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Tag: afterlife

The power of acceptance

Nurturer cropped

Often, it seems, when I’m told I’ve done something well, it’s not the thing I’ve struggled over and really worked on. No, many times it’s something I’ve taken for granted, barely given a second thought to. This happened most recently when I spoke with my animal communicator a couple of weeks ago.

A little background on animal communication … it doesn’t require the physical presence of the animal, or even for the animal to be in physical form. Once, when I was a foster for my breed rescue, I contacted my animal communicator to let her know I’d recommended her to help with a lost dog. I was surprised to hear that she doesn’t work with lost dogs! The reason is that she has difficulty distinguishing between an animal that’s here, and one on the other side that is what she calls “very present” (as she says my dog Cherry is right now). So a lost animal might truthfully report that it’s fine, and actually be on the other side–which its people may regard as far from fine.

In my experience, though, there’s always a significant difference in an animal’s perspective when she’s here, and when she’s not. After Honeycomb’s death, when I asked what she was doing, she said she was speaking with the Wise Ones. (Hey, just what we do over there! I thought.) She also gave me some advice about my own life–something she’d never done during our sessions when she was still alive.

In those sessions, typically I get very useful, practical information, like that a foster dog I haven’t gotten yet has bad teeth, including which quadrant of the mouth (I asked for the vet to do a dental if needed along with the spay or neuter–it was), or that a dog’s skin is itchy due to the dry air (I got a humidifier), or that a dog wants to take more walks so that she can smell some new smells!

With Cherry, the main theme was again something she’d never mentioned in our sessions when she was alive–how grateful she was for how well I’d understood her, how I’d accepted her and allowed her to be just who she was.

This took me aback at first, because it’s not something I’d ever tried to do, or put any effort into. It just made sense to accept her as she was, value the contributions she made, and not try to make her into something she wasn’t.

I do remember being a little disappointed when I realized she was never going to make a therapy dog. That had been my original dream, but my first dog, Honeycomb, was an unsocialized breeder’s dog, so when she came to me, my complete focus was on overcoming her terror so that she could function and have something approaching a normal life. She also (until she started to lose her hearing) always startled at the slightest sound, like a loud light switch or a clicker. Being able to tolerate loud sounds is required for a therapy dog, but attempting to acclimate her to something she hated seemed cruel to me. At the end of her life she was tremendously loving, and I think would have been a great therapy dog–especially if people could have come to visit her, rather than the other way around!

Cherry, whose original person or people had been elderly, absolutely hated wheelchairs and walkers, and barked in their presence! She was very friendly, happy, cheerful, outgoing, affectionate, loving, and loyal, but she was also fairly empathy-free. She admired strength, but didn’t understand that those who appear weak are often the strongest of all. (Granted, a lot of people haven’t figured this out yet, either.) The ability to tolerate medical equipment is an absolute requirement for a therapy dog, but while it may not be on the test, so is having a heart for those who are struggling in one way or another. So I let go of my dream … and perhaps one day it will come back around.

Cherry was always with me at home, and two of her favorite things to do were to watch me work in the kitchen–especially loading and unloading the dishwasher, because she loved how fast I moved–and watching me get ready to go out, because she loved being beautiful and valued beauty rituals.

If you’re thinking that these are not old-soul values, of course you are right. This was just one waystation on Cherry’s journey, one that we’ve nearly all experienced in some way, and no doubt she will eventually choose other, more challenging lives where she is not gorgeous, strong, and dominant.

These are some of my notes from our last conversation …

She says you got her like no one else. She is so grateful that she got to be who she was. Thank you for honoring who she was. She has a true sense of completion.

“I was gorgeous and I knew it! … Thank you for everything. … We were the steady ones, Heather and I. We were a team. … Without a doubt, