I'm back, for real, for real! This post is a transcribed from the podcast "The Truth About Self-Healing and Healing Forward". It has been split into two parts. The full podcast is available on almost all platforms, to listen to the podcast now, click here: Website iTunes Soundcloud.
First, Generally, What's Self-Healing?
It is a part of growth and it is needed when we think about attaining the best version of self, preservation of the self. This is going inward to find what needs fixing, it's addressing your trauma and committing to doing the work to make progress. The work can be journaling, counseling, praying, sitting, whatever makes sense for you. It's the nurturing of your emotional-wellbeing.
Self-healing is an intuitive call to action to limit, remove, or add to your life what will improve or best sustain it. I feel that there are innate self-healing measures that our bodies take, but there is a conscious approach as well. No matter its form, it is important. It's needed. Our bodies are our homes and we have to maintain it and care for it. If not, we remain broken in ways that can further harm ourselves and others, perpetuating cycles that we didn't choose to be in, but that we can choose to stop. Self-healing is a reclamation of power. The harm done to us leaves an impression even though we might've had no say in it. But, we do get a say in how we proceed, we do get to decide what to make of our scars. When we think about what we want from the outside world, we have to remember that we attract what's within us. The peace we desire externally can only be mirrored by the peace we create internally. So self-healing is part of our greater work. And this is work because we have to muster through and uncover before we can recover, we have to unearth before we can bloom. And the world needs our bloom.
When a plant is cut, cells regenerate to close the wound so it can continue to grow and minimize risks of becoming further infected and dying. When your physical body is wounded, an army of different types of blood cells and platelets swarm in to heal and close the wound. Where there is harm, nature shows us time and time again that the response is to repair. So, when our mental and emotional is harmed, repairing is also required, and this, is what I refer to as self-healing—the conscious and deliberate choice to go inward, discover the hurt, and heal and repair from inside out to preserve your livelihood. Bottom line, self-healing is survival.
What Does Self-Healing Look Like, How Long Does it Take?
Self-healing doesn't look the same for everyone or for every situation. There isn't a one-size-fits-all "method" or true blueprint. I think sometimes we think of self-healing as this huge daunting task, and that's not always the case. So long as we are alive, we will need to self-heal.
It can look like:
Talking to friends and family
Acknowledgement and acceptance, then release
Self-Healing and the Deeper Significance for the Now
When I think about where we are now as a nation and how intense and imperative it is that we fight for justice for Black Lives, I have heard the term, "rest" a lot. And while I understood and was grateful for everyone who quickly put that out there, I wondered about the people who are on the visible frontlines and who are taking action that is more, "athletic" if you will. I wondered about the people, like myself, who felt sometimes that resting wasn't a luxury I could afford when there are so many battles to be fought. So, I thought it was important to express what is meant by rest and why it is required. Hopefully this can help to rid ourselves of the guilt pertaining to "rest"and self-healing in its many forms.
The reason why I prioritize self-healing right now, and why I find this super relevant today, is because after all the protests, you still have to come home. Fixing the outside world does us good, but not if our inner-universe is in shambles.
I don't think there was ever a more important time to self-heal than now because what we are witnessing and experiencing is not normal and we should not normalize this trauma or the excessive exposure to killings and lack of justice. And if we don't take the time to heal, pause, breathe, speak about it, we will internalize this and pass this down through DNA, learned behavior, and otherwise. We talk about generational wealth, which is surely a necessity, but generational health is vital. Self-healing is key to breaking the vicious cycle of trauma inheritance.
Self-Healing is Community-Healing is World-Healing...
So now, I want to talk about self-healing as it benefits our communities and larger world even in this moment. I think of it this way: When we talk about fixing the neighborhood, we get so caught up in finding a way to make a grand and sweeping cure all gesture, forgetting that the best way to do it, is to individually tend to our homes. If everyone fixed their home, we have now fixed the neighborhood, for the most part.
I recognize that when we extend this to our country, we are now far past this and at this point we must not only tend to our own houses, but call out occupants of mansions who refuse to reconstruct from scratch demolished homes whose debris, molded and infected fabrics have contaminated nearby cities... But for a moment, imagine what the world would have been like if we nourished ourselves enough to where we had energy to feed our families. To where if our families were so full that they didn't have to beg or steal from around the neighborhood. To where neighborhoods were so rich in nutrients that they could afford to cook for the next neighborhood over if they ever needed it. Self-healing is world-healing. Inner peace is world peace. The city is only a reflection of its people, and if its people are in a healthy and loving mental and spiritual state, we create a nation that reflects that too.
This isn't the only way to heal our world, but it is an important piece, and I do not want us to forget or undermine self-healing as a form of activism.
