Relationships are a delicate thing.
The plants teach us this. A seed, a life, will lay dormant in waiting until just the right relationship exists for it to grow. The right amount of water, sunlight, nutrients and pressure has to show up. And then continue to show up, or the plant will sicken. If the relationship is not restored to balance in a finite amount of time, the plant will die, perhaps short of reaching its full potential. Short of using all the gifts it was given it to share with the world.
We have to be careful in our relationships.
Colonial violence surfaces as poison in our thoughts, our words, and our actions, unless we fight it every single moment of every single day. Colonial poison causes sickness by every name. In our most intimate relationships, we spread sickness when we do not create space for the healthy sharing of emotions. We spread sickness when we gossip. We spread sickness when we take to social media as our outlet for expression, rather than having real conversations. When we are not honest. When we are so consumed by our own agendas that we can’t listen. When we project our trauma onto one another. We allow sickness to spread and fester when we are not willing to do the work, the work of fighting back.
Relationships require work.
When we fight sickness in our bodies, our minds, our spirits, and in our relationships, we fight colonial violence. Or, instead of the word “fight”, let’s call it what it really is: self-love. And so we have to find the courage to believe that we are worthy. That we belong. We have to find the courage to do the work of planting, growing, harvesting, and honouring the relationships. In this work, it is kind to ask for help. We are such pitiful beings, there is nothing we can do on our own.
Our bodies are water, our bodies are plant, our bodies are animal, our bodies are spirit. When we feed ourselves with good medicine we give ourselves the strength to do the work. We cannot fill our lives with packaged foods, booze, and television and expect to have the strength to say ‘no’ to a world that only wants to hear ‘yes’.
Relationships are the most precious gifts we have.
It is our responsibility, then, to cleanse ourselves of the heaps of bad medicine that affront us on a daily basis. To sit in silence. To fast. Sweat. Cry. Sing. Cough up grief. Forgive. That’s how we (re)discover that the strength that is already there, it’s how we hear the muffled voices of our ancestors… it’s how we decolonize.
Learn how to love, to really truly love, by fighting for that balance. And in the balance, we nurture life, according to the values and philosophies of our ancestors. And that right there? That is the work of Indigenous resurgence, my friends.