Posts tagged blessings

It’s All in How You Look at It, the Blessings

I asked Kenny what to write about to begin the process of ending this book and he said, “What if you were to look back on your life and your relationship with me and my illness and my death and all the learnings you are now aware of as blessings?”

This is for a later chapter, but that reminds me to mention here that I am convinced blessings reverberate throughout the universe. Can you embrace that! Isn’t that remarkable to contemplate? Same is true of negative thoughts. Throughout the ENTIRE universe! No wonder the title of one of John-Roger’s award-winning books is You Can’t Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought.

The blessings:
As noted in the New Day Herald article earlier in this book, Kenny was as much looking for me as I was for him. Our friends thought we’d make a good match and if you believe that blessings ripple throughout all creation, then it must be true the entire universe was lined up to support the match. The blessing? We both were in the right place at the right time to do the right action—to find each other.

Our friendship grew rapidly from spending time chatting about our interests, which had proved to be similar in many ways (or so our minds construed them to be) to within a month holding hands after a sumptuous Thanksgiving Dinner. The blessing? Time stood still that month while we meandered through tales of our lives together. While we found infinite ways to drink in each other’s essence. While we filled ourselves with memories of the last encounter until we would be steeped in the next one. It was as if we had known each other since before time.

And indeed as noted earlier in this book, we assisted each other in dying at least thirty-five lifetimes prior to this one and we had been together in one way or another for at least one hundred lifetimes. It was as if we had known each other since before time!

On Leap Day 1996 at Beloved Windermere Ranch, just three months after we first held hands, Kenny proposed to me. Those three months flew by dotted by a trip to my cousins’ for Christmas where he met my family for the first time, and a New Year’s celebration at home-sweet-home and many evenings pouring over projects for which he was my volunteer at the seminary. I hadn’t said yes yet. Having been married twice before and witnessing others take their vows, and the karma that went with them, it took another two months for me to finally agree. The blessing? Patience? Or is it blindly sitting on the conveyor belt of the march toward matrimony? Perhaps the blessing is the ability to see but not see. To know on one level the lessons and blessings that were to streak through the sky like Haley’s Comet racing to earth once the legal deed was done, and on another level to unconsciously ignore the star shower as each day rolled by.

I think it was the latter—for we made our bed (carved out the karma), we lay in it (met the karma with the best each of us could give to it), and what was to come was a marriage of multidimensional awareness (oblivious to solutions in the physical but willing to slog through it on every other level) that got richer with each passing day.

The marriage vows were deep, the Traveler’s blessing was profound, our purpose on earth in this lifetime was being played out, unraveling a blow-by-blow battle of wits, habits, untruths, blind furies, and pull-no-punches protective maneuvers, while our Souls were dancing with delight that we’d found each other, that someday soon, not more than fifteen years later, it would all become crystal clear why in the first place the match was made in heaven.

Yes indeed, we would culminate this agreement to go into the Heart of God together by completely abandoning our conditioned relationship for one of unconditional loving, gratitude, selfless service, single focused, tenderness, depth of understanding and oneness. As for my multidimensional abilities, all this wonderment was rolling by like a 16mm movie projection while my body and mind did the tasks at hand to care for Kenny, and my emotions tried to negate the depth we were experiencing on other levels—I kept busy doing tasks that would push my grief away. Amazing how this happens. It is a result of damaged nerve pathways which limit the types of responses one has toward traumatic or even just any powerful experiences.

The blessing: to at the very least, know one is experiencing multidimensional awareness. And to at most, have profound gratitude to God, to the Christ, to Kenny’s Soul, to my strength and endurance to emerge from the most powerful era of my life to date, whole and acutely aware of the deep and no-turning-back learning, releasing, healing, blessings that have been and continue to be bestowed upon me.

I can truly say I am more conscious of both my strengths and my weaknesses than ever before. I can truly say the lessons are more tender than ever before, mainly because I am spending more time in my observer consciousness, watching how I respond to situations and circumstances. And in midstream, I’m more willing to try on new behaviors that I could not even imagine myself doing before.

