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Blood Lines
these are the words that i wake up to every morning:

''you stupid ugly halfbreed.....i hate you''

whenever i look in the mirror....whenever i look at my reflection in a puddle....all i can see is myself. That dosent sound bad, no? Well it is bad when your body dosent look right......or when you don't meet the ''perfection'' that everyone expects you to be......

when i was a kid.....all the others would make fun of me....because of my long curly hair....my skinny body.....anything that they could find was fair game. my father did the same thing....''you stupid idioit....you are a pig....you are worthless....''

very soon i believed what he said. his words still haunt me today.....in the back of my mind....or when i look at the mirror in the morning.....

''you stupid ugly halfbreed....i hate you''......again and again and again......

so when i was younger.....i tried hard to be white like my dad and like everybody else. my mom pretended to be white really well, so why couldint I? so i did.....for awhile....until i discovered that i couldint pretend to be something im not.

so then i was confused......even more than before......about who I am.....or even what I am.....

then...slowly....my great-grandmother told me the stories from her youth....when it was illegal to touch white people.....it was also illegal to walk into the city....or else the Ku Klux Klan would hang you. she told me about the camps outside of Memphis where she lived.....and how they lived in total poverty and only recieved a bag of beans every month from the BIA. but she also told me of her love.....for her people....for my people.....

she taught me to be proud of who we are....to thank the Creator for what He has made us.....and to rely on Him when we struggle.

then i knew....i didint need to pretend to be white anymore.

still.....there are struggles from day to day.  when i meet other natives....sometimes even Native Christians....the first word out of their mouth usually is ''dont tell me.....your Cherokee, right?'' ....as if my light skin automatically makes me Cherokee. this attitude is everywhere....it cant be escaped.....there is a very good chance...that for the rest of my life.....i will be branded a ''wannabe'', even though i have a higher blood quantum than most people with CIB numbers.

so now the tables are turned ! i cant pretend to be white....because im not....and people look at me funny when i tell them that im native....so now it seems im "lost in space"......no place to call my own....except........

my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ : the Son of the Creator and our mediator to Him. His is our Healer and our Medicine in one. For Him, I am ever thankful. i know.....that even when my family abandons me, because i refuse to pretend, He will accept me. When my own People are uncomfortable around me, because i cannot change my skin color, He will accept me. He will never let me down.....He will never abandon.....He will never refuse. So it is to Him that I look for wisdom....to Him I sing my praise.....to Him I shall worship forever......

the rest of the world may scorn me.....my own family may hate me.....but this Tsalagi will continue to sing to His Savior....even if the whole world were to come against me.

so now....when i wake up in the morning.....and i look in the mirror.....my father's accusing words still echo through my mind.....the words of the adversary himself:

''you stupid ugly halfbreed.....i hate you''.....

....but now....those words are replaced with the words of my Creator Himself:

''my precious and beautiful child....i Love you, and I will never leave you....I will guide you, comfort you and hold you all the days of your life....from here on into eternity.....you are my child.....you are my blood.....you are my Tsalagi a'yaw'li.....''

so i smile...and i say........''wa'do ah'doo'di...wa'do.....''

and i know....at long last......i have been accepted.....not by man....but by the Creator of the Earth Himself....at long last....i have made peace with myself.

Wa'do ah'doo'di

JR