When the Morning Dawns

When darkness turns to day, the sun moves over the horizon and touches everything in sight. This movement across the landscape brightens everything. Such an illumination awakens us all. We rise with energy moving in and through us allowing us to create a new day. A day unique from all the rest and creatively woven into our soul.

This is the landscape of our soul. As you can see, nature has a way of showing us just how powerful we are. The same power that created the moon and the stars and the movement of all space and time lies within the human heart. It is the heart of creation itself, and perhaps, the heart of our Creator.

Human beings are fortunate to be able to be aware of our awareness. This awareness gives us an opportunity to reflect on our soul and find blessing in being alive. Our consciousness of a creative force inside us guiding us into this world, through it, and eventually to our eternal home allows us to fulfill a purpose on this earth.

Such a purpose is beyond our own ability to really know. Yet, we can open our heart enough to allow our purpose to find us. This is done by recognizing that the things in life that really matter ARE the things in life that isn’t matter.

Yes, it is our soul’s longing to fulfill the purpose for which we came to earth for. No one really knows how a baby is conceived totally. Science and human understanding still hasn’t been able to fully comprehend such a force of nature. We can only embrace what is beyond us and find a way to bring into being forces of nature such as a tiny child.

When a child is born, we are in awe. The miracle of birth creates something inside us all. It is the remembrance that life does not come from us. Instead, life comes through us. As such, we are living in a dream come true. All of us are probably living our soul’s purpose more than we know, and even, can know. It is the mystery of all mysteries.

This does not explain why some of us find peace and other’s find pain. But, such a philosophy will enable us all to find grace in knowing our lives create in our world facets of ourselves we all are a part of. An understanding of such grace gives every one of us a chance to find mercy and grace and the same unconditional love we came into the world with when we were born.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

The Landscape of the Soul

It has been said that “our hearts will not rest until we rest in thee.” This is our journey in life. It is our journey home. It is the journey into the spacial quality of existence that brought us into this world. It is the journey of what is leading us through this life. And, it is the journey back to where it all began.  

Through the years, we accumulate a series of experiences. Our tendency is to evaluate and simply reflect on what we have been through and what we have learned. This inward site into what we can no longer see with our eyes allows us to see through them, and into, our soul.  

The landscape of the soul creates a movement and a synchronistic pattern between our heart and our mind through the inner visions of our soul. When the heart and imagination join forces to look back or look forward, we are deepening our awareness of who we really are. This deepening of who we really are is our soul.

It has been said that “our hearts will not rest until we rest in thee.” This is our journey in life. It is our journey home. It is the journey into the spacial quality of existence that brought us into this world. It is the journey of what is leading us through this life. And, it is the journey back to where it all began.

One could say that the infant and the elderly are more soul than body. As you and I develop our personality and ego, we begin to think we are somebody. Ram Dass calls this “somebody training.” We begin to think we are real and act on this appearance of being as we move into adulthood. When we mature, we go back into what Ram Dass has called “nobody training.”

We spend a great deal of time learning to develop independence from infancy only to lose it again as we die. It is the journey from innocence to grace. The human expression is a journey with many ups and downs. What keeps us on tract and often sane in an insane world is the “landscape of the soul.” The landscape of the soul gives us strength to do the impossible and give us hope when there is none.

Even though all parts of the self needs to be embraced with scrutiny and unconditional love, there is something inside us perfecting our true nature. Our authentic self knows we are growing through life and simply going through life at the same time. This delicate balance between these two forces of nature enables us to stay on our path. In so doing, we learn to trust in our soul and find direction there when direction in life is not present.

When darkness turns to day, the sun moves over the horizon and touches everything in sight. This movement across the landscape brightens everything. Such an illumination awakens us all. We rise with energy moving in and through us allowing us to create a new day. It is a day unique from all the rest and creatively woven into our soul.

This is the landscape of our soul. As you can see, nature has a way of showing us just how powerful we are. The same power that created the moon and the stars and the movement of all space and time lies within the human heart.

Human beings are fortunate to be able to be aware of our awareness. This awareness gives us an opportunity to reflect on our soul and find blessing in being alive. Our consciousness of a creative force inside us guiding us into this world, through it, and eventually to our eternal home allows us to fulfill a purpose on this earth.

Such a purpose is beyond our own ability to really know. Yet, we can open our heart enough to allow our purpose to find us. This is done by recognizing that the things in life that really matter ARE the things in life that isn’t matter.

Yes, it is our soul’s longing to fulfill the purpose for which we came to earth for. No one really knows how a baby is conceived totally. Science and human understanding still hasn’t been able to fully comprehend such a force of nature. We can only embrace what is beyond us and find a way to bring into being forces of nature such as a tiny child.

When a child is born, we are in awe. The miracle of birth creates something inside us all. It is the remembrance that life does not come from us. Instead, life comes through us. As such, we are living in a dream come true . All of us are probably living our soul’s purpose more than we know, and even, can know. It is the mystery of all mysteries.

This does not explain why some of us find peace and other’s find pain. But, such a philosophy will enable us all to find grace in knowing our lives create what we all are a part of. An understanding of such grace gives every one of us a chance to find mercy and grace and the same unconditional love we came into the world with when we were born.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

Why Does My Loved One Have to Suffer?

Not long ago, I visited a man whose wife was dying of cancer. He retired early in life, so he and his wife could travel the country on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. He was a big man, and his wife was tiny. But, their love for one another was deep and knew no size and shape after 45 years of being married to one another. He shared with me many stories of there life together. He was deep in grief.

Over the years, I have heard surviving loved ones of dying patients wonder “why does my loved one have to suffer?” I will often hear that my spouse, uncle, aunt, mother, or father has been a good person. It doesn’t make sense to have to watch my loved one go through this people say. After having many years to ponder these reflections, I have come to believe there is “NOT” an easy answer to this question and the mind wanderings that go with it. These expressions come from such a deep place within us that to give an easy answer would pull people from this place they are asking us to meet them in.

The place I am referring to is a dying loved one’s soul. Caregivers are being ask to meet them in a place where suffering no longer exists. Thomas Moore, in “The Care of the Soul,” refers to the soul as a place where one’s imagination and heart join on a journey the physical body cannot move into. This is the place whereby one’s thoughts, feelings, and spirit come to embrace what is beyond us.

When a loved one asks us, “why does my loved one have to suffer?” “Why did this happen to my spouse, daughter, son, sister, brother, or others.” We are being invited to listen to their soul and offer unconditional love. This act of non-judgmental care is a spatial quality of existence enabling us to care for another’s soul. Why? Because at the deepest level of our being we know there is not a human understanding to this question, but it does lead us deep within our psyche and opens us up to our soul. It is a place where souls can meet and find healing.

Thoughts give rise to the ability comprehend an idea. We go through a series of wanderings to make sense of the world around us. This path into the grief process eventually leads us to the realization that the intellect will not give us what we are looking for. Although our thoughts are a form of expressing our grief, they simply lead us to more and more questions there are no answers to.

Feelings give expression to our thoughts on a given situation which may give rise to more emotional pain knowing we cannot understand what is happening. This is felt in the body and moves in and through us. We tire and eventually give up on using our mind and body this way. Eventually, we move into exhaustion and have no energy to feel anything.

Spirit gives us hope in life hereafter, but it does not take away our grief. The expression of prayer and hope in life hereafter does allow us to bring into our grief a sense of consolation. Funeral services include various songs and scriptures allowing us to have words to comfort us. The ability to cope through faith allows us to place some of our grief in a power greater than ourselves.

When you combine the mind, body, and spirit’s capacity to deal with grief in an integrated way, we often find a sense of peace. This is what is known in many sacred texts as “a peace beyond understanding.” To know “The Unknowable” or “Creator of All Things” is to trust in the wisdom that has created us all. This is perhaps the journey into letting go on the highest level of our being possible. Here, we are able to trust that there will be a tomorrow and grief will not and cannot kill the relationship we had with our loved one. Instead, we begin to relate to each other on the level of soul. This is the place where our soul can create channels of expression with our dying loved one no other way is possible.

As you can see, the answer to the question of “why” is my loved one going through this is not as important as where this internal process leads us inside our being. This place can be nurtured and cared for by those willing to listen attentively to another’s desire and need to be heard from such depths. This act of going into such sacred space where one’s soul is healing simply by sharing one’s pain with those who care allows us to heal in places our hands cannot touch.

Here are three final points to consider when you find yourself with someone who asks the question “why does my loved one have to suffer?” First, listen “fully” to one’s grief and their questions on suffering. Make sure you have listened to another’s grief as outlined earlier in this article.

Second, since you have no control over a person’s journey into dying or the timing of his/her passing from this life to the next, try to get the surviving loved one voice what their loved one will be released of in their dying and themselves as a caregiver. This step requires a great deal of honesty, and you will not probably get this unless you have fully listened to someone tell you about their grief of losing their loved one.

Finally, your ability to help someone through this phase of grief will help the dying loved one and loved one’s who survive build incredible trust in you as the caregiver, volunteer, minister, social worker, nurse, and doctor.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

Two Kinds of Grief

Over the last 16 years, I have noticed Hospice families deal with the loss of their loved one in a couple of ways. There are those who mourn deeply their loss. And, there are those who grieve with hope. Both will lead you to the same place inside your being. Therefore, I do not want to imply that one way of grieving is better than the other.

