Inspiring Stories of Love, Healing, & Empowerment
Issue Number 25
Welcome to Inspirations! Global Community For All sends out this e-zine filled with short, inspiring stories of love, healing, and empowerment once every three months. We share these wonderfully inspiring stories to encourage and inspire each other to be the best we can be each day of our lives. Thanks for joining us, and may these words inspire us to ever deepen our commitment to love, heal, and empower; to open to divine guidance; and to choose what's best for all.
It's Never Too Late for Love–John Powell
Some 14 years ago, I stood watching my university students file into the classroom for our opening session in the theology of faith. That was the day I first saw Tommy. He was combing his hair, which hung six inches below his shoulders. My quick judgment wrote him off as strange -- very strange.
Tommy turned out to be my biggest challenge. He constantly objected to, or smirked at the possibility of an unconditionally loving God. When he turned in his final exam at the end of the course, he asked in a slightly cynical tone, "Do you think I'll ever find God?"
"No," I said emphatically.
"Oh," he responded. "I thought that was the product you were pushing."
I let him get five steps from the door and then called out. "I don't think you'll ever find him, but I am certain he will find you." Tommy shrugged and left. I felt slightly disappointed that he had missed my clever line.
Later I heard that Tommy had graduated, and I was grateful for that. Then came a sad report: Tommy had terminal cancer. Before I could search him out, he came to me. When he walked into my office, his body was badly wasted, and his long hair had fallen out because of the chemotherapy. But, his eyes were bright and his voice, for the first time, was firm.
"Tommy! I've thought about you so often. I heard you were very sick," I blurted out.
"Oh, yes, very sick. I have cancer. It's a matter of weeks."
"Can you talk about it?"
"Sure. What would you like to know?"
"What's it like to be only 24 and know that you're dying?"
"It could be worse," he told me, "like being 50 and thinking that drinking booze, seducing women and making money are the real 'biggies' in life." Then, he told me why he had come.
"It was something you said to me on the last day of class. I asked if you thought I would ever find God and you said no, which surprised me. Then you said, 'But, he will find you.' I thought about that a lot, even though my search for God was hardly intense at that time."
"But, when the doctors removed a lump from my body and told me that it was malignant, I got serious about locating God. And when the malignancy spread into my vital organs, I really began banging against the bronze doors of heaven. But, nothing happened. Well, one day I woke up, and instead of my desperate attempts to get some kind of message, I just quit. I decided I didn't really care about God, an afterlife, or anything like that."
"I decided to spend what time I had left doing something more important. I thought about you and something else you had said: 'The essential sadness is to go through life without loving. But, it would be almost equally sad to leave this world without ever telling those you loved that you loved them.' "
So, I began with the hardest one...my Dad."
Tommy's father had been reading the newspaper when his son approached him.
"Dad, I would like to talk with you."
"I mean, it's really important."
The newspaper came down three slow inches. "What is it?"
"Dad, I love you. I just wanted you to know that."
Tommy smiled at me as he recounted the moment. "The newspaper fluttered to the floor. Then, my father did two things I couldn't remember him doing before. He cried and he hugged me. And then, we talked all night, even though he had to go to work the next morning."
"It was easier with my mother and little brother," Tommy continued.
"They cried with me, and we hugged one another, and shared the thing we had been keeping secret for so many years. I was only sorry that I had waited so long. Here I was, in the shadow of death, and I was just beginning to open up to all the people I had actually been close to."
"Then one day, I turned around and God was there. He didn't come to me when I pleaded with him. Apparently he does things in his own way and at his own hour. The important thing is that you were right. He found me even after I stopped looking for him."
"Tommy," I practically gasped, "I think you are saying something much more universal than you realize. You are saying that the surest way to find God is not by making him a private possession or an instant consolation in time of need, but rather by opening to love."
"Tommy," I added, "could I ask you a favor? Would you come to my theology-of-faith course and tell my students what you just told me?"
