Why The Day I Was Called A Monkey Was the Best Day of My Life

by Simone Craig For many years, I held a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) resentment of white ...

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by Simone Craig

For many years, I held a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) resentment of white folk. During that time, I may have admitted this in jest amongst black folk. But I would have been less likely to share the deeper the truth -- resentment was like a cancer destroying my spirit and closing the natural openness of my heart.

The incredibly wise ancestors of Ancient Egypt had a saying, ‘As above. So below.’ This can also be expressed as, ‘As it is within. So it is without.’ In 2005, my inner resentment revealed itself externally in the form of a white man, whom I didn’t know, calling me a monkey.

5 years before this blessed moment, I prayed for a spiritual teacher. God is not without a sense of humor. He sent my teacher in the form of a white man. His retreats were filled with hundreds of people, and I was the only black woman in the room. God knows the exact circumstances we need to heal.

In Ashland, OR, while training to be a spiritual life coach with my teacher, I was on a lunch break with friends while walking through the park. There were some men that walked by and one of them called me a monkey.



I was in shock. I went back to speak to my mentor about it and she encouraged me not to rationalize the experience away by saying ‘it doesn’t matter’ or ‘everything happens for a reason’. It was sage advice.

At first I was sad. Then, I was terrified. It felt like ancestral terror. It was the terror of being attacked and killed for what my body looks like.

Then, came the rage. It was ancestral rage. It was the rage of being objectified. It was the rage of being a black woman on this planet.

Then, the rage broke, and in that instant, there was an opening to Love. She asked what I’d discovered. I said it’s Love. She said, ‘That’s who you are.’

It was so overwhelmingly beautiful that I laid my head in her lap and wept. That’s when I knew the truth; we aren’t our minds or our bodies. Everything and everyone are really this fathomless Love. Even more, it was words of prejudice that inspired me into this discovery. Only Love could have produced this sacred irony.

The lesson for me was that all roads lead to Rome. Even the most ugly, vile, enraging experience can point you to Love if you’re willing to discover it within yourself. Love is the greatest healer there is. In that one instant of opening to Love, it healed my past, present and future resentments, pains and traumas. It revealed to me insight, exactly as I needed it to be delivered, so that any and all suffering left my soul and renewed the innocence and openness of my heart.

I share my Love story in service to the possibility of black women opening to Love and leaving their suffering behind. It is possible. We’ve paid our dues, sisters. In the words of James Baldwin, ‘Your crown has been bought and paid for.’

Release your suffering. Wear your crown of Love. It’s time.

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