Musings and Deep Thoughts

A Small Part of a Big Picture

Why me?

Why is this happening to me?

Have you ever asked yourself this before? Maybe you had car troubles on the way to an important appointment. Or perhaps the WIFI went down before you could send out your resume for that perfect job.

Perhaps the better question should be why not me?

In the shamanic view of creation, everything is connected. Eastern yogic practices acknowledge a universal field. And those who study particle physics, going farther and farther down into the atom, atomic particles, and then subatomic particles, will say that the space between these particles is immense. Eventually, it all filters down to what appears to be nothing. A universal field, the void, all that is, the Akashic Records; there are many names for this space.

So what does this vast emptiness have to do with personal disasters? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

I recently had to let go of an old and comfortable relationship with someone I trusted because I started seeing a hidden side of him. On the surface he presented one thing, but deep down his actions seemed to speak the opposite. I admit that I felt like I’d been hit by a train at full speed. The anger eventually gave way to depression. Here was my occasional business partner, someone with whom who I’d shared a lot of interesting work and social engagements, and now I was on my own. Why me?

I’d been here before. Job losses, relationship break ups, things going horribly wrong. Yes, I’d been here before, but this time, I knew what to do. I allowed myself time to grieve because this process is important. Then I let it all go and took a deep breath and waited.

Something else was coming. The universe had other plans for me, and those plans did not include my ex-partner. I couldn’t go where I wanted to go with someone who didn’t walk with integrity, so I took the risk of flying solo.

And suddenly, amazing things started happening.  Work offers I could not have seen coming and new business partnerships suddenly appeared. Why was this happening to me? Because I was able to see the bigger picture.

Most of us have been through various traumas and dramas in our lives. While they are happening, we feel like grains of sand being rolled in shore waves, tossed around and slammed down with a force. We protest, we ask God to help us, we complain, we do what we can to make the issue just stop. But then time passes. Months, maybe years, then we are able to look back and see the entire chain of dominoes. That one event or series of events happened for a reason. Perhaps that relationship was toxic. Perhaps we were meant to be doing something else with our lives. It’s not until we are able to let go of what was holding us down that we can fly.

So the next time you get a flat tire or your new date ghosts you, take a deep breath.  That flat tire may have delayed your arrival at a disaster scene. That absent date could have been a homicidal, ax-wielding maniac. At this point, you don’t really need explanations. Just relax, breathe, and know it is all a small part of a bigger picture, a picture you will be able to see in time.

Have patience, dear one. In that seeming emptiness of the universal field lies your destiny. When you release attachment to the smaller events, you will enter the flow of your big picture. And when you do, you will be able to finally say, “Ohhhhhh, now I understand!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Love You

I’m writing this from the beautiful city of Charlottesville, Virginia. I came here nearly a week ago to officiate at the wedding of some very dear friends of mine. It’s been quite the adventure learning how to deal with the established state procedures at various courthouses, but it’s all a learning experience.

One thing that has really struck me during the many events surrounding the ceremony was the dedication of the people who came from all over the country just to be with the happy couple. We spent hours and days together just sitting and talking. New connections were made, and I know my own connection with my friends certainly deepened. Over the week as people spent more time with each other I began to hear the L word more and more.

I love you.

I love you, too.

When was the last time you either said this to someone or someone said it to you and really meant it?

In my work as a spiritual counselor and therapist I too often see the results of the lack of intimacy in people’s lives. We hide behind computer screens and write to our hundreds of friends, yet which of them could you call in an emergency? Some of those I work with haven’t felt the human touch in years. Imagine that.

When I was growing up as a Catholic I used to hear that no man is an island, but I never knew what it really meant. Now I do.

We can all do something every day to reach out to those who may have become isolated for whatever reason. Sometimes a simple smile will make a huge difference in someone’s day. Sure, you’re probably not going to tell a stranger that you love them, but a simple gesture speaks volumes in itself.

This has been quite an intense few weeks. I lost a friend to cancer, I married two others, and another had a baby. I am happy to be here in the middle of it all, for happiness or sadness. I love all those who I work with.

I love you.

Pass it on.

Someone else’s shoes

Moccasin

We’ve all heard the saying the above saying in one form or another, but what does it really mean?

I’ll illustrate this with an example taken from a recent consult.

A young woman came to me wanting to find out why her life wasn’t working the way she thought it should be. Relationships kept ending, she’d received a probation notice at work, and she kept finding herself left out of gatherings with people she thought were her friends. What was going on?

As we talked, a similar theme kept arising throughout all of the different scenarios: it was always them, not me!

She complained bitterly about an older coworker who had gotten her in trouble with management, resulting in her being given a warning that her job performance was under scrutiny. On my asking, she did admit that she was often guilty of acting like a jerk, but she seemed to think this was funny for some reason.

I asked her to tell me about this coworker, and a sad story came out. The woman was in her seventies, still having to work and bring in income so she could support her grandchildren and other dependent family members. Think about that for a moment. We dream of being able to retire around age 65, yet this poor soul could not because she was the sole provider for a very dysfunctional family.

Yet not only was she coming to work every day, she was being treated rather rudely by this younger staff member who made sure her work days were filled with challenges and strife. No wonder she complained to the management!

So I worked with my client to have her first hold up a mirror to examine how she herself might be contributing to her own woes. This took quite awhile, but the light began to dawn.

I then had her put herself in the older woman’s place. How would she feel if she were some fifty years older, and not only still having to work full time, but then return home to take care of young family members? empathy-walking-in-someone-elses-shoes-heather-lane-vetere-2-638

At first she thought I was joking, but we continued with the exercise. She finally admitted that perhaps there was something there that was her fault, and that this had never occurred to her at all before.

As we were wrapping up, I gave her the task of walking a mile in another’s shoes before she pointed a finger at them. She admitted that it wasn’t going to be easy as she blamed her mother for her being the way she was. Maybe. Possibly. But we all have the power to change the pattern.

She was intrigued at the new point of view that had arisen and said she would do her best to try to understand someone else’s point of view before she criticized them or started playing mean tricks on them. I look forward to following her progress.

This has also been a lesson I had to learn when I was a much younger, and not always very nice, version of myself. Perhaps if we could all take a moment to walk in someone else’s shoes, to try to understand their lives a little better, we could create a more peaceful world.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

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Live for This Moment

I write this in sorrow, having lost a dear friend of mine to cancer last night. She was the second one this year, and that’s two too many. I am very grateful that I was able to be there with her and her family for her last two days and that she was able to pass out of her pain in peace. Death is not like a sport where it gets easier with time and practice. No, it never gets any easier.

It’s important to take time to grieve and honor the loved one. It’s also important to keep living. None of us knows when we will be called home, so every moment here is precious. My friend was with us chatting and living less than a week ago, and within three days she was gone. Three days! So fast.

Wherever you are, take a moment to just look around at what you have and take a deep breath. Let it out slowly with gratitude knowing just how precious that breath is. Our loved ones in spirit would want this for us.

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Paying it forward #1

Recently, I added a solicitation for funds to help others. Many of us who provide healing services know how hard it feels to meet a new client who absolutely would benefit from the work we do but can’t afford to pay much. I’m thrilled to announce that I received my first scholarship donation today! Thank you!

 

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