Tag Archives: love

Casting Off

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mother portrait

A new cycle was beginning.

Jean, our hospice nurse, spent time examining mother. She spoke with confidence and gentleness to my mother. Everything had changed. Since the episode a night earlier, Mother was now too weak to leave her bed. She was confined by her own weakness. Her world began to change. Only days earlier, she had sat in her wheel chair, eaten a normal meal and laughed with us in another room. That was to be her last foray outside of her bedroom and her last burst of energy. Everything was shrinking – her appetite, her mobility, and her own body. But her mind was still quite acute. There was no way I was giving up on her. I still thought she and I could get her through this, despite what the doctors and hospice said.

After Jean took time to get acquainted with Mother, she asked all of us to join her in another room. The mood was sombre as we listened intently. Now we were in the world of hospice, a very foreign country to all of us. Already installed in Mother’s room was the humming oxygen machine to assist her breathing when needed. We had refused bringing in a hospital bed, wanting mother to be in her own usual bed.

Jean explained what it meant to have palliative care. She showed us the powerful drugs, like morphine and lorazepam (for anxiety) that would be available for Mother to help ease her through the process. Luckily, Mom was not in pain, and we were grateful for this. Jean warned us that we should not count on our memory to remember when and how much medication Mother was given. We should have a journal. My brother, the ever organized and with a Navy pilot thoroughness, prepared the journal for us.

I made the decision immediately that I would be the only one to give Mother the heavy drugs. I was still her protector and wanted to prevent her from being drugged unnecessarily. Then we learned of the array of other hospice workers who would be available to help. Ever polite and grateful, we walked Jean to the door, thanking her along the way.

When the door closed, we stood stunned but coping. Bill and Judy would soon be returning back home, but they knew they would never again hear Mother’s cheery voice or see her smile. Each took private time with her, holding back tears as best they could until they left the room. They also knew that this would be difficult for Richard and for me and asked us to call whenever we needed help, no matter the time of day or night.

The four of us talked as Mother rested, still with her ever faithful Siamese cat by her side. We agreed on the plans for the funeral and who would be called in Ann Arbor. This would be the key part bill and Judy would play as we held vigil. As we talked, Judy continued knitting the pretty pink afghan she had been making for Mother as a Christmas gift. The afghan was only partially made.

On the morning that Bill and Judy departed, I stood in the kitchen alone with my brother. He said, “Judy cast off the afghan last night and is leaving it for mother just as it is.” She cast off, a knitting term that was a kind of closure on the item being made. Casting off is also letting the ship or boat be free to go out to sea. Mother was casting off her life as she knew it, and we were with her. The destination seemed certain, but the final journey was not yet charted. That was to be revealed to all of us, along with the ethereal lessons and miracles.

Judy left the afghan draped over Mother’s shoulders as she laid in bed. I tried to keep it there as much as I could, placing it to warm her neck. It was a parting gift made with love. At the time Mom took her last breath, that pink afghan was still warming her. But then, Mother had cast off permanently. She was sailing through clear and vibrant seas, and free at last. Soon she would bring us along.

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The 52: Lesson Fifty Two — And Finally and Only — Love

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butterflyblueskyLove surrounds you.  

Of this be sure.

You do not walk alone.

These words, from A Course in Miracles, form the essence of The 52.  It is first, last, and always, the only and most important Truth to know and believe. Recognize it at the core of your being.  It is the path to true freedom.  Love destroys fear and the insidious messages of the ego, which you may have mistakenly taken to be the truth.  But hatred, judgement, anger, and hostility have no power where Love resides.  The darkness has no power over the Light.  It never has and never will.

Don’t be mistaken, this is not some trivial, maudlin, sentimental kind of love — the kind you might find in typical movies and songs and romance novels.  It is beyond physical love and that between individuals, though this kind of love carries a seed of Divine Love.  This is big Love.  It is not dependent on fluctuations in temperament or on the way the world is evolving or on another person. It does not wax and wane. It is only about YOU and the Divine Consciousness within you.

LESSON FIFTY TWO

LOVE YOURSELF

The image of the blue butterfly soaring toward the light conveys what The 52 is meant to represent.  It reflects how we, as humans, seek to find freedom and peace and the ability to feel and express love.  Sometimes we are not aware of this longing, but, nonetheless, it is there. The butterfly transforms itself, from the caterpillar that crawls on the earth, to a beautiful creature with wings outspread, flying in freedom.  All of us, no matter how much we think we are tied to the earth, has the capacity and wisdom to take flight. We can experience metamorphosis, just like the butterfly.  Our wings may be folded now inside a cocoon, waiting.  But then Love will split the cocoon and we will all fly free into the Light of Eternal Love.  All of us!  No one is left behind!

