Personal Awareness

Personal Accountability in the Face of Tragedy

Dedicated to Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra Hart

This article contains no links, offers or promotions. I want to focus on two things only:

  1. Honoring the murdered Hart children
  2. Personal accountability

(If you are unfamiliar with the tragedy of the Hart family, please read here and here.)

I am holding myself accountable.

When I learned about the tragic death of the Hart family, I assumed it was an accident. I gave them the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel or had somehow lost control of the car.

I knew of the Hart family largely through the periphery of my community. I spoke with Sarah once, chatted with Abigail and Hannah about their costumes and never again personally interacted with any of them.

I fell for the carefully curated image they presented. I saw what I thought was a group of happy, healthy kiddos running around, freely connecting with community and sharing their love. I saw the photos when they popped up on my feed, and never thought twice that anything might be amiss.

When I heard about the death of these children, I thought it must have been a horrible mistake. As more articles described the charges, the abuse and details of the scene, I felt taken aback that this tragedy was looking less and less like an accident.

I am challenging myself to say anything about this topic at all, because I'm not directly involved, I barely knew the family and I generally dislike engaging with Facebook as a conversation platform (*note: I originally published most of this article as a Facebook post).

...but despite all of that, I was unknowingly complicit in condoning not only the terrible abuse of these children, but of white supremacy, white bias, and participating in the suppression of people of color.

By not saying anything, I would be letting myself off the hook, in a way. But that's not how I roll.

I'm hesitant to make this about me, because the world knows we don't need more of that, but that's really my best place to start. If I don't hold myself accountable, who will? If I don't challenge my own subconscious ideas and background narrative, who will? If I don't address my underlying beliefs about privilege and racial justice, who will?

If I don't ask myself how I indirectly participated in the murder of six children who were members of my community, who will?

Most of my work focuses on the micro: how can I support people as individuals? How can I help every human I meet to feel more empowered, healthy, aligned and present in their heart?

I hesitated to share this article because this is a very macro-topic of social justice, but when I ask myself how I can show up and serve more fully, I can approach it from a micro- point of view.

If you would like to join me, please see below for three invitations.

Invitation #1: A prayer for Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra Hart

We call upon and invoke the presence of our own Innocent Hearts, Archangels and Ascended Masters, guides and teachers of Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra, to please be present for this highest of healings for them, for their highest and greatest good. Please support their process of transition. We ask that their karma may be cleared of all abuse, fear, trauma, pain and suffering incurred in this lifetime and in all their lifetimes. Please help them to integrate the lessons of their lives and their deaths, so they do not need to repeat this pattern again. We ask that they receive support in shifting their soul patterns to align with health, happiness, vitality, joy, expansion, ease and love. Please help them move through the veil with ease and grace, knowing that they are loved, supported, held, Divinely protected and guided. Please let them release all that which does not serve them, and receive exactly that which they need on every level--physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, throughout all dimensions and throughout all space and time--so that they may be completely whole and healed. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the blessings.

We offer our deepest love to Hannah, Devonte, Abigail, Markis, Jeremiah and Sierra. We are so sorry for the traumas that you endured during this lifetime. Please forgive us. Thank you. We love you.

Invitation #2: A prayer for Jennifer and Sarah Hart

We call upon and invoke the presence of our own Innocent Hearts, Archangels and Ascended Masters, guides and teachers of Jennifer and Sarah, to please be present for this highest of healings for them, for their highest and greatest good. Please support their process of transition. We ask that they receive the support that they need in order to move through the Realm of Suffering Souls. Please help them to align with forgiveness, compassion, grace and love. We ask that their karma may be cleared of all patterns of abuse, violence, trauma, pain and suffering incurred and perpetrated in this lifetime and in all their lifetimes. Please support them in integrating the lessons of their lives and their deaths, so that they do not need to repeat this pattern again. Please let them release all that which does not serve them, and receive exactly that which they need on every level--physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, throughout all dimensions and throughout all space and time--so that they may be completely whole and healed. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the blessings.

Invitation #3: Journal and Meditation Prompts

It is only by asking ourselves the challenging questions that we can push our edges and grow. I firmly believe that system-level change begins with the individual--meaning that our personal patterns and belief systems directly translate to the patterns and systems present on the societal and global level. If we wish to change the system, we must look at the core beliefs of the people in the system: change happens from the bottom up, not the other way around.

If we live in a society that condones white supremacy, white bias and child abuse, we must investigate each of our core, underlying beliefs. This is where it can get a bit challenging. Looking at something in ourselves that is surrounded by emotional charge, societal conditioning and so much tension and judgement can make anyone shy away. But if we never look at it, it will never change. So we must look at it.

The good news is, you do not have to share your journal with anyone! (I do, but that's me. I have a higher threshold for personal discomfort than most people.) Your innermost thoughts and beliefs can stay on the page--that blank paper is your refuge.

That being said, please take this as an opportunity to be honest with yourself. You might uncover something you don't like--some hidden belief or bias, something that maybe you wish you didn't know about yourself. This is the risk we run whenever we do personal work! And yet, it is also the reward. When we shine a light on our deepest shadows, it can feel profoundly uncomfortable. Please know that you are safe, it is okay for you to look at these parts of yourself and that overall, you will be more empowered as a result.

Let's start with the self:

What are my beliefs about my own racial identity? What does that say about me? How do I want to feel about my racial identity?

Now let's zoom out a bit:

What are my beliefs about other people of the same racial identity as me? What are my beliefs about people of other racial identities?

Let's bring us all together:

How do I consciously AND subconsciously relate to people who are the same racial identity as me? How do I consciously AND subconsciously relate to people of other racial identities?

What next?

How do I want to show up in the world in the context of my own racial identity? How do I want to relate to people of other racial identities?

This is by no means a comprehensive guide. I absolutely do not claim to be an expert on racial justice. However, I am an expert on personal work and investigation, and this is the best I have to offer: a place to start.

If you're interested in more, check out this resource that a friend sent my way: SHETalks WETalk: Race Talks for Women.