heart medicine


Heart medicine.

Every year I take my daughter to the Winter Storytelling by Native American storytellers at one of our local museums. It’s a tradition. It was on the calendar for today. Today though, I didn’t feel like going. I felt overdone. I felt down. I didn’t feel like getting dressed and going out. I knew I had to though. For her. Our tradition. Her tradition. Beautiful stories. Inspiration. Show her the way.

For me. When I’m wallowing and wanting to “hermit” myself in, I must get out. I must do something of depth and meaning. I must look to the spiritual world and connection.

This evening back at home I am using the words “I must be responsible”.

Here’s why…

We went to the storytelling. There was a new storyteller this year, amongst the others.

For some reason there weren’t as many kids in attendance this year. A lot of adults. As he spoke he said “seeing as the room was mostly adults, he was going to break from his usual and tell a personal story”. He did.

He spoke of a tough childhood, loss, challenges. I obviously can’t go through his story here, but he coined the phrase for me: heart medicine.

Everything he went through, every loss, every hurt, every neglect, every challenge -he eventually was able to heal from and realized those pains were his “heart medicine”. Those challenges and learning how to heal from them were, indeed, the heart medicine that brought him here today, to who he is today, to become a healer/helper for others. He works now with the youth of the tribe in social services and in substance abuse treatment.

He told his story, he spoke of heart medicine, he played his flute, someone gently drummed off to the side, he tended the fireplace, he lit a cedar smudge stick, he prayed and blessed everyone, he told more story, he played more flute -his words, his movement, his music healed, he shared his heart medicine.

It was so powerful.

Heart medicine.

He got up later to tell another story. About our responsibility in the web of life. Our responsibility to ourselves, our family, others, the earth, the Creator.

He said he felt “pitiful” yesterday and wanted to bail on speaking today but he couldn’t because “he had to be responsible”. I believe I understood the metaphor in that.

I’m so so grateful he was responsible.



11 thoughts on “heart medicine

  1. This is an amazing encounter with this storyteller. I am resolving to learn more about the native people where I live. I think there is much to learn. Oddly enough I have a strong sense that my horse, although he was born in Germany, has some connection to the native people. A past life perhaps? I don’t know but I feel I must open my mind to all of this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on barnraised and commented:

    Going tomorrow….and wouldn’t dream of not “being responsible”.

    …sometimes you just show up (words to my daughter over the years)
    Whether it be a homeschool event, family invite, friends birthday party…heaven knows that sometimes we are tired, busy, sick, who knows what else AND we just continue to try to SHOW UP when others that we care for call upon us ever so quietly. I know we are grateful when our people just SHOW UP. You never know when showing up changes everything for a soul.


  3. I so feel you. I wanted bail on our winter spiral. Heart medicine. What an amazing thought. I always tell my kids to never regret an experience or decision because it has made them who they are now. The good, the bad, the mundane…it is all important.
    It is funny too as I read this. I am ready to be done with one of my big commitments. A friend told me that it is not time. Bailing now would be irresponsible. I guess this post is perfectly timed. I must be responsible.

    Liked by 1 person

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