How do we respond to tragic news? My June newsletter.
How are you feeling?
I am feeling mixed emotions right now. I have loved the quiet time of this past almost year and a half. I sometimes reflect on the stillness of the first few weeks, shortly after my mom had passed and when the Covid regulations were new and strict and there was seldom a car passing in front of our house. Even now, air traffic overhead is very rare. I love the quiet. At the same time I miss hugging people, laughing and eating with them. I especially miss the children and babies. I look forward to the suppers together, the circles and classes. I want to make sure I don't begin rushing around though. That I begin to move into connection thoughtfully.
This week as I began writing this, we received the news of the discovery and identification of a mass grave with remains of 215 children at The Kamloops Residential Indian School. This information is shocking and so profoundly sad. At the same time I also feel a sense of relief to have this acknowledged, out in the open. I feel respect and gratitude for the courage and perseverance of those who brought this to light.
What is my response to this information? How do I hold it and what do I do as a result of knowing it? What can be done now, by me? First of all, I believe we must face it, as we do in constellation circles, as a system. I believe that when things are brought into view, into the light, there is opportunity for healing. This is a basic principle in all the healing work I do. We must all reflect on how this happened and the legacy it has created in our world. When we lead lives that are rushed and too full, we don't have time to allow things to come into the light, or actually see and process them when they do. Perhaps because we have more quiet right now, we will take time to process and reflect on the lives lost to the residential schools, the families disrupted and the culture robbed, on what this has meant for society as we now know it.
In family constellation circles we see how individuals and whole systems hide truth out of loyalty and love. Yet hidden truth is at the root of pain, illness, suffering and dysfunction. When the truth and the love and loyalty which kept the truth hidden, comes to light, there is always healing for all. Energy that has been bound up in hiding things is released and that energy becomes available for life.
It is shocking to think that many of those responsible for the residential schools believed that what they were doing was good and honourable. They were 'helping'. I am sure that many others knew of the atrocities committed, yet out of loyalty to a system, they did not question what was happening. Out of love and loyalty to church and state and social group, people were silent and also just 'didn't see' what was plainly happening. They were perhaps also afraid to speak out, afraid of losing their place in their society.
Reflecting on this gives us an opportunity to look at our own lives and ask ourselves what we are hiding from view or what we cannot see. What truth do we feel we need to protect, out of love and loyalty or out of fear of losing our place in the group. I know that I am repeatedly confronted with environmental issues that I find uncomfortable. I use more resources than I can justify. I am part of a society that consumes oil, wood, land, water....in a way that is not sustainable. Yet I am part of that society and I consume, sometimes with a guilty conscience. When I do speak out I sometimes am afraid of who I will alienate or offend.
And then there are the more personal things we hide, even from ourselves, things that do come into the light over time, with persistent searching and healing practice. Through reiki and constellation work both, I have discovered deep sadness, regret and rage lurking within and have released these to the light. This brings healing and eventually joy on all levels, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Another response we can have to the sad and shocking news of all those young lives that were taken, is to reflect on our own lives and where we think we are helping, but perhaps we are rather just imposing our needs, our own way of seeing. One thing I have learned in my healing practice is that when I think someone else needs help to change, usually it is me that needs help, needs support to be patient, kind, and present with what is. It is usually better just to ask the person 'What do you need?', rather than think I know what is needed.
I believe that we all need to take the time to contemplate the horrific facts that have come to light. We can make an altar to the lives lost, create a simple ritual, give reiki, say a prayer...or daily prayer for as long as it takes.
The most important thing for me in all this, is that we learn something, that we grow in our understanding and compassion.
Now that we are able to gather in limited numbers, we will have opportunities to continue in healing work together. I have three Nature Constellation circles scheduled on Pender Island this summer. They are currently limited to 10 people, so you must register on my website to receive the location and attend.
I have scheduled two, two-part Zoom sessions to do an Introduction to Reiki, for those who have been waiting for a reiki class. These sessions would also be a great refresher for anyone who feels they need a reminder or renewal of their practice. The sessions will be $30, with a refund applied to tuition for any reiki class that is subsequently taken with me. If you think you may be interested in a class but are unsure, this also may be a good way to check it out.
The Reiki Sharing Circle is beginning again as well. Again, please pre-register!
Stay tuned for more on the events schedule as the Covid restrictions relax. I am looking forward to lots of hugs in the future!