As a loved one passes or is close to the end of their physical life, families begin to find themselves at a loss. The ability to talk to their loved one diminishes. The ability to take a walk with him or her falls away. The ability to share a meal, a memory, and countless other experiences fade into past memories. These past memories become alive inside those who can no longer create new experiences with their loved one who is dying.

This regression into one’s imagination and one’s heart reveals experiences that come alive inside one’s soul. Here, souls join one another on a journey that has no beginning or an end. This part of a relationship is eternal and sacred. They are the inspirational moments allowing a story to be formed and shared. As such, a sacred memory becomes a living presence inside those who have shared them.

I have noticed two kinds of grief in dealing with Hospice families dealing with the loss of their loved ones. One is mourning. The other is grieving with hope.

Mourning is a deep heartfelt experience of loss. This is a kind of grief that expresses itself in the body on an emotional level. The body may become flushed, weakened, very tearful, and much more.

It is good to allow space for deep seeded grief to express itself. This cleanses toxic emotions needing to express themselves through the body. As a person finds expression for their grief, a feeling of relief relaxes the body over a period of time.

Grieving with Hope is faith based. This usually means that a person believes he or she will meet their loved one in heaven again someday. This kind of hope can be comforting in the moment. Later, a person may feel his or her loss when their loved one doesn’t come home with them at their death.

Although a faith based grief has its strength, it does not make everything ok. There is still a feeling of loss on an emotional level. The heart knows something is different and nothing will be the same again.

Our bodies were created to express themselves “even” in grief. In Sacred Texts of many kinds, we find the encouragement to find “peace in the midst of despair” or “blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted.” Both of these statements reveal a connection to our faith in a higher being who will give us healing through the path of loss, and into, a sacred journey into the soul where our relationships are eternal.

This journey is taken through and inside the body. It is the journey into the same breath that gives us life and leads us home at the moment our body releases that breath in death. It is a sacred path leading us into who we really are.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

The Power of Prayer to Heal

On one occasion, I was asked to go into a room and be with a daughter whose Mom was dying. Mom was expected to die not long after I was to enter the room. When I went into the room, the daughter was at her Mom’s bedside. She did die not long after I had entered the room. Her husband was on his way to be with his wife and daughter of this patient. He did not make it in time.

The daughter did not want to be alone when Mom took her last breath. I was called to step in for her husband who could not make it in time to be with his Mother in Law and wife. When he arrived, his wife was so grateful that I had been with her that she shared this with her husband. During this time, I wondered if some guilt on his part may set in with his own personal grief. Just in case, I offered a prayer of release and blessing for their three lives having known one another in this life to include the Son in Law.

Prayer is a wonderful way to invoke the sacred into our lives. Prayer invites a comprehensive understanding that God/Higher Power is in charge of life and of death. It is a reminder how the presence of God’s Spirit supersedes everything and everyone’s ultimate ability to care for us beyond our own ability to do so. In this case, prayer was able to invite Unity in a situation whereby possible individual grief could have been encountered at a later time. Prayer enabled all to participate in Mom’s dying and death from a level of awareness that includes a life’s presence beyond the body itself.

As I write these words, I am reminded how vital prayer is to the Hospice patients and families we serve. Prayer encompasses an eternal awareness and brings forth healing when temporal circumstances could emerge individual flaws in our own psyche. Prayer invites unconditional grace and healing.

For this family, prayer became a way to include all participating in grief to join one another in the path of healing together. It invited what is most sacred in us to seek God for help during a difficult time. Also, prayer gave everyone in the room the ability to seek, and even find, the healing power of prayer by focusing our attention outside our ego enough to know exactly where our strength will come from.

Prayer is a participatory union between those evoking God’s presence through faith in a loving being who knows best how to care for us more than ourselves. It is a relationship based on trust. It is a trust reminding us who we really are as God’s children. And, it is a trust in God’s ultimate Will for our lives beyond our own understanding. It is as though we trust our lives into a Creative order of existence not made with human hands. It is a reminder to each of us just how sacred every moment is and a way of reminding each other who we really are.

Prayer invites us to close our eyes to the world around us and open them up into insight. Here, we see through our eyes what cannot be seen with them. It is here we envision and participate in unconditional love. Innocence is born in this sacred space healing a separation that was never meant to be.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

Concentrate on Effort

Concentrate on effort. All of life is energy and information. Seeds of awareness are in constant growth. “Where one attention goes – energy flows.” I am sure you have heard this many times. It is true. Life comes through you and not from you. Life is the greatest gift a person can receive upon this earth.

