In this episode, Komal chats with Valarie Kaur, a civil rights attorney, Sikh activist, and author of “See No Stranger”.
Valarie shares the difference between forgiveness and reconciliation, the concept of love as a verb that requires labour and care, and the ways that connecting to our ancestry and identity can help us amplify our impact and root into ourselves.
Trigger warning: Mention of Sexual Assault
Valarie shares with us the story of how she began to root into her identity and found the Warrior Woman within her after receiving advice from her Grandfather to not 'abandon her post' in her struggle and fight for justice. She shares advice on how you can also connect to the warrior within you to fight for justice.
How does one go about moving through and letting go of the identities that have been thrust upon them? Valarie shares how she has gone through the process of unlearning certain identities that have been thrust upon her, and how she has learned to root into the identities that she wants to be defined by moving forward.
How letting emotions come and go can make you resilient? Komal and Valarie talk about the bravery that it takes to show up with empathy and love in order to fight for change and justice in any space.
What is the difference between reconciliation and forgiveness? Valarie shares her experience with forgiveness and reconciliation, and how forgiveness allowed her to heal herself. How learning to process one’s rage can connect us to the ability to fight for ourselves, and also love ourselves.
Why tuning into your rage can be divine: How we can harness the energy of rage to channel our creative work into the world in a safe container.
How we can summon our ancestors to tune into our strength? Valarie shares how connecting to your ancestry can support you in showing up in the way that you are meant to in the world.
I wasn’t shown healthy ways to process this emotion I felt, and was often told it was unwelcome and harmful.
I can understand why, in our household when rage was present, it was explosive. The volatility of the anger in our home left all of us on edge at times, and suspect of this emotion we would all feel. The domino of suppressed emotions after the harmful outbursts separated us from one another.
As I got older, I realized that my rage was actually a guide towards what I most cared about, and a barometer for what I was willing to tolerate. When I learned to embrace my rage and learned how to express it in useful ways -- in my work and activism, or in a healthy, empathetic conversation where it could be named and not weaponized – rage became a tool for my greatest expression.
This episode of Lessons Learned, we learn about finding strength and guidance from your ancestors and how to honor your identity even when you are feeling othered. We also explore the differences between empathy and feeling; between forgiveness and reconciliation; and between love and rage. This conversation was a truly impactful and transformative one, and it’s one you won’t want to miss.
Until next time,
Komal interviews therapist and boundaries expert, Minaa B. She teaches us to learn how to create strong boundaries and how to honour ourselves and those we love in the process. We also explore how to navigate boundaries with work, how to navigate the fear that can come when creating and sustaining boundaries.
THE NEXT RIGHT STEP SERIES
Komal chats with best-selling author, speaker, and professional troublemaker, Luvvie Ajayi Jones. She shares with us the power of surrounding yourself with people who see the bigger you, how connecting to your identity is a superpower, and how you have permission to want more in your life and work.
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Komal talks to Deepica Mutyala, Founder of Live Tinted about redefining our relationship to work and success. Deepica shares her story of why she refused to buy into other people’s expectations for her life and career and the narrative that she couldn’t work and be well while building the career of her dreams.