We Can Be Both

I can be so relieved this is over,

   and so angry that it happened.

I can be inspired by people’s efforts,

  and furious that people did this.

I can be grateful for what I have,

  and grieving for what I’ve lost.

I can be both.

Limiting myself to only one

Limits my healing and recovery.

I can be strong,

  and I can be oversensitive.

I can be optimistic,

  and I can be offended.

I can be playful,

 and I can see how precarious this is.

I can be both.

I can be cautious,

  and I can be kind.

I can hold someone accountable,

  and I can forgive them for their sins.

I can have safe boundaries,

  and I can make generous assumptions.

I can be both.

And it’s not just me.

It’s we.

We can be angry at those who took from us,

   and feel compassion for those who have violated their consciences.

We can expect more of humanity,

  and we can acknowledge how people who feel dehumanised might behave.

We can demand justice,

  and decide not to judge.

We can be both.

Limiting ourselves to only one

Limits our nation’s healing and recovery.

Chaos makes us crave certainty.

Certainty makes us search for simple answers.

Simple answers make us see people as

      Either | Or

       Black | White

       Good | Bad

    Suburb | Township

     Looter | Patroller

         Rich | Poor

 Protestor | Protector

        Right | Wrong

May we all choose to be

wounded healers.

Because remember,

my neighbours known and unknown,

                                      We are both.