Opening The Gate To Healing
I need to write about it, shout about it. The healing has begun! Do I start with now or go back a couple weeks and fill in the blanks before I create them? I think a mixture will follow.
A short while after being assaulted I had the blessing of being able to stay with some friends for a few days and be away from the space where ‘it’ happened. I was able to think, pray, touch our mother, be alone or be with my dear friends. It was beautiful and peaceful. I found myself one day lying face down with our mother, touching and feeling her and opening my heart. We feel the pain of violation. She understands this pain and works to cleanse it. Being with her allowed me to begin the process of cleansing my own spirit. I have run through quite the gamut of emotion since the assault occured. I went from feeling perpetually sad and scared, to angry, to some form of acceptance.
I live in a compound where many others live, and travelers pass through on a regular basis. After the assault there was a short run of increased security and then it seemed to lapse. The gate that kept me feeling a small semblance of safety was being left unlocked many times a day just to my awareness. Each time I saw it unlocked or left on the code needed to open it, I felt both anger and confusion. Anger at people (not one in particular) that I felt had forgotten far too easily what had happened. Confusion in how loving and wonderful most have been yet at the same time what felt like a lack of concern for security. Yesterday I noticed a difference in myself. I found the gate wide open and unlocked and no one near by to see that strangers did not come in unannounced. I looked at the lock dangling there unused and simply shook my head then prayed. This was a profoundly different reaction than I had shown just a day before. I did not shout at the world as I had done those numerous times before.
While staying with my friends, I felt the need to connect with our Mother Earth in ways I cannot do in the heart of the city. I felt her, laid upon her and prayed. I found out a few days later that another very close and dear friend of mine had hung a prayer flag on the sundance tree at Bear Butte, prayers for healing for those of us who had asked. I also found out that this same friend had given a flesh offering and his words to be were ‘its gonna be ok.’ My prayers with our mother and the prayers of this friend were all happening at the same point in time though over a thousand miles apart with neither ‘supposedly’ knowing that the other was occuring at the time. What also came of this connection was my acknowledgment that I needed to remain in California for the time being to heal not only from these recent wounds, to complete the healing of old wounds and to give time and space and encouragement to new friends, new family, new love. I believe with my whole heart that when I accepted that this is where I needed to be for awhile, the healing had truly begun.
In the process of healing I have been connecting with staff, friends both old and new, at the Native American Health Center, their associated Wellness Center and the Intertribal Friendship House. I started getting involved in a class to learn something, a circle to share in and participate in other events in the community.
So let me get to the part about healing in real terms. When I found the gate open yesterday and did not react in an angry and confused manner, I knew that some change within myself had happened. I was headed out to a community meeting at IFH last night when I noticed this change, however small it may seem, because to me it was definite progress. At the event, we ate wonderful food and had an amazing speaker. We then went around the room, elders being identified as mountains and the young and their children, obsidian. The mountains and the obsidian, each one, gave a thought, an idea, of things that we could do together, begin, and/or create, in order to help our youth feel respected, engaged, understood and loved. This community input will be used to help write a grant to fund projects that will hopefully help reduce the cycle of despair many young natives go through, the despair at the root of a suicide rate among them that dwarfs that of the general population of teens and young adults in this country.
I was not feeling at all good about getting back to the property last night after this wonderful gathering at IFH. I was rather dreading it and had resigned my thoughts to locking myself in upstairs and riding it out. A fund-raising party was going to be happening with what tradtionally has been very noisy and sometimes abrasive. To my incredible surprise, the party turned out to be the mellowest and most comfortable of any that I had encountered there. Smiling, laughing and being relaxed was very easy. I sat with others at the gate to monitor those coming in and out of the complex without feeling the slightest touch of anxiety. My sense of the heart of others was engaged, my sense that tells me if there is anyone or anything to fear in a room or in a gathering had returned. HEALING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was apparent not only to me but to those around me who knew what I had been going through. I looked at the friend who has given me his space to live in for awhile and smiled. He saw it, others saw it, I was back amongst the living and feeling an ease that I have not felt since this all happened just a short month ago.
Wow! I have gotten engaged in the community and begun the process of healing. I know to continue this healing I need to stay engaged, stay involved with those things closest to my heart. I plan to continue my involvement in gatherings, learning and events to continue to nurture both myself and others as I walk this path of love and healing. Thank you to all my dear, dear family (far more than friends). I know the healing is just beginning and that there will no doubt be bumps in the road. It is all in the way that we choose to deal with these bumps that determines which way we are going. I choose to move forward on my life’s path and continue to be who I am, injured or not, STRONG beyond a doubt.
Peace and blessings my loves.
unetlanvhi wado ~ wakan tanka pilamaya ye