Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"Oh, God! Here I Go Again" or "Thanks, God! Here I Grow Again" ... The Choice Is Up to Us

The difficulties of life are to make us better, not bitter.”~Unknown

Some of you may recall that I have previously written about a fractured family relationship that has caused me great heartache and sadness for decades.  Unfortunately, I experienced another emotional episode with that same person a while ago.  This time, though, after years of spiritual work, instead of being hooked into the same-old, in-kind reaction, I knew I was okay enough to not only withstand the barrage of anger but to do something about it.  OMIGOD.  What a breakthrough.

I immediately remembered that it takes two people to keep this negative cycle going, and only one to stop it  At that moment I promised myself I was going to be the latter.

Being unaware of the source of the breach between us, I tried many times through the years to ask the person for forgiveness, but to no avail.  Back then I thought it was because she enjoyed having the power to deny my hope for reconciliation.   Now I know it’s because I was meant to recognize the fact that if I’m suffering, it’s my problem, and I need to heal enough to allow whatever I’m holding onto to be faced, felt, and released.

While my inner guidance provided me with the Inner Work technique to use in such situations years ago – the truth is that I seldom saw this individual – so I turned within to focus on this issue only when I was the recipient of another emotional outbreak.    By then, I would be so upset by the depth of the emotions within me that I just wanted to get past it.

This time, however, I knew instantly that I was through with being a handy target for these emotional outbursts and was determined to learn my lesson, grow through it and come to peace with this issue.  I went into prayer and after centering myself, I realized that my inner guidance was urging me to re-read one of my favorite books.  It was by Arun Gandhi, the fifth grandchild of Mahatma Gandhi, and is titled “Legacy of Love – My Education in the Path of Nonviolence.”

Not only did I re-read several chapters, I clearly recalled being at Arun’s presentation that evening back in 2010.  Since I thought that I was in for a history lesson about India’s trials, tribulations and victories, I didn’t expect it to touch me personally.  I was wrong.

His profound insight was that humanity views violence as only physical, therefore missing the awareness that we daily contribute to passive violence.

According to Arun, we do this in many oppressive and disrespectful ways, including gossiping, name calling, blaming, bullying, teasing and insulting, as well as venting our anger on others. As I remembered this statement, I realized immediately that there’s probably not a person on Earth who hasn’t at one time or another unknowingly indulged in some form of passive violence. 

He explained that passive violence generates anger because the target doesn’t know how to deal with it positively, and the only option seems to be to resort to some form of physical violence, or to keep stockpiling resentments.  So, I was actually adding fuel to the fire of my undesirable situation by blaming the other person.  Now I see why no healing was ever possible under those circumstances.

The next insight I gained was that this dysfunctional relationship was somehow linked to my early-childhood experiences in a large family that left me feeling unlovable, unworthy and vulnerable.  This was surely the reason that as an adult I was addicted to being treated with loving kindness and respect.  And when the reality of the unkind and disrespectful relationship with this individual didn’t fit my desires, I reacted with animosity, blame and a prayer that she would eventually learn her lesson and act accordingly.

I seized this latest opportunity to clear and release this sad situation for all time.  I immediately began daily forgiveness work for each of us.  When I began to feel centered, and could come from a level of love for the other person, I started the Inner Work.

After an unusually powerful and tearful energy release, my inner guidance drew me back in my mind’s eye to when my “adversary” was a newborn baby.

My first thought was if this is to “soften” me up, it won’t work.  I was born the seventh of ten children.  And while I loved babies and had enjoyed (most of the time) being in charge of my younger brother and sisters, I was only eight-years-old and just wanted to be free to play outside with the rest of the kids.  When my mother appeared, she took the infant from the baby’s mother and placed her in my arms, indicating that she had volunteered me to care for the baby after school each day and on the weekend.  I was overwhelmed.

I sensed it wasn’t wise to speak up, because my mother made it quite clear the baby was “sickly” and the mother needed help, and we were “family.”  I decided to do what I had to do, but as I girded myself for this unwanted act of charity, I also actually felt a slight hardening of my heart toward this infant.  Just then I got the message my inner guidance was orchestrating.  I had rejected this fellow human being from the beginning, and I had to accept 100% responsibility for my part.  She had chosen to give back to me (unknowingly) the rejection I had set in motion.

