by Mark Pitstick, MA, DC
I had a dream in which it seemed that I was visiting with my Dad who had recently changed worlds. The encounter was so wonderful and seemed so vivid. We discussed my realization that I was dreaming, but agreed that it was just as real as most other states of awareness.
After awakening from the dream, I felt sad that I couldn’t see Dad with my physical eyes, feel his big bear hugs, or hear his voice with my ears.
I didn’t wallow in the sadness, though, and reminded myself that I would see him again some day. Soon a new understanding seemed to be emerging—almost as if a gift were being conferred. A question arose, seemingly out of nowhere: “What is the next step after acceptance?” The words ‘acceptance, realization, and transform’ quickly came into my mind.
After receiving this “transmission”, I wondered if the first letters of each word spelled anything meaningful. I was pleasantly surprised to find that spelled ART. “Make your life a work of art” is one of my favorite sayings. Tears formed in my eyes with this personal indication that Dad’s visit had been more than my sleepy imagination.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD taught that the five stages of grief are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These usually do not arise in order and they can come and go over time. Eventually, most people reach a state of acceptance that a loved one has passed on.
What happens after acceptance? Are there other steps available as we evolveafter enduring difficult changes? Is it possible to reach acceptance sooner and with less pain by focusing on other higher energy emotions?
Achieving and moving beyond acceptance becomes possible when you really know that death is not an end, just a new beginning. With that internalized knowledge, you can selectively focuson other emotions besides pain, grief, sadness, anger, guilt, loneliness, fear, etc. that can accompany any “loss.” You may feel these emotions, but you can also choose to. . .
- Appreciate all the blessings and lessons that came from that relationship. Think of the many experiences you had with your loved one who is no longer in human form. What a rich array of events, feelings, and memories that are yours forever.
- Realize that you will see each again when you pass on and that your relationship can continue now in a different way. Also realize that your “departed” loved one is enjoying a dimension characterized by peace, joy, gratitude, and enthusiasm.
- Transform each aspect of your life for the better as a result of having known this person. Enjoy a spiritually transformative experience by more deeply knowing life and love are forever. Honor their life by shining more brightly and serving others. Focusing on appreciation and realization naturally increases your clarity and power.
This same formula can be used for every change and challenge in your life: terminated relationships, financial loss, health issues, aging, broken dreams—even your own death and dying. All life events, even the sad and difficult ones, contain opportunities for you to appreciate, realize, and transform.
Make your life a work of art!
Release your fears and look life squarely in the eye every moment, no matter what is going on around you. The more you use your physical and spiritual senses, the more you’ll behold love and light everywhere. It’s the only presence and power that exists.
Moving past the traditional stages of grieving and into the next stages helps you remember that life and love are forever.
And that’s when the real fun begins . . .