On this 15th anniversary of the death of my sister I want to tell you what I have learned about life, death, and how to prevent other deaths like this.
First, I have had a dual career for over 31 years. I am a psychotherapist and a Unity Minister. Actually, I became a therapist at the age of 2; sounds funny but it is truer than not. My parents, though truly gifted souls with very big hearts were also very wounded. Though, I always knew they loved me in so many ways, and I received so many gifts from them, there was a lot of chaos in my life. I could expand on this but this is not the point of the blog except to say that being the oldest of two, I, the first-born became the hero child and my sister, being just one year younger took the only role that was left, that of the rebel. My role saved me. Linda’s role killed her. At the age of two, I began a search of trying to understand how my world could be so chaotic and yet at a deep level, I knew my parents were old souls. My search led me to Psychology at the age of 16. Hearing about Maslow’s topic of “ Self-Actualization” propelled me to put myself through 6 years of college by waitressing( the term used then)to get my B.A. and M.A. in Psychology. When I graduated with my Master’s degree, I knew something was missing. After all, I did what my highest guidance was telling me to do: Get this deep psychological understanding, and yet something was missing. I did not feel self-actualized.
That is when I knew my next step was to become a Unity Minister. The deepest and most important teaching from Unity is that the very presence of the Divine (does not matter what name you call the Divine), is
WITHIN, AND THE DIVINE IS ALSO WITHIN ALL OF CREATIION AND THUS ONE OF MY DEFINITIONS OF THE DIVINE IS:
God is every one of us
The rocks, the trees,
The flowers and the seas; and
All creatures whether of
Fur, fin, feather or skin.
So, my next step after I got my Master’s Degree in Psychology was to become a Unity Minister, and to seek this inner connection to the Divine. I knew deep within, that this was my next step on my journey, however, this was no small feat. I knew as a minister that I would need to speak on Sunday mornings to several people and I was afraid to say my name in a group greater than 2 or 3.
Yet something deep within propelled me take this next step and so I graduated from Unity Ministerial School (the name at the time) and was ordained as a Unity Minister in 1986.
And, yet, something was still missing.
So, I continued my journey to deep self-knowing, which I hoped would lead to Maslow’s SELF ACTUALIZATION.
Long story short and many wonderful teachers later, I can say that I do have deep self-understanding and have amassed a treasure chest, a very large treasure chest of tools, and practices and techniques to aid my personal journey as well as to assist others on their journey.
Two of the most important teachers I have been richly blessed to connect with are Mark Nepo(www.marknepo.com) and Ted Klontz(www.Klontzconsulting.com). These two advanced and yet humble souls have blessed my life with knowledge, care, compassion, wisdom and so much more. I would not be where I am without these two wonderfully wise spiritual teachers. I would highly recommend buying Mark’s Book of Awakening today, and Ted does Soul coaching. (I do that as well but not as well as Ted)
So, recently, I was blessed to go to a 4 ½ day workshop with Dr. Ted Klontz. He led a workshop called “ULTIMATE LISTENING”. The focus of this workshop was as follows:
“Ultimate Listening” – Learning to listen to yourself
In this nature-based workshop, Dr. Ted Klontz, Ph.D creates activities to help you find a greater sense of purpose and connection by learning to listen to your own inner wisdom. You will learn ways to align personal values and passions with how you spend your time each day, become more trusting or your own intuition.
The essence of this workshop was learning to listen to your soul. There I said it. Dr. Ted Klontz has realized the importance of this. I am not sure he would say it this way but I believe that this is the only way we will be able to save our planet and all of her creatures. I can expand on this by quoting Mark Nepo from his book, THE ONE LIFE WE’RE GIVEN:
From pages 63 and 64:
“Under all the good we do, under all the blessings we build, we’re asked to treat everyone we meet as a seed that needs the water of our love to open.”
“Our ability to know that we’re part of something larger, our capacity to reach and brings things close, and our heart’s yearning to pour love on everything we meet—these are talents of being that serve the soul and the world”.
So, back to soul-knowing. This is the key for when we listen to our soul, we realize that we are all connected and so the good we do blesses all, and the selfish or self-centered things we do can harm.
Listening to the soul is not as hard as it seems. Deep within everyone, there is a place of oneness and it is from this place that our soul speaks to us. And the more that we listen, the easier it will be to hear.
I think that I have always listened because it is this deep knowing that enabled me to see at that young age that something confusing was going on in the chaos of my life. Somehow, I knew my parents loved me and that they were trying to create a happy life for my sister and I.
So, on this date, the 15th anniversary of the passing of my sister, I have three things to say to you, to me and to all of us together.
- There are answers within. And, no matter what our goal or desire or hope or passion, all we need do is listen for the very next step.
- When we have an inkling of our next step, we need to take it. If it seems scary, then we just need to take a “toe-dip” into that action. Much as if we are entering Lake Michigan to see if we want to swim, we need only stick our toe in. If that seems alright, then we can stick the other foot in and if that seems OK, we can then walk in up to our ankles, and so on and so forth. (when I was at the workshop led by Dr. Klontz, I did go swimming in Northern Lake Michigan because my soul told me I needed to and it was the one of the most glorious actions I have ever taken and I did it one step at a time)
- The last thing is to know as Jesus said:
“In as much as you have done this to the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me”. The actions we take affect the world. As a Unity Minister, we know that we not only understand Jesus as a great spiritual leader but metaphysically, we also know that he represents the Divine within. So, when I do something that is good, it blesses the world, and when I do something that is completely self-centered and selfish, this can harm the world.
In closing, I want to thank my sister. She always looked up to me as her big sister. She always opened her heart and her home to me in a way that only a sister can do.
And so, I say to you Linda:
“I miss you so much, every single day. Many days, I know that my life would be so much easier and better if you were still here………… and I am doing all that I can to take the love you blessed me with and give this gift of love from you and from me to the world.”