• tawana townsend

After Winter, Must Come Spring

More than just the lyrics to Lauryn Hill’s “Everything Is Everything”, “after winter, must come spring” is a fact, a declaration. It is biblical, spiritual, and physical. It is a reminder that change is always around the corner; a reassuring hope that flowers will bloom even after the harshest winter snow. 2020 has been full of winter moments and we are only half-way through the year. We are dealing with uncertainty, pain, anger, confusion, exhaustion, major changes and unrest, but this too shall pass.

My question though is when we move on to the next season, when “it” passes, (it being coronavirus, the effects of quarantine, virtual insanity, missed graduations/weddings/birthdays, impacts to our macro and micro economic well-being, the disregard for some human lives, racism, bigotry, protests, riots, angry posts on social media, political lies, and pure foolery) how are we going to heal? While my head says, we need to individually strategize to successfully maneuver through our new normal and collectively strategize to bring about change for the future we envision in our communities and our country, my heart whispers “how are we going to heal”? These are traumatic events, major upheavals and if you’re like me, you may be wondering if tomorrow will really be better when the dust settles. You may have anxiety, rage or maybe you’ve shut down and are simply indifferent. Maybe you’re not sleeping well or you’re eating everything in sight. Perhaps you can’t think straight or you’re feeling depressed, not wanting to do anything but sleep and watch movies. Maybe you’re expecting a child and wondering what the world will look like when he or she makes their debut and will you be ready. We have been on an emotional roller coaster and some of us have been on this ride for a lifetime. I myself, even on the best of days am haunted by how I am perceived in the eyes of white America. So when spring comes with it’s fragrant flowers, melodic birds, and sunny days do we just go back to what we know? Do we act as if everything is okay? Do we continue to resist oppression in our respective lanes, becoming more involved in our local communities, serving on boards, running for political offices and donating to or volunteering in organizations that make a difference? Do we bury our emotions in taking care of our children, completing projects at work, engaging in new relationships, going back to church, taking up new hobbies and planning exotic trips? While all of these are great gestures, we must still tend to our wounds, our broken hearts, our hurt, disappointments, guilt, and anger. Indeed, to do life wounded is still living, but to do life whole is thriving. How then do we heal?

While each of our healing processes will vary, I believe there are some common medicinal practices that can apply to us all. They are in no particular order, but they’ve served as my prescription. 1) Get quiet, shut off the noise so you can hear. Maybe it’s TV, social media, radio, or that person sitting next to you on the couch everyday. Find you a place to be and embrace the silent and you will hear healing words. 2) Express your emotions and understand their roots. For some this may look like writing in a journal, others may find another way to explore the feelings and thoughts that have come up over the past couple of months. Don’t keep your emotions bottled up because they will show up in other areas, trust me, I know. 3) Give your mind, heart and body things that are beneficial not those things that simply look, smell, sound, feel and taste good. They are temporary and often leave you feeling worse than you did before. 4) Have conversations, not monologues. This applies even to those who share similar views as you. Give space for deep discussions not just surface responses. 5) Finally, rest without guilt. Some days you may be on the front line with your cape and handling things at work and home as well; the next day you may barely be able to get out of bed. Don’t neglect your rest. Sabbath rest was gifted to us for a reason, so don’t be too prideful to take a day off. We will see each other again and we will see change. In the meantime, be healed, be whole and be blessed. #Coronavirus #GeorgeFloyd #Protests #Riots #Quarantine #Healing #Spring #2020 #BlackDoulas #HuntsvilleBlackDoulas #HuntsvilleDoulas #Postpartum #AlabamaDoulas

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