The best way to advocate for other people is by knowing and advocating for oneself. The more time we spend healing our inner wounds, the more I notice an expansion of healing in the world around us. Our ability to engage with systems and structures within our own lives, gives us greater capacity to dismantle systems that disempower ourselves or others. Think of how this has outwardly played out in the pandemic. The pandemic has disrupted our typical pace and we are adjusting to new rhythms, all while staying informed on systemic issues and social unrest.
Many who were once uninformed or willfully ignorant to injustices outside of their own paradigm are becoming aware, with hopes that many more will open their eyes alongside them. Those who are awakening and woke are leaning in with eyes wide open, relentlessly naming and calling out what needs to change. Imagine how this collective trauma and transition is showing up for in your body and mind. Even before the pandemic, imagine how unhealed wounds or personal trauma may impact your body and mind also. As the world is longing to come anew, let us strive and pay attention to what needs to be made anew within us.
As we adjust, be courageous enough to engage inner healing and watch how it heals the world around. Think of the ways you can care for yourself better, and subsequently care for the world better. Inner healing is advocacy. In the same way that advocacy in the public square engages awareness and justice, let healing from within be an outward expression of the harmony we can bring to the world. It is easier to trust someone who can show up for themselves, to advocate and show up for someone else who may not know how or that lacks privilege and resources to heal. When we can embrace inner healing, we have greater capacity to set other people free.
What you can do:
- Let your body do the talking. Our mind and body are intrinsically connected. Do not bypass that ache in your body that is likely sending you a message to manage stressors or health concerns.
- Connect to trusted practitioners that can facilitate healing such as counselors, therapists, spiritual directors, etc.
- Ask yourself what you might intuitively need to begin or continue healing. Start with what’s around you like gardening, journaling, setting boundaries, etc.
Healing affirmations to tell yourself:
- Inner healing is advocacy. It starts within me and simultaneously works its way out to heal the world around.
- Healing helps me check in with myself, to better be present for others.
- Healing is not just for me. It heals my family, my community and changes the world.
- Engaging in healing will teach someone else how to heal themselves.
- Healing helps me remember who I am and helps me become who I am created to be.
- Healing connects us to divinity between self & God.
Scripture from Psalms 23:
Yhwh, you are my shepherd, I want nothing more.
You let me lie down in green meadows;
you lead me beside restful waters:
you refresh my soul.
You guide me to lush pastures
for the sake of your Name.
Even if I’m surrounded by shadows of Death,
I fear no danger;
for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff—
they give me courage.
You spread a table before me
in the presence of my enemies,
and you anoint my head with oil—
my cup overflows!
Only goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in your house, Yhwh,
for days without end.
Present God. Thank you for the capacity you give us to be nourished and to heal. Our recognition of what we need helps us to show up for ourselves with greater ability to change the world. It better connects us right back to you, our Creator God. Send us everyday insight, compassion, and guidance on how to heal the world by starting with ourselves and noticing how you’ve always shown up in divine timing. God, your presence in this world is real and always necessary. May we never stop noticing how you move through us individually and together.
Rev. Brittany Graves is associate coordinator, Public Witness & Advocacy, American Baptist Home Mission Societies. She welcomes your input at [email protected]
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