5 Myths Exposed

Recently, I shared highlights from an article concerning the myth of the free ride – post-secondary education funding and First Nations people. Here are another 5 myths about indigenous peoples. These are from an article by Chelsea Vowel.

  1. Indigenous peoples do not pay taxes. The effect of this myth is seeing First Nations people as lazy, socially parasitic and less than.
  2. Indigenous peoples receive free housing. While there may be some funding for social housing this isn’t unique to First Nations people.
  3. Alcohol abuse is a cultural trait or Indigenous peoples cannot metabolize alcohol. First Nations people metabolize and react to alcohol the same way everyone else does. More Indigenous people abstain from alcohol than in the general Canadian population.
  4. Indigenous peoples have legitimate grievances stemming from awful things that were done in the past, the advent of a modern democracy means we are now all equal and have equal access to the same rights.There is no break between the past and present and that equality does not mean “the same.”
  5. Things are inevitably getting better. The truth is, racism towards First Nations people is pervasive across all our institutions. Generational trauma and repressive polices have significant impact on First Nations communities.

We must stop perpetuating these myths if we are end the racism that undermines the healing needed by First Nations peoples.

The Free Ride Myth

This is fairly specific to Canada but it’s important to put it out to the universe. In Canada, there is the myth that all First Nations people receive a free post-secondary education. I found this article by Lenard Monkman of the CBC that exposes this erroneous belief.

Here are the key points:

“Only “status Indians” — or people recognized by the federal government as “Indian” — are eligible to receive funding for post-secondary education (it’s a treaty right).”

“Most often, the demand for funding far exceeds the money that bands receive for post-secondary education.”  This is due to funding caps initiated by the federal government in 1996.

Students who receive funding face strict conditions:

Reapply every year,
Maintain a certain grade point average,
Have a career outline,
Not miss classes,
Take a minimum of four courses per semester.

If a student loses their funding they “have to wait a minimum of two years before they can reapply.”

“Most only have the cost of their tuition and books covered for the term.” Living expenses and other costs are not covered.

There are very good reasons why First Nations peoples receive education funding. While those not involved in the process could be forgiven for having misconceptions of these benefits what I notice is an expression of resentment and with tones of racism.  I think it’s time for change and that begins with ending the spread of the myth of the free ride.

Holding Space

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“Holding Space means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.” ~Heather Plett

What does holding space feel like? Here’s a great example.

 

I am striving to be better at holding space for people. A great article that explores this topic is, What it Really Means to Hold Space for Someone. The author explores how she discovered how holding space was valuable and how to cultivate it in our lives. Here are a few quotes:

“By offering gentle, nonjudgmental support and guidance, she helped us walk one of the most difficult journeys of our lives.”

 

“Sometimes we find ourselves holding space for people while they hold space for others.”

 

“To truly support people in their own growth, transformation, grief, etc., we can’t do it by taking their power away (ie. trying to fix their problems), shaming them (ie. implying that they should know more than they do), or overwhelming them (ie. giving them more information than they’re ready for).”

I encourage you to read the whole article and incorporate as many of the insights as you can.

Do you hold space for others? What does that look like? Who holds space for you?

Bounce Back

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Everyone has a story that will make you cry. Many have a story that will overwhelm you with grief. No one gets through this life without being wounded.

But why do some people handle these wounds better than others? Why do some people find it so difficult to get back up once they’ve been knocked down? How about you? How do you handle the junk that life throws at you? How can you become better at bouncing back?

Resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Think of a rubber band being stretched but is still able to return back to its original shape. There are a number of factors that contribute to our coping skills but each of us can nurture our capacity to bounce back or be resilient.

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The foundation of our resiliency was developed as we were growing up. Evidence from epigenetics suggests our capacity forms in the womb and even comes down to us from our parents’ capacity to bounce back!! What is your resiliency capacity? Check out this survey (found at https://acestoohigh.com/got-your-ace-score/). Note that there’s no right or wrong per se – it’s just what has been.

RESILIENCE Questionnaire – Please circle the most accurate answer under each statement:

1.  I believe that my mother loved me when I was little.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

2.  I believe that my father loved me when I was little.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

3.  When I was little, other people helped my mother and father take care of me and they seemed to love me.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

4.   I’ve heard that when I was an infant someone in my family enjoyed playing with me, and I enjoyed it, too.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

5.  When I was a child, there were relatives in my family who made me feel better if I was sad or worried.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

6.   When I was a child, neighbors or my friends’ parents seemed to like me.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

7.  When I was a child, teachers, coaches, youth leaders or ministers were there to help me.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

8.  Someone in my family cared about how I was doing in school.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

9.  My family, neighbors, and friends talked often about making our lives better.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

