A Spiritual Journey
~ Lance Sands, Muskogee Nation
Spirituality is the balance to egocentricity for me; it supposes nothing about the perception of others. It considers all information before a determination about an idea. Spirituality allows for the following: that any particular determination might be incorrect and proceeds with a willingness to accept correction later. “Questions" I feel are the clearest forming of spirituality. Because even if you know the answer, a question presupposes clarification is necessary. Any information without validation or that is considered unquestioned I believe to be self-fulfilling. And it is the irritation built up when a fact is questioned that determines how deep a person identifies with their own self-fulfillment.
When I can separate myself from my unquestioned facts I find myself the most spiritual. I feel connected to the great mystery and need not know but accept my present place in the world. Spirituality does not disallow change, it accepts each moment as a moment of renewal, construction, destruction, resurrection, and reincarnation. I am free of all that I have failed at and am a new creation able to try again without the burden of failure. I continue my pursuit of happiness. I am neither confined by my ideas nor need to confine anyone else to theirs. Since I can value my own frailties I can value other ideas and not preoccupy myself with inevitable mistakes, but expend my energy on examining the possibilities. I don’t have to agree with others' ideas but I can respect them and gain respect for my own ideas.
My definition of spirituality did not come in an epiphany. I stumbled across it through an accumulation of experiences. I would walk in the hot sun. The heat would burn my scalp, my skin felt cooked. The sweat would soak my shirts. My eyes would squint and one eye might actually close against the brightness of the day’s sunlight. I felt tired in my bones and my feet ached. Then, from nowhere, a breeze would brush against my skin. My closed lids would open to trees waving and birds would chirp. A smile came across my face and introduced me to idea that things change and most important...
That in a moment things can be okay.
I found out my best friend had committed suicide and my Uncle comforted me. He allowed me to cry as hard as I could on his shoulder without a word. I went to the funeral to face his mother who cried when I walked in the door at the funeral home. She cried because he and I were friends and hardly went anywhere without one another. Me alone told her my friend was no longer on this plane of existence. Later in the week, I felt that I too should fulfill my obligation as his best friend and end my own life I had a dream where my friend met me at restaurant. He walked in wearing a hat he was known to wear and his usual t-shirt and jeans with engineer boots. He lopped his boots right on the table and with a grin on his face he said, ”Don’t worry I can wait to see you.” I awoke crying in relief.
Then, the day I was at my job riding in a truck. We delivered supplies to all the local Carl’s Jr. The driver and I were on our way back from Tucson when I saw a cloud in the form of a baby’s face. I felt something bad had happened. My girlfriend was pregnant at the time. I remember my mother telling me she had seen her brother’s face in the clouds when he passed away. I went home expecting bad news and received it. Our baby had been miscarried. I would not have been able to console her and ask her if she was alright had I not been given the premonition.
These are a few examples of the ways I were introduced to the idea there is something more to life than what I see. What I feel is as important and more so how I interpret how I feel, what I see, and what I hear. I would like to continue to speak on this in two more articles that deal with how my perception molded my spiritual awareness and examine my spiritual journey from which I expect never really ends.