The Sun Dance: A Story of Crucifixion, Part III
My story is not complete if I don’t go back to the question that plagued me in that opening ceremony. “Why did you choose me?” Why did you choose me to stand in front of all these people without a clue what to do, and very possibly make a complete fool of myself?
I was unable to see the great honor of what I had been given because of my fears and deep feelings of unworthiness. How sad really that I suffered through something that was so beautiful, so profound. But perhaps that is a metaphor for so much of human life—that we often suffer through this amazing gift of incarnation or we project and inflict that suffering onto others.
I don’t know exactly what the Pipe in the Sundance ceremony symbolizes, but I know now that it was a great gift to be asked to hold it. Yet I see that my initial response to many of the challenges in my life has been the same. For so long I was unable to see the gift inside the difficulty, the honor inside the fear.
This has certainly been the case with my writing—this unique inpouring of Divine Love and Wisdom. I was handed this Pipe. And I accepted it—albeit tentatively. Recently I read that when a Native American Pipe is given to you, you must take it. Perhaps I knew it wasn’t really a choice to refuse the Pipe I was handed, that my Soul had decided for me a long time ago. But on the level of my personality, I stepped into that great Circle without having a clue where this dance would take me or what it was even about. And I tolerated the heat—I didn’t necessarily always welcome it, but I tolerated it– because the quality of Divine Love that came with the dance was irrefutable. But when it became clear that I had to do something with this Pipe in the world, that the dance wasn’t for me alone, there was part of me that asked, Why me? exactly like I did at the Sundance. I did not know how to simply accept the great honor of what had been given to me, and even when I was able, the fear did not go away.
Perhaps the Sundancers feel fear every time they are pierced. Or perhaps they welcome the pain because they know the ecstasy of where it will take them. Or both. Perhaps their Souls are willing and their personalities still wince. I don’t know. I know my Soul is willing, eager even, of carrying the Pipe I have been handed. And my personality still fears the pain of piercing over and over again. Perhaps that won’t change. Perhaps all that matters is that I go back out into the Circle whenever I am called and accept the Pipe that was given to me.
I know that we each have been handed a Pipe to carry, a pain to bear, a ceremony of transformation to participate in. And that it is an honor. I call that Modern Day Crucifixion.
It’s been 22 years since this Divine Voice first came to me. It was less than 3 years ago that I began writing my first book about all They taught me, and only a little over a year since I published it. Since then I have done three public talks and I have just recently started speaking on blog radio. I’m not putting it down that it took me so long to step into THIS Circle. This is simply how long it has taken. I don’t know how long it takes a Sundancer to offer his chest to the blade—perhaps not nearly as long as it has taken me. It’s not been part of my culture. I’m just learning this now. I have literally been shaking with fear before each talk, sometimes for hours. In one form or another I still resist that which my Soul most desires. Yes, I have taken the Pipe that was handed to me, but Phyllis Leavitt still tries to look away, wonders “Why me?” and fears making a fool of herself.
I understand now for the first time that this is my piercing and this is the Circle in which I have been chosen to dance. And now I am choosing it—the piercing and the dancing—the writing and the speaking—and I will do my very best to keep my eye on the Sun in this dance and not on the shadows.
“Forgive me Father, for sometimes I know not what I do.”
And of course there is no Father out there to forgive me. Because I know now that there is no God like that and there is nothing to forgive. This is my Path and my Prayer and my Pipe, and I’m just learning to dance.