10.  We had rules in our house and were expected to keep them.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

11. When I felt really bad, I could almost always find someone I trusted to talk to.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

12.  As a youth, people noticed that I was capable and could get things done.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

13.  I was independent and a go-getter.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

14.  I believed that life is what you make it.

Definitely true         Probably true Not sure         Probably Not True Definitely Not True

Now ask yourself these questions:

How many of these 14 protective factors did I have as a child and youth? (How many of the 14 were circled “Definitely True” or “Probably True”?)   _______

Of these circled, how many are still true for me? _______

This exercise may have made you realize two things. First, your capacity for resiliency was being built before you were even aware of what was going on. Second, depending on your answers, you may also note that you didn’t experience some important protective factors that would have developed your capacity to bounce back. What if you had an upbringing that had many adverse experiences that diminished your resiliency?

All is not lost! With knowledge and awareness, we can be intentional about building our resilience capacity. Here are some practices we find helps us be more resilient:

  • Have a healthy and active lifestyle. A healthy and active lifestyle includes nourishing your whole self. Enjoy health-giving food, recreation, and sleep. Care for your mental wellness through learning, mindfulness, and reframing distorted thinking. Feed your spirituality through inspirational readings and practices.
  • Develop good supports in your life. We don’t need dozens of friends but a few quality relationships with people who are empathetic, keep your confidence but are also honest with you; holding you accountable to commitments you make.
  • Increase other centered activity. Serving others has the effect of getting us out of our heads, gives us goals and provides healthy routine.
  • Develop healthy boundaries. Boundaries are ways we pursue what’s best for us and others, protects us from unhealthy situations and people, and keeps us responsible and effective. A good resource for boundaries is Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No, to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud & John Townsend.

Each of us will respond differently to these practice. Some will be better at developing their resiliency than others. It’s important to find the ones that help you where you are currently at and then adapt as time goes on. Developing resilience is a life-long pursuit but it’s also a life-giving pursuit – you are worth it!

Written by Noreen M. & Brad D.
co-founders of COME2LIFE. ​​​​​​​Also published on COME2LIFE.net.

Re-Regulating Your Brain: The Key to Healing Childhood PTSD — The Crappy Childhood Fairy

This looks like it will be a really good series. I appreciate how Anna takes these complex issues and makes them accessible and engaging. Check out The Crappy Childhood Fairy!

The effects of childhood trauma used to be seen as mostly psychological, but now we know there’s more to the story. In this video I talk about the problem of brain dis-regulation, and why learning to get “re-regulated” can jumpstart your recovery from Childhood PTSD.

via Re-Regulating Your Brain: The Key to Healing Childhood PTSD — The Crappy Childhood Fairy

12 Depression Signs

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I recently found an article called, 12 Common Symptoms Of Depression That Shouldn’t Be Ignored. Click the link and read the whole article but here are the bullet points.

You’re always tired
Everyone and everything annoys you.
You sleep too little or too much.
Eating’s an issue.
You’re in pain everywhere – pain can make you depressed, and depression can make you feel pain.
You don’t care that you look messy.
You’re hiding.
Nothing interests you.
You’re beating yourself up.
You’re forgetful or have trouble concentrating.
You feel numb.
You think about dying.

If you or someone you know is showing more than one of these signs for an extended period of time, please enlist the aid of professional help.

Hounded

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The Hound of Heaven

I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
Up vistaed hopes I sped;
And shot, precipitated,
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmèd fears,
From those strong Feet that followed, followed after.
But with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbéd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
They beat—and a Voice beat
More instant than the Feet—
“All things betray thee, who betrayest Me.”

I pleaded, outlaw-wise,
By many a hearted casement, curtained red,
Trellised with intertwining charities;
(For, though I knew His love Who followèd,
Yet was I sore adread
Lest, having Him, I must have naught beside.)
But, if one little casement parted wide,
The gust of His approach would clash it to:
Fear wist not to evade, as Love wist to pursue.
Across the margent of the world I fled,
And troubled the gold gateways of the stars,
Smiting for shelter on their clangèd bars:
Fretted to dulcet jars
And silvern chatter the pale ports o’ the moon.
I said to Dawn: Be sudden—to Eve: Be soon;
With thy young skiey blossoms heap me over
From this tremendous Lover—
Float thy vague veil about me, lest He see!
I tempted all His servitors, but to find
My own betrayal in their constancy,
In faith to Him their fickleness to me,
Their traitorous trueness, and their loyal deceit.
To all swift things for swiftness did I sue;
Clung to the whistling mane of every wind.
But whether they swept, smoothly fleet,
The long savannahs of the blue;
Or whether, Thunder-driven,
They clanged his chariot ’thwart a heaven,
Plashy with flying lightnings round the spurn o’ their feet:—
Fear wist not to evade as Love wist to pursue.
Still with unhurrying chase,
And unperturbéd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy,
Came on the following Feet,
And a Voice above their beat—
“Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.”

