Jesus wept : Easter Saturday reflections

Jesus wept!

I think these are some of the most powerful words in the Bible. On the even of his crucifixion, Jesus was desperate, he was alone, he was praying to be saved from his ‘fate’ while on another level knowing he could not be.. We can draw a parallel her with how it is for us when we go through so much trauma, especially at the hands of those who should care for, protect, nurture and love us ; parents, siblings, teacher, partners even friends. Going through so much damage and pain or loss of potentials can often seem a burden too huge to bear but until we can we will never find liberation from that ‘fate’, nor be able to embrace the transformation or post traumatic growth that lies on the other side

Jesus could feel and wrestle with those ‘demons’ and that is what marked him out and his crucifixion also shows that he could bear death.. In an interesting synchronicity, today in Australia on breakfast radio, presenter Geraldine Doogue interviewed a woman who has written a book on death and principally about how shy we are in our culture at facing it.

Most often when someone dies we leap to get the funeral organized as quickly as we can.. We often do not see the dead body and here in Australia often caskets are closed.. I know that in Holland there is a ritual in which the body is actually put in one of the rooms in the house in an open casket and is able to be viewed.. This gives people time to visit and say goodbyes or even talk to the loved one in order to resolve the loss.

For me, losing my father at 23, and never getting to see him either before or after he died was a major thing contributing to the fact that I never began to work through or resolve that loss (along with so many others) until many years later.. In my family my brother stepped in to manage everything and took over it all, as he did when my mother died, but in the case of Mum I did get to see her dead body. And I had said all I needed to say over those final 5 or so nights leading to her death in December 2017.

Many years later after I finally got sober and my godfather died in 2003 at 10 years of sobriety, I asked to be able to go to see his body. On the day he died from an aneurysm I actually had a pain in my head and at his funeral I got to cry but was shamed by my sister who called me to task for ‘making an exhibition of myself’ by crying while hugging his oldest grandson. One of the reasons my husband left me in the end in 2004 was that he did not want me feeling anything of the sadness of my Dad’s loss which began to really open up from around 2001 onwards and only when I had lived through over 8 years of active abstinence from alcohol and drugs. As I look back unresolved griefs from generations played such a huge part in the addiction legacy of my mother’s side of the family.

The anniversary of my older sister dying is in 4 days time but she actually died on Easter Sunday morning at 3 am in 2014.. I was lucky to be able to spend a lot of time with her on the Easter Saturday from around 4 pm to 11 pm when her sons arrived, sons she had been removed from in around 1983. After her death two of them came to stay with me and we got to talk through a lot, there was a big argument on the night of the funeral because they came home drunk and I was upset my other living sister had been shunted away into the psyche ward and so prevented from attending her funeral.. But the next day when they sobered up and I calmed down we resolved all of that. I will always be so grateful for those 4 or so days we three got to spend together while all the arrangements for her funeral were made.

The point I am trying to make here and the point the author of that book makes it that in trying to rush hurry up and hide ourselves from the dead body and our grief we miss essential times of transformation and deepening that may, in the end help us to face more of life.. We lie to ourselves when we think hiding our pain and grief or feelings of sadness or loss or ‘protecting’ people from theirs is doing them a service. That said each person’s grief process is individual and complex and we all know a manifold number of griefs in our lives and may come into families already riven with hidden ones from generations back, at least this is what I have began to learn about my own family of 6 or 7 generations lately.

Christ rises on Easter Sunday and a great light dawns.. to me that seems to a powerful metaphor for the fact that if we allow a grief process to play out fully (symbolically represented in the time he spends in the tomb with the 3 Marys also grieving fully during that time,) we can emerge into the light again and become deepened in our appreciation of the preciousness of each and every small moment of living remaining.. That is most certainly what I am experiencing lately, especially at this Easter anniversary of Judith’s death 8 years later.

Jesus shows me a human face when he cries, he shows me that my tears mean something. It is said in another part of the Bible that each one of our tears ever shed is held in a sacred vial and is meaningful to God. I firmly believe that.. So lets stop shunning those who grieve and stop running from our own.. Grief does make us feel powerless but as we say in AA there is one who has all power and if we kneel in full surrender to our grief then we will all too easily be able to see that magical and mysterious face of God.

