“The Great Transition”
January 1, 2012 — It has been said that humans understand their own mortality from an early age. Much fear is caused by daily evidence of pain, suffering and death. It is easy to become fearful, even obsessed, about one’s life and potential trials. However, it has also been said that all suffering is in the mind. Therefore, when contemplating life’s trials and eventual end, the suffering has already begun.
What can we do to liberate ourselves from these thoughts? What can we think about that will empower us even as we face illness, injury, and possible death? We can begin to change our fear by changing our thoughts. We change our thoughts by changing how we view life in its totality.
All of life is both addition and subtraction, joy and pain, good and evil, fear and love. Why do we consider, spiritually speaking, that love is the opposite of fear?
In spiritual terms, everything flows from Love, or from Fear. Flowing from Fear are intentionally hurting another, robbing, killing, and acts that are harmful to others.
Flowing from Love are caring, serving, and helping others. In other words, Fear manifests negative flow of energy, while Love manifests positive energy flow. You can determine the kind of energy someone carries because it will manifest in action.
When one feels love toward humanity, and wishes to serve humanity through service to others, we see evidence of that love energy. Many, not all, in helping professions manifest love energy. However, working among those who truly serve are those with other agendas. Being motivated by financial gain rather than teaching is one example. While we must be responsible financially as a foundation for spiritual growth, the motive for service is to serve, not to gain. One may gain personally by serving, but it is the motive that matters. Love flows through service.
We have all met people in helping professions who do not truly care. This creates a strong dynamic because one’s expectations are jolted. Something doesn’t “feel” right. Another’s inappropriate attitude, words, or actions help us see that the energy being carried is not of love; it is of fear.
Greed is fear-based. It is fear of not getting enough. It causes actions that can be perceived by another. The energy is not positive. You’ve noted it when someone urges you to do or buy something you don’t want. You are being persuaded against your will and judgement. This selfish and greedy action by another is not of love. You have probably noticed sales people who try to help you, and others who try to take advantage of you. Energy is expressed in motive, and in action.
When we face life’s trials, and we all do, we wonder at the motives behind whatever is creating our suffering. We ask, “How could God (or your preferred name for a Higher Being or energy) do this?” We may see it as punishment. We may rail against it and even lose our faith. Who hasn’t done this when times are bad? I know I have. We think we’ve lost our faith and we turn away. Instead, we can begin to grow in our faith and allow our experiences to shape and support our faith. As we begin to move from “faith” to “experience”, or knowing because we have experienced something, we gain a sense of understanding and peace.
All life is energy. We are energy. God, or Higher Power, or Love, is energy. When we open ourselves to that energy, we become spiritually empowered. That energy takes us in a direction–sometimes a new direction. That energy causes all that no longer fits our spiritual path to fall away. It attracts what is needed. That is why I often say, “When following one’s true spiritual path, what is needed will be provided.”
Once we experience that energy moving inside us, we begin to shift in our perspective. When trials and “bad things” happen, we ask instead, “What am I to learn from this experience?”
This time of year is always a time of challenge for me personally because my Mother died on Nov. 9, 1998, and my Dad died on Dec. 20, 1998, only 41 days later. I have no brothers or sisters. It was one of the most devastating times of my life, but it also was one of the most productive times for me spiritually. I realize that my parents did not die, they “transitioned”. They moved into their non-physical body. They exist. They are.
I had a religious upbringing that taught me about principles such as an afterlife called heaven. But, for me, this belief in life, after life on earth, is because of what I believe I have experienced at times: actual contact.
People sometimes share their experiences with me because, I think, they feel safe. In our society, when someone isn’t understood or believed, they are generally ridiculed. Therefore it is safer to talk about faith, which is socially accepted, than experience. Perhaps faith brings us to experience. Definitely, experience brings us to faith.
Even though I am often sad at this time of year, I realize that my parents are not gone; they’re away. Occasionally I see one of them in a dream, or I get a message that sounds like their voice. Once when Dad first transitioned, I was sobbing. Then I distinctly got one of his “lectures” in his tone of voice. He began with, “Now, Suzie, you know I wouldn’t want to be without your Mother. . . . . . . .” The message continued for quite a long time, and was undeniably his voice, although not spoken aloud, but heard internally. He gave me peace that transitioning so soon after Mother was his desire.
Recently during a family difficulty I had a vivid dream. I was in a boat with my family member. The boat was a small motor boat, and the churning water was caused by wakes coming simultaneously from different directions. My Mother was at the wheel and “guiding us through trouble waters.” I felt that the message was that she is near, and guiding us now through difficult times.
When we begin to see death as transition, it becomes less frightening. We come to realize that love transcends the boundaries we see between life on earth, and life beyond. Whatever is part of that great mystery, we can cultivate a deeper connection with it. We can embrace the experiences that come to us, often when we least expect it. It can begin to give us a sense of peace and understanding that life is a continuum, and energy simply changes form.
You don’t need to believe because I, or anyone else, said to. You will believe when you experience.
Be open to your experiences. Do not judge them or yourself. Simply allow them to be, and ask (internally) what meaning they hold for you. Share them only when you feel safe with another. Do not allow another’s disbelief to cause doubt. Reserve the right to share only with those who have developed the capacity to understand.
When one’s perspective changes, all life is accepted as part of the human experience. We humans are here to love, and to serve one another.
It is so ordained.
Sue Kidd Shipe, Ph.D.
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PAIN: THE FINAL FRONTIER
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