One way you can notice if life is moving through you; instead of, life as moving from you is to pay attention. When life is coming from you, you are using a lot of personal effort to achieve a task. When life is moving through you, you are embracing and acknowledging the need for and dependence on your Creator’s strength to sustain you each day and each moment of your life.

Let’s just say you are on earth to fulfill a mission, a purpose, or a reason for being. As you act out this intention and desire to full your reason for being on earth, your mind is clear and your body is filled with joy, energy, and contentment. As you get feedback from others who are the recipients of your purpose on earth, what returns to you is the gratitude for being the person this experience is transferred through. Your highest joy is not the praise or the servant being willing to serve another. The real joy is in knowing you were chosen for the spirit of one’s Creator to flow through you and create in you a clean heart where purity exists. It is our way of knowing ourselves as God knows us. It is a deep connection with God in that moment. This level of effort is simply your faith, your trust, your willingness to integrate yourself into the fabric of God’s flowing moving through your being. This level of connectedness is the effortless effort of being present as you become a vessel for God’s hands, feet, mind, and body to work through in accomplishing God’s will for your life and the lives of others.

Hospice patients clearly understand effort and the need to let God, those God works through, or one’s Higher Power bring to them their sustenance each day. When you were a child, life was effortless. You needed someone to take care of your needs, so you could live and grow into independence. When we die, we need help as well. We need help in letting go of personal effort and allowing God to fill us with faith. When we let go of personal effort, God/Our Creator can fill us up with spirit and the realization that we do nothing alone. Then, the resources that are available to us move to our aid to help us with our transition from being born into this world, and to, the birth that takes us into eternity.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com

The Ways We Grieve

Have you ever noticed the way people grieve? There seems to be those who grieve from an ego perspective, and those who grieve from an integrative perspective. To some degree, you will notice a little of ego and integrative responses in the process of letting go. We live in a society where being able to become independent is necessary to exist in the world. From the moment we are born, we are observed by the medical society and our parents. We are watched to see how we are developing. It is important that we learn to crawl, to walk, to be potty trained, to learn to speak, and you know the rest.

Each of these developmental stages of growth enables us to live independently in this world. Our ego finds new confidence each step of the way. We begin forget we are brought into this world by a power greater than and selves. And thus, self-centeredness takes such a stronghold within our psyche we are convinced that what we are in more real than anything else. Then, it happens. We experience loss. Something beyond our control reminds us there is a world in us that doesn’t match the one outside us. There is more to living in this world than our own needs, wants, and desires. This new identity allows our self-centered ego to relate to a much grandeur world. The movement from the world lives inside us. It is an integrative process.

1. Grieving through the Ego.

This kind of grief is found in these words: “life begins and ends here,” “life will never be the same,” “my life is over.” Although there are elements of truth to these statements, there is a limited worldview attached to them. They are statements people use to express their ego needs no longer being met due to the loss that takes away from them a part of their world.

When I hear the voice of ego grief in a profound way, I realize I am dealing with someone attached to the world of form. The ability to become abstract enough to find hope beyond this world in their relationships is challenged by the death of a loved one. In doing so, the deceased loved one becomes a pathway into the soul of those in ego grief.

2. Grieving through the Integrative process.

You may hear these words in this path to grief: “life is different,” “my loved one is in a better place,” “I will be O.K.” Do you hear how these statements reflect a sense of knowing their loved one’s body is gone, but their spirit will remain in their heart? This type of grieving allows a person to have a sense of knowing. It is a knowing that only the body is dead. The relationship with a deceased loved one remains in place. It may even be such a connection in soul that some feel closer to their loved one than when they were alive in physical form.

To be known as we are truly known is not an afterlife experience. To be fully human and fully divine is one of the best kept secrets we all pretend we are not aware of until the afterlife. There is no afterlife. We came from eternity and to eternity we return. When we let go of the notion that eternity begins at death, we are free to utilize eternal resources to help us live in the here and now.

The instant we realize we live in the world AND the world lives inside of us reveals a sense of awe. The world and our part in it have neither beginning nor an end. This integration from individual awareness to collective awareness carries within it hopes. It is the hope in knowing that all belong to an unending stream of consciousness. As humans, we have predictable stages of development indicating where we are in human maturity.

As we age, our psyche or our soul integrates its being from individual awareness to universal awareness. The journey into eternal awareness allows a sense of hope beyond the sense to withstand grief. Eternal Awareness integrates the self into the Universal knowing that the power which leads us into the world knows how to take us home.

Sam Oliver @ www.pathintohealing.com