November 29, 2008
My mom was an amazing woman. She was also an alcoholic and a drug addict creating the perfect laboratory for my exploration of how to create change in the human condition. As a child I witnessed the one I loved most sinking into dark valleys of despair, insanity, and multiple attempts at suicide. I chose the quest to understand how love could turn to hopelessness. The questions I was determined to answer were: What caused this? What was the purpose of this suffering that colored my entire life? What can change it? From the age of about five I took on the self-appointed role of being her psychoanalyst. I believed I was her emotional surrogate, her confidant and her caretaker, up until the day she died.
As chaotic as my mother’s life was, her death was even more horrific. She succumbed to a very aggressive form of cancer that even the Stanford Cancer Institute had never seen before. It began with a little lump on the back of her neck, which she went to a dermatologist to have it removed thinking it was cyst . Although he tried, the dermatologist could not remove it. When she woke up the next morning, she had lumps all over her body and two weeks later, she was dead.
The melanoma tumor had been disturbed by the dermatologist and within a 24 hour period of time, the tumor sent out countless runners throughout my mother’s body. The last few days she was alive, I slept stayed with her in her hospital room those last three days, and like a mantra being chanted in a morphine daze, she repeated, “I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, If I could only live again, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die.” I sat with her twenty-four seven for those three days and I looked at her in a state of utter helplessness. I realized that there was nothing I could do for her. There were no words of comfort, no scriptures to be read, no amount of tears could assist her at the end of her journey. Nothing could relieve the fear of finally knowing she did not do what her soul came here to do. The air of her room was thick with the smell of regret and despair for a life spent in pain, under-realized. She realized that she had done very little with her life.
My mother had been divorced from my father for over twenty years and every day of those twenty years she lived in the pain of the loss and emotional betrayal of her true love – a love she believed would always be her sanctuary. Her heart was irreparably broken. She did very little with her life as an individual after the divorce. Her fear was so great she could not enter the work force. She was very poorly educated and carried tremendous shame as a consequence.
As I watched my mother die, I vowed I would never die as she was dying. During those last painful days of my mother’s life, I vowed I would face my fear. I would discover my purpose. I would fulfill my potential. I vowed to life I would never allow myself to die as she had, filled with the regret and despair of what she did not have the courage to do.
Now this is were the story gets good.
About four years after my mother’s death, I was sitting with a really good friend of mine, Kathy Hern, who was at that time the minister for a Science of Mind church in San Diego. We were sitting chatting in her office, when she casually asked me a question about my mother. In that precise moment I began to experience an altered state of consciousness which had never happened before and has never happened since. The moment Kathy brought up the subject of my mother, I felt the spiritual center of my body – the place between my eyebrows known as the third eye – suddenly open up.
I experienced somewhat of a dual vision. I could still see Kathy and her office and simultaneously I could see into another realm of existence. A mist appeared and out of the mist my mother began walking toward me. It was her angelic presence. She was wearing white robes and the wind was blowing through her hair. She looked gorgeous. I don’t remember if I heard her voice or received her message in thought, but as clear as day she communicated these words:
“Son, I lived the life I lived to show you how not to live. I died the death I died to show you how not to die. Choose the right path.
Do not waste time in your story. Distill the wisdom from the sum of your life’s experiences and go forth to realize your soul’s unique contribution.”
As soon as she delivered this message, the image of my mother disappeared back into the mist, my third eye closed, and I sat in a daze staring off into space.
My mother’s words presuppose a powerful truth that is at the heart of this book. Out of love she lived within the constriction of her limitations, as an example of what not to become. She did it for the sake of my learning, my evolution, my eventual contribution. Her death was an example of how not to live, and therefore how not to die. Out of deep love and devotion to me, she lived the life she lived, in order to show me the right path.
All of my story as a young boy and adult had revolved around how terrible my childhood was, creating a perspective of my world darkened by a lack of awareness of the spiritual intent behind all events. I was awakening from the trance of victim and blame to the awareness of the perfection that is through the window of what my soul came here to fulfill.
I had always considered myself to be a victim of a chaotic and unstable childhood, yet as I examined my mother’s life from this perspective, I began to realize the multitude of things she taught me through the power of her example. My mom was probably my greatest teacher. This realization was a powerful experience which reshaped my perceptions and shook my procrastination and victimization to the core.
Whether our parents are living or dead, each one of us stands on the shoulders of every ancestor that came before us. We exist as a culmination of their successes and losses; their positive intentions and ignorant mistakes. Through the tragedies and triumphs of those who came before us, we are given a sacred window through which we can glimpse the mystery of our life purpose. Our parents’ failures are perhaps our greatest teachers. By deeply examining their lives, we unveil an important message about how to live — and how not to live – our own.
What is the hidden soul lesson in why we came through our particular ancestral line? What is the hidden message inherent within the circumstances of our families? These are questions seldom asked deeply requiring to be answered.
Our past has created our present, but it need not create our future. We can write a whole new story. Move the focus of your mind away from the story of what you did and did not receive from your parents to what your parents’ lives are teaching you about life. Take their life lessons and make different choices. Through the expression of our life demonstrates whether we will continue the ancestral influenced thinking or choose another Path.
Could our ancestry play an important part of who we are at the subconscious level and could this influence have some bearing on who we are today and does this information show a light into what we are here to master in this life?