Exploring the Complexity
"Do the best you can until you know better.
Then when you know better, do better."
Ceremony is the word we use for the set of practices that have healed us, supported us, and connected us to ourselves and our community. Ceremony can be passed down, borrowed, reimagined, and filtered through an individual perspective. Recently, we have been sitting with the question of how we talk about and practice ceremony as white settlers. What are the different relationships with ceremony that exist that we need to explore and navigate to ensure we do no harm?
When we first started Seeking Ceremony, one of our commitments was to not appropriate rituals or ceremonies that did not belong to us. We've been doing lots of work to better understand our own history and connection with ceremony, as well as the experiences of others. What we've come to realize is that we will never, and can never, know it all. Experiences are like stories, and as much as we pride ourselves on being storytellers, one person's lived experience is not something that can ever truly be experienced by another. We rely on tools that support people in their own journeys, and hopefully connect us to one another along the way.
We strive in our work to look through the lens of ceremony as being a universal experience, while committing to being non-appropriative of traditions that aren't ours or histories we don't belong to. However, the truth is much more complex than that. For many communities, ceremony was stripped away or criminalized by people who look like us. We need to better understand how we can practice ceremony in our own lives while still honouring the roots, the histories, and the complexities that exists.
We will work to be more exacting and intentional in our language - more attune to how our white privilege shapes how we connect to, and speak about, ceremony. We will do this imperfectly, and we will learn, and we will do better.
Megan & Kate