Humanity is Tough

This morning I went to get some candles at a store and no sooner did I walk in that a friend called to meet for lunch.  As I was rushing to exit the store I saw this frail older woman looking at towels by the registers.  I passed her but as I got to the sliding glass doors I was drawn to turn around and go speak with her.  I touched her lightly on her arm, “You are such a beautiful woman.  I am drawn by your light.” In total shock and dismay she looked at me and began to cry.  She couldn’t speak.  I continued while reaching for her hands, “I know you must have looked at yourself in the mirror today and spoke to your image very negative ‘cause that’s what we do, but you are stunning!  I hope you see the delightfulness of your being.”

After she composed herself she began, “I am not half the person I used to be.  A year ago this month I had cancer and my intestines have been chopped off.  I’ve lost over 50 lbs.  Chemo has basically killed me.  I am a walking cadaver.  I am not a young woman and I feel even older than what the image in the mirror tells me.”  I began to cry.  Her words carried such loss, desperation, and a complete lack of faith.  “I shouldn’t be here right now.  I’ve passed my expiration date and cannot understand why I am still here.”

I hugged her tightly and said, “Oh my God, what an amazing and magical opportunity to live life to the fullest.  What an incredible journey full of endless possibilities.  Here you are standing in your glory looking all glamorous with an angel by your side.  What an amazing way to take the world by storm because you have been given a second chance.”  She looked through her tears and smiled gasping for more words.

“Thank you!  Thank you for saying this on a day that I felt was my last.  Lately that’s all I am doing is waiting on death to come get me.  I came to this store to distract my thoughts and here you are telling me such beautiful things.”  We both hugged and cried.  She asked me for my name and I just answered, “It doesn’t matter.  I am you.  You are me.”  Quickly I remembered that my friend was in the parking lot waiting for me.  I kissed her hand, rubbed her face with tenderness and exited.  I was so moved into overwhelming sorrow that my friend thought something had happened to me in the store.

We are a tough bunch.  We are harder on ourselves than others.  We are given a zillion chances to see the positive light of hope, and yet, even with scares and obstacles that we overcome through grace we still decide to live in the past of sorrow.  Our humanity has such rough edges.  We don’t stop to touch another with a gentle word or a smile.  Half the time we rush around like if we were in ant colony looking for food.

Now hours later I think of this broken soul.  I came home and lit a candle for her.  She was my teacher today.  A total stranger lifted my hope, grace, and love.  I’ve been her many times.  We all have had moments of pure desperation, thinking of checking out, rushing out of this world to something calmer to find peace.  She will never know what that conversation meant to me.  I only hope she finds the strength to look inside herself and explore that light that is casting out into this world.  That’s really all that matters.  We are reflections of one another.  In the end all we have is our humanness that connects us to divinity. We are never ever, ever alone.

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Going Home

This morning I am at a loss.  A dear friend committed suicide Sunday night.  A beautiful soul with so much light and love moved on as her spirit was yearning to go home.  We spoke that same morning and I asked her to come visit this weekend for energy work, girl’s time and to be in nature.  She was excited and told me she would let me know during the week.  I had witnessed through her writing the past few months a spiraling downward of hurt, faithless moments of pulling away, and agony for the unknown in this life.  With pure desperation she tried to hang on.  It was too much.  I am saddened by this news.  She will be missed immensely.

She and I never met in person.  She came here last May while I was at a friend’s wedding in San Francisco.  Immediately she reached out on Facebook.  We would write to each other personal messages of inspiration, discussing spirituality and lessons.  We would exchange sites on something that moved us to grow and expand our minds.  In Christmas she sent me a beautiful book by Mark Nepo called The Book of Awakening which I will cherish every day as I read the meditations.  She was an extraordinary woman who got lost in the dark corners of her mind.  But, even with such façade of being upbeat the underlining terror remained.  This is why I reached out to her to visit soon.  I feared the worst.

I, too, have been at that point of hopeless desperation watching the ripple effect of decisions all turning to darkness.  I know everything affects everything.  My checking out would mean I would leave a terror of psychological disturbances for my children, family and friends.  It has been many years since I felt this on my bathroom floor at 3AM.  I understand the need to find peace and consolation.  There are no easy answers. Every person is their own universe trying to explore new terrains, getting lost, and finding a place to land firmly for a while.

