In any relationships whether it’s with family, loved ones and friends we go through a growing process and learning how to work with this relationship and how it entwines into our lives. As we learn and understand our appreciation and love for each other grows too. Every person has a story, and everyone has their sad chapters, some more than others and sadly some who have a whole lot. Every relationship takes patience, understanding and time. When you work with someone in any community and from any position we have to learn to listen to understand, keep an open heart, mind and ears. Do not assume and do not judge, if you don’t know then ask questions and keep your heart, mind, and ears open to learn. It’s going to take patience, understanding and time. I have helped a lot of people in my walk of life so far and it takes a lot of time, energy and belief and that’s exactly what People need. Doing it alone will be very difficult and painful mentally, emotionally, physically and Spiritually and can defeat us many times. However, if we learn and grow together we will have support, a team, community and unity. Together we can help each other learn, heal and grow. We have to keep an open mind, it’s going to hurt at times but that’s when we have to be kind with ourselves and remind ourselves that we are strong, we will get through this, this is part of the process and allow yourself to feel the emotions because that is you growing. In order to grow we have to get out of our comfort zone. Once we do go through the process is a very awakening experience.
We need to do practice positive self-talk, for example using quotes, affirmations and stuff that relate to us and gives us that positive boost. It can be hard at times, and we can get stuck in that mode, in our head, in the negative, so when we are healing we need those reminders around us. It helps us defeat the negativity more and more each time. I keep sticky notes of positive thoughts and have two sections in my room. When I get my house they will be around my home reminding me to stay in a good mind, especially when life gets rough.
As soon as a negative is turned into a positive change happens. Some changes can happen faster than others. Other changes take time. Especially when we are taking on big battles, for instance one out of many of the battles my People struggle with Truth and Reconciliation. In order for us to come together we have to take the time to learn, then have the patience with ourselves and others while we all go through the growing process.
When we work with someone we have to work with them as if it’s a friendship. I have worked in the social work field in various support worker positions and they don’t want you to be to personal, they are not your friend they are your client, it’s like that at a lot of places. However, when we treat people like that, I know I myself felt like I was treated like I wasn’t an equal and on a different level. When people put labels on us it categorizes us, and the categories have “levels” some are bad, some are worse. My People have so many labels put on us and I myself being a First Nation woman leader have had many struggles due to the labels put upon me and treated badly. Labels are judgement.
The questions that are asked and the stuff they want to know is hard to talk about and to tell someone is vulnerability and when you put yourself out there and the more you talk the more judgement and labels are put on you. That is a negative way of doing things and if you continue to build negative on negative, it’s going to be harder to make change. The truth People tell is stuff they need to a tell a friend who can help them. It needs to be an authentic relationship between people. Be mindful for the Indigenous People have trust issues, I have trust issues. We are used to being abused, judged, and pushed down or away. With our family, they are hurting, and they want to help them, but they are struggling with their own battles, so we seek help elsewhere. Sadly the only People who have time for us and no judgement on us is those who fell through the cracks, that the systems have failed and they are the friends and family that we have and they love us, that’s solid love where your word means something, they will protect you and you love them and will do the same, you don’t get that kind of love, connection and respect anywhere other than the streets, on the rezs, or in the detention centre, penitentiaries and all those other different Worlds They teach you what they know and what you need to know to survive and it’s a continue vicious cycle that’s put upon us.
When we are not authentic then we are not seeing or hearing a lot of what should be. We are listening to a couple words to make judgement, analysis and tell them what’s wrong. They think they need to know what is wrong with us to help, improper labels for improper medication. What we should be asking is what happened to you and taking the time to listen to learn and understand then we will learn what emotions they are struggling with and provide proper healing and teachings. Labels make it complicated. Deal with the emotions and give them time to talk, learn, heal and grow. Just like a friendship if you put effort into it, it grows, however if you don’t like a plant that you don’t water it will die. There are gaps and so many People are not getting the help they need, and one big issues is communication. Each person is different we need to learn to understand and then how to communicate effectively. If you don’t know how get someone to help you. A lot of times people get frustrated and I have been there myself and when you are trying to ask for help but they are asking difficult and/or the wrong questions and being judgement, they don’t understand, or just brush us off as if our issues don’t exist of matter because they struggle with listening and opening up their minds and thinking outside of the box. That when you feel they don’t care, which is a hard-negative weight to carry. If you want to work with People, then you have to understand it’s going to take time. If you don’t have the time or patience and most of all the passion to help, then do not hold those spaces and positions. The last thing anyone needs is someone who don’t care.
People do a lot of band aide fixes. They think that they can make appearances, inspire, then leave them to figure out the rest on their own. A great motivational speech can lift your spirits and change your world and way of thinking. They have a major affect and such great medicine. It’s an awakening and when that happens a lot of things that you have buried and totally forgot about comes up to the surface and it is overwhelming. When people are dealing with their demons they need support, guidance, and endless positive belief. It’s a hard process and everyone goes through it in their own way and on their own time. That is when people need to be kind to each other and those who work with People and want to help are needed. There is no certain book that can help you help everyone you work with. Everyone is unique, has their own strengths and gift and walked their own path in life. One thing I do is I learn every chance I get and I will do that for the rest of my life. I have talked to many counsellors and I had a hard time connecting with them or believing that they understood me. Until I met my counsellor who I have been working with for almost 10 years now. What sold me was when I walked into her offices she had books and note books all over the place. That is how I work too, when I help I pull out as many resources as I learn from many different perspectives. That showed me she had an open mind, always eager to learn which means she was going to listen and ask to learn as well.
We see through People who are fake or just don’t get it. Sometime people really think they do with good intention because they have read many studies about it but walking it and reading it are two majorly completely different things and types of knowledge so never assume you know. Always ask questions and engage in meaningful conversation. Put some heart into your work. With that being said always make sure you take care of yourself as well too. Make sure you are scheduling time for you and be strict with that time, do not allow yourself to give up your self-care time for someone else because that self-care time is what will keep you strong, focused, learning and healing as you help and work with others.
Our communities have many People who come out because they want to feel better about themselves and what we say, “save the pour little Indians”. Although we are all struggling and unbalanced we are still fighters and never stop trying. My People are strong and resilient, and we don’t need People coming to our communities feeling sorry for us, trying to put their band aids on our wounds then leaving feeling fulfilled leaving us feeling more disconnected and misunderstood. We need that kind of help and guidance to get out of the dark space that we are in. The more lost we get the harder it is to find our way out. We need People who see our harsh truth and want to be a part of positive change and growth. We need People who have a passion and doing it with the right intent. When you do anything in life, ask yourself why I am doing this? If your answer is pure and from the heart and you feel good about it then that’s what you need to do, however if you don’t feel that way about it then maybe you should re-evaluate. We need less people who don’t care and abuse power and more passionate, open hearted, minded people who and are coming with the intent to learn and be a part of positive change.
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