Archive for August, 2016


imageWayne Dyer passed away a year ago today. And after reading many of his books and reflecting upon his spiritual insight, I looked for some remembrance. From anyone.

I used to think of Dyer as the go-to spirituality guru. I listened to his audio books while at the gym. For a time, he was everywhere. By my count, he starred in 10 National Public Television specials—featuring his books Manifest Your Destiny, Wisdom of the Ages, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, and the New York Times bestsellers 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace, The Power of Intention, Inspiration, Change Your Thoughts—Change Your Life, Excuses Begone!, Wishes Fulfilled, and I Can See Clearly Now—which raised over $250 million for public television.

I thought of Dyer as I thought of my life’s value. Now, nearing the end, I’m amazed that I only now started to think of personal legacy. As if I had any. I spent a lot time helping – mostly myself. So why now do I think of my own personal legacy so late in life? Since I am no Wayne Dyer, I wonder if anyone will remember me? Did I do anything of positive value or do I simply focus on only what went wrong in my life?

In truth, it was because I presumed I always had more time. Guess what? I don’t.

Like others who read of or participated in Dyer’s books and seminars, I received a lot of insight. Yet, a simple Google search reveals little remembrance for a man so many claimed to have been touched by. No lasting memorial. No profound statement that embers still in the depth of the soul. Nada!

And for most of us, this is what happens. We take when given, but remember only infrequently, if at all. Only the exceptional are remembered. The exceptional are few, for you and I will only be remembered by close friends or family.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned, it’s that all of us are not that exceptional. We all can’t set the world on fire. We can only set ourselves on fire. According, paraphrasing Shaw, the only torch we must set aflame is the crucifix of our own love – a depth of love that must be willing to surrender unto life’s nails. Have you done that?

Sorry to say I learned love’s crucifix far too late in life. I’ve been rewarded much, yet recompensed poorly. Lasting fruit of life’s seeds came to fruition based upon the depth of love given.

Individual legacy rests not in the hands of newsprint or mass media. Real legacy is the depth of love we choose to give one another. Unfortunately, I chose only my own. Now, I wear life’s burden.

I Sit silenced. By the grace of God, I now understand my legacy. I will be remembered for burden. As Marley said, it is a chain I forged in life, link by link and yard by yard. And not one moment will I be free.

 

imageLife offers a first-time and last-time for almost everything. Today I accomplished two: telling a friend my body was giving up. Telling someone I was dying was a first. And it’s the last first chance I will have to accomplish that. She was the first.

After running the conversation sequence through my mind, playing out all scenarios imagined, it is hard to predict how people will actually react. Generally, the people who love you will feel shocked and overwhelmed. Some people may try to be cheerful while pretending nothing is wrong. So while I hoped for a more realistic moment and opportunity to express my feelings, that did not happen.

I started the conversation by saying what a good friend she was. Having been through all the shit I gave these past ten years, I acknowledged her love and friendship. But my body was at a point where it had to let go of any lengthy time expectations.

Being a psychotherapist, she picked up on the hidden meaning and went straight into Kubler-Ross’ first stage of death, denial. “Nope not happening,” she said. “Miracles happen every day.

She’s right, miracles happen every day. Unfortunately, it’s going to be someone else’s miracle, not mine. I’ve lived nearly 36 years with a major diagnosis – longer than anyone expected – but miracle or not, my body is tired. It’s wearing out.

Having worked in hospitals these past 12 years, I’ve see death intimately. Most people die in hospitals and nursing homes, where they receive the extensive nursing and medical care. Their loved ones have less opportunity to be with them and often miss sharing their last moments. We’ve isolated the living from the dying; consequently, death has taken on added mystery and fear.

For me, I am at peace. As such, I believe it’s important to cultivate some form of positive, happy virtuous state of mind and abandon the non-virtuous, harmful, suffering states of mind. My death is definite, but its time remains a shadow. According, I will aspire to be ready by being mindful of the preciousness of life and the uncertainness of length. I will spend time with those who’ve loved me.

Regardless of my time, I don’t want to only love only those who’ve loved me.

I am stunned after writing that last sentence. Allow me to digress for a moment. Years ago, in some over-the-top self-improvement class, each participant was asked to write their mission statement on index card. Here’s what I wrote:

Paint each person met with beautiful brushstrokes of love.

While I did some of that, much of my life has been lived as a self-centered asshole. And inspite of being an asshole, I believe I know, with certainty, my after-life destination – albeit I have no clue what happens once there or how long I’ll be there (stage or phase). It’s neither perfectly bad nor perfectly beautiful. Its perfect for me.

I cannot possibly achieve the mission statement from years ago. But I do want everyone that I’ve angered, in any form, to let go and have the chance to live a happy and beautiful life. It’s miserable to wallow in life’s misery. Everyone has to find peace and move onward. I want everyone to become to special to another. Hopefully, each person can pay back my lack of love with love to one another.

To all I meet over the next few months, I will try and peacefully assist with the process of letting go. To help them move onward. Maybe, I can help a few that I’ve pissed off to live and move on As well.

Through God’s grace, there is no stage one for me. Rather I’ve learned death is not a be-all or end-all. I want people to embrace the fact that I have a deep sense of love for them and I want each of them to embrace the world beyond. The idea of just living as a physical presence is nonsense. That fell by the wayside when I realized that physically embodying one’s form is not the way to live.

I simply wish for each of you that correcting any of the wrongs brought unto to others is more important than being physically planted on earth.

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