- Gail White-Biggers, LMFT/Chaplain
Searching For Calm
By: Gail White-Biggers, LMFT
View Park Section Chaplain
Taking care of ourselves is a privilege and probably one of the highest forms of gratitude for the gift of life. We slack often, but grace is present- reminding us of this calling to be wise stewards of deep soul health. It is Black History month and many of us are reflecting and meditating on the legacies of known and unknown ancestors. We pause and say a prayer of thanksgiving for their survival and our beliefs that God’s presence was still there despite the trauma- evil did not cut us off. We are still here! I am thinking about our ancestors in this moment and becoming quite emotional. Before the term self-care was coined, I believe there was an innate yearning to have a clear vision about the health of our spirit or we had the knowledge that pain is uncomfortable. Our bodies have always remembered when it was disrespected, violated, abused, exploited, worked without rest, alone, and empty. I have a mild moan and a deep sigh as I think about how our ancestors had to find ways to love themselves while enslaved, traded, bartered, separated from their lovers, and their children. In an unknown land with unimaginable pain, they had to search for survival strategies. They had hopeful minds, courage to run, learn to read, walk in darkness, believe that God was leading, march, protest, build churches, establish institutions, marry, birth babies, pray- all while knowing that oppression was still pacing and taunting them as a Goliath. The reality is that we must search for a sense of calm despite the current Goliaths of personal secrets, pandemics, epidemics, and the enormous pain of oppressive systems. I want to admonish you to define what your soul needs- authentically needs. Your body is speaking to you and what is it nudging you to do for it? I am certain our ancestors would plead with us to prioritize this liberty to connect with ourselves, to get to learning how to console our health, minds, and repair relationships (forgiveness is health to the bones). We are still six feet apart and wearing masks, but we are not in chains. Let us glance at the sun, take a run in the moonlight, drive past the ocean, eat our best, and be ready for Monday when we must give more light in our area of service. I am searching with you and I am thankful for the resilience that we inherited. We know how to find what we need, but we have to listen.