Back in the 80s I took a class in Re-evaluation Co-counseling. I was taught that ALL human beings are born good. I was also taught that as social animals, we share commonalities in the hurts we experience. We can create a safe space to share our hurts in such a way that we get reacquainted with our connectedness. We can even discover our connectedness around our stories of separation. In co-counseling, we are each others’ witness to our shared humanity and thus our shared healing.
From the point of birth, I as a White person was taught to pretend that I’m not a beneficiary of a system whose existence depends on Othering people. What is required of a person who has the privilege to pretend that race doesn’t exist? For me personally, the minimum is that I explore the headroom that my privilege provides. Some of that headroom takes the form of having space to learn how to get comfortable with my discomfort around race. Because I don’t have to worry about losing my life for falling asleep in a parking lot, I can simply worry about what people will think of me when I say something un-PC in my effort to support people who live with that reality.
I have been using co-counseling theory in all aspects of my life from teaching to performing to being in relationships. I have assisted at workshops and ongoing support groups. I led a support group for living creatively called Creating Your Life. It suddenly dawned on me that at this moment while White Supremacy is rearing its ugly head, it’s also revealing the power of White people to dismantle it. But power is not enough. We must be clear-headed. We can’t let our fears make us small and derail us. We need to access our collective and individual genius. We need to ride the waves of dissonance and harmony. We need to work together and alone. We need to be joyful and sing and dance. We need to be together.
If you are interested in a broader view of co-counseling theory, you can call me at nine two eight – eight three zero – 4387. You can also go to this Wikipedia page. You can also email me some good times for you to meet in a group.