Waking Up is Hard to Do

By Heather Plett on Tuesday October 20th, 2020

Waking Up is Hard to Do ...

First, you wake up to your own oppression,
to the ways you’ve been silenced,
to the many little stories you carry about why
your words are worth less than those who
benefit most from the old story.

You wake up to the truth that
your view of yourself wasn’t only constructed by you.
It was shaped for a purpose–to keep you small,
to keep you silent.

Then you wake up to your own anger,
to the fierce determination not to obey,
not to listen to the stories,
not to stay small.

But then, one day later on,
after you’ve learned to speak,
there’s another awakening.
You wake up to the fact that
your frustration taught you to adapt rather than to rise above.
You shape-shifted to be more like them,
to work in their hallways of power,
to survive in a world that didn’t want your voice.
You became one of them to be heard by them.

Your view of yourselfYou wake up to the truth that your view of yourself wasn’t only constructed by you. Image: John Noonan

Then your anger wakes up once again,
and you have a new determination.
This time, you speak with your true voice
whether or not it is heard.
You begin to live in the centre of your true life
whether or not it is acceptable to them.
You risk dismissal and disdain
because you are no longer willing to go back to sleep.

But then, one day later on,
you realize that there is something else going on,
and this will require yet another awakening.
This will require that you look with more clear eyes
and speak with an even more clear voice.

You begin to wake up to other people’s narrative,
other people’s oppression, other people’s silence.
You begin to see that those whose skin
is different from yours,
whose gender and love is different from yours,
are waking up too,
and their waking up is asking you to be uncomfortable.
Their waking up
is asking you to look more clearly and unblinkingly
at your own life.
Then you begin to wake up to your own privilege,
to the ways that you have benefitted from their oppression.
You begin to wake up to the pain in them,
and you begin to hear the cries of the silenced,
“We want to be heard too!”

This waking up is the hardest,
and you want to ignore it,
to resist it, to deny what you now see.
You want to return to your own narrative,
to your own uprising,
because in that you can feel victorious and liberated.
In that, you don’t have to face the truth
that maybe you, even you, are holding the keys
to someone else’s chains.

Unlock their chainsMaybe you are holding the keys to someone else’s chains. Image: Toa Heftiba

But finally, you can deny it no longer.
Your awakened eyes see that you are only truly free
if they are free too.

And so you wake up,
and you face the hard truths.
And you feel the hurt
when your micro-aggressions,
and white fragility are pointed out.
And you do the hard work to peer with unwavering eyes
on yourself,
and to see both the shadow and the light,
and the space in between.

And when you are awake,
you begin to see it all,
and you can’t look away.
And finally you see,
that when you are truly awake
and truly honest about your place in the world,
it is no longer threatening to stand by those
who are also waking up.

And your anger burns anew.
And your fierce determination rises up once again.
And this time, your love is big enough,
to hold their hurt along with your own.
And this time, your voice is strong enough,
to speak their truth along with your own.
And this time, your courage is deep enough,
to let them speak a truth that is
different from your own.


What is evoked in you as you read this? We would love to hear your thoughts, feelings, or experiences in the comments below.

With love and heart-opening awakening.


How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.




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24 Responses to Waking Up is Hard to Do

  1. Thank You for this, It has helped me live peacefully understanding my decisions and understanding others are struggling internally also1 Thank You!!!

  2. This made me cry many times as I read it, also made ME UNDERSTAND WHY I Am doing what I am and can’t move on from situations that are not beneficial to me. I see everyone around me struggling running in circles, behaviors damaging not only to their health, life but everyone else around them when something happens to one family member or friend effects everyone who knows them and love them. The easy thing is to let them do whatever they want, the hard thing is confronting and demanding change from that person. so we go round in circles all of us trying not to let them fall off the cliff but for some reason they are determined to live that way. many people don’t like me I tell them the truth show them they are wrong. as i read this it opened my eyes they are in the stage of awakening also or block the truth from themselves I thought it was because they didn’t like me or didn’t love me but maybe its because they are not ready to see the truth, live in their pain, its easier to sweep things under the rug or deny the truth but when faced with it right in your face then it cant be handled, so they continue searching for happiness just to fail. I am in general happy, they make me sad and depressed, their words towards me the hatred I get and then they say they love me.(circle)
    Question to myself is do I continue watching and clean up after everyone’s mistakes or do I separate from everyone I know in order live not necessarily financially better but emotionally free from the behaviors of others? My truth is I don’t want to be ALONE and it will HURT ME more if I could have been there to help them and did nothing. As my son said I don’t want to stop caring what kind of life would that be living NUMB! just following in a heard, but then we are with maybe few people looking at theothers running in circles, getting tired watching and wondering WHEN WILL THEY WAKE UP?!

