Sunday, March 23, 2014

How the Bison Handle Disappointment

What does the Bison teach us?

I did some reading on the symbolism of the Bison recently. I found an interesting website that talks about the symbolism of the Bison according to the Lakota and learned the Bison asks us these questions:
  • Are you grateful?
  • Do you respect what has been given?
  • Are you ignoring the abundance around you?
  • Do you squander the bounty?
  • Do you hunt down resources rather that trust your coffers are always stocked?
  • Are you missing the opportunity to recognize true blessings?


This is me in my bison shirt after a night of disappointment. I don't look too disappointed, do I? I look pretty happy. That's probably because I had three drinks that night. One before the disappointment (to get pumped) and two after (to drown my sorrows). One of my goals this year is to read my poetry at an open-mic night. I had worked up the guts and arm-twisted a friend to go with me to my first open mic poetry night back in February. But I came down with a flu and bailed. I re-scheduled for March, found a babysitter, and dragged my husband (a pretty decent appreciator of poetry) out the door with me to the local coffee shop hosting the open-mic night…only to discover the event was cancelled at a late hour because of a few flakes of snow.

I was disappointed.

I had pumped myself up for the event. I even had pre-race jitters in my stomach.

But disappointments happen in life, right? Like having yet another running-related injury right before the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile. I'll see the doctor Tuesday to confirm the details, but I'm pretty sure I have a neuroma in my right foot.

I've knocked my race registration down to the 5K.

That sounds so condescending, doesn't it? "I'll only be running the 5K." I've "knocked down" my running. There are people who aren't even able to walk a mile and I'm whining about having to limit myself to running three miles.

So I'm going to take a cue from the Bison.

Am I grateful? Yes. I'm grateful I can walk, let alone run. I am grateful I have friends who support my writing.
Do I respect what has been given? I respect the leisure time, the desire, the health I have to run. I respect the opportunities I have to write.
Am I ignoring the abundance around me? No. I live in a country that allows me as a woman to run when I want, where I want, and to write and read where I want, what I want.
Do I squander the bounty? No! I try to use my skills and strengths and not let them go to waste. I try to use them wisely and well.
Do you hunt down resources rather that trust your coffers are always stocked? I don't go searching for more and more and more than I need.
Are you missing the opportunity to recognize true blessings? Even when I can't run, I have a healthy, loving family who support me and my goals. I love the abundance of books available to me and the chance to express myself in writing.