By the Light of the Silvery Moon

“For most people, we often marvel at the beauty of a sunrise or the magnificence of a full moon, but it is impossible to fathom the magnitude of the universe that surrounds us.” Richard H. Baker

Full moon

I love to see the full moon. Maybe it is because the moon creates a hole in the blackness. That very idea is inspiring to me. Sometimes life seems very dark. In the dark it is hard to find my way. It is difficult to see what lies ahead. In an effort to hurry through the dark place, I run. Running only leads to tripping. So, I have to be more patient. I have to inch along.

Then the full moon comes out! Things do not seem so dark. I still have to tread carefully, but I can see a step or two ahead of me. It wasn’t my eyes that gave me more sight. It was the universe. The moon reminds me that there is other help. There is more wisdom than I have alone. There is direction to be provided. The universe is bigger than me. It is good to be reminded of that.

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” Lao Tzu

Normal…where is that again?

I have such a strong urge to want life to be normal. For a day to be normal. But, what is ‘normal?’ Who gets to define that? I may want to define it, but in so doing, I could mess up my journey. I might create a beautiful straight, unobstructed path. I guess that could be okay. But I would miss all the adventure and awe of discovering what is around the corner. Of becoming who I am to become.

From time to time, we get to share a part of someone else’s journey. He/she will be the one to trek the entire path, but sometimes we get to walk awhile with them.

Such is my life right now. Walking along with someone I love. Right now, the path is rather dark and hard to see. We are inching along and moving forward. As I try to hold the torch to add illumination, I am inspired by what I see. A life full of courage and determination. A person who does not worry and fret, but who surges on with hope.

“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.” Ben Sweetland

Head in the Sand?

“I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.”  Maya Angelou

I found this quote very insightful. Placing empathy with courage.

The last week or two I have witnessed loved ones go through difficult times. Their challenges were on very separate planes, but life shattering just the same. It has led me to reflect on a few terms.

Understanding- grasp an idea, perceive a meaning

Sympathy-feelings of compassion

Empathy-vicariously experience the same feelings/thoughts/attitudes

It seems to me that these words go in order. For me to reach a point of empathy, I first need to understand. Once I come to a place where I grasp what is happening, then I can have feelings of compassion. Empathy goes further, in that I embrace -not their experience, for it is their journey-but I can ‘hug’ them as I connect to their feelings.

That’s where the courage comes in. The courage to stop my crazy daily rush and demands to understand. Sometimes, I’d rather keep my head in the sand.

ostrich with head in sand

What I don’t know, I don’t have to respond to-I try to tell myself. Finding out about trouble will undoubtably call for response. There’s the courage. Do I have the courage to understand, thereby allowing me to feel sympathy, and ultimately to share empathy?

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Stephen Covey

 

 

Soul Hug

I’m feeling pretty worried and sad as I sit in the hospital coffee shop. My father is down for a lung biopsy as the PET scan had indicated that his esophageal cancer had spread to his lung and bones. I know I am about to lose my last living parent. As a nurse I know the loss would involve pain and suffering.

I am unsure if my hands can hold up my head. They are on either side of my face, covering my eyes as the despair has nearly taken my breath away. Our family had just lost our mother , who died after suffering from Pick’s Disease. Now my father. I remembered that there was a small garden court area at the side of the hospital. I decide perhaps if i sat out there a while my head could clear and I would gather some strength and perhaps some insight as to how to go on.

As I get to the garden a beautiful lady is sitting on a tree bench. I wanted to be alone, but I don’t really feel disappointed. I feel somehow drawn to her.  Then she looks at me, and her smile is so soft, and warm. Her eyes are looking at me with so much compassion I feel my throat constrict and tears well in my eyes.

“Hi, my name is Semesia. Will you sit with me a few moments?” Semesia offered as she gently placed her palm on the bench next to her. “Hi, thank you, I will, but I don’t know if I will be very good company.” I say in return as I sit down beside her. As I sat, I felt an odd energy. Not a tingle really, but some ‘awareness’ that I can’t really describe. It was ethereal.

“I know. Your father is upstairs having more tests. I have been allowed to see you and to encourage you. I know that you have never felt so troubled. You are right, your father will pass. But he will be active until his last couple of days and then he  will be in a coma. You are going to be able to help him. He will feel great love and comfort as you do.

However, the toll on your life will be transforming. I am also to tell you that it will all get worse. Your husband will seek friendship elsewhere. A year after your father passes, you will be divorced from your husband.”

Somehow her words do not knock me off my bench. On some level I think I knew this. I was changing. I was challenging who I had been told to be and discovering who I really was. My husband of 30 years did not like that. It was unsettling to him.

“You have wondered if you are on the right path. Your path to question and seek other ‘truths’ and learn of other cultures. You are doing exactly what you should. While you will experience a couple of years that will be the most challenging in your life, great reward is coming. The freedom you will feel will terrify you at first, but then you will experience its marvels. You will find peace.