On a personal level, I have had to actively and consciously remind myself that this is a fight for the long haul. Each human being was fashioned in a way that would best nurture their purpose. I think of fruits that were fashioned with outer flesh to protect the inside, animals with fur to protect them from the cold. We were individually created with the thresholds and emotional and physical capacities that would best nurture our being so that we were best fit to honor our purpose. Therefore, some of us can go for long periods with only a few breaks. Some of us need time to replenish often. Some of us find ourselves somewhere in between. Either way, we've got to rest ourselves, our minds, our hearts, and our bodies, accordingly. There’s no shame in self-nourishing, self-healing, and honoring your mental and physical to protect your purpose. We need to stay healthy in all ways so that we can endure the long journey ahead.
And when I tap into comparing myself to others, I step into difficult spaces. For instance, I’ve had to correct myself as I compared my form activism to another’s. Let's even use Instagram as a light example: I had check myself on what I was re-posting and to whom I was trying to convince that I was fighting for this cause. I've had to give myself permission to breathe, rid myself of guilt for admitting I needed rest, and talk myself out of hiding my own smile after experiencing some joy. Self-healing will bring you to where you need to be, give you a reality check, and help you understand your energy. This really hit when I was about to begin re-posting LGBTQIA+ content and I didn't even take time to read about who they were, what the story was. It asks us to at the least say their names, I wasn't even saying them. How am I honoring their lives? I need self-healing and rest so that I can have the energy to do my work, to honor the lost, and to learn where there are large gaps. I cannot spend my energy convincing you or anyone else that I'm doing the work, I'd rather just do it.
The source of wanting to convince other people really comes from a wound that wasn't tended to. It's a cry for outward validation to fill up something that feels void. So, I had to scale back and get intentional. And this, is credit to self-healing because it asks us also to be self-aware.
We have to heal, because this is actually a fight that we cannot afford to stop fighting. Don't burn yourself out giving performances and running a 400 meter when you were built for the 200. We need you as you are, and if who you are requires more time to heal so you can bounce back healthy and run your part of the race when it's time, every time, then please honor that. If we all honor our calling, all of our bases will be covered.
Self-Healing and "Shaming"
I want to take special time to focus on shaming in regard self-healing, or rest if it's floating somewhere within you or if you've casted slight judgement. Our contribution, Black people in America, has been an automatic monthly subscription deduction since birth, we don't need to prove, anything. If this time, when the world you've been holding up is feeling extra, extra heavy, it's absolutely okay for those who consider themselves protectors and allies to put in overtime or join for the first time, in lifting this world up. This is especially, especially for multi-generational Black people, and even more specifically, for multi-generational Black women, first--actually.
For all of us, do not shame people out of self-healing. If you have time to critique how someone else is showing up, then maybe you're not being fully present in your own work. Re-direct that energy to those who created and profit from a broken system that is costing us our lives. Especially as a Black person, whatever you need to do at this time is actually okay. Black people didn't create this system, they didn't get to benefit from it, they suffered from it, and now that it's time to correct it, we cannot be shamed into standing on the frontlines if that is not something we have the actual capacity for. This is the time for every single body else to undo the mess they've created or have participated in. And I am not saying that the expectation is for Black people to be passive, but I am saying, that this fight has been fought by Black people since forever so if some Black people, multi-generational Black Americans especially, decide they need to recalibrate, make it your job to get them water and make room for them to breathe. If rest is needed right now, if self-healing is needed right now, have it. Because the greatest resistance to date, the greatest clap-back to date, is that Black people are still here, alive, still. We need us here, and that's on everything.
Some Quick Tips for Creating Room to Self-Heal at This Time
1) Be mindful of when and how you consume information
2) Give yourself space to process the information and to act on it if needed
3) Leave room for joy and happiness, still
4) Take social media breaks when you need them, I'd suggest making this a regular habit
5) Talk and commune (safely), we need one another right now
If you're here for the first time, know that my work is rooted in self-love and self-healing as a form of self-care. Every podcast may not explicitly name or be directly/visibly correlated to the active movement, but please never forget that Black Lives Matter, and we are all needing to do work. What it looks like for you, I cannot tell you, but please, as we navigate a new normal and tend to daily necessities, to joy, to love, remember that Black Lives Matter, Black Lives need us all to show up. I am doing my work and honoring my calling. That's what this platform is, a verbal sanctuary and space to have honest and healing conversations because self-love and self-healing is how we stay alive. I am working to keep us sane and alive.
I thank you for being here. As this is a humble platform, share with good souls that you know and with folks who might really benefit from this. I love conversation so under the right image on Instagram, or here on this blog, talk to me. Let's heal together.
As always, I'm sending you hella love.