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Archive for the ‘Spiritual’ Category

and how do people grieve?

For every different person there is probably a different way to grieve.  I remember before I ever lost someone immediate family type close to me it all seemed like it should or would be the same – crying, being sad and wearing black.  But I was in my early 30s or so when my uncle died suddenly.  I thought my aunt would just die with him, she loved him so much.  But then a few weeks later she just went traveling to California on a vacation….yo, what’s up with that!?  I thought you were supposed to be sad for a longer time than that.  Well, of course, she was still sad and her visit to CA was probably previously planned but this threw me for a loop.  One could not ask for a more calming life lesson than this.  I would never doubt her love for him and I know she still misses him dearly, but her way to grieve was to step away from the experience and see what life was like from this new perspective and why not see it from California!?!  This lesson showed me that everyone grieves differently and no one can judge whether or not another is grieving enough or properly.

As I mentioned in my first post, my big sister died last year; in fact, it was a year ago yesterday.  I wish I could have gone to CA for a vacation.  Well, of course, I could have.  I just wish I did go.  But I just went with the flow and stayed here in Pennsylvania for this past year.  When Dad died in ’91 I was living in CA, so went home to CA.  That may have been easier.  Being here near too many reminders of her and family and all that ‘reminder stuff’ may have made this the more difficult time….but even within our own lifetime, we grieve differently for different people at different times in our lives.

Where does that leave us? or even just me?  Eh, who knows.  Life is an interesting endeavor and I feel like I’ve lived a few lifetimes so far.  They are all very interesting.  There was that one where I drank alot and went out to parties and bars with my friends…alot.  There was the one when I was living in CA totally on my own and living a nice, somewhat simple life, working, meeting friends for breakfast or dinner, learning Kenpo Karate with Jeff Speakman, working at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga.  That was an interesting one too.  Then there was that one where I went back to college in my 40s.  So, one might still wonder, where does that leave…or perhaps lead me?

To here and now, I guess.  And tomorrow, it could be a different here and obviously a different now.  And so on and so on….  Well, it leads me to or just reminds me of a thought Carolyn came to one day.  She shared with me that someone looked at how terrible their life was and said out loud ‘How did I end up here?’  Now this was a thought provoking moment for Carolyn and she said “Well, that was just plain stupid!  What did he mean ‘end up’ when he was alive and could be somewhere else tomorrow?  Hopefully somewhere better!!”  She was incredulous!  End meant End and that person wasn’t dead, he could change his circumstances at any time.  She decided to make some good changes in her life at that moment; and that she did.  Things shifted, though, and she did end up dead from cancer at age 57.  How did she end up there?  Well, I doubt she asks that question from where she is.

It is my belief that she is doing something else and only ended this human life.  And she can probably do something else tomorrow.

So, I’m taking her as inspiration to do something different tomorrow, like she thought that guy should do and like Aunt Irene did.  It will be something of my choosing and probably somewhat within my price range, but something interesting nonetheless.

And as John Lennon said ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans’ so I think I’ll work with life and see if my plans fit, even while I grieve.

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Everything is Sacred

Most of us are raised to keep holy the Sabbath, or some version of that.  Keep at least one day sacred.  In Pennsylvania we used to have ‘Blue’ laws and one was (something to the effect) that businesses were closed on Sundays.  This meant no shopping especially, but it has been so long ago that they have been overturned that I can hardly remember the simplicity this offered our lives.  This was probably more directed toward a Christian based society that I grew up in, but I’m sure there were Jews and Muslims who lived in PA.  I never really thought about them then because I didn’t know any.

Now I’m an Interfaith Minister, on purpose.  I choose to celebrate all religious practices based in Peace and Joy and Love.  Every single week brings some sacred idea to celebrate and to ponder.  I now know that Muslims pray ‘at least’ 5 times a day.  That makes sacred at least 5 snipets of every single day.  That was the one concept that really meant something special to me of all the spiritual teachings I have learned in my entire life.  How is it that we ‘fit in’ our spirituality on a Sunday morning or a Saturday night for an hour or two?  How do we make meaningful every other hour until we participate in that weekly ritual of going to some house of worship?  How do we?

Do we at least bless our food? ..say our prayers before we go to sleep or as we awaken?  Mindfully bless a person who just stopped their little heart with a sneeze?  Do we bless as much as we curse?  I don’t mean those curse words like Damnit!, Oh Hell, Son of a Bitch, or the occasional F-bomb…I mean when we curse the person who just pulled out in front of us, or that stupid menu when you call the phone company (please listen carefully as our menu has changed….Are You Kidding ME?  I don’t have time for this!!)….or that jerk taking up two parking places…

I’m betting you won’t feel like blessing them right after you curse them, but I’m beginning a habit of listening to myself when I curse that person taking up two parking places in front of my house which means I have to park two blocks away.  I tell myself that I can bless the fact that I have 2 working legs that could use the exercise and my lungs will be better for it too…especially if I have to carry all my groceries those two blocks.  As I said, I’m ‘beginning’ this practice and I don’t always catch myself, but it helps me to also begin to make every second sacred.

I’m feeling a little more contemplative these days..perhaps it’s a phase I’m going through, perhaps it’s winter…perhaps it is the Shift of the Ages.  No matter.  I decided to work it for any ounce of knowledge or wisdom I can glean.  Every second is nothing if not sacred and special and precious.  Everything extends from that.  We are all made up of the same ‘stuff’ – stuff like molecules and atoms and such.  Helps me to realize that We ARE All One.  There is a reason we are here and this is the perfect time of year to go within and contemplate that our individuality is a part of the Whole.

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