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Levina Wilkins

Lesson 5 – Loving Others and Giving Back

Goal: This lesson assists the young and older adult in understanding how healing from historical trauma and domestic violence occurs through traditional ways and choices of change.

Activity: Utilizing video #1, we will watch and listen to Grandmother Levina Wilkins’ story and review her gift through remembering the traditional ways.

The Hero, having met the challenge, returns to where he started. He returns a new person, transformed. He does two things in this final stage; first he realizes he knew the answers to his questions that set off the journey all along. Somewhere inside he understands he always had the answer. And second, he brings back a gift to his people. It could be a treasure or an enemy flag, or the baby saved from death, or a teaching.

Grandmother Wilkins has a powerful story of healing.  As she chose steps of change, several beliefs and actions of healing helped her along the way.  Through telling her story, she shared some of the wisdom for us to use.  Review the following quotes from her story. Within the quote are a few words that have been made bold to identify the action or belief.  In the columns to the right, please identify what you think the action or belief means

The Steps and Ways of Healing

Belief or Action in bold What does this mean to you?
My Grandmother said, “You have to learn to take care of yourself before you can take care of anybody else.”
“She raised me with the belief that your children are sacred, that your children are your life line.  That your life line never ends because that circle that extends from your children continues on.  And your children are the most sacred things that you can have. They are a blessing from the Creator. Therefore you love your children. You care for your children, because through your children, your life lives on.”
“Our whole reservation was suffering from generational trauma.  Not realizing none of that because each and every one of us has some sort of trauma that we, we have to face and rediscover ourselves; because you never, never, can problem solve if you don’t know what is wrong with yourself.”
“Again I look back and I see what my grandmother had taught me about survival, about cooking, about cleaning, about prayer, about taking care of your own body, to be healthy, and all of that.  So I think throughout my life time, I always reflected back to what my grandmother taught me.”
I couldn’t resolve this by myself.”
“I let this hurt do this to me because I couldn’t talk to anybody.  I couldn’t confide in anybody.  I found out that I couldn’t resolve this by myself.”
“I went down to the Yakima Nation Housing Authority and I applied for a counseling job there. And lo and behold, I got it. I was called in about a week later for an interview and after that, I got the job.
I went back to school and went to graduate school completed it and got my Masters in Education. I went on to get my counseling certification.”
“We looked at creation. We looked at the Creator who created all of this for us, for our life, nature, in other words. He provided us with the sun. He provided us with the water. He provided us with everything that has life. And that is what you respected. You gave thanks to the Creator, and to this day, we still do. We have songs that reflect back and talk about when the land was first lit. Can you picture when the land was first lit? Yes. We have songs that reflect that, in the language.”
“The women made sure they ate, they made sure they were clean, they made sure they had a clean bed to rest. The men were laying their life down for their families.”

We have listened to the story of Grandmother Levina Wilkins and have reviewed her story through the process of the Hero’s Journey.  Please review your life using the Hero’s Journey as you have learned through this process:

1)   Have you ever felt like an orphan?  If so, when?

2)   Have you ever felt like you don’t really know what you want to do or where you are going and you are “wandering” in search of the answers?  If so, when?

3)   Are there people in your life that you care about? If so, who?

4)   Is there a helpful cause that you have felt strongly about that you were willing to fight for? If so, what?

5)   Have you been able to “give back” to your family, loved ones, or community? If so, when?