Thursday, March 04, 2004

"Mitakuye Oyasin"

A new prayer is shining in my life and it looks like a yellow star behind my eyes when I say the words in my head. It is not Christian in origin, but Lakota Sioux. It is Mitakuye Oyasin.

Simply stated, Mitakuye Oyasin means "We are all related." The two words are the prayer. To say this prayer is to petition God on behalf of everyone and everything on Earth. To say this prayer honors the sacredness of each individual's spiritual path and acknowledges the sacredness of all life, be it human, plant or animal.

Though my faith in God is always unshaken, my faith in humankind ebbs and flows. I find myself so disgusted and disillusioned lately with the walls that people throw up in the name of religion, when everyone is really saying such similar things. I cannot understand the intolerance based on differences in words and names, and the idea that God's love is doled out differently to people based on what church they go to. This prayer begins to knock down those walls for me. I love that this prayer is for anyone, regardless of their faith. As I get older and (theoretically) smarter, I find that dogma without room for growth or acceptance resonates with me as much as a lead balloon dropped into a lake of Jell-O. Which is to say, not much.

I feel much more in tune with God when I see and accept the Godness in others. I find myself growing as a result of opening my mind in that way and it just feels good. I know I don't have the right answers, but I don't think I have the wrong ones, either. I think I have the ones that God has meant for me to have, and that's plenty good enough for me.


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