Mitakuye Oyasin

mitakuyeoyasinI had a friend once. He was half-Cherokee. I’ll call him Manos because that’s the stage name he went by in his metal band (think it was metal). He and I met online several years ago, late 90’s, and we connected on spiritual matters–discussing things like magic, paganism, Earth-based spirituality (c’mon, the guy was an American Indian*).

I was upset one night while we were talking and he asked me why. I told him it was because there was too much hate around me, people were always angry with each other and belittling each other, judging each other.

“You know what your problem is, sweetheart?” Manos said. “Your problem is that you feel too much. You’re connected to something larger than yourself and you feel things too deeply. Creative people are like that. Old souls are like that. You don’t feel sad for a person, you feel sad for all of them because you feel like there’s something “off” in the world. I feel it too. weirdThat’s why people see us as weird or strange. That’s why some people don’t understand us and can’t connect to us. Because we see the world in an entirely different way. Because we feel it, and we don’t know how to explain it to the people who don’t.”

He was the first person from whom I learned the phrase Mitakuye Oyasin, which is Lakota and translates to English as All Are Related, All My Relations, or We are all connected, etc. It essentially means that we are all–all the living creatures of the Earth, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, all the plants and trees, everything and everyone–are connected to each other as well as to the Earth. He told me that some people have a stronger connection to the Earth and feel things more deeply, not on so much of an individual level, but on a much deeper and much wider level.

mitakuyeoyasin2My morning started at 3am with a text from my brother saying simply. “Holy shit! Is this real? I love you.” Then a text at 6:30am from my BFF upset with me for generalizing about people who voted for Donald Trump for president, asking if that’s what I really thought of her, etc., etc.

It’s been a long night, and a long election season. My brain is fried, I’m not a morning person, and I hurt someone I care deeply about. I’ve been crying all morning, and yes, part of it’s because I am angry at myself for that stupid 3am post that she took offense to, but most of it is because I’m hurting somewhere deep inside–not just for me.

Mitakuye Oyasin. My soul hurts today.

Manos (Bry H) if you’re out there, thank you.

*American Indian because yes, a whole lot of them do prefer that name over the politically correct Native American. I use the term they prefer, so in this instance, American Indian.

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