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Teachings from the Tree of Life, part 16: It's the Way You Are Treating Yourself

Waagaabagaa-giizis/Waatebagaa-giizis (Leaves Turning Moon), September 12

 

The Moose Hunt, detail of a painting by Zhaawano Giizhik
The Moose Hunt, detail of a painting by Zhaawano Giizhik

 

"Our spiritual path was designed way before we were born on Mother Earth; many times you'll be tested and many times you'll fail. "Spiritual Paths" or "The Tree Of Life" is a simple teaching to understand and all you need to do is to take a good look at yourself and see what you truly need (…) When confusion sets into your life, you have the ability to choose another branch from the tree of life and follow that branch towards discovery. When you stand back and take a good look, you have so many branches to choose from."*

- Wikwemikong Anishinaabe Medicine Painter James Mishibinijima.

 

"People don't like me! I'm too this, I'm too that, geez even my dogs avoid me! I'm a loser and I do not like myself! People hate me and I hate myself! I feel like drowning!"

Is the inconsiderate behavior of other people draining you or making you feel like a loser? Do you feel like no one likes you? You aren't the only one who feels that way.


Saying that no one likes you, that you feel like drowning, is one heck of a dramatic way of saying that you don't like yourself. Because that's what it boils down to. You are drowning in your own pool of self-pity, really. Your self-worth should never depend on how bad, or well, others treat you. The quality of your life should never be ruled by how others treat you. You see, the way people treat you (or rather, project their own misery and frustrations on you) isn’t the problem.

It’s the way you’re treating yourself.

The way you’re treating yourself is the key to feeling better about yourself, and about others for that matter. Gandhi once said: "I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet." But you must not do that to your own mind either.


"When confusion sets into your life, you have the ability to choose another branch from the tree of life and follow that branch towards discovery. When you stand back and take a good look, you have so many branches to choose from."

So, do not mind the others. Stay grounded! You're unique. Be happy with you. You deserve yourself.


P.S. Having said this, I realize that some people out there are really alone. Older people who live alone with no one, including family, looking after them. Now THAT is true loneliness. Pay them a visit once in a while. Just dropping by and talking with them can mean so incredibly much to them. So instead of complaining about our own loneliness we should do everything in our power to help lifting the isolation of others who really need it. What we give to others will always come back to us in the One Circle. Miigwech.


 

*Excerpt from Mishmountains Blogspot, "Teachings to the Tree Of Life."


Illustration: The Moose Hunt, detail of a painting by Zhaawano Giizhik. Visit the webshop to see te painting.

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2 Comments


rileyna
Sep 14, 2023

I really like this style of painting, I have uploaded my attempt. Miigeech N. Riley (Nay'tive Art)

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zhaawano
zhaawano
Sep 14, 2023
Replying to

Nahaaw, miigwech gayegiin!

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