Then, I am happy to tell you, that you will have a story book wedding in a castle in Washington State.”

I had never been to Washington. As I was growing into myself, my husband made me feel very bad about myself. I knew helping my father was right, and was determined to continue. I feared the loss of my husband. I was fifty. Who would love me. I had grown up with my husband. How would I ever meet anyone. How would anyone love me, I continued to struggle in my soul.

“I know your struggle. That is why I was allowed to come. My time here is short. Remember, your greatest challenge is in front of you. You will manage it and it will build your strength and your resolve to continue in your quest to become who you really are. And you will do so. It will be your greatest reward. Then your marriage to a wonderful caring man will take you on many fun adventures. From the Castle wedding to voyages, to open conversations and laughter throughout your day. You will no longer have to ‘make fun happen’. It will occur naturally all around you. He will hug your soul.”

She placed her hand on top of mine. And she looked at me-right into my soul. I started to cry. Semesia knew me better than I knew myself. I raised my hands to wipe my eyes and when I opened them, she was gone. I was left with a strange mixture of sorrow and hope.

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/good-tidings/

Clouds in the Sky

“You’d be surprised, there’s so much to be done. Count all the bees in the hive, chase all the clouds from the sky.” Winnie the Pooh sings with Christopher Robin.

I loved Winnie the Pooh and his playful antics. Life was so busy, and he felt so responsible. I imaged that life as an adult would be busy and responsible. But somehow all the work would be fun-like in Pooh world.

I was to learn that life as an adult did hold responsibilities which made me very busy. I just did not anticipate what they would be. They were much harder than I imagined.

My daughter was born with a crippling birth defect and would require 11 surgeries by the time she was two. Her survival and how she felt about her day, depended on me. I had to somehow learn to meet her physical needs, but to also bring pleasure into her sweet life. I learned to have fun while I worked. Exactly as I had been inspired by Kenny Logins delightful song about life. Honey jars get stuck on our nose. Sometimes we need help to get them off, but it is our decision to lick the honey from our lips or to wipe it away.

Troubles are like the honey. Yes the stuck jar is troublesome. But each trouble has a smidgen of honey. Don’t miss the sweet lick.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/adult-visions/

Blind Sight

Watching “The Walking Dead” with my nephew. When the Zombies devoured the helpless horse-hands up, eyes covered, thoughts swarming in my head, “Why am I watching this?” Because I love my nephew, and he loves the show.

The reality is, I can get up and turn off the TV. The instant relief of a changed reality fills my room and calms my racing heart.

Much more troubling is the reality from which we cover our eyes. We don’t want to see it. If we see it, we may need to address it. Best we look away.

In different ways, we cover our eyes to our own reality. Knowing we should get away: from a relationship, a job, a lifestyle. So often our fear keeps our eyes covered. We are afraid to look.

Our reality is not so easily changed as clicking a switch on the remote. Yet, letting the scales fall from our eyes is the first step. Once seen, we can begin the journey of change.

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/cant-watch-this/

 

Goddess Within

 

Waiting for the Wake Up Call

Waiting for the Wake Up Call

“The only thing that is constant is change.” Heraclitus of Ephesus

Yet, the fear of change immobilizes people. I was a part of a very conservative, fundamental, Bible believing group of people for 30 years. The only change they promoted was to continually get closer to God-read more of the Bible, pray more, witness to others more, give more than your tithe,  and attend more and more church supported activities. They kept their children in church supported schools and encouraged their young adults to attend Bible college.

Little discussion occurred outside of their teachings. Science, math, philosophy or history were seldom examined.

When my children were in public school, I decided to attend a local university. I was amazed at the plethora of thoughts, ideas, cultures and religious practices-or of the absence of religious harangue. When I began my career, I became a colleague with people from India, Israel, Iran, Syria, Romania, China, and Turkey. Our lunch breaks were filled with discussion on each other’s countries, cultures, traditions and faiths. I had never been exposed to such open discussion.

Over the course of time, the varnish that the church had layered on my soul began to crack. I began to question old ‘truths’. I wondered about the validity of the doctrines I had been taught. I eventually had to admit that I was out of harmony with those teachings. Leaving the church was not a simple act, as my husband was a minister, and hundreds of people expected me to ‘stay the same’.

Yet, as Thomas Paine said, “The mind, once enlightened, cannot again become dark.”  Enlightenment drastically changed my life. It cost me my marriage. It cost me my ‘friends’. But it awakened a goddess within me.

The photo at the start of my blog represents to me the inner person- who is beautiful. She is magical. She was waiting for me to awaken. Now life is filled with wonder, adventure and exploration.  She is my muse. She was with me all the time waiting for me to notice her and to join her in a new world that is filled with opportunities for change.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/long-exposure/

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