Healing in the Badlands

The Badlands are calling to me, and I must go.

I grew up in Makoshika, the “Land of the Bad Spirits”. I grew up in these Badlands, spending days on end lost in the foothills, spending time with my horse and the spirits around me.

I spent the last week in the Badlands, every day spending many hours horseback exploring the region, seeing new things and taking in everything that I could.

I was guided by an eagle, I was mesmerized by the Meadowlarks song, I saw a mountain lion in the distance, I saw many deer, tons of coyote tracks- and thankfully no snakes!

But what the Badlands taught me, wasn’t how beautiful the land was, but how much I needed to heal.  While I was out there, I really learned a lot about myself, and how I let situations unfold and transgress. It’s time to see through the eyes of that Eagle. See where he is guiding me and what my destination truly is.

The story of Makoshika

A serpent monster, Unhcegila traveled to the region, coming from the Atlantic. After being pushed from the eastern regions into the Black Hills, she settled in the Black Hills and devoured any who stumbled upon her.

Many warriors sought to kill her to obtain a red crystal in a seventh spot on her head which functioned as her heart, as it grants its bearer great power.

Unhcegila was killed by two brothers, one of whom was blind, after a medicine woman gave the brothers several arrows. The brothers fought bravely against Unhcegila, and although didn’t manage kill Unhcegila immediately, they injured her so greatly that she damaged the land as she writhed in pain. When she died, the Sun dried her remains, resulting in the rock formations and skeletons that are found in the Badlands.

This land is sacred to me. It is where I call home, no matter how far I am from home. The smells, the sounds, the sights, the time with my horses and the wildlife. And most importantly- the peace and connection I have with spirit.

When I do my Distance Reiki sessions, I make a mental space- that is my mental Reiki room. This space I built in the Badlands is where I go there when I need to find balance. I go to the Badlands to meditate no matter where I am in this world. That space is my home, my roots and it is what is sacred to me.

So being back there, it was powerful, and doesn’t surprise me that I had a big old life lesson slapped into this experience as well.

Spiritual Growth and Spiritual Healing

Sometimes our shadow isn’t something that we even think is a real thing. We think that we are dealing with our issues, that there is nothing wrong with us or “that’s just how I am” …  This last week, I was forced to see something I had been denying to myself because I didn’t want to acknowledge its existence.

If I hadn’t had gone back, if I hadn’t had desired that last week in Montana before we moved to West Virginia, I wouldn’t had learned this lesson, because I wouldn’t had seen what I needed to see.

People will tend to show their true colors when they feel vulnerable or weak, and how we interact with that is what defines us.

It’s important to stop when you are feeling a flood of emotions and ask yourself “Why do I feel this way” and allow the thoughts and feelings to come back to you and truly understand the reaction. I truly believe there is no such thing as an overreaction, there is just a reaction to the situation as our emotions perceive it.

So, control your emotions, don’t allow them to control you, and see the situation as it is, instead of how your emotions see it.

Spending all those hours in the badlands alone, with no cell service, no people and no interruptions really gave me a sense of who I am; and who I am meant to be. It also gave me clarity on who is in my life and trying to rip me down, and who is in my life for a positive purpose.

It’s time to stop making excuses for people in your life and remove people who are no longer serving your highest intentions. It’s okay to take a step back away from family or longtime friends that don’t encourage you to live your best life, or generally give you good energy. If you are the only person putting energy into a relationship that is positive and uplifting, why are you in that relationship (friend, family, coworker, spouse- doesn’t matter)

You sometimes need to do something that is the best for you- and not for anyone else. Because at the end of the day, you are the one living your life.

Victoria Dellapaolera
Victoria Dellapaolera

Victoria is a Christian minister practicing spiritual healing and development in Williston, North Dakota. Victoria has worked with horses her entire life, and has learned many of her healing techniques from the horses.

She graduated from West Virginia University in 2020 Magna Cum Laude with a bachelors degree in Human Services and Sports and Exercise Psychology; gaining her associates degree in Farm and Ranch Management and Equitation from Dawson Community College in Glendive, Montana in 2012.

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