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There is really only one certainty in life. Life is uncertain. We often live as though nothing will change, but it does. This continuous battle between wanting things to stay the same and finding that nothing does stay the same creates something inside us. This creation of constant change is a movement, a force of nature, and a guiding path.
This movement within us and outside us is the spirit of living, of which, we all take part in. None of us can predict the future. This creates uncertainty on the human level, yet we all learn to trust and even welcome change in the deepest part of who we are. No one is perfect, we wake up each day with the opportunity to create something different in every moment.
When we come to expect the unexpected, we are beginning to trust in a wisdom greater than knowledge to lead us through each day. Religious communities call this the path of God, science calls this higher consciousness, but for our purposes - let's call this the path we were meant to follow with certainty in uncertainty.
To move toward something we cannot see creates uneasiness. This part of us is our human nature. Our human nature wants things in life to be predictable. At the same time, there are things in human existence that we are also glad to leave behind and in the past.
Have you ever noticed how the heart and the mind feel like they are being pulled forward by a magnetic force when we follow what we cannot see or feel? It is as though our whole body/self is being drawn into an experience. This pathless path is one we all take each day and each moment.
Wonder what would happen if you were to live for these moments and find joy in them? I suspect you would find yourself becoming more and more living in the state of anticipated joy. This does not mean that nothing in the future will be sad, but you can begin to accept each moment with anticipated joy in knowing that the awareness of this anticipated joy will fill you. It will be the filling of your body with the joy of living. The joy of living fully in soul. And, the uncertainty of the future will be met with joyful trust that all will be known when the time is right for us to know.
Such a journey was known to us as a child. Do you remember laying on the ground and finding yourself breathing in the aroma of the ground and grass? As an adult, I suspect you don't have such clarity with your senses. Let us never forget that child inside us that knew how to play all day and never tire. Our creativity was endless and filled with anticipated joy in knowing that what was about to be created next would be fun.
Samuel Oliver, author of, "What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living"
Hospice patients come to our care after being cut, burned, and poisoned. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment are the normative methods of care for most of the patients who enter a life-threatening disease. Hospital staff members are trained to be aggressive about curative care.
Hospice care is a phase of care whereby aggressive treatment is no longer appropriate. Palliative care becomes the norm. Patients have been probed physically, mentally, and emotionally. In many ways, patients may be reluctant to any type of care beyond the experiences that led to his/her doctor sharing that no more can be done.
The purpose of this article is to claim that much more can be done. Our Doctors and Nurses are trained to help patients receive medication that stabilizes and even diminishes pain and suffering physically. Social Workers are trained to help patients and families deal with emotional, practical, and legal issues surrounding loss and grief. Spiritual Counselors help with the integration of emotional well-being and a sense of faith and hope beyond one's self-awareness.
The Heart of Care
The heart of care centers it's attention on the needs of the patient who is dying. Any attempt to move a patient away from his/her authentic character becomes a war of wills. As we listen and care for a person just as he/she is, we are allowing a person to die the way he/she lived. Our ability to meet a person in unconditional love will draw out the desire to be fully known by the patient. Here, we are given opportunities to meet him/her in grace and mercy.
Patients are not a disease. Patients are awakening into soul. Mary was a strong-willed person who did not want to die. She had a strong personality. She had many roles she carried out in life, and she wanted to hold on to them all. She was a mother, friend, wife, among many other roles.
About two weeks before Mary died, she shared with me that she became aware of two identities: one was her strong personality and the other was a presence of peace she could not explain. The closer Mary came to her dying, the more she could identify with wanting peace over suffering. This identity with her soul became more appealing to her than living in a body that was failing her. She was awakening into her authentic self.
The Heart of Compassion
A dying patient gives up so much in their dying that he/she is tempted to hold on to what is left in their life. Even if holding on means more pain and suffering, some patients do try to do so. As care givers, we need to be sensitive to this aspect of a patient's letting go process. A patient needs support and guidance to simply learn to move from letting go (an act of the will) to letting be (getting into harmony with one's dying). A person offering care will enter into the heart of compassion by giving a patient space to enter into this process of moving from "letting go" to "letting be."
