2012 My Year of Miracles-part 4


Sometimes it is best to surrender and let things go …
Through out the spring Mom had become more confused and disabled so we knew she was having pressure on her brain again due to Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.  Surgery to replace her shunt happened in mid-July.  Two days after the operation she was acting like her old self again but the next day she was more confused then ever.  We realized that the relief the day before was due to the surgery but now the pressure was building again – the shunt wasn’t working!  Each day Barbara and I would take half-day shifts sitting with her in the hospital to be present in case a doctor came to check on her.  The fifth day after surgery was a Monday, the day when Paul was at Hunterdon Medical Center (HMC) providing Reiki services.  At the end of his rounds he came to see Mom.  She was still confused and her back hurt so I prompted him to do Reiki on her.  As he was balancing Mom’s energy field I was meditating sending him support.  A message came to me that said “trust the process”.  Although she was more comfortable after the Reiki, Mom’s health continued to be poor that week, so much so that the neurosurgeon ordered a different shunt and scheduled replacement surgery for Friday.
On Tuesday when I arrived at HMC to relieve Barbara of duty she told me that when she left her house that morning that there was a crows feather at her door step.  I laughed and said that I had been stepping over a crow’s feather in my garage for the last couple of days.  She continued to say that as she was driving to HMC she remembered that when she was taking spirituality classes the medium who was the instructor told her that Dad’s spirit was present and he was handing Barbara a crows feather.  I had my iPad with me and I looked up the meaning of the crow’s feather. Crows are guides in Native American culture, showing you the right path.  Feathers indicate to lighten up.  Well I trusted the process and help came our way.  Mike came in from Ohio to ease some of burden, Paul kept prayers coming, George’s visits lightened up the long days.  There was a lot of discussion between us as to whether Mom should have another surgery.  Some were forming opinions one way or the other; I just let events unfold having faith that the answer would be revealed.
Friday finally came and we arrived early at HMC to be with Mom before surgery.  She was alert and vibrant.  They took her down to the OR and for the first time she knew exactly who the doctor was and she was able to explain why she was in the hospital.  After several long discussions and testing of Mom’s mental abilities the surgery was cancelled.  She left HMC for rehab two days later.  Recovery has been long and worry-some at times but her body and the shunt seem to be getting used to each other.  I’m keeping to my mantra of “trust the process”; it has been the correct path and I think she continues to improve mentally.
Angels are all around if you look …
This was a period that I was learning to trust my intuition and recognizing coincidental circumstances as answers to my questions.  In mid August we went on vacation to England and several events related to my trip occurred giving me great pleasure.  The first event was regarding my concern for going oversees two days before Mom’s and Barbara’s birthday on the 10th.  Mom, still being in rehab and not recovered, raised my concern of their having a happy birthday.  I was most concerned for Barbara knowing that I was leaving her with the burden of overseeing Mom’s care.  She outreached to our brothers and set up a lunch at the rehab for Mom so I knew Mom would be OK, but who would be there for Barbara’s special day?  I usually took her and Mom to lunch.
The day of my departure I left work at lunchtime to run to see Mom before my evening flight.  I stopped at the local Walgreen’s to pick up birthday cards for Mom and Barbara.  I parked my car and noticed two spots away that three little children standing on the parking lot median as their Mom dug in their car for something.  Suddenly I recognized them as Barbara’s grandchildren!  I greeted them tentatively not wanting to scare them with their mother, Michele, on the other side of the car.  Michele came around and after hugging me, had the children greet me.  We walked into the store together with Michele telling me she was starting “back to school” shopping for L—  I told them my busy schedule and was saying my good-byes when L— said to me “Friday is Moo-ma’s Birthday!” (It should be obvious that Moo-ma is Barbara.)  I instantly knew L— was my angel that day letting me know that he and his family had Barbara’s birthday well in hand.  I was able to go to England with a glad heart.  After Barbara’s birthday we emailed and I learned that she had had the best birthday ever; her grandkids gave her an abundant balloon party!
Getting back to who I am …
In July I saw an episode of Super Soul Sunday with the Rainn Wilson and learned about his internet site Soul Pancake.  He spoke about his interest in asking the big life questions of young people; these are posted on the website for comments by the site followers.  Rainn gave Oprah examples of these questions and one that he asked really got my attention.  He asked, “Who were you when you were five years old?”  I realized the answer to this question would help in my task of figuring out who I was and what my “earth school” lessons might be.  I new I was a very good child.  I remembered Mom calling me Pollyanna.  I had read this book as a child but didn’t recall the story.  I downloaded this to my Kindle app and read it while in England.
My first few days in England I read the story of Pollyanna.  If you don’t know the story it is of an orphan girl who moves back to New England after living out west with her father who was a missionary, around 1890.  Her mother had passed when she was an infant and her father died when she was eleven.  She comes to the staunch Vermont town with her “glad game’ that she learned from her father.  Her game was to find the good in all circumstances.  She learned this one Christmas when she had been praying for a doll (the only gifts she could hope for came in parcels of donations to the missions).  Instead of a doll a set of crutches were in the parcel.  She was upset so her father made up the game to find something to be glad of in all things.  They resolved that they were glad that they didn’t need the crutches.  Pollyanna transformed the Vermont town by teaching all the older lonely people to see the good in all things.
