Gary, Elizabeth, and Kathy finally returned from Sun Dance. When they arrived at Kathy’s home, they telephoned. I just knew they would bring many great stories with them since they spent a month in South Dakota before we arrived. I had been looking forward to seeing them. I knew it was going to be fun to play “catch-up!” We had not been visiting long when Gary asked me, “Susanne, what did you learn at Sun Dance?” I responded with, “So much.” I learned that I am ready to do another vision quest. He jumped at my words, saying, “I can do it this weekend.” And I quickly said, “Well, I’m ready, but not that ready! I do not even have a blanket!” At that moment, Kathy left the room and quickly returned with a brand new Pendleton blanket and set it in my lap. I went home to think. The next day I returned to Kathy’s and presented my pipe to Gary to do a vision quest in August if that would work for him. A discussion ensued about commitment and all that takes place to keep us from changing. The ego does not like change and tries to hold us back, keeping us the same.
Suddenly, Gary jumped up. He walked to the door, opened it, went out, and closed it behind him. I heard, “Susanne, where am I?” Me: “On the other side of the door.” He then opened the door a crack and looked into only a small portion of the room. “Now what can I see?” Me: “A portion of the room, actually only a small portion. The rest of it remains hidden to you.” Gary: “Right. Now watch.” He stepped through the doorway and into the room. After looking around, he walked to the chair and sat down again.. “What did you just learn?” Me: “Answers about all that was happening in the room were completely revealed when you committed to moving through the doorway to find out what was on the other side.”
Then something clicked in me. I smiled at this demonstration and understood that we have limited vision when we only partially commit to something. To receive answers in life, it is important to make a complete commitment.” I knew now that we were talking about my commitment. Was he telling me that the next vision quest was to help me through a doorway, or was he telling me I would learn more about commitment? I knew I was stepping through a doorway on this path with my second vision quest and by committing to Sun Dance for four years. I also knew that I was walking towards my purpose in life. Through complete commitment, I would be given the answers that I so much desired.
Gary then asked, “What did you learn from the tree at Sun Dance?” I talked about understanding the importance of completing each commitment, even a commitment to support at Sun Dance. I talked about the thoughts the tree brought up about gratitude for the support I had received throughout my life. I saw the importance of support at Sun Dance, vision quests, and even the vision quests plus the answers and perhaps a healing that supporters received while helping others at these events. A person that supports sometimes receives healing and answers as well as the people they are supporting. I also became much more aware of the supporters I have had throughout my life!
This discussion presented me with the opportunity to thank him for giving so many of us cross-cultural experiences! I shared with him about the drummers and singers not liking us initially, and then I told him about a Native American dancer that told his son not to speak to me ever again. He would not allow his son even to say, “Hello” when I passed by them. Neither would smile or speak, but his son looked sad. This Dad did not know how much his little boy and I enjoyed the short visits we had before noticing him talking to me during purification. Gary asked, “How did you handle that?” I explained that I just continued being myself. If I passed them at any point, I just said something like “Good Morning” and smiled. It was okay. I was sorry he felt that way about me since it only had to do with my skin color. However, his action reminded me of how others must feel now and in the past when a person is treated differently due to his or her skin tone.
That made me sad. I believe we all have things passed to us in our genes and by all of those in our environment. This can be healed in us, one at a time, so that a positive change can come. We all have red blood, and all have been a thought from God manifested here on earth through our parents.
Our discussion continued about having the fortitude to stay on a path we choose to take. Some think this path is a difficult path, even though many answers do come to every person involved. Answers come to the one doing a vision quest as well as to supporters of the vision quest. Answers also come to Sun Dancers and supporters of the Sun Dance. Answers must also come to us as we support and encourage each other through our lives every day. Perhaps we do not notice those answers because we are not observing or listening. Life seems to move too fast for us to stay in the present. It is important that we listen to our own words as we speak and the words of others as well as our own dreams. Answers are coming! For me, the answers that I longed for about life were coming more strongly through the past year as I walked this path. I knew this might not be a forever path, but I also knew I wanted to complete every commitment I made hereafter, and I wanted to learn from it.
LESSON: When one fully commits, we can see everything! We learn, we know, and we can make decisions. We learn, “What is my truth?” My truth may be different from someone else’s truth about the same person or situation.
GIFTS: I learned that sometimes we do not want to see the truth because it could bring change. We may have listened to parents and others in our environment who passed on their beliefs about a person or about others that are not the same color as we are. Perhaps a situation happened in our lives that confirmed what our parents said was true. However, we meet someone else, and it is not the same as our parents said. If we discover that our truths about life are different than theirs, we may worry about what else we learned that might not be true. “Find my truths” is what I kept saying to myself. Pay attention to truth and learn to listen. Become a truth seeker. Remember to ask, and you will receive. God’s answers will help you decipher what is right and what is wrong for you. God brings your truth. My truth may not be your truth, and your truth may not be my truth. We can love each other and not have the same truths. The commitment of going through the door will open your world to new ways of thinking and being.
I listened to heart, mind, body, and soul. I knew this path was good for myself in four ways. I also knew that this path was not for everybody. It was presented to me, and I was receiving answers to so much!
I had peace within and felt blessed by all I saw and discovered as I stepped forward on this path that God led me to. I learned and listened while doing my vision quests and while supporting the vision quests for others. I did the same at the purification ceremonies (sweat lodges) and finally at Sun Dance. By being open to receiving, I trusted and followed the signs I was given. Answers came and continued to come.