08 Mar Sunlight of the Spirit
What’s blocking you from the sunlight of the spirit?
When I write and speak about radical self-care and healing, I’m referring to the practices., potions, tools, prayers, available to us to reduce our suffering and continue to heal.
Many of us are weighed down by heavy energy around us. We can get drained by the people in our everyday lives, even those that we love. We can also experience hurt from places that have in the past been a place of comfort. I have been holding such hurt and heavy energy. It has shown up in my relationship with “the church”, specifically the “Black Church”.
Church has always been a place of comfort, protection, release, “joy”.
Well until 17 years ago when my partner and I started dating. My place of refuge became a place that I feared. The Church I had been attending, and been hugely involved in, had a written statement against, homosexuality. I had not paid much attention to it, because I was in my privilege. But once I fell in love with my partner everything changed. I left that church and was blessed to find a new church home with an amazing Pastor. I still did not talk much about my life with partner, with others outside of the Pastor. I sort of moved like, don’t ask don’t tell. There was always this element of fear or rejection. I moved to California in 2007 and I was blessed to find a church home where I can be my full self. It was wonderful! The church believed in heaven on earth, it is for black liberation, the Pastor is a black man who identifies as a feminist and supported the queer and lgbt community, it was multi-generational. There were so many things that I loved about being at the Church and in Oakland, CA. I had a wonderful community in so many different ways. Outside of church I had a larger spiritual community of sisters and fellow travelers, who were all about healing, themselves and supporting my healing. I began to practice yoga and meditation and had a loving spiritual guide to help me through my healing process. But then things changed, she passed away in 2011, I moved back to Minnesota in 2012, I wanted to be closer to my hometown, East St. Louis, as my Dad’s health was compromised. I am so glad I did, it allowed me to go home 7 or 8 times a year and I could get there within an hour on a plane. As you may know, my Dad passed away last May in 2018. So I am really glad I had that time.
I left a lot of things that were helping in my healing journey when I returned to Minnesota. When I moved to California in 2007 I was no less than 100 lbs overweight. I by 2009 I lost 120lbs and was deep into my healing process. After moving back to Minnesota in 2012 I brought many things with me, mostly I packed a lot of resentment and fear and those things were illuminated in a work environment that was steeped in oppression and racism. I felt like I deserved to be resentful, I carried that resentment like a trophy I won in an important sports match. But my “reward” was gaining 80lbs, Let me tell you that physical weight is much heavier will you add on the emotional weight of resentment.
Well, the work I have been called to do in the world, to hold space for healing and heartbreak and to use radical self-care as a site and source tool to get free, requires me to do my own work. I will admit I really did not want to do this part, that hard part, of letting go of the resentment I have about oppression, especially, racism, sexism and homophobia. But my higher power, who I call God, has given me a pathway to healing that requires me to surrender the hold that I have on my resentments. Be clear, I still think oppression is awful, but I have decided to engage in a process of healing that will not block me from the sunlight of the spirit.
Since making the decision to go deeper in my own healing so many opportunities have availed themselves. You may have heard that the United Methodist Church voted last week to prohibited LGBT clergy in the church and no same sex marriages. This decision highlighted a source of pain for me. My church of record is a United Methodist Church here in Minnesota, although I have been mostly absence over the last year. I just refused to be in places that I cannot bring my whole self. But in my attempt to protect myself, I was also blocking myself from the sunlight of the spirit and building so much resentment. But healing and manifesting is powerful, ya’ll. The Pastor of my Church of record, put out a facebook live post last week, stating that “the vote that the United Methodist Church took was wrong.” He believes, “ we can stand for holiness and humanity.” I am blown away and that was an answer to my prayer. I reached out to the Pastor and I have a meeting set up with him. I still was having some doubt about my place in the “black church”. I received a message earlier today, from my former Pastor in Oakland, CA, asking if I would be the guest speaker/preacher there on March 31st. This is healing. This is what happens when we open ourselves up, face the hard things. Let go of resentment. My higher power’s message to me is very clear, take your rightful place.
Why share this story? Do I think now that the “church” is free of oppression? Not at all. But what this healing process is teaching me, is that we get to be free now, we do not have to be blocked and beaten down by oppression. We get to heal, and cultivate joy and not give up on those things that make us feel free.
Identifying the source of what is keeping us from healing and practicing skills that mitigate it is a major step towards our own radical self-care and healing. When we take time to go within we are able to get out e of bondage and move toward freedom, and we can truly be WOKE.
What is blocking you from the sunlight of the spirit? Consider letting it go. I would love to walk with you on your journey, please feel free to reachout. #letsheal
Also send this to someone who you wish to encourage and share some light.