Most profound is my willingness to come into the loving, even when there may be friction, maybe an insult here and there, maybe a jealousy coming my way or projecting out from me. In the last year I have consciously brought the loving to some challenging relationships in my life. And that loving has changed these relationships dramatically. With one of them, I no longer see the other person as trying to control me. With another, I forgive their lashing out at me for unexplainable reasons. Yet another was transformed by consciously coming into the loving whenever I felt left out or jealous. Compassion works wonders also. It’s really a special kind of loving where our consciousness moves into the oneness and understands the other person’s predicament or their response or their weakness. Our heart goes out (at it were and perhaps more than figuratively) and in that oneness we embrace who they really are, who we all really are: Spiritual Beings having a human experience.

I am blessed beyond words. My husband died, my life opened up in ways heretofore unimaginably positive. I experience more joy, fulfillment and neutrality than I could have wished for before his illness and transition. Our nine months of complete and utter devotion to his living as long as he possibly could, my complete and utter surrender to my role in his life, and the prayer that emanated from our depths paved the way for miracles of awareness and enlightenment and prepared me for the greatest awakening of my life.

Kenny even found his way into my father’s consciousness. In messages since his passing, he told me my relationship with my father was getting closer. That my dad was nearby working with me like Kenny was working with me. This opened a huge space in my heart for the loving compassion that my father deserved. Having seen mortal combat in World War II, he came back a broken man. Now they would call it Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Then their only tool was pity. Much like my nerve pathways were blocked, I imagine his were also. So demonstrating affection toward his daughter was probably out of the question. All these decades since he died, in my own way I have abandoned my father, much like I thought he had abandoned me when he went off to war and came back two years later unrecognizable to my two-year old self.

These realizations are blessed with healing and upliftment. I think of my father today and instead of stoic resignation of my loss, I extend affection and love and softness with an embrace of acceptance and tenderness. And I feel that coming from him wherever he is today. Here’s a piece from Kenny’s messages that reflects this part of my story:

5/20/12
Kenny can you help me contact Daddy tonight?
Sweetie Carol, he’s right here blowing you kisses on your birthday. He wants you to know you can contact him directly whenever you want to and he’s loving you and the work you did this weekend. He will care for your little one. He will show you how to love her and dissolve all the misunderstandings about your body. He will bring you healing in your dreams and open up a new way of loving yourself like never before in this lifetime. He says you are loved because you are divine and oh so precious to him. You are our sweetie Baby! Together along with Cherish, we will fill you with the loving energy of your father here and in heaven such that you are so very fulfilled. God Bless You, We Love You, Peace be Still.

The blessing: I’m still here to record these miracles. I’m still here to experience more joy and more fulfillment, and even more happiness as I move forward in my life. I’m still here to keep activating my ministry every day, keep realizing more and more of its power. And when it’s my time to leave this planet for the last time, may there be a smile on my face, Light in my eyes, and a prayer in my heart to reach up into my High Form and meet those Angels Kenny told me about who will gladly welcome my Soul into the Heart of God.

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What Will Quiet the Avalanche of Tears?

The last three days have been excruciatingly painful. I cry about just about everything. Remembering how Kenny’s body lost strength, lost muscle, lost blood, and that was just what I could see with my naked eye. Every day was its own reality. Slowly each day he couldn’t do something he could do the day before until I was moving his arms for him and lifting his head for him, and feeding him and wiping his face and helping him cough and breathe easier.

Today my friend Muriel came over and for about the fourth or fifth Tuesday in a row she has been helping me sort out medical bills and calculate assets, and researching information, and today she spent the entire day editing a letter I feel obliged to send to the clinics that Kenny enrolled in to see if they could help turn around the cancer. That made me cry out of gratitude. And when Gail and Yvonne took me out to see the Renoir exhibit at LACMA tonight, that made me cry.

