Overcoming adversity
is key for our growth.

Step 2: Learn to trust Creator, and accept my circumstances. Overcoming adversity will produce spiritual growth within me as I walk the Red Road.

alt textWalking the Red Road will teach us to overcome adversity.

A sweet, gentle melody drifts throughout the room as mother’s soft humming accompanies the delicious aroma of homemade bread. Warm contentment floods our soul. The ancestors smile.

The warmth of a mother’s love is the foundation of the Cherokee way. Love is what life is all about. As we receive this love from mother and other clan members, we learn to allow ourselves to receive this same warm love from Creator. As this overwhelming love fills our heart, it overflows and others around us receive of its blessing—the flow of Living Waters. We learn to give and receive unconditional love. It flows freely and abundantly between us, Great Spirit, and others.

Sweet, sweet contentment. Fragrance of sweet grass and sage smoke permeate the air. All is in harmony with Creator. Life is in balance. Then one day we realize that there is something really wrong here—we are discontented with our circumstances. The warmth is gone, and a dark, foreboding coldness has set in—a coldness that chills the soul. We no longer experience love. We start to think that if we could only get more things, more power, more ego-building effects, then surely we would be happy.

So we try to get, get, get, taking unfairly from others in the process. But happiness evades us. We become a sad, loathsome specimen of humanity. We no longer like who we have become.

Where is the light that will lead us back to Creator, back to a joyful reunion with Him? The more adversity we overcome the stronger we become. Remember the old saying, "That which does not kill us only makes us stronger".

It is such a simple way back. It is in giving that we receive joy. It is in loving that we find love. It is in being a friend that we will have a friend. When we truly search for Creator with all of our hearts, we will find Him. We will begin to understand the wisdom of the ancestors.

We choose whether we will walk in darkness, or in the light. In the Dead Sea Scrolls, we are told how to distinguish between those who walk in darkness (sons of darkness) versus those who walk in light (sons of light). We are told that if we will hurt a person to gain a thing we are children of darkness, but if we will give up a thing for a person, then we are children of light.

When we look within ourselves, we know if we have chosen to walk in darkness or light. Also, by the fruit of our lives, so does everyone else. We hide nothing! We deceive only ourselves if we think others are unaware of our darkness!

If we want to return to our true Cherokee way, we must learn to walk in the light and overcome all adversity. We must learn to be content in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. We must learn to trust Creator and live in harmony with all of Creation. Only then will we find true peace and joy, and learn to live in the wisdom of the ancestors.

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