... for those who mourn the loss of a soul mate
"He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began." - Leo Tolstoy

Monday, October 30, 2017

Holding On and Letting Go

As a writer, I often read things that touch me and light a small spark of creativity in my mind. But then I am not sure quite what to do with the quote or the idea. Instead of just letting it go, I write it down. I have notes like this all over my office.

That said, I have started trying to de-clutter and get rid of extraneous, energy-clogging stuff in my house (again!) and in the process, cool things tend to show up. This last weekend, it was one of those scraps of paper with a quote by the Persian poet Rumi who once said, “Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.” Isn’t it interesting that it would show up just as I was having to make decisions about what to keep and what to give my daughter-in-law for her yard sale?

In any case, seeing that and actually deciding to release things that had been in my house for far too long (can you imagine something like 25 jigsaw puzzles?) got me to thinking about what is worth keeping and what is worth letting go.

So, to the best of my ability, here are a few of my thoughts on that …

People are worth keeping … stuff can go
Memories are worth keeping … regrets should be released – forever
Love is worth keeping … hate hurts and can go
Caring relationships are worth saving forever … grudges only hurt
Successes are worth treasuring … failures can go once we learn from them
Peace is worth keeping … conflict and chaos are worth letting go
Family is worth keeping … toxic relationships are worth letting go

It is very easy to hold on to things because we “might need them some day” or because we have some emotional attachment to them. But in time, all those “might needs” just take valuable space from what can truly enrich your life. Rather than think of the stuff I let go as being discarded or wasted I am trying to think of it as finding a new home with someone who needs it far more than I do.

For example … for years, I refused to give away a single book I had bought and read. Now, I am a voracious reader, so eventually I was buried in paperback books. They were everywhere! Until one day, I realized I would never read a single one of them again and asked myself why I would deny someone else the pleasure of enjoying those stories. Suddenly it was much easier to donate them to the Visiting Nurses for their annual book sale. They earned money for their cause, someone else enjoyed the stories, and I felt a tremendous clearing of the energy in my house.

Sometimes what we let go is beyond our control. I think of the year we had to evacuate because of flooding or the recent wildfires that completely demolished entire neighborhoods in California. When you are faced with losing everything, you must quickly decide what is important to keep and what ultimately has no real meaning for you. It can come down to recognizing that as long as you still have those you love, nothing else is especially important. The rest is just stuff and replaceable.

I think the idea of balancing what we keep with what we let go of is especially important after someone we love is gone. We loved that person so much that we want to keep every reminder of them with us forever. Their clothes, their favorite coffee cup, the gifts they gave us, their very scent. Perhaps we fear that in letting anything of theirs go we will let them go as well. I don’t think that is possible. Their memory holds a permanent space in our heart. That will never change. But at some point, we begin to live in the world again. That is when mere things can no longer tie us to the one we can no longer hold. That is when we can begin releasing the material things as we grow more comfortable with letting them go and instead learn to keep their memory vividly alive in our heart. That memory will never die and it is eminently worth keeping.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A beautiful sign

Well, John really showed me a sign yesterday. A big one.
I was having our first meeting of a new spiritual/afterlife group that I am forming with two friends. We met at a restaurant in Carefree AZ and over lunch not only did we get some important work done but we shared some stories and got to know each other better. I told them my story about how John showed himself to me in the airport that first day after he passed by playing “Lyin’ Eyes” over the airport terminal loudspeaker. 

After checking my bags and getting my new boarding pass issued, Claudia and I ran for the stairs. And that was when John reached out to me for the first time since he had passed. As we were running down the stairs, overhead on the airport loudspeaker came the song “Lyin’ Eyes” by the Eagles. I couldn’t believe it.

Years ago, when I was divorcing my first husband, he dedicated that song to me. I’m not sure why. Bill did not take my decision to leave him very well. He felt that I was giving him a raw deal and was very afraid I was going to try to bilk him out of money. The opposite was true. My attorney had told me that I was the only doctor’s wife he knew who got next to nothing in her divorce. I didn’t care. I just wanted out. But that didn’t stop Bill from being angry and so he tried to hurt me by telling me that “Lyin’ Eyes” was my song since it was about a scheming wife who cheated.

I had told John about it when it happened and he helped me laugh about it. Over the years it became our private joke. Every time the song came on the radio, John never failed to poke me lovingly in the arm and say “There’s your song, Joy.” And he would smile and that would make me smile.
         And now John was doing it again. He was poking me. He wanted me to smile. *

After our meeting as Diane and I were walking to our cars we were talking again about songs and she told me how her husband, who was also deceased, loved Santana (it was playing overhead in the restaurant at the time - a sure sign from him) and how she was sure he was going to play Santana when they met again. I said John was probably going to play “Lyin’ Eyes” because he knew it would make me laugh again.
So, fast forward only a few minutes.
I was following Diane on the highway as we both drove to our next appointment, a class we were taking together. Just as I slowed at the stop sign before making my turn into the street where the class was going to be held, what plays for me through Pandora?
You guessed it! “Lyin’ Eyes”!!! 
Not only was John with me. Not only was he once again poking me and trying to make me laugh. But I think he was showing me how happy he was that I am continuing to keep busy and I am doing things that I love with wonderful sweet friends. Maybe he was even giving his stamp of approval to our new fledgling group.
Thank you so much, John. I love you.

* from I Will Never Leave You by Joy Collins

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Love lives on!

And, no, I am not crazy. We do indeed still have a relationship with them. We have lost our soul mate to death. But we have not lost our soul mate. That is my message.
There is not only life after death.
There is life with our soul mate after death.
That bears repeating –
There is life with our soul mate after death.
No, it’s not the same. Death is real, after all. 
But death is a transition, not an end. 
Our loved ones are alive, just no longer physically with us on the three-dimensional plane of existence on the planet we call Earth. That is what I have learned and what I want to pass on to you.*

Love lives on!

*Excerpted from I Will Never Leave You: A soul mate's promise by Joy Collins