One of the things those who work in hospice care are aware of, is that people nearing end-of-life experience a loss of parts of self: Body, abilities to do things they loved, things that constituted “identity”, mental abilities, actions that were once easy, sense of taste or sound or other sensory loss. . .
But “self” is not just the body, activities we identify with, even our mental abilities.
Self is something greater - whether you see that "greater" as the soul, heart, consciousness or something else, most of us have a sense that who and what we are is not just the pieces that we feel the loss of.
In pondering this, I reminded myself that this loss is not unique to those who are dying – we ALL experience a loss of parts of self – Where is that playful aspect I once had, or darn that old knee, or who am I now that I forget things so much?
Those lost parts can become like strangers to us. And so I invited my team - and I invite you now - to come with me on a little journey of reclaiming. . .
You can CLICK THIS LINK or visit the Meditations page to listen to the guided recording.
(Notice: When you click the link, it will take you to SOUND CLOUD. To turn OFF AUTOPLAY, go to lower right corner of tool bar at bottom of page, click on the pull down menu, and click the autoplay button to OFF position.)
Part of what I shared in our meeting was a few lines from the poem "Coleman's Bed" by the absolutely marvelous David Whyte.
The part I read was this:
Be taught now, among the trees and rocks,
how the discarded is woven into shelter,
learn the way things hidden and unspoken
slowly proclaim their voice in the world.
Find that far inward symmetry
to all outward appearances, apprentice
yourself to yourself, begin to welcome back
all you sent away, be a new annunciation,
make yourself a door through which
to be hospitable, even to the stranger in you.
You can read the entire poem here:
COLEMAN'S BED by DAVID WHYTE
or visit the POET'S WEBSITE here to explore more and buy his books.
And here is what I hope you will take away with you today:
Even if you cannot have that lost aspect of yourself back, say, in the physical, you CAN reclaim a sort of wholeness – holding the essence of your reclaimed parts in your safe heart, always. If this seems hard to imagine, have a listen to the recording and see how you feel.
Wishing us all good tracks home to ourselves and, as always, Heartful Living and Dying.
Rev. Maya Massar