Doing something familiar seems easy. When we try something for the first time, particularly when aspects are totally new to us, it may seem more difficult. Keeping an open mind allows our creative and intuitive right brain to help us adapt to the situation. If all goes well, we can change what was first strange into an interesting experience. Or, it may even become an adventure! A few weeks ago the new subway line opened in my neighborhood. This simple event has been much a waited for the past several years to provide more efficient access to the Washington DC metropolitan area. So when it finally opened, I decided to try it out. Not having travelled by subway for quite awhile, I wasn’t familiar with the program of how to go about getting a ticket, finding the correct platform and determining the appropriate fare. So taking the subway on this day was to be an adventure! First I drove into the main facility and easily found the parking garage; however, determining the actual level on which to Park took some intuitive figuring. Who knew just parking could be so complicated! Once parked, I got out of my car to see another woman doing exactly the same thing – arriving at the same time and appeared to be just as lost as I was. I called out to her asking if she was familiar with how to find the platform or buy a ticket. She replied that it was her first time there and she didn’t know either. A fellow adventurer had just arrived! So I walked up to her and said, “together we can figure this out”. She seemed pleased to have someone with whom to navigate this unfamiliar territory. After making introductions, we walked off together as if we we’re old friends chatting away as we motioned to each other as to how to first take the elevator up to the correct level, walk across the pedestrian bridge, and then over to the main metro area to buy tickets. The system had changed since my last Metro experience and so she was helpful to me in how to use the more sophisticated and to me, ominus farecard machines. After helping me to procure a ticket, my new friend and I headed for the correct platform. I soon felt like a pro since as we were at the end of the line, this station merely had 2 platforms to “go” or “come back” from Downtown! I smiled to myself as I became more comfortable with the whole experience. Once the train arrived, we boarded sitting next to each other and began the 45 minute ride into the city. I enjoyed her company as we shared life stories while the train hummed along, the chatting serving to make the travel time go much faster than if I’d gone alone. Her stop came up first and we said good bye, both having had a new adventure while doing something quite ordinary. But isn’t life like that? We can either avoid doing things that are unfamiliar or we can embrace life looking for what we can experience that’s new or different; or learn or perhaps meet some one that can add to our lives. In short, we can turn the unfamiliar into an adventure!
No one on this earth is perfect. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t be here since our purpose is to learn our lessons to improve ourselves. Once we achieve perfection, our work is done. Our lessons are learned and the only reason for us to stay in this earthly realm is to continue to help others. Thus very few of us are perfected souls and still here! One of our earthly lessons is to learn to love completely and in so doing, we also learn to forgive those that aren’t so nice to us. This is a very old lesson; one that comes down through the ages. We keep working at it because it’s not an easy lesson; yet, once we learn it or perhaps have moments when we accomplish it, we realize the blessings that we get in return.
Let’s take a look at the lesson of forgiveness and how it can be a blessing in disguise. Perhaps someone has hurt us in a way that at the time seems most painful to us; a natural reaction is to turn away from that person in anger; to not want to see the individual who has caused us so much pain again; and/or to not wish to speak with the person that has hurt us in the future. In other words, we want to cut off all access to/from anyone or anything that hurts us. This is a self-protective mechanism. In a way, it is a natural way for us to protect ourselves from being hurt again. That said, when we cut ourselves off, we close down to others who may offer us something. Fear and love cannot be operating at the same time. When we have shut down due to fear of being hurt, we are not allowing love to come in either. Thus, although we are trying to protect ourselves, we are also doing ourselves a great dis-service. Perhaps this seems counter-intuitive but this is how our lessons work. To understand more, we must peel a layer of our ego away.
Rather than cutting ourselves off from those that hurt us we must find a way to forgive them for in so doing we release the negative energy that flows between us two and creates a more positive flow. The negative energy is the fear, and the positive energy is the love. Letting go of the fear of being hurt long enough to forgive is allowing love to move in and take over. Forgiveness is part of the reason we came to this earthly realm. If it were easy, it wouldn’t take so long.
So, the next time someone hurts you in some way: says something mean, doesn’t understand you, makes you wait too long, hurts your feelings, or a myriad of many other things that make you upset, think about the negative energy that you can create between you or take a moment to let go and say… “I have an opportunity to forgive and remain in the positive flow and stay in the love energy”. Doing so is being God-like and this is the reason we came to earth. And when you forgive, the blessing you have is to open to become a channel of love in return.
May you always remain in the light.
