on all of us with the COVID. And now, the protests which are needed, but we have so much going on in our world right now. And there’s a underlying tension that we are living in and we are pressing through. So yeah, there’s a lot going on.

 

Lois 

Yeah, so much that was under the surface for years, maybe just four weeks for you has been boiling over the surface. And, you know, George Floyd’s death at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers wasn’t the first time a person of color has died while being detained. But this time, things are different. And we all know that and we’ve been experiencing that for the last two weeks. The truth is out and faith you and I both have friends who have to live with a crush of fear and anxiety every day. My friends, I mentioned this I think last week she talks about the fact that her son’s drive while black, and I, as the mother of three sons know that they sometimes would drive their friends to their basketball games because they knew that my kids wouldn’t get pulled over for an infraction that maybe they would have. So, we know there has been an issue and for some reason, we get to a place and we go, okay, it’s not so bad. Ah, it’s fine. Okay, and not so bad. But we are realizing now that it is so bad, and that there are changes that need to be made. And, you know, in our podcasts, we are just trying to stay current with what’s going on in life, because it’s so much more volatile these days, Faith.

 

Faith 

We absolutely have been focusing in on what are the current issues because they are monumental for us to experience and to try to understand. For many, this is the first time that their worlds have ever been rocked, so to speak. If you’re older, you’ve been through this before, and through the 60s, and if you’re older than that even before then. So there’s different experiences that we’ve all gone through in life. But this is an important one. This is a real catalyst of kind of the perfect storm I’ve been. That’s how I’ve described it. A lot of times when I’m talking about it, we’re kind of in a perfect storm. We had the COVID coming at us from one way to really repress us and to quiet us for two, three months. And then we have this eruption of what is underneath with a loud kind of voice and expression. And wow, how do we juggle that? How do we handle everything that we are experiencing right now?

 

Lois 

So we’ve been talking about this for the last several months and weeks and we’re also doing posts for you that are video posts on Thursdays. And if you’d like to hear any of the conversations that Faith and I have had, you can go to our website www.moretolifewithfaithandlois.com. Of course, on your favorite podcast platform where you might be listening to us right now, you can hear back episodes if you’d like. And you can get a weekly newsletter if you go on our website, if you’d like to participate with us. So today we are wondering out loud, how do you wrestle with discomfort in this time, because we talk about uncertainty. But right now there’s this itchiness that is possessing many of us, especially those of us who are white, saying, We are really uncomfortable. What do we do next? And so we want to explore this question today in our podcast. And the first step that we have seen as we look at this, as faith and I have talked is that we have to make a decision to study and that might mean to read or to listen or to ask questions, but we don’t have all the answers. So what does that look like when we say let’s study so that we can wrestle with some of this discomfort?

 

Faith 

Hmm, well, I think it’s finding the information in really good resources. And you you’re going to list some actually really good reading material and books. And there’s so much out there right now that that you can glean his history you need, we need to go back and know our own history. I think sometimes it’s just glossed over in school, and we read it, but it’s just factual. And we lose the experience of what has actually happened. And so so much of it is, let’s move out of the cognitive state. And let’s get more into the relational heart of what is really going on here, so that we can actually become a part of what is currently going on because it’s all woven together. It’s a part of a long story. And the story hasn’t reached its ending yet.

 

Lois 

No, and there are calls right now for us to become allies for black people for our black friends. For our black relatives, there was a quote that I read the How could this happen? meets the I told you so. So when are we going to get to that place where we can read enough that we start absorbing this. And if you’d like a bit of a cheat sheet By the way, Business Insider has an amazing article that they just posted this week. And they’re out with a list of books that Americans can read right now. And they have 16 books on race and white privilege that will really demonstrate what’s happening in America right now. And I we have included this faith and I have this link in the transcript of this podcast if you want to go to it, but https://www.businessinsider.com is where you can go, and here are a couple of the books. So one of them is called. So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo. The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, and that one’s by Robin Diangelo. Racist America, by Joe Feagin. And White Rage, by Carol Anderson. I’m only bringing up five here because there are so many more. But the idea being, if we would begin to crack some of this and understand from a different level, even if we’ll never embrace and know it for ourselves, we’ll be able to hear, we’ll be able to be with the relationship relationship piece that you’re talking about Faith, we can’t even begin to explore when we don’t understand or begin to understand or hear or listen to what happens in other people’s lives. And by understanding I also, I want to take a step back because it’s true, I will never be able to know what people of color go through in these situations, but I will have a much clearer thought process of where I fall short, and where our country has fallen short.

