Liberation is the act of being free or the process of freeing someone else from another’s control; it’s the removal of traditional social rules, attitudes, etc. A liberation movement can also mean one that is focused on seeking equal rights and status for a particular group of people.
As we honor Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ orders to “shelter in place,” and stay home from work, school, gyms, volunteer jobs, and refrain from doing everything else that isn’t “taking care of essentials,” what does it mean for us to be a People of Liberation?
Would you believe that there’s lots of liberation to take care of by staying at home? Personal liberation! We all have beliefs about ourselves and others that box us in. We impose limits on ourselves that keep our bodies and spirits closed in, and we make judgments about others to keep them from hurting us or changing us. But those limits and judgments can make our relationships shallow, and undermine our self-understanding, too!
What to do?
There’s a story about Michelangelo, the great sculptor. Someone asked him how it was that he could create such beautiful artworks. “It’s very simple,” he answered. “When I look at a block of marble, I see the sculpture inside it. All I have to do is remove what doesn’t belong.”
Think of yourself as that block of marble. What needs to be removed to liberate the beauty within your stone? Are there ideas, habits, practices, and fears that you learned in childhood? We tend to accept the self-limiting beliefs we received from parents, teachers, and other important figures early in our lives because we depended on those people for life and love. But perhaps this time of “staying home” is a time to name the ones that do not truly belong to you, and to practice letting them go. To practice liberating ourselves from them!
But liberation also means practicing letting go of our prejudices and biases against other people. That’s what my colleague the Rev. Theresa Soto is saying in our quote-box above. Our inner universes are linked to the universes inside every person we meet. To liberate ourselves, we must be about more than just ourselves!
I can’t promise you that any of this will be comfortable or easy – but I know for sure it’s much easier if we hold ourselves with loving-kindness as we practice.
Sending you love, caring, and encouragement
Blessings to you,
The Rev. Suzelle Lynch, Minister