Someone touched me today. She shared something devastatingly personal and life changing, and then I heard the message that yes, these things happen.. but you cannot let them take you down. You need to grieve and move on. It was like someone reached into my chest and gently squeezed my heart in a way that anyone else saying that would not have affected me. And it made me want to help someone else, as she had just helped me. So I thought I would write about it. I have been helped by so many people in my years on this planet I could not begin to name them all. Some were momentary contacts. Some were long term relationships. Some I will never see again. Yet… I can express incredible gratitude for the moments of clarity and the insight and wisdom they have gifted me with. Many of them had letters after their names and were being paid to be in a supportive role. So I do not decry paid support. Many many more were not in paid positions of support however. And yes, those people have my eternal gratitude for helping me wake up and not give up and to continue the fight for a world that offers real choices in real life situations. This is a world where we are not told “NO…that is impossible”. This is a world that can be dreamed into being by listening to each other and acknowledging when we do not know what is possible. When I do not know, I can say that. It does not mean I say “NO’.
I am not talking about situations which will impinge on my right to my own choices and my own future. What I am dreaming about is the creation of a world view that recognizes what is working in the relational interests of all of us in our current way of seeing things,,,, and what might need to be added to enrich that reality of perception and experience. How many of us have spent our lives isolated and seeking answers to innumerable anguishes of experience we cannot find words for? How many have been reduced to numbers on the receiving end of a disability cheque and told to be grateful? I wish that when the inspiration to write came over me I was able to sustain it for longer periods of time and I wish that my ability to type was better than it is.
I started this post talking about fundamental tools. The circle is a fundamental tool of relationship that it takes tremendous courage to participate in. I am thinking myself about the power of the talking circle, where everyone has an opportunity to talk, or not talk, if they do not yet have words. This is a potential creative space where worlds change and people open to the beauty and power of healing from all the unspeakable past events that have dragged us down and shut us up. Such circles need to be safe. They need to be structured so that all who participate know what is said there stays there and that no one is going to try to fix or solve their problems. The circle is a place where there is no abuse tolerated and only one person speaks at a time. This is modeled on Indigenous talking circles. I just finished reading a book called Indigenous Healing, by a white man named Rupert Ross who was a crown attorney in Northern Ontario for many years and who was invited to learn about indigenous healing work and did so in a respectful way. This book affected me in deep ways. Much as another book I read a few years ago affected me. That book was called Black Foot Physics. The author is F. David Peat.
I am also wanting to say that I am non native. My own cultural past comes from England, Scotland, and Ireland, with some French and German in the mix from away back. What I have learned in my journey is that to really heal, it is important to go back and look into one’s familial and cultural past. There are traumas there that may be affecting present and future generations. It has been my own experience in circles such as are described above that have brought me to the level of awareness and gratitude I am presently at. To any who find this post helpful, I send you many blessings on your own journey.