The Biggest Coverup in the White Human Psyche?

So…this coronavirus-outbreak-isolation period has gifted me with the space for a shadow-work journey; I’ve confronted personal virus’ around lack, disempowerment, fear, isolation, jealousy, resentment, guilt and blame, all of which separate me from love. I’ve sifted through memories and narratives, concocted stories, been triggered from all directions, and with work and guidance I’ve found my way through.

HOWEVER, nothing had prepared me for the immense shadow currently rising up the walls of my consciousness; towering in its darkness, ready to unbolt the façade, sweep aside the veil of perhaps the biggest coverup in the white human psyche-Systemic Racism. This virus has taken root, rotting in the core of the earth, its veins holding us all up by our ankles- destabilising us, climbing up our limbs, feeding in to our brains; dismantling unity, love, and humanity.

I was taught about ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ in a psychology class: We must fulfil each need/layer before we can begin to think about self actualisation-the peek of the pyramid, right? If we’re lucky, we’re born with the base already in tact; we have access to food and shelter, and as we ‘ascend’ we can address our social and ego needs- those which makes us feel like we belong and have a valuable purpose in life, and only then can we afford the luxury of working towards actualising our ‘true potential’.

What I didn’t understand was that, in order to climb the pyramid I must (both consciously and unconsciously) STEP ON THE BACKS of others; those members of society who don’t have the opportunity to climb because the guardian at the gate fears and judges them for the colour of their skin. You may be thinking, “I’ve never hurt a black, indigenous, or person of colour for my own gain, what an appalling idea, I’m not racist!” I believed the very same, but what I’m starting to come to terms with is that through my conceit at only recognising ‘racism’ as a ‘black and white’ event and not the insidious system that it is, not only am I racist, but I’m blindly nurturing the virus of racism and white supremacy.

So this is a wake up call to me, and to anyone else ready and willing to listen. You may have woken up long ago, and I am in service to you if that’s the case. I’m recognising that if I want to begin to fix the wrongs created by my ancestors, and curated by my walking life here in my unmet white privilege (yes, these are things I do have the right to claim as my own), I have work to do. I see now that if I am to really evolve in to my true potential, I must address the souls who are being left behind. This means a serious rooting to the physical and very human world, and ‘taking in’ the whole pyramid, not just the lucky top quarter. There is no divinity without humanity, and humanity is ALL OF US.

Being full of guilt, self hatred, sadness and contempt for the system is part of the process, feeling powerless is forgivable for a while; I accept that I am a human too, swimming with faults, weaknesses and blind spots, and therefore also a victim of the system. However, in order to be the conduit for change, I must realise how powerful I am in my position, and then see how I can use this for good. For me, the most integral part of humanity is facing one’s own shadow, and being willing to sit in defeat as I watch it fall away (sometimes in moments, sometimes over lifetimes). Please remember your shadow is never far from the person next to you, so shall we continue to collude in the darkness, or can we hold hands in the light? For those of you, like me, who are lucky enough to consider making your dreams reality; shall we keep all the bliss and joy to ourselves, or can we hold out our hands for others to claim their share of the Love; the Love that is meant for all?

With Love for humanity.

Carly Tennant


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