  3. The most pain stems from comparing ourselves with others and making judgments about who is more and who is less. Who is higher and who is the underdog.
    But we need more awareness then that. We are equal.. but why we are equal? That is the most important eyeopener. I do not exist if you are not there and you do not exist if I am not here. We are existing because of the other. We arise interdependendly. With that understanding we realize that we need each other to be here now.
    That realization makes us change our view and how we act towards an other being.

    We need to awaken in another way too.
    There we need some work to do.
    The rich getting richer over the ‘bodies’ of poor or common people.
    In this COVID-19 pandemic it is very clear how the Pharmaceutical Industry like to profit from us. By making us afraid and don’t let doctors to prescribe simple / cheap medicine which make us better in an instant.
    They are trying to make us afraid and ready to take their vaccine. Government are being played with and brainwashed by the Pharmaceutical Industry.
    Protocols how to treat are made this wat that they profit the most.
    This is with COVID-19, but also with the Flu-vaccination every year, with the statine drug people need to take after heart operations the rest of their life’s, with the treatment of cancer (this protocol of treatment is very gross and unnecessarily painful, hard to get through, poisoning and letting people die). The are so many different good and cheap solutions to help people with cancer!! But because it is cheap and not a big profit to earn the Pharmaceutical Industry even kill the people who found this amazing solutions. There lies the eyeopener.
    They are busy now to make rules to force people to use the App so you can be aware who is infected, they want to use data of all our phones to make assumptions about where we all individually went.. They are lobbying for a Health passport, which can force us to us test, otherwise we cannot go to work or fly or go to public places. And after that they force us to get vaccinated, which still is not been proven to do well to our health.

    Please wake up and see that the ethnic issues are feeded because they can make big steps and make them irreversible.
    Please let us see we are one, we cannot live without the other, let us wake up and make steps to help ourselves to cure Covid19 so there is no any reason to use this vaccine.

    Make yourself as healthy as you can with good sleep, as good food as possible, enough fresh air, movement and sunlight. With extra Vitamin C (from fruit or vegetable or supplement), extra vitamin D (not too much!), Zinc And Quercetin. Please help yourself and let us stand up against Pharmaceutical sharks.
    Let us also stand up against Chinese merging. They try to buy themselves in in many countries to make the country their own. Please see it! Open your eyes, be aware, wake up!! Be brothers and sisters together because we beed each other.

  4. This speaks to a deeper place within all of us. I felt the white fragility was a narrowing of the scope behind the intent and left out a greater portion of the population also going through this. Awakening is not limited by ethnicity nor anything as superfluous as the color of one’s skin. This is a profound event that is sacred in every way imaginable and should be shared without limitations.

  5. This is magnificent. Thank you, Heather. What it brings to awareness for me is the levels of consciousness (awakeness) that take us from a Me to a We, from separation to connection.

  6. So much truth here! The truth is we all play a part in all that unfolds within and around us at this time. It is only when we no longer separate ourselves from both cause and effect that there is hope for true transformation required for real change. The transformation at hand now needs to move us to be our best selves with eyes wide-open to our complicity in so much that now threatens all of us. This has potential to take us deep enough to tap into our very essence as cooperative social beings connected to the entire web of life. This awareness of interconnection with all is perhaps the key to the Great Turning needed to allow all life to heal.

  7. If it’s all the same with this author, i’ll continue to empathise with others suffering without needing to castigating myself for alleged wrongdoings they are convinced i have done.

  8. Thank you for laying out the stages of awakening so clearly and with honesty. I take heart that – as herd as it is – it is the sure knowing that we are profoundly of one essence though of many forms that will save us. We celebrate both when we can call forth the finest in ourselves.

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