27 June 2011

Beliefs, Values, Traditions

Read a preface today that said the Chippewa called winter "waboose" and that the symbol was a white buffalo withstanding the effects of winter.  I grew up with the knowledge that waboose meant rabbit.  I'm not familiar with the White buffalo as symbol of winter.  

It feels like everything I grew up knowing is now wrong.  I was taught by my elders about many traditional ways.  My family practices old ways without thinking about it.  That's how ingrained the values and beliefs are.  I had/have role models who lived the life, who showed me without my asking, and explained what seemed to me to be a contradiction.  

Part of the process of solidifying my life foundation was going through my value system and  leaving behind what didn't belong to me.  I learned that I couldn't step into another's steps all my life.  I had to make my own tracks.  I was told by an Elder teacher "you already know" when I was going to ask her something.  This made me think.  I do know.  I do live my life according to what I was taught and it has served me well.

The thing I remember the most, and also the thing I most fought, was "think, figure out how you are going to do this, which ever way is easiest, best for you."  I didn't want that. I wanted someone to do for me.  I wanted to be a child while still having adult privileges.  It doesn't work that way.  

"The Look" is sufficient to get me to correct my behavior, or make me think about what I am doing at the moment I get "The Look"; not always what I want to know either.  "Be quiet and listen" sometimes gets me the knowledge I've been seeking, sometimes without even knowing it.  "Shh" gets my attention now.  "Munge" means I need to look elsewhere because "don't know" can mean several things, likeliest, they don't have time and this is the polite way of saying so.  

One of the most irritating values is "sharing" because it is the one most taken advantage of.  I share.  Others share.  The thing is your family needs must be met before others.  It is out of the "more than you need" category that sharing comes into play.  "Don't have" means just that.  I don't have enough to give you.  My mom says what little we have is shared out.  I sometimes dread this one because little ones most often need to be taken care of and the parent knows this.  Along with sharing is "Replace what you took." That one gets ignored.  

Leaving behind what didn't belong to me included false teachings-ones that were twisted out of recognition.  I struggled with some of them; finally remembered things that helped me sort things out.  Once I got a dream answer.  The world began to make sense, I was finally home.  I know where I come from and I know where I'm going.  Getting there is what makes life worth living.
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added 02 Jul 2012
here is a link that explains a little more about the value system I grew up with
native-art-in-canada.com/index.html

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