Self belief: Strength and Power

My family are all religious and go to church and all that stuff. Me on the other hand, I am not religious and don’t really know if I will ever be, but I love and respect my family for what they believe in. I haven’t been able to really believe in a god or a supreme being; I was a little kid and my mother and father were always fighting and sometimes I would get caught in between the yelling and swearing. That I would get hit. I remember, every time that I got hit, I would pray to god and ask him to help me. Allow me to get away from this home and these people, because they were hurting me. I never got a response or nothing changed for me. So, I stopped praying and started to do things on my own. I didn’t ask for help and tried my best to learn everything on my own. I know my family would credit God for the person that I am today, but it wasn’t God that gave me strength, it was the friends and people that I met each day that made me who I am and my own willpower. I earned everything that I have today. God didn’t give me my job, I did. God didn’t make me smarter, I did. God couldn’t help me when I needed it the most, then he doesn’t get credit for my achievements. When someone asks me if I believe in God or have any religious belief, I tell them that I believe in myself, that is where all my power comes from, self belief. You can keep praying all that you want, I will not judge you, but believing in yourself has so much more power than any prayer.

During my school days, I was constantly bullied for my poor apparel, being tall, my given names, my smile, anything that they could tease me about, they teased and teased. When you are teased about your smile, do you really want to smile again? I know that I didn’t wan to. These are the kinds of things that slowly destroy a person, not a lot of people understand that, especially those that have never been on the opposite side of bullying. I stopped smiling for a long while. I worked harder when it came to improving myself. I got tired of not being as good as some of the people that would play sports. I got tired of being a walking target. I began to excel at things that I wanted to, not what people wanted, I kept drawing, I kept writing (even though it was poorly written), I kept trying to beat everyone at sports, I kept trying until I eventually got better at everything I did. My self esteem grew and so did my maturity and my mind. I eventually dropped out of school and tried looking for work, whenever I was given a job, I always gave it my all, never less than 100%. I built a pretty decent resume and kept looking for more work and eventually landed a job at the store I work at now today. Because of all my hard work, I was able to get a permanent job and was able to better improve myself. I have worked at this store for 5 years always giving it 100%. Always.

Believing in yourself doesn’t stop at finding a job, finishing school, becoming a writer, etc Believing in yourself grows as much as we do, whenever we do things that make us happy, we achieved this happiness on our own, we earned it. I know if I didn’t eventually believe in myself, I would end up like a lot of the people that I know and see everyday. They aren’t happy, they can crack a smile, but they aren’t happy. Because, they rely on a system that makes them dependent. If I ended up like that, I believe I wouldn’t be here today, because I had already went through enough, I wouldn’t want to be stuck for the rest of my life. Many people don’t know much about, other than what they hear. I work hard and always have since I was 15 years old, I wanted to make my own money, so I can own things that I know that I worked for. Not given to me. I wanted to in charge of my life. Because of this self belief, I could be happy living in the woods with the wildlife and nature, I could live on an island all lone and nothing would change me, I could live in the city, and I would still believe I could make it. No obstacle can hold me from my dreams, my passion, my happiness, my freedom, and from my love of everything around me.

It’s this self belief that has given me the strength and power that I always dreamed of ever since I was a kid. I always wanted to have the power to defend myself, the strength to say “no”, the power to carry any burden, and the strength to forgive. I learned so much from so many people, I thank them all for believing in me and allowing to become a better person everyday. There are so many people I wouldn’t be able to name them all. I know that they know that I am thankful for their love, education, caring, and belief in me. If it wasn’t for the people around me, I probably would’ve had a harder time to believe in myself, but here we are today. Happy.

Thank you for reading.

-EB

Finding who we are…

There are many times when we feel lost and hopeless. We begin to seek pleasures, pleasures which can cause bodily harm and affect ourselves negatively. ¬†We always try to find an escape, a place where we can feel that little bit of happiness, even if it’s for a short while. I’ve felt a lot during my childhood, experience child abuse, verbal abuse, and then my father leaving. These are the things that can tear a person apart. We have so much hurt, that it builds up and it eats away at us, making us feel less and less like ourselves. I was almost completely lost. I was lucky to have friends that helped me, helped me find a purpose in my life, and showed me that I can be better than my past, that I can be eventually become myself.

During my childhood my mother was strict, I wasn’t allowed to be out at certain times, I had a lot of chores, I couldn’t have visitors, I had to listen to my older sister and I could only play on my video game system whenever I was given permission. There were times when I would be hit for playing outside, there were times when I was hit for laughing, I was hit a lot and every time I was hit I lost trust in the person that takes care of me. I was scared of doing anything, even eating, if I ate certain foods that I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to eat, I would be hit. There was a lot of discipline that came without cause, other than that I should be disciplined for my actions, which were nothing than a kid being a kid. I remember when I went visiting and I didn’t know that it was late, because I didn’t know how to tell time, my mother came to the place that I was visiting grabbed me by my ear and started yelling into it. She grabbed my handheld game threw it to the wall and told me to get ready, I put on my jacket and my boots, and then we started walking home. She had my handheld in her pocket and gave it back to me when we got home, but there was no point in giving it back to me, because it was broke and unplayable. I was sadden by this and pouted. This was another one of the many things that made me feel less about myself. I didn’t feel less because of the video game being broken, it was the fact that I couldn’t read the time.

