When we lose someone close to us, we have an opportunity to reexamine our beliefs, ideas, and constructs around death–and life. Our approach to death says something about our approach to life.
Death gives us an opportunity to look deeply into life, to question what we value, and what we need to let go of to live fully.
There are several questions that come alive at the fire:
Who are you? Do you know who you are?
Why are you here–for what purpose?
Who sent you? Do you know–really know–Who sent you?
Why Am I Here on Earth?
At this point in my life, I’ve lost both parents, aunts and uncles, several cousins, and many dear friends. Each passing gives me pause to consider my own existence–always a sobering self assessment.
In the fall many years ago, I made a fire and stayed out all night after a close friend had passed away. Everything I believed about life and death had been turned upside down and my life felt like it was unraveling. I was experiencing a sense of profound loss and something else–a burning desire.
Beside the fire I stood cold and alone with hot tears in my eyes.
I shouted into the night, “I’m alive! I want to live! Show me how to live!”
I felt a wild impulse to tear off my clothes and stand barefoot and naked on the frozen ground. I wanted to leap into the fire and feel the heat.
Looking upward at the full moon I roared, “Thank You! Thank you for my life!” I crumbled to my knees, grief and gratitude washing over me.
Into the fire I cried aloud, “Who am I? Why am I here? Why did You send me to this place? I want to know Who You are.”
A fierce determination rose up in me that has stayed with me since then–the desire to know.
So… why are you here?
For what purpose?
When someone comes to the fire, I ask questions very directly:
“Why are you here? You came for a reason. What is it?”
This opens an uncommon conversation that few people get to have–one that goes deep. I let them know I’m not the only one listening–the whole universe is listening.
How to Center Yourself Spiritually
Most of us are familiar with the model of a pie, each slice representing an important area of life–family, recreation, spiritual, financial, etc.
Not long ago, I considered this pie-of-life and realized there was something fundamentally wrong with the model. As with the Four Food groups, the pie model was obsolete. It didn’t serve life or reality.
An image of a new model came to mind, that of a bundt cake, which is made in a cake pan with a hole in the center. In this model, the space at the center represents the source of Life. Everything emanates from and is connected to the center.
When our relationship with the Creator is at the center of our life, and we take time everyday to cultivate our connection, we are focused on what’s most important and everything else seems to miraculously take care of itself.
If we fail to attend to what lives at the center, and neglect the Source of our life, every other area suffers. There’s more pain, less ease; more judgment, less forgiveness. There’s more of the ego, yours and mine, attempting to control and manipulate–everything.
And that’s really hard work because pretty much everything is out of our control.
Strengthen Your Connection
Staying connected to what’s real and true is markedly different from being disconnected. The absence of connection leads to trying to control outcomes and situations, or attempting to manipulate circumstances and people.
So where do you turn, what do you do?
Attend the center. Strengthen and deepen your connection to the center of your life, and leave the rest in God’s Hands.
We have a sacred responsibility to deepen and strengthen our relationship with the Creator every single day–for peace of mind. Peace is an attribute within us and lives in quietness at the center. A tranquil mind is no small thing. When we have peace of mind, we have access to our joy.
By taking time every day to deepen and strengthen our connection to Source, to cultivate this relationship, we have a powerful resource available to us in moments of distress or despair, which makes life a little bit easier.
The answers to the deeper questions of who we are and why we are here come more readily when we have prepared a place for grace to enter in. Then we can listen quietly, without strain, within the silence of the heart for what is ours to hear.