Once this happens — when you have even a glimpse of this Light — you will never be the same again.  You will know, in the depth of your heart, who and what you are.  You will recognize that you are not alone in this journey.  This is my purpose in writing.  To tell you this and that I am with you as a fellow traveler.  Many others are with you.  We will all find each other, just as you have found this writing.

In the Chandogya Upanishad, an ancient book of spiritual writings from India, it is written:

There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens.

This is the light that shines in our heart.

It isn’t out there, some where.  It isn’t beyond your grasp.  It doesn’t depend on who you are, your good deeds, your history, your “worthiness.” It is your “birthright,” given to you for all time.  It was there before you took birth.  It will be there when you take your last breath and depart this plane.  It is eternal.  And it is present in this very moment, as you read these words.  Even if you and your ego doubt it, Divine Love and Consciousness do not.  I believe in it now to the core of my being, even though there was a time when I would have laughed at the notion.  Others have found the same Truth and many may have expressed it with greater influence or more wisely, yet I believe that it is my purpose to share it.  It was illuminated to me as the greatest gift of my life. This gift is meant to be shared.

So, here I stand, firmly grounded and steadfast and soaring with this Truth.  You are Love.  Love is you.  Love is in everything you hear, see, taste, touch and smell.  Love is ever-present and a present to you. To deny this is tantamount to denying yourself and all that is.

“I love myself completely NOW.”  This was the affirmation of the first lesson of The 52.  And so it is also the last.  If you have embraced this, repeated it over and over, no matter the circumstances, you will, in fact be, lighter and happier than you were when you began.  I promised that, if you followed the course, you would be a lighter and happier you in 52 (weeks).  I hope that you are.

 These writings and my beliefs have been non-denominational and have been planted in the spiritual belief systems of all faiths, tribes, and philosophies, all of which, at the core, share Love as the common and most important center of teaching and knowing.  Here, from the Holy Bible, is a favorite of mine.  From I Corinthians 13:

Love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.

Believe in Love. Love never ends.  Not ever!

With love and namaste, Deanne

PLEASE STAY TUNED.  While this is the last of The 52, nest week’s post will bring a new announcement.

For more, go to http://www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Love the YOU Who is Present Right Now!

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butterflyblueskyThink about this: How would you feel if you absolutely and honestly loved the YOU who is present at all times?  Even when you know that you are not in the best form.  At those times when you realize that anxiety or fear has caused you to be other than the you at the core of your being? Did you know that you are loved unconditionally, regardless of how you are “performing” at the moment?

It should be easy to know this and believe it.  But, for most of us, it isn’t.

While we may strive to stay authentic and true to ourselves, we all falter at times.  I remember certain times in my life when even the most trivial action could throw me for a loop.  Things like calling someone by the wrong name.  Or missing an appointment.  Or getting angry at some little thing, like a slow driver in front of my car.  Or not finishing everything on my overloaded to-do list. (Didn’t I actually fill it so full that I could never get everything done in one day and then would feel guilt about it?)  In the scheme of life and the world, these are small glitches.  They are tiny dots on the tapestry of life.  What was not operating for me was the loving witness (me). I didn’t realize that, with just a little shift, I could engage the love that is always flowing from my heart.

So be aware and know who you are as you are functioning in the play of the world. But never forget that YOU are the Light of Love, and no one can ever, in any way, deprive you of this Truth.

I am your fellow traveler on this journey.  Love connects all of us.  I am happy that you are with me!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to http://www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Twenty Two — Through Kindness You Are Lighter and Happier

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butterflyblueskySilent film star Charlie Chaplin was, in his era, a huge presence.  Funny, controversial, outspoken, and a film genius, he made waves wherever he went.  And he said this:

We think too much and feel too little.  More than machinery, we need humanity.

More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.

He had seen nothing in terms of machinery and technology as we do today.  Imagine what he would say today.

