White Supremacy, Shame and Unconscious Contracts

Nov 8, 2020Power, Privilege + Oppression

We believe we enter into healing our trauma as individuals. But trauma is not individual, it is collective. Similarly, our healing is collective.

As a part of my work healing trauma, I speak about both the personal and the systemic.

We are living in strange times. Resonant constellations, and resonant language are the things that get me through the grief, horror and overwhelm I feel on a daily basis.

As I read the news and encounter the hatred, divisiveness and outright violence that has become normalized in our world, I continue to lean into neuroscience and resone as a way to understand and find compassion for us, for all beings.

I long to live in a world where we understand that all the flawed ways human beings behave when we are afraid, under-resourced, and violent are expressions of the astounding amounts of childhood and collective trauma we are holding.

The more we can free up our systems to acknowledge and see the violence we enact on ourselves and on each other, the more we collectively heal.

 

There is a direct line from personal trauma to political trauma, and all of our bodies are at stake.

It is November, 2020, just before the Unites States presidential election. As I watch with horror as another black man is murdered by the police, and as we approach an important election in the US, I would like to share an important note about violence, power, and a call to clarify that violence is trauma.

On Sept. 29, 2020, the leader of the Republican party said, on national television, during a presidential debate, to a group of violent white supremacists, “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.”

Now: I imagine there are many people on my newsletter and in my classes who identify as republicans, however there is a difference between the official Republican party–endorsing a president who endorses violence–and those individuals who have identified in the past or now as Republicans.

With these words spoken, the current Republican party has taken sides with violence and is inciting violence. There is a direct line from personal trauma to political trauma, and all of our bodies are at stake.

As a part of my work healing trauma, I speak about both the personal and the systemic.

At this point in history, the Republican party’s support of a violent leader is an expression of trauma, and whenever a group in power threatens harm to human bodies, they are in a trauma process which is not life-serving.


During my classes, I use the current political and historical use of disgust and violence as teaching points about the neurobiology of the dangerous misuse of power.

This is not a political ploy, instead it is my attempt to connect the dots between how trauma operates and how dangerous that trauma is when it’s combined with access to dominance (also known as political or structural power).

If you have the sense that this will be disruptive to your healing, I respectfully ask you to find another facilitator, as I long to support everyone’s healing in a way that is just right for each of us.

How do we work with white supremacy?

What are the larger cultural influences of white supremacy that affect people’s neurobiology?

In this episode of Re-Rooted with Francesca Maximé, Sarah talks about the different ways white supremacy burdens the immune system, and how the bridge of understanding helps create resilience in the body.

This seeing the ways systemic racism are reflected within ourselves and how we can work with them through unconscious contracts. She and Francesca discuss the uprising taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, and how white people can start claim accountability by letting go of unconscious contracts.

Unconscious Contracts with Sarah Peyton

by Francesca Maximé | The ReRooted Podcast – Ep. 41

Dive deeper

To dive deeper into understanding how white supremacy effects bodies, you might like my webinar on white fragility. Also, you can see other blog posts and resources about power and privilege here.

One of the organizing systems in the Global North is a prioritization of white bodied people. Join Sarah to explore the neuroscience research around privilege, defensiveness, and what often occurs when we combine access to dominance (privilege) with nervous system disregulation.

$20.00

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About Sarah

Sarah Peyton

Sarah Peyton

Sarah Peyton, international speaker and facilitator, has a passion for weaving together neuroscience knowledge and experiences of healing that unify people with their brains and bodies.

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