Standing Rock Encampment—Oct., 2016
Standing Rock Encampment—Feb., 2017
I’ve managed to keep myself slightly above the anxiety and angst I experienced during the first days of the new administration. Although it hasn’t been easy, I have created some boundaries for myself about when and how to take in the news. The dance between needing to be informed, while not freaking myself out, has been a fluid balancing act. This last week, however, watching a video of the closing down of the Standing Rock encampment, I fell again into tears of hopeless despair. The structures being burned as part of the ritual of leaving, the teepees, home to so many, now burning and destroyed—the images tore at my heart. “We have lost—forgive us—we have lost”, I kept thinking.
And then I read the words of Rebecca Singer, an elder in the protest, who said:
“Will the pipeline be built? Most likely. Will there be oil spills? Of course. Will species be killed? Yes. Will the Native People suffer? Yes. Will our government help them? No. Does this render Standing Rock a failure? No. People are now aware…. that water flows and that money has a lot to do with it. People are more aware….”.
The purpose has been served.
And where is the grace in not winning?
Everywhere. In every breath and in every heartbeat, there is grace. We, of course, have our preferences, the outcomes we would choose, in all that we do. However, it is not our choice; reality is relentless. We can simply do our best and let go of the results of our actions. Certainly, Standing Rock has demonstrated so much of our best efforts of coming together. And now, the universe has determined the outcome, for today.
The omnipresence of universal life energy, whatever you might call it, is always available to us. The mental constructs of “winning/losing” lock us in to emotional responses that make everything more difficult. Everything continues to change. Perhaps the journey is to simply practice allowing the changes to come and to go. How do we practice being present with what is, allowing reality to unfold, while trusting our capacity to outlive our feelings?
We practice. We simply practice. Not to prematurely transcend our feelings, but to stay present with what is and to feel it unfolding, this is the path to integration and wholeness. The way out of the feelings is through the feelings.
Here are some considerations for your heart:
- Do you have an arena in your life in which you feel as if you really did not win, that the outcome is something you would not have chosen?
- How might you reframe this “loss” as just another step along with journey?
- What tools might you use to practice this?
- Can you imagine some bigger picture gift eventually unfolding, as you continue to hold the posture, being present with what is, and allowing more to be revealed?
Consider the expression, “Time takes time”. Let’s imagine that, in its own unfolding, this moment of time is weaving and flowing forward, with new iterations of grace awaiting us. Let’s practice releasing the dictates of our own mental constructs. Let’s simply practice doing our best, feeling what we feel, and realigning with possibility. Let’s keep showing up. Without magic fairy dust, let’s lean in the direction of possibility as we keep present with what is. Let’s allow the universe to continue to bless us with reality, no matter how it feels.
Dear friends, I hope there was something here for you to take away this week. Please keep me posted—let me know what came up for you.