Linked post :

When a dog dies

My heart felt so very sad last night for a good blogger friend whose dog passed on Saturday… this is the second friend to have lost a dog in the past month or so, and it always reminds me to value and express my love to and for my own best friend Jasper so much the more.. So we got out early today for a long walk through the park and to the oval, because I had my car booked in for service today but due to talking to my friend for a long time last night I was too tired to make that trek which involves a lot of walking and waiting at a nearby shopping center for my car… I Just felt I would rather be out in nature with Jasper today and so I put the service off for another two weeks.. I even then managed an extra hour’s sleep, to me that feels like good self care.

We just got back a moment ago and to be honest I cried a lot driving home, my favorite time in life is on the way back from a good walk, Jasper sits down on the floor on the passenger side of my care and gazes up at me smiling and looking into my eyes so intensely.. at times it freaks me out but today it just made my heart swell up with love for him.

Earlier I was doing a meditation sitting under the big old trees with the magpies close by, to be in nature to sit or have bare feet on the grass is good for inflammation, I also believe it helps me in my chronic PTSD muscle spasm situation as does the walking.. But in the meditation I thought of how both friends told that towards the end of their lives their dogs went outside, one dug a hole in the dirt to get close to it and the other sat outside at night looking longingly at the snow.. What came to me in meditation from the angels is how close to the spiritual realm dogs live (possibly cats too, but I have no knowledge much of that as my Mum hated cats due to having been scratched when young) and that they have a lot of concern for us humans living so far apart from nature.. This just came to me.. I do not know how true it is but I always think of these two things about the word GOD Dog is God spelt backwards and in AA we often refer to our Higher Power or God as the Great Out Doors..

Outdoors is where we feel the vastness of nature and of the forces that shape it and us and out pets and animals as well.. As Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hahn always used to remind us we are all part of a vast interconnected tapestry of life and each thing we do affects all things in some way.. some call it the Butterfly effect and there is another term coined by a scientist Rupert Sheldrake called morphic resonance… Sadly I do not know much about Quantam Physics and black holes but it must be so interesting to know about these mysteries.. Conversing with my friend last night he spoke of how so many people fear the dark and demonize the villian in their woundedness, but without the Villian there could be no hero. Sadly our culture veers more and more to the masculine conquest side where power was equated to POWER OVER NATURE AND THE FEMININE.. but these words from the Chinese Taoist text resonate. He who knows the masculine but keeps to the feminine becomes a channel for the world. Action and passivity are two sides of one coin and we need both to experience wholeness, Hatred and love, again too sides of one coin. Fear and faith, mercy and judgement, inner and outer, dark and light both polarities of which there are a million more reflecting the different sides of one coin.

Those dearly beloved animal buddies Dakota and Beau have now entered the spirit realms.. and I pray that my dear friends feel their love shine on even as they miss their best friends. And for me a reminder of what death brings to them is to keep treasuring the precious moments of presence I have with my own pet, for I truly believe they are given to us as a gift and the loyalty, unconditional love and healing we can gain from them is truly for so many of us a gift without measure most especially for those of us living with PTSD and Complex PTSD.

Being connected, embodied, alive

The following comes from Julia Cameron’s book Heart Steps : Prayers and Declarations for a Creative Life.

This we know, all things are connected

like the blood that unites one family.

All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth.

Man did not weave the web of life.

He is merely a strand of it.

Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Chief Seattle

I EMBRACE THE APPETITES OF LIFE

Life is tender and rapacious. Everything is fuel for further life. Further growth.. Nothing that I experience counts for nothing. Everything – all joy, all loss, all grief, all grace – is an ingredient in the greater self that I am building. I am not alone. All sense of loneliness is forgetting. When I remember that I am part of Life, and Life is part of me, I am comforted. I see my value. I experience my worth. I allow the Universe to touch me with compassion, to cradle me with love. I am held in the Web of Life that I hold dear.

