There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
Know yourself as Nothing. Feel yourself as Everything.
mini-workshop: tellin’ stories
each one of us has a story*: the unique happenings and circumstances that coalesce to create our current selves.
our stories are layered, complex, complicated. some revolve around simple, objective facts: the day we were born, the schools we attended, the city we grew up in. as we mature, we weave in various understandings, emotions and perceptions with our factual experiences.
if you’ve ever heard a couple tell their versions of what led to an argument, there’s typically a point where their accounts diverge. somewhere in the mix, a misunderstanding awakened fear, anger, resentment, or another sensitivity that needs to be addressed—often independent of whatever “facts” might be involved.
(i mean, is it ever really about leaving the socks on the floor, just outside the hamper?)
this exercise is not about muting your emotions, or denying your truth. i believe our truths are valid because they are ours, and sharing them in holistic ways is a powerful balm.
however, when our personal truths begin to obscure our potential for growth, abundance, and inner peace; negatively impact interpersonal relationships; or support some level of mind-body-spirit dysfunction, they become a problem requiring attention.
here are some ways you can begin to infuse your life with a new narrative.
in this age of instant communication, the hashtag du jour can be loaded with any number of triggering, re-traumatizing discussions and information. if you’re in a space of acute healing and realize it’s more damaging than healing to (re)tell your story, unplug immediately.
when we’re in the midst of serious pattern-breaking, one of the the worst things we can do is align with people who—consciously or not—affirm and reaffirm our old patterns. and you already know how we feel about boundaries and giving power away.
walk away. remain silent when necessary. the world will adjust.
walk and talk
if you absolutely need to talk it out, that’s ok. seek safe spaces where you’re less likely to be misunderstood (…which can lead to having to explain yourself ad nauseum, thus repeating the cycle). the best folks to talk to are those able to affirm your emotions and experience, while gently moving you forward—“walking” you out of the trigger, so to speak. that might sound like:
- "that had to be a hard time for you. so…what would you like to do / see / feel / be now?"
- "i hear that’s where you’ve been…where do you see yourself going?"
- "i feel you. that had to be rough. what would make you happy today?"
if you don’t feel comfortable talking to another person, you can also walk yourself through those questions in a journal, or allow them to manifest abstractly through art or dance. whatever works for you.
honor your process
inviting healing stirs up resistance. it’s strenuous work, requiring support every step of the way. when we sincerely desire to claim our blessings, the Universe responds with tests—It has to ensure we’re ready to care for all that good stuff!
if you believe you’re beyond the help immediately available to you, ask to be guided to the people, places and understanding that can usher you to your next level.
become attuned to the cues that can signal when you’ve “outgrown” a situation (e.g., disinterest, a sense that you’re “wandering”, detachment, always “just missing” something or someone, etc.).
if feeling stuck or stagnant is a challenge, ask to be shown what you cannot see, or a clear way to “get” the lesson. remain open to the answers, and be honest with yourself. if you scurred, you gotta say you scurred…then open to determining the best way(s) to remain courageous despite your fear.
obviously, these aren’t the only possible scenarios. my point is: do the work to become aware of where you are, and give yourself room to be that. as your processes and patterns become clearer, movement gets easier.
may the stories you tell yourself propel you towards the manifestation of your truest, deepest desires. may you remain conscious of your power to tell a different tale.
.:.~.:. omi .:.~.:.
*the title and use of “story” is deliberately provocative. for the unaware, the word can carry a negative connotation in Black culture. many have learned to use the word as a synonym or substitute for lie or untruth.
in this moment, i invite you to neutralize story, redefining it as, simply, a narrative that has followed you through life thus far.
note how fairly unassuming words can come to hold a great deal of weight. what other language can you make more loving or encouraging?
Every 28 Hourz: An Ode to Renisha McBride (A Sermon)
By Nyle Forte
The following is a sermon delivered on January 19, 2014 at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (Somerset, NJ). The preaching text is Luke 7:36-50.
Stephon Watts, 15. Remarley Graham, 18. Bo Morrison, 20. Rekia Boyd, 22. Dante Price, 25. Trayvon Martin, 17. Wendell Allen, 20. Darius Simmons, 13. Deshone Travis, 20. Shantel Davis, 23. Jonathan Ferrell, 24. Renisha McBride.