This is a post that will go to both my blogs.
In my little corner of the world where there is a spirit of benevolence and generosity, I try to stay away from news of mayhem, violence, discontent, extreme selfishness that negates others’ needs, hatred, pursuits of materialism at the exclusion of uplifting ones … the list could go on.
While I’m far from claiming that Tequisquiapan is paradise, I reckon that it inclines one—not everyone… but certainly me-to pare down on material concerns and spend time on spiritual considerations. I might add …as it behoves me at this stage of my life. So at the end of 2011, please allow me to share some reflections with you by first admitting that my heart is filled with gratitude. Gratitude for the inspiration that sent me to Mexico; gratitude for the strength and determination to build my own little house; gratitude for the help that I found along the way; gratitude for this wondrous world of clear blue skies and shining stars; gratitude for my family and friends; gratitude for my readers that validate my continuing to write; and I could go on.
For a number of years now, I have read accounts on NDERF of people who have experienced clinical death and been resuscitated after crossing over. Those who have had a positive experience, and even those who at first had a negative one, at times very frightening, followed by a sense of being helped into a more positive one, ALL relate that the overwhelming memory that they bring following their experience is that of LOVE. And that their lives are changed forever. They also become aware that each life has a particular goal and they choose to return to accomplish it.
For me, a source of inspiration has often come from Marianne Williamson’s writings, and in particular “A Return to Love”. Permit me to quote a few gems:-
“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”
“We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past, but by the love we're not extending in the present.”
“You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think. ”
Since the thought precedes the deed, I’ll have to remind myself of these inspiring thoughts to turn my behaviour into something that not only brings me peace and contentment, but results in a kinder disposition towards the world and its living creatures.
While I’m far from being keen on resolutions at the beginning of a new year, there is always room for improvement. As an Aries, patience is not my main virtue. It has finally dawned on me after reading about all these NDEs and reflecting on my life, that my goal in this life is probably learning more patience… and more forbearance. Here I am in a new country where I’m investing the later part of my life learning to build a house. I have now been living in my RV on my lot for pretty close to two years. A little at a time, I see my little house going up, yet may not be able to live in it for another year if all goes well. I’m doing this in a small place where at times, one may miss many of the amenities up North. The combination of these two certainly constitute a lesson in patience and forbearance. So I pray that I will finally master these two instead of sometimes chafing at the bit.
This morning I came upon this prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Shamelessly, I borrow from many sources for my own personal edification. At times, from Christian ones, at others from Sufism, Buddhism, Shamanism, Native Spirituality, even Moslem… It is my deepest belief that ALL religions form a pyramid at the base of which is a great diversity of beliefs and religious customs, and at its apex, the Source of Creation, the Universal Intelligence, the Great Spirit, by whatever one may name It.
Here is the prayer:
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
Oh, Divine Father, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
I think that it could very well be a universal prayer regardless of any religious content, but based on convictions that would make for a better world if adhered to.
Not an easy task, but let me add that however much I fall short of it, I’ll probably die trying.