Back to Love: I've been lying to myself... // how 'Finding Voice' changed my life

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SIGN UP to get more information about Sharon Bridgforth’s art-making process ‘Finding Voice’ (and upcoming online workshop) that helped me walk through my core pain, transform it into a gift and experience prosperity through my music. This is the most recent song I’ve come to on my journey back to love. When you sign up, I’ll be e-mailing you 3 more songs that emerged through the process along with details about Sharon Bridgforth’s transformative upcoming online workshop: ‘Finding Voice’

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BLOG 1 of 4: I've been lying to myself...

I’ve been living in constrained definitions of ‘love’. Where want and need agree to disagree and we believe that love is laced with pain mostly or always. Where we compromise ourselves to protect a life that feels incomplete because we can’t possibly imagine it could be any better. Where surviving is good enough because we’ve never believed that we deserve to/ could/ should be truly powerful and prosperous, in every sense of the word. Because pain is all we know and have been allowed to know. But pain, deep pain is just the precursor to the greatest love, the greatest sense of power... If we make it through and past the threshold that is.

For some of us, that threshold is a gaping crater-like wound. They call us makers. Artists. Creatives. Activists. And sometimes healers.

We spend our lives contemplating this threshold head-on. Some of us survive the act of contemplation but never get past the threshold - we live with the open wound. We are the broken-artists, we are perpetually in physical and emotional pain, we struggle to live day-to-day, to earn a living, to look in the mirror. Because the wound is too raw, too layered, too much to walk through. Some of us have wounds so massive that we cannot contemplate nor bare them and we choose to leave this earth. And then there are the very few who make it through the threshold, not by an act of courage, but by catching a glimpse of the belief that life is just NOT meant to be this painful for us. It is meant to be something else.

We may not know what that looks like, but we know that we cannot bare to feel the pain we feel anymore.

Like many queer people of color, sexual trauma defined a hefty part of my gaping wound. I was young - too young. I remember the first memory surfacing at 14, when I saw the person who had abused me for the first time again. Eventually, the memories came back piece by piece over the years. There are days when I felt the pain was too great to continue breathing. A couple of years ago, the sequence of events became very clear: the memories had coagulated into a toxic mass that was waiting to be released. I was staring at my gaping wound day in and day out, I could no longer ignore or repress it.

Thankfully, I was not alone. I was getting support from elders who had the technologies necessary to continue propelling me through the threshold. And one thing was clear for me and them: the only way I would get through this is through song, like I had always gotten through anything. Letting the music I make reach deep down inside of me and pull… and my voice would turn into guttural cries and the cries would feed my voice. And singing was crying me into love.

Most of us have lost the way to pass through this threshold, this deep pain. We have lost the tools, the rituals that transmute this pain -- that allow us to examine it and walk towards it. We have lost the kind of art-making that transmutes our unrelenting cries into love. And most importantly, that allow us to walk THROUGH and OUT of of the threshold, fully and truly.

As makers, artists, creatives, we were born with the responsibility, the immense task of walking into our greatest wounds and through the threshold. Our wounds are those of our communities, and healing them will heal our communities. No it is not easy. No it is not pleasant. No it is not a responsibility that everyone born on this earth has chosen to bear. But we have. And the truth is, until we truly, truly, deal with the gaping wound that has been left for us to contemplate, we will never see the kind of prosperity (communal, financial, earthly, emotional) that we are meant to not only have but to bring forth into our communities. That is our divine directive -- that is what prepares us to lead our communities into the abundance and sustainable wealth they deserve. We were born to walk through “the dark night of the soul,” as Sharon Bridgforth states, only to emerge as the powerful and prosperous visionary leaders that we are, that our communities need us to be.

Prosperity is not an ideal. It is a real possibility. And prosperity, for us, comes with an even deeper commitment to the kind of art-making that walks us through our pain, through the threshold and back to love.

Over the next 3 weeks I’ll be sharing bits of my process, my journey through my wound and towards prosperity AND the nothing-short-of-life-changing work that Sharon Bridgforth mentored me through. I will be sending you 3 more of the songs I was propelled (and required by Sharon) to create through her ‘Finding Voice’ method. Sign up to find out more about my and Sharon’s process, hear more of my music and get details about Sharon’s upcoming transformative online workshop for makers, artists, scholars, activists and healers - or anyone looking to use art-making to transform their pain into prosperity.