Facing my Privilege

Without intending to, I’ve often pushed people’s buttons because I won’t stay in my prescribed box.

My questions about practices vs. scripture at church, my questions about unfair treatment of boys vs. girls in my friends’ homes, . . . the only place those probing questions were appreciated was at school.

Being “weird” was so usual for me I felt like a sell-out any time I did actually fit in.

As I got older and especially after I moved from Utah to California, I didn’t seem to ruffle so many feathers, and when it did happen, it didn’t feel so earth shattering anymore. It was just "who I am."

As I followed the spiritual breadcrumbs guiding my life path and my purpose work, I found myself with a medicine ministry that I hadn’t sought out, but felt perfectly aligned with. I’d studied and learned so much and  done so much healing through indigenous healing lineages, most of which work with plant medicines.

When I started serving Medicine, it wasn’t so common as it is now, and there was a deep and humble gratitude for being seen by my teachers and given this honor to serve.

I felt more at home than ever before, and then, just as my medicine ministry was taking off, the public conversation about white privilege and appropriation of First Nations and Indigenous folks came in strong and I once again found myself ruffling feathers, but this time it rocked me to the core of my being. 

From the time I was able to even understand the differences in race and see inequality, I questioned it (it was some of what rocked the boat as a kid speaking out against what I saw to be unjust). So it felt unbearably painful to think I was doing something that now made me “the bad guy.” I knew I was called to it, and knew Source and the Medicine had called me, but my still fragile ego couldn’t bear even the unspoken, assumed criticism about my purpose work as a medicine woman, let alone the personal attacks.

I decided to stop serving medicine and find another path.

I understand the anger over the horrific and intentional annihilation of not only the Indigenous people of color, but the intentional annihilation of the languages and cultures as well. So much of what I learned (and grieved) about indigenous studies was all of the beauty and sacredness that was a part of each day from waking up, to growing food and fetching water, to rites of passage, and now it is disappearing rapidly with our natural lands and AI run systems.

Every day I ache at the ignorance of white, patriarchal greed, domination, and power and what it has destroyed. My love and resonance for Indigenous perspectives is what led me to do what I do, so it was horrifying to imagine that I was offending cultures I had deep respect for. I understood, and it broke my heart. 

It took the loving and insistent support of a man of color who is a close friend and part of my medicine ministry. He saw me and reflected the nonsense I was telling myself about ending my ministry just as it was getting going.

I went into  deep prayer and meditation to ask how to come to terms with the position I was in. This is what came:

“You are here to serve. You are not here to impress other people or stroke your ego. You have never fit in a box, and you aren’t going to now either. You’ve been healed by the Medicine and you’ve been called by the Medicine, and it is the Medicine that truly chooses those who serve. No one owns the rights or the privilege to serve Medicine - that is from the entitled mind that has disconnected from the Sacred. Do not listen to it regardless of where it comes from. Be loving and gracious, release your own inner shame and shadow and continue to welcome others with love, compassion, and grace, even when they are unkind to you, and let the Medicine take care of the rest.”

So I did as I was told and almost immediately the negative comments (mostly coming from white folks) came to a halt. I still have folks who are interested in knowing my background, and I am always so honored to share, and peaceful in my heart knowing there has only ever been a desire to serve as I have been called.

I do continue to understand and echo the anger over the destruction and exploitation of so many of the sacred ways of so many peoples and cultures, especially those who had no say in the matter. We all have truly lost what is most important to us, and it is my own personal quest to remember to live my life in a sacred way. 

To remember to greet the day with gratitude, feed the earth, sing to the wind, honor the water, and stoke the fire with dance and stories . . .  I often forget and get swept up in the illusions of modern, westernized survival, but I also often remember to feed the Holy, starting with the sacred life I’ve been given, and listening to the profound messages of everything that is greater than me that wishes me well.

It has often ruffled feathers, but sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed before taking flight into something better.


If you'd like to learn more and apply to attend our small medicine gatherings in Calistoga, California, visit http://LivingWisdomChurch.org/sacred-medicine