LESSON TWENTY TWO

LOVING KINDNESS

Now, perhaps more than at any time in the past, we MUST behave with kindness and gentleness. And this again brings us to using everything we have, all our senses, our minds, our bodies, our thoughts, and especially our loving hearts to acting with kindness under ALL circumstances, most importantly with ourselves.  Kindness grows from within.  It reaches out to others and reflects back on us.  It soothes us to know that we can extend love, forgiveness and kindness inwardly, not relying on others to do it for us.  Kindness can become a habit; a natural way to respond in any event or situation.  It surrounds us with a presence that merges us with the Divine Presence, that knows only Love and Grace.

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.  Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.

This is a quote from Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. I think it is very appropriate to consider.  As many have written words about the simplicity of creating “small” acts of kindness, few speak of the ripples.  Of course, even the tiniest act brings benefit to the receiver and the giver, yet it goes beyond.  It moves into the consciousness of all of us, even as we may not have full awareness of this.  Each act, in a profound way, changes the world and the hearts and minds of all of us.

If you think about it, extending loving kindness is so easy. Think about these questions:

  • How hard is it to give a smile to someone you encounter during your day? It might be someone you pass on the street or even your own spouse or children.
  • Is it really so hard to open a door for another person or to motion a car driver waiting to enter a lane to go before you?
  • Is there someone you might call or email, just to say a few kind words?
  • How about greeting those you see on a routine basis, like the checkout person at the store or the doorman in your apartment building or the neighbor walking the dog?
  • If there is someone you know whose life has reached a place where they have few friends — perhaps because they are old, without family, and most of their friends have passed on or someone who has made decisions that led to addiction or have, without any act on their own, been “downsized” in their job — maybe you could reach out to them, with kindness and non-judgment.
  • Or, if all of this seems like too much, do you have a spare moment to send some thoughts of loving kindness to others?  Thoughts!  Just think love and send it forth.  Many of us believe that there is great power in such a small act.
  • Now do the same for yourself — in forgiveness, kindness, love.  Let the healing commence!

I am very enthusiastic about this kind of simple practice.  In fact, I so believe in it, that I promise you that you will feel lighter and happier as soon as you begin.  Give it a try.

I hope it becomes a habit!  Watch yourself soar like the blue butterfly, right into the Light of Love!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more writings, go to http://www.deannemincer.com.

The 52: Are You Lighter and Happier Remembering to Love?

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butterflyblueskyHas the “river of love” been washing over you all this week?  If you feel that it has, it just means that you actually have become conscious of it.  Love was always there, residing within you and flowing all around you.  Isn’t it odd, and even sad, that we don’t notice it a lot of the time?

We have this challenge, you see.  Instead of relying on the wisdom we have right there inside of us, the kind of wisdom that knows for sure, that we are eternal, divine and loving at the core of our being, we turn outside ourselves and take for truth the misinformation that comes in from the world.  We actually believe that we are small, unworthy, and filled with many negative attributes we learn from some of those around us and from our past histories.  Then we replay them ad nauseam.  This is not an over statement.  We actually can make ourselves sick and miserable by believing all those messages. We are traumatized by them, even though we have a choice in the matter.

Flat out, DON’T BELIEVE THOSE FALSE NOTIONS!  You are the essence of love.  But don’t take my word for it.  Why should you?  Far greater minds than mine have said the same thing.  Over and over again.  Look at all the great spiritual writings. There it is.  And yet, we choose to be unhappy.  We place our trust in ego messages that we think justify our already paltry view of ourselves.  I have spent a lot of time believing those old songs.

So go back and look at the lesson earlier this week.  Let the love flow over you and around you.  Just for a few seconds, if that is all you can muster. Feel loved and cared for. There!  Doesn’t that feel better?  Even if a few seconds.  And YOU did it!  It does not have to come from another person. You can experience it for yourself.

Now, if you want to go back to doubting and feeling bad again, that is the freedom you have.

BUT YOU CAN CHOOSE LOVE, EVERY SECOND OF YOUR LIFE!  ( I hope I am not being TOO pushy.)

Believe in love.  Why wouldn’t you?  Give me one good reason not to.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to http://www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Twenty — Love is Like a River

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butterflyblueskyLove is like a river.  Continuously flowing and leading into the welcoming ocean of love.  This metaphor is often used, in lyrics, in poetry and in spiritual writings to describe the never-ending, always flowing, and continuous love that is there to embrace each and everyone of us.

Many rivers flow into the same ocean, just as many souls (seemingly separate) reach the ocean, only to see that they are all the same, glistening brightly together.  They are the embodiment of love — from start to finish and then into eternity.

