A chilly, dark day; a bit ‘o snow tonight and heavy rain tomorrow.
This morning, after breakfast with friends, we went for a walk on a local bike trail from which a side trail winds down to the bay. The trail journeys through woods, largely parallel to the water, then heads north into the town’s business center. On the trail it is very hard, this time of year, to imagine that so much urban activity lies so close.
I’ve been thinking about expectations and entitlement. A while back someone asked for some shamanic aid so I looked into the situation and reported back what I had seen. From my point of view, the news was pretty good, but from the petitioner’s perspective it was not. I understood the petitioner’s desire for a simple fix for a long standing issue, even though there was no shortcut to revolve the problem. The ancestors had expressed needs and concerns which had to be addressed if anything was to change.
When I am asked to help I try to find the most direct means for addressing the problem. Sometimes, however, there simply isn’t a easy fix. Often, the person asking for aid has to take on a significant task, especially when the problem at hand is multi-generational. “I” (of course it is hardly just me working for a healing) can often remove roadblocks and offer advice, but the Ancestors and spirits frequently have expectations of the person making the request for aid. I explain this as best I can and each person gets to choose whether to follow my suggestions or not.
The thing is, while those requests from the spirits offer the person the possibility of developing a profound relationship with the Ancestors and spirits, they may seem onerous to the person requesting aid. I know that side of things well.
On a societal level we live in a culture that largely ignores those who dreamed us into being, as well as the spirits of the landscape. We forget that those who ignore the spirit world end up enacting the relational hunger of the spirits, and “eating” each other. Perhaps this is why we are in the midst of devouring the Earth, our very home, and innumerable people and other living beings who live with us!
Often my task is to elucidate the path to healing as best as I understand it, and to be engaged in a process of complex reciprocity on behalf of the person or being requesting aid. In that process there are no free lunches, there is only reciprocity. Having done this for many decades I’ve come to believe there shouldn’t be any free lunches, for we grow only when we recognize the necessity of relationship and exchange. Only by setting aide our privilege, and accepting our responsibility to care for and honor others can we hope to stop our collective rush into the abyss.