“That didn’t hurt!” Not acknowledging the pain may stroke your pride but it doesn’t bring true healing. It doesn’t remove the poisonous venom of the serpent which bit you. Black people do not take power back from white supremacist by fondly calling each other the “N” word. Neither does women take power back from misogynist by celebrating their sexual prowess. Each of those methods of restoration are still sourced from the serpent’s bite and neither removes the poison. Both methods are man’s attempt to heal himself and be his own savior.
“Until we learn to trust God, we will be dominated by the selfish orientation of self-preservation. If we cannot accept that we are dearly beloved of God, and precious in His sight, there is no way we are going to stop promoting our false selves in pride. There must be hope in God’s love and trust that His intentions are always good toward us. We have to open ourselves to a love relationship with God that includes His chastisement and correction, which are necessary for our fulfillment. It is impossible to please God without the faith that works by the knowledge of His steadfast love. You will never surrender to the potter until you trust His loving hands, and you will never know freedom until He touches you.”
That was an excerpt from my book entitled, True Heritage: Recovering From Spiritual Identity Theft. The pathway to healing is allowing the one who made you to touch your wounds, and then living your life in the reality of His presence and light. The pressures and blows of this world can disfigure you. Don’t try to hide your disfiguration under transparent coverings or with make-up that runs with your tears. You were made in GOD’s image so let Him be your standard and ask for His touch whenever you are hurt or find something in yourself which falls short of His glory. His gift is beauty for ashes, restoration for humility and repentance.
I wrote a piece recently about hoping empathy will rise in this New Year, looks like it is beginning with my own heart. Due to all the exposure of racially motivated violence in the past couple of years, I have heard many white people saying they didn’t realize black people still had it so bad. I have also had many white men say to me that they are just realizing that male white privilege is not just a mythical politically motivated assertion. Initially, my reaction to those having these epiphanies was – C’mon really.
I am beginning to see how when you are immersed in something from birth, it is hard to recognize it as unnatural, foreign, or harmfully infectious. I have advocated for the better treatment of women through writing and through speaking directly to men. I have spoken to women about their immeasurable value, above and beyond physical beauty. However in all that I have come to understand, I know that I have not fully grasped the depth and scope of the mental and physical impact centuries of oppression has had on women. By accepting that fact, hopefully I have increased my ability to hear and understand my sisters unto deeper and more fulfilling relationships.
When you consider that from the founding of America, most of the information propagated in this society from the imagery, writings, entertainment, public policy, education, and so forth has been generated out the oppressive source. Our social environment is so thoroughly contaminated with certain biases and prejudice ideologies that it is almost impossible not to normalize some of it in your psyche. That goes for those who are oppressed, as well as the oppressors. This is true in every instance where America has historically practiced injustice and inequality.
Our moral compass has to align with an influence higher than just the survival instinct, if we are to reach the promise land of liberty and justice for all. Creatures like jackals and snakes know how to survive, but it has been ordained for man to have Life. To “have”, is defined as to hold or maintain as a possession, privilege, or entitlement. Every person is entitled to the freedom and means to realize the potential of their being. Anytime someone purposely hinders another person’s progression in this sacred right it is reprehensible. We have to respect everyone else’s entitlement to live as we do our own. That is why the golden rule is so vital to humanity. The commandment of GOD, to love our neighbor as ourselves, invokes the power of empathy. The power of empathy gives us the ability of greater vision through the use of many lenses. This why hate blinds us but love shows us the way.