~This Blog Is In Memory of My Father ~
“Religion is belief in someone else’s experience. Spirituality is having your own experience” – Deepak Chopra
Vine Deloria, Jr. wrote:
“The first and great difference between primitive religious thought and the world religions … is that primitive peoples maintain an air of mystery through their bond with nature; the world religions sever the relationship and attempt to establish a new, more comprehensible one.”
My father wrote me a letter in December of 1992, which I still read on occasion and it does still bring a tear to my eye and an ache in my heart. I will share a small part of that letter, which has a big meaning..
“The first mistake this old Indian made, I should say second, I think being an Indian was the first. I love you and I hope you never forget or regret that. I realize words never did flow too freely, about love, around the house and that was my fault”
Each time I read this I also feel my maternal instinct wants to take over and overwhelm the person(s) who belittled my father when he was young, for being who he was born to be, a man, a native man, with pride! And to be stripped of that pride at such a young age is the purest of abuse that can done to a child.
When we take the time to understand who a person is, where they were raised, how they were raised, only then will be truly understand why they do the things they do.
At any time in our lives when we see a person’s transformation for the better, we need to give thanks and then look to the reasons that brought on this transformation and how it works.
It is spiritual! From what I have lived, from what I have learnt on my path of life, I believe in the fact that the red road is never ending, because it is one of constant learning and that path will continue on into eternity.
I will take to heart my father’s words from that letter and allow the words to flow freely, about love, in my world, for as long as I am alive and once in the company of my Higher Power when I cross over! That is my vow to my father, which I made, to him on his death bed, when his human heart had no more beat, I layed my hand atop his chest, leaned in and whispered in his ear my love devotion, one of forgiveness and admiration.
I knew it was time to rise above the pain of all that before me and my job at that time allowed me to do that, aided me in doing that. I took the steps, walked the 12 steps, of understanding, a person in a spiritual world of pain and how to heal that pain. I said then and I will say now, everyone, every adult, young and old could benefit by walking the 12 steps, ever race, color ,religion, rich and poor, can only benefit from walking in the shoes, which at first they may think is someone else’s shoes, but ends up being their own, all along..
These 12 Steps are a program of recovery from addictions, or from our reactions to life’s everyday stressors and circumstances. They are a “Design for Living”, which if applied will allow us to become who we truly are. The steps by their nature are very humbling and humility is character building.
Adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous
1) We admitted we were powerless over people, places, things and situations and that our lives had become unmanageable.
2) Came to believe that a power greater then ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3) Made a decision to turn our lives and our will over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5) Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6) Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7) Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8) Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9) Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would harm them or others.
10) Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11) Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12) Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
“Rest In Peace Father.. The words, I LOVE YOU, fall freely from my lips in your memory” – Cynthia–