There were a lot of things that made me feel bad, I struggled throughout school because I couldn’t read, write, or anything. I had a few small talents, I was able to draw and imagine places that I wanted to escape to. I remember I would always dream of flying away from home. I would dream that I grew wings and I would fly every I wanted, there was nothing that was able to stop me, nothing. There’s a lot this dream could mean and people can interpret it differently. I feel like this dream was telling me to keep dreaming and make my pains disappear here. I would dream of worlds were there was only happiness and freedom and warmth. I found a piece of me inside my dreams, these dreams kept me happy for years. These dreams were the reason I wasn’t sad all the time. I found a piece of me inside of every drawing that I did. I was slowly putting myself back together through the years. During high school I began to struggle, but it wasn’t because of my helplessness, it was because of bullies. I struggled because I was told to never fight back and was told that we are to never hit another person. I couldn’t do it anymore, I had to fight back, I told my mother I can’t let them keep doing this to me. I eventually fought back and after that, all of my bullies left me alone.

Everything that has happened in my life help contribute to me, finding myself. I am not mad, sad, angry, or anything because of what happened. The people who treated me poorly and the people who left me behind, I am thankful for all of this lessons that they taught me. I kept learning more and more. I am the person that I am today because of them. They helped me work harder, they helped me heal faster, they are the reason I want to be better and want the world to be better. I still haven’t found exactly what I want to do with my life, I have an idea, but it may not be the thing that I stick with. I am still searching for myself and probably will keep searching until I am in my old age.

There are many stories that I can tell about my childhood and about my high school life, but I will share those at a later time. I want to share my thoughts on how we can find ourselves. Where we find ourselves and where to look.

I feel like that everything about us is scattered into the winds and spread across the world, we will eventually find all the pieces not all at once, but even after death. There is a piece of ourselves in each person we meet, we gather these pieces not physically but emotionally and spiritually. We know that we collected a piece of ourselves when that person resonates with us and they bring warmth to our hearts and make us feel happy. We meet so many people every day of our lives that not all of them connect with us, like others do, it just takes time for this connection to develop. There are a great many people who would distance themselves from us, because they probably haven’t developed a lot of personal connections to other people, they’ve been hurt a lot, or they are suffering from personal conflicts. We may not get to connect with the people that we want to, but we just sometimes have to let go and keep searching else where. We also can find ourselves inside the pets that come into our lives, they become part of us and we become part of them. We feel love for them as much as they do. Even the small objects we find during walks into nature, travels, books, etc. We find ourselves everywhere. We are infinite. Even the people around us find us in the little things. They tell us, that they were thinking about us because they came across a certain seed, painting, drawing, book, etc.

I see a lot of the people and places that I know and love inside of a lot of things I come across. Every time I see the autumn trees, I think of my first home, Granville Lake. I grew up there for a lot of my childhood. I see the trees as connecting me back to home. They give me the memories of a place that I felt happy to be. The simplicity of playing outside in the yard, playing in the leaves, fishing, helping my father with the wood cutting, and eating the yummy blueberries. I find myself in the yellow colored beautiful leaves hanging on the trees.

There are many things that we can find ourselves in. I keep searching and I am truly happy with a lot of the encounters I made. I hope everyone finds who they are and what they want to be and who they want to be. We can never really say that we are ourselves without first acknowledging that we are all connected and we are all one in the same. The things that we don’t like about someone is something we don’t like about ourselves. We have the find the qualities and ignore the flaws of everyone we come across. Because, we are in everyone and everyone else is in us!

-EB

Remember, we are resilient…

When times have changed and conditions are still the same, we still manage to pull through the pain and struggle of living in those conditions and we continue to pursue a better tomorrow each time. We’ve all had difficult times growing up and still may be going through some of those challenges or all of them today. But with our abilities passed down unto us, we are able to walk through the flames of hate, push the mountains of ignorance, and wash away the blood of the past, we are resilient. We will make our home. Home, again.

My grandfather told me stories of his abilities as a hunter, fisherman, trapper and his survival skills in his youth until he was an adult. I got to know my grandfather in his final years. He was softly spoken and cared a lot about his family and grandchildren, he was ill with diabetes and was a residential school survivor and he was my hero. He may not have been well-known to the world, but he was well-known among the people that he worked with and grew up with. When I come across some of these people, whether they are old friends of my grandfather or relatives, they would tell me stories of his strength and his leadership. My grandfather may have great stories told about him, but under all of his greatness, he was still another man and man can’t win every battle. He struggled with alcohol and anger during his adulthood. These are the kinds of stories you don’t hear about him from other people, because other people never knew these things about him or didn’t want to tell you this.

My grandfather’s name is Wellington Moose. He is the reason I work hard and do my best and don’t abuse my gifts. During his final years of living, I really got to know him. I would be at home to nurse him and to talk with him and to travel with him if he needed to go places for medical reasons. I was there for him. He told me about his dad, his mom, his childhood, about the schools, about how he was feeling. My grandmother passed years before, and he was moving around from home to home, because none of his children wanted to keep him, they wanted to put him into a home. My mother said no, to that decision and brought him into our home. Because, my mother let my grandfather stay with us, he died in a loving home and I hope happy. Wellington Moose is a name that a lot of older people in his home town of South Indian Lake (O-Pipon-Na-Piwin Cree Nation) know well. Even some of the younger generation knew of who he was, because he had a small home business and sold all kinds of goods. Wellington Moose is a sign of resilience and a sign of how time heals us and allows us to become better and stronger people. His ability to overcome all of his challenges in life and his ability to forgive are some of the qualities that I have since acquired and am thankful for.

The power of my grandfather was both physical and mental and emotional. I have only ever seen him cry once and that was during my grandmother’s funeral. He overcame his past, he grandfathered many grandchildren many of which he got to meet, he lived till he was 84 years old, he forgave himself and many other people, he finally healed, he showed his resilience and the ability of our people! My grandfather is one of the many examples of great and wonderful people that we are. We will overcome all of our challenges and make everyday a day that we learned and forgave!

-EB