When I started to judge myself harshly for what I had done, my inner guidance stopped me in my tracks.  I was to ask myself these questions: Did I do the best I could as a young child? (Yes.) Did I see life differently then? (Yes.).  Did I know then what I know now? (No.)  Would I have acted differently if I had?  (Yes.)  Am I willing to forgive myself for making a mistake, and not realizing the consequences it set in motion?   (Yes.)

At that moment, I relaxed into the process totally, for I knew from past experience that I was being guided into the insight-healing I sought. I was now face to face with the infant, looking directly into her sparkling blue eyes.  I was also the adult I am now, and was captivated by how lively she was, for I knew the life challenges she would face.  As she smiled and gurgled her way into my heart, I felt the plate of armor dissolve and love flowed freely through me to her. WOW!

I recalled soon after the visioning, that by the time this baby was two-years-old, and I was 10, I had chosen the path of love for my life journey.  As a result, I spent many hours – and most of the money I made, (25 cents an hour) from babysitting neighbor children – in trying to add joy to her life as she faced continuing health challenges.

I also realized once again how powerful our thoughts are and the importance of mastering them to assure they yield desirable instead of undesirable results.

When I fully accepted that I was totally responsible for my part in this situation, and my counterpart was 100% responsible for her reactions and responses, I vowed to continue the Inner Work and claimed freedom from this issue for all time. (See the Inner Work steps in the February essay or on the author’s Web Page at:www.FernStewartWelch.com.)

Hip, Hip, Hurray and Hallelujah!  What a gift, and it couldn’t and wouldn’t have happened until I chose to face the truth and to grow through life instead of continuing to suffer through it.
I meet every life experience by smiling, standing tall and saying:Thanks God, here I grow again.
Copyright © 2014 by Fern Stewart Welch   [This archived essay reprinted by request]
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.com, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

You May Think You're Falling Apart ,,, But It Could Be Your Chance to Get It All Together

        “It’s a fact: We need a body to continue experiencing life on Earth.”   ~Fern Stewart Welch   

Two years ago, after 78 years of mostly radiant health, my body began sending me messages in the form of various maladies, a not so subtle reminder that while our souls are immortal our bodies are finite.  This falling-apart time that I felt I had reached meant that a major life choice loomed before me: Did I give up and give in, thinking that I had no alternative – or did I decide to trust my own inner knowing that tells me there is another option?  Since I wrote my epitaph when I was a freshman in college – I Lived, I Loved, I Learned – it didn’t surprise me that I had already selected my motto for this stage of life – I refuse to die until I’m dead.

In other words, I would not focus on dying, which would send my body the wrong message, which was that I was ready to go home.  At that point, my body would start to fulfill my “order” by sending me more maladies. Instead I changed my negative thoughts about my ailments to positive ones.  I knew at the core of my being that I wasn’t “falling apart,” and that I was being guided to awaken to a more expanded view of living and – ultimately – dying. So with a strong sense that every cell of my body agreed, I affirmed: I am not falling apart; I am finally coming together.

My rationale for that strong outlook was two-fold, the maladies that were popping up got my attention and after some deliberation, I realized our bodies are sacred vehicles that allow us to
experience life on Earth.  Obviously it was also time to step up as a partner and help my body do its only job … to constantly heal itself.  Unfortunately, for most of my life I hadn’t been a good partner.  I took my good health for granted and never once thought of my body as the incredible work of genius it is.  At this point, I was able to look at this experience of things going wrong physically as another life lesson – opportunity – the kind that allows us to gain insight into how life is really meant to work.

Of course, I was aware that many sick people around the globe already lived this choice – they never thought of giving up or giving in just because of what a caregiver or space-age machine declared was their fate.  We’ve all watched them share their extraordinary stories online, on television and hungrily read their books.  Here’s one of my favorite examples:

Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D., is a brain scientist who experienced a massive, debilitating stroke, and chronicled her challenge to regain her life in the book “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.”   After years of strong resolve and faith, and partnering with her body in selecting the medical care and therapies necessary for recovery … she discovered her body’s incredible capacity to heal.  She’s now sharing her inspirational experience with people around the world to help others, especially stroke victims.

