I recently returned from a trip to Ghana working on a project through USAID.
As someone who’d never previously traveled outside the United States, having the opportunity to travel to Africa was both scary and exciting.
I’m not going to lie, I was extremely reluctant to go.
What if I didn’t perform well? What if I got sick over there? What if, what if, what if…?!! The lizard brain will do everything it can to prevent you from doing awesome shit, and that’s why I knew I had to go.
I’ve come to see fear as a friend, a guide to understanding what to do, and where to go.
If it doesn’t scare the crap out of you, why are you doing it? Growth doesn’t happen inside your comfort zone.
The Slave Dungeons Of Ghana
I was working in a village called Kpando but was able to travel to Cape Coast, a major transport area for slaves during the transatlantic slave trade.
The slave castles there held thousands of slaves who were shipped to the Americas (if they didn’t die first). Castles switched hands several times and included control by the Dutch, Portuguese, and finally ended with the British taking over.
The most striking thing about the slave castle grounds was the sheer brutality and inhumanity that happened here: conservative estimates of the murdered exceed over 4 million.
As I toured the underground slave quarters, I thought about the dungeons we find ourselves in — our self-imposed dungeons. Although slavery is over (caveat= it still exists in parts of the world), many of us still live in the slavery of our past, our fears, and reluctance to give our full selves to the world.
Are You the Slave or the Master?
Colonists came to Ghana, took the resources, changed the culture, the language, and belief systems. The Ghanaians were enslaved physically, but also mentally.
In order to perpetuate a takeover, you have to control the story and create narratives that spread.
What stories are holding you back? What dungeons have you created for yourself?
We Have The Power To Choose:
- Live in the dungeons of fear, or expose ourselves to the world.
- Believe the stories that others give us, or create self-empowering stories that drive us towards freedom.
In the end, you’re either the slave or the master — but never both.
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