Interesting on this one, Jeannette. A new, now close Black friend (because of what happened this year and how we moved through it) told me this set her off. I thought about it, and saw her-meaning. I no longer ask this, particularly when- not IF- but when another Black person gets shot. I know how she is. I don't need to ask. What I do now is simply send a note that says,": I am here for you. You want to talk, I am here. You want space I am here. I holding a space for you."

For my part, that feels respectful and also establishes permission for the emotions. She knows that if she needs to rage against White folks and needs a White person to stand witness, I will. 'Nuff said. Sometimes that is the single most important thing we can do in a moment of great pain.

Such things have taught me a lot about allowing, about not taking anything personally, about being willing to bleed alongside someone I care about without the compulsive need to fix her pain because it inconveniences my day. The latter doesn't damned well matter. What matters is whether I can stand witness, listen, validate by not abandoning because the pain is so real.

Such work is Deep Work. You're asking White women to do Deep Work. Most of us are not, and may never be capable, of such work. For my part, what I've learned is to find, cultivate and go deep with others who get what real goddess work looks like. Those few are worth your investment for they will do the work of thousands. When you are seen, understood, heard and validated by those few, it makes up for all those who cannot hear, who fear to hear, and work even harder to shut down your truth.

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