It can take a long time to believe that you are what God and your ancestors say you are. An important chair was suddenly pulled out for me and I was told to sit there, not knowing how to steadily position myself in it. Even after the processes, and while carrying out the duties, it was still hard to believe. I desperately wanted to believe it, but something wasn’t sinking in. There was a large piece that hadn’t grounded itself in me. This floating piece is what would wake my anxiety up every time it was time to work, and every time someone said “Thokoza Gogo.”
I now know that my lack of belief made sense, because it was the work that I did with my trembling heart that would build my belief. It was the fears and flames of insecurity that I was forced to walk through that paved my way – a walk that resembles the raw forests that my ancestors often call me to. I couldn’t believe what I am in the beginning because I needed the work to continuously reveal me to myself – and that it did.
My biggest milestone and moment was not when I answered my calling, completed the formal processes and returned home. Accepting and embracing what I am wasn’t the big moment either, because the complexity of my existence allowed me to accept and embrace it all without certainty. Somehow this was possible, and I suppose that’s what motivated me to constantly travel further into the unknown, trying to find comfort on this important seat that I don’t remember asking for or even wishing for.
My biggest moment was not when I helped my first, second or third client either. That was the complexity of existence again – my being relieved that I could really carry out this work, whilst still being uncertain of myself.
So, what was my big moment? It was when I fully believed what I am. That’s it. This only happened two years later. That moment of unshaken belief that finally landed inside my spirit and consciousness was the biggest event that didn’t pull in a crowd. My friends and family were not invited to that occasion. There was no drumming, dancing, stomping of feet, singing, or whistles. It was just God, my spirits and I – but still the loudest celebration my heart has ever known.
Positive feedback from our clients along with affirmations from spirit were an important push, but they were not enough to make me believe. This is not because they didn’t matter, it is because what my calling needed was my trust in it, and that was something that only I could give myself. The gift was always there and the work continued to make demands that I responded to, but I had not fully arrived. This gift needed the arrival of me, all of me. To finally place both my feet firmly on the ground, I had to believe what I am. The word of God and my guides could only propel me so much, I still needed me.
“Believe in yourself” has become such a commonly used phrase of motivation, that it’s easy to overlook the magnitude of its wisdom and truth. But those three words remain the most important medicine for our soul purposes. You are the god of your life situations and you have to believe in that god.
Today it is not ubunyanga bami that I celebrate, it is my firm belief in it and self. That’s it. That has been my biggest moment.
I am grateful to uMvelinqanga for the eternity of life.
For keeping my ancestors.
For the deities of light.
For allowing the bodies that we bury become seeds that grow into our reminders.
For this cycle of life.
For the drums that bring back our truths.
For the herbs that bless us with the odour, taste and medicine of home.
For the sacred ways that we survive a world that constantly tries to erase us and make us forget.
For the waters that we can pour over our flesh and carry inside our souls.
For the mountains that we climb and ultimately become.
For the forests that teach us how to journey through the different terrains of life.
For seeing me when I didn’t see myself, and patiently waiting for my eyes to finally open.
For trusting that I would eventually return.
For the storms that delivered me to victories.
Thank you for being here, Mvelinqanga.
The everything that you are and the nothing that you are,
I’m grateful to experience it all.
This master is still a student.
This elder is still an infant.
This gift is still a servant.
Phind’ukhulume Nkosi yam.
– Gogo Nobantwana –