In recent weeks my wife and I have experienced all kinds of “breakdowns,” mostly involving appliances that have served us well for more than fifteen years. And even the failure of the one that was fairly new and still under a maintenance contract—it’s being replaced with a new model that’s being installed with a hefty credit for the less-than-three-year-old one—has happened at a convenient time for us. So, we see it as a blessing.
But there is another kind of breakdown we are witnessing and having to experience that, on the surface, doesn’t look anything like a blessing right now. It is something that I know many of you have or are experiencing too, and that is the uncertainty of life and all that uncertainty awakens within us.
In this particular case, it involves two dear and longtime friends, one struggling to hold on or to let go of his grasp on life, as he now deals with the stresses of being in and out of ICU and on a ventilator with a team of specialists monitoring his varying condition, having to undergo daily extraction of fluids building up within the body, and his wife who has been holding the high watch through all these weeks of uncertainty while having to shoulder all the responsibilities for maintaining their household.
As I contemplate what each of my friends may be experiencing, I wonder. If it were my wife, Paula, who was the one struggling to hold on to life in such a situation, would I be experiencing resistance to letting her go or would I be able to let go and trust everything possible was being done, medically, to restore her body to a renewed and acceptable level of health? Would she perhaps experience being pulled in two opposing directions—one being to continue to struggle and hold onto life, the other perhaps being an awareness and acceptance that it was her time to let go of life and make her transition?
Would my heart be open enough for me to say to her, “It’s okay, if you’re ready to go, to cross over into the realm beyond, where your Mom and others await you. I love you and just know I will join you when it’s my time.” Would I? I don’t know.
While I have not walked in our friend’s shoes (although I believe my wife has in the days that followed her mother’s transition), I imagine the experience must be akin to what is called “the dark night of the Soul,” perhaps for both of them.
My own personal experience of this has been one of feeling helpless and I have come to understand that the best I can do is to be a silent support, as I step back from the situation a bit, and be present with an open heart. As I continue to do this the best that I can, I see how my wife is serving as a key source of solace for our friend, listening yet also being able to draw upon her own journey through the grief and loss of her mother and two dear friends without making it about her. And I think my experience of helplessness has opened up my heart, even more, allowing me to be present to the situation and be a quiet Presence to it, to hold them all in the Light of God’s Presence and guidance.
We can’t ever really know for certain what the experience is like for another, but we can be in the world and aware of what may be happening around us, in the lives of others without being so emotionally caught up in it that we lose connection with the inner guidance which assures us whatever we are drawn to do or not do is in alliance with God’s divine order.
We can be more aware of the importance of listening to one’s intuition and making a point of connecting with others who we know are dealing with uncertainties—those of loss or fears about a personal health condition or the resurgence of the Coronavirus pandemic and how it may be impacting their plans to travel or be with large groups of friends and communities.
What the writing of this blog has done for me is to remind me to become quiet once more and then make a list of who I haven’t reached out to and inquire. How are they? I am quite certain that if I am guided to call or email or text them (that one may not be an option for me just yet!), I know that call or email will be just what they needed to receive and my words will be divinely guided as well.
I hope this blog has stirred you to reach out either to find the support you need or to offer needed support to another. Either way, you will be blessed and so will they!
Love and Light, Steven