It’s Never Too Late to Say I Love YouWritten by keith Varnum
Whew! I just barely survived a workshop in Sedona, Arizona, with only a fragment of my old sense of self in tact—and that hanging by a thread. I was grateful for what I learned from seminar leader Lester Levenson and for positive changes I made. But I left human potential seminar filled with sadness, frustration and regret. During conference, many people, especially men, expressed their recent joy and thankfulness in reconnecting with their estranged fathers. They shared with us how fulfilling it was to tell their fathers they loved them, and, in many cases, to even have expression of affection returned. Since my father was long dead, I felt I’d blown my chance to experience an exchange of love with him. Throughout my life, I often remarked to friends that it would take an act of God, a miracle, to reconcile my father and me. And that is exactly what it took.
After final session of seminar, I shuffled off to my motel room, packed my bags for an early morning flight, and hit sack. However, sleep eluded me. I kept seeing happy faces of those fortunate guys who reconciled with their dads. I could still hear their joyous laughter as they compared stories with each other and group.
Memories of my father and our countless arguments played over and over in my mind. My dad and I never spoke much about anything, let alone affection or feelings. In anger and arrogance, last words I spoke to him while he was alive were “You’ll find out!” Some send-off I gave him!
And his last words to me were same: “You’ll find out!” That one phrase was our central conversation. For twenty years, our main communication to each other was that other one would find out he was wrong—about whatever topic we disagreed, about life in general, about everything! I winced at our voices of anger reverberating through my mind and then cut off by abrupt slam of a door—his death. Yes, it was too late for me. Finally, unable to shake feeling of hopelessness and self- judgment to find solace in sleep, I dressed and left my motel room for a late night walk.
Shoulders hunched, eyes staring at pavement below my feet, I took a sorry stroll through dark and empty streets. I’d been wandering aimlessly for some time when, through my self-absorbed despair, I noticed a faint, yet definite glow of golden light around manhole covers I’d been passing over. I examined each lid I came upon, but could not discover source of soft, vague radiance.
In my understanding of world, abnormalities—such as this faint shimmer—in my “normal environment” are never an accident. These irregularities in “expected picture” are usually my spirit’s way of trying to get my attention. This signal means my inner coach has a message for me and wants me to listen up. It’s like “You’ve got mail!” on computer. This particular sign of a soft glow is familiar to me. A faint radiance has been one of my soul’s principal devices to attract my attention and get me to go inside to check in with my intuition concerning situation.
Receiving: The Flip Side of GivingWritten by Avalon De Witt
Another winter holiday season is upon us, and theme seems to be universal. You may call your holiday Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Ramadan, or Winter Solstice. It is a turning point, a time of celebrating light and hope for new life. The common element is that we all consider it a time for honoring Spirit in our best and highest ways.
Here in United States, prevailing holiday is Christmas, and gift-giving is major tradition. There are many stories behind "why's" of this tradition. Many say it is to follow example of Magi who came to bestow their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh upon Christ child. (See Matthew 2:9-11)
We want to have a joyous time, and remain mindful of our values. Yet, we often get caught up in flurry of gift-giving fever, brought on by media pressures and society, and we forget to enjoy what others give us every day. In a time when people are saying "Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men," how is it that something meant to be so special can become so stressful?
Whenever we are feeling depleted from giving, it means we are not receiving enough. So much time and money goes into making our loved ones happy for holidays that we wind up worrying how we're going to do it all. When you sacrifice your spirit, you are sacrificing too much.
Receiving is crucial for giving to be complete. In famous story, The Gift of Magi, by O. Henry, a man and wife find themselves lacking funds to give each other what they wanted to for Christmas.