3 Audre Lorde Quotes That Changed My Perspective on Life

Life is a journey full of ups and downs, but a wise person learns from another’s mistakes, and an even wiser person learns from that wise person who learnt from other’s mistakes. Audre Lorde is still such a powerful force in the world for women and ethnic minorities (displaced or in diaspora) and where they be majority in their homelands.

Personally she has taught me so much about integrity, identity, self worth and survival.
Here are3 Audre Lorde Quotes That Changed My Perspective on Life:

1: “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”— The Cancer Journals

• I realised that at times as a young creative woman of colour, who is politically conscious and active in bringing awareness to those who may not be about the injustices going on around us, I feel dismayed…
A lot of times I feel afraid, worried, irritated and inadequate. I fear judgment and the kind of hateful ignorant backlash that tires you out and pushes you to the brink of depression. But when I read this quote over and over again I realise that there is power in my strength and awareness and triple power in my creative talents. Those are my weapons and as long as I’m properly equipped then there’s really nothing to be afraid of.

2: “When I live through pain without recognising it, self-consciously, I rob myself of the power that can come from using that pain, the power to fuel some movement beyond it. I condemn myself to reliving that pain over and over and over whenever something close triggers it. And that is suffering, a seemingly inescapable cycle.” — “Eye to Eye: Black Women, Hatred, and Anger,” Sister Outsider

• Sometimes we go through traumatic experiences in life that leave quite painful mental, emotional and spiritual scars on us. Scars so deep and painful we end up blotting out the memories until they are completely repressed. We can convince ourselves that this method of keeping our emotions and thoughts in control is the most progressive and suitable way of dealing with our issues. If we embrace our pain and look at the reasons why we feel pain or why pain is inflicted upon us we find better narratives to critically theorise our experiences. We can position ourselves as heroes rather than victims. We can use that new understanding to help others suffering in the cycle of pain. We can use the pain to unite with others and become a force and a voice against abuse and oppression.

3: “To acknowledge privilege is the first step in making it available for wider use. Each of us is blessed in some particular way, whether we recognise our blessings or not. And each one of us, somewhere in our lives, must clear a space within that blessing where she can call upon whatever resources are available to her in the name of something that must be done.” — A Burst of Light: Essays

• For so long I have been speaking out against injustice and pain, but was unaware of my privileges because I was so focused on others and what they had done and why they had done so. When I finally stopped yelling and complaining and crying and had a look at myself and my flaws and my gifts and talents and my place in the world and the things I’d grown up with, and the experiences I’d been blessed with, I was humbled. It made me realise that, you can’t choose the class you’re born into or your privileges but you can use your privilege to raise awareness about them.
Negativity is a waste of time and you literally have to keep shutting doors on bad vibes. It just doesn’t have a positive effect on our mental health. Nor does it provide solutions.
Even when provoked. Sometimes we would rather focus on others “issues” than deal with our own. But that actually is part of life. We’ve all been there; misplaced anger and rage that literally doesn’t do anything but cause hypertension.
We are all human and we all make mistakes. But when we humbly focus more on ourselves and continue to put ourselves in others shoes, we see the world differently. We become more compassionate, more understanding and more diplomatic when dealing with others.

xO

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