All First Nations people shared traditional values that were reflected in a respect of nature and the connectedness of all living things. Chief Seattle from the Squamish Nation describes this shared value in a statement he made in 1854. "All things are connected like the blood that unites us. We did not weave the web of life. We are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves." First nations had no interest in the accumulation of wealth, but instead took from the land only what they needed to survive. With this practice was the belief that in showing creation respect in this way, it would renew itself for the benefit of the people.
In todays society these values are drowned out by the need for accumulation at the expense of the planet and the people in it. Individual's desires for self indulgence can create blindness to this traditional way of valuing life. Through not taking heed to this wisdom the planet is facing a crisis and our very survival as a species is threatened, not to mention our emotional well being.
An Iroquios proverb tells us that 'Our Greatest Strenth is our Gentleness'. It is through our gentleness that we access this unity and connectivity. It is through our gentleness that we find compassion and empathy for those around us, as well as for the planet. It is only a false narcissistic strength that separates us and makes us more or less important than someone else. Much of the epidemic of depression and anxiety are caused by this lack of connection. When we are disconnected from the greater web of life we are isolated from our source of wisdom. We try to find fulfillment in places where it cannot be found. It is also the Iroquois that believed that every current decision made must consider the sustainability of the seven generations to come. This traditional wisdom has such potential to benefit the world today. We must consider each other in all of our actions. As we cultivate this gentleness of being, we begin to heal ourselves, each other and the earth. Each one of us had the opportunity to tap into this traditional wisdom. Traditionally first nations didn't go to see a counsellor, but went to the land to heal, to the medicine man or woman to connect them to their own source of healing.
Today many First Nations People are finding their way back to their traditional healing and wisdom after being impacted by the narcissistic views of those that lost their connection and lived in isolation from the web of life. We as a human race are evolving and growing and have the capacity to find our way back to love, connection and belonging. We all come from love and can return to love. It is love ultimately that heals the soul and contributes to the healing of the web of life. When we realize we are vulnerable people and allow ourselves and others to be vulnerable because we understand our value within this interconnected web of life, we are contributing to the healing of the wholeness within our humanity. Problems with depression, anxiety, lack of self esteem, and addiction can more fully be addressed from this perspective.
The Toltecs teach us to heal through the Four Agreements, which are to be impeccable with your word, to do your best, to not take things personally, and to not make assumptions. Ultimately this teaching is about finding freedom through letting go of limiting beliefs that cause suffering. There is so much traditional wisdom to shed light on all of the darkness and to guide us into the brightness of our future for ourselves, others and the planet.