Grief & Healing: A Time to Heal Without Haste
Jé Exodus Hooper (aka @EthicalEvangelist) is a clergy-leader within the American Ethical Union Movement and a current Ph.D., candidate. Based in the Mid-Atlantic region, his work as a creative-clergy and a performance-scholar are focused on decolonizing Humanism, homiletics, and Black Intellectual Thought. His love for performative rhetoric involves a decolonized aesthetic of Black homiletic folk-talk-- one of imagination as responsive reasoning. His word-working emphasizes human freedom and interconnectedness through embodiment, intuition, creativity, and improvisation. His folx-talk emerges into a love language that aids the congregational practice of culture care for empowering community-life.
I have been grieving on and off. Sometimes my grief is far and between-- especially regarding the transition of my recently departed father.
At the forefront of most of my grief is systemic grief. I have not even reached the personal grief (the personal missing) because I witnessed an escalation of systemic issues that caused more distress on my father than necessary.
Now, my grief is compounded even further because of last week’s attack on democracy as the president ignited structural and systemic oppressive manipulation against our Nation's Capital. I don't claim to be deeply patriotic but yesterday, added more grief to my current experience. As White Nationalists and Supremacists attacked the building that many enslaved ancestors had to build -- I couldn't help but think, our ancestors were forced to build an architectural structure for the biggest devils to sit in while they denied their existence.
And then, now...
People are looking at 2021 with shimmers and dance of hope. They want to heal this country so badly, but can we consider this truth? The process of healing or to be healed is (and sometimes) down-right uncomfortable and painful. Some of us came in 2020 naively with zest and zeal, but let's be mindful this year. In this season 2021, we must be careful of our haste -- don't rush for anything that sounds 'good'. This is not time to rush or go with the winds that blow. Don't rush your healing, family, relationships, children, promotions, mental health, joys, sorrows, loans/finances -- go into the weight of the healing process (you are seeking) by first understanding what it requires of your own integrity and existence. The burden might be too heavy at the time, but if you learn your capacity to carry the weight -- your understanding can lighten the load or experience.
There is no pain or sorrow that knowledge cannot heal.
Yes, check and examine your own capacity -- be sure you are ready to enter into the process after you have critically examined your previous social, spiritual, emotional, and physical condition. It is important to be aware the application of healing without rushing into a fix, you deserve to know all that concerns your full being and knowing!
Yes, we deserve a democracy, we deserve to connect without a mask, we deserve to have justice and equality, freedom for education debt... But even in those elements, we have seen are a result of the quick fixes that our is still country unwell and festering and the heart rate of the constitutions is in high speed. We can blame it on fascism, capitalism, and narcissism -- the additive character that affects our democracy.
Trust me, healing will come, but it is a process that is not always pretty. If we are critical in this season, observant, listening-- we have not seen anything yet and we need to get prepared for symptomatic development as we move further into healing. We need to practice better responses.
We need to get into a better relationship, get in tune with ourselves, with each other, and the earth.
We need get reconnected or reoriented to the land. We need to be in beloved relationship so we can better aid each other and ourselves in this season while we look for healing. We aren't fixing anything until we start to lean into our discomfort and courageously listening to the unheard, the forgotten, the overlooked and those who feel like the least.
Let us put compassion back into our nature -- grief and angry are still acts of compassion (nothing to feel ashamed of) and it has its rightful place when we see our democracy attacked -- an emotional intelligence that is an act healing. Grief and anger simple means you love fervently and want a better understanding or grasp of the situation.
Its ok 'think yourself happy and healthy' but don't rush 2021.
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The opinions contained in this piece are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Interfaith Youth Core. Interfaith America encourages a wide range of views and strives to maintain a respectful tone with a goal of greater understanding and cooperation between people of different faiths, worldviews, and traditions.