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Tools for Packing Away the Pain

By Sabrina N’Diaye

Several years ago, the Universe forced me to examine the “scar tissue” surrounding my heart, the direct result of a chronic American illness– racism. The multiple re-injuries to this wound affected every aspect of my existence, from family interactions, to childhood friendships, to personal and professional goals. Tragically, it also affected my own self-image.

After a series of life-altering experiences, I made a conscious decision to become actively engaged in the process of healing from this disease of the soul. I needed to end its subtle abilities to rob me from experiences of trust, transparency, and love. Making that decision to heal also meant that I would have to be courageous enough to have conscious, compassionate contact with the image that I equate with my pain—older, White, Republican, men.

I shared this decision with my small group during my CMBM certification training. I tearfully admitted my personal struggles with racism to the group, and confessed my fear of sending harmful messages to my daughters. A man in my group then announced, “I am a racist. My daddy was a racist. I am a White, Anglo-Saxon, patriarchal, homophobic, racist. I have hurt so many people through my oppression that I don’t know who to apologize to first”. When that man spoke, I immediately knew that the Universe had stepped in to orchestrate yet another healing moment for me. I paused for a moment, as the “needle” of his plea for change gently “stitched” a tiny tear in my heart. During my check-in, I turned to him and said, “I am an African-American Muslim woman with a gay brother. Your apology is accepted”. I later stitched his heart by introducing him to my friends as my “brother.”

I have since shared that story in many personal and professional environments, as I have invited my friends, colleagues, family, and clients, to join me in this essential work of healing trauma through the tools of mind-body medicine.

All of us who have survived traumatic experiences, know that the process of healing can sometimes feel slow and painful. However, I also know that the practice of mind-body medicine can provide us with tools for packing away the pain, and seeing Creation through new eyes….and an open heart.