I look out over the beautiful acreage that is my backyard, and I am reminded that this was once sacred ground to the Native Americans. There is a reason one of the roads in our community is named Arrowhead Loop.
As we know, this entire country was once the exclusive home to these native people.
If we were to look at their culture, we can see that it was so very different from the one we have as current Americans.
When we look closely at the principle values of the Native American people, we can encapsulate them into one: HONOR.
Honor for the land and everything on it. Honor for the seasons and the timeliness of process. Honor for the Spirit and energy behind everything that cannot be seen. Honor for the balance that comes from what is different. Honor for the individual and for the collective. Honor.
Where do we see this kind of honor in our culture today?
When I look now on what we are experiencing in the US, I see a crisis of true, unadulterated honor. Honestly, I believe it’s the core wound of this country from the time when we first landed here.
The pain and the struggles that we are experiencing as a collective can be directly traced back to this one wound.
We literally took and have continued to take from this great land and its people. Those who first let us on to her and showed us how to survive. We have dishonored both the land and the people and have continued this practice of dishonor within our own selves, our communities, industries and organizations. It has become the key component, in many ways, to “getting ahead.”
What we see transpiring in the news with the Dakota Access Pipeline has been going on for a very long time. We cannot continue to pour toxic intentions into this wound of dishonor and not experience pain. We must remember and begin to practice the art of true honor. An honor free from ego-based needs for control and manipulation. An honor that serves us all.
What we see now is a culture feeding on fear. We try to control when we are fearful, and we cannot let go and let be. To us, this seems too dangerous. We will lose our connection, our “place,” what’s “mine.”
So, we fight and we blame and we point fingers. We polarize for the sake of “being right.” As if being right could save us.
We mourn the loss of what we know. It’s a broken system without honor, but we cling to it and demonstrate the symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome at its worst.
And we continue to bleed out. We lament and give into the negative thoughts that feed our feelings of low self worth. We medicate, distract and writhe in pain. Then, we blame some more.
When will we fully realize fear only begets more fear? When we turn from honoring the natural process to a practice of needing to control everything and everyone so that we can have a sense of security, we give in to the illusion.
And more than that, we choose a practice of suffering.
To be balanced . . . truly secure, we must let go of the need to control in this manner. We must release being “right” and being “justified.”
We must learn to step into trust, faith and honor. We must be courageous and we must be disciplined in our bravery. This means doing what is truly right for the greater good . . .with an open heart and a secure understanding that what is of service and in honor is what serves and honors us all.
What does it look like to honor each other’s individual journey? To let go of the judgment and give credence to beliefs, decisions and approaches that might appear very different on the surface from our own?
To begin to heal this immense cultural wound that we have, each of us must begin to consider these questions.
Yes, sure, it can be challenging when you have a person, outcome or belief to which you are extremely emotionally, physically and spiritually tied.
At the end of the day, we all are on this great land together. Collectively, over the years, we have created what we are now experiencing.
I believe with awareness, grace and honor, we can begin to create a new way and turn the tides in all of our favor.
So, I hope as you sit down this year to your Thanksgiving table, you think about this cultural tradition, where it came from and what it represents for you. I hope you also give consideration to what you can do to honor it and support, in your life, the values, practices and intentions that can and will sustain this great land and everything that relies on it.
Not for one day only, but every day.