Choosing to Love
Posted by Robin Easton
No matter our beliefs, let’s imagine something for discussion’s sake. What if human souls live on after death. What if the dead people we love are aware of us, that we can talk with them and they will hear us, that we can continue our relationship with them in some way. In light of this, if we are unhappy with how our parents (or any other dead person) treated us, couldn’t we talk with them and listen to them. Couldn’t our relationship with our dead parents continue to grow and heal?
I’ve found that the potential for healing need not die with our parents. At any moment we can chose to fully heal ourselves and others. There is great potential for healing many generations back and many to come. I’ve learned that my parents are open to this growth, as grateful for it as I am. Yet, my father is dead, and my mother is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, unable to talk or recognize people. However, as I continue to mature, so do they, even though they’re dead. As I talk with them and pour out my heart, I feel them encouraging me, loving me, and watching over me. They continue to grow with me. This is not because we had perfect relations growing up, often it was far from perfect.
So why do they grow with me? Because life wants to heal itself. I too want to heal. I want to fully embrace both my parents humanity and my own, mistakes, pain and all, no matter what that is. I want to love them and myself. ~I want to love.~ I realized one day that my deepest fear was not that I wouldn’t be loved, but that someone would somehow stop me from loving. One morning I stood on a mountain top looking out over the Earth, and I knew in my heart that nothing and no one could ever stop me from loving. That is mine. That is who I am. Others may not be able to actively return my love, but they cannot stop me from loving them or anyone else. In my loving, I am loved by Love itself.
Everyday I say, “Teach me how to love more fully.” Although it’s not always easy, I am forever challenged to love in deeper ways. I love exploring the conditioned boundaries of healing, forgiving, and loving. I’m deeply moved by how much can be healed. I’ve had a long hard look at my own failings, and I couldn’t help but see in myself the very things I had judged in my parents (and others). As I understand and forgive myself, I’m able to understand and forgive others. I’m able to heal us both. When we heal ourselves we heal the world, past, present, future, all of it.
We often have trouble embracing one of life’s most fundamental realities. No one ever said that we would be born on planet Earth and everything and everyone around us would be perfect, and that we would never be hurt. To believe this, is to waste our lives. We can end up resentful, bitter and alone. We often use it as a reason not to grow. We assume that life owes us something, that we should have have been given a better life. There is no “other”…unless we create it.
Often it appears easier to blame and rage at life than to embrace the seemingly harsh reality that life promised us nothing. Life just is. The rest is up to us. I know it can be hard to embrace a reality where some people are thrown into the whirling blender of life and die, or they are so deeply wounded that they wish they were dead. We get what we get and sometimes it’s brutal. However, there are those who have forgiven and healed from the most heinous crimes against themselves or their loved ones. I pray I would be so noble.
For now, these things give me reason to not lock people into their past, including myself. They give me reason to forgive, to embrace compassion and allow people to grow along with with me, whether they are living or dead. I find it soothing to look upon those who have hurt me, as part of myself, a part that I am learning to heal.
NOTE: This week Linda Wolf, of Insanely Serene blog, interviews me on a “Moment of Clarity” which changed my whole life (click title to read). It was a rewarding interview because it once again reminded me of a key element which makes my life more joyous, creative and spontaneous. Have you ever had a moment of clarity that changed your whole life? Hope you come visit me there and share your stories. I will be popping in and out to read comments. Hugs, Robin