Three years ago this spring, I offered tobacco to my teachers to support me in vision quest. Almost immediately, some rather large shifts took place. I’ve learned this is quite common when we purposefully commit to ceremony with intent to make big changes in our life.
My family of origin didn’t know of my intent to quest, but within 2 days of my offering tobacco, one of my siblings acted with hostility towards me, using some very harsh words. I felt surprised and hurt and found myself keeping my distance as I felt I could no longer trust my sibling would be supportive and kind towards me. Interestingly, as I quested that August, many of the teachings I received were about trusting myself.
I carried those hurtful words for many months. On some level, I knew they weren’t mine to carry, but I sat with them, pondered their hurtfulness, threw them ‘round and ‘round in my mind. What I knew in my heart - but didn’t fully trust - is that those words belonged to who spoke them; it needn’t be my concern what was thought of me nor what was thought of the path I had chosen.
Recently, I became clear that I was ready to lay this to rest as I occasionally found myself spinning the story in my head. I understood that my mistrust of my sibling was not real. What I truly didn’t trust was myself. I didn’t trust myself to stand in my own power, knowing fully who I am. I didn’t trust myself to walk forward with certainty doing what I’m called to do. I didn’t trust myself to show up for me with boldness and heart-centered conviction.
I set clear intention to put this to rest and was gifted a wonderful dream in which I was doing heart-centered good work in the world while my lifestyle choices were clearly not to the approval of greater society. While there was judgment of me at superficial levels, there was no doubt about my intent to serve others in a loving way. I woke with much clarity about what I had learned: I need be true only to myself . . . and that, I can trust.
I can't say that I’ve moved fully into this new self-trusting behavior, but the awareness alone has given me focus and clarity about how I choose to show up and how I can re-focus my attention should I get derailed. The photo here depicts my trust angel which is whispering affirmations as I step into the world with this new awareness. (She's a pattern doll I made of cotton fiber; she boldly bears her heart).
This experience has led me to a place of deep gratitude for a less-than-supportive family member and the invaluable teaching about how to trust myself – deeply, fully and with intense resolve. Much gratitude to those sticky people and situations in our lives that ask us to take a closer look and to find a new way of relating to ourselves.