Stop Dehumanizing. Start Loving.

This may piss you off or it might get you to think or you may feel nothing or you may think I’m way out there. I’m not writing this for anyone except those that want to listen and believe we all have a voice. It’s not written perfectly and probably needs editing, but sometimes some things are worth saying in the moment.

2 years ago I stopped watching the news and quit following any type of politics. No more CNN, no more FOX, no more local news, no more reading the paper. I even stopped watching The Daily Show, which I loved. (Jon Steward left the show late 2015 so that made it little easier to give up). I stopped because I was burnt, was tired of fighting and became paralyzed in wanting to help everyone and not taking care of myself. Some may call my ignorance on world news and lack of information on what’s going on in the world irresponsible. But I believe it was necessary to get to where I am today.

Blocking out the noise helped me gain clarity on myself, my values & beliefs. It helped me understand what has shaped me and gave me the opportunity to SHAPE MYSELF instead of the WORLD SHAPING ME. It allowed me to see my gifts grow and understand how I can make a difference in the world. But it also removed me from the world. What scared me shitless was the fear of getting stopped by one of those news TV shows that ask simple questions to people on the street about current events/politics. I was going to be THAT GIRL. That dumb American girl on national television that couldn’t tell you who the current Speaker of the House is. Although funny, it was the risk I was willing to take to gain clarity. To find my own voice. Today I was stopped in my tracks as I realized it’s time to enter back into the world.

Let me tell you why.

It started this weekend when a close friend of mine started talking about what happened in Charlottesville. A wave of shame and embarrassment came over me as I fumbled to interact in the conversation. The fact was, I couldn’t. I asked for further information and realized in that moment that I didn’t want to be in the dark any longer. As a sat there, and instead of brushing it aside or faking it, I put on my big girl pants and told him I felt embarrassed. I explained to him that it was my choice to remove myself from the news, politics and pop culture. However, I felt irresponsible that I didn’t know what happened. Nothing forces action to do better than those feelings of ignorance. He didn’t make me feel dumb at all. In fact, he said I was probably happier not knowing all the negativity out there. But there’s a line. Turning my head and staying out of it doesn’t help anyone. Not even myself.

Its time to stop ignoring the dehumanizing. I can’t look away anymore.

I am guilty of not talking about topics in the world that are uncomfortable for others or myself. I’m guilty of brushing it aside and not thinking about it because it doesn’t affect me. That’s privilege. The universe has odd way of helping us see things.

Today was going to be my big exciting day. I focused on myself in the morning and had planned to release my digital products that I’ve worked so hard on later this afternoon. All my focus was on that. And although I still plan on releasing it (I hope so!!!), I now find my energy and focus on opening my eyes to what happened in Charlottesville and our country in general.

A live video feed popped up from Brene Brown as I was eating lunch and I chose to listen. My first instinct was to keep scrolling because the title was “We need to keep talking about Charlottesville.” I didn’t want to hear it and I certainly didn’t want to keep talking about it. But sat down and listened for the next 30 minutes. And I’m glad I did because I was supposed to hear that. (link to the video in the comment section. I highly recommend listening to it).

I won’t write perfectly about this and will probably say some things wrong, but the point is to talk about it. I can’t pretend anymore that all the dehumanizing and ruthless fighting doesn’t make me cry and wonder how humans can be so cruel to one another. I think about the immense pain that one must have been in to transform into someone that no longer cares about humanity. I don’t believe we should ever shame and dehumanize that individual. Because, as Brene Brown says in her video, shame is not a motivator for people to do better. I agree. Hold them accountable for their actions, call out the wrong, punish the wrong, unite in the wrong and speak up about the issues that cause people to do wrong. I don’t have the answers and it’s scary for me to say much, knowing I’ve been out of the loop for some time now. It can feel like I don’t have the right to say anything. I do have the right and the freedom to have my own point of view. So I’m taking the step cause I have to start somewhere. And if there’s one thing that makes me speak up, it’s the disregard of another human, the dehumanization of someone for their skin color, age, sex, religion, status, class, sexual orientation, or their life choices. The lack of respect one person can give to another is infuriating and at the same time incredibility sad and gut wrenching.

I will speak out when I see or hear something that is wrong. I won’t hold back because the fear of making someone uncomfortable. I won’t hold back if I feel there is wrong being done. It’s easy for me to sit back and not talk about privilege and race and shaming. As Brown talks about in the video, we all have some form of privilege. I was born into privilege. I am a white woman who has been blessed with beauty, high metabolism, and a heart. There is an unearned privilege in all that. Those same factors that bring privilege also brought feelings of shame. These variables of privilege and world views weren’t talked about. And when they were, it was talked to me in a shameful and put-down way. That I didn’t deserve things I worked for, that I had it easy or that I don’t have problems because I have a fit body. And here’s what perspective does. You don’t have to understand how that has felt in my life, the burden it carried and you don’t have to agree with how those factors drove my actions in my life. But you can choose to believe me and the experience I have had with the guilt of being pretty and the overcompensating I did to prove myself to the world. This is not comparing myself to what others go thru in life with race, being called names, bullying, hate crimes, etc. It’s a small example of how we all judge and see things through our own lenses.

I have stereotyped, I have had racist thoughts, I have discriminated someone based on the way they dressed or looked. Because I’m human and it happens. I catch myself. But I won’t let that be an excuse to act on those thoughts. I will not practice hate or act in anger. Normalizing the conversation to unite in a healthier way through communicating, love and curiosity help others see your story; your perspective. Approaching (someone or something) with what you feel is wrong with anger and self-righteousness won’t get better results and move people to a better place. As Brown says, “You have to reach out with love and curiosity. And be civil when you’re calling bullshit on someone.”

Go ahead and still call bullshit when you see it. Just don’t be shitty and a bully when you do.

Call me naive, or that it’s wishful thinking, but that’s where I stand. Those are my beliefs.

I’ve struggled with really hammering down my message and what I want to share. It’s more evident every day that my simplistic approach to life & fitness comes down to a big four letter word.

LOVE.

Through love, I want to make people smile, laugh and pause for a second to see there is good in the world. I want to share my passion for fitness, fun and play to help people see they can sit back and enjoy another human being. I want to bring you enjoyment and help you see some light. Yes, there are serious issues going on in the world, but if you can’t enjoy this world then why would you fight for it? Stepping back from the noise helped me see the world from a place of love and opportunity. When you immerse yourself in all the bad going on, it’s hard to see the light. Step back to find the light. And if you still can’t see any light, at least watch my quirky videos and try not to smile 🙂

With much love,

~ Annastoshia

PS-my website is still down and under construction, but I wanted to post this blog post, so please excuse the rest of my half-assed website while I’m still figuring that shit out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *