One beautiful morning July 10, 1950, a child of innocence was born, this child bringing happiness, laughter, joy, kindness, hope, faith, love and strength of the spirit within. The gentleness, innocence strong in spirit.
All around the little creatures awake to a new morning, singing their gentle songs knowing of the birth. The air so fresh, the scent of Mother Earth strong blending with the sun, the heavens, the river flowing with glitters of sparkle softly to the open sea of James Bay.
That special day, oh, how the Creator’s light shone equally on every creation. Days of light glittering on the swift flow of the special river; “a great river” home of the great river people “Chisasibiiyiyuuch.”
The sky above so blue, a breeze of wind touching this child, the air of freshness to breath. Room for all in a Teepee of soft boughs for flooring and bedding. This special child had touched the Earth; our mother, the Earth. The fire burning, its scent of smoke going straight up to the heavens.
This special child of creation; such was the “gift” given to a very special couple.
A man and woman recently joined together to be “of one” for they had made a commitment to the Creator to love and cherish, in sickness and health till death do them part. They knew their responsibility for they were taught well with love by wise teachers old.
The special parents knew the child born onto them was not really their own to keep forever but to raise wisely with hope, faith and love. For all that are born belong to the Creator and in time would be called upon and be taken back to the original spirit.
Long before this child was already part of creation this day, July 10, 1950, was chosen for him to be born into this lifetime.
What awaited this child ahead – times of happiness, times of joy, times of sadness and times of pain and hardships. These to become teachers.
Like the cycle of life, something out of this world awaited, jealousy, anger, gossip, resentment, denial, abuse of the mental, physical, emotional and the spiritual. All of these, the child would experience and walk through one day.
The child’s growth went from one to another day; such is planned for all.
The land’s importance nourishment provided by our mother, the Earth. Feasts were held in honour for this child by the chosen parents.
The feasting bringing joy, laughter, happiness, togetherness the youth and old alike. These celebrations of feasting giving thanks to the “Creator” in honouring him the most.
A day came of confusion to this child when he had grown to be six or seven. Walking from a home of comfort with his earthly parents to a strange looking building (residential school) was of shock, fear, afraid, trembling the young child cried. Crying, for he did not return with his parents, instead left behind to face a world of dominance.
Sent under a running water — strange feeling managing to follow what he thought was right, strange clothing, the smell of the air so different from the land’s nature scent.
Next the hair off so short to the skull. The child so helpless, lost, confused, hurt, pain rambling within his spirit.
Somewhere before he had felt pain from an adult, the pain painful and damaging.
In this place of strange dwelling, foreign and managed by white people, this pain felt by the child would continue in the years to come.
The pain of the strap, the bruises on his body caused by an adult; a man of God. Sexual abuse came soon, so painful the shocking experience being robbed of his innocence, emotions and feelings damaged badly. The body scarred for life, the off-balance commenced, the spirit hurting.
Once so innocent the child became rebellious, angry, abusive, resentul towards God’s creation. This angry child became an angry youth, an angry young man and an angry adult. Being in a world of turmoil, his behaviour to other people was abusive, women especially.
No respect to life, he continued his destructive ways in the years that followed. Alcohol and drugs became his personal compassion, they became best friends, they knew everything, they had answers to everything, never looking at themselves nor did they walk their talk.
This child, to man, you could not tell him anything he knew it all. He gossiped, ridiculed, became resentful to other people, full of anger and hatred.
You know “Creator God” works in many a mysterious way.
In the workplace I began to see my own life. Everywhere I looked and turned the vicious cycle of family violence was clearly visible. There in front of me and in me sexual abuse, child incest, child neglect, child molestation, rape, family violence, domestic violence, cheating gossip, people attacking one another, a lot of anger, violent thoughts, suicide attempts, suicide to mention a few.
I could not run no more from my own pain and the pain of others related in one form or another. Something needed and had to happen. “Change” had and needed to take place.
March 28,1989, was when my own admission to “Onen To Kon Treatment Center” in Oka, Quebec, took form, which made it possible to change. The six-week program provided the basis for a starting point in redirecting my lifestyle and behaviour, dealing first with my alcohol abuse. At the same time personal issues in my own life were taking place – marriage breakdown, etc. I really needed help hitting rock bottom.
Going through the program provided the help needed, with beginning to see and really feel the inner child in me.
I realized during my stay in treatment that to really “change and heal” it had to go beyond the alcohol abuse.
Change for me involves being able to face and deal with personal issues of one’s life and working through them with “acceptance” not in denial. Coming out of treatment was something else for me. It was scary and with a lot of fear; knowing once you begun to look at your own life, to change, the healing journey must be continued.
Many a time, I kept telling myself, Abraham Bearskin, let’s just drop it and forget it. The pain is too heavy, it’s affecting our whole being too much.
A lot of times I felt I was going crazy and thinking prescribed medication would ease the pain or being institutionalized. The feeling of not belonging anywhere and being afraid with a lot of fear added to the fact in giving up and subconsciously thinking suicide. My whole being exhausted totally.
