Mind Over Matter . . .

Happy Friday, Y’all! I’m feeling blessed today! So, help me crank out a TGIF, okay?! Much obliged to those who emit that positive energy!!

I’m sure that most of us know or have heard the expression “mind over matter”, right?!  Sure … another one of those “easier said than done” activities.  When something happens to someone who has no control over what is happening to them, it leaves a very empty feeling.  One can feel worthless, uncared for, and perhaps even misunderstood.  Yet, that person(s) has to deal with the situation as best she/he can … perhaps as an option to committing suicide.  It was evident after the Insurrection of January 6, 2021, that some of the officers who tried to protect the Capitol could not continue to “live” after experiencing the near-medieval attacks on them that day!  Everyone doesn’t have the fortitude to overcome the helpless feeling that occurs when one is being abused, physically tortured (African slaves and Native Americans), or simply killed …  Imagine uncovering graves of children that were abused and obviously left to die in the lands of the indigenous people of Canada.  The most tragic information uncovered is that this was done by members of the Catholic church who actually set up these “residential schools” for the indigenous children.  Peace be still …

One indigenous woman described how there was a “nun” at the residential school who used to slap her in the face multiple times every morning!!!  Another woman described how a male clergy member would have her sit on his lap and then would put his hands under her clothing to fondle her private part(s).  Can you say “helpless”?!? She commented, “If you want to live, you have to find a way to keep going.” Not only was it inhumane as “they” attempted to exterminate the original inhabitants of that land, but it is also morally bankrupt to treat anyone this way.  Similar mistreatment occurred with the Native Americans and later, African slaves during the colonial period of the USA.  This mistreatment often brought these two groups closer together to help each other survive during such horrific times.  As many of us know, the main reason that the Africans did NOT experience the same as the indigenous of Canada who faced genocide, the colonies of this new country needed a labor force … that was NOT paid.  Enter the practice of chattel slavery in North America.  Yet Canada represented a “safe place” for runaway slaves.  Indentured servitude had been forced upon the less fortunate colonists from Europe but that practice soon lost its ability to bolster the desperately needed workforce in the colonies to handle the tobacco and cotton plantations.  The fortitude and strength of Africans and skin color stigma made them an integral part of this labor force.

While the injustices imposed upon the indigenous of Canada were (still are) harsh, the residential school system has been ended.  The Pope finally came to Canada after multiple invitations from the indigenous leaders to apologize to the survivors of this system.  Have you ever been mistreated unjustly or unfairly?  Did the oppressor apologize?  (Not to the slaves in the USA!)  How did it make you feel when they DIDN’T?  Has anyone ever apologized to you after clearly treating you wrong?  How did that make you feel?

The ability to use your mind to overcome negative emotions or feelings caused by maltreatment is not so easy.  For me, I try to meditate whenever the spirit moves me.  It could be 3 am or 4 pm … I need to stop and take a personal inventory and determine what is most important for my survival.  Then I meditate on THAT … not the mistreatment.  Oftentimes, during my meditations, I discover the quantum field by just “letting go”.  This might be considered to be enlightenment, no pun intended.  The hurtful baggage becomes insignificant as I let my mind wander from those thoughts to options that may be more suitable.  Remember that one often has options should one let go enough to allow them to enter.  Things don’t have to matter so much as to cause one to lose one’s peace!!  No way!!  I can certainly testify to the FACT that if you truly “let go” of the hurt and pain, one can find that peace even in the midst of trauma, drama, and confusion.

While we each travel our individual journeys, it is important to realize that there are “others” on their journeys, too!  If “our” journeys intersect at some point, maintaining civility and enlightenment should follow.  Once again, I don’t claim to have the answers for everyone, but I can usually find a path forward for myself!!  Methinks “you” can, too!


John I. Cook, Director

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