Written during the heavy times of the global pandemic, paired with one of the largest social justice movements in history, writer Winter Jendayi shares her personal feelings about the uprising, from her perspective as a mixed-race woman of color.
Walking a spiritual path and offering her work within the spiritual community, Winter has experienced countless situations in which covert racism, cultural appropriation and spiritual bypassing are taking place, all in the name of “love and light.”
After inquiring amongst many other BIPOC who have had similar experiences, there seems to be a common theme and very problematic situation present amongst “new age,” “conscious” communities who do not seem to be as conscious as they like to think. As countless BIPOC voices have spoken up about the injustices they have experienced and lack of inclusion in these spaces, the common result is the silencing and erasure of their voices.
The anti-racism movement is far from only a political issue. The roots of this run deep, and it is especially important for spiritual communities who are working with practices that do not come from their own blood lineage (and most of the time come from lineages of those who were enslaved and colonized) to educate themselves on anti-racism work so that these “conscious” spaces can be safe for everyone (especially BIPOC) and in full integrity.
From the pain of experiencing toxic spiritual behavior, gaslighting and being silenced upon speaking up, Winter shares these words:
My life is sacred. I am here because of my ancestors. My prayers are potent. I am worthy of being treated the way I request. I deserve the respect my ancestors never received.
My VOICE is pure. I WILL NOT dilute it so that you can continue to speak about me as if I am not here, sing songs your ancestors never knew, walk with entitlement in spaces that you are a guest in.
Black and Brown people are hurting and our pain is valid. Our frustration and our anger is real. It is not the time for us to internalize it as we have been, so that you do not have to look at your ugly shadows. I am here with a mirror for you to look in, just as Oxum teaches me. I will reflect your bypassing bullshit back to you and hold you accountable until you take responsibility and understand that YOU DON’T KNOW and can’t possibly know, what us Black and Brown people do. So listen.
I can give you “love and light.” The love I share with you is the love I have for myself which is why I am speaking up. The light I give you is in the form of words; words which illuminate your shadows and call them out into the light where we can all see them. This “new dimension spiritual ascension where we frolic through the meadow holding hands, one rainbow tribe,” comes AFTER and FROM the work that’s done to dismantle the system and decolonize white-washed, conditioned minds.
My life is sacred and I command it to be this way. I am here because of my ancestors. My prayers are potent. I am worthy of being treated the way I request. I deserve the respect my ancestors never received.
This post was written by Winter Jendayi