Saturday, February 27, 2010

To those touched by sorrow …

exhausted statue

Being the Pollyanna that I am (“let’s play the Glad Game!”), I simply don’t understand the depth of despair and darkness that one must be in to take one’s own life. What a horrible place to be in! Without hope that things will ever get better, in such mortal pain that even knowing that others will be enormously hurt by the act of suicide doesn’t dissuade the person from ending his or her life.

What makes the people of Haiti—many pulled from the rubble, many with amputated limbs, many with no homes or businesses to go to—what makes the Haitians able to continue to struggle on, even to sing as it’s been reported? What makes the Amish families who lost their daughters in a heartless massacre capable of not only coping, but to find forgiveness in their hearts and move on through the pain? What makes any of us reach the depths of despair … yet still trust that things will change, that we won’t always be in this dark place, that even in the worst of circumstances, there is still hope?

And yet others who appear to be in less dire circumstances (emphasizing appear) are incapable of coping and making it through to the next minute. What makes one person resilient and another person fall apart? If we only knew.

I can only sense that it must be beyond any pain that I can possibly imagine, a place where a person feels they have no other option left. My prayers go out to the Osmond and Koenig families as their hearts cry in sorrow for their losses. May grace and peace touch their hearts during this time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It was 20 years ago …

022110 cemetery bouquet

On February 24, 1990, Mom’s physical body died of a massive heart attack, releasing her spiritual self fully, no longer tethered and limited by the physical needs and limitations of a flesh -and-blood body. It’s hard to imagine what that moment of release must be like, but I sense that it’s a glorious and wonderful moment of immense joy and love. I hope it was—and is—that way for Mom and for all our loved ones who have loosed their earthly bonds and transcended the physical world. 

There are those who believe this physical life is all there is and there’s nothing after the body dies. That’s their personal truth. My personal truth is what C. S. Lewis wrote:

“You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.

It occurred to me earlier that when Mom was alive, our relationship was with both of us in physical form; pretty easy to communicate. Currently, one of us is in a physical body and one of us purely spiritual energy; more challenging to communicate. Eventually, our relationship will be with both of us in purely spiritual form; this will probably be t022110 cemetery bouquethe easiest to communicate, with no egos involved, just pure love. That will be pretty incredible, assuming that I have any of this right at all. It’s just something I got a sense of earlier and it seemed like an interesting thought to consider.

Senses – For those who are sensitive to such things, have you ever noticed that sometimes a scent, or a taste, or a touch of breeze can suddenly bring to mind someone who has crossed over? For me, it’s often through my senses that I get a sense of a loved one’s presence. Sometimes, though, there’s no obvious trigger that causes me to sense someone. I’ll be doing something random and my Tia will pop into my head and cause me to smile, sensing her love and maybe smelling her tortillas on the stove. On Saturday, one of my little cousins was wearing a dress with a bow in back and I sensed my Tio Luis and remembered—as if it was happening in present time—how I always preferred that he tie the bow on my dress as a little girl. His brown workman’s fingers were gnarled and twisted; that’s just the way I always knew them, even when he was playing piano. I didn’t know what arthritis was and never really gave a thought as to why his fingers were like that. But with those crooked, bent fingers he’d take his time and tie a big, full, absolutely perfectly straight bow on my dress. Gorgeous!

I took flowers to the cemetery on Sunday to honor my mom and the anniversary of her passage. A lot of people don’t like cemeteries; many say we should bring flowers while our loved ones are still alive. I did bring Mom flowers, and other gifts, too, during her world life. (I read that the Sufis distinguish between “world life” and “soul life.”) One of the first gifts I chose and bought for her was a small plastic statue of the Virgin bought from the religious goods store after catechism one Saturday morning. In my mind, I can still see it on the windowsill where it sat for years and years. Over time, we used to buy one another “for no reason” gifts; I’d see a vase I think she’d like, she’d see a sweater perfect for me. (She was always trying to get me to wear a sweater.)

022110 markerSince she’s living her soul life, though, I can’t buy her a Mother’s Day card or a vase or a pair of earrings. (What use would she have for these anyway?) But I can honor her by taking flowers to the place where we buried the body she used to hold me, to kiss me, to care for me and for all she loved. And I can sit in the sun, scrubbing her headstone with love and respect, spraying it with polish and rubbing and rubbing until the stone is gleaming. I can clear out the overgrown grass and leaves, put fresh water in the container and trim the flower stems to fit. I can kneel and pray and thank her for her presence in my life, for the way she taught me about the Divine and about love, and good times with family and friends. I can let the sun warm my skin … and I can sense her presence when I feel the breeze unexpectedly growing stronger and running through my hair as I kneel and pray—a caress from my mom, my beloved mom. My heart fills with love. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Shower the people you love with love!

