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Kendall Evans: A Transition (August 8th, 2020), A Tribute
In Opening the Narrative
Enough Now
In Community Healing
Reverend James Encinas
Apr 30, 2020
YES!!!
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On Grace
In Community Healing
Battering Behavior is a Choice, But...
In Opening the Narrative
Reverend James Encinas
Apr 14, 2019
Dear Steve thank you for this powerful, thoughtful, thought provoking, and insightful post. I know that this work is near and dear to your heart and I feel privileged to know you, walk with you, and learn from you. I read somewhere that systems change begins when a few people step forward to act on behalf of what matters to them. People who as Brené Brown said, "understand that it is not about winning, not about losing, it's about showing up and being seen!" It is about having the courage to go into the arena knowing that you will get your ass kicked but doing so regardless. It is about dignity - the inborn sense of value and worth that lives in each of us. Rainer Maria Rilke said, "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Thank you, for asking the questions Steve! Thank you for sharing answers that you have lived into. Thank you for helping us to see that "hurt people hurt people." And in doing so hopefully create new and important questions that together we can strive to answer. Questions such as: who has helped you love the good that grows within you? who has helped with the ability to see your inner dignity? Who has given you a safe place? who has helped you see the gifts and abilities you posses, the strengths and abilities you bring into the world? And if the answer to these questions is "no one." If all you have experienced is cruelty, indifference, pain, and hurt. Why would we choose to impose more hurt? "WHY" is it that so many of our systems can't SEE and acknowledge what you have stated - "Expecting someone to establish healthy, respectful relationships after being raised in a world of abuse, cruelty, and disrespect, is unrealistic." Why do we continue to shame and punish individuals who are operating out of their shadow, out of their pain and hurt, out of a place of anger, jealousy, or resentment? Why can't we, given what the science, data, and research tells us, not see that if our pain is not witnessed and addressed we will continue to hurt ourselves and others? Why is it that rather than working to heal fragmented, disoriented, broken, and fear based individuals we actually have created systems that are based on retributive justice and the punishment of offenders rather than on rehabilitation? My dear colleague and friend Tia Martinez recently published a study that was commissioned by the Blue shield of California Foundation that I hope many read https://blueshieldcafoundation.org/sites/default/files/publications/downloadable/BreakingtheCycleLifeCourseFramework.pdf This graphic from her study validates your wonderful point my brother - "Understanding the impact of past traumatic experiences is critical in helping BIP participants learn to make respectful choices in relationships." Thanks again Steve I look forward to continuing to learn from you and the work that you and Dorothy are doing. Blessings and love Rev.James
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Telling Their Stories: Latinx Mothers as the Experts
In Opening the Narrative
Reverend James Encinas
Feb 16, 2019
Dear Thaeda thank you for your post. It may be challenging for many to read the following - "It became clear to me that any kind of “intervention” would need, at the very least, to be directed by Latinx parents themselves--those who would know what help looks and feels like in their community. Those of us who work in agencies to play the role of the helper need to stop relying on the “best practices” research that is based primarily on white populations, and start relying on the people who are the real experts- the Latinx parents who we are intending to help." - but I can't thank you enough for having the courage and compassion to share it, give it voice, and most of all act on it as I know you do. I spent the last two days in an intensive "racial equity training" and among the many powerful things I walked away with is the understanding that "racism" is a social construct that has become institutionalized and put in place to give one group of people power over all others. Racism is a system of advantage based on race, a system of oppression based on race, and system whose very existence is based on a the false belief of "white supremacy."And it lives in every system that exists in this country. That said your piece gives voice to a group of people who have been marginalized and whose power has been taken from them by people who as well intentioned as they may be thrive in a system that was created for them at the exclusion of everyone else. The sad thing is that you don't even have to be white to support the "white supremacy systems."
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Steppingstones on Your Path to Always Wheeling, Always Healing
In Opening the Narrative
Reverend James Encinas
Dec 09, 2018
Dear Mary the honor is mine and I feel so grateful to have met you and have you in my life as a friend, mentor, and colleague. The stepping stones you've identified are so important towards the process of healing and transforming and as you've pointed out require the taking of baby steps. From my perspective the first baby step begins with the recognition that one must learn to love oneself and the second that one must also learn to come to terms with suffering. Joseph Campbell wrote "suddenly you're ripped into being alive. And life is pain, and life is suffering, and life is horror, but my god you're alive and its spectacular." Over time I have come to see that people hold on to the suffering that life naturally bring them and rather than allow that suffering to transform them, often in trying to hold on to the thing that is no longer part of their lives, they stop themselves from living their lives. I am no different. For much of my life I felt that I was a victim and that the suffering I had endured was unfair. It made me angry, for many, many years I walked around with a lot of hurt and rage. At the time I was not able to see that all of that anger and rage that I carried was my will to live expressed in a very negative way. I didn’t know then and was not able to understand that the suffering I experienced was a part of my life, a stage in a process. That it wasn't the bottom line. It was not the end of the story. I was not able to see then that the wounds of mind and body I experienced would one day become the scars of my creativity, my solace, and my transformation. A man I consider a mentor and friend Father Richard Rohr recently wrote, “the supreme work of spirituality, which makes presence possible, is keeping the heart space open (which is the result of conscious love), keeping a “right mind” (which is the work of contemplation or meditation), and keeping the body alive with contentment and without attachment to its past woundings (which is often the work of healing). In that state, you are neither resisting nor clinging, and you can experience something genuinely new.” So true.
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Reverend James Encinas
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