The Queen of My Self

by Patricia

As children of life, we are equipped by life with the pro-social trait of compassion, because it is essential to the survival of our species. Life gives us what we need to sustain Life, in, through, and around us.

We see this trait in the red fire ant colonies. When a flood hits a fire ant colony in the Amazon jungle, the species adapts to the water by linking legs and creating a living raft that floats on top of the water. On this living life raft, the queen and young are kept safe and dry until the floods subside and their raft reaches land. We are equipped by LIFE to create living rafts for each other.

We have linked together in compassionate outrage to demand that BLACK LIVES begin to MATTER to our police officers and within our so-called halls of justice. A living raft of marchers has formed in many of the nation’s cities in an attempt to keep our sons safe and alive until the floods of racism, finally and forever, subside. So that all our children are supported to grow, develop, and thrive. So that all our children can breathe!

Violence disregards our connectivity. Violence contradicts the call of LIFE within us. Compassion reminds us that we are all in this together and fills the streets with powerful words, actions, and cries of NO MORE!

Here are the mother’s stories…holding their breath each day as their sons go out into a racist world. And the white men’s stories, honestly reflecting on their privilege. We are all in this together.

Denise’s Story: I have 2 sons who’ve been pulled over by police. My youngest just because he was driving my car.  If the car is too nice, they assume my son stole it. I am scared every day for him. I call and check on him if he’s late. He’s a great guy. But many of the cops see a young African American male and think the worse. This has to end.

Catrice’s Story: Everyday I am tearfully grateful to see my 22 year-old son walk through my door to say HI to me and to hear his voice on the phone because I know one day he could be Michael Brown or any of the others before him. He’s a gift from God, on loan to me, and I cherish every moment with him. The pain and worry is real.

Janis’ Story: Several years ago when my 14-yr-old son was riding his bicycle to return a video to Blockbuster, he was stopped by a cop, thrown against a police car, and patted down because, as the cop stated, “he had on an over-sized tee shirt” and the cop thought he was hiding a weapon. I didn’t know which was sadder- (1) the response from his father who chalked it up to living in America or (2) the response from the police chief who claimed that the cop was simply doing his job. The psychological scars my son received on  that day infuriate me. Apartheid in America is real and dangerous. This cannot continue!

Jack’s Story: My friends and I, who happen to be white, were always doing stupid things in HS and college. We were stopped by the cops a lot but never feared that we would be killed. The police told us, “Go home and sleep it off.” or “Walk around the block and calm down.” We were never once threatened by the police. They treated us like we were their sons. Now I understand that the fact we weren’t killed is white privilege.

Let’s link arms, exorcise our own racism, challenge others to confront theirs, and together protect our sons and daughters to take another breath and to see another day. So they will write their songs, design our cities, invent new cures, and sustain LIFE in, through, and around us.


Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™


The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to


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