Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reality Checks

Yesterday was a tough day: busy with people coming and going checking on mom and dad, bringing a meal, etc., and the emotional aspects of it all. We don’t have these days often, but when we do, it is tiring and time slips away unnoticed, leaving you off-balance. Schedules do not exist in the human experience of dying; I learned early on that trying to keep a schedule in this situation will tire and stress you out more than the situation itself. It’s not worth it; thus, the power of living in the moment, and going with the flow. When I arrived, my dad was trying to keep my mom on a schedule, in his mind, for her benefit as well as his; she seemed to resent it some, and I can understand why. I began to realize that the dying have no interest in keeping up with the schedules of the living. Ultimately, my dad let go of keeping a schedule, and mom's health deterioration somewhat forced his hand in it. But yesterday, in experiencing the time vacuum we're living in right now, I also realized how easy it is for the Human Ego to generate illusions to protect us from the truth of reality.

When you are with someone who is dying, you notice changes in your loved one. They can be extreme, such as the effects of a seizure, or they can be gradual: physical strength weakens; eyes glazing over now and again; staring into space, as if they are asleep with eyes wide open; grogginess early in the day, and more alert later on; changes in their interest in communication, ranging from complete withdrawal to actively engaging, scrambled responses to flat-out response refusal. What I just described is how my mom's condition has changed in just one week. From what I’m reading, it's a normal part of the dying process, though it can differ with each person. But in this case, especially someone who has a head full of brain tumors, these changes are the result of her brain getting wires crossed, misfiring, twisting her tongue and scrambling her thoughts. And from what is called the Nearing Death Awareness, I'm understanding that some of this may be she has one foot in the other world in preparation for her nearing departure from this one.

As my dad and I observe each minor change in my mom, I began to notice that we instantly sought out the reason for the change: she's tired, she's hungry, she needs oxygen, or she's under the influence of the pain medication we gave her. In this process, we were rationalizing these changes with an undertone of needing to fix it so she’d get better: she needs more sleep; she needs to eat; she needs more oxygen; maybe she doesn’t need the pain pill. Our Human Mind will find the information it needs, correct or not, that will block acceptance of the difficult realit, in our case, that her health is deteriorating and moving her closer to her death. Our Human Ego is designed to protect us from pain, hurt, heartache, etc., and it will sometimes help us create an illusion, a belief, that will deny it, defend against it. We do this is all areas of our life, in a variety of different ways, be it our career, relationships, love life, health - in every choice we basically make in how to show up in life.

When I realized the amount of energy I was putting towards creating these illusions, I became aware that I was avoiding the emotional truth of the situation: Mom is dying and I'm not ready for it to happen. Conscious to this hard truth, I shifted from the subjective (emotional) experience to that of observer to better understand how I was showing up in these dialogues with my dad, and witness our efforts to lessen the facts, and resist the course of the eventual outcome. It’s understandable, and normal for us to do so in any situation; we don’t like it when things are not going our way. Dad and I both intellectually know mom will die, and soon, but our hearts aren't ready for it, and our devoted Human Egos are working to protect us from the grief we've already felt (though my Dad isn't expressing), and will overwhelmingly feel when she does transition. We must honor our human self, not deny it, or worse, suppress its existence; but rather, we must allow the emotion in order to move through the experience, to know the truth of our situation so we may heal. Ignoring the truthful reality of one's situation serves no one well, least of all, ourself. As the observer, I am better able to process my own "stuff" around my mom's dying, and better serve my dad from a higher vibration of love, patience, and compassion, rather than feed the fear and resistance we both were feeling. As a human being, I must allow myself to feel my grief, and my anger and upset of watching my mom prepare to leave me here in the physical Realm.

Emotionally, I sank yesterday, and allowed my grief come to the surface, and move through me. No one wants to lose someone, and I understand why my dad and I analyze every nuance in an effort to pacify our discomfort with the reality. I want my mom to keep smiling at me, offer her cheeky humor when answering my questions, and to keep talking to me, in whatever fashion, so I may continue to hear her voice. We each come to accepting the truth at hand of any situation in our own time; sometimes, some of us never do in some areas of life. But I encourage you to step out of the emotionally subjective space of whatever challenging situation you may be in and become the objective observer of your experience. It takes practice, and in doing so, you may learn a great deal about yourself, and understand the "what is" of your situation. Your “observer” can offer the awareness that empowers you to make different choices in how you show up, and ultimately, support your efforts in changing how you manage your experiences, and how they unfold. Stepping out of the subjective perspective and into the “observer” position to face one’s own truth takes a great deal of courage. We all are courageous within, no matter what you believe about yourself. When I was teenager, miserable and depressed, and again later in college, I didn't believe I had the courage to live life and considered checking out; but I found the courage to stick with it. After my divorce, I didn't believe I could carry on, or love again; yet, I found the courage to recover and move on. When I decided to pick up and move to Colorado ten years ago, I wasn't sure I could pull it off, but found the courage to make it work, despite the difficulties I experienced upon arrival. I'm unemployed again, uncertain of what my next move is, and awaiting the passing of a parent I love dearly; in this newest human experience, my toughest yet (though I've always believed that my previous challenge was the toughest), I continuously surprise myself at the amount of courage I manage to find Within as I continue in this human journey. I am supported by God, family and friends, and I've found the courage to ask for help, and loving support so that I don't have to "go it" alone.

I know each one of us is infinitely courageous. Reach more deeply Within for the courage you need to move through a situation, one in which you may be living in illusion. Invite the Observer within you to witness your journey from a different perspective, so you may experience life's journey with greater ease and grace, and with greater Self-awareness, Self-gentleness and Self-love.

Love and Light to you all. Thank you for your support during my family's challenge.

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