Sharing Sisterhood Across the Globe

Sister to Sister is a place to renew for women of all cultures, faiths and races. Coretta Scott King said, "Women, if the soul of the Nation is to be saved, I believe we must become its soul." I would like to add "Earth" instead of "Nation." We need to widen the borders and challenge the world to become a better place. Join the conversation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Empowerment Rituals ...

It's been a tough few years. Each year it seems I lose a little bit more of myself. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I find that losing that part of me that is afraid is good. Losing that part of me that hides things is good. Losing that part of me who would procrastinate is good. Yet, of all the things I've lost, I now know that it takes losing one's self to find something remarkable --- me, after all.

Recently a friend and I decided it was time to renew our broken selves. We decided it should be immediate and that it would begin at sunrise. I spent the night at my office, sleeping on my floor. I thought about what I would do, say to the Universe. And, I took this opportunity to join with a sister who knows my struggles and who has been a faithful friend and confident. And before the dawn, we took our candles, our sage, our ancestors and we held hands, sang songs and ushered in the new day. We literally lost ourselves in the ritual only to find ourselves again.

Immediately it took shape. Immediately it took form. But, I don't remember if I recognized it right away. It's funny about change. It can be overwhelming and powerful. But, more often than not, the subtlety of change can be overlooked or missed. Rituals open portals. These portals are openings to wisdom and life. We are always on the precipice of death, our lives hanging in the balance. And our choice is always one of either choosing life or death. I keep choosing life -- at the end of the day. The moments in between are questionable.

When faced with the struggles of life, some of us have the mettle to survive. Others do little more than survive and some don't survive at all. In the wake of Katrina I'm faced with the question of whether I am my sister's keeper. And I find that in many ways, I've been preparing for this all my life. I just have to know it and act accordingly.

This week I've received emails from angry sisters -- angry from the depths of their souls. They are frustrated and grieving deeply and bitterly. Is it any one thing? No, absolutely not. The tragedy of Katrina. The killing of Frances Newton. The horrible way we confirm a chief justice who doesn't have everyone's best interest at heart. We are angry about the war and the fact that our sons and daughters are dying. And, not just my black sisters (in case you're thinking I've only black sisters). I've talked and cried with all my sister friends, from every ethnicity and class --- each as angry as the next.

I remember the story of Jonah (sorry, I generally like using a woman's story, but this one characerizes what I need to say most). In the story, Jonah is pissed off with God because he felt that God allowed a certain group of people to survive. I can relate. And I think the women of the world today can relate. There's one difference, though. We give birth to the seeming monsters that plague us. We love them and hate them at the same time. But, the hate is not for them, but for the actions. And maybe that's why my losing myself is a good thing. I'm finally losing that part of myself that feels sorry for me and the sorry state of the world. I'm losing myself to a whale of understanding and realizing that we are in the same boat ... one boat, ya'll! And that unless we all work together, we're gonna capsize.

Tonight I sit in my office. I'm still procrastinating a little bit because I know that when I set out on my true path, world look out! A change is gonna come. See, right after the ritual it seems like everything came to a head. Like a ripe pimple, the ritual took out the pus and dirt and while I can see the scab, it is healing. I am healing. That day that things came to a head, I took a good look and guess what I did? I leaped anyway.

I'm dancing now in my heart. I'm dancing in my soul. My creativity is at an all time high and its good, scary, fun and ever changing. I'm gonna have a little fun and dance with the Creator on those occasions that I find myself losing the self. And I'm going to enjoy rituals with my sisters and with myself on a regular basis. It's sisterhood survival 101.

I didn't tell you what happened when it all came to a head, did I? The next morning I woke -- not with a headache or a dullness as in times before. No, instead I was refreshed and imbued with a new outlook. And while I didn't know it the day before, I knew today was my day. At last, what was lost was now found.


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