In my class on Saturday 8/29.
Note: I will likely be starting a new series next week (fingers crossed), but for now am teaching on this theme that is very close to my heart. I hope to see you tomorrow – I have truly missed y’all!
Struggle is significant to me; be it personal or political, struggle is the place where the most growth, revelation, and transformation happens. In the tradition that I practice and teach, we view struggle and conflict as opportunities to deepen awareness and relationship.
The idea is: you know that a life worth living (well, really life in general) will be full of the unexpected, the unknown, the unforeseen. There is no way you can stop this or control it. It is part of the nature of the Universe. What you can control, where you have agency and choice, is how you engage with the Unknown. You get to choose the extent to which you will welcome the unexpected gifts and unforeseen miracles that Grace offers you. Struggle is an opportunity to challenge your preconceived ideas, your prejudice and your desire to control or predict the future. All of life is just a dance with the Divine. And the Divine is not bound by the limitations that you are—the Divine can move in realms and ways that you cannot possibly predict.
In the midst of struggle is the possibility for unparalleled growth. But it can’t come easily, and it won’t come without some strife and sacrifice. You will have to learn not to fear the dark. You will have to learn to stay steady in the center of the storm. And the practice can help.
And, as intersectional southern liberation organization Southerners on New Ground reminds us, there is dignity in the work. If we are to have the wherewithal to stand up to racism and white supremacy, to cisheteropatriarchy, sexism and misogyny, to the war on the poor and the epidemic of mass incarceration…then we must accept that struggle is a part of life. There is honor in the work of knowing how you respond to struggle and doing what you can to master that. There is honor in practicing compassion and radical honesty with yourself so that you can offer them out in the spaces you are in. There is honor in taking damn good care of yourself so you can be in this work for the long haul.
Earlier this month marked the one year commemoration of Michael Brown’s murder by a white police officer in my home town of St. Louis, Missouri. Since then, the folks in Ferguson, in Baltimore, and throughout the country under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter, have helped open many eyes and awaken many hearts to the pervasive and pernicious reality of white supremacy and the war on black and brown bodies. Additionally, we also honor the 10 year commemoration of Hurricane Katrina, and take time to hold space for the absolute devastation that it continues to wreak on the lives of the folks of color who lived there.
Today is a good today to ask yourself which side of that struggle you are on.
Let us ask that question together, in community. And let us ask for the help to stand up in the ways we are called to, to say yes to the struggle for collective liberation and transformative justice. There is dignity in that yes. There is dignity in this, the greatest of all Struggles.