Inside looking Out
By Dr. Susan Aglukark, O.C.
Emotional boundaries are crucial in helping us to enjoy healthy relationships and avoid unhealthy or dysfunctional relationships;
© John Stibbs 2001
In the article titled Emotional Boundaries (link above to the hiddenhurt website), John Stibbs talks about lack of a sense of identity and how “we tend to draw our identities, our sense of self worth from our partner or significant other as we did in the earliest stage of our biological growth in our family of origin, drawing our sense of worth from their perceptions of us”, for this article I want to talk about our sense of self worth in terms of self worth drawn from our earliest stage of our biological growth and what were their perceptions of us? And in this context I am talking about the first generation of “the new inuk parenting” being the family origin and the place from which perceptions were drawn”.
One of the greatest challenges I faced in the early part of my career was I found I was always second guessing myself, always deferring to the “one’s who know more”, I realized during the course of writing the Arctic Rose album that it wasn’t that they knew more, I just did not “know it yet”, the greater challenge then became, what don’t I know and how do I come to know it? As I set myself on the path of understanding what it was I “did not know” I kept coming back to a void in my life, like a black hole that for a very long time confused me. It was like the answer evaded me no matter how hard I tried to get to it.
I had to this point lived on the idea of “uuktumiaq”, an Inuktitut word meaning to “see what happens”, the danger with this kind of thinking is that we aren’t really committing, committing to the risk of commitment, to the failure of it, I went into the CBC/Dreams For You album recording to uuktumiaq, what followed was a new awakening and it was truly frightening. The process that took place in submitting the demo’s for the CBC album not only awakened the dream again but also showed me that their were people out there who really were out their simply to share their passions which set me on a path of a deeper wanting and wanting to trust and this meant small steps of committing to myself which meant I also had to learn to say no or yes, when I do commit, know what I am committing to and in the process of understanding what I was committing were very small feeling of self worth, self worth turning into sense of self, sense of self turning into who trusting myself about who I let into my life and who doesn’t belong, what belongs in my life and what doesn’t, slowly my boundaries were (re) forming and with them a sense of pride in my accomplishments and than a deeper need to do more, to trust my dream (life).
I guess the question here is (for Inuit) are we the generation that begins to trust the “new Inuk” identity? To replace what should have been “healthy biological growth” from which we might than have been able to develop the “new Inuk identity”? Almost two whole generations of Inuit went without “perceptions of self” during the colonization with which to help create this biological growth, could this be the black hole? I for one commit to filling in that black hole, I commit to taking steps, the chances, the risks, making the mistakes because in this process, I have found myself on this incredible journey.
I am no longer just “*uuktumiaqing” , I am full on participating.
Recap: Don’t be afraid of “perceptions”, be in control of them, challenge them, change them.