We Are Winning!

Hello everyone!

Here are some victories from the South Asian Liberation Workshop:[1]

  • By the end of the workshop, I could tell[2] I was connected. It was subtle—like something that had always been there that I was finally able to feel a bit more.
  • I could tell that I have more of my mind than in the past and that my struggles aren’t an individual failing. I decided again to learn Hindi, the language of my family, and this time it actually feels possible.
  • It was great to notice the gains I have made with my South Asian family. The despair and hurt of our isolation due to colonization is still there, but I can tell that I have them more than I did before.
  • I am more aware of how assimilation hurts me and hides information about who I really am from my allies.

The internalized oppression is strong and will quickly bring up early hurts when South Asians are together. We don’t need to step over these feelings. Azi[3] encouraged us to discharge early.[4]

One moment crystallized the workshop for me. In a mini-session I assumed that my counselor was criticizing me. Rather than go silent, I spoke up gently and requested that they shift their counseling technique. They were surprised and asked if they could speak to that. I said yes, ready to feel bad. They said, “You are a joy. I so enjoy being with you. That’s why I laugh. Not to criticize or dismiss you. It’s just what I feel when I’m with you.” For the rest of my turn I sobbed and screamed in their arms. I felt deep sadness for how my patterns keep me from seeing what is objective reality, and rage at whatever happened to me in the past to keep me from assuming my power, significance, and connection. It was a beautiful moment.

Many of us have been treated harshly. Gentleness and connection are a huge contradiction.[5] I have been conditioned to believe that life is only struggle. It is liberating to notice moments of joy, lightness, and being with people in fun. I have had more moments of connection and laughter with my South Asian family. This is tremendous. I hadn’t believed it was possible.

The work of discharging our early terror and other hurts is not fun! But it is key to noticing how amazing it is to be alive now, and what more is possible. The victory is having more of myself, and my people, and the world. Doing this work as a group is absolutely necessary.

This is what I feel right now: Wow. We are winning. We are winning.

Anu Yadav
Washington, D.C., USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders
of South, Central, and West Asian-Heritage People

  [1] A workshop led by Azadeh Khalili, near Boston, Massachusetts, USA, in July 2015
[2] “Tell” means notice.
[3] Azadeh Khalili, the leader of the workshop
[4] “Discharge early” means discharge on early hurts.
[5] Contradiction to the distress


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00