As a person dies, their personality will give way to their soul. In the process, a heart is broken. This desire to escape a painful body and embrace peace (one's authentic-self) is complicated by the desire to remain with those he or she has loved. This built up tension creates a path one has to choose inside them that transcends individual and collective conscious awareness. In essence, this is a matter of survival for the soul. This path moves a person's soul forward.
Funeral services remind us, it is the soul of a person that draw us to face death and not the deceased body. These services serve as a symbol of transition for the loved one who has died and those reflecting on the life of the deceased. A relationship that once was created outside us and in the body of another person no longer applies. Now, relationships with the deceased are internal and completely within us creating an invisible bond forever linking our awareness to a spacial quality within us drawing those left behind deeper into soul.
An Awakened Heart
An awakened heart knows there is more to life than what appears on the surface.
Dying people lead us to this place where eternal relationships are forged into the deepest aspects of our nature. It is our nature to love and feel love. Even grief has the capacity to deepen our sense of sacredness toward those we love.
A year ago, I gave a talk for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in Los Angeles, CA. I was gone about a week. When I returned, my youngest son gave me a big hug. I missed him and he missed me. I could feel him literally fill my heart with love. In a real way, my soul was touched by my son's soul. An awakened heart knows that this is the heart of relationships.
In the landscape of the soul, what matters in life IS NOT matter. When we begin to look through our eyes and not with them, we enter into a view of life from the perspective of soul. Insight, to see from within, enables us to encounter death with hope, with faith, and with love.
As we grow in our capacity to see from within, we enter into the heart of grief. This emergence into the nature of soul will sustain us through death and into life - eternal. May the Creator of us all give us strength for the journey.
Samuel Oliver, author of, "What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living" and "A Fish Named Ed"
The more you understand about any subject, the more interesting it becomes. As you read this article you'll find that the subject of human beings meeting in soul is certainly no exception.
This is done in several ways:
You can do this as you care for a dying loved one.
You can do this in putting a bandaide on a child who is hurt.
You can do this when you offer forgiveness to someone who has harmed you.
You essentually do this any time you reach out to help someone in need.
You meet in soul when a baby is born.
You meet in soul each moment of living when you remember who you are.
Truthfully, the only difference between you and the so-called gurus is time. If you'll invest a little more time in reading and living, you'll be that much closer to maturity status when it comes to living in soul. Learning how to live in soul requires reflective analysis and the ability to learn from your mistakes. Insodoing, we gain in wisdom through remembering who we really are. The instant we remember we are souls having a human experience creates in us a journey into what is most sacred to us.
This is the key to maturing in soul. "Insight" means to see from within. The moment you begin to see through your eyes and not just with them makes you a visionary. A "Visionary" follows his or her dreams or inner visions within them. This is an "act in faith" as though something is already here before it arrives. At this point, you begin to put into place the details of your overall vision through yourself and others.
If your inner vision involves helping someone, yourself, or something die, you will need to draw much of your attention inward. This will enable you to create a vision that will help someone or yourself find comfort in becoming more soul than body over time. If your task is to help something or an event die, your job is to transform this experience into something different. Nothing stays the same. We are all in transformation. Transformation means to go beyond form. It is out of the formless all things become form. Everyone of us have this capacity.
Somehow, in the midst of change and sharing our joys and our sorrows, our hearts meet to care. This is the level of soul care and soul healing not meant to be understood, but rather, embraced. Here our souls meet and come to fulfill a purpose and a destiny.
Hopefully the sections above have contributed to your understanding of Souls meeting one another. Share your new understanding about Where Souls Meet with others. They'll thank you for it.
Samuel Oliver, author of, "What the Dying Teach Us: Lessons on Living" and "A Fish Named Ed"
Thank you so much to
Pilar Farnsworth, our
dear friend and Associate
Minister at Essentials of
Life Holistic Enrichment
Center, for writing this
week's message for
us. I asked Pilar
to write to us in
preparation for the
Winter Solstice on Dec...
1. Go to a peaceful,
serene spot that you feel
most calm in. It must be
quiet and free of
clutter. 2. Close your
eyes and get into a
position. Take six deep
breaths with a count of
six seconds on the inhale
through the nose and
Comparison in Listing of
Parables & Miracles
quoting scriptures from
NIV (New International
Version) of the Holy
Bible (quoting passages
May God grant you good
fortune & many
good constitution &
Wishing you prosperity,
the better& expansion
of good fortune to the