Last night I watched one of my favorite movies that debuted in 1980. Resurrection starred Ellen Burstyn, Sam Shepard, Eva Le Galliene, Richard Farnsworth and Roberts Blossom. It is the story of Edna Mae McCauley, who in the first 10 minutes or so of the film, has a Near Death Experience (NDE) in an accident. When she returns, after having a glimpse of the Other Side, she is told by a doctor that because of the severe injuries she suffered, she won’t walk again. Traveling cross country with her sullen, angry and distant father, she returns home from California to Kansas. En route, they stop at a gas station where they are greeted by Esco Brown (Richard Farnsworth) who is of a spiritual bent and has on his bucket list to visit Machu Pichu. He has a sign painted on an old tire rim hanging on a wall that reads “God is love and versa visa,’ a phrase that remains with Edna Mae. As she leaves his presence, he places his hand on her head, offering a blessing.
While at a family picnic, she discovers that she has an ability to stop a nose bleed in a young niece which sets her on a path of being a conduit for healing energy for herself and others. Miraculous encounters have her stanching blood from a knife wound, restoring hearing to a deaf man, helping a woman walk again after severe spinal injury; oh and she defies the prediction from her doctor and walks again. She attracts the interest of scientists who validate her abilities and beckons the heart of the man she stopped from bleeding to death. Cal (Sam Shepard) becomes her lover and then an obsessed religious fanatic; having been raised by a ‘holy roller’ father. Since Edna Mae does not proclaim that The Holy Spirit heals through her- what she knows is the love is the essential element; he and his father assume that the work is of a less than benign source and are determined to take her down.
Good prevails in this tale and reminds me that healers come in all configurations and love is the Source, regardless of what name you give to it.
As I am in the middle of the fifth decade of my life, the world has become a patchwork quilt of experiences. In the last 55 years, I have splashed in puddles of joy and gasped for air while feeling like I was drowning in sorrow. I have been clutched by fear and basked in light. Through it all, I have been buoyed in an ocean of love. I have often denied pain in the service of keeping on keeping on. It was a temporary fix that led me to confusion. It takes courage to face loss. In the past few months, several people I know have died. As we age, that happens. I just wonder on some level, if they had completed their ‘assignments’ and were ready to move on. I question why some (like me) survive life challenging conditions and continue to live. Is it because I still have more work to do?
I have never experienced depression; although I have had a few dark nights of the soul. A month or so ago, as I was reading journals from as far back as the late 1970′s, I was shocked to recall that there was a time back in the 90′s when in the midst of major shifts (ectopic pregnancy, Michael’s diagnosis of Hep C and the loss of our home to Hurricane Andrew, business challenges, as well as marital discord), I had mused about ‘what if I wasn’t here anymore?’ I had no plan or intent; just a fleeting thought which I promptly dismissed. I can say with certainty that I am glad I stuck around, since my life has been a veritable buffet of delights. People, experiences, accomplishments, creative endeavors have enriched this existence, so that when my time comes, I will feel as if I haven’t missed much.
There are some who don’t feel that way and wonder if things will ever ease up. They seem to be caught in the swamp of despair. They may forget that they survived initial trauma and travail and can make it through the aftermath. What helps me to move past my own sometimes clinging doubt is the certainty that God/Goddess/All That Is has got my back. Listening to this song helps too. I love this cover of the Peter Gabriel piece.
Don’t Give Up-Pink and John Legend
“Imagine, will you….Heaven On Earth For Real.”
These are the words that are on my friend Tambra Harck’s Facebook page. I think about it a lot since I believe that we create our own vision/version in our vivid imaginations. One of my favorite songs on the topic, sung by Mary Chapin Carpenter called In My Heaven offers a view that I would love to experience when my time comes. I have long been fascinated with what happens when we pass over from this realm to the next, wherever, whatever that is. The God of my understanding welcomes all, regardless of spiritual orientation or practice. There is no need to earn our place there, just as there was no need to earn our birth. Love is the law of the ‘land’ in my heaven. No violence, no harm to anyone or anything, nor justification for these acts. Free of hatred. No limits on love regardless of gender or sexual preference. Respect for the planet from which we came. Kindness prevails. We recognize that we are each a Divine creation, worthy of love simply by virtue of our Being-ness. Healing from toxicity of destructive beliefs. Living out our deepest heart’s longings and desires. Seeing through the lenses of learning, without judging the choices we made to get from where we were to where we are. A feeling of belonging to a tribe of kindred spirits. Knowing that love is never wasted. Forgiveness for choices made and actions taken unconsciously. Surrender to what is, rather than resisting it. Compassion for self and others. Trusting that all is well. I know that I need not wait to ‘leave the building’ in order to embrace this vision. I claim it as my here are now reality.
What is your idea of Heaven on Earth?
When you consider all of the things that you desire; from relationships to abundance, from faith to freedom, from possessions to passion, how do you hold them? What I mean by that is this: do you hold them with a closed fist; grasping, clinging as if for dear life or can you let go a bit and allow them to enter your life? Consider this metaphor: If you were to scoop up water or sand in your hand and attempt to keep them by closing your fingers around the substances, what would happen? Of course, they would slip right on through. You would be left with a few grains of sand and a few droplets of water.
There is a legend about monkeys being captured when a container of peanuts was placed before them. They would plunge their hands in and close around the treats. Because they couldn’t remove the nuts or their closed hand, they were trapped. It hadn’t occurred to them that all they needed to do was let go and they would be free. We humans are equally blind at times to the option to let go, rather than grasping.
I think about maintaining my steadfast beliefs about ‘the right way’ to do things and the ‘best’ behavior that people ‘should’ exhibit to be acceptable. Of course, in my infinite wisdom, I believe that in order for all to be right with the world, it oughta be that way. I would venture a guess that you feel the same about your values.
A few years ago, I heard Lisa Nichols speak about the concept of “Attract, don’t pursue.” What she was wanting us to really get was that when we surrender to The Universe, what we want and welcome has a direct route to us. Paradoxically, the more we effort and strain, the more we block our good from coming. I have seen evidence of that on so many occasions, that I have to believe it is so.
There are still many items on my ‘bucket list’ and yet, at least for this moment, I am not attached to experiencing them. I am willing to let go of some of the peanuts, so that I can enjoy the yummy crunchiness of a few, rather than risk losing them all, and my freedom by holding them in a closed fist. I am willing to hold life and love with an open hand.