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  • Writer's pictureDr. Stacey Chimimba Ault

The healers are tired

Image: Black woman resting. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

I hang around healers. Most of the people I engage with are educators, youth workers, ancestral healers, medical professionals, social workers, activists, and people who help or teach, others how to heal. These are my friends. My friends are tired.

Once a month I co-facilitate a small intimate gathering of Black people (mostly women/femmes) all of whom work in some capacity with Black youth. It is called Trauma Stewardship: Healing the Healers. We have been meeting for several months and have discussed topics like self-care, compassion fatigue, and setting boundaries. This month we had an open agenda, and merely held space for everyone to process where they are, and what they are experiencing.

All of the women in the group expressed a deep fatigue. Regardless of our type of employment, place of business, or family obligations, we all are exhausted. One of the participants, reflecting on this collective exhaustion shared, "we carried the world for more than two years. We are tired."

We carried the world for more than two years ... we are tired.

Some additional offerings gifted to us by the women in the group included:

"Now I am empty, there is no-one here to pour into me. I am no longer pouring into people who aren't reciprocating my energy."

"I am feeling a cognitive dissonance between how I feel, and the lie we are being sold by the rest of the world. The world continues to move around me and I just want to lay down."

"I am giving myself permission to not give."

"I can't and I won't continue in this way. I am reaching another level of my own womanhood. I am going to ensure my needs are met, whatever that means for me."

Sharing space with these women allowed us be seen and heard by others, as well the afforded us the occasion to listen deeply, to bear witness to the lived experience of others. We heard words that were familiar to us, even though we may not have spoken them out loud. We found community.

Even in the midst of our fatigue, we tenderly labored together to make meaning of this place we find ourselves in. We collectively uncovered: a deeper level of awareness and language to describe how we are feeling; a calling to work differently, especially in the way we build community inside and outside the workplace; a realigning of spirit with our purpose; and a greater desire to prioritize pleasure, peace, and play.

All of the things we thought we needed are being undone, unlearned and dismantled.

One of the gifts of this moment is the unraveling of what we knew. We have a renewed commitment to unlearn the toxic practices we have been taught, and rebuild lives and spaces that serve us better.

And ... in order to tap into the creativity necessary to imagine, create and innovate, we must rest.

If this post resonates with you, we would love to see your comments below. Are you tired? How are you resting?

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