Death of a Loved One
Question: My spouse of 25 years died. My heart is in pain, and though I know that God is here, I don't understand the purpose of life and such suffering.
Answer: It is a razor's edge to learn how to love deeply and, yet, to cling lightly to what we love -- knowing that the more identified we are with what we would hold closely to our breast, the more we must cry when life runs through its inevitable course. All the losses we suffer either further teach us this Lesson of Lessons, or we deny its truth and, in so doing, condemn ourselves to suffer the necessary consequences.
Question: My father died recently and I find myself often slipping into thinking about my grief -- overcome with memories, regrets, and a sense of loss. Though I can't conceive of how it may be possible, I can't stop hoping that my father remains in God's love and protection.
Answer: You can help your father -- I know this to be true. Your inner work belongs to a will that is not bound to time. Persist. Put Truth first in every moment you can -- which means, as often as not -- to refuse to accept the compromising and conflicted states inherent in self-centered thinking. Such thoughts and feelings help nothing except the negative forces from which they are born.
Question: I am still grieving for the love of my life who passed away two years ago. No matter how hard I try to stay positive, sometimes I feel that so many negative energies are working against me.
Answer: It isn't a question of trying to be positive! It's understanding that your mind, awakened to itself, will not embrace what compromises it, and that you have the choice in that awakened state of yourself to detect and reject any self-wrecking states that want to draw you into their considerations. This takes work.
I trust you will at least consider my words before discounting them because they run counter to popular ideas. Grief has a natural place in our lives. The heart is a beautiful and eternal creature whose wisdom transcends the mind that tries to work its way out of sorrow.
Just as there are seasons on this earth that include the repose and rest of winter, so is there a natural winter of the heart. It is our responsibility to become self-knowing enough -- self aware enough -- not only to recognize the beauty of these seasons of the heart, but to embrace them for the naturally healing, naturally renewing seasons that they are. Sorrow is one of the seasons that we must let run its course.
Question: What are good steps to letting go of people who you love dearly? I have a hard time letting go of the past, and I know that can be unhealthy. What can I do?
Answer: Try to see that it isn't the people that you are having a hard time letting go of... rather what is so difficult to release is the "feeling" you have of yourself when you consider yourself in those relationships.
The thing that's good to understand about such a transforming self-truth -- as difficult as it may be for our ego that loves to think it knows what love is -- is that there is great power in such interior discoveries.
For one, it means that we are not the victim of anyone. No one owns us. Nothing can compromise us. We are the slave of nothing and no one -- unless we remain unconscious to those parts of ourselves that would have us believe we are only as valuable as our relationships lend us the feeling of being.