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What Would It Mean to Show Myself Fully?

A couple of weeks ago I attended the South, Central, and West Asian Workshop in Boston (Massachusetts, USA), led by Azi Khalili.1 Betsy Najjar2 was the organizer and did an amazing job of getting thirty-seven people together. Most people flew in from different parts of the United States, and a few, like me, came from other countries.

Coming together like this reminded me of our beauty and smartness and how we go after3 real connections. We got to work on where we have been separated and take pride in our languages, religions, and cultures. 

Azi stressed how important it is that we show ourselves fully. Showing everything—as an Indian Punjabi Hindu Kshatriya (warrior cast) middle-class female—is scary as hell! I tend to hide a lot and hope no one notices. I show different parts of me to different people. No one, not even my two lovely teenage children, has seen every part of me. 

What would it mean to show myself fully? I do not know. It’s like losing control completely. The hiding distress, and that no one expected my mind and intelligence, has led to feelings of being defeated. I have felt completely discouraged. 

Azi always has high expectations and stresses that discharge, combined with perspectives (on reality), is what we need. She knows how well we function and that we are smart. She encouraged us to take action and dare to be intrusive. It can feel like a messy mine field, but it’s a straight way to liberation. 

She also talked about our men and how they are hated and seen as evil. I experienced this when I recently attended a big democracy festival. A fascist political party had a stand. My black friend and I asked them about their politics. After a while they said that our men “rape their white women” and that we “want to eliminate the white race.” I continued to ask what they meant. 

Getting this right in my face restimulated feelings of powerlessness. It was not easy to keep in mind that these extremists were good people with some racist distresses. 

The workshop challenged a lot of my chronics4 and how deeply scared I am to show more of me. I feel so grateful and proud that RC has figured out that we can heal from our hurts and that we get to go for5 the real connections. 

Sujata Maini  
Stockholm, Sweden 
Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of women 

1 Azi Khalili is the International Liberation Reference Person for South, Central, and West Asian-Heritage People, and  the Area Reference Person for the Brooklyn Gardens, New York, USA, RC Community.
2 Betsy Najjar is the Area Reference Person for the Albuquerque II, New Mexico, USA, RC Community.
3 “Go after” means pursue.
4 Chronic distresses
5 “Go for” means pursue.

Last modified: 2014-12-23 10:20:54+00