Sponsorship and counseling become the tools provided to support and help me go through some personal painful issues in my life.
In March 1993, I admitted myself at the Healing Centre Strong Earth Woman’s Lodge in Manitoba, this time dealing with my sexual abuse. My stay at the healing centre was three months. It took that time to work on myself with the guidance of spiritual aspect of my being.
I came to realize what I needed most to heal and forgave me and love me and forgave others. Our people were given gifts by “Creator God” to help their own kind using Native ways for all matters related to the spirit.
Coming home from Manitoba in June 1993, I realized once again I could not really help others knowing there were other issues in my life I needed to work on and deal with.
I realized you cannot help someone in need if you as a service-giver do not face what is real and knowing reality.
For the next three years, I searched, sought in finding me, my own identity. To find oneself, one takes a risk. You get re-victimized again by your people and others. This again affected me deeply. The pain more painful, again, once you begin something you continue the best way you know how. A lot of prayers, crying, feeling the hurt and pain, anger, etc.
It is hope, faith and love which helps a person to change for the better our belief in Creator God.
The gift of understanding, “The Gift of Acceptance,” comes when we begin to look at our own self before we can really give guidance, assistance, support and help to our brothers and sisters.
To walk the talk and practice, truth comes in sharing our very own story, our pain, our healing and being honest. One cannot run from oneself and expect things to go okay. We need to deal with reality with the gift of “Acceptance” as a helper.
Change is hard. With change we face none other than our own personal issues first, in letting go the past.
Yes, to accept sexual abuse, rape, anger, gossip, resentment, lying, family and domestic violence, child abuse, child neglect, child molestation and cultural denial, etc., happening in our communities is hard with a lot of fear, but to be healthy beings and create healthy communities as individuals, families, communities and as a Cree Nation we need to come to terms with reality of “Acceptance.”
In healing these become good teachers only if we are honest and face what is real. No one deserves to be treated in a disrespectful manner. Remember we are “Creator God’s” creation. All need to respect the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of another human being.
It is so amazing how the Creator works. I believe no one really, fully understands or knows his ways. If we did we would be perfect. “Change” is a gift and helper in its purest unique form.
One can be as perfect as he/she wants to be. We were perfect and innocent at the time of our birth, perfect of creation from the holy spirit.
This process, I really believe, brings the gifts of hope, faith and love within our spirit, mind and body which become whole in “Spirit.” With the gift we begin to see, know and find our identity and know who we are as a person, people and as a Cree Nation.
Living in this lifetime we all encounter many of life’s experiences, good and bad.
These life experiences can be overcome with changing our lifestyles, our behaviour to other human beings.
“Inner child work” is one such tool to assist us and is a great healer once we take the road to healing. Inner child work I believe is one of the greatest helpers for me. It is the inner child which works in many mysterious way to health and heal us, the mental, physical, emotional and our spiritual being. We are all born by the holy Spirit of the Creator God. The inner child or spirit in us, to put in another form, helps to overcome the hardships and negatives in us and enables us to face our greatest enemy, in my case, “Myself.”
It is life experiences which make us rich in spirit. Nowadays I get invitations to conferences (on various themes). There I am able to share my story, my life, the healing taking place in me each time. I still need a lot of help in living the good life, support coming from my parents, relatives, friends, children, you. Elders and others.
Be strong, build your faith, give hope to yourself, but forever trust “Creator God.” Prayer from within is strong and does heal.
No matter what you do to help and heal yourself, others or someone will always look for your weakest link, your faults. Remember, you know you – always show love and still acknowledge other teachings; such is the way we were shown by the “Son of Man,” the one we know as Jesus.
Healing goes two ways. People get to trust you – they will share their own story, their pain, their hurt. Through this process you establish trust, communication of the spirit of one, a very good feeling of self-worth.
Healing is such a beautiful journey to walk – you get to know more about yourself.
Meegwetch, Creator God.
Dedicated to my parents, Mary Head Bearskin and Daniel Bearskin, both 80 years old. They were married in July 15, 1937, and now have lived together 62 years. They never gave up hope, their faith strong, most of all, their love for us children, the greatest. Their prayers have been answered. I love you, my mother Mary Head Bearskin – I love you, my father Daniel Bearskin. Thank you so so much.
Your Son Abraham Bearskin
What treasure would I seek and find and keep that can compare with my identity?
To relinquish identification with the ego and the body is to awaken to our true identity. This true identity has remained as it always was — Pure Spirit — forever changeless, peaceful and at one with God, awaiting only our recognition.
Let me not forget
Myself is nothing
but myself is all
I was created as the thing I seek.
I am the goal the world is searching for.
Let me remember I am one with God.
At one with all my brothers, sisters and myself.
In You is All of Heaven
Your reality is only spirit
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever.
Your mind can be possessed by Illusions
But spirit is eternally free.
Peace is the state where love abides,
and seeks to share itself.
Taken from “Accept this gift”