 

Faith 

Mm hmm. Absolutely. And as we watch all these different scenarios on fold in our country, we need to be listening and watching and not going, oh, I’ve heard it. I don’t need to listen again. I think we need to listen to it over and over and over again and really begin to take it in rather than just dismissing it as information again, what is the experience? What are we hearing in the tone of people’s voices that are crying out and saying, This is what I’ve experienced? What are we seeing and hearing as they describe the incidences that they’ve all been through? And we’ve been hearing it for a long time? Because this isn’t new information. It’s been spoken. And so I think that’s where we take a time out to evaluate our own dismissing even though that’s not our hearts, even though you may not feel like you are doing that. Why haven’t we heard And I think that’s part of where we take an evaluation of ourselves and go what has kept me from really hearing? And now that I mean even another opportunity, why here now?

 

Lois 

So we’re asking the question, how do you wrestle with discomfort in this time? So in addition to studying and really beginning to hear it from a perspective that maybe we have forgotten, you know, we get fatigued by certain topics, we just do, we move on. We’re a society where once we want instantaneous gratification, but the second place, which is also equally difficult is for us to wait and to pause and to actually sit in that discomfort to think about those things, which is really tough. And so I wanted to share something I read this morning from Franciscan priest Richard Rohr, he wrote on the unspoken privilege of being white, and it’s very, very powerful. So he writes for a long time, I naively hoped that racism was a thing of the past. Those of us who are white have a very hard time seeing that we constantly receive special treatment because of social systems built to prioritize people with white skin. This systematic white privilege makes it harder for us to recognize the experiences of people of color as valid and real when they speak of racial profiling, police brutality, discrimination in the workplace, continued segregation in schools, lack of access to housing, and on and on. This is not the experience of most white people. So how can it be true? Now we are being shown how limited our vision is, because we have never been on the other side. We largely do not recognize the structural access we enjoy the trust. We think we deserve the assumption that we always belong and do not have to earn our belonging. All this we take for granted as normal. These are the words of Richard Rohr And when I read them this morning, and I went back, he’s written a book on this entire subject. And there there is a podcast he’s done on this as well. And faith I was so challenged by this because I, I look at someone like him and I see how he embraces every person of every persuasion. And yet he admits that we get to these places where we think we’ve done enough, you know, that’s done for today. Let’s move on to the next. Because when we go to sleep, we go to sleep in our own skin. And we don’t realize that for so many people of color, when they wake up, they start all over again. And this is a reminder of humility to me that I have taken for granted as normal, who I am.

 

Faith 

That’s so beautifully written in it and it is a reflection that we need to read or listen to many times over for the depth of it to fully come into a full vision for us to understand and to step into I have an experience that just happened actually last night. And I was going through social media and an acquaintance and friend who happens to be African American, wrote about to express what was in his heart, an experience that he had had when he was young, and he was driving home from church, and he had to go through a white neighborhood and he was nervous. He knew he had to obey the rules. He had to stop at every stop sign. He had to go the speed limit. He was doing everything correct. And as it would be, it was later and so chock full of white. I would call bullies came alongside and spoke obscenity and things to him that were awful. And very, I’m sure very frightening, it had to have been, and so I could have easily just moved on. thought, well, that’s really good or just like liked it or said something in passing. But something stirred inside of me that I needed to say more. And when I thought about it, it took me a little while but this is what I came up with. And I’d like to just share it. I addressed him by name first, and I said, as I read your account of this horrible event, I could only imagine how anxious you must have been the unknown of what dominating bigoted bullies are capable of doing is evil at work to still kill and destroy. I’m so thankful to God that his hand protection was covering you that night. You bring so much goodness into our world with your musical talent, giftedness, creativity, and compassion for others. You are a blessing to many. I pray that the seeds of change will begin to grow and that your precious sons and you never have to face what you had to face that night or any other time in your life. I will do my part, I will continue to listen and learn. And I have hope that many more will do the same. There is much more to be done. It is vital that these nightmares come to an end. May we all do whatever we can to awaken more people to true to goodness and acceptance of all people. And his response was, thank you so much for this. And I think as we’re trying to figure out what to do, what’s really important for us to remember is we need to relate we need to just we can’t relate to their full experience, but we certainly can empathize with times that we’ve been afraid times when we’ve been threatened. times when we We’ve been bullied and how we felt. And it’s not to make a comparison to what they’ve gone through because we cannot relate to, if you’re white, you cannot relate to what they have been through all this period of time for so many years. But we can be empathetic to the experience of what they have gone through. And that’s saying, I’m relating to you, as a human being. I’m giving you what I wish somebody would have given to me. And that is care, concern connection. I’m listening, that had to be hard. That had to be difficult. That had to be scary. And I think that’s one of the first steps and that’s where I’m stepping into is trying to really move into being empathetic and caring and concerned and listening.