Suddenly I will flash on there’s no return from here. We can’t make up and then he’ll come back to me. I won’t see him walk in the door and kiss me after a day’s work. I can’t race back to him after doing an errand. This is permanent–after nine months of blood, sweat, and buckets of tears, there is no more. That makes me cry. I sound indulgent to myself, yet this is real. Everyone says it will get better, but I don’t want my memories to fade, I don’t want to forget, I don’t want to feel less, and I don’t want to go on. I just want to look at pictures of us, hear recordings of his voice, read his blog and his poems, and remember everything like it was yesterday so he will stay alive inside me.

Doing spiritual exercises (meditation) helps–when it helps. At least I have some relief from the pain of loss for the time I am out of my body. Prayer helps–dear God, give me a new purpose. Show me in ways I will understand what it is. Give me the courage and strength to do whatever it is that you want me to do. I received a condolence card today and a friend wrote: “Our prayers are with you as you go through this very difficult journey of recovery and enlightenment as you see where God wants you.” Wow, that touched me deeply. See where God wants you.

OK, today I will be open to seeing where God wants me. And if I learned anything during those months taking care of Kenny, I learned that God would respond to my action. It always did in palpable ways that I understood. OK God, I’m on notice now, please reveal where you want me. Baruch Bashan–The Blessings Already Are!

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Tall, Smart, Sexy, Handsome, and Brave

FROM LOVING EACH DAY–A DAILY EMAIL FROM MSIA
The blessing is that you are always learning what is important for your growth and fulfillment. That is an eternal blessing by God for you and everyone. Any situation that teaches you what is important and what is not important is a blessing.
John Morton
(From John’s recent book: You Are the Blessings, p. 235)

In June ’09 we went to the appointment with Kenny’s primary care doctor and the grave news was metastatic malignant melanoma with only 3-6 months at most. To make sure it was melanoma, a liver biopsy would need to be taken. But from this point on our individual purposes became one purpose—to do everything we could to halt the onslaught of this dreaded disease.

We had many differences in our relationship, our marriage. We placed different values on money and possessions. He loved to challenge the outdoors by camping out in bitter cold weather without a tent and without a down sleeping bag. I like 72 degrees best with cool breezes, not too hot please and certainly not too cold! He loved his many possessions, things we might need if we move out on our own, things we would certainly need if the economy collapses, fun things we would use in the wilderness, weapons for when and if riots erupted. Rocks, he loved rocks. Rope and cording, grasses to make rope from, slabs of stone. An entire room-full of boxes stored under the house, under the dresser, under the bed, behind the desk, in the closets. I’m still finding surprises. I barely tolerated what seemed like pretty radical thinking, especially when it resulted in buying more things, but as I think about it now, these times he was preparing for may still befall us.
He loved western movies and T-V shows, and during his treatment, watched episode after episode of Steve McQueen’s T-V series, “Wanted Dead or Alive.” I didn’t have a love of any movie genre, but please not another western! Though near the end I learned to appreciate why he loved Appaloosa so much and gladly watched it with him several times—he saw it thirteen times!
He virtually hated T-V commercials and muted the sound for every single one of them when he held the remote. If I held the remote, I’d go unconscious and not think twice about how loud or inane it was. Little stuff like that!

Money–well that’s a guarded personal matter that always presented us with challenging conversations, promises and ultimatums that never lasted.

But we did believe in our marriage vows, and every time it looked like our differences were insurmountable, one of us would ask (dreading the answer) “Do you want a divorce?” And the other would always answer “No (Whew! What a relief!), but I don’t want things to stay the same.” We did make some progress during those years, very slow, painstaking, sometimes grueling. But we always did abide by our deep love underneath it all. And yes we had our share of little annoyances and judgments and big differences.

But the diagnosis startled us into unconditional loving in the blink of an eye. From that day forward, all petty and big differences were put aside, shelved, disregarded, and mostly forgotten. The most important thing was discovering a therapy that he felt would work for him and embarking on it as soon as possible. As for my part, I would do whatever was necessary to support his decisions and the therapy. I knew my role and I relaxed knowing that I did not need to make decisions for him. It was his body and his treatment and his relationship with God and the Traveler.

