Why Processing Pain, Not Avoiding It, Can Be A Pivotal Spiritual Lesson

The hot coals burned his flesh, but he couldn’t turn back. Going back was even more dangerous. Placing one foot in front of the other he tapped into the power of one of the ultimate spiritual lessons. A lesson we need now more than ever.

Why Processing Pain, Not Avoiding It, Can Be A Pivotal Spiritual Lesson
Via Wikimedia Commons

Hye Won Hye is an Adinkra symbol that roughly translates to “that which does not burn.”

The symbol honors traditional African priests who would walk over hot coals with their bare feet. But why do they walk over coals?

The priests believed their ability to walk over the embers showed a different level of endurance needed for their spiritual journeys.

Their flesh burned as they walked across the fiery coals.

But they knew mastering their pain was key for moving forward, literally and spiritually. They practiced until their feet didn’t burn.

Throughout life we experience pain in the forms of injury, grief, anger, loss, depression, or fear. Experiencing anti-Blackness in any form can be painful, even damaging to our spirit.

But like the traditional African priests, we must find a way to be able to feel this pain but not be so consumed by it that it keeps us from moving forward.

We’re worthy of love and healing.  The pain we do not allow ourselves to process could go from being simmering coals to a raging inferno. With so much anti-Blackness in the world, we are often confronted with physical, emotional, or spiritual pain.

What pain have you experienced recently? How have you processed this? What support do you need to move through it?

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