(804) 928-3189 BethHedquist@gmail.com

The past couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions.


As I shared in my last blog, I began by fully feeling my grief…. grief for all those in fear and pain over the election results, for those who would potentially be hurt through new laws that discriminate and reject. And for those who are currently being hurt by human rights violations.


I could feel that part of me that identifies with the victim. The one who has been subject to the cruelty and indifference of others, and hurts for those experiencing that today. The Pathwork teaches me that although I have access to the part of me that identifies with victimization, there is also another part of me that identifies with the perpetrator.


This is the part of me that defends by inflicting pain and cruelty on myself and others. So after feeling a good deal of grief, I tapped into my rage, my judgment, and my desire to attack those who are inflicting cruelty on others, and for those who hold different political views than I do.


Being honest that this lives in me is a challenging stance to take, as I have to face how I hurt others in the same way I have been hurt, and the remorse I feel for that. I know both the victim and the perpetrator in response to this political election and in my life in general.


While this kind of self-responsibility is challenging, it is also freeing. When I am willing to own both these parts in myself, I find my connection to another part that lives in me — I’ll call it the Healer.


The Healer is not the codependent urge to fix, rescue, or “help” another in order to distract from or alleviate my own pain, fear, and guilt. 


I embody the Healer when I have the humility to acknowledge I am connected to all victims and perpetrators on the planet, that I am no more or no less than they are. I then feel my longing to bring love, compassion, and forgiveness to both of these parts in myself and also to others. But I cannot embody this place without first feeling the pain of my victim and my perpetrator. Ouch!


Such has been my process the past two weeks, and as I have moved through the complex array of emotions I have found myself feeling increasingly drawn to the Standing Rock Sioux Native Americans.


They are engaged in peaceful, prayerful, nonviolent protection of the water of the Missouri River against the Energy Transfer Partners who have already desecrated sacred burial grounds in laying portions of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Next they intend to drill under the river, thereby risking water contamination that would affect the Sioux and all peoples living down river. It would also express a blatant disregard for the sovereignty of this great nation of Indigenous Peoples.


If you’d like to learn more about the Dakota Access Pipeline and the ongoing illegal actions and human rights abuses directed against the Standing Rock Sioux, I encourage you to read more here.


Long story short, I have been deeply moved by the energy of the Healer embodied by the Standing Rock Sioux. I am inspired by their commitment to prayer and peaceful nonviolent action calling for the opening of hearts in justice, respect, and the protection of Mother Earth. I am amazed that while our country is so deeply divided, the original inhabitants of this nation stand united in strength, faith, and truth.


And so, along with thousands of others around the world, I have decided to travel to North Dakota on December 14th to stand alongside these courageous people.


Accompanied by my daughter Melissa, who I am so proud of, I will be spending a week supporting them in any way I can. I don’t expect it to be a walk in the park or another exciting vacation. It’s very cold up there this time of year. The situation is very tense. I have never attended a protest in my life. I still experience waves of grief and anger and fear.


But I am not a victim. And I am not a perpetrator. I know how these energies live in me, but I can feel the call of something much larger than these parts, and as much as possible I want to live from that place.


How familiar are you with your inner victim? Your perpetrator? 

Have you also connected with the deeper reality of who you are underneath these roles?


Would you stand with me as I travel to Standing Rock?


There are many ways you can do this without traveling to North Dakota yourself. You can click here to learn about the many ways you can stand in solidarity with this movement.


My daughter and I have also created a GoFundMe campaign, and if you feel called I would greatly appreciate any donations you might have to offer. I am covering all of our traveling expenses, so any donation you might make would go straight to Standing Rock to support the various needs of surviving winter in North Dakota and continuing their resistance.


Click here for the link to the GoFundMe campaign.


I will be honored to offer my support to the Standing Rock Reservation, and Melissa and I would love to personally bring your financial donation to the camp (we’re flying so there is no room in my suitcase for other types of donations.)


I also ask for your prayers — not only for myself and my daughter, but for all the Indigenous People and their allies in North Dakota and around the country. And for prayers that our country would take a lesson from these wise people, and that we can come together in a peaceful, prayerful, nonviolent way that will bring healing to the division that separates us.


It’s almost Thanksgiving. This year as I prepare to travel to North Dakota, I am particularly grateful for the Pathwork teachings that have shaped and guided my life, and for the spiritual community that holds and nurtures me.


I wish you a warm and wonderful holiday with family and friends. May you know gratitude for all the abundance that is yours, and may you know the strength and the power of love that lives in you.


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