Lamentation is necessary for healing

I just got back from the Grand Canyon and Sedona. No surprise — quality time off, really getting away is vital to my health. The uninterrupted time was a unique opportunity to think deeply.

Sedona is a center for tuning in, a place of being for those in search of greater meaning and purpose in life. And as the Colorado River erodes the Grand Canyon, revealing billions of years and layers of history, the site served as a metaphor for me to lament this moment in history.

Being an explorer is about having the courage to start a journey that will unveil myths, truths, and lies about the world as you know it.

I am angry and grieving the conditions that prevent humans from thriving. Lamentation is necessary for healing.

After the past two years, it isn’t enough to just name that I’m having a bad day or that I’ve lost someone I love — yes, I need to learn how to assign words to those emotions, AND it’s time to expose conditions that are inequitable and oppressive.

I must be fierce and fearless in naming what is wrong. Only by shining the light on history, dragging it out into the open, will healing begin. This moment calls me to expose the conditions, name them, open them to grief and anger and make them visible for remedy. Lamenting has serious political and cultural implications.

Kimberlé Crenshaw is most often credited with developing Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a way of studying systemic racism and its impact on society and how it permeates many aspects of society. K-12 teachers and schools that address racism in American history or America today have been accused of indoctrinating students by teaching CRT. According to an NBC News analysis, there are now at least 165 local and national groups that are trying to disrupt or block lessons on race and gender. Is the discussion really about CRT?

Let’s do some fierce and fearless naming of what’s wrong with the system.

It is time to name the pain. Let’s be brave enough to own the conditions that gave rise to systemic injustice.

We’re just scratching the surface. According to bell hooks, “The heart of justice is truth telling, seeing ourselves and the world the way it is rather than the way we want it to be. More than ever before we, as a society, need to renew a commitment to truth telling.”

So what did these layers of years of history uncover on my adventure?

I refuse to be silent.
To lament is to rip open the wound.
To lament is to expose, to name, to give language to what is out of order in our world.
To lament means I may run the risk of disrupting my family, friends, and workplace.
To lament is a brave, courageous act.
Lamentation is necessary for healing.

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