Though we scheduled a date, he never made it. Of course, his life was not really ended by his death, only changed. He made the great step from faith into vision. He found a life far more beautiful than the eye of humanity has ever seen, or the mind ever imagined.
Before he died, we talked one last time. "I'm not going to make it to your class," he said.
"I know, Tommy."
"Will you tell them for me? Will you . . . tell the whole world for me?"
"I will, Tommy. I'll tell them."
Traversing Your Personal Terrain–Nancy Smeltzer
Many of us love traveling. New climes and foreign places beckon with their siren songs. I, for one, delight in the sights and sounds when walking down new streets. Lately, however, I've been exploring much closer to home. It's not a foreign country that has become my passion, but my own inner workings.
What if we viewed our lives as an inner terrain? The hills and valleys, which become visible upon scrutiny, remain invisible behind the scenes of our consciousness unless we choose to look. Then, why not traverse the countryside and become familiar with the views. After all, these scenes are always with us, influencing the choices we make every day.
Imagine that you're a pilgrim in a hallowed place. While there, inside yourself, why not honor and celebrate the awe and mystery of the inner you. The word "sacred" comes from the Greek word for "safe". What places inside of you do you feel safe in? Which ones speak to your inner being? To remind myself that I do have my own interior sanctuary, I've even made a small art quilt to carry with me when I travel. It's there to remind myself that I do have my own internal, hallowed place where I can acknowledge the Divine in me.
I'm proposing that you have curiosity about these new venues. I try to look at their insights with baby-fresh eyes, and to have no assumptions regarding them. While many of these encounters I've made many times before, I find that there are still new insights to be made if I just open myself to their possibilities. For me, part of the appeal of such an approach is that I seem to have countless opportunities for new discoveries about myself.
Just as a traveler, I try to pick up souvenirs of my inner journeys to remind me of where I've been. Sometimes, there are actual objects to place around the house to remind me of my achievements. Other times, it's writing a story like this to mark an insight. Or as living things have a special place for me in my heart, I might plant something in my garden to commemorate a memorable internal event.
As a child, my family often went to the mountains of North Carolina in the summer. I learned that certain landmarks on the way denoted the progress we were making in the trip. One of the key signs that we were getting near was seeing the Smokey Mountains off in the distance. At first, they appeared fuzzy, hence the name. As we got closer, the mist cleared and I could see better. A similar experience has been true for my personal quests. Often, the ideas and revelations at first are not quite formed. They emerge much more clearly upon reflection. Other times, they might appear in crystal clarity, as if I had just turned a corner and had something abruptly come into view. It's all of these events that dot the landscape of my mind that make me who I am.
What are the landmarks and home ports in your inner landscape? The thrill of discovery is awaiting you. I always find it sad when I hear of someone who says that they've finished their work on a particular life approach. It seems as if they're saying that there's nothing new to be found there. I wish for you that you will always find new and exciting sights and landscapes within your own being. There's much to be found and appreciated there, and plenty of fertile land for the growth and exploration of your soul.
There is no such thing as failure, only results, with some more successful than others. - Jeff Keller
HINTS FOR HEALING YOURSELF–Lloyd
J. Thomas, Ph.D.
"The greatest force in the human body is the natural drive of the body to heal itself." wrote Dr. Norman Cousins after he had recovered from a "terminal" illness. He did this partly with organic foods, clean water, deep renewing sleep, a peaceful home environment, faith, lots of laughter, and videos which uplifted his spirit and lightened his terminal diagnosis.
Certainly medicine, professional diagnosis and treatment are important
aspects of becoming well. But medical science still remains ignorant as to
precisely why some people heal and others succumb to disease. Indeed, the
healing process itself remains a rather mysterious event. We do know,
however, that the individual person has a lot more power and control over his
or her own healing than was ever acknowledged before. Here are some
"hints" which might help you realize your own power and ability to
help you heal.
