Anger: Fuel to the fire

I was always angry as a teenager. Being bullied and abused; these things were fuel for me to be just like the people that were hurting me. When I hurt other people, I felt good, but it was only temporary, it wasn’t really happiness. I wanted to hurt the people that were hurting me and I always felt that I wasn’t strong enough. When I finally tried to hurt the people that hurt me, I didn’t feel good, I felt even more hurt. I wasn’t helping them by me doing what they were doing to me. It’s not me who they hate, it’s themselves, they hate themselves and they are using me to release their anger. This emotion is so powerful, it can ruin friendships, destroy families, and create more chaos. If we keep adding fuel to it, it only gets worse and it will never get better.

I had to learn how to control it and not let it control me. Even today, I still practice anger management, because there are times when it does get the better of me and I hurt people with my actions or words and I never feel good when that happens. If we take a breath, a walk, a nap, or cry or talk with someone, these things help release the tension that is built up inside of us and then we don’t use that negative energy, we extinguish it.

When I feel down, I listen to music, I vent to my friends and just walk. These things helped me so much through out my teen years and even into my adult life. I always want to be in control of my life and my actions and always try to avoid doing things that will affect those that are around me negatively.

I’ll talk a bit about how I hurt someone that hurt. My step-father, he wasn’t the greatest of people in my life, but he was still part of my life. He would always hit me, swear at me, and try to make me feel like less than I was. I would take it all, I would cry, and I would never do anything about it. When finally I had enough, all the anger, all of the rage, all of the hate that I had built up inside of me, I let it all out. I finally hit him back, I swore at him back, I didn’t hold back. I wanted to hurt him, like he hurt me. When it was done. I didn’t feel better, I hurt a lot, my heart broke. Because, this man, though he wasn’t my father, he was still the only man in my life that played a role in my upbringing, he was the only father figure I had, he was the only person I called “dad” for years, and I just hurt him. I cried and I apologized and I hugged him.

Even the people that we think we hate, we still have feelings for them, because of how much they have been involved in our lives. I forgive him for everything. I forgive everyone that has hurt me and those that will eventually. I know they are going through things and just need to release their anger.

-EB

Growth

I always wanted to be taller and I always wanted to learn new things. Both of these things are a type of growth, one is physical and the other is mental. I always asked questions and when I wasn’t able to get the answer, I would try to find the answer. As for being tall, I grew a lot, I am 6’7″. I am still growing mentally, physically, not so much.

The problem with mental growth is sometimes we come across people who don’t want us to grow so they try to stun us. When they successfully stun us, we are stuck, we can’t get out, because we believe everything they called us and told us. I had this happen to me a lot. I would be made fun of because I was trying to learn, this stunned me. This made me think that wanting to learn was not something everyone needs to do, so I strayed. This stun lasted for years until I finally found myself again, asking questions and wanting to learn again. I didn’t learn for many years because the people that made me cry because they laughed at me for wanting to know more, affected my ability to express myself.

We don’t know the power of our words and things we say to people. Sometimes we trigger something and that is it, that person is defeated. Why bring people down when we can help them grow and become so much more. Because I was brought down, I wanted to drag others with me, I didn’t want to be alone. After time and healing, I began to help others up and then that same thing was happening to me, people were helping me up and helping me grow.

Our minds are power, but are vulnerable to emotions, and these emotions can be poisonous or nurturing.

When you see some struggling ask them what you can do to help. If they don’t want help, insist, if they decline, then you tried. But know that, you made a difference, because you tried to help, just trying is enough some times. That is enough for someone to grab themselves and know that someone else cares and is wanting you get out of the rut you are in.

It took me a long time to realize that you never stop growing. Your mind and body growing with potential every time you learn and feel. When I first felt love, love with another person, it was beautiful. I grew to like love, it made me feel happy to have someone who I could express myself to and not worry. After that love was gone, I felt hurt, it was a different kind of hurt. It wasn’t like I lost someone to death, but it hurt enough to make me cry. This hurt was new to me and it also helped me grow as a person. I learned the two parts of a relationship.

We have to help each other grow. We have to nurture our hearts and minds. Growth is key to making a better tomorrow.

 

-EB

Thoughts…

I am always thinking of what to share and how to share. I try not to filter myself, but I also don’t want to be vulgar and aggressive when sharing my opinion and thoughts. There is a time for everything and there is also no time to waste. I am trying to be productive and always wanting to share my thoughts on certain subjects; such as, indigenous culture, healing, progress, northern life, and community. My opinion may not be the same as others, but it’s my opinion and what I believe in at the present time. Opinions change, just as the wind blows, different things effect that. I don’t want to cater to the opinion of others and I certainly don’t want my blog to be a place of hate. I know that I mention a lot of returning to where we were, but really, I am saying is that we adapt to the modern culture and make our traditions live through this process. Because, there is no way that we can go back to the way it was. It is impossible. There are governments, laws, policies, and regulations always in place that prevent the “old ways” ever coming back. There is of course preservation and maintenance of knowledge that has been passed down. People have been passing the history of our people and the history of the north through words and not really writing it. We can preserve ourselves by writing the stories and the traditions on paper and make it live forever.

