Hope, The Gift of Life and Embracing Metamorphisis

IMG_0025

As July concludes and August approaches, these are the thoughts and observations that are coming through me:

  • I had the privilege of being a keynote speaker at the national gathering of The Bereaved Parents of the USA in Connecticut this past weekend. I ended my speech by issuing the two-part challenge of Meesha Johnson ( with her permission), which was part of a beautifully crafted and heartfelt piece for my blog titled Left Undone. The line that resonated with me the most for my speech was:

     Celebrate the life of those around you as well because the gift of life doesn’t just happen to us, the gift of life happens through us.

    I ended my speech by suggesting to  those in attendance that if we  are able to celebrate the gift of another’s life through us, then we can be one with ourselves ,one in our grief and one with each other. That is my gentle wish for all of us who are involved in the human experience.

  • I know I am not the same person that I was prior to my daughter Jeannine’s death. I am not the same person that I was five minutes ago. The process of metamorphosis is truly ongoing.
  • During this upcoming year, I am going to reflect on the adventures in my life that I am willing to experience, including the service opportunities that I choose to embrace. There are many categories in my life that need to be honored at this stage of my life.
  • There are days when I marvel at how I have lived so long , so fast.
  • As I get older , my quest for wholeness trumps my quest for happiness.
  • It isn’t the size of an organization that matters; it is the ability of its leaders to make you feel welcomed and truly a part of things that matters. Sadly, many in a position of leadership don’t get that. The ones that do get it are the ones I choose to associate with as I get older.
  • My friend John, a retired military man gave me one of the best object lessons that I have ever received. He told me that the difference between being merely mediocre and outstanding was attention to detail. Sadly, many in a position of leadership don’t get that either.
  • Courage is strength in the knowledge of what is to be feared or hoped.- Atul Gawande: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in The End

  • I identify  with Atul Gawande’s definition of courage, because of my own life experiences and my experience working with substance users and individuals with emotional health challenges.I think one fear that inhibits the development of courage is the fear of change. Though desirable, change represents a departure from what is familiar, even if it is chaos. In situations that demand change our faith and hope must be stronger than our fear.
  • I have developed a deep respect for nature and for all forms of human life.It wasn’t always that way, but catastrophic loss tends to change ones perspective. I am also grateful to all of my spiritual teachers, mentors and friends who have been instrumental in my shift in thinking.
  • Over the years I have discovered that it is the unofficial reasons rather than the official ones that drive certain decisions. Another example of life as illusion masquerading as truth.
  • For a man to conquer himself, is the first and noblest of victories. -Plato-Found this quote on a friend’s Facebook page this morning.I continue to embrace the challenge.

Left Undone

By Meesha Johnson

Greetings to the readers! What a perfect day for a celebration! Today marks the birth day of a very special friend who transitioned to the spirit realm some time ago. My friend would have been 37 years old today and I’m sure that if he were still here, there would be a party somewhere to remind all tribal members that this is the day that Jason was born. On April 28, 2012, there was a horrific accident that occurred here on the Shinnecock Indian Reservation that took the lives of two of our Warriors. Although this accident left many of our tribal members with a dark void, there are some who have made the choice to celebrate the lives and the potential of the two young men. As I think back on that day, I too remember feeling betrayed but not really sure by what or whom. I think that often times death or the things we don’t understand has a way of making us feel as though we have no control when we are confronted with situations such as this. The truth is that we have more control than we even know or think we do when we are confronted by adverse circumstances in our lives. When I think about the personality of the two young men, I smile because I think of all of the good times had as a community. I am reminded as well that even during the darkest and during the hardest of times, I am very blessed to be a part of a community that instinctively pulls together to grieve and comfort one another. I see as well that we come together to celebrate the accomplishments that we as individuals make because we are all one.

The poem that I have written entitled “left undone” was my way of gaining control of a situation that I had absolutely no control over. This is a poem that was written after the accident and after reading it, I thought to myself that although I didn’t see it then, I certainly employed a level of control by channeling negative energy in a positive way. I realized that this was a choice that I was able to make and must choose to make every time I am confronted by situations where it feels like control is limited. If one takes gasoline for example, we can see that gasoline can be channeled or used to give power to an automobile. Gasoline can also be used to cause destruction. Gasoline may just sit sedentary and never be used to do anything. Regardless of how it is used, the potential of gasoline doesn’t change.

