Monday, July 25, 2005

You are not...

The other day, I was thinking deep about what matters. Along the lines of what I would grab if the house were burning, I was thinking more "What would mean anything if people were apart from me?" What, if anything, would people have as an impression of me if we had to part?

Most things have no value. The red, white, and blue silk of an Eagle badge only show me at 15. The smoke-stained linens and stitching of my Order of the Arrow Vigil sash? 16. My HS diploma, still displayed proudly in my room? 18. My college diploma and gleaming bronze Honors medallion, both encased in blue velvet? 22.

Now, what really means something? What would I want people to say about me, ten, fifteen years down the road? When someone is wondering where I am, how would they describe me?

That, I can answer.

Last week, I performed one of the ancient Native cleansing rituals, allowing the pain of what people have done to me to vanish in a puff of steam and sage. As I knelt before the flame, a friend of mine countered each offense, revealing whom I am instead.

Honesty, integrity, intelligence, compassion, love, the ability to heal and the willingness to seek healing, these are the real things of worth that define me. They cannot be taken out of the house if it were on fire, as they are part of me.


Blogger Bainwen Gilrana said...

But if the house is on fire, please take these things outside. I mean, being that they're inside you and part of you, you kind of need to get out of the burning house anyway.....

Such rituals are very powerful things. I wonder that the Christian church has no form for such. We can have our sins washed away in Baptism, but what about our pains? If we are to forgive those who have sinned against us, would it not be easier to do so if there were some way of feeling ourselves cleansed from that pain?

And yet as your hurts vanished into that fire, they rose to heaven as pleas for God's help, and they were replaced by things which are strong and pure. Each offense became instead a prayer, winging its way skyward, the pain becoming insubstantial ashes while the wisdom remained.

7/25/2005 6:06 PM  
Blogger Tirithien said...

Gee, I think I just might take them outside... can't have myself burn. ;-)

There are rituals for the forgiveness of sins I commit, but it seems the Church wants us to just deal with those done to us. Wonder how many people know that "Turn the other cheek" is actually defiance, not subjugation.

7/25/2005 6:08 PM  

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