Finding Love and God

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Some believe that God is Love.  Love is God. That beyond the thin veil of the physical world lies a world of endless Love, eternal Peace and Divine Light.  I am one of those people. I am not preaching, I am just sharing my belief. I often say to my hospice patients and families that Life is the hard part, beautiful, bittersweet and messy.  Life is what breaks our hearts and opens our souls to grow and in doing so we are able to contain more Love.  More God.  It is a challenging business, having these physical bodies.  They are demanding and often damaged -but offer us insight into Love that we cannot have on the other side of God’s creation.  The gift of the physical world has such an allure that we crave to come here, to become more, to rejoice in our pain and suffering because it will bring us closer to Love and God.  Sometimes this is so hard to imagine, so hard to accept.  And I will be the first to admit it.  Yesterday I drove past a former patients’ mother.  I pulled to side of the road, and she did too.  We embraced for the first time since her 44-year-old son died, her husband just three weeks before.  While I cared for her son, he became my boy too, her sadness mine, such a hard goodbye. He now lives in my heart too. Words were difficult to find as we embraced, but she said, “We love you.” And that is what it is about, finding Love in all the good and all the bad and all the moments in between.  Love.

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Blessings

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Work has been a whirlwind this summer and yesterday was no different except for the fact I actually stopped to pick up some lunch.  We are allotted a half hour each day but most of us keep a stash of snacks in the car and never truly indulge.  It was Friday, and for that reason alone I stopped to catch my breathe.  My hospice work encompasses the emotional wellbeing of not only my patients but their family members as well, when I ask someone how they are doing it is not a perfunctory question, it is a door I open and walk through many times a day.  It must be something in my inflection though because when I asked the cashier “How are you?” He very quietly and sweetly responded, “I’m blessed” It took a moment for this to register in my brain, it was not the response I had expected, I looked up and met his eyes, deep pools of brown. In an instant I was reminded of how blessed I truly am. I have three grown boys who are my anchors in this life, a peaceful homelife, a dog and a kitten who think I am the ultimate feeder, friends who remind me of my purpose and a connection to the Divine that sustains me amidst the chaos of this world. All my blessings came into view with his response.  I smiled and said, “Yes, I am blessed too, thank you for the reminder!”

He then said, “So many people forget, you see it in their faces.” His name is Darnell, which means “hidden” and I think he is one of the wisest people I have met in a long time.  Working with the public is a daunting task, the interactions can be so impersonal, but here is a hidden beacon of wisdom ready to remind us, “we are blessed!”

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Kitten from Heaven

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Sometime ago I decided it was time for another kitty.  I dreamt that my father, who has passed came to me with two kittens as an offering. It was one of those dreams that felt like a visit, like I had actually spent time with my Dad.  One of my childhood memories was him taking me to pick out a kitten, the sign “free kittens” was on the side of the road and I had spied it earlier when out on errands with my Mom.  My Dad was not a cat person, although he loved animals, we had a pony, chickens and dogs to boot.  That evening he drove me in his VW bug to the place where the sign was, I picked out a beautiful calico female, I don’t remember her name, I think I was in the first or second grade. So, when my Dad visited me recently with an offering of kittens I thought perhaps he was arranging something….

I went to several shelters, filled out applications even agreed to take a stray, but everything fell thru.  This past week I gave up, but for some reason though I left the cat carrier in the car. Tuesday afternoon I got a text that there was a kitten in desperate need of a home, she was found roaming around by some kind-hearted people who couldn’t keep her, and the shelter was full. She needed placement that very night, so I agreed to take her sight unseen.  It was just a feeling I had, she was meant for me.  Just so I was sure SPIRIT sent me two signs, first the lady who contacted me is named Celeste- which means, heavenly! The second sign was she lived off Hyannis St. I grew up on Cape Cod and Hyannis is one of the well-known towns.

Misty Lou is a doll, loves people, is playful and purrs. Abby our dog is so excited to have a new friend and she is slowly warming to her. No one seems to know where she came from, but I do. Thanks Dad!

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Stories we tell ourselves

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How we define who we are is often generated by our past experiences. In hospice we often encourage people to share their stories, their “life review”.  Humans love stories, oral tradition has been alive since the experience of conversation.  Storytellers are found in all cultures, people who would express the experience of their culture.  The Bible is full of stories, allegories, to teach us, to help us better understand the human condition, our place and our connection with Spirit.

So often when people who are dying tell me their stories, these are most often the stories of LOVE, moments in their lives that made their life meaningful, deep.  The true essence of who they are and will forever be.  The focus on LOVE is essential to finding PEACE in our hearts.  FORGIVENESS is a path to PEACE.

So, throughout my day, I find sometimes I tell myself stories that are not based in LOVE.  I tell myself stories of being wronged, past hurts, unforgiveable slights, painful moments.  When I do this, I give power back to those moments, I infuse them with my energy, draining myself.  If I focus on stories of LOVE, moments that brought me JOY, I am fed, my soul is full.

Personally, the little voice in my head often likes to conjure up the trials and tribulations that I have endured.  The little voice in my head gravitates towards the past that causes me to relive the pain. I now tell the little voice, if you were a friend, a physical friend, I would not want to spend time with you as you my little friend are a downer.  This sometimes quiets that little voice.  A mute button would also be helpful.

