Black History Month is ending and celebrations this year have taken a different shape due to the pandemic but the principles remain the same. The month-long celebration is geared towards upholding the Black community and shining light on the struggles and progress of the people. For us, we have taken a jolly ride through explaining the importance of Black History Month, its history and most importantly, what it means for Africans.
Check out our Black History Month Highlights on our website:
The great writer, actress and poet Maya Angelou said, “If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present …gratefully”.
Let’s zoom into this statement and see what we can glean from it. The current time that we live in has overwhelmed many of us. Last week’s blog was about recognising the importance of maintaining mental health and reaching out for support when necessary. Essentially, the approach put forward by the wonderful Maya Angelou can also assist us in this regard. Let’s break things down.
She says if you must look back, do so forgivingly. What does this mean? Apart from the obvious advice to forgive things that have passed as that is the best thing you can do to attain inner peace, it also serves another purpose. Before we discuss the other purpose, we would like to reiterate that forgiving does not mean forgetting the lessons learned and utilising those lessons to navigate the world more effectively. We just had to put it out there. No need for crossed wires. We mean letting go of any negative emotion that arises from the memory.
The negative emotion, let’s talk about it. It can raise its ugly head in various situations. At its crux lies an attachment to the person, concept, event, situation, emotion etc. This is where detachment comes in. What do we mean?
When we advocate practising the art of detachment it means to live in the moment. It means engage fully in what is in front of you. Once it is no longer there, relish memories with positivity and fondness. If it was a bad memory, be grateful that you survived it and learned lessons from it. Don’t let the memory control your present state. The present is all you have. Enjoy it, relish it, engage in it and allow yourself to evolve to higher states of consciousness.
The beauty of detachment is that one can interact more fully with people and can become truly connected. It’s not about control or looking for happiness externally. It empowers us to look internally for inner peace. How cool is that?
So how do we start this journey? Good advice is good, but what is the process? The first step would be to accept people and situations as they are. Life is messy, learn to roll with it. See what you can do about situations to improve them or minimise risks but let go of the desire to control things. If the current pandemic has taught us anything, it's that we are not in control.