I have found a series of YouTube video recordings of a spiritual conference held some time ago in Alaska. I am most grateful for the availability of this series online – and for the spiritual food listening to it is providing to me. I have some new and interesting – and very helpful – thoughts to carry around with me on this very special day.
One of my daughters is today going through the last day of her pregnancy – they live 1700 miles away – and part of me is very sad I cannot be there with her while she brings her 2nd little body into this world. I will be traveling up there 5 weeks after his birth. My trip is planned to happen within the pattern of her leave off of work and her husband’s paternity leave so that Grandma can at least care for the newborn two or three weeks after my daughter has to return to work.
Today I am noticing very clearly how I think and feel ‘in combination’. No event in our lives happens in a vacuum. Every strand of every experience carries from the past, through the present moment, into the future. Even though I feel sad I cannot be with my daughter and her family right now I am working hard at ALLOWING far more positive thoughts, and therefore positive feelings, to flow along with me today – yes – along WITH this sadness.
The Baha’i speaker in this series of conference talks (there are eleven of them, I am listening to #4 today) much has been said about how the next world where human will does not exist so that ONLY God’s Will does means that we will carry nothing negative with us into that perfectly positive world. Yes, I guess we will remember what we experienced in this world. We will recognize souls who have been important to us in the next world – but it will not be possible for negativity to exist in that next world.
That is giving me thinking room today to practice ‘positive thinking’ in an expanded way. While I am certainly aware of many painful facts about things that have happened in my life, including so many not-so-wise choices I have made myself, if I can increasingly carry around with me as positive a perspective as I can — well — this process will evidently grow and strengthen my soul.
There are millions and millions of positive things I can pay attention to in my life – even in my past life, including my 18-year childhood that was so ugly and painful. The fact I feel sadness I cannot be with my daughter RIGHT NOW is not a negative aspect of who I am. I am sad because of the great love I have for my children, for my grandchildren – and because I am human and because I am alive.
I am looking for ways to learn about how sadness is NOT a negative experience after all. Maybe I need to learn new words to converse with myself about what I do feel. At the same time I know that even up until I was 30 years old I had no idea what a feeling even was!
But I chose to learn. I chose to feel.
Long ago ‘helpers’ along my journey toward increasing wholeness told me that abuse survivors mostly block all their ‘negative’ feelings – but as we do this we also are blocking our ability to feel the ‘positive’ feelings. There are infinite treasures in our life. Understanding that our soul does have feelings that act as signals about how we are experiencing our life lets me know that – again – I am so much more than this trauma-changed body I live in. I can CHOOSE to expand my experience of my life through EXERCISE and PRACTICE!
My daughter is healthy and as far as we know so is the little new one who will be born tomorrow into this learning ground we call earthly life.
My daughter is happy, in a marriage that is stable, parenting with her husband children that were PLANNED for and WANTED. None of the trauma drama of my own past has been transferred to my daughter – through the grace of God and through education, practice and some hard work toward better choices.
I have MUCH to celebrate – as I believe we all do – if we can turn around in a full circle as we allow our focus to include all the very real blessings (no matter what we call them) that flood every second of our life.
But we have to CHOOSE to expand our self so that the positive can become not AS REAL as whatever hardship we know — but so the positive can increasingly become ALL THAT IS REAL in our life.
I am not talking about magic here. I am not talking about blissful ‘new age’ philosophy or about denial. It may be that as severe early trauma survivors that the incredible negative experiences we have gone through has biased us toward our suffering. We ARE more than that. LIFE is more than that.
There is certainly no shame or self-blame in being aware that we often carry with us – well, MOSTLY can be more accurate for severe early trauma survivors — great suffering that is hard to ‘see’ and ‘feel’ around. But we are tough and wise people, we survivors. We can honor the full circle of our experience on earth – which includes SO MUCH GOODNESS that our suffering can fade into the background many times a day — enough so that for precious moments we can forget that the ‘negative’ has any place in our ongoing moments.
At least this is what I am working toward understanding and experiencing because I CAN, because I WANT TO, and because this choice is better than any other alternative I can think of.
This earthly plane of existence which is a testing and training ground for our souls is a plane of duality. OF COURSE the positive and the negative exist here! That is what being alive in a material body in a material, physical universe is all about. But we can increasingly strengthen the ability of our soul to understand that just as positive and goodness is all that exists in the next world we will go to when we leave this physical plane, this same positive exists for us here.
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