We all have moments of challenges, painful memories, that’s life.  Here is where the stories we tell ourselves are so important.  Moving through and beyond painful things is essential for our own well-being.  The past cannot be changed, only how we relate to it can.  Giving energy to a situation that already hurt us, rekindling the fire of pain is pointless.  It changes nothing and sucks the JOY from our day.  Here is where FORGIVENESS arrives, it is something to practice, like the scales in piano lessons, it gives us a foundation to write a new song, a new and lovely melody that fills us with GRATITUDE.  It is a gift to ourselves, it is worth unwrapping.  FORGIVENESS is not forgetting, it is releasing the energy that we associate with the story, it is saying, yes this happened, but I no longer focus on it, I no longer feed its effect on me, I release it from my heart to make room for things that enrich my HEART and SOUL.  FORGIVENESS is a form of self-care, self-love. Yes, we are worthy, and loveable. When we LOVE ourselves, and care for ourselves, the world responds in kind.  Truly FORGIVENESS is the path to PEACE.

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Glimpses of Eternity

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I’m reading a book by Raymond Moody “Glimpses of Eternity” (lifeafterlife.com). It is his research about people who have share deathbed visions/experiences. These people are not the dying but the loved ones who are engaged with the dying person.  This was new information for me. I have been at bedside when a patient has taken their last breath and never experienced any of these things, perhaps it has to do with the emotional bonds, I don’t know.  In any case, it is a wonderful book about the mysteries of dying.  It got me to thinking about how often we wish to know what comes next, the search and longing for answers.  I have had glimpses into Eternity by other means, lucid dreams, synchronicities, signs and symbols etc.

I realized when reading this book that part of the Magic of Life is the longing for the Mysteries to unfold.  Often people who have had NDE or near-death experiences state they cannot fully explain the experience because our human mind cannot comprehend the experience and we simply don’t have the verbiage to explain it.  “The Peace Beyond All Understanding” comes to mind, that the answers to our questions are so complex that in our human form we are too limited to truly understand.

I love the fact that there will always be more to learn, to explore.  That what we believe now and has been proven by science or experience can change and transform as our understanding unfolds.  How boring our lives would be if we knew everything, if the Mystery and the Magic disappeared.  I am grateful for all the experiences of Spirit that I have glimpsed. Life can be unimaginably challenging and painful at times, our heart shattered into a million pieces of Light.  The Light may scatter for a brief moment, but it always finds its way back.  It reforms a stronger more tender heart, once broken you will never feel the same as you are transformed deeper into the Mystery of Life and the Afterlife. Growth and Expansion of our Soul is the side effect of Life, it is why we came here.  There is Divine purpose to all of this, even if we can only get a glimpse.

 

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the Awakening of Love

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I should be amazed, but instead as I see the CROW once again as I pull up to my patient’s house, I just smile. The CROW has become my helper in my world of hospice.  I know when he arrives he has come to bear witness to the passing of one of my patients. He is busily at the neighbor’s birdfeeder, much too small to support him he tips one way and then the other. Again, he is silent. We exchange a glance, I say ‘hello’ and know this is the last time I will be here.

This lady was beyond strong willed, her body let go days ago but her spirit was not ready to take flight.  Her beautiful and attentive daughter stood vigil waiting and wondering when she would take that last leap of FAITH.  She was waiting, waiting for her son who she needed to say goodbye to. Waiting for her son who had resisted coming to the bedside because they had had many unhealed issues. Finally, after much coaxing he came, no words from her as she was too far into the transition, no words but an exchange of LOVE and HEALING happened anyway.  She needed to feel his presence, to feel the underlying LOVE that was shrouded by years of misunderstandings.  One last exchange of LOVE between a mother and her son set her free.

Families can be complicated for certain, and the dynamics often become more intense when death is at the door.  Grief is the B-side of deep LOVE, not the favorite song, not the one we want to hear, but it is there none the less, because in our world of duality there is always a flip-side.  Clearing out the issues before someone passes, giving ourselves the gift of forgiveness helps in that we can process Grief without regret.  Truly LOVE is all that matters, it is who we are and where we return to.  Life is the dream of LOVE and Death is the awakening back to LOVE.

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Coffee and Tears

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Processing world events through coffee and tears this morning.  Two high profile suicides have brought a myriad of emotions to surface in the faces around me and in the mirror.  It is a human frailty that I have touched upon before and in fact have written a novel about, suicide has touched my life before this week, as I imagine it has touched many of you.  It causes me deep sadness, on many levels, as often it was a solo act done in despair wrapped in an imagined eternal darkness.  I do not know to what place one goes prior to this act, I can only believe it is a place beyond understanding, it is the desire to release oneself of all consuming pain.  Those who have survived attempts often say “I just wanted to get away from the pain…”

BUT Suicide spreads the pain, we all feel it, it reminds us of our own fragile moments, when the dark night of the soul enveloped us and tried to convince us there was nothing more.  It spreads the sadness that we somehow failed each other, failed to recognize the need of another.  If nothing else we are here, together, on the wondrous Earth, in all its beauty and chaos.  We are here together for a reason; no man is an island.

There is never too much kindness or compassion in this world, and a simple act of either can change a person’s perspective of their darkness. A smile, an acknowledgement of acceptance, a hug, can build a bridge between despair and hope.  We are together for a reason.  If nothing else, to help each other in our journey back to the Light.  The Darkness is never total, The Darkness never wins, even after Suicide there is only Healing, and the return of Hope and Love in the Light.

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