Shower the people you love with love.
Show them the way you feel.

Ahhhh … James Taylor, telling it like it is. And it doesn’t apply to only romantic relationships; in all our relationships – family, friends – we should be able to tell those we love that we love them, to be able to share with them how much their presence means in our lives. Rain down the love, people!

As my granddaughter Jasmine wrote when she was about 7:

Love, love
I love to love
My heart goes with me
So I can love
Yes it is true
Because I love you!

There is powerful energy in love, an energy that spreads beyond the people who are sharing in that love. (I read recently that committed couples actually improve the conditions of their entire community – government, schools. churches, retailers - and are a stabilizing factor in it.) I believe that when two people love, their love energy is magnified and spreads beyond their relationship, like happy colorful balloons floating gently out into the world.

Singles (like me) exude a powerful love energy, too, and we love with as much intensity and passion and strength as couples do, but couples—through their intensely personal commitment to be a life partner to another person, to be an involved witness to that person’s life—have an additional capacity to multiply the energy of love for all the world. I love the line from “Shall We Dance”:

“You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."

That is a profound responsibility for one person to take on for another. Wow. There is power and strength in that kind of love for another. I admire people who have found that one person who makes them “zing!” enough for them to want to take on that responsibility, for better or worse, for ever and ever. And I thank people who have found that and made that commitment because we all benefit from it.

So thank you, couples! And even as a single, I will always, always make sure to shower the people I love with love. The more love energy we all put into the world, I believe, the more love there is to counteract the hate and violence of some. Let the love rain down!

linked love hearts

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * *

Tomorrow’s my birthday! I love birthdays and being able to celebrate another year of living a wonderful, blessed life. I am abundantly grateful for my mind, my circumstances, the people in my life, the opportunities, the beauty that each day affords.

Last February 15, I wrote the following on the blog:

Thank you, dear friends. You remind me of all the various parts and history of who I am and who I have been. Each of you holds a different piece. I am abundantly grateful to have you share some part of my life's journey with me. How happy you make me!

Still so true this year, too. Thank you for your presence!


Monday, February 8, 2010

My Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl - stadiumDon’t you love that title? LOL! Sounds like something a third-grader would title a writing assignment, doesn’t it?

I feel like I’ve been so absent here; seems that I haven’t written in quite awhile. I really miss visiting my favorite blogs, too. My new job starts much earlier than my previous jobs did (and still ends as late), so I don’t really have any computer time until the evening. Even then, several nights a week I’m not home until 10pm or later due to yoga classes or visiting my daughter 50 miles away. Weekends are busy with cleaning, groceries, gardening, errands, home maintenance, emails, phone calls, etc. Time flies …

I’m really appreciating that I had the time previously to spend time enjoying others’ blogs, reading their thoughts, their ideas, learning new ways of looking at things. I started Jan’s Meditation Challenge with the best of intentions, but haven’t been able to do it daily. I don’t beat myself up over it; I spend time when I can and honor the practice when I do it. I am going to find a way to get back to reading and enjoying my favorite blogs again. Just have to adjust to the new rhythm and move things in my life around a bit.

Did you have a good Super Bowl Sunday? I’m not into football but I love Super Bowl Sunday because it’s a great day to run around and do errands without the usual weekend customers. Love it. Went to a movie this morning, Up in the Air. Really enjoyed the majority of it. I related very much to George Clooney’s character in the first 95% of the movie; I live very much like that, free to do what I’d like most times, relatively unemcumbered, living life according to my own rhythms, utterly content and thoroughly happy.

Later I ran errands at several stores and enjoyed the light customer traffic and the extra attention the associates could provide in helping me find items. In the afternoon, I met my goddaughter and her mom for mani/pedis. Again, few customers, and the associates were extra-attentive; very relaxing, very enjoyable and my toes and fingers are a happy shade of poppy pink!

I went to a department store to return a blouse and the store was nearly a ghost town. I enjoyed a nice chat with the returns guy and then leisurely took my time browsing through clothes and jewelry.

Time for mass: Wow! Where was everyone? Parking was easy; I got a spot close by instead of out in the field. The church was maybe half-full; usually seating is all taken, and there are a number of people standing in the back. It was really nice and I enjoyed the extra personal experience of participating with a smaller group of people.

It was a smiling-all-day kind of day. I enjoyed every experience of the day, from popcorn to communion. I just spent a little computer time helping one friend with a QA test plan and another with her resume. I plan to spend some very enjoyable time visiting my blog friends this week and catching up. But now it’s very late and morning comes much too early!

Good night!