Today was an intensely emotional day as the familiar feeling of anxiety rested on my upper chest. I was aware of the intensity of the days we have had up to this point and that combined with not a lot of alone time, jet lag and a diet lacking fresh vegetables was bound to catch up with me. Even though I am very aware of these things they still have to play themselves out, there is not escape from the human condition but I can use my spiritual practices to help myself digest what is actually happening in the moment as well as have compassion for myself during this intense time.
The emotions that have been stirred up over these last 5 days or so are not new but the way in which I am experiencing them is. To be in a place where people offer me so much love and joy with such open heartedness and truth is like coming home to that place in myself that I have had to fight for my whole life. This was an exhausting way to live for 30 years, but it is equally exhausting to do the work to allow myself to come out of that safe protective place. Emotions are extremely powerful instruments and as I learn to feel them in their purest form I am also undoing a lot of old baggage as well and that is physically very challenging. So today I chose to sit back, practice silence and allow myself to feel what I was feeling.
What I notice about my emotions is that they well up, in this case feeling like a brick sitting on my chest, and as soon as I just let go and release them either through tears or words or physical movement I feel myself actually move it out of myself, giving it back to Divine Mother with Gratitude for giving me that lesson.
Today we visited two more cooperative, a group of genocide widows and a group of ex-sex workers, both of which I felt were incredibly brave and inspiring. The widows in particular as they had also been victims of rape, most of which resulted in HIV being transmitted to them as well. As I think about my own healing journey from sexual assault I am aware of the powerful damage that it can cause and just how difficult it has been for me to move through it. These woman had so many more layers, so much more tragedy on top of the sexual assault and yet there they were in front of me banded together to help each other survive the devastation of it all. I see how similar and yet how different our stories are, but the major factor that stands out for me in their story is their culture.
The physical release of emotions through dance and song is an incredibly healing experience and I truly do feel that it is a major factor in why this country has been able to survive the impact of such a horrific event as Genocide. These woman came alive when they began to sing and move their bodies, almost to a completely different rhythm than the one being sung. They are so in tune to the vibration of love that the Universe offers, it really is a spiritual experience from the moment they begin to move. I am in awe of their awareness and connection to the earth. Their spirit is so firey, lively and inspiring to me.
I want to be here. I want to heal here. I need Rwanda just as much as Rwanda needs me. I want to learn the ways of a culture that to me literally feels like Love In Action!