Saturday, August 1, 2009

Soul Searching Saturday

First I have to say how thrilled I am that we can post pictures. We'll see how this works - this being the first, but blogger makes it easy to do with Picasa (all google products). This is a picture of Hermione, the orchid that our neighbor Suzie brought to us the other day. This is the first house plant (other than maybe a poinsettia) that we have had since we moved to Philadelphia. It is difficult to maintain houseplants when you're not home very often. We have tried some plants on the balcony, but alas, they don't last very long. Hermione puts a smile on my face everyday. (Photography by Thierry)

Today started with a bang! While Thierry was showering, I was cleaning the guest bathroom! We had breakfast and I left a little after 10 to go to my sister's for a healing touch session. It was great to spend time with her. We talked a bit about god and an afterlife. This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately - but I've always thought about these things.

Being raised Catholic, I never had any connection or affinity to the church or the religion. I won't go into the reasons, it just never stuck - it never felt comforting to me, like a place I could go to for peace or answers. We spent time in the Lutheran Church where at least I felt a connection to a community. The Lutheran's are very accepting of a person's beliefs. What are mine? I guess I believe in a higher presence or being. I don't believe in heaven or hell, but want to believe that things just don't end when we die; that the spirit lives on - and in a way I can see the possibility of reincarnation.

One of the reasons I can believe in reincarnation is because on several occasions I have met people where there has been such a strong positive or negative reaction within minutes of our meeting. A shake of the hand, a hug, can send such a surge of energy or repulsion that it causes you to pause, maybe even shiver and ask what was that about!? I remember the first time I met Doug, I had this sensation that I had known him before (altho hadn't ever seen him before) - and ended up marrying him. I feel an unusual connection with my daughter - this may be a normal mother/daughter thing - but the link is so strong I have to wonder. I feel a strong link to my friend Barbara, who I've known almost my whole life - and no matter how far apart we are, we still stay connected. This has happened to me so often in my life, with people who have played such a pivotal role in my growth and development.

When Jean was performing healing touch on me today I felt another very strong connection. I felt like she was actually transferring energy, healing energy to me. But more than that I felt at peace being with her and found great comfort in the realization that I was with someone that I had known for a very long time - beyond this lifetime.

I told Jean that I was concerned that my attitude (in the past) had an impact on my health. That being a fatalist (always thinking in the back of my mind since 05 that this may get me), rather than someone who deeply, inherently believed that they could overcome a disease such as this, has had a hand in this. Now, if someone said to me, I am sick because it is God's will I would say - I really don't think God had anything to do with it.

I really don't want to be one of those people - who blames a god, themselves or some other bizarre factor for their illness or life burden. I will be spending a lot of time soul searching and working on my mental - as well as spiritual health.

TD and I are going to escape for a few hours and see the new Harry Potter movie. Tomorrow I'll go to St. Peter's Shrine with Jean and my friend Ann, and try pick up good energy from the various forces at work there.

Today continues to be a very good day, and I look forward to what awaits me tomorrow.

PS: I'd love to know where you find comfort.

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Barbara Gruenwald said...

Mary, you are truly amazing..Thierry, great photo! Love to both of you, Barbara
We will say a special prayer tomorrow at the Sweedenborgian Church in SF.

ann said...


Interesting that you attend Swedenborgian Church. We have a very active group right here in West Chester, I know the former pastor.

Karen Kron said...

Your words are so eloquently written! I believe your range of emotions, fears, and contemplations about the thereafter are well within the range of normal. What isn't "normal" is your uncanny ability to look straight into your soul and your disease and deal with it head on. I admire that about you! As far as my idea of finding comfort, well, that is by living completely in the moment with friends/loved ones that accept me for exactly who I am. Sounds easy, huh? (I wish!)But it does sounds like you have a number of amazing relationships to help you on your journey! It's not much when you're not going through what you are, it just is how I have comforted myself or comforted others when they have been in a lot of pain. Walked with them as if they were a part of you...

Love, Karen

ann said...


I think that the ‘god’ idea can get us into trouble because we may tend to think of him as some kind of being, sort of like us but not like us. Hard to explain but I imagine a transference of one’s self, another person. That can lead to thinking that God is judging us, condemning us without the possibility of forgiveness.

When I first went to al-anon in 1985 as my marriage was failing, I first encountered the term ‘a higher power’. The whole ‘god thing’ was part of what scared me in my first days at al-anon. As when I went to church (I’m returned to the catholic church because its what I know culturally) in those early months, I felt so claustrophobic I run out of Mass before it was over on more than one occasion. I didn’t want to surrender, I didn’t want to let go of my control. Over the 20 plus years since I first joined the program I’ve found that, for me, whether or not I was willing to accept a different way of being, it was going to happen any way and I am powerless to stop it. So now, every day I meditate on ‘let go and let God’. I guess I have learned to surrender.

Today, for me, God isn’t a person or even a thing. It certainly isn’t the man-made rules of any church (like who is ‘worthy’ of receiving communion). God is a spiritual place; a place where I can put my faith and trust. This spiritual place is full of forgiveness, acceptance and understanding. No SHOULDs. The interesting thing is that as time as gone on, I’m finding that, as they say in AA, when you have faith, you won’t have fear.