In Anishinaabemowin, “debwewin” can translate to the English word truth. However, the word debwewin is much more nuanced than the opposite of false. I was taught by a language knowledge keeper that the word itself can be broken down to morphological elements: deb – to a certain extent, we – sounding through speech, and win – a way things are done. Hence, the word debwewin actually means speaking about how things are done and experienced by yourself. In her book, “Decolonizing the Human Spirit”, Dr. Lynn Gehl beautifully refers to debwewin as the “heart song.” To me, this means that in order to live a healthy and balanced life, one must live and speak from their own heart.
There has been many times over the years that I have not lived or spoke from my own heart. I let other people, both those close to me and complete strangers, determine how I should live and experience life. I was no longer living life according to the Seven Grandfather teachings of Truth, Humility, Respect, Love, Honesty, Courage, and Wisdom. I was promoting “a good life” in a Western sense for my Western job and studies, but I was neglecting to listen to my own heart song and Anishinaabe worldview of “a good life – mino bimaadiziwin.” This threw my life out of balance and I am now only circling back to regain and regroup in various ways that you will soon read about.
My incredibly wise and culturally aware therapist has suggested that I find a creative outlet to balance the commonplace aspects of my life. Those aspects that may still be influenced by other people or aspects that I may not necessarily have control over. Aspects that I once had so much passion for but are now shifting into something much more meaningful. So this is it…this blog will act as this creative outlet.
It may not be through literal speech, and instead written words, but I invite you to listen to my heart song.