YOU flow on that river of life.  YOU reach the ocean. YOU do not need to wait to reach the ocean to know this Truth.  You can be conscious, awake and in full realization that you are now just as you always have been.  YOU are LOVE.

LESSON TWENTY

LOVE IS LIKE A RIVER

There is a gospel group we have come to enjoy over the years. My husband and I have listened to so many of their songs, we can repeat the lyrics from memory.   The music of the Gaither Vocal Band is exuberant, uplifting, and healing.  When the music starts, in seconds our toes are tapping, our hands are clapping , and our spirit is soaring, even at times when we are confronting issues like grief, loss or sadness.

Love is like a river, running and a rolling

Rolling from the lazy stream, drumming through the mountains,

Moving through the valley. over everything in between,

Rushing and a flooding, til all of a sudden it’s washing all over me.

Love is like a river, running and a rolling,

Rolling to the deep blue sea.

With due respect to the GaitherVocal Band, I hope I have gotten these lyrics right.  But, nonetheless, they express the mighty force of love, ever flowing.  If it hasn’t already, it will be washing all over you sooner or later.  Be ready to joyfully bathe in the experience.  You will be carried on the current, buoyed by the ecstatic nature of endless and unconditional love.  The best part of all is this:  When it finally hits you that you have always been both the recipient as well as the source of this love, your heart will sing!

Unfortunately, many of us spend more time listing the reasons we are not loveable, not worthy, not good enough.  Instead, do this:

  • Right now, make a little list, in your mind or on paper, of some of the loving qualities you have.  They can be big or small.  Maybe you showed kindness and love to someone lately, or opened the door for someone to pass through, or volunteered your time for a cause, or simply smiled at someone who looked like they needed it.
  • Think of specific times in your life when you have felt love in your heart – for another person, an animal, a plant in your garden, a small child you pass on the street.
  • Think of how you felt when love was extended to you
  • See yourself as a fountain of love that can flow from you, then send it forth.  In your mind, see that love entering into another human heart.

You see, YOU yourself are the river of love, if you put your attention on it.  BE that river and let it flow.  Imagine how many hearts will be opening when they see that love coming.  Don’t hold back.  It is an endless stream.  Let it wash over everything in its path.

My heart is sending love to you right now.  Are you getting it?

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to http://www.deannemincer.com

The 52: WHO is Reading These Words?

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butterflyblueskyThere is a presence within you

that has never suffered.

It lives in joy that has no cause.

                                      It is who you most deeply are.

These are the words of Jan Frazier, the author of When Fear Falls Away and The Freedom of Being at Ease with What Is.  Jan writes and speaks with a depth of authenticity that is often breathtaking. I met Jan a few months ago when she spoke in New York City, but I have long been impressed by her writings and her experiences.  She encountered and describes a spontaneous enlightenment and, with it, all fear fell away from her.  She was transformed.  I would like to say, she learned ” in a twinkling of an eye,” just who she is and what truly matters.  Spiritual change can occur like that — without warning or expectation — the spark is ignited and nothing is ever the same again.  Jan knows this.  I know this.  Do you know this?  Do you think you have to be someone special for this to happen? 

Imagine being at ease, no matter what happens in your life.  A good beginning in finding this kind of peace is in finding out just who you are.  There are time tested methods that can encourage such an awareness.  Meditation is perhaps the most well-known and has the capacity to draw inward enough for the True Self to become better known to you.  Some people find being in concert with nature as a viable means to bring about the connections.  Or it could be through chanting, dancing, singing, or doing nothing out of the ordinary at all.  Sometimes we remember who we are completely by surprise, as if Grace descends upon us in all its glory and for no reason at all.  You weren’t even trying.

It helps to be open to this kind of wisdom and changes.  Just to know there is someone other than your most commonly accepted self, in the world, opens the door.

So please re-read the last lesson.  Entertain the notion that you are as magnificent and full of love as you can imagine.  Just because you don’t see this side of yourself at this moment, does not mean it is not true.  Even if you find this incomprehensible or ridiculous, does not mean it is not true.  Caste as much cynicism upon it (I did that for years), but all the skepticism I could muster did not mean it was not true. 

You are beyond any dream you could ever have about yourself.  Believe it!  Then see what happens next.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more writings, go to www.deannemincer.com and visit me on Facebook.