1. Practice acceptance of your illness. Acceptance of your illness is not the same as resigning yourself to it. Resignation can lead to depression and depression is not supportive of healing. While you are ill, acceptance of disease as a part of you will allow you to create in yourself the atmosphere of caring, tenderness, and love in which your illness is more likely to heal. It also allows energy to be freed for other activities and other interests.
2. View illness not as a loss, but as an opportunity for new growth and development. If a starfish loses one of its arms, it merely goes about growing another. If a salamander loses its tail, its primitive nervous system begins regenerating another immediately. Certainly our human nervous systems are more sophisticated than those of a starfish or salamander. When we heal, we grow new tissue, new nerves, and new cells. While you are healing physically, why not also grow new ideas, new attitudes, new ways of viewing ourselves and the world, and new loves?
3. See your illness as your body's attempt to redirect your life in a positive direction. Avoid harshly judging your illness and resenting your body for having it. Avoid judging yourself altogether! Your body is always valiantly trying to be well. It has powerful tools in its biochemical, cellular, and nervous repertoire to regain its healthful balance. If you are positive and peaceful about your own ability to be well, then illness just becomes a "redirection" of your life. Someone once said, "Illness is God's way of getting your attention!" Pay attention to that message and allow it to redirect your life.
4. Realize that death is not a disease, and it is not a failure. The death rate for all living beings is one hundred per cent. If staying alive is your only goal, you will most certainly fail at attaining it. As you accept the inevitability of your own death and realize you only have a limited amount of time to experience being alive, you increasingly realize that you might as well enjoy (as best as you possibly can) the moment-to-moment experience of aliveness, including your illness or pain.
5. Avoid making physical wholeness your goal. Nobody exists with a perfect physical body. Our functioning varies from moment to moment and certainly from day to day. A lot of people heal into peace of mind and self-love without ever becoming physically well. Consider the possibility that making goals of developing your own inner peace and your own ability to forgive and love yourself might promote your healing a lot faster than self-hate, self-criticism, and resentment toward your illness. Use your illness as a situation to learn about hope, love, acceptance, forgiveness, peace of mind, openness to living, and mindfulness to the moment. In doing so, you just may cause the disease to go into remission or to heal in the process.
6. Our bodies respond to self-love and to love sent by others to us. If you send your own body loving messages, and if you are open to receive the love of others, your body's immune system responds with something like "Hey, this person likes being alive, lets get to work and fight for his or her life with all the power and energy we can muster." Negative thoughts can actually produce certain toxic chemicals in our bodies. Positive thoughts produce another set of beneficial chemicals. The former weakens the immune system. The latter strengthens it.
7. Finally, use your body and your life to love. Loving is the only path to immortality. Your love lives on long after you physically die. If you spend most of your life hating, you spend most of it dying. If you spend it loving, you leave a legacy of peace and development to all those persons you touch with your love. A legacy of love. What a gift to offer future generations! Spend most of your life loving and you will only spend a few brief moments dying.
This is my Living Will–Alana
There is a Will
Living with me that must be expressed.
There is a Love
Living within me that cannot be concealed.
There is a Desire
Living within me that is fulfilled
Simply by writing these words...
Love, I hear Your song.
Here is my Harmony.
Lover, I give you everything
For You heard
My heart's murmers of wanting.
Beloved, I saw this flower
And felt Your Peace Creating it.
I poured out my doubts
As you filled me with Your Faith,
And witnessed the world change faces.
This is my Living Will:
-to do nothing that would prolong life without You
-to converse with You, in everyone
-to be Your instrument, when They are listening
-to be Your body, when We are dancing
-to be Your brush, when One is painting
-to fulfill Your insatiable Desire to Create
This is my Living Will.
All the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of a single candle.
Thanks for sharing in these inspiring stories with us. We wish you lots of love, inspiration, and all the very best in the months ahead.
www.momentoflove.org - Every person in the world has a heart
www.personalgrowthcourses.net - Dynamic online courses powerfully expand your horizons
www.WantToKnow.info - Reliable, verifiable information on major cover-ups
www.weboflove.org - Strengthening the Web of Love that interconnects us all