Many of us are stuck because of issues that have not been addressed but passed down from generation to generation.
We have learned to push through our pain, and it is like putting your fingers in holes as water continues to push through creating new openings. At some point, we must stop and own what we have endured.
For many of us, we have lived in a world that has not been safe and we have not felt protected. Our mothers and fathers and grandparents and great grandparents and many before us felt the same way.
Over time, fear, pain, anger, and frustration become so much a part of who we are. We do not even understand all the time where it is coming from. It is interesting how much of what we believe is not only rooted in our personal experience but is passed down generationally.
In Genesis 12, Abram and his wife, Sarai, moved to Egypt to avoid famine in their homeland. He asked his wife to lie and say that they were siblings.
He was afraid of being killed because of her beauty. Abraham, even after God changed his name, was still afraid of being killed because of his wife’s beauty. Once again, in Genesis 20, he asks her to lie again.
His son, Isaac, in Genesis 26, asks his wife, Rebekah, to lie as well about being his wife. Isn’t it interesting that this same fear was repeated? As I have gotten older, I realize that I am not only dealing with my own wounds but the wounds I have caught, was taught or bought without even realizing I was carrying the burdens of those before me as well.
I was recently introduced to the term, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS), coined by internationally renowned researcher Joy DeGruy, Ph.D., to describe the multigenerational trauma and injustices experienced by Black people from the dawn of slavery to the current challenges we have faced around police brutality, murder, redistricting, gentrification and voting rights. The list goes on.
The trauma that we’ve faced as a people is overwhelming and yet, I think that as much as it is important that we address our pain, I tend to agree with Ibram X. Kendi’s assessment: “Black people as a group do not need to be healed from racist trauma. All Black people need is to be freed from racist trauma.
That is all Kunta Kinte ever needed: ‘freedom.’ We need healing from the trauma we have experienced, and we need to focus on freedom from racist trauma. It is imperative for us and for future generations. We must be willing to address our individual and our collective need for healing.
It is important to remember that there is power in our narratives and our stories. Yet we must continue to fight for true inclusion and equity. We must take the time to address our pain, yet be intentional that we are not passing those unresolved issues to future generations.
For some reason, in the church, we limit healing to physical ailments, but Jesus demonstrated that many of the physical healings he conducted were manifestations of something beyond the physical.
God is interested in our lives including our healing. In 3 John 2, the Apostle John says: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
God wants us to prosper in all areas of our lives including our spiritual, emotional, and mental health. No matter what we face, we must know that our relationship with God is paramount in our healing. Healing begins in our minds–how we view the situation and ourselves. “Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise,” Jeremiah 17:14.
Healing is possible for the pain we have gone through. Believe God for your healing through prayer and seeking wise counsel to help you. Faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). Get help and if that means seeing a therapist begin the journey of healing, do it!
Work and fight for your healing, for your freedom from generational baggage.
You deserve it and so do our future generations.