After going to sleep a bit too early, I was up at 3am this morning browsing the internet…in yet another hotel room (oh the travel life!). Around 4am, I was guided to this Byron Katie video of a mother trying to Work through the loss of her daughter. For a moment, I thought it might be too depressing for me to try to watch at all…much less at 4am…but I stuck with it because it’s Byron and I knew she would find the light. I was right ;)
In many ways, we can live in present fear of future loss (imagining how we might feel when a certain loss might occur) or in present sadness from past loss (reliving the horror of the past in our minds). Sadness is a war with what is…it is a war with what we believe to be true.
We can lose ourselves in the pain we experience from the images of the mind…the thoughts that we create about a certain event (one that may not have even happened!). This grieving mother lost her love and connectedness to her daughter when she chose to live in the pain instead of the love. And in doing so, Byron gently reminds her that she was losing herself.
When things don’t go according to our plan, we don’t believe we’re living in a friendly universe. We want the world to bend to our will. We stop living in the reality of what is. Byron reminds us that death is not the problem, what we are believing is the problem. We must chose not to live in the horrific images of the mind…but rather chose to see that love is unlimited.
Re-living the pain and grief of the past can prevent us from truly living. In questioning what we think or believe to be true, we open our minds and hearts to a different reality that allows us to live our life in the present moment. For that is all we have.
This may sound too simple, but being mindful and being present really frees us from the past and allows us to have a future with ourselves.
Photo source: Heaven on Earth by David Ayash
Author note: As always, I remain thankful for spirits like Byron Katie who share their gifts. She is truly a healer. Through relentlessly, and patiently, challenging our thoughts, Byron kindly brings us back to what is and helps us navigate painful moments.
Also, I am thankful for artists like David Ayash who share their work to allow us to view the world through a different lens. When I considered the subject of loss, I had instant images of stars….perhaps as a reminder of the bigger picture, or the Taoist belief that every person has a star to represent their other spiritual half. And perhaps in the transition from life to “death”, we are reunited with ourselves.
We have an opportunity to believe whatever story we want, and that is how we can create Heaven on Earth (a truly appropriate title for this beautiful photo).