so here i am still discussing “change.” Besides what I’ve said previously about the constancy of change being the only thing one can rely on in our lives, and the reliance upon a Higher Power, for those of us lucky enough to hold this comforting Truth of the sanctity of life close to our hearts and minds—the other thing about change that never sways is the inevitability of Life one day ending in Death.
This is a painting i did to portray what i’m talking about here. It’s a self-portrait, done on my 32nd birthday (not too long ago). The three different representations of my own Self are simply this, as lordflea sees IT:
the blue face, somewhat hidden, is how i perceive myself from an everyday, living-the-life-i-have point of view; how i can “see” the ever-beckoning choices before me and how I have the Inner Power to choose how my life decisions go: what i make of my life’s potential, what i came into life with, how i use my gifts, and how i see mySelf contributing to the uplifting evolution of humankind (instead of the opposite, contributing to our downfall).
the green side of my Being-ness: this is my ancestral Self: what i’ve inherited from the DNA within my body, the temple of my soul; what i’ve learned from the culture i was born into, and the many generations of cultural imprint upon my soul—even before i arrived in this life i have here and now, today.
the “flesh colored” figure: ahhhh, here is the REAL me. The naked Truth. This is my spiritual body, my glistening aura, my True Self. It is always within me, as all three aspects of mySelf are as well. But this part of mySelf is the most important to me. That’s why it is the most predominant, and fully formed.
By the way—when i painted this painting i hadn’t had ANY of this figured out. I just painted. It’s only in hindsight, after many journeys, many lessons, many teachers, that I’ve been able to decipher the totally WEIRD art that i create.
So why am I talking about this particular topic, life and death, and who we REALLY are, today? Well, a good friend of mine, Isabel, lost her mother yesterday. Isabel Senior died at home. A few of us gathered with our friend and sat with Isabel and her ritualistically cleansed, annoited, and nicely dressed and laid out dead mother’s body, and …. no, it wasn’t morbid! … it was quite beautiful. After the initial hotness of tears (because this lady who passed over into the Light, who would have been 90 on Sunday, was a dear heart i had known for years, and I was feeling a wave of sadness only because i couldn’t visit her anymore, even though we were all glad she’d finally been released from her too-long later-life journey of a major stroke, almost total immobility, and loss of so much of life’s great gifts)—it was a joy to celebrate Isabel Sr’s life, which had been lived well.
Unlike the contrasting and senseless loss of my friend, Michelle, three weeks ago. She was only 44 and died as a result of her own actions: drinking and drugging herself to death.
Choices. We can choose to live well, take good care of our temples and enjoy the benefits of health—even though we’ll always have SOME challenge to figure out (toe fungus? bad back? overweight? tennis elbow? diabetes?). Our bodies–our temples—are the greatest gift we’re given in this life, but it is not WHO or WHAT we actually are. People too often forget this. And for this reason, I am a yogi because in the scriptures of yoga that is clearly taught: we are the eternal Self…all of us, a part of the ONE.
Life and Death. What else is there worth living for? It’s pretty intense stuff, when you’re right next to it. Either the birth of a gorgeous new soul entering our world, or the leaving of one after a life lived—-well, according to whatever choices were made.
Isabel Senior was a grand lady. Filled with love for her family and others. And in turn, she was always surrounded by adoring people. She was kind, open-hearted, yet sophisticated, stylish, and interested in all of life’s many offerings. If Isabel Sr. had demons she dealt with them quietly, and got on with her life at hand. On the other side of the coin Michelle struggled very loudly, very ego-centrically with her demons. And even though she too was blessed with intelligence, beauty, and a loving family—she made the bad choice of indulging in self pity, over and over. She never let go of the demons. That was her choice. And now she is dead, waaaaay too prematurely. Isabel Sr. is dead too, but everyone is celebrating her life, and her release from her old age harassment. Because her passing-over seems like a reward—whereas Michelle’s death is a horribly tragic end to a life filled with endlessly bad choices. Michelle’s little four-year-old Nicole, left behind in stunned confusion, will have to bear the stigma of what her mother’s choices meant to her life. Michelle’s other daughter, Carri, aged 24, is shocked into a stunned spiral of what can only be life-defining understanding—or not. Carri is the one who found her mother, dead from an overdose. What can one think of life, when faced with such trauma?
our choices direct our life’s experiences.
We can make our lives a prayer. This is why I do mantra repetition. CONSTANTLY. Om Namah Shivaya (I honor my Inner Self) is ONE with my breath, my mind, my life.
We can experience heaven on earth, right here, right now—even in the midst of life’s tragedies, violence of war and oppression, and personal adversity, if we choose to see life as an experience our spiritual Self is having—and realize this “life” we have is only a temporary stop on our REAL journey. To where? I know not. But I do know there is much more than meets the eye, in this existence called Life.
Or—the other choice—we can make our lives sheer hell, if our viewpoint is that of wanting to control everything about life, know every little thing about it. Some things are just plain un-knowable. Life is a mystery.
The choice is ours.
in the Light, lordflea