June 13, 2020

What if 2020 is the Year we’ve been Waiting for?


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We are watching and we are listening—uncomfortably—at what is happening in our world today.

As we are in a state of confusion and pandemonium, fear may also be taking hold of us. We may be asking ourselves about our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

Anne Frank wrote in her diary about the Holocaust, “Perhaps they (the future) will learn something about goodness, and this is why we have to suffer.”

But, have we learned anything from our past mistakes? 

It appears we are at a crossroads, for the path we take today will change our future. Let that sink in. 

Maybe 2020 is the year we get our sh*t together. 

We should not be sleeping through 2020 or attempting to cancel it. This year is the one we all have been screaming for—a year of healing, change, and ripping the scab off the wound, bleeding out the poison of lies we have been telling ourselves for centuries.  

I am a registered nurse and the day I passed my board exam, I took an oath to protect, promote, and restore the well-being of the sick, to comfort the suffering, and to fight for social justice. 

From that day on my professional role and personal life have been intertwined. Every decision I make is based on my duty and obligation to all of society. 

Every day I do my best to serve my patients. I pray with the patients. I hold their hands as they leave this earth. I do my best to comfort those who are sick, those who are grieving, and those who are afraid. I have sat for hours listening to patients tell me stories about their children and their grandchildren. I have cried knowing there is little I can do but offer them my time and sit quietly. I lie awake at night worrying about complete strangers, wondering if I did my part to make a positive difference in their life.

However, today I am at a loss for how to help the pain and suffering I see all around me.

A few years ago, I lived out west, and during this time, I befriended a few Native Americans. To them, I am called a shaman, a medicine woman. 

Native Americans love to tell stories, and the only comfort I can find right now is in their stories. They live a modest life and embrace Mother Earth with love. They care for their mind, spirit, and family as one being. A rich part of their spiritual well-being comes from the stories they teach their children—the future of the world. The Native American legends are lessons on how to treat others and Mother Earth. The elders tell of the consequences of failing to follow the laws of nature. 

“We make sense of our lives through stories. Regardless of our different backgrounds and perspectives, stories have the power to bind us.” ~ Samantha Power

One great prophecy is that of the “White Buffalo Calf Woman.” (There are many versions of this great tale, but this is the version I was told.)

The prophecy speaks of a time when the Earth will be filled with hate and pollution. The people as we know will cease to exist.  

This great tale began in Black Hills, South Dakota. This region is known as the heart of the earth. It is unknown how long ago this story happened, but as it is told, a great famine spread across the land. Fights between surrounding tribes broke out, and all hope was lost for peace and the future of the world.

The chief of the Lakota prayed in a ceremony. A decision was made for two tribal members (scouts) to head out on a quest for food before their people starved to death. Several days into their journey, a beautiful woman appeared before them, dressed completely in white buckskin and rainbow-colored beads that adorned her outfit. In some of the tales, she appeared to float above the ground.

She called out, “You may call me Ptesa-Wi,” translated as the White Buffalo Calf Woman. She instructed them to return back to their camp and prepare for her arrival. She explained, “I have come to Turtle Island (North America) to share the sacred ways with you.”

The two scouts returned to their camp, and after several days the White Buffalo Lady arrived. She opened her bag and took out a pipe. The pipe had a red bowl made from the earth, with unique features: a wooden stem that represents the plants of the earth, sides with carvings of white buffalo calves representing the great animals that roamed the land, and the end had a spotted eagle feather that signified the great winged-creature that soared across the sky.  

She gave instructions on how to use the sacred pipe in prayer, “When you gather together in prayer, smoke from the sacred pipe binds us together with our relatives, our grandfathers, and fathers, our grandmothers, and mothers. We become one family, the children of Mother Earth. When we put aside our differences and unite as one, we are more powerful.” 

She taught them how to use the buffalo so that no parts would be wasted. Similar to the 10 commandments that Moses gave the people of the Christian faith, she instructed the tribe on the seven sacred rites they were to live by to bring psychological, physical, spiritual, and emotional health to themselves and the tribe. 

As she proclaimed it was time for her to depart, the camp was surrounded by an enormous herd of buffaloes. As she walked away, she turned and said, “I will return once again when your people are at a crossroads. You will know it is time when an ivory calf is born.”

She then told them many paths will be presented to them in the future. When the right choices are made by humankind, those of peace and harmony, Mother Earth will heal. But, if the wrong path is chosen, the Earth will be destroyed and all hope of restoring any kind of harmony will be forever lost.

The tale then speaks of the woman turning into a white buffalo calf as she walked away. As the calf walked away, it stopped and rolled on the ground four times. With each turn, she changed color, from black to brown, to red, and the fourth time she rolled over, she turned white.  

The colors represent all races of humankind and the rolling of the calf symbolized each race uniting as one.

The story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman is a great prophecy of our current times. When nearly all hope has vanished, the White Buffalo Calf Woman will return to heal our planet, and she will bring with her unity and peace. It teaches us how we are all connected to Mother Earth, and if we do not change our ways, disaster is our future.

This tale has been handed down from generation to generation, and contains a prophecy we can learn from or we can ignore. We can push ourselves through the discomfort and allow change to happen. We can pull together, or we can tear ourselves apart. 

We owe it to our future children to heal our pain together—united as one. Let us create a story to tell our coming generations on how we came together in 2020, as one family and changed our world. 

Let us take an oath to do better starting today—the oath of compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person.

>> It starts with examining our own personal values and morals. Ask yourself , “ What is the code of ethics I live by?” 

>> When we talk, we want to be heard. Let us give the same respect to others, and stop shoving our point of view down someone else’s throat. Let us open our ears and be willing to listen when people talk.

>> A big one is to educate ourselves before posting on social media. Stop. Do some fact-checking, and not just follow the m(asses)Education unlocks many doors that seem closed in life. We can step out of our comfort zone , expand our world, and possibly even learn a thing or two. 

>> Our actions affect people either positively or negatively, and the little ones are watching everything we do . We may have messed up, but we can teach them a better way. 

>> And we really need to wake up to the fact that the world as a whole is broken. We cannot keep pretending that we get off scot-free just because it is not affecting our little bubble.

>> Lean into uncomfortable feelings. We need to take time to self-reflect on what it is we are uncomfortable about and listen to our gut feeling.  

Within each one of us is a healer—one who provides comfort through compassion and respect. Let 2020 be the year we finally learn the lesson of the White Buffalo Calf Woman and wake the f*ck up.


For some more inspiration: Beyoncé’s Surprise New Song “Black Parade” is the Revolution Anthem we need Right Now. {Music video}


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