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The Beauty In The ‘Healing Crisis’

If you've got to let some things go in order to be your best self, DO IT.

Wellness

This past year has been a trip—and then some. Without intentionally setting out to do so, I've ended some toxic relationships (which were mostly toxic because I was the one doing most of the work to maintain them). And, even though no one is independently wealthy over here, I decided to sever some professional ties (mostly because they weren't paying me even close to what I was worth).

As a result, I've had some moments when I've felt—beat. I mean that kind of exhaustion where if I slept 16 hours a day, it wouldn't be enough. I've also had moments when I've broken out into tears for no apparent reason and, let's not even discuss my bank account.

There's no doubt about it, in some ways, this season has had me feeling worse rather than better. And although I know I've made choices that truly are the best for me, it hasn't immediately felt that way.

However, what was going on in my personal and professional life isn't what helped me to pinpoint what was actually transpiring. It was actually something what went down with my body physically.

What My Candida Attack Revealed

If you've ever had a yeast infection before, you know there are really no words to describe how utterly annoying and uncomfortable it can be. Well, not too long ago, I had the triple threat (literally) of a yeast infection, a small eczema flare-up, and a bout of tinea versicolor—all at the same time. Hell on earth, I say. No exaggeration.

t had been so long since I had a yeast infection that I went to the drugstore to cop some Monistat. Not to knock the over-the-counter drug, but basically my body laughed at the cream. It was a complete waste of twenty bucks.

I was willing to bet good money that what I had going on was a fungal issue (I have a natural sensitivity to fungus). And since I'm not a fan of taking antibiotics (I try to avoid them if I can; besides, some infections are resistant to them anyway) and going to the doctor was going to cost a pretty penny, I decided to take matters into my own hands and treat matters holistically.

What I discovered helped me to see the silver lining in my not-so-little-little fungal attack.

Bad breath. Constipation. Breakouts. Mood swings. Insomnia. A low libido. If you make the time to check out "The Largely Unknown Health Epidemic Affecting Almost ALL Americans," you'll peep that reportedly "70 percent of all people are affected by Candida, a systemic fungal infection"—and a lot of the symptoms I just mentioned are indications that you might be one of those individuals.

Anyway, as I was reading up on just what candida is and does to our bodies (it's some pretty icky/scary stuff), I also looked up some natural ways to treat a candida infection (which is a form of a fungal infection).

Breaking all of what I discovered down is kind of its own article. Let me just say for now that antifungal herbs like garlic, turmeric, tea tree oil, Pau D'Arco, and Oil of Oregano are real game-changers. If you add to that some berberine and Yeast Fend (from The Vitamin Shoppe) and a mega-probiotic, I'd be floored if you don't start to feel much better.

Well, after you start to feel worse, that is.

What do I mean by that?

After I researched how all that was going on with me was interconnected and then I added those herbs (along with eating less sugar, drinking more water and taking my stress down a few notches) into my system, for a couple of days I was like, "What in the world is going on?!" I was more tired, had more discharge and itching, and even a few pimples. Uh-uh.

But then I happened upon a phrase known as the "healing crisis" and it's not only changed my life, but also my perspective on what I was going through - both internally and externally.

What My Physical Healing Crisis Is Teaching Me

Long story short, a healing crisis is defined as being "a temporary worsening of symptoms that occurs when the body is going through the process of healing itself through the elimination of toxins."

In the case of candida, as the cells die off, toxins are released into our system that result in us feeling worse (sometimes much worse)…first. That's because during a healing crisis, the symptoms aren't the things being addressed. The root of the infection is too. Maybe you've been consuming too much sugar, or have an underlying health issue, or you're not having enough antibiotics - whatever it is, the healing crisis is an essential part of resolving your concerns. So if you stay the course and are patient on your journey, you eventually end up feeling better than ever.

As I thought about the healing crisis on a physical level, it got me to thinking about many of the things that have been going on in other areas of my life.

Take my personal relationships, for example. Being basically co-dependent in so many of them was a lot like applying Monistat to a yeast infection. I was doing whatever I could to keep certain people in my life, but I was never really happy in those relationships. What was my root issue of that?

Well, for starters, I'm realizing that as a childhood abuse survivor, some of the boundaries that weren't taught to me as a child, resulted in me not setting healthy ones as an adult. Oh, but I'm doing that now (if you've never read Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't—chile, it will change your life!).

My relational healing crisis is teaching me that going-along-to-get-along is usually a "symptomatic way" of handling things. Choosing to value myself and not settle for less—across the board—is getting to the root of past patterns and problems.

And you know what? Just like things had to "die off" in my body for me to be physically healthy again, certain people, places, things, and ideas had to go as well for me to live my best life.

In order for me to get to where I know I need to be, life literally had to get worse before it could start getting better. But baby, I'm starting to see light at the end of the tunnel and the gold at the end of the rainbow.

Alloy

So, if it took having a health crisis to learn what a healing crisis is and why I needed to experience one, believe it or not, the candida was worth it.

Bottom line, if you've got to let some things go, even if it hurts, in order to be your best self, DO IT.

It will feel like a crisis at first, but there will be healing in it.

I promise you that.

Featured image by Shutterstock

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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