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When I was in Liberia, I remember noticing that the vaccine for Malaria had side effects that seemed to be similar, if not more invasive than the symptoms of Malaria itself- fatigue, chills, dizziness etc.  This short-term pain and discomfort is necessary for long term healing and is only temporary. That’s how I feel like with my life currently, I’m taking this vaccine of healing myself and my wounds. Through it, I’m experiencing side effects, but the healing will be so worth it. For me this looks like setting boundaries and cutting ties in unhealthy relationships which leads to backlash from toxic people. It feels like taking care of my body, through yoga, stretching, massages and acupuncture.  It looks like saying no to things I thought I wanted to do to  in order to make yourself a priority. Healing feels uncertain, it feels vulnerable, doing things I have never done before. I am healing myself through metaphorically taking a chill pill, dealing with the short-term side effects of insecurities and another people’s backlash. 

Usually during lent, people do amazing things towards spiritual growth and self-healing. What I did was take some time for myself and reflected on my life and the things that it wanted to work on moving forward.  I am in a place where the 40 days of lent is too short, for me the Easter is the start of something new, my recommitment to myself. More than anything the day of Easter reminds me of few things about life; You may have done great things in your community.  You may have even been told that you are all the things that people wanted you to be and hoped for.  But still then, your besties  betray you. Still then, your body is abused and mocked by others, in the most shameful of ways.  Do not be surprised when you are crucified for speaking your truth, when leaders in your own community get scared and try to shut you down for being honest.  You can be a part of society in which the system tries to marginalize your people and take power away from them.   And through all of that, you can still come again to be king.  Not even death can stop you because you are destined for great things. That is what I like about Jesus the most.  There will always be people who doubt you like Thomas and need to see physical proof of who you are and what you say. There will also always be people like Mary Magdalene who were there for you when no one was, waiting for you to come again at the foot of the tomb.

I see symbolism in Easter beginning the same month as sexual violence awareness month. I see this as a sign to intentionally make my healing a priority for at least the next 30 days, dying to my old life, and taking this first few steps into this new way of living, and knowing that I am not alone.