The beginnings of my traditional Taino altar.
I feel layers of childhood skin finally peeling back, like crusty band-aids, pulling up residual pain, hanging on desperately to body hairs of reminders of the person I’ve been: afraid, lonely, and lost.
I didn’t know who I was, so I became what I needed to be to survive. I can’t even count all the ways I’ve betrayed myself to feel like I was safe and I belonged, yet with that very effort, I put myself in a traumatic space where being outcasted and ignored was the default story of my life. How to break the cycle?
Many teachers came before us to show us the way, but their messages have been hijacked and distorted to serve the beast, one that craves power and money, forsaking the whole and wholeness, like cancerous cells unaware of its impact on the body.
I claim my right to stand up to those cancerous cells for the sake of the whole.
I claim my right to heal the beast within myself, to pull off such bandaids, sometimes slowly, other times abruptly, calling in my own wholeness.
I wanted so much to belong, but how could anyone give me a chance when I had not given myself a chance?
I was so quick to protect myself with ego, fervently pushing potential belonging away, so disconnected, so much in suffering….
Now, things are starting to feel different. I know that I can’t belong anywhere if I don’t belong inside. I know that I have to champion myself, to speak and live my truth whether it is approved of or not. But mostly, to feel in every cell of my body that I am loved because I’ve done the work of affirming and validating myself, giving myself grace for my own flaws, and rewarding myself for taking baby steps toward growth, everyday.
And still…. I have those moments of residual pain and forgetful regression. I catch a glimpse into a past life, one where everyone had given up on me. I went down dark paths just to prove to myself that the direction of my life can only be determined by me. The weight of such memories humble and balance me.
I am so grateful for the guidance, wisdom, and gentle discipline of my ancestors. I feel their support in my roots, anchoring me to this world. I feel the strength and sovereignty of their love. I feel them nudging and guiding me to the next step in my healing journey.
Religion has never been kind to me. My ancestors, however, love me like I’ve never been loved before.
Creator, I pray for continued healing, not just for me, but for anyone willing and ready to receive this medicine. Please help us to remember who we are, so we can stop playing scripted roles written for us by a sick society. Please help us to integrate our true natures, remembering where we came from, who our ancestors are, so we can bring back the culture that worked for us, before colonization fractured our souls. Help us to remember the profound simplicity of presence, harmony, and the joys of small moments. I pray we realize that we don’t have to destroy the world to start over. I pray for change and justice, for healing and revelation. Most of all, I pray that we find gratitude every day, many times a day, for the simple joys that are right in front of us.
Thank you, so much, for your continued grace, compassion, and support of the evolution of the human race. Thank you for the healing of our beautiful Mother Earth, and thank you so much, for the manifestation of a New World, a world where all of Earth’s children have enough Love, health, and resources.
Bo’matum Yaya, Atabey, y Yuchahu. Bo’matum Caraya y Behike por todo lo que hecho por mi y mi familia, la raza humana.
Han han katu.