I am finding humor on my journey to wholeness.
Like how quarantining has me doing all the black Mama things. Yelling. Goin’ off/ about to “tell all y’all somethin'”. Earmarking the McDonald’s money. Putting a lot of thought into Sunday dinner and getting the cooking done before noon so I can turn the oven off. (Can’t have the oven on at 3:00 in the afternoon. The house’ll never cool down.)
I am finding wisdom on the way to wholeness.
Like how since quarantining I’ve mastered the art of meal management and knowing all the expiration dates to ensure everything gets used in time. Each stick of butter has a job to do; a purpose.
Optimizing on the way to wholeness.
Also since quarantining, I haven’t allowed myself to ugly cry because I refuse to “cry up a cold”, as my Mama puts it. I am convinced that it is best to refrain from head colds during a health pandemic. I want to cry. I need to cry, but just like you…I’m not about to get this drainage and tingling in my throat.
So, lately, I’ve been keeping some of the anguish veiled. Head bent down in the pots I stir and the clothes bins I draw from, knowing that one day the tears will unleash and I will cry for all the people and things lost.
Still, I pose this question of wholeness, which I believe is independent of happiness.
How can we be happy when the assailants are loose and running rampant? How can we be happy when we are dying? How can we be happy when the officers who shot Breonna Taylor have not been charged? How can we be happy after experiencing and witnessing social injustice and gender inequality?
Yesterday’s pursuit of happiness is today’s journey to wholeness.
Are you there, God? We are here, waiting, ill and incomplete.
I learned from my mother that in the pursuit of wholeness, we will have to acknowledge our pain. An act of embracing, and not denying.
How is it that the sun manages to come out during a storm; that the stars never leave their dwelling?
Because the sun and stars know themselves as complete. They’ve surrendered to the sky.
What is wholeness?
Wholeness is something that can not be found outside of yourself. It reveals itself as you go through different experiences– good and bad– and becomes more certain, eventually permanent. It doesn’t change like the wind. It doesn’t recast itself when new friends, trends, jobs, and material items come along. Wholeness is there when no one and nothing else is.
The opposite of loneliness, it cannot be deceived by temporary matter. It is knowing that your authentic life, your lane– was created for you. We must own and optimize the life that was created for us.
Wholeness is also doing what’s necessary to repair all the broken particles. It’s allowing those stitches to dissolve so that we can evolve and become. And by stitches I mean prejudiced notions and thought patterns, hate, anger, jealousy, fear, insecurity, timidity…
Wholeness is honoring and trusting your unique experiences while aiming for greater wisdom. Trusting the journey. Trusting the suffering– pushing through with occasionally veiled anguish. Trusting yourself– all while understanding that intentional happiness is a form of resistance.
I do believe God is waiting on us to do something. The moves are ours to make.
I do believe… I will have that ugly cry real soon.
Clinnesha is a wife, mom, daughter/sister/auntie, literary artist, humanities scholar, and social entrepreneur.Her advocacy work is at the intersection of black/feminist thought, arts, culture, and community.