Retreat: Celebrating Ourselves

Let’s take a collective breath and remember we survived last year. We are here. We are here. We are here.

This is enough for this one moment and this moment is meant to be celebrated.

I welcomed 2021 by spending my evening alone grieving and celebrating the end to a tumultuous blessed year. I held space at my altar for all the candle requests of prayers I received for this full moon cycle. I ate 12 grapes and non alcohol cidre in honor of my maternal grandparents when the clock rang 12. I gave some to my Cuban Abuelito and Abuelita on my altar as I made my 12 wishes. Tears were shed and this was a celebration of retreating back into my source & reconnecting back to ancestors, even those I may never fully know in my mixed lineages because of deep displacement.

A huge paradox is that there can be celebration within grief; within the letting go & dying of who we once were. As QTBIPOC, this can come in many forms each time we come into a deeper understanding of our being and how it manifests in the world. Whether that be if we are trans and/or are non-binary & have chosen medical transition for ourselves, or if we are queer & coming into a polyam identity for ourselves, these are all markers of growth and evolution within ourselves. With growth and evolution, comes grief. When we allow ourselves to grieve death, whether in a physical and/or spiritual sense, we are honoring legacy, and honoring the past, where we are now, and where we are headed is a form of celebration.

Grieving & releasing tears isn’t the only way to celebrate. Oftentime with celebration, we are seeking to honor a certain event, milestone, purpose, or moment. We typically desire to experience pleasure and those possibilities are infinite. There’s as many ways of celebrating as there are to simply being. Far too often we have been fed what is “ought” to be celebrated from sources outside of ourselves. Far too often we have been told how things should be celebrated. Far too often our examples of celebration has involved alcohol, drugs, substances, a skewed sense of sex & love, and other behaviors which may not serve us.

Celebration may be a concept which does not come easy for us or it may be a concept we use to overin- dulge in to escape accountability towards our responsibilities. Most of the time we may be caught in the fluidity around celebration. Nonetheless, when we make the choice to become sober and/or embark on a recovery journey we undoubtedly need to reassess our relationship with celebration and how we wish to engage & experience it.

May I celebrate my choice to embark on a sobriety and recovery journey. May I create rituals of celebration for myself which can honor the entirety of who I am. May I focus on the courage it takes to choose this journey when there are systems trying to destroy me day in and day out. May I renew my empowerment again and again each time I choose to not harm myself. May I give myself the same compassion I give to others each time I have a set back; for I am choosing a journey of a lifetime and that is a celebration within itself.