Recently, I have had 40 days and nights of deep self-reflection and introspection. In this time I rediscovered my faith in Spirit and Source and have grown immensely as a human in both strength, patience and spirit.
In November 2014, I came home from my employment as an English as a Second Language teacher. I had stopped at the green grocer to buy two big boxes of fruit and vegetables for my family when the storm hit and fist size hail smashed my car. I went and picked up and my young son from child care and it was also smashed up. I arrived home and I called to my older sons to come and help me carry up the fruit and vegetables that I had bought and as they came down to greet me they said, “Dad, the roof blew off.’
I replied, “thats a good chance for a change.”
That was the last day I shaved and the last day that I cut my hair. I took a Nazarite vow from the book of Numbers in the Old Testament and began to grow my hair to affirm my faith as a Rastafarian and Nazarite. On reflection, I believed this gave me the right to smoke cannabis too. I was wrong. I was vain. The Nazarite vow requires that I don’t touch a dead body, don’t cut my hair and don’t drink wine, alcohol or eat grapes from a vine or raisins. I stopped drinking alcohol in 2015. I bought a double decker bus and created the Free Blue Library, giving away donated books as I travelled. However in 2017 I arrived in Nimbin for the Mardi Grass Help End Marijuana Prohibition Rally and met a talented young artist named Daniel. Six weeks later I was going for my morning run when I came across Daniel dead in the street from and overdose of something as he’d chocked in his vomit. I selflessly began resuscitation and his cold blue bare feet began turning pink, but after 30 minutes the police and ambulance arrives and they tried too before he was pronounced dead.
According to my Nazarite vow I should have cut my hair off seven days after that. I didn’t. I was vain. I was selfish. In my recent self reflection, I realise that I had lost my self respect and integrity. I had lost respect for the law and although there may be things in this world that we not agree with, it is still important to offer respect of all things, all people, and all situations and this means to be without judgment and ego.
One important word that I learnt while living in Nimbin was a Bundjalung word, “Gurrimah” meaning: to care for and nurture, to have respect, no judgement and no jealousy. I have embraced this word in my life.
While I was in my deep self-reflection I wrote the following piece of poetry titled “Respect” and I would like to take this opportunity to share it with you as this is a time when we can all benefit from more respect of all living things, and people as respect is a right of all and thus by default it is also a responsibility of all.
It begins with self respect and respecting this sacred vessel of light that Our Spirit and Our Source incarnated into so that we can experience life in this Paradise, This Garden of Eden we call Earth where our temptation is “to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” This fruit is named “Judgement” and with respect, there is no judgement. We all make mistakes. I know I did, and I know I have made many mistakes. So in keeping my integrity and in keeping respect of my faith and my Nazarite vow, I shall be cutting off all the hair from my head, reaffirming my Nazarite vow and being born once more as a child of Source and Spirit YHWH הוה
Respect begins with respect of self, when we nurture our bodies into health
Respect has many elements of compassion that we may never know how another’s life was fashioned
Respect of others has no judgement. Respect of all is like ointment
Respect of women and of men, as the bee, the flower and the rooster, the hen
Respect acknowledges other’s pain, as farmers and fishers respect wind and rain
Respect ancestors, grandfathers and mothers, babes in arms, cousins, sisters, brothers
Respect sees that we are all different and each life incarnate is heaven sent
With respect we all are free to grow and learn, let others be
Respect acknowledges cause and effect, if we disrespect others, others disrespect
With disrespect we fall from grace as disrespect is a loss of face
Respect acknowledges another’s grief, suffering, trauma and belief
Respect is when we quietly listen and learn from others and are not dis-ing
Disrespect is speaking to others bad, makes ourselves look bad and others sad
Disrespect is when we decide to laugh at others and deride someone else’s truth and way of being, disrespect is judgement that we are seeing
Disrespect denies another’s truth, disrespect is judgement and abuse
With respect we learn and know, Respect is how we learn and grow
Respect the guest and the host. Respect accepts and does not boast
Respect others and they will respect you. Humility grows respect in you.
When you make mistakes apologise as it builds respect in other’s eyes
We can’t know everything, all can learn, with respect we are humble and then respect is earned
With respect we self reflect, drop ego and we self direct
As disrespect leads to hurt and pain, grief, loss suffering and is no one’s gain
As sure as Thunderclouds bring us rain, respect leaves rainbows after pain
Respect the rich and the poor, welcome both at your front door
There is no judgement with respect and to judge another is disrespect
Respect is when we listen quiet but disrespect can cause a fight
Respect is free from arrogance and is to walk in another’s shoes and pants.
Copyright 2021 Thundercloud Repairian aka James Arthur Warren aka Mooganaar