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The Emotional work of Stewardship

Updated: Feb 28, 2022

I have been reflecting on the idea of stewardship during those long months of winter. What does it mean to be a steward of land, traditions, faith, and self?

The etymology of the word steward connects to the "responsible use of resources in the service of God." If the word of God feels abstract or triggering, we can think of something "bigger than our limited sense of self". It could mean future generations, land, traditions, or all my relationships (beyond the strict sense of human beings.

Being a good steward not only makes us deeply reflect on our duties, but it expands beyond personal gain or selfish enjoyment. For me, it deeply connects to the notion of giving back and giving forward.

What Peter shares with us here is the necessary inquiry about our doings, our motivations, and our expectations. In a world, deeply self-involved with individuality and individualistic priorities, where the loss of soul has not really been addressed, materialistic gain and personal safety through greed have pushed the idea of collective responsibility to distant edges.

Yet, in the macrocosm of Nature, stewardship through personal transformation (and evolution) is embedded in a collective responsibility (as in inevitable connection). There is no other. And therefore, what I do to others I do to me. Not in an invisible karmic law but in the understanding that we are all dancing on the same web of universal energy.

Because of that, the understanding of others (as of ourselves) is never-ending, and the mystery of interrelationship is never to be fully solved. I can not know you fully, as I can not know myself fully. Therefore, we need to accept to dwell in the mystery of creations, constantly evolving, always rebirthing, and never static.

The emotional work of stewardship is truly an artwork. As is the creation of my life. As is any being that stands in front of me.

Can we lay down our weapons of judgment so we can fully allow the mystery to dwell within us and between us? Can we surrender the ego so our hearts can see more clearly?

We can do this with our own wounded self, with each other, with our garden, with our elders, with our lands, with our children, with our pasts, with our collective traumas, with our bodies, and with all there is.

Maybe only then will we be able to truly be the awakened steward of this Earth


Angell Deer

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