“We are called to become hollow bones for our people, and anyone else we can help. We are not supposed to seek power for our personal use and honor. What we bones really become is the pipeline that connects Wakan Tanka, the helpers and the community together.” (Frank Fools Crow)
Perhaps I am getting ahead of myself discussing the hollow bone concept this year, in this blog series, but it is on my mind. In seeking love beyond the romantic or erotic, we find the self to be our greatest obstacle. The Lakota Medicine man described a process by which he removed his personal needs in order to serve others. I believe it applies to PTSD recovery.
Reminder: This blog series is dedicated to love, the various kinds of love beyond the romantic and erotic that support personal growth and healing, especially the healing of invisible wounds from Combat PTSD.
One of the great driving forces of Combat PTSD is vulnerability. Combat Veterans are trapped between mistrust of others (who might be enemies) and the vulnerability of being alone. We need to trust others to relieve our feelings of vulnerability of being alone—yet, we cannot rely enough on others to trust our backs to them.
We feel alone and vulnerable.
You might ask how a hollow bone can help. Gotta feel the love.
Survivors of trauma have felt the opposite of love and continue to feel it on a daily basis. Combat Veterans expect people to be dangerous, violent, and abusive. People, putatively created in the image of God, kill people, often for little or no reason.
What, then, is the image of God held by those with Post Traumatic Stress Dilemma?
We need connections. We need windows. We need doors open to love. Make that Love.
Wakan Tanka is the name Frank Fools Crow used for his highest power, Creator or God. The hollow bone is his metaphor for the action of becoming a conduit of Love, a connection between God and people.
The acts of healing as hollow bones also become testimony in action, exemplification of the healing power of Love, the importance of connectedness. He became the connection.
Nothingness became the connection.
Mistrust, loneliness, and vulnerability are products not of nothingness but of stuff, sick stuff like ugly learned beliefs about people and God.
Loving requires removing the sick stuff—cleaning it out as Frank Fools Crow described—in order to allow the power of love to flow through.
There is power in feeling loved, in receiving and in witnessing the healing power of love. One of the dilemmas of Post Traumatic Stress is that those who need love the most can be the hardest to love. We know that. We cannot even love ourselves at times. Only truly hollow bones can share love with a raging Combat Veteran.
There is even greater power in feeling the love pass through, in being a conduit that shares love with another. Some of us find it easier to love pets than people. Dogs bite but people kill. And dogs are loyal. Actually, they are pretty good hollow bones.
Can you be a hollow bone?