Read [and reflect on the message below] in the context of your own faith, but with a curiosity, an openness, to hear what Native America has to say, to teach, to share…. When you enter into the mystery of these words for yourself, do so without preconception or judgment. With honesty and humility. Enter the deep earth of our ancient longing and reach for the highest branches of our collective hope…. Take each message as you find it. Let it speak to you directly. Ponder its meaning.
— Steven Charleston in Spirit Wheel
I have visited the land of regret more than once
But have never lived there, for the land is barren
And no person would make their home there
Unless, as the elders say, they have been so focused
On their sorrow and shame
That they have lost their way to forgiveness
The sacred well in any desert
Lost their way to repentance and reconciliation
So they haunt the wild lands of their own memory
Seeking responsibility like a mirage.
Better, the elders say, to let regret do its job:
Be a teacher with a lesson that must be learned.
Then make your cairn to mark your passing
To express your regret, to accept the teaching
And walk on, keeping to the straight path before you.