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hidden wounds

inspired by reading wendell berry’s “the hidden wound”, again. this book, written by berry in 1970 is so rich and still so resonant. this weekend, in a community of practice committed to racial healing and spiritual liberation, we shared reflections on our awakenings to our collective “hidden wounds”. while we were specifically looking at the hidden wounds of white body supremacy on white bodies (both individual and corporate), these lessons are translatable to any system of domination as they are interlocking and intersecting.

“if the white man has inflicted the wound of racism upon black men, the cost has been that he would receive the mirror image of that wound into himself. as the master, or the member of the dominant race, he has felt little compulsion to acknowledge it or speak of it; the more painful it has grown, the more deeply he has hidden it within himself. but the wound is there, and it is a profound disorder, as great a damage in his mind as it is in his society.”

hurt people hurt people. this is our story. it’s the story of human civilization. and in this time of need, our own hidden wounds are getting in the way of being present, responsive, and in right relationship. and since it’s relationships that save us, we must tend to our hidden wounds.

after all, we can’t build on broken.

so, in response to our prompt with this group on saturday, “in this moment of collective healing, what are we sensing now?”, this is what arose in me:

wounds so deep that we turn away

scared, terrified

that we are not loveable

not worthy

not enough

that we are broken

and cannot be whole

all while missing the reality

that we are already

loveable, worthy, enough

our positions, our perceived power and privilege

do not determine this

our humanness does

can we let go of our power and positions and old forms that we’ve been conditioned to believe define us and hold us together…while in reality, keeping us apart? 

can we live into divine power that always already connects us, in our bounded-up, togetherness? 

let’s see.

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