'Still, we rise' — How Healing Circles draw on the strength of community

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At Project Legacy, Healing Circles are foundational to our youth programs. In their simplest form, Healing Circles allow young people the time and space to talk with one another. To share their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets.

For young people, Healing Circles can be life-changing.

Healing Circles allow all of us, youth and facilitators included, to step out of ordinary time into a safe and accepting environment in which we can explore our healing. Together, we explore ways of deepening our capacity to heal, alleviating our suffering, and finding meaning in both challenge and joy. We access our own inner guidance to understand where the greatest healing can occur, in body, emotion or spirit.

As a community bound together by a shared purpose, shared values and an intuitive sense that we belong together, we recognize the power of community. Here, it’s our greatest asset and most treasured gift.

A few weeks ago, 13 young men and women gathered for our Sunday night Healing Circle. Six were Christian, seven were Muslim. We opened with a reading on healing and another from Dr. Amit Sood on resiliency.

As this Circle occurred just days after the tragedy in Christchurch, prayers were offered by many of our young people for the victims and everyone hurt by hatred around the world. Prayers were said, hoping for a better world and better future. We closed with Maya Angelou’s poem, “And Still I Rise,” and as we always close each Circle, with prayers of gratitude.  

Every week, we gather together, a Circle of Agnostic, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Black, Brown, White, Refugee, Immigrant, Female, Male, Youth, Elder. We sit together, bound by love, respect and gratitude. We sit here, sometimes celebrating, sometimes mourning, at the ebb and flow of progress and setbacks, love and hatred.

Our young people share their hearts, showing us the trust and confidence they have placed in our community that shows love in the midst of trauma, abuse, neglect and hopelessness.

Because in the midst of love, we rise. In the midst of hatred and pain, still, we rise.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Please consider partnering with us in giving to contribute to healing and mental health support to the youth we serve. Join our Legacy Partners program today.

Karen Edmonds