Dying is not courageous.  Living is courageous.  The minute we take our first breath it is a journey towards death.  It takes bravery, faith, and desire to remain here.  Often times our spirits have had enough.  This woman knew this as she had a near death experience several years ago in a car accident.  She understood the peace that happens once your soul lets go.  She wasn’t afraid of moving on.  She was exhausted in hanging on.   One of her last messages mentioned how she just didn’t fit here anymore.  I sent her a message of hope.  She thanked me and told me to pray for her.  My spirit somehow knew she was letting go, my humanness couldn’t really grasp it.  Her honesty reminded me of some dead-end moments in my distant past.  On Sunday she seemed better, hopeful, faithful in her words of encouragement.  I will never know what happened during that evening.

Her death has awakened many from the coma of oblivion.  We move through life with our own dramas, twisted plots and characters.  I hope that if anyone is at this place of giving up to please reach out to someone.  My heart expanded last night to her two children.  Her son left a beautiful and powerful message on her Facebook wall.  It touched me with such depth because she left in him the same spirituality she carried within her.  In honoring his mother he will find strength to mold a life of substance and purpose.  I believe it strongly.  She was an amazing mother.

There are moments we look at our reflection and wonder if this is all there is.  Where is youth?  What will happen tomorrow?  What’s the purpose of this terrifying struggle?  What is the meaning and purpose of my life? We have so many questions.  Sometimes the questions are much more relevant than having the answers.  In questioning motifs, decisions, choices, past experiences, and the complexities of our stories we reach a level of growth and understanding.  There are moments we find clarity and moments where there is no light.  Regardless of religious beliefs or spiritual practice we are still humans.  Doubts arise.  The terror of living in continuous pain is too much to swallow.   In our own convictions we turn to God and believe that He will have mercy on us in whatever way we choose to exist…here on earth or in the afterlife.

We will never know the answers to her desperation.  My only wish is that she finds the safety and warmth of Divine light as she returns to the place of Source.  We cannot judge another for the decisions they make.  She will be missed by many.  Her soul was absolutely lovely.  As I return to my prayers this morning I hold her dearly in contemplation.  Rest in peace, my dear friend!  The legacy of your love and life will forever be remembered.  May you guide us to the light when our time arrives! We will be reunited one day….!

“To live in the hearts of others is never to die.”

The Past is a Wilderness Forest

There were times after I left my ex that I was lost. I was completely and indescribably rattled by the unknown future. I had a bleeding ulcer, and other serious health issues. My doctor told me that if I didn’t change the problems that were causing the stress that I would end up in a hospital. I was emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually ill. I chose to leave everything behind. I walked away from all that caused me damage. If it wasn’t for my friends and family I don’t know how I would have survived. Those days now seem like another lifetime trapped inside of a fog. God has a way of guiding us through everything once we relinquish and surrender to Him.

I know what it is to fall into the deep hole of desperation and depression. I read a lot of books, blogs, hear stories from so many, and I see how hopelessness pays us a visit every so often. It’s part of our human nature. It’s the process of our evolution and life experiences. Even after three years I still have days when I feel like my life is slipping away from me. Last week there was such a day when the life force outside of me seemed to suck the inside force. I felt the grip of desperation trying to claw at me. Each time I return to my hometown I go through these emotions. On these days I question myself: What am I doing in this life? What’s my purpose? Am I really living authentically or pretending?

Then I sit quietly for a moment, grab my thoughts, tighten my faith, and visualize exactly how much I’m loving my new life (absolutely authentically!). At times guilt comes in and tries to take over. Yes, guilt…that inexpressible emotion that cuts slowly but deeply like a paper cut from a manila envelope. You know that cut that bleeds just for a second but stings for days when you go near something hot or with alcohol. It lingers to remind you of pain. That’s how guilt is. It lingers even when you try to put on a happy face. This guilt only arrives through ego when all is perfectly aligned in harmony. It basically says, “You don’t deserve this. You need to go find a job and make more money. You are a ridiculous dreamer. How long do you think you can run a place in the mountains? Who’s going to come? And, why?…” Ego has these fantastic conversations with me. I have to hike, meditate, and remind myself that Ego is not in charged. It is in those moments that I step outside of me and be as gentle as I can with my spirit.

I return to the present. I focus on this moment. Last night I watched the movie The Wolfman again. I heard a quote that stuck with me (again), “Don’t bother looking back. The past is a wilderness forest.” And it is. It is a wilderness forest that one cannot see once it’s past a certain point. What’s the point? When do we pass that point? I like to believe we can all live by taking giant leaps of faith; by surrendering to the impossible and then being surprised for every miracle that appears in our way. It is then that we can lessen the days of guilt, desperation, depression, anxiety and fear. There are choices in how we live our lives. Don’t let Ego decide for you!