I sought no more that after which I strayed
In face of man or maid;
But still within the little children’s eyes
Seems something, something that replies,
They at least are for me, surely for me!
I turned me to them very wistfully;
But just as their young eyes grew sudden fair
With dawning answers there,
Their angel plucked them from me by the hair.
“Come then, ye other children, Nature’s—share
With me” (said I) “your delicate fellowship;
Let me greet you lip to lip,
Let me twine you with caresses,
Wantoning
With our Lady-Mother’s vagrant tresses,
Banqueting
With her in her wind-walled palace,
Underneath her azured dais,
Quaffing, as your taintless way is,
From a chalice
Lucent-weeping out of the dayspring.”
So it was done:
I in their delicate fellowship was one—
Drew the bolt of Nature’s secrecies.
I knew all the swift importings
On the wilful face of skies;
I knew how the clouds arise
Spuméd of the wild sea-snortings;
All that’s born or dies
Rose and drooped with; made them shapers
Of mine own moods, or wailful or divine;
With them joyed and was bereaven.
I was heavy with the even,
When she lit her glimmering tapers
Round the day’s dead sanctities.
I laughed in the morning’s eyes.
I triumphed and I saddened with all weather,
Heaven and I wept together,
And its sweet tears were salt with mortal mine;
Against the red throb of its sunset-heart
I laid my own to beat,
And share commingling heat;
But not by that, by that, was eased my human smart.
In vain my tears were wet on Heaven’s grey cheek.
For ah! we know not what each other says,
These things and I; in sound I speak—
Their sound is but their stir, they speak by silences.
Nature, poor stepdame, cannot slake my drouth;
Let her, if she would owe me,
Drop yon blue bosom-veil of sky, and show me
The breasts o’ her tenderness:
Never did any milk of hers once bless
My thirsting mouth.
Nigh and nigh draws the chase,
With unperturbèd pace,
Deliberate speed, majestic instancy;
And past those noised Feet
A voice comes yet more fleet—
“Lo! naught contents thee, who content’st not Me.”

Naked I wait Thy love’s uplifted stroke!
My harness piece by piece Thou hast hewn from me,
And smitten me to my knee;
I am defenceless utterly.
I slept, methinks, and woke,
And, slowly gazing, find me stripped in sleep.
In the rash lustihead of my young powers,
I shook the pillaring hours
And pulled my life upon me; grimed with smears,
I stand amid the dust o’ the mounded years—
My mangled youth lies dead beneath the heap.
My days have crackled and gone up in smoke,
Have puffed and burst as sun-starts on a stream.
Yea, faileth now even dream
The dreamer, and the lute the lutanist.
Even the linked fantasies, in whose blossomy twist
I swung the earth a trinket at my wrist,
Are yielding; cords of all too weak account
For earth with heavy griefs so overplussed.
Ah! is Thy love indeed
A weed, albeit an amaranthine weed,
Suffering no flowers except its own to mount?
Ah! must—
Designer infinite!—
Ah! must Thou char the wood ere Thou can’st limn with it?
My freshness spent its wavering shower i’ the dust;
And now my heart is as a broken fount,
Wherein tear-drippings stagnate, spilt down ever
From the dank thoughts that shiver
Upon the sighful branches of my mind.
Such is; what is to be?
The pulp so bitter, how shall taste the rind?
I dimly guess what Time in mists confounds;
Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds
From the hid battlements of Eternity;
Those shaken mists a space unsettle, then
Round the half-glimpséd turrets slowly wash again.
But not ere him who summoneth
I first have seen, enwound
With glooming robes purpureal, cypress-crowned;
His name I know, and what his trumpet saith.
Whether man’s heart or life it be which yields
Thee harvest, must Thy harvest-fields
Be dunged with rotten death?

Now of that long pursuit
Comes on at hand the bruit;
That Voice is round me like a bursting sea:
“And is thy earth so marred,
Shattered in shard on shard?
Lo, all things fly thee, for thou fliest Me!
Strange, piteous, futile thing!
Wherefore should any set thee love apart?
Seeing none but I makes much of naught” (He said),
“And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited—
Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?
All which I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might’st seek it in My arms.
All which thy child’s mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp My hand, and come!”
Halts by me that footfall:
Is my gloom, after all,
Shade of His hand, outstretched caressingly?
“Ah, fondest, blindest, weakest,
I am He Whom thou seekest!
Thou dravest love from thee, who dravest Me.”

Francis Thompson (1859-1907)
http://poetry.elcore.net/HoundOfHeavenInRtT.html