I’ve read articles of different nations that have adapted to the modern world have flourished. They own businesses and protect lands and make jobs for their people. This is the kind of adaptation I would like to see for all of us in the north. Not just Northern Manitoba but all over the country. If we were to do the things that the other nations are doing, we too can reap into the life of the wealthy and still be helping our people and the land and the history of our ancestors. We don’t have to industrialize the lands, the food, ourselves, we just have to find better economical marketing. Like tourism, camping, workshops, art, music, and teaching respect of the land and animals.

I believe we can make a difference in our nation and help our people become healthier, stronger, and more resilient than ever before. We can show how resilient we really are and how much we are able to adapt and make this world of ours a better place for people of any nation and any color. Our hearts are in the right place, but we have to change the thinking that has been instilled into many of our friends, family and country. We also have to be careful when doing this change, because not many will agree. it’s not a matter of disagreeing and agreeing, it’s a matter of making a future for those whose life will be affected from our decisions and how they are going to live their lives with our changes and choices.

This of course is my opinion on this subject…

-EB

Our Language: Cree

I wanted to talk about how I’ve lost my “native tongue” and many things over the time. I never got to speak a lot of it, heard it a lot, but never got to speak and have a full conversation. Me and my siblings all have been around the tongue of our people, the Cree. And we were never taught. We wanted to learn, but my mother refused and said to ask our Grandfather, but because my grandfather went through residential schooling, he learned that his language was evil and to not speak or teach it. He was also reluctant to teach us as well. So, because of all of this, I and my siblings never got to learn and never got to speak the words our people have been speaking for a long time. I know as a social person in life, I am quite towards my people, because they don’t want to move and try to help themselves. They don’t know the power we have and the things that we are capable of. That is why I am made this blog, so I can share my thoughts and feelings, and how I had overcome many obstacles in my life, through childhood almost to adulthood. I know people like to tell me, people heal at different paces, people keep healing until the day they are dead, but we can’t let our wounds control us. I am still yet to find a teacher, so I can learn my language and hope to pass it on to my children (If I am to have any) and my nephews and nieces. I want to help my language heal and flourish once again among my generation and the area I live in. The language that I write in, is the language I was taught and the one I know best. If I was able to write in my language, I would.

We lose a lot of things in our life, either to death or just people walking out of our lives. There are many things that get lost and sometimes are found, but when a language is gone and isn’t shared traditionally, such as being spoken to, in it. Then the language eventually loses its influence over the people it has had over them for many years. Just like we lose a friend, we lose someone who had an influence over us, they made a difference in our life and affected it in someway. Appreciating the language we have is like appreciating someone for the things they’ve done for you, whether it is them teaching you or helping you get better from an injury. Wanting our language to be heard is wanting our voice to heard, we can only truly shout out the hurt in our tongue, because then the world knows we mean what we are saying.  There are a great deal of people who speak their language in my area, but many of those people deter themselves from teaching it. The oppression of residential schools has affected my grandparents, my parents, and even my generation. We lost our ability to share, the ability to truly care about our culture, the ability to practice and teach. All of these things can be reacquired if we start talking to each other and hearing the stories of our elders and parents, let our families know we care and start healing at home. Those are the first steps to recovery. Heal our families and then try to heal the people that need healing. Once we are all healed and happy again, we can celebrate by song, story telling, teaching the language and growing ourselves once again.

In my previous writing, I talk about our resilience, we are resilient, but resilience doesn’t mean it will happen in a day. The more people who are involved, the faster and faster our knowledge grows and our culture beings to return to its roots and our people begin to see our purpose. We are the first people, the people that roamed this land for thousands of years and we lived off of everything around us. We were the people that maintained and cared the land and people around us. We knew how to heal our wounds from hunting, we knew how to calm the children from fright with song, we knew how to say “thank you” for the food and water given to us, we knew how to survive, and still today, we know we can survive. We are still here, everyday is a challenge, a challenge to protect our language, our land, ourselves, our future. I know that if we continue to pursue the things that were promised, we will eventually be able to live like the rest of the world, but more harmonious and free.

My grandfather told me that the only thing we have left that belongs to the people is our Language. That is the one thing that the government, death, or anything can take away from us. “They” have the land, the water, the politics, the resources, and media, but they can’t take our language, it belongs to us. Our people created it and shared it and taught it. It’s the one thing that we have to keep with us, so we remember the people who fought for our rights as Indigenous people’s and fought for us to have land and fought for us to hunt and fish; Our language is our history and without, we are gone.

Ekosi

-EB

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