The Intersection of Social Justice + Spirituality
I wanted to address something I’ve heard from some spiritually-identifying folks regarding the LGBTQA+ movement: that creating so many names and identities is inherently separating; that if we want to move towards unification and oneness, creating labels and categorization impedes this process.
My response, simply put, is if we jump to unification before recognition, we are spiritually bypassing. We are passing over the very real experiences of many folks in our society today that have long been silenced and ignored. And we actually create harm by perpetuating the suppression of these lived experiences.
Everyone on this earth has a need to be seen, something I wrote about in depth in my last blogpost. When collectively we suppress, judge, or simply ignore certain ways of identifying and existing in a body, we inhibit the fullness of our collective, unified expression.
For example, when we ignore a non-binary person's identity, and refuse to use they/them pronouns, we literally make their unique soul expression invisible. And therefore cannot unify because a part of the collective has not been brought to light.
We can only achieve collective unity once we’ve named, seen, and accepted the totality of experience.
We, as a culture based in colonialism, white supremacy, and patriarchy, continually silence and sweep under the rug the stories and narratives of marginalized folks, including BIPOC and the LGBTQA+ communities.
When something is silenced it only grows in size until it can be properly expressed, seen, and accepted. This is the nature of energy - whether in the collective or in our own bodies. We have not allowed the experiences of BIPOC and LGBTQA+ folks to be fully accepted into the fold of the over-culture, and because of this, we increase pain and suffering not only for these groups of people, but also for the entire collective.
When we can name, hold an experience as valid (even if we disagree with it), and accept fully this expression of life, only then can integration, healing, and unification of the collective happen.*
We must inherently separate on the pathway to oneness in order to know, see, and love one another.
It is the same energetic principle when working with our own inner parts and emotional experiences. When there is a part of ourselves that we’re constantly trying to silence, it only gets louder and more uncomfortable until we allow its pain or experience to be seen and heard. And naming those emotions and experiences is really helpful. When we hold space for this process with love, compassion, and acceptance, this part of ourselves can then become integrated.
Only by opening to sensations and emotions do they integrate and settle in our bodies. We move towards wholeness.
And only when we fully open our arms to the beautiful array of gender expression, racial diversity, neurodiversity, and abilities in our culture can we find a sense of collective oneness.
This happens by first naming these expressions. We name them so these folks can be seen and heard. We name them to bring them to light and consciousness.
We cannot overstep this part of the process. We cannot live in a society where skin color doesn't matter and all forms of gender and sexual expression are welcomed if we cannot first name and see those bodies and experiences as equal, valid and accept them fully. We will never unify if we cannot first see, hear, and listen to the people who’ve been historically invisible to mainstream culture.
Especially when the people who hold these marginalized identifies do not have the same rights or privileges as those who do not.
We cannot live in a peaceful and unified reality if we cannot first recognize the ways in which our culture harms folks who aren’t white, cis, able-bodied folks.
I see a massive polarization between the social justice communities and many spiritual communities around this topic, when in reality they each have pieces to healing the whole.
We need accountability alongside high vibes.
We need the difficult shadow work alongside hope and vision for the future.
We need to name and acknowledge our differences and also know that we are all one.
We need a healthy relationship with our body and ego in order to have a healthy relationship with our upper chakras.
We need 3D and 5D
However you want to say it, we need the full spectrum. One of these things is not better than the other.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in my own healing journey, it’s that we need to get more comfortable with the "both/and" approach. We need to get wider than the duality and see that there's wisdom in both. We need to start seeing our polarization as a path to unification, not digging our heels in on our one side. We need to feel our pain in order to open to our pleasure, and recognize that both of these sensations is a part of a greater spectrum of wholeness.
So all that said, in order to have the unification that many spiritual-minded people seek, we must acknowledge our inherent separation. And love each of our inherent soul's unique expressions. And part of that is seeing, naming, and then integrating the reality of those who've been most harmed or made invisible.
That begins by making space for them in our society.
So it is with this passion and background that I am excited to be a part of supporting this Decolonizing Wellness event.
If you're curious about exploring this topic more, if you have questions, or if you just want to be a part of this conversation, come to the event! I am not an expert and I am looking forward to learning more right alongside you.
And if you'd like to be entered into the giveaway, simply respond to this email with why you’re wanting to attend.
*When I say acceptance here I am not negating accountability for harmful actions. I have a lot more to say on this particular piece, but that's for another time