This is a follow-up response to your geese story.
I believe there is a reason that you experienced the trauma that you did, when you did. I believe it happened for your benefit instead of to you. You
did not know the reason at the time; and sometimes we may never know the reason something tragic or unexplained happens. The life lesson and challenge
is, how am I going to let this experience affect me, how will I choose to look at it, and how will I let it control any aspect of my life: my happiness, my
serenity, my wealth, my ability to go forward in life, my relationships.... will I always let myself be defined by this wound.
Below is a true story that has moved me to this higher level of understanding about wounds and the power of forgiveness.
"Forgiveness is the eye of the needle."
"David Chetlahay Paladin was an native American Indian ,a Navaho, who grew up on the reservation in the southwest. When he was 14 or 15 years old he
was a very serious alcoholic, and so he and a friend left the reservation and decided to go wandering around, who knows, they were just, looking for some
place to belong. Now, as I tell this story, I want you to pay attention to the detail, with which I tell it, because there isn't a detail that's there uselessly.
Chetlahay and his friend eventually found themselves on a merchant marine ship. And they were cruising around the south seas. David was an artist. So
he's sketching things that he saw, and all the kinds of beautiful islands. But he also saw the Japanese preparing for World War II, and building their
bunkers, so he began to sketch this.
By this time he's seventeen years old and while he was on this ship, both he and his companion met yet another runaway; it was a young man from
Germany. So the three started to pal out together. They didn't have friends they wanted to return to, they didn't have families, so they're kind of enjoying
themselves at sea, only, the problem is, the war was coming. So they all had to return home, and, David's drawings were turned into the US Military because
they were of great value. David was drafted into the service and of course he made the natural assumption that he was going to go to the south seas because
that's the place he knew and he was going to go back there. But instead, the US Military used him as what's called the decoder, because he spoke fluent
Navaho. So they put him into the European front, he was in the Army. And he went in and he was transferring information back to the American bases
because the Nazis couldn't translate Navaho.
Well, eventually he was captured, and he experienced hideous things, the worst of which perhaps is that the Nazis nailed his feet to the floor. And in doing
that, he was made to stand there for three days. He was beaten, he was starved, all kinds of things happened to him. They finally decided that the way to get
rid of this man, was to send him to Dachau because he wasn't worth sending to an ordinary POW camp because in fact he was, a Native American. While
he's being shoved onto the train, going to Dachau, this young soldier, pushing him on, happened to be, the German he was traveling with that whole time in
the south seas. And because they recognized each other, this young German officer, got Chetlahay out of there, and managed to get him onto the train going
to a POW camp. Saved his life.
Later the American Soldiers came and they liberated the camp and they found him Russians they thought, 'he couldn't be one of us.' The Russians sent him back and said, 'he's not one of us'.....So they took Chetlahay and they brought him
back to the United States, and he's semi conscious. They put him in a Veterans hospital in Battlecreek Michigan, and he begins a two and a half year,
journey, in and out of consciousness. Now if you know, American Indian mythology, you'll recognize this is the journey of the shaman. He was in and
out of consciousness. When he came out, his legs were barely working, I mean, he could hardly walk at all. He had those heavy braces on his legs, and, it
was a very tragic case, he couldn't get over what happened to him in the war. And, he decided that what he would do, is go back to his people in the
southwest on the reservation, tell them what happened to him, say good-bye, and return and spend the rest of his life in the Veterans hospital. Bear in mind,
they haven't seen him in eleven or twelve years! And, all of a sudden he comes back, crawling, crippled, on these leg braces. And this is what happened.
They hold counsel. And they say, Chetlahay, tell us what happened to you. So he begins to tell the story. Now, how did he tell it...... He didn't tell it in a
screaming, yelling, oh my god, was I victimized, in my horrible way. Instead, he told it in an almost impersonal way, like a story way. As if he was
observing his own life but not attached to it. Observing, but not attached to it. And he was fine until he got to this one point, where he starts telling them
about this one particular Nazi guard, who would take maggots, and chicken gizzards, and shove it down his throat, and he didn't have nether the strength nor
the freedom to fight this man. And he'd just have to endure that. And his tribal members who had gathered around him, they just listened. They didn't sit
there and say, "Oh my! What a horrible thing!, And, give this kind of feedback. All they did, was witness. Now, at the end of it, they held counsel, because
they wanted to help them. And what they decided to do, was this: They tied a rope around his waist, they threw him in very deep water and they said,
"Chetlahay, call your spirit back, or we're going to let you go because no one can live without a spirit. And they stood back.
David went through, he said he had to walk through every one of these memories. Every memory that had his spirit; that captured some part of his being;
that controlled some part of his heart, and his mind. And he had to cut the strings; he had to let them go. Until, he got to that one, Nazi guard. Now, in his
image, he's facing, in this dream state, in this out of body state, this Nazi guard, and he's looking at him.... Now, I want to reorient you. He's in cold, deep,
water. With almost useless legs, going through this very sacred life review, and he's in front of the Nazi...and he finally says, "All right, I forgive you." But
the forgiveness was not just mental, it was down through his being. And then this image spoke to him, and said, "Chetlahay, I was trying to keep you alive,
and that was the only food I could find." And in that exchange, David got his legs back. When he returned, when he swam back to shore, he was able to
begin his healing, and he never returned to this Veterans hospital.
Now, the significance of this is, he didn't find out the truth behind that situation until he was able to forgive and move on. And that was the reward, was
truth. Truth. Not, the, illusion that was capturing his spirit but truth. I want you to think about this story and hold it in your heart because if we forgive the
things that we've been holding on to in the past, all of a sudden, we have 50 gallons more fuel....our life is going to move faster, it's as simple as that.
And we are, more afraid, of the speed of change, than we are of forgiving somebody.
From: Tape Lecture by Carolyn Myss, "Why People Don't Heal, & how they can"
This story is very rich and meaningful to Carolyn because she met David Chetlahay, and he told her his story himself.
I shared this story with the best of intentions, with no obligation or expectation on anyone's part, to listen, or believe the message.