If you’ve been following my writings perhaps you remember me saying that “fear and love” cannot be active at the same time. But this is a topic that deserves repeating. Let’s start off with a definition:
What does it mean, “It’s either fear or love?”
Fear is active from our second energy center which is also where our drivers of sex, power, and money originate. It is also where anxiety as well as illness begins. Love, on the other hand, comes from the heart, the fourth energy center. Only when the heart is open can we be in a loving, caring, nurturing state. When fear is operating, the heart is closed and so not open to the positive energy that is possible.
Why are we in fear?
When we are afraid that we’re not good enough, we shut out possibility. Being afraid only causes the energy of fear to multiply and come back in the way of chaos to harm us. How can this be the case?
Let’s say that you decide to start a business but are afraid you won’t be successful. The next thing you know events start happening that take up your time, while preventing you from moving forward with your vision. Thus, your fear has a self-fulfilling prophetic impact on your life.
Now let’s change the attitude to one of belief in yourself. By sending out positive thoughts such as I can do this or I deserve this because I’m a good person; I know my field and I am capable (all essentially coming from a love perspective, you set up the energy of positive events to come back to you. The next thing you know, opportunities are presented that allow you to fulfill your vision and you are successful.
Another example is with relationships: We may not be going out thinking, “Why bother, I won’t meet anyone anyway?” This is fear taking over when really the attitude is one of I’m not good enough. The playing out is much like the above scenario. We don’t go out, there’s no opportunity to meet any new people, and thus the self-fulfilling prophesy takes over. If we change the attitude to, “I’ll go out and just have fun; while I’m out perhaps I’ll meet someone”, this positive outlook is inviting and will most likely attract new opportunities. And so it goes.
Why not try recognizing the fear for what it is, the shadow self, attempting to hold us back from moving forward with new opportunity. Let go of the fear and open space for love to enter your life.
Do you like scary movies? What constitutes scary? Remember Indiana Jones, Temple of Doom when the female lead sees snakes all over the ground? It was her greatest fear materializing. Or perhaps for you, it’s a fear of the dark. Or maybe it’s a fear of high places. If so, ever have a dream about falling? It’s natural to have “fears”, since fears are an extension of concerns. The real question is what we do about them. Do we hold them “in” to fester or do we get control over them. Otherwise, fears can take over and cause havoc in our lives.
Here’s a recent example of how one of my fears played out. My darling male cat, Hercules went through two traumatic months prior to succumbing to the complications of renal failure on April 5. The decision to end his life after 17 wonderful years was devastating for me. Life without Hercules was sterile since the little guy was my alarm clock for many daily activities. He told me when to get up (with a swat in the face), and he cried on my bed when he thought it was time to go to sleep. He even told me when it was time for a break, which normally involved giving him some affection as well as play time. I soon realized I was afraid of life without my little angel.
But why should I feel this way when there was so much more to live for! The rational mind tells us all the logical reasons why our fear is, well irrational! However, we don’t listen, not at first anyway. I fixated on my memories of my fur baby using my time to make photo albums, memory cards to send out to friends and a 3-photo framing for the wall. Once this time went by, I realized that I was concerned about his resting place. I buried his ashes next to a rock near his favorite play area just inside the park area adjacent to my townhome.
A few weeks later, a registered package came by way of FedEX. Around midnight I opened the package to learn that the local Park Association planned to restore the stream and one of the tributaries ran right by Herc’s burial spot. I immediately became alarmed. “Oh, no, what if they disturb Herc’s resting place!” I thought. This fear began to grow until I was very agitated.
What’s the lesson here?
I stood back and asked myself, “Is this issue a lesson that I shouldn’t hold on to a place that just has ashes when I know that Herc’s soul is everywhere?” or, “Is the lesson that I shouldn’t worry and just turn the whole issue over for a divine solution? I came to understand that the latter was the case. Then, I got hold of myself saying, “No, I will send the project manager an email and surely the work can be done in such a way as to avoid trampling on his remains.” I wrote up my concerns, found a couple of pictures of Hercules, one of me performing his celebration of life ceremony, and sent it to the association project manager.
The very next day she called me to say she was coming out to see for herself which “rock” was involved. We met, she looked at “Herc’s rock”, and then indicated that she understood the sensitivity of the situation. In a very sincere gesture, she assured me that a notation would be made on the blueprints, so that when the stream restoration work is done, Herc’s rock would not be disturbed! Yeah! It all worked out just fine, for the highest good of all concerned. Perhaps the Association will eventually call that rock, Hercules’ Rock. Somehow the thought made me smile.