Held by nature

I go to nature

She seems to know me

Within her embrace

I feel my soul

Held safe

Within her soothing rhythms

Nature is the place

I free my heart from pain

If only for a while

Through the aliveness of breath and movement

I taste for a while

The sheer and vibrant joy

Of being awake and alive

Shedding my stories

For a while

Pain and grief still sometime rises

Like an irrefusable tide

As I bathe my soul awhile in their healing

And your nature poems m

Move me to love

With their gritty sinuous taste

Of nature

Resplendent with vibrancy and meaning

And for these precious sacred moments

I taste a while

The delicious flavour

Of a morsel of ecstacy

just a child

You were just a child

Wild and wide eyed

Full of life

Descending into a world

That seemed so hostile at times

To your particular sense

Of ‘truth’

So it was you learned to bury it

Somewhere deep inside

But as you did every fiber of your being ached

For the lost path to wholeness

Now it seems to you

Everywhere you go

You find light, wisdom

Cosmic rainbows

Talking to the birds

Feeling deep within your soul

You abiding kinship with all living

Beings

You finally see the wisdom of his teachings

Here we are

Gifted and blessed to live

So very close

To heaven on earth

Yet so often

Consigning ourselves

Through our own ignorance

And blindness to hellish places

Of fear

And separation

But now you know the truth

No living power on earth can

Permanently separate you from love

So put down your sword for a while

And allow yourself to dance

By the healing spring

Touch base as often as you can

With rainbows

Moonbeams

Sunlight

Shadows

Rainfall

The soothing, healing of

Deep leafy green

and bird song

Soul star

my soul traveled from afar

a distant star

where love sustains the being

of those who voyaage

to here

beacons of light

way showers

sent to illuminate

the dark night

how often we

are

so crucified

or demonized

cast out

given lessons of deep pain

what a waste to turn away

to lose the eternal reason

turning our backs upon

the internal shifting seasons

and so

if at times

I sense myself a stranger here

let me travel deep

it hurt when you could not see me

but was it ever my destiny?

lately it seems for far too long

I turned my back upon

the inner Sun

haunted as I was by losing

the way

to those sustaining memories

of starlight

(We are all star stuff. 

When we create,

we connect to the divine spark within.)

Leah Whitehorse.

in the moment

you live

with shining eyes

completely centered

in this moment

your belly in touch

with earth

and i see so often

the concern you have

for humans

watching us and wondering why

we get so lost

in places where life has abated

we are all too often

held prisoner in our mind

struggling daily to leave behind

old pain

how long will it take

to grieve this past

sometimes the shock of it all

just hits me like a wave

and when it does

there you are

always and forever

faithful by my side

teaching me to ride the tide

while beckoning me at

its each and every turn

back into a deeper connection

with the present moment

and with life

How to be close?

I miss this

Being close to you

Leaning in

Because it just comes naturally

And sometimes I cry

With the remembering

That I never really knew how to do it

You see there were always

These fears

Hidden so deeply in the shadows

Over years and years

And for so long I pretended to myself

I did not need this

Someone to trust

Someone close

But now I cry

With the realisation that

No man is an island

And islands only form

As land masses become overwhelmed

With water

How sad that over time

We lose the way to each other

As our memory of how to be close

Disappears so very very far away

Haunting us never the less

With an invisible longing

That dogs us

All along the life path of our years

songs of happiness

some days I cannot believe

how much happiness floats by me

on the breeze

echoes of laughter

I lost the way to

as the veil of tears fell down

all around me

covering my eyes

sometimes with the dawn

I feel the passing sense of

the tragic and forlorn

leaving me

as deep inside my body

I sense

the resonating trance of rememberance

that bids me to uncoil the past

in a swirling dance

and so it is I feel the shame

dissolving just like summer rain

seeping into crusty soil that longed

for replenishment

this then is my recompense

for years of pain and bitterness

that finally my aching soul

can feel the joy

of winters left

and summers stolen

while deep inside my aching spirit rises

to greet the dawn

and dusk surprises

dancing upon the floating air

untangling the tendrils of past despair

weaving them into

songs of happiness