What’s important? Loving each other is important and saying so–daily. Do what you know how to do and leave all the rest to God, that’s important. Ask for spiritual assistance. Know that you will receive it. Look into each other’s eyes. Tell each other you’ll be there to hear whatever the other has to say. Trust Spirit to show you the next step on your path. Touch each other consciously putting love into your hands. Tell your loved one what you admire about them and have tolerance for their “other” qualities. During those months of one focus, I often told Kenny he was my hero, my Miracle Man–and indeed every day he demonstrated fearlessness, strength on all levels, humor, open-heartedness, and gratitude. As his illness progressed, he would express more love, more appreciation, more generosity, more good things of the Soul.

Forgiveness, saying I’m sorry for any time I hurt you or was mean to you. Reading to each other from meaningful passages in favorite books. Did I say looking in the same direction? Did I say trust in Spirit? And know that if you do your part, Spirit will match your actions with tangible support that you will recognize and well up with gratitude for.

What’s not important (in other words, what NOT to put energy into)? The petty differences, the old judgments, the mind chatter and worry. The history. Old broken promises. Old anything!

Make a point to learn from your differences. Each of you has gems of knowledge and wisdom. How exciting to look at those differences as a learning opportunity!

I could tell many more stories of how our love prevailed, but the bottom line message is clearly to love, forgive, accept, understand, be grateful on a daily basis. Be with each other as if this were the last day you had together–practice what that would look like because some day it will come. Look in the same direction, one mind, one heart, one focus on spiritual fulfillment and service.

In all his days, Kenny searched for meaningful work, a career he could depend on to last. He contributed to mankind in many helpful ways through the many vocations and interests he chose to explore. The one that lasted the longest and flourished the greatest was his MSIA* ministry. He was always good at sharing his experiences and teaching others all the myriad of things he learned almost daily, and this escalated such that after the diagnosis, he was an open book to anyone who cared to listen. And each day as he neared leaving this planet, he shared more of his joy, more of his love, his gratitude, and his discoveries as a child of God–his ordination blessing was obviously being expressed every day. He knew where he was going and he looked forward to it. I witnessed this steady awakening in awe, in appreciation, and in unconditional loving as much as I knew how.

Being sick and not able to do much for himself, he had many requests of me throughout the days, and I did respond physically almost 24/7. I was tired and worried and spent many hours each day juggling all his needs and at the same time keep my own body strong. If I had it to do over again, the only thing I would do differently is not so much “clicking” as Kenny would put it. Spend less time doing things and more time just being with Kenny, touching him, bathing him, listening to him, and making him comfortable. Oh, I did plenty of all of that, but missing him so much now I want more!

A little aside: Towards his last days, Kenny couldn’t swallow more than a squirt of water at a time, but his mouth was always extremely dry. The nurse brought him some sponges on sticks that were to be soaked in water and used to swab his mouth. He called them lollypops. “Lollypop please.” So I held his head up a bit in the right position so he could swallow the little bit of water that he squeezed out of the sponge with his teeth and swished around in his mouth. He’d say, “I love lollypops. They’re so good. Water, I love water. More, more, more.” And that forever smile would accompany the words. As much as holding his head and reaching for the sponges made my arms and back ache, I loved those moments when such tiny things would give him pleasure.

These last months of our life together are an imbedded experience of what’s important and what’s not. I pray I can carry this experience forward into my life. Right now grief wells up in me daily and I just let it come. My ministry in this moment is to tenderly offer myself the caring and love I so freely gave to Kenny.

What’s important and what’s not…

*Loving Each Day emails like the one I quoted at the beginning of this entry are intended to uplift readers and give them pause to reflect on the Spirit within them. It is a free service of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA). MSIA is a nondenominational, ecumenical church that teaches that each of us is divine and we can know our own divinity.

TO SUBSCRIBE: click here.

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