It’s truely amazing how we are cared for when we care for others. Here’s a true story of my Hospice visitation experience.
Volunteering for Hospice is a noble accomplishment. Actually putting the time on the calendar and adding the activity into my appointment allocation is another. In any case, I decided that I would ear mark Thursdays from 1-3pm and just mark the time off. If I didn’t do that, it would be too easy to allow other things to take precedent and then I’d never get to the Hospice visitations.
The initial training went well as did my first supervised session with actual Hospice patients. These are individuals, whom doctors have indicated may die within six months, thus they are entitled to care by Hospice facilities. The payment arrangements are beyond me, since I’m a volunteer. All I know if that during my father’s last few weeks, he had Hospice personnel visiting him. In addition, my mother went to a Hospice-sponsored support group after he died. I decided that it was a good idea for me to give back to an organization that not only helped my own parents, but one which I might need at some point in the future.
So now I’m actually going on my own to two nursing homes and assisted living centers that house Hospice patients. I was assigned to two dementia patients and one breast cancer patients. With the dementia patients, they can hardly communicate. During the few times that they do, their words are so jumbled that it is very difficult to understand. Yet, I still feel good when interacting with them. Last time one thought that I was taking him “home” not realizing that he wouldn’t see home again. I did my best to explain that he was going to spend the night “here” which produced a very surprised look even though this person had resided at the facility for a number of months. The other dementia patient just smiled and occasionally looked in my eyes as gibberish came out of her mouth. Not really knowing what else to do, I merely told her stories of my cats and what was going on with my day. She continued to smile with wide-eyes. The third patient is very talkative and although gets off track now and then, she’s pretty coherent and loves to tell me stories of her life. She’s the breast cancer patient. I’m not supposed to ask about her illness, but I’d love to know how she can look so good and maintain such a positive attitude, yet be on a six-month to live list. She’s really amazing.
Today, the first dementia patient was in the hospital. It happens. The second one was sleeping and couldn’t be roused. Oh well. And the third was as talkative as ever. I had to be so careful not to let tears come to my eyes as she pointed to the three generations that follow her – her daughter, granddaughter and five-year old great granddaughter. She lost her son many years ago to AIDS. I didn’t ask any questions about that one either. She was very proud of her son whatever his profession was.
So I’m just a person who tries to help, keeping a few people who don’t have much time left on earth company. That’s the Hospice belief. That no one should die alone. And, as I left my cancer patient, the skies opened up to a torrential downpour while I didn’t have an umbrella with me. As I approached the front door, a nurse was holding a huge umbrella, almost as if she was waiting for me. “Could you walk me to my car?” I asked. “Yes, of course” she replied. There she was just as I need her to prevent me from getting soaking wet. I thanked her. Then, once inside my car, I quietly said, “thanks” to the powers to be, since I knew that I was being cared for as I was in the midst of caring for others.
There is an expression that the only thing to fear to fear itself. Us humans like things that become routine and simple (at least many of us do). We become complacent in our every day world and are happiest when things settle down and simplify. Why fix it if it isn’t broken? Sometimes we stay in relationships past the point when they need changing. They can be with spouses, with friends or with businesses. Today, I’m addressing the latter. It’s often difficult to establish a good working relationship with our business partners – the dentist, doctor, cleaners, tailor, etc. and alot easier to just stay with the same individuals or organizations than to change even when their customer service starts to go south.
But, the divine plan is perfect in all ways. Sometimes we are lead to make changes even when it’s not comfortable. This can happen particularly when it’s in our best interest. Lately, I’ve had a few issues with my dentist’s office not respecting my personal situation. They called and canceled appointments due to problems in their office just before their vacation, cutting me off from end of year/or end of period benefits. I let it go the first time but was in a real pickle the second time.
The situation was such that I had to schedule with a different dentist. The particular work had to be scheduled as I was going to lose my benefits by the end of the month and they were going on vacation. I quickly checked my plan’s on-line provider listing, found a dental office within 3 miles and made an appointment. Wow, how fast it was! Then I wondered why I had been so reticent to change earlier. The next day I went to the new office and the staff was terrific. And, this new office turned out to be less expensive so my out of pocket expense was even less than expected. I was totally satisfied. After leaving the new office, I quietly thanked the universe for guiding me to a quality, reasonably priced and close in dentist that could adequately serve my needs.
Why had I been so afraid to change? Now I feel more open about other changes in my life. Once we start changing in one area and it goes well, we feel free to make changes in other areas. I wonder what will come next? There’s nothing to fear for the universe supports me in all that I say and do!