Spiritual balance is complete isolation from negative behaviors. Walking the Sacred Red Road is a good example of avoiding negative behaviours. The spiritual dimension is the development of wisdom, truth, faith and forgiveness. As with the other aspects of self it is a gift that can lead us on positive path if it is nurtured in a proper manner. The spirit encompasses all the knowledge and understanding which creates the wisdom of the human being; it is the connection to the Creator and the spiritual realm. Walking in spiritual balance does not necessarily mean that one has to be religious. Religion and spirituality are two different terms and mean two different things. Religion stems from Christianity and was introduced to many of our people in the now infamous residential schools across Canada and in the United States of America. On the other hand, spirituality is an aspect of our nature. We were born with spirituality and it is a way of life passed on from time immemorial. Spirituality can be defined as any activity or event that leaves us with good positive energy. This can be anything from a nature walk to attending a spiritual ceremony. Our spirit, “Igweemee” needs to be nurtured in order for us to remain healthy. We need to know about the power of prayer, why we pray, and how do we pray. We need to understand about the gift of life then we will begin to understand why we do things. There are no short cuts in life. We need to be prepared for our journey to the other side and this will come in due time. Dying is as natural as being born and our ancestors wait for us on the other side. It has been said, that it is a good day when one of our relatives goes home. Back in the day, it was always a good day to die because our people were healthy and balanced; that is not always the case today.
Teaching the difference between the soul or “Ahchuck” (souls-namesakes) and the spirit or “Igweenee” is important because the soul is formless and consists of attributes of the spirit. We can only know the soul by learning the power and gifts of the spirit. The soul, “Ahchuck” is what defines for us the power and the presence of the spirit. It is the tool we use to have connection and knowledge of the spirit; the soul creates balance with other beings and creation and the two cannot exist without each other, For example the ability to smell, hear and taste are not related to the senses of the soul they are related to the physical body. The ability to close our eyes while in prayer and feel the rays of life that warms us to the inner core, or to feel the words of a spiritual song in your inner core is an example of spirituality. This is the spirit relating to the soul. Another example of a feeling that is connected to the soul is the feeling we get when we lose a loved one; one who had such a connection to our soul that we can feel the loss of that person being pulled from us. We can feel the spirit try to balance that state and create a sense of peace within.
What do we own in life? Nothing! Everything around us has been gifted to us including our lives. Therefore, we need to treat our life as a gift and show Creator how much we appreciate what we have been loaned. A wise Elder once said if we were to count our blessings from the time we woke up in the morning, we would still be counting when it was time to go to bed.