By Vince Dumond. Catalyst, Abnaki.
Prior to attending the Legacy Discovery weekend my life was a mixture of loneliness, chaos, bitterness, coldness and suppressed anger. My relationships were tense, distant and full of surface conversation. I felt uncomfortable to discuss the painful, anger-filled wounds, which had happened to me throughout my life. I did not know how to have an adult or mature masculine interaction or connection with my wife, daughters or my male friends. My life reeked with isolation, and I often stonewalled conversations in order to avoid dealing with hurt from my past.
Ritual and tradition took on new meanings and depth when I fully engaged in my first Legacy Discovery weekend. I learned a little of the rich history of MDI through the customs and habit which give the weekend depth and soulfulness.
The first time I shared my deepest fears and shame with another man was at my first Legacy Discovery weekend. He was a man who was about to dive into the waters of the weekend with me. The sharing conversation we had proved to be the first of many powerful and meaningful encounters. That weekend led to a deep, life-long friendship with many men who joined me on that journey.
Throughout the weekend, honour became much more than a word used in empty sentences. It became something I could feel throughout the weekend as I, along with the other men, discovered how powerful I felt when I became vulnerable. I discovered strength in talking about my weakness. I became proud of my family history, which had been, for me, full of shame. Punctuality became more than being on time. It became a code of honour and a mark of integrity for my circle of men. It became a badge of respect for the men as we learned to work together, for each other and as we learned to be sensitive to each other’s needs.
My honour was never at risk because I could feel the respect and dignity shown by the training team toward all of the new men encountering the weekend. My own integrity became established when I could tell my truth, my deeply held shame, in the presence of trusted men. I learned to speak the essence of my truth without storytelling and too much detail.
I learned to listen to the emotional release of men, healing from years of pain and wounding. I experienced the healing power of weeping and felt the potent support of men who provided comfort and curative support, all in the strictest confidence.
Throughout the days and weeks following the Legacy Discovery my life transformed to a mixture of gratitude, joy, meaning and ability to listen deeply. My relationships took on a feeling of honesty, maturity and adultness. I felt comfortable to discuss my painful, anger-filled wounds with my wife and my daughters. My comfort levels increased dramatically when the men on my team showed emotion. My empathy for other’s pain began to bloom. Throughout the Point Program, I discovered my ability to step up to the plate for leadership roles, accept and own my mistakes. I began to demonstrate repair, to the men on my team, if and when I had broken the team’s honour, integrity or respect. I learned to clean up to restore the honour, respect or integrity of the team. My transformation continues to this day, with the support of the men on my team and the men in my tribe and division. I continue to attend and take part in each and every Legacy Discovery weekend to this day.
Taking part helps me to become the man I always wanted to be.