Recently, I’ve been talking about some folks who are doing amazingly well by living what they’ve learned from A Clean Mind, and I’ll always continue to do that. Because you can do it, too. Check out the last couple of posts, for instance. And there are so many more to come that haven’t been written yet. These posts will usually talk about what those people are doing when things aren’t going well. How are they handling it? (Hint: Pause, take a breath, ask your wisdom/common sense what to do, and wait. That’s it. Wash, rinse, repeat, and your life will never be the same. I’m still practicing this, and it gets better and better.) Sometimes, I’ll write more generally about when things aren’t going well, like a recent post about Low Moods. Here’s one in that category, and it involves when those we love are getting older or are sick and might not be around too long.
An old friend emailed me today that she finally realized that her beloved grandmother, who is 93, is not going to be around forever. She’s finally aging. My grandfather is 95, and as it turns out, I was having lunch with him when that email arrived. And you know what? I’ve only recently noticed the same exact thing in him, that he won’t be around forever. He’s the picture of health, and he’s simply amazing, but he’s 95. Do the math.
On top of this, her dogs are getting older as well. One is pretty old and the other one was recently diagnosed with cancer and had to have a leg amputated. And on top of all that, she’s in transition career-wise. She’s super awesome and talented and will have plenty of options, but she’s recently left a business that she created and loved, and the future is wide open. And unknown. So what’s the first step? Relax into it.
So many people come to see me because they could’ve handled this, and they could’ve handled that, and they could’ve handled this other thing, but they all happened at or around the same time. When they come in, I’m able to (most of the time) show them that they actually can handle it all if they slow down, sort it out, and deal with one thing at a time. And then the biggie is learning that a human body is wired only to feel our thinking about the world and not the world directly. The more deeply we understand this, the more we can handle. The more feelings will flow through us. We still grieve loss, for instance, but it just happens faster than it otherwise would have. We check in with our wisdom/common sense, and it reminds us that we’re supposed to feel this way under these circumstances. It’s sad, and we might be angry or upset as well, but that’s normal and there’s nothing wrong with it. And if there are multiple losses, or if we’re in a transitional time of our life as well, our wisdom/common sense reminds us to be gentle and maybe get more rest if we can. Slow down a bit. Don’t judge as much. Breathe more deeply. Exercise some. Eat well. Take a walk. And even if you do none of these things, be gentle with yourself and don’t judge. That’s important.
My friend also said she’s been having trouble sleeping as a result of all this. Friend, just take some deep breaths before bed and let the body relax and let go. Tell that mind that bodies are temporary, and it can relax for the night and let your body rest. And just enjoy those beloved other bodies while they’re still around, just like others will enjoy yours while it’s still around. And let any sadness be there when it’s there, but don’t hold it. Then it won’t hang around as long. And always live from your wisdom and common sense as much as possible regarding each of the situations, but always one at a time. Don’t let it become a big blob that you can’t sort out. Always sort it out. It’s built-in that you can handle every bit of this, especially if you gently practice living in this way. It doesn’t mean you won’t feel, though. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And over time, you will come to appreciate the love of these beings without the pain, or at least just a tinge of it. We’re just trying to speed up the process.
The final piece involves what you think happens when a body dies. I’ve studied this a lot, and I have some pretty strong thoughts on the topic. I’ve written them up in a separate post as a follow-up to this one. It’s called Is Death Really Real? Warning: breathe, relax, and have an open mind. And think about this: whatever the truth is, it’s still true whether we read an article or not. Let that sink in! The truth is literally unaffected by our reading an article or not. We are free to read, watch, or listen to anything we want. And the truth, whatever it is, is still true, just as it was before. It is not changed one iota. We are totally free to explore anything we want. And there’s great freedom in really understanding that. Wow.