Over pancakes at The Lantern diner on Hempstead Turnpike, my mother and I talked about family and friends who had passed away over the years. The first husband of her friend Rita was killed in a crane accident when he was 29 years old. Previously, he worked with my father at another construction company, but he had taken this new job because it paid him more money.
My mother observed, “Sometimes we make our own destiny when we step away from something.”
I replied, “That’s how we make our destinies, by moving away from one thing and towards another.”
After coming home, I wrote my morning pages that I did not write earlier because I was driving to eat breakfast. I wrote about changing my life with writing, how that changes the brain, how the brain, body, mind, and soul (feelings, intuitive) work together to move you forward, and how I was opening myself up to following intuition and possibilities for getting what I want.
These topics moved into writing about death, what it means, and what it is. I wrote:
I am not afraid to share and to connect. I will ensure that I do one artist date each week to regenerate myself. I live for inspiration, which guides me towards the light. The light in the tunnel at death is really just us finally, truly, and opening seeing Love as our true selves for the first time.
In the love we hide, which is finally available to us -for most- only at the very end when our breath leaves our bodies for the last time, we think we see our loved ones or God because we have externalized love as being something we receive that came before us. Yet we are Love, each and every one. If we think it does not exist [within us], our anger at our lives can drive us to kill ourselves, destroy lives, or kill others.
The last wall of love, that last moment of separation, crumbles away and we experience our lives as they should have been lived – with knowing that the Love – that Life itself – shines through us in a unique form that will never come again when we are gone.
I am reminded of these two verses from the King James version of The New Testament, which is the Bible that many Christians follow:
Genesis 2:7 – And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 – Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
I was raised Catholic, so I know these verses well. When I have listened to sermons talking about how we are dust, I believed that means we are nothing substantial without the breath of God in our lives. However, I would like to suggest another interpretation:
We are not the dust. The dust is only the shell. If the breath of God is the basis for our lives, then we are living versions of God’s Love. We are not animated dust, animated shells. Our shells allow us to see the particular version of Love that is flowing through us.
Instead of seeing our shells for what they are, a temporary cover for God’s Love, we identify with the shell. The shell is what separates us from others, while it is the Love that binds us together. The souls in the shells soon are unable to see anything else but Love in its shell form, in its dusty form of a shell.
We get caught up in our versions of the shell: the look, touch, taste, smell, and movement of our shells. We learn to pick up the pretty ones and leave the unwanted, broken shells on the beach. We take great pains to walk around the pointed shells so that we do not get stuck and bleed. We want to remain whole. We think of our shells as something that needs defining, defending, outlining, and building upon. We fight other shells thinking we have defeated our enemies.
When we have killed the Others, we have defeated nothing and no one. No wars are being won, no lives being saved. The dusty shell crumbles back into its lifeless form. What remains of the Others moves on in a way that we cannot see because we are still contained within our calcified shells.
When we see the light at the end of the tunnel, we experience the bliss of being reunited with the ultimate source of Love and Life in this world. We are Love, and Love is us. Not dust.