Ubuntu: Ancestral Wisdom for Healing

I’m an introvert.

I know, I know… everyone is an introvert these days. But really, I am, and I was before it was popular to say so. I’m not painfully shy, but my alone time is precious. I feel drained if I spend too much time around a crowd (or only a few people… or even one person if the connection isn’t just right) and I need lots of time to recuperate. I love humanity with my whole soul, but ask me to engage with folks in that standard-issue, smile-and-act-interested kind of way that people expect… and it’s gonna be a ‘no’ from me, dawg.

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Small talk? Hard pass. giphy.com

Please invite me. I probably won’t come. But I love you. ❤

Admittedly, though, even as a solid introvert, I have still always had a longing for community. It’s a paradox I am constantly cycling through, and recently, it began to make sense.

During Black History Month (which some simply know as ‘February’), I dedicated The Body Temple’s Facebook page to one of my core healing practices – sacred ritual dance. I researched healing dances done across the African diaspora, and posted one almost every day. Aside from fulfilling my mission to educate, it was a dear pet project for me. I went willingly down every rabbit hole that opened and ended up learning so much more than I anticipated.

One of the things that struck me the most: no matter what type of healing ritual I encountered, ALL of them were done in community. 

Here’s one example you should check out:

In doing this research on Black healing ritual, my introverted nature and real need for people started to fit together. I’m a healer – both in a personal sense and by vocation. Healing, while it often requires separation and time to go within, requires community just as much if not more. In the methods I read about, families and often entire villages would show up just to make one person well. Why? The ancestral wisdom is clear – we are all connected. If one of us in unwell, all of us are weakened. As one of us is healed, we all benefit.

The Nguni Bantu concept of Ubuntu is usually translated “I am because we are.” It speaks to the fact that human existence is interdependent by nature. We know this. Although many have misinterpreted the Theory of Evolution to mean “survival of the fittest,” science actually shows us that it was intelligent, compassionate cooperation that led to our evolution as a species. As Black DAEUS people, our survival has been active proof of this idea. It follows that anything necessary for our evolution and survival could also be an integral aspect of healing (especially for those trying to reclaim their humanity after centuries of trauma). In short, we need each other to heal.

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Like I said, I was an introvert before it was popular. While the current wave of introvert love may well be a passing trend, I still think it’s beautiful. It’s good that so many people are taking time to consider self and solitude. Still as we move forward along our healing journeys, exploring our own inner worlds, we must make an effort to connect, to relate, to bond. When we align with our human nature and our ancestor’s healingways, our own healing energy will be multiplied. It will expand outward to those we touch, and result not just in our individual wellness, but in our communal health as well.

When we heal ourselves in community, we can heal the community itself.

As a healer and a lover of my people, this is the ultimate goal.

***

Looking for a healing community to join? Consider Reiki for Reparation. Participants learn Reiki Level 1 in a format designed specifically for the healing of Black DAEUS people. You’ll receive support in your individual journey, and the benefits of communal learning and healing. The next session starts Tuesday, April 3, so check it out today. Feel free to email me with any questions at carmen.thebodytemple@gmail.com

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