Friday, July 31, 2015

Some People Are Born With the Grace to Live an Extra-Ordinary Life ... and the Rest of Us Can Learn From Their Example

 Albert Schweitzer said that the purpose of human life is to serve, to show compassion and to possess the will to help others.  My late sister Jessie, who lived a simple, unheralded life, would have been surprised to know that she embodied that philosophy.  And it was my privilege to not only witness someone live those values, but to have those principles as a guideline for my life.

How else could I recognize that by the time Jessie was a young adult (ten years my senior) she already possessed the positive attributes and qualities that I’ve been working to attain and maintain within myself (off and on) since I was 10-years old. For me, this self-transformation would obviously be a long-term project.  But I finally realized, in the past few years, that I had reached a level of peace and contentment similar to Jessie’s that brought joy and happiness into my life regardless of external circumstances.  I was filled with gratitude.

I seriously thought that if I was very careful and maintained the status quo that this highly desired peace and contentment would be with me for the rest of my life.  I was wrong.  Life is change and the choices we have are simple, but not always easy.  When we’re young it’s easier to cope with change, grow through it and often realize after the fact that it actually brought good into our lives.

The rub is that as we age, and the physical and mental changes that befall us cause us to be less adventurous, we find it more and more difficult to positively respond to change.  So many of us (me included) opt to choose a certain stage of life that seems pretty desirable – and that’s where we draw the line and choose the status quo.  But what we don’t realize is that by making that choice we could also be saying goodbye to consciously choosing progress and growth.  Ouch.  That sounds familiar.

Since I had managed through the years to attain a level of conscious awareness and a desired lifestyle that was the best I had ever experienced, I wanted to continue living from there.  Part of my joy came in honoring my two other siblings who had their lives cut short by cancer.  I chose to honor them by seeking to live a better, more meaningful life; in other words to continue growing spiritually.  At this time with Jessie’s recent passing at 90-years old and with a lifetime of selfless contribution to eight younger siblings – and to life in general – I chose to honor her by releasing my hold on the status quo.  I knew this would please her

I chose to claim an expanded vision for the rest of my life – opening myself to more options – and releasing the how, when and where to God-Good-Life.  What I had overlooked was that by claiming an expanded vision or any other change in my life I was also setting in motion a universal law that was known throughout the ages as – As you think, so you are.  It is now known globally as – When you change your thoughts, you change your life.

So, I have no idea what will happen in response to the three new daily “life changing” affirmations (see below) that I selected to use. But since I believed they are grounded in God-Good, I trust and expect that these new directives are for my highest and best good.
  I     I claim that opening to an expanded vision for my future brings only wonderful new experiences into my life.        I claim that Divine Order is established in my life experiences - and that Divine Timing flows through all my life happenings.

Ordinarily I would have been focusing my attention on the spiritual aspects of my life to glean any messages about expanding my life purpose, potential or adding to my list of true heart and soul desires, however there was no time for that. It seemed the snug little house that I had lived in for 18 years and planned to spend the rest of my life in … was speaking up loud and clear.  I was experiencing the first indication that my life – and my house – was a-changing.

It all started with a minor plumbing problem, then the same day the A/C unit died, and then the garage door opener quit, then the nearly inaccessible smoke alarm battery died.  And looking back now, I am pretty sure that I was in a light stage of shock.

The minor plumbing problem in the upstairs bathroom opened up my blessed sanctuary (upstairs and downstairs) to a bunch of heavy booted technicians, with multiple tool kits on wheels – which meant drilling and hammering noises day after day – and accompanied by huge amounts of debris, dirt and paint dust.  All of this to a highly-sensitive person like me was an assault on every aspect of my being.

Also my office was in one of the reconstruction areas and on some days it was not possible to gain access.  When I could get to the computer, the noise level and strangers walking in and out made it impossible to align with the creative energy that I seek daily.  It felt like my life was out of control, and my beloved house was out to get me.

Actually, I was too distressed to even stop, retreat from the house, or turn within and ask myself my usual key question:  “What am I to learn from this situation?”  When I was finally able to go within and gather my wits about me, I realized that I had allowed the external chaos to temporarily knock me out of a balanced energy state that allowed me to live from loving kindness.  I had given thanks every day for the incredible gift of life.  I want that energy level back.

The automatic inner peace and contentment that I wanted to last forever had slipped away.  It was the first time in a long time that I felt alone, disconnected, and vulnerable.  I don’t know what an out-of-body experience feels like, but this was more like a numbing sensation.

I really knew something was wrong when I started blaming others for the situation and refusing to take responsibility for any life decisions or non-decisions that had drawn this situation to me.  Also, being more human than spiritual at that point, I was highly judgmental of everything that was being done. The biggest surprise was that I could so easily be knocked from my comfort zone of peace and contentment, joy and happiness.  I wanted that back.

Normally I would have called my sister Jessie and told her of my predicament, but she was in the last days of her final life journey, and my priority was to be there for her.  Still I wondered how she would have reacted to my situation.

Fortunately phase two was the positive reconstruction period.  By habitually spending time within for so many years, I was gradually able to return to this daily routine and began writing out strong, positive directive prayers to resolve this situation.   At the same time positive things began to happen – like first and foremost – the reimbursement checks began to arrive from several insurance companies.  Then I noticed a major difference between the take-apart crew and the putting-back-together team.  It was like having new friends who wanted to work together to ensure that the very highest level of work was done with the least upheaval to my life.

This was an incredible boost to my morale, plus they went to great lengths to clean up their messes, and to close doors behind them to keep out unwanted bugs and crawly creatures.  I was so delighted to have the reconstruction phase started that I found my heart opening to all the workers, and started offering them cold water and homemade cookies.  I soon became at ease in sharing light conversation and laughter that brightened the long, hot, noisy workdays for everyone.

It was a mutual heart-opening experience.  They thanked me for allowing them into my house.  I thanked them for using their skills to heal my house.  Later that night I recalled what Jessie had often said … We are mutually blessed by the opportunities to relate on a human, humane and caring level.

Now I know that being open to change – and facing it with a positive attitude – is a prerequisite, and so is an awesome helping of trust and faith, with an expectancy of Good.  All that, plus the loving kindness and the laughter, was just what Jessie would have done.

___________________________________________                                                                            Copyright © 2015 by Fern Stewart Welch

The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart, (April 2013); “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction: “You Can Live a Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” (Nov. 2008); and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within,” (Feb.2008), are available at Amazon.con, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.