I’ve started to write two other posts that don’t seem to want to be written at the moment so I’m trusting that, when the time is right, the Universe will bring all those pieces together with a super-sized magnet and faeries will fart faery dust all over my head and fire works will rocket into the sky and words will magically fly from my hands and land in the text box of the drafts and…you get the idea. In the mean time, I’m exercising my will and writing without knowing what I will write about and with the simple intent of offering healing and waiting to see what words fly from my fingers over the keyboard. And I’m playing fetch with my cat.
I just stumbled across a brief article on a blog about a tribe in Africa that, when one of the members does something hurtful, the rest of the members bring that person to the center of the village and everyone surrounds him/her. Then, the tribe spends two days telling him/her every GOOD thing s/he has ever done. The article described that the beliefs of this tribe include embracing the notion that everyone comes into the world as good, as desiring safety, love, peace, and happiness; but, that sometimes while we are pursuing those things we lose connection with our True Nature and make mistakes. The tribe in the article sees such mistakes as a cry for help which is why they all gather to try to help the one person reconnect with who s/he truly is until s/he remembers the truth from which s/he’d been temporarily disconnected and proclaims, “I am good.”
I sat there after I read the short article, shaking my head in amazement. What a brilliant practice! I personally believe that our Natural State (how we were created) is one of perfect balance, that the only thing that prevents us from living in that space is fear (the unproductive kind, not the kind that saves your life); so, it was easy for me to get on board with the beliefs of this African tribe. It also corresponds with what my Teacher has taught me in that any time we “act out,” hurt others, or behave in destructive ways, we are doing so from our most wounded places and THAT is when we most need unconditional love and compassion.
I scrolled further down the page after finishing the article and saw a long trail of comments people had left. When I began reading I felt appalled. The bulk of the comments harassed the author for not including the name of the specific tribe, accused him of lying or stereotyping all African tribes (which he hadn’t – he actually had just shared the story and not included any of his own comments), of criticizing various nations’ policies and cultures, debating the term “civilized,” of criticizing each others’ comments and saying things (I imagine) they wouldn’t say if the other person was standing right in front of them. Or at least I hope they wouldn’t.
They totally missed the point. For a moment, I wanted to yell and shake all those people in the hopes that somewhere in the midst of their brain rattling around and maybe smacking against the inside of their skull something would shake loose and they’d “get it.” What does it matter if the story was made up – why should that take away from the absolute wisdom inherent in it?
And then I had to laugh and shake my head at myself. Maybe all those people had missed the point of the story, but hadn’t I just demonstrated that I had, too, in light of my reaction to THEIR reaction?
It’s easy to forget. It’s easy to get caught up in a tidal of visceral emotion and lose sight of Truth. It’s easy to let ourselves be contaminated by that kind of energy, that kind of thinking, of emoting, of acting because, let me tell you, that shit is highly contagious. And because, at least, Mainstream American culture does not encourage soulful reflection and conscious interaction, it takes a great deal of intention and Will to not let ourselves get washed away in a debilitating tide of what is really just plain fear.
I talked with my favorite aunt on the phone tonight. Her son, my cousin, is getting married next month, and I’m really hoping and intending to be able to make it to the wedding. I haven’t seen most of that family in years and years and the circumstances are loaded (another post for another time, perhaps); among those family members will be my sister. I talked with my aunt about the tension and strain that’s been in my relationship with my sister for a long time now; of what I see as hypocrisy and unadulterated judgment in her (have you ever noticed how, no matter how much we might grow and change and evolve, that maintaining that new sense of Self and continuing to manifest it is hardest with our families of origin?). We spent some time talking about only being in charge of and responsible for myself, of having hope but not expectations, and I verbalized recognizing that the only thing I can do at this point is just love her. She, like the angry commenters and the hurtful tribe members, has just forgotten and become disconnected with her True Nature. Having planted roots in that space of forgetting myself for a long time and really just starting to make some headway in removing them recently I remember how awful it felt, how awful it feels when I slip and wind up there still on occasion. So that is what I will be working to remember from this point forward.
May you always be surrounded by people who love you and who will lift you up and help you re-member Who You Are and reconnect you with your True Nature whenever you stumble and forget 🙂