On the last day of its life, my oleander tree graced me with one more burst of blossoms in the sunset. I’ve loved this tree so much. Hummingbirds roosted here, pigeons nested under its branches on the roof. I’ve enjoyed rainstorms under its thick canopy and showers of white blossoms from its branches make my yard look like a fairyland every spring. Problem is, its roots have started to go under the house and we can’t do that. It was time.
Weeks ago, I asked it to send its life force into the other trees and plants and slowly it began to withdraw. The trunk darkened with some fungus. Branches started dying off, and the foliage and flowers became much sparser than usual this time of year. On her last night in my yard, however, she gave me one last bunch of blooms.
There I am, Miss Mystic crying as I let go of my tree friend, knowing full well that death is an illusion, but also feeling that I’d miss those magic moments spent with her. That’s when I heard the voice of her spirit in a pretty no-nonsense female tone. “Ann, you know I don’t die.” “I know but I’ll miss your form,” I tell her. “Don’t you remember that I AM in all things and when one form goes, another is there? “Yes,” I said, sniveling and starting to feel foolish. “Sit with me,” she said. I got a towel and started to meditate by her trunk, thinking with some humor about Buddha under the Bodhi tree… and how of course it would be funny and fitting to have Ann under the oleander.
I felt the force of life and love within the form of the tree envelope me with a mighty love. It was like a hug inside, outside, and around me. I felt a warm light go up my spine. “I am your spine,” she said, giving me a chiropractic adjustment as the energy of her trunk merged with mine. I went into that blissful no-mind, feel-everything space, surrendering more and more deeply to the all that is… until the oven timer went off! I had forgotten I was cooking.
Filled with the bliss of the Presence, I ran in, took the chicken out of the oven and went back to meditate. Now there were no tears, just indescribable joy! There was no tree, no me, just energy… pulsing, blissful energy spilling out in all directions and me with it. I don’t know how long it went on but then I heard the voice again. “Got it?” “Yes, thank you for the reminder,” I said smiling. She told me to cut some of her flowering branches and put them in a vase and she’d try to root so I could put her “kids” in a pot elsewhere. Brilliance.
We all have to let go at times. Sometimes it’s something small – we break a glass. Sometimes it’s a tree, a house, a job, a relationship. Sometimes our letting go is huge – the death of a dear one.
In each letting go is an opening to a greater understanding of love. It is not always easy. It is seldom fun. It is sometimes excruciatingly painful. Yet, in each letting go of the form, we start to embrace more fully the essence – the soul, and beyond that, the love that live in all being and all things. We may have to grieve but at some point we start to trust more, to soften, to open. In that space, love rushes in, we feel the souls of those who have expanded beyond our limited realms. They remind us, as the tree reminded me, “We do not die.” In truth we resurrected into a much greater and more amazing reality.
I feel her spirit within me and in the entire cosmos now. She always did… Nature never harbors illusions of separation, and we are slowly letting go and finding our way out of them too.
Here are a few pointers when it is time for letting go of something or someone you once held dear…
1. Allow yourself to grieve
You are human. There is not getting around that. Depending on the magnitude of the surrender you may need to grieve deeply and you may need plenty of time to do it. Trust your own inner schedule. We would not dictate to a seed in the ground when it should sprout. There is a natural process of death and resurrection we go through when we have to let go and none of us can force it or rush it.
Be kind and gentle with yourself, knowing each wave of grief will toss you back up suddenly into peace. This is easy to say if you’re grieving a broken glass, and beyond difficult to embrace when you grieve the loss of a loved one. Yet, like waves, grief pulls you inward and always tosses you back up upon the shores of love.
2. Accept the change. Attempt to be present. Create.
It’s very human to resist change if it is difficult. If we are let go of something or someone that we love, we don’t want to admit they’re gone. We go back in our minds, and relive the past. Most people relive not only the love, but more often the pain. If you can get present, there is some sadness because you miss them in human form, but you also have opportunity to feel the the bliss of their expanded spirit. If you lose something like a job, or house, there is some sadness, but there can also be the joy of a new creative adventure. Loss is really an opening to something greater when we can allow for that.
The angels encourage me anytime I have to let go of anyone or anything to allow for the grief, but then to be present as often as possible and look for the love and joy and opportunities for expansion and growth… right here and right now. Love the people who are with you. Love your dear ones in the heavenly expanded realms and attempt to sit quietly and feel their presence. Love yourself enough to create a new job, a new hous, etc. in your inner world until it must appear in your outer.
3. Embrace the gifts of an expanded heart
Grief opens you. You have to be more real, authentic, deep. Nothing superficial matters. You want connection. You spend more time praying, if only for comfort. In our tears we admit we are not the ultimate power and surrender more deeply to what is. In your deepest grief, you are also feeling the oceanic depths of your love. Shift your focus to how much you love and suddenly, amazingly if you can manage that, you will feel only that love.
I con’t mean to minimize anyone’s loss. I do not mean to compare a tree with a person. Yet the angels pushed me to write this. Each of us on earth is letting go of something most of the time, because each of us, in our soul, has a strong desire to make use of our time on earth – to die unto the small self and resurrect into a gloriously awakened understanding of our indelible connection with all of life. In this reality, there is no real loss. It’s hard to get here but worth every step of the journey.