I have read this blog post titled “Sacred Ash: Perhaps collective recover isn’t the point” by Tessa Rae several times over now, and every single pass reinforces the expansion in my body when I inhale those words and allow them to shift the topography of my being before I exhale again. In the brilliance of all she shares, I have come to notice (yet again) the distinction between Sacred Transformation and recovery. In her piece, Tessa writes:
I’ve started to really question the language of recovery and reconciliation as an artificial trope being used by the dominant culture to reinforce itself. It’s an incredibly intelligent undercurrent in the story of dominant culture, that is, to continually reinforce ideas of hope and healing as being future-comings, because then the act of waiting** for healing becomes not only popularized, but oftentimes can be believed-in as a chivalrous act of service or citizenship.
I remember being in the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous feeling entirely alone, isolated, disconnected. The only place I knew to go to find “my people” often left me feeling like I didn’t belong. In my path to “recovery” I had to become and remain a lifelong addict. The identity of who I AM was limited to “addict”. Instinctively, I knew, I am so much more than that. Instinctively, I also knew if I didn’t comply to the rules of the program, I’d never belong. So, I struggled and persisted and kept on trying.
I was waiting for the healing to happen because I saw myself as “broken”. Today, I know viscerally that in that tightly-controlled space, I’d never heal… I’d just keep on waiting. I’d never find what I was looking for because I wasn’t looking to go back, I was looking to move forward. I was looking discover a version of me that had yet to exist, yet I knew lived inside me.
Tessa’s profound words of “Sacred Transformation” resonated so deeply within me because those words speak to the truth of the deep transformation of Self that one discovers in the path of personal evolution for it’s own sake. It isn’t an act of waiting, it is an act of discovering. It isn’t looking to go back, it is mindfully choosing in the moment and looking toward an emerging future. It isn’t being hopeful (the opioid of the masses), it is having faith.
As I sit with the ash of my own being, I feel reawakened to my faith*** rather than any lingering notions of hope that things will get better or that I will even survive. And perhaps this is where you will meet the paradoxical nature of my inner philosophy. It is that IF there is a possibility for resolution in our worldly events, which I do believe there is, it will have to manifest through a worldview that is resolute. … Resolute in that we acknowledge the belonging of all these catastrophes to the Infinite continuum of experiencing. With not one better or worse than the other.
How brilliant is THAT?! There is nothing more powerful, more enlivening, more expansive than to know so intimately in the core of our being the paradoxical nature of what we are. We are infinite, divine and we manifest through an organic body. Life is a metaphor and a paradox. Everything reveals to us a higher-order truth about ourselves and our choices. Everything is sacred.
It takes some sitting still and reflection to re-member the remnants of destruction as equally sacred to the divine spark that sets creation into motion. If I can be with my own sacred ash as this dusty, messy, organic testimony of transformation, I wonder what else is possible when more and more individuals allow themselves to be with the ashes of collective dismay as a metaphor for a co-opted journey into tending the fire of transformation with greater respect, integrity, and generosity of Spirit.”
I highly recommend you read the entirety of this brilliant post.