The place to start with this Native Wisdom is with the self. Love for self is the key and the foundation for all other love that comes after. Our ancestors knew reverence for the Creator and all His creations. Their acknowledgment of and their connection with the Creator was a way of life from sunrise to sunset. They lived a spiritual life filled with prayer, ritual, and ceremony. These actions came as the result of their beliefs. Beliefs are formed from repetitive thoughts. These thoughts can originate from deep inside of us and they can come from a source outside of us. Beliefs have the power to set the course of action for our souls. Do you see yourself as sacred? Do you treat yourself with respect? Anytime we suffer from a negative sense of self, it’s time to examine our beliefs.
For the generations of young Native brothers and sisters growing up after colonization and relocation to reservations or Christian boarding schools, a positive sense of self was not an option. Without going into the horrific and inhumane details the very culture and identity of our ancestors was decimated, mostly by law and religion. Drudging up these historical facts is not about analyzing victimhood or blame rather, it is about bringing to light the roots of fear, shame, guilt, powerlessness, and lack that still plague the souls of our sacred People today.
Feelings are generated in our physical body as indicators of where we are in our thinking patterns. Fear, grief, depression, despair, and powerlessness are emotions that indicate a state of mind that is terror. Vital statistics in all socio-economic areas show that the Native populations in North America, compared to the stats of other ethnicities on this continent, are by far the most disadvantaged. Violence, disease, and poverty make for a combined negative energy field that seems impossible to break through. How did a culture so rooted in the sacredness of life become so disconnected from the blessings this life has to offer?
Our wise Grandfathers taught that life goes in a circle and that life is a blessed mystery. By this light, let us bypass the need to study history for the answers but rather, forgive the past and use the teachings of our ancestors as our standard for life now. The hate-filled words and thoughts that were put into the minds of our People in regard to self were not the words of the Creator. The Great Spirit taught our People that; all life is sacred, treat all beings with respect. Let’s start with ourselves.
“Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only laws of the spirit remain always the same.” –Crow Proverb