This story was the insight I was looking to find about myself – who I was when I was five years old.  I was an optimist looking for the good in all things, but life had changed me.  I had come to see being critical and judgemental as a sign of intelligence.  I was not honouring my true self by living a critical life and I was not being kind.  Earlier in the year I had learned that I could choose to be happy and obtain benefits from it.  I understood that by seeing the good in all things this would bring me true happiness – “you reap what you sow”.  Tough times may come but recognizing them as periods of growth, and to look for the lesson in each, is finding the good in the bad.
Stay alert, the right path will be shown …
Clues had been coming as to where my book learning would next lead.  I had become familiar with Marianne Williamson by picking up one of her books at a book fair and then seeing her on Super Soul Sunday.  Marianne continually made reference to A Course in Miracles (ACIM) in all her speaking and writing. Barbara also mentioned taking up the study through the book or taking a class together. With my curiosity raised, I researched buying ACIM on Amazon but reading the reviews about it intimidated me.  Most were good reviews but there were those calling it heresy; the reason being that the author claimed to have channeled Jesus to write it.  This idea shook me up.  I had been embracing many of beliefs that Dad had had but his following of the channelled spirit Ramtha thus far had been too much.  (I had looked up Ramtha on Wikipedia and just could not get used to the idea of channeling a being from 15000 years ago.)  I bought my self a copy of Marianne’s A Return to Love to get my feet wet on the bigger challenge of ACIM.
The week Mom moved to the rehab Barbara said she walked into the book store and there was a big display of ACIM, 2 copies for $10 so she got copies for both of us.  I gladly accepted my copy knowing that it was the sign that it was time to begin my coursework.
As I prepared for our trip to England the second week of August I was making sure I had books to take to do my spiritual work, wanting to make use of having time off to do lots of reading. I was still reading A Return to Love, I packed my ACIM to begin the daily lessons, in addition I ordered a series of Deepak Chopra novels on the lives of Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed, and these were also packed.
I had begun doing the daily lessons in ACIM but was still uncomfortable with the book being the words of Jesus channelled in modern times.  Christian religions put so much emphasis on the Bible be the “Word of God”.  The finding of the “Dead Sea Scrolls” has brought into the public eye additional gospels about Jesus but still it seems the public can only learn about these teaching from the internet or by watching the Discovery Channel; they don’t seem to be accepted into current religious teachings.   I felt “how could this truly be the teachings of Jesus brought about by channelling?” and “why isn’t this known to the world’s religions as the teachings of Christ?” Having finished Pollyanna I picked up the novel Mohammed that I had brought.
I had never read anything previously about the life of Mohammed but expected this novel would do a good job of telling his story to me as I had seen an interview with Deepak Chopra promoting the book; he explained the book’s purpose was to bring a fundamental knowledge of Muhammad to western culture.  I liked the story telling format of the book with it allowing some mystery as the story told of Muhammad’s grandfather, father, and mother having miraculous events occur in their lives that led them toward the birth of Muhammad.  Muhammad also had events in his young life predicting his future gifts.  The significant part of the story came for me when Muhammad received his gift.  Muhammad was a quiet man whose family was of the Arabic culture that honored idols but his family had a history of considering that there was one God from knowing their lineage back to Abraham.  As a successful middle-aged merchant Muhammad would go out to a cave in a hill above Mecca and pray to the one true God.  He did this as a ritual for years until he had a visitation from the angel Gabriel.  Gabriel told Muhammad that the word of God would be channelled through him to the people.  He was told to “recite” which is the translation for Koran.  Muhammad refused for a while but became so ill that he confessed to his wife of his experience with Gabriel.  She believed him and recognized the blessing thereby helping him to accept it.  During Muhammad’s times transcribing was available so that a scribe was kept by Muhammad to write down all the messages he channelled.
Here was the resolution to my discomfort on the teachings in ACIM; Islam, the faith of millions of people, is based on a human channelling the word of God.  A month or so later I mentioned to Barbara the discomfort I had had with the premise of channelling and she said it never bothered her.  It was her understanding that the gospels were written that way.  She also mentioned her favorite author Wayne Dyer, he says that his writing is from being “in spirit”.   Funny how knowing someone else’s perception on something can help shift our fear away from it (even Mohammed experienced this).
ACIM in now part of my daily practice; it contains one lesson each day for a year in addition to the text book.  The course is a guide toward atonement, returning to knowing our true selves and our connection with each other and God.
In September, after getting back from England and through my reading list, I was ready to read a book that I had seen the author interviewed on Super Soul Sunday in early August.  The book was the Unteathered Soul by Michael Singer.   This was a beautiful book that simplified many of the ideas of previous works I had read.  I think this is a great book as a primer to make you begin to be aware and recognize that the earthly things we give importance to are insignificant.  He took you through the recognition of being conscious of your true inner self.  He simplified the ideas of living in the present moment that Eckert Tolle promotes. I very much liked his chapter near the end of the book on the Tao, its philosophy of there being a balance point for all things.
Books read during this period:
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment by Deepak Chopra
Muhammad: A story of God’s Messenger and the Revelation That Changed the World by Deepak Chopra
Buddha: A Story of Enlightenment by Deepak Chopra
Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
The Unteathered Soul by Michael A. Singer