No matter how serious their prognosis, many courageous people like Dr. Taylor accepted their own inner knowing that our bodies are equipped to reenergize, regenerate and renew every cell, organ and function—depending on our desire and conscious direction.  I humbly realize that while I don’t share the life skills and knowledge of Dr. Taylor, I am a fellow soul and therefore am heir to the same healing power that is within each of us.  Plus, I am totally committed to fulfilling my life purpose by sharing the insights I learn with others as I grow through life instead of just going through it.

The fact is that for the past three decades each member of my team of caregivers has embraced the field of integrative medicine that combines the best of modern-day medicine, as well as holistic modalities and philosophy.  This means I’ve been learning to take responsibility for my health decisions concerning drugs, surgery and so on.  The result is that despite a few aches and pains and some inconveniences, I am still here – and prescription free.

I also believe that each human being is a unique and precious individualized expression of the Universal Life Force-Energy-Spirit-God.  We’re on a unique journey that is tailored just for us, and the one-size-fits-all diagnoses and required drugs and treatments – along with a belief that the Earth is flat – belong together in the dustbin of history.  We are being called to a conscious awakening within ourselves that is a necessary step for us to keep pace with the planetary transformation that is ongoing and the incredible high-tech scientific world we now inhabit.

Being born on Earth is such a Gift.  No matter what chapter of life we’re in, it’s an opportunity to grow into a higher level of consciousness, which is why we’re here.  I believe in following that truth and by doing so, that I will be able to live life the way in which it’s really meant to unfold.  I may have come to this awareness late in life, but obviously it’s the right timing for me.  I am being led and supported in loving myself, taking charge of my life and owning my power.  Baby steps perhaps, but the feeling deep within me is the only encouragement I need to know I am on the right path.

For more than a decade, I have been focusing on fulfilling my life purposes, my potential and true heart and soul desires.  Recently I began receiving the following message from my Higher Wisdom Self:  “Take Heart, Fern, these are The First Days of the Best Years of Your Life.”  That has always lifted my heart and spurred me on to trust and have faith in what is to come.  I recognize the truth in it for now no matter what life presents, I face it, do what I can to cope with it – and continue on my journey with a reassuring feeling of contentment, joy and peace.

During the ensuing years I have experienced several brief episodes of a level of bliss that felt like heaven-on-Earth.  The first time, I hugged it to my heart and as I focused on staying in that energy, I realized it was achievable for longer periods of time right here on Earth.  In other similar instances the all-encompassing bliss was accompanied by an inner knowing that if I died right then, it would be okay for I was God-smacked with a joy that permeated my being and caused me to know that at some level, I was already perfect, whole and complete.  There was also a palpable energy that I recognized as an anticipation of Good.

The more I focus on expanding my conscious awareness of how life on Earth is really meant to be lived, the stronger the inner soul urging is to be free to live a longer life and to continue discovering the Real Me I was born to be.

We don’t have to gaze at the stars or ponder the endless number of galaxies to bring up the awe, love, mystery and potential that is inherent in the gift our bodies present to us.  All we have to do is turn within and become acquainted with our sacred life vehicles to discover the power within each of us.

When I think about it now it’s like being given a magical, mystical toy and I’m just now opening it and seeing what we can accomplish by partnering together.  This opens us to consciously realizing the incredible intelligence, love and perfection that we are.  As if that wasn’t enough, each of us shares in the Universal plan. Our role is to take every challenge as an opportunity to help us learn how life on Earth is meant to work – and to realize that our magnificent body is capable of keeping us around until we have fully expressed our unique energy, light into the world.  Thank you, Life.  I’m Happy.  More Please.

“There is a power and presence within you that is greater than you are and you can use it."   

      ~Irene Amanda Hunter, author of “The Miracle of Being The Real You.”

______________________________________                                                                                       Copyright © 2015 by Fern Stewart Welch  [Repeated by request]

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. 2009) are available at Amazon.com, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.