#BlackLivesMatter: An Open Letter to Black Healers

by Ciarra Ross

When we assert that #BlackLivesMatter, we are often attempting to appeal to a collective white (un)consciousness and (lack of) empathy. But in this hour, we, too, are called to center and engage with the value of our lives on all levels. What we are dealing with socially has spiritual, emotional, mental and physical consequences. For centuries, Black and Brown bodies have been riddled with the physical, mental and emotional symptoms of living in a land ruled by a larger disease—white supremacist patriarchy. As many of us carry the weight of unhealed ancestral trauma and present oppression, Black Americans face some of the highest levels of depression, stress, disease, addiction and anxiety in the nation. As practitioners and creators of holistic healing arts, it is critical that we engage with our health and healing, both personally and collectively. The preservation and growth of our movement(s) depends on it.

By design, we have been programmed to believe that the power of healing and liberation exists outside of us—in the hands of white men. The Western diet, media, governing systems and medicine have profited from leaving us blocked and starved from the truth of who we are. Our work is to uphold the truth that our power is not derived from demanding it from others, but from stepping into the Divine force that naturally dwells within each of us. The idea that we are without power is obsolete. Powerlessness is not our truth and never has been. Within each of us is a chorus of the undying: truth, love, history and transformation. Our melanin is the sacred inheritance of all things past, present and future. I do not write this metaphorically or poetically. We are, truly, the keepers of our awakening and liberation. It is our responsibility to serve our communities with transformative healing measures that address our pain and catalyze our innate power to reimagine, rebuild and recreate ourselves. Our commitment to Black wellness and livelihood is the justice that we owe ourselves.

To echo an ancestor, "I am very much concerned that American negroes achieve their freedom here in the United States. But I am also concerned for their souls (Baldwin, The Fire Next Time). While our anger is absolutely warranted and our outrage is rooted in love, we must recognize that it is not up to ‘them’ to move or to be nice for our full humanity to be realized. The system is not responsible for us reclaiming and using our inner power. We, as Black/Indigenous folks, are. There is an immediate calling for us to journey inward, learn ourselves as divine manifestations of God/dess, Source Energy, The Creator, The Divine, etc, and rest easy
knowing our power never left. This is the time to activate and stand firmly in this truth. We must bring our healing work and energy forward.

If you are a Black/Indigenous yogi, reiki practitioner, energy healer, doula, reader, herbalist, prayer warrior, creator, mystic, etc, and you have a conscious understanding of holistic awareness and healing, this is the time to engage that awareness for the whole of humanity. Bring your practice/art where it is needed. Now is the time to offer your sage, crystals, meditations, insights, chants, oil blends, services and prayers to help ground all social justice efforts in the spirit of love and creativity. If you do it from home, this, too, holds power for us all. But if you feel called to join hands in the streets, please be sure to follow that calling and breathe your love and life into this movement. Organize. Come together in the spirit of collaboration and offer healing to y/our community. Show up where you are called to serve. This is not a call out. This is a call in. Our lives matter. We must act accordingly.