Can you be baptized by Ke$ha? Because that’s definitely what I feel like right now. I turned “Raising Hell” to max in my car and belted my lungs out every time the lyrics “If you couldn’t tell, we can always find the trouble we don’t need no help. Oh, my mama raised me well, I don’t want to go to heaven without raising hell!”
A flood of imagery came with each repetition – Rep. John Lewis and his ‘good trouble’. The ancestor altar I just set up to heal the spirits of my family line. Falling in love with Satya. Looking at my lifemate after we had dragged each other to hell and back and feeling like I was really seeing him for the first time – and loving him. Having sex long after the surgery that removed my ability to conceive children just. because. it. feels. good. Feeling the conviction of all the pain and destruction I have cause BIPOC just by “living my life” unaware. Telling toxic people in my life to fuck off.
And I swear to goddess, as I was rocking the fuck out to this song – something in me broke. I’ve been struggling against the chains I’ve felt weighing me down, each one inscribed with some bullshit doctrine about original sin, physical demonization, female subjugation, performative holiness, co-opted capitalism, etc for years. And every time I raised my voice to speak my truth it has shaken. I don’t like confrontation. I don’t like people who once liked me not liking me anymore. I don’t like disappointing family. I was a straight A, national debate champion, virginal good girl, over achiever for so much of my life. Arguments over text flooded me with stress sweat. But in this moment, I was overcome with the peace that passes understanding.
My family is my framily and we don’t expect each other to stay if we starting hurting each other. Humans are pack animals, we need our groups. But for too long the concept of family has been held over people like a guillotine instead of the safety net it’s meant to be. If raising my voice to speak my truth, to speak the truth of others, causes anyone to be ashamed of me – the doors are open. No one stays here unless they want to be here.
So here is my proclamation. The chains have fallen. They broke. And they’re not going back on, ever. I have two romantic loves of my life – and we are perfect just the way we are. My framily is my group and we do not threaten each other’s autonomy. We are activists and it is worship.
And while I do not believe in heaven, even if I did – that is NOT the goal, fam. The goal is to bring heaven to earth, to make earth a place of peace and justice – PEACE ON EARTH and goodwill toward men. NOT “close your eyes and wait until it’s over.” I rebuke that shit.
I have so many essays to write and points to make but this one, this one, is about me. This one is about my baby steps that have led me out of the darkness, each one in direct opposition to what I was told about truth and light.
Fell in love with a woman. Stayed in love with a man. Began healing my ancestral line, refusing to believe that we are beyond help after death. Stepping into my own priesthood. Began drawing healthy boundaries with people who shared pieces of my DNA (and held to them, even when they began to rail against them). Began to break the mold of the dutiful, quiet, obedient woman and embraced the wild, fierce, priestess that was my birthright. Threw out traditions that didn’t serve me and made new ones to my own liking. Smashed some stuff and gave a voice to my anger. Loved myself without permission and with total abandon (even and especially the pudge, wrinkles, stretchmarks, sagging, and body hair). Refused to believe I was cursed from birth, that my children were cursed from birth, and that our sole life’s mission was to save ourselves and await a holy reckoning. Danced naked in the moonlight around a fire. (Okay so not yet but its on my list.)
I am not ashamed of myself. The scales finally fell from my eyes and I was no longer comparing myself to what I was told I must be in order to be good.
I saw myself, exactly as I was made, following my own path hand in hand with my Spirit and it was good. It is great.
I am holy.
And I am dancing with my tits out, loudly and without abandon, breaking my own chains and howling at the moon while I reach across generations and through decades or murky trauma bullshit to build a new now, and a new future and continue to become the healer I am made to be, lit by the fire of all the lies and oppression and chains and pollution that have kept us quiet.
I am only getting louder.
And the fire is only getting bigger.