"Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God. Blessed are those that mourn for they shall be comforted." ~ The Beatitudes
"All my grief says the same thing: "this is not how it is supposed to be. This isn't how it's supposed to be. and the world laughs. holds my hope by the throat. says: but this is how it is." ~ Fortesa Latifi
Nowhere in the Beatitudes does it promise blessings for those who are already in comfort. Those who are blessed are those who suffer and are in pain, not because of some misguided belief that life should be full of pain and suffering, but an acknowledgement that God is on the side of the oppressed always. Those with mental health challenges or any kind of oppressive challenges are blessed because they too are filled with Spirit and it is a spirit that is systematically unacknowledged and attempted to extinguish by the powers that be. When you add factors such as race, immigration status, sexuality, gender, age, ability, class, and others, you will see that the more oppressions one faces, the more they are considered un-"blessed" by society and so this is why Jesus felt the need to say that no, all of these types of people are blessed by God. This is why we say "Black Lives Matter;" for unless we specifically use those words together, the common assumption behind "All Lives Matter" is that it is "All WHITE lives matter," specifically rich, white, male, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, Christian, American born men. However, I am here to say that God looks down with favor upon those who are marginalized always. And you don't have to call God, "God," for this to be true. You can call God, "The Ground Of All Being," or "Mother," or "Goddess," or "Higher Power," or "Love," or "Great Spirit," or "The Way," or "The Call," or "The Flow," "The Universe," or "The Force," or "The Spirit Within," or one's own "Intuition," or "Gut," or "Wise Mind." Whatever you want to call the force that guides you, for we all follow something, even if we identify as Atheist, that thing honors those who are oppressed over those that dwell in comfort. I'm not saying that our goal is to be in pain or to suffer all life long, but if one strives for comfort to the point that they disregard the ways they could support those who are not, then paradoxically they are still mired in their own suffering. The person who does not recognize their own oppression will never be able to change and fully heal. It is through admitting that we are poor in spirit, and that we are in mourning, that we can truly begin to heal and to heal others.
I am in mourning. Last year started with joy, as I got engaged to a wonderful joy-full woman named Nina Colman. By July, she was dead, and we were both completely broken, her in body, and I in Spirit. It is only now, almost a year later that I am able to write a truthful blog post about the experience.
I will not detail in depth what happened, but if you want to read more, I urge you to read the current edition of The Pipeline, from front to back, but especially the article I wrote about Nina and the article written by the current Director of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network on the next page.
I still captain my own business, "Hope Is Real," and I still profess to believe in Hope, but not the Hope of a colonized society, but in the hope found in answering your own call, whatever that means to you. A few months before Nina died, she told me after hearing me read a devotional I wrote that I had brought back her belief in God. I could not fathom the importance of that moment, because to me, God is just a name, something that every living being has inside of their own self. But she did not mean that she believed in any kind of religious being, but that she recognized that something bigger was always with her through everything. A person contacted me half a year later to tell me that even though Nina was heart broken to be in jail and to know that that was where she most likely was going to die, that she forgave me and that she still believed that God was with her. I am humbled beyond belief.
I no longer work for the Dekalb County Accountability Courts, for the Spirit was no longer calling me there. I know the Spirit is with the peers still in that program and I wish I could save them all, but I must focus on saving myself, and I can only save myself by following The Call, The Flow, I feel inside. I intend to start writing blog posts again on a regular basis, but I make no promises. I am hopeful that not every post will be as gut-wrenching, but I make no promises. I am not sure I believe in any kind of human promise, vow, or covenant anymore. I believe in following The Call inside that tells me that really, we are all together, and no one is separate. That is why I now identify as "non-binary," she/they. I do not believe there is a binary system in any way, except in colonization. The Universe is a spectrum and we all just flow along it as the universe wills.