What is Healing?
By Felicia Bridges
When I think of African-American Health, particularly as an African-American woman, I think of healing. I am in a constant state of healing. I am healing culturally from the weight of being African-American. The baggage that my identification carries is often torturous and packed heavy with stereotypes, false perceptions and contrived accusations. Lugging this baggage around is arduous at best. Rope wrapped around the bulging contents, that often fall out, break and leave me frustrated when no one is around to help pick things up. But my ugly baggage carries prized possessions as well. The healing is in knowing that within the contents that I struggle to carry, is a rich history of oration and song; a legacy of tremendous strength and preservation that allows me to love in spite of the torn fabric and busted out seams.
I am healing physically from a body that signals to me that I have held onto things a little too long. My connection to the earth and my need to channel that connection, which encourages me to listen to the echoes of the trees that whisper about how I am protected, nourished, and loved. It comforts my body. In time past when my body was racked with worry and sadness I now fully understand what it means to embrace joy. I found it in the light of day as the birds sing its praises, in listening to the voice of a child and feeling the touch of a friend.
I shared this thought with my mother who continues to be saddened by her physical presence. She expressed to me that she didn’t know joy. I explained to her that she in fact knew joy very well. Every morning when the sun kissed her face and welcomed her into a new day, moved the scent of morning glories into her noise and ushered the multitude of sounds through her ears, she was interacting with joy. I asked her to take a look at the joy that was all around her and that was her’s to enjoy and relish and no one and thing could take her joy away.
I am healing emotionally knowing that I as a woman and a mother. I am one. I am infinite and I am everything. Through my pains can I see the pain of my mother and my mother’s mother and have the piece of mind to end our cycle of destruction and provide light to areas where darkness dwelled. Grateful that my mother and my mother’s mother gave me powers to not only reach behind me, but also grasp in front of me and touch worlds that will transcend my physical presence.
I am healing in intelligence knowing that with all the books and classes that I have engaged, I only learned things that I already knew. It took those books and lessons to reveal that knowledge to me. So now, I eagerly continue to reveal the knowledge I possess uncovering just what the genius I am.
I am healing in resources. I know that abundance is everywhere and in everything. It comes in many shapes and forms. When I let go of bounded definitions of what resources means then I see exactly how wealthy I am. My coffers are full, pouring forth nuggets of diamonds and gold allowing me to move through the world with the confidence that my every need and indulgence will be satisfied.
So, here I am as a health conductor hoping to collect and share stories of healing. Facilitating the ways in which we can feel healed and address ways of healing throughout all African-American communities. Allowing the way that articulated experiences could be cathartic healing.
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