There are two things that I would like to challenge our readers to do today and every day when you think about it. Challenge number 1 is to evaluate the potential and the control you have in every situation that you are confronted with. Decide to channel the control and the potential you see in a positive way. The second challenge that I shall present us all with is to make the choice to celebrate life. I have always been told and I know from my own experience that life is a gift. What we decide to do with the gift of life is up to us. Celebrate the life of those around you as well because the gift of life doesn’t just happen to us, the gift of life happens through us. Wishing you all an extraordinary day full of peace and a successful journey…Love is love 2015 – Eternity

Jason-Tech King Rest in Power 7/1/78-4/28/12
Jason-Tech King
7/1/78-4/28/12 -Rest in Power
©Meesha Johnson 2015

 

Gone from this earth with so much left undone

One last chance we needed, just one

If only we knew what tomorrow would bring

So many things that we would have done right without even thinking

Gone with so much left undone

I never got that one chance to tell you just how much you meant to me

I always thought that tomorrow it could be

Gone with so much left undone

I never would have thought that our kids would grow up like you and me

I always thought that your daughter would play with my son

Gone with so much left undone

I never told you how much I admired your style and your smile

I always thought that one day while talking and laughing as we normally do, I would tell you

Mad at me and asking why it took such a long while

Gone with so much left undone

Even now as I think and reminisce, thoughts fill my head of that kiss

A kiss of life left upon this earth for all to behold

Now that you are gone, warm memories suddenly turn cold

So much left for us to say and do

I am still here and the one thing missing is you

This question I ask not sure directed at whom

But what now is there left for us to do

Gone with so much left undone

I never got the chance to show all that you taught me

I always thought that with time I would do or say something and you could see

So many things that we learned from one another

You are not just a friend, but a brother

So much potential in both of us

Suddenly awakened from this nightmare I can see that all is not lost

Your memory, talent, your life is your legacy

Through me you live on, this is what to expect from me

You may have left us with so much left undone but I see an opportunity to pursue

You have left me now with so much to do and this I promise you

Beautiful memories of life and love live in my heart and mind

Gone from this world but not from me because comfort in your memory I always find.

©Meesha Johnson 2015

The Gifts From My Past and “The Billy Factor”

Since the first week of April, my life has been a whirlwind of events which has redefined my history , my present and perhaps my future.  These events and teachings are summarized in this piece titled : The Quest for Wholeness  that I recently submitted to the Huff Post Blog . Following is some additional thoughts that  have  come to mind since then.

  • For me ,living in the present moment is an illusion. The teachings of my past, particularly as it relates to recent discoveries about my father’s side of the family have helped me understand my present choices more fully. It has also helped me to understand the paths that I embraced to get to where I am today.
  • When we choose to learn from our past and let our history become a teacher to us in the present, a rich part of our life experience has been restored.
  • Having a context or set of conditions to understand our present day path is crucial to redefining ourselves after catastrophic loss. I have discovered that there has been a history of both child loss and sibling loss on my father’s side of the family. As I have also experienced the death of a child, I  believe  that this teaching from The Afterlife of Billy Fingers by Annie Kagan, truly applies to me:

We signed up to do this dance together before we were born

  •  Don’t leave any stone unturned in your own personal quest to redefine yourself after catastrophic loss or life altering transitions. The recent  rich teachings from my ancestors have really reinforced this point for me.
  •  Truth exists before we become evident of its existence in our own lives.
  • I am blessed to discover that I have living family on my father Austin Marion Roberts’ side .I look forward to creating new family memories with my cousin Jo Anne. Before I was simply content to be around my “soul family” or those individuals who have had a profound influence on redefining my perspective after my daughter Jeannine’s death in 2003.
  • The universe’s plan is always better than ours.
  • My father was only in my life for five years ,but I love him more now than I ever have. What he taught me can’t be measured by human law.
Scan 151510005
Me and my dad ,Austin Roberts circa 1955. I know that I was truly loved.
  • I can not overlook the influence of “The Billy Factor,” in my recent life discoveries. The Afterlife of Billy Fingers  by Annie Kagan was recommended to me by a friend who walks a very sacred path. As she is not one to make spontaneous book recommendations, my curiosity was automatically aroused. I discovered that the book was released on March 1,2013, the 10th angelversary of my daughter Jeannine’s death.Billy  danced with addiction during his lifetime. After his death(or rebirth to a new existence) ,he ascended to the status of a highly evolved and  wise spirit ,communicating divine truths to his sister on earth. The book validated all of what I believe about the afterlife, but in retrospect did much more. Understanding the context of Billy’s life path prepared me to embrace without judgment the life path that my father and his ancestors chose to walk. In fact ,I was able to fully embrace the gifts of their dysfunction and reclaim a part of my history that I thought was forever lost.  

I would rather be whole than good- Carl Jung