Sunday, September 18, 2011

Transitions: Live Long Enough Then You Will Become Familiar With Them

It's been 21 years since I've left the reservation. It's been 17 years since I've transitioned from a small town to the city. It's been 10 years since what I believe my life's dream ended. It's been 5 years since I've transitioned from being in a relationship to being single. It's only been recently that I'm learning to be a parent from afar.

There are many other life moments that I can talk about but I mention these ones because these required me to shift fundamentally. They demanded me to look inward/outward. They required, faith and hope, when I didn't know if I had enough to survive. Ultimately, I made it.

What has gotten me through all of this? Hope. As long as I can remember I've had hope. When I was in the midst of surviving sexual abuse as a child, I knew hope. When I was surviving being bullied, I had hope. When I was in the midst of surviving abject poverty, I had hope. When a dream I believed in failed, I had hope. When there was a demise to a relationship that I couldn't imagine my life without, I had hope.

Hope helps me to believe that there is something different in the world. Believe not everyone is seeking to harm or hurt me. Believe I only have to survive - breathe in/out, one foot in front of the other, keep my head held high, stagger until I can walk straight. Believe there is an ending to my circumstance. Believe that one day, someday, my life will be different.

Of course, there are moments in my despair that I want to give up. I look around and I can't feel anything. I don't recognize myself. Loneliness permeates my being. Feeling alone pulsates through my body. When breathing becomes a struggle. It is in that moment I give myself up to God. I know hope, again.

When I am in the midst of a transition, I am the most vulnerable. I am the most needy. I am the most open to being hurt. I am the most open to growth. I am able to fundamentally change. Challenge old and new ideas and beliefs. Realign or affirm my values. It is my time of transformation.

As time goes along and there is some distance between me and what occurred then I am able to examine it intellectually. I am able to discern the lessons. I am able to cultivate what I need for my soul. I am able to nurture the wounds that have occurred. I spend the time to heal.

At the end of each transition there is a deeper appreciation for life and time. Life lessons are something that we all endure. Life lessons are those moments that we call upon faith. Faith. We are asked if we believe? Do we say, no. It's in those moments that I yell, YES. Having just fallen with mud on my face, laying on the ground, pleading for understanding, wanting it all to stop– I still whimper with as much gusto I have left, yes.

What I've come to know is that my journey is mine. It is mine alone. I am not living for anyone else. I do not make choices for anybody else but me.

If someone is inspired by this, Great. If not – Oh well! Find what works for you...

I know that I'm here to experience all these moments so when the time comes I will enjoy the sweet release into the other world. I will know that I've been here. I will know that I've experienced what I came here to.

Joy is something that I strive for now everyday. It can be elusive. I know and have hope that it will return into my life everyday, all day. I don't live my life so sadness permeates my soul often. I live my life so I can experience Joy. It is the closest I know to God that I've been. It is in prayer or meditation that I know God is here. God is right next to Joy...XOXO, Nick

It's a long journey home...

It's one of those days when I feel rage. Rage against injustice. It's not for a particular incident but a culmination of many. The discrimination I watch when a white bus driver speaks horribly to an elderly Native woman. Watching Police Officers assume the worst about someone I know whose darkness becomes their only sin. Knowing that being brown is not a privilege in America. Observing the things my brown friends will do to survive. The pain I see in People of Colors faces. The tentative support that is given to me if I act right and act “white”. The innateness of knowing that my surviving is on the backs of people who know the truth that covering up who I am is necessary. Some of us survive because of white guilt and white privilege. The urging brown people give me. My heart breaks knowing they are right. I have to leave them. I imagine a moment when I can sneak back with some food, some idea, something of value so that they can use it to make the journey also. When I do get back sometimes I discover that they are gone. Gone into that place in our minds we escape to. Surviving. Then I beat myself up – If only, If only! Knowing deep down that isn't true. I learn everyday to keep the rage at bay. Smile. Be Good. Don't speak out of turn. Don't tell the truth. It's a long journey home to heaven. I know now why we sing those songs for salvation, understanding, and strength. It's a long journey home. My hope is my children's journey will be different. It is a hope that sustains me through the darkness. I prepare them the best I can for what is to come. I let them know the truth. I wash those dreams of sugar plumes and fairies out of their heads. Prepare them for the long journey. I show them how to act right and act “white”. Hoping they may never see those you love: broken, gone, surviving. It's one of those days of prayer. A prayer of salvation. A prayer of strength. It's a long journey home.