When I first met Linda Redford, a mixed-blood Cherokee spiritual teacher, I was a 34 year old man who felt very alone, unlovable, and certainly not worthy of having any healthy relationships in my life. I was addicted to alcohol and unable to see the damaging path that I was on. Linda first helped me simply by loving me, by taking me under her wing until I was strong enough to love myself. Linda helped me see my value as a child of God. She gently guided me onto a new path, one that was not self-destructive but rather healing and productive. Once I was strong enough to love myself, I was able to work with her to address some very painful trauma from my childhood. These were issues that nobody in my family wanted to talk about, but I was able to openly and honestly discuss them with Linda in the safe space of her office (a modern day Cherokee Peace Village). This led me on a journey of love and recovery, one which will last a lifetime…
But the work with Linda did not stop there, in fact it had only started. She next integrated my three children who are growing up with divorced parents and a blended family. Linda has led me on a multi-year journey to erase the bad patterns from my own childhood, re-educate almost all of my thinking around parenthood, and begin to love my three children in the unconditional way that I had always longed to be loved as a child. I no longer hit my children (or what my family used to call “spanking”), but rather I try to lovingly guide them by establishing healthy boundaries. We have learned to communicate in a peaceful manner, and to honor each other with our words and actions.
There is no question that Linda saved my life, and in the process she also saved my three children. They will now grow up with a sober father who loves them unconditionally, and they will know that they are always safe with me. I am very proud of the man that I have become, the father that I have become… and I have Linda to thank for all of this. Without her Teachings, patient love and guidance, I would not be here today. Her work has enabled me to heal and I hope to spend the remainder of my life carrying on this work of living and loving in a healthy way.