When our loved ones pass away, they leave gifts in their place. It’s for us to discover and use these treasures toward transforming ourselves and our lives.
In the post, The Terrifying Last 18 Days, Keisha describes the grueling final days of her mother’s life and her emotional reactions to it. Sometimes, the course of a person’s health, with its ups and downs, can be quite the emotional roller-coaster ride. Just when Keisha thought her mom was going to live through her medical procedures, her situation took a turn for the worst, leaving Keisha and other loved ones to cope with her eventual passing.
It is not uncommon for the loss of a loved one to create a space for an awakening to happen. When I read something that Keisha had written in reference to one of my other posts, See How You Are?, I could clearly see that Keisha had been privy to such an awakening.
“Since my mom passed, I’ve had a lot of those “See how you are?” moments! She was a person with a huge heart and love for everyone. Too bad I didn’t realize her gift until after she passed. After listening to stories from people she had helped through the years, I was truly amazed! I kept thinking, “I had no idea…” This caused me to look at my life and question how I could be like that, how I could pay it forward, as she had done this her whole life.”
“When I started thinking about who I was, where I had been, what I had done, I realized that I wasn’t even living life. I was just doing what I had to do to get by. For once in my life I had finally woke up and realized there is so much more I need to do to be a good person like her. All of a sudden I started noticing nature, paying attention to the small things that I had never noticed before. I didn’t even realize night air had such a wonderful smell! Who was I? I was a person who slid by life- bitter, selfish and sometimes unkind; unlike the pure spirit woman who raised me. Who am I now? I am a daughter who wants to love, I am a mom who wants my children to experience a mother like the one I had. I am a human being who realizes that everyone has something good in them. I am also a person who has discovered my own soul and realized that you need to let your soul lead the way to happiness. A broken soul sees and feels everything. Sometimes it takes a broken soul to realize what life is really about.”
Commentary- Although we had immense love and appreciation for our loved ones while they were still in life, often, after their passing, we are struck with guilt or regret that we didn’t show them even more love and appreciation. When they leave us, what is left in the void of their absence, is value; the value of them and the value of what we learned with them in our lives. And… we miss them.
You know the song, “You don’t know what you got, till it’s gone.” Well, there is a very good reason for this. Like most people plugging along in life, we go through large parts of our lives in a “business as usual” mindset. What I’m talking about is human beings on an “auto-pilot” program. Everything is going along, nothing is really wrong- no fires to put out and no real need to awaken. There are things in life that we need to handle on a daily basis. From past experience, we know what to do, when and how to do them. We know all of the usual suspects that grace our life’s stage; who they are and what our relationship is or will be with them. Many times, the way we are going to “see” them, is decided early on. In Keshia’s case, she formed her relationship with her mother at birth. Growing up, Keshia had experiences with her mom and decided who her mother was and how to see her… then it just sort of stayed that way as Keisha grew up. This is all normal. We all do this to some degree.
Like it or not, the part of us that is on “auto-pilot” in life, barely noticing our surroundings, or the people in it, is mostly our normal “default self.” Since we were young, programs have been running in the background of our thinking about the way we should “perceive” our world and the people in it. Some of these programs can be witnessed through automatic thought, such as, opinions, attitudes, preference, prejudices, reactions and responses, where one does not stop to think or act in a new and original way. NOTE: If you are human, you don’t have to worry about dealing with this… because it just happens automatically.
These automatic programs are called “brain patterns.” They also run programs that regulate unconscious physical function, those that you don’t need to think about, such as your heartbeat or breathing. It is sort of a “factory setting”, if you will, that is very efficient and doesn’t take up much of the brain or body’s energy. This is a good thing, as continually generating consciousness takes a lot of increased energy because you are bypassing the normal programming.
In the wake of this tragedy, there was Keisha, jarred out of her “business as usual” world into an awakening. She was listening through new ears; seeing her mother through new eyes; (the eyes of others), when Keisha began to have some dramatic realizations for herself. You see, Keisha was actually experiencing the mother that she had her whole life, from many different points of view that existed outside her “auto-pilot” programming. We hear the words “perspective” and “point of view” a lot, but very few people really understand what it actually means and the treasure that therein lies. This is mostly because people automatically think that there is only one true point of view… and that’s the one they are looking from! But what I am about to tell you is important. Being able and willing to experience different view points, gives an access to experiencing life and the people in it – as they really are, from new perspectives! Seems simple, but that’s what happened to Keisha!
Keshia’s world view suddenly expanded that day, and the days that followed her mother’s passing, when she realized just how amazing her mom really was! Keisha’s mom went from just, the mom she always loved… to the epic mom that Keisha admired and wanted to emulate. We see from her own words how Keisha was drawn into serious reflection and self-examination. We see her pondering the possibility of becoming a better mother and person; more patient, loving and compassionate. We see that Keisha experienced an awakening!
So there Keisha is… now awake in her life as she says the following words, “For once in my life, I had finally woke up and realized there is so much more I need to do to be a good person like her.” You can tell that Keisha is awake. She is noticing nature, the details of life and the scent of the night air; things she can’t remember noticing or appreciating before that time. She is noticing her new awareness of her mother.
An awakening can happen with something as easy as investigating an inquiry, having a realization, seeing another point of view, being in a state of wonderment or receiving jarring information. That one is called a “rude awakening” and happens when the information is so upsetting that it forces us out of our “business as usual” routine of life and into “survival” mode. But what do we awaken to? And who do we awaken to? Mostly, we awaken to our life outside of our programming. We awaken to our higher selves, and who we really are at the core of our soul; love, compassion, understanding and grace. You could say we awaken to who we are as a spirit. When we are thinking “outside the box”, we are in spirit mind, and being inspired is such a part of that. We all know how alive we feel when we are inspired, don’t we? And just as soon as we go back to the confines of “the box,” which eventually happens again, we are once again functioning in our “business as usual” mindset… until our next awakening to something.
You might think that “auto-pilot” sleep mode is bad, and “awakening” mode is good. Well, each of these modes have their place. Even this type of “auto-pilot” sleeping has its place. For one, it helps us to get things done efficiently by saving energy. It allows us to follow a routine, such as sleeping at night. “Auto-pilot” sleeping can allow us to heal. Can you imagine never healing the wounds from losing a loved one? Can you imagine having to be ever-present and awake for that?
So what’s really cool is, this is also how we grow and evolve ourselves. With Keisha’s new realization and inspiration about who she could be and the qualities that inspired her, I’m sure that some of it got absorbed and integrated into her new ways of being.
And… if Keisha ever loses her inspiration, it’s okay and normal to go back to “the box.” She will feel inspired again. This is all a part of the grief process. To even realize this about her mother and herself is simply amazing, as it gives Keisha a reason to live on in this sometimes tragic, but beautiful world. Keisha will carry on where her mother has left off. Keisha and those who follow in that kind and compassionate woman’s footstep, ARE the legacy she left! (Keshia. Your mother is always with you, loving you wherever you are in life’s twists and turns. She smiles on you as you go forth with your strength and courage. She is so proud of you.)
I know it seems contrary to what we many times may think… but we can’t ever really lose.
Perspective. Remember? It’s all about perspective.
Call me an eternal optimist, but I believe that when our loved ones cross over, they always leave gifts in their place. It may take some time to realize this, but it’s up to us to discover, appreciate and use every bit of the treasures our loved ones have left for us, toward transforming ourselves and our lives, for the better.