“Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?”
Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161 -180
You will find rest from vain fancies if you perform every act in life as though it were your last.
Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161–180
“We won’t succumb to hate, bitterness or disillusionment; we will use wisely the time we have left together. When we stop crying we will start doing positive things to affect change. We ask that everyone work towards something good. Stop being complacent. Do something now.“
~Jeanne and Gideon Bernstein
This morning I was sitting in my rainbow room–my small sun-room which among other things, contains stained glass, hanging crystals, geraniums..
altars that I’ve created and
a hanging chair which I share with my cat Phantom..
I’ve been sitting in the rainbow room a lot lately, thinking about things, feeling like I should be doing something and not wanting to do anything.
Difficult to put into words–my thoughts…but they mostly have to do with surrender, acts of kindness, choices and the shift that’s happening as the old world dies and the ‘New Earth’ comes in.
As things have been extremely challenging in my life these past 2 years, I’ve been forced to look inward as my outer world crumbled. I couldn’t buy things that I wanted, couldn’t go out to eat, sometimes had very little food, couldn’t fix things that broke, not enough gas to go anywhere…Surrender to what is….there’s no other choice.
And so I struggled to find hope, find the positive, move out of anger and bitterness..and into SURRENDER. [It isn’t easy]
There are a few things that have helped me the most: listening to the spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, working on arts and crafts projects and reading the stories of people who have survived the greatest difficulties, the greatest suffering….those who have gone through ‘the tumbler of life and come out polished’.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.
These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.
Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Last week I read a story that I could not get out of my mind. It was the story of 19 year old, University of Pennsylvania student, Blaze Bernstein who was brutally murdered a few weeks ago by a ‘friend’. He was missing from his parents home in southern California and after a week of searching, his body was discovered in a shallow grave in a park near his home. He had been stabbed 20 times.
This is a story of horror, violence, insanity…what we read in the ‘news’ every day, what we are becoming immune to. Violence begets more violence, hate begets more hate…on and on the cycle continues. Blame is always placed on someone or something else. Personal responsibility is not encouraged and for many this has become the expected and accepted way.
A vicious murder of a beloved child, in this case one who was known as a brilliant teenager with…..a generous and gentle heart, is the very worst nightmare a parent can experience but Blaze’s parents chose a unique way of responding. From the time that his body was found, his parents made the statement that they would not give in to hate or revenge. Instead they wrote:
“We won’t succumb to hate, bitterness or disillusionment; we will use wisely the time we have left together. When we stop crying we will start doing positive things to affect change. We ask that everyone work towards something good. Stop being complacent. Do something now.
Now is the time to set aside fear, ignorance and judgement. It is time to love. Love each other. Be good. Do good and honor Blaze’s memory.”
~Jeanne and Gideon Bernstein
And Blaze’s father went on to say that he felt this must have happened for a reason.
This seems a life changing understanding and because Blaze’s story has reached so many thousands of people and will continue to, this understanding can be life changing for many…it seems to me to be the way of the New Earth which is coming in now: Surrender, Kindness, refusing to give in to hate…..make the world a better place.
A family friend who knew Blaze though not well wrote:
And while I can’t make up for not knowing him as well as I should have, I can promise this: By performing daily acts of kindness, by rejecting hate and prejudice, and by never again taking a precious human soul for granted, I will never, ever forget him.
This is Blaze’s memorial website. It is beautiful in every way..It is a light in the darkness.
*PS Somewhat related: Until a few years ago, I often gave presentations on loss and grief which I called Between Now & Forever. I gave these presentations throughout the US, for Hospices, Church and Community Groups, Universities and Rehab Centers as well for National Hospice and Palliative Care Conferences. They were simple, magical and powerful. I always started by showing our award winning documentary, Turning Toward the Morning and followed the film with the opportunity for those who wanted to, to make a memorial for friends or family members. I brought lots of colored markers, crayons, glitter and paper and everyone from small children, to the very elderly
created beautiful drawings, heartfelt messages and sometimes letters…….
I feel that I am now emerging out of 2 years in the ‘tumbler of life’, emerging stronger and with more clarity and I am ready to do these presentations again but I just realized that I want to do them in memory of Blaze Bernstein. They will be different from the ones I did previously because they will include this message from Blaze’s parents: “Now is the time to set aside fear, ignorance and judgement. It is time to love. Love each other. Be good. Do good …”For more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thank you and May the Force be with You.