 

Lois 

And you did just that Faith and you wrestled with the discomfort. Because, like you said, I didn’t know what to write, I almost passed and wanted to just, you know, love this person and move on. But instead you chose to step in. And I think that’s what is so challenging for us. And what a great example. Thank you for sharing that. And we come to our third point with exactly that, which is, so how do you wrestle with discomfort in this time, by acting by responding by speaking by standing up for truth? And let’s face it, as we are both white women, it is not our actions that are going to spur movement in this direction. So how do we follow and listen to our colleagues and friends or respond as faith just did? Well, there’s another wonderful article in Forbes right now. Dana Brownlee just wrote, Dear White People: Here are 10 Actions You Can Take to Promote Racial Justice in the Workplace. Another brilliant article. That’s the title of it, you can Google it and the link will also be in the transcript but I’m going to pick just five, because they are so such great reminders. And and many of you will go, I’ve already thought of this and we go, Yeah, that’s right. But you listen to a podcast just to get spurred. So that’s what we’re here for. So among the 10 actions we can do the first is get to know more people of color. How do you do that? What community? Are you surrounding yourself with? That you possibly could do that? What about it where you go to have fun in the park? Who do you hang out with? How can you know more people of color? call a friend of color this week to talk about the current state of protests and upheaval. I think this is a really good one for all of us who don’t know what to say don’t know what to do. We have our phones, we can text we can call and say how may I support you today? And that’s it. And if there’s a way we can do it, let’s do it. Talk to your own kids about race. This is really powerful. How old are your kids? Are they young? Are they older? Do you have this discussion at the dinner table? This is a really challenge. One that will promote racial justice, challenge your own stereotypical beliefs. And that’s what faith and I are both trying to do is we’re reading more and in investing our time and our thoughts and our energy in this actual process of racial justice, and then speak up publicly. Now these are only five of the 10. So if you want to read all of Dana’s list, you’ll have to go to her article in Forbes. But faith I thought these were really great to just kind of spur some action within us and say, yes, yes, I don’t have to sit quietly by even if I’m not a person of color.

 

Faith 

Yes, there’s there really are a lot of avenues that you can reach out and learn more and to be able to step in and and do it in a way that fits you don’t just say these are, the list is too long and there’s too much to do. Find ways that work for you. Just don’t be apathetic, don’t step back. Stay Forward, step into and find ways that you can begin to engage and to do what you can do you, we one person that said that can change the world well, maybe. But just think of what a united force can do to change the world. So every droplet of change, every droplet of doing something is making an ocean full of possibilities of ways to change the future, so that we don’t stay here. Why do we want to stay where we’ve stayed for 244 years? Why would we want to? We don’t. So let’s make a difference.

 

Lois 

And the relationship component is the critical piece and faith. We started with this and we’re going to end with that and that has to do with our hearts. You know, where are you? Where is your heart? Is it filled with love and wanting to watch this go forward? And this isn’t just Kumbaya folks. We’re not just saying sit in seeing something we mean it like, where do you feel it because if you don’t own this and have this as an area of compassion, then it probably won’t, won’t spring through. And I am reminded constantly, like, how would I want others to treat me? Am I doing the same? That’s the act of you know, the golden rule really is applicable here. So where is our heart for relationship, whereas our heart to be treated fairly the way we would want to be treated? How would we extend that to a brother or sister or friend or relative in need?

 

Faith 

Exactly. And the key thing is love. Let it guide you. Be kind, be respectful, be compassionate, be concerned. See everyone, as someone like yourself, you’re a human being. We all have been hurt. We’ve all been abused. We’ve all been violent. We’ve all been rejected. We’ve all been hurt. Well That’s what we’re relating to, we’re relating to what another person has experienced. And if we do that, that’s a huge step towards making a change.

 

Lois 

And if you do need to talk, we would love to be available to you Faith as a registered psychotherapist, I’m a certified Life Coach, you can find us on our website mortal life with faith and lowest calm, we are here for you, you are not alone.

 

Faith 

These are challenging times. And there are ways we can reach out and open ourselves up to the possibility of healing,

 

Lois 

we may be uncomfortable, and that’s good. By acknowledging what will make a difference by people who know much better than we do, we can grow.

 

Faith 

You are not alone. And we are here if you do need to talk

 

Lois 

And join us next week when we explore another facet of how we are managing life in these challenging times.

 

Faith 

Sign up for our weekly newsletter on our website and subscribe to our podcasts wherever you listen,

 

Lois 

No matter what you face in relationships, your body, spirituality or your craft.

 

Faith 

We are here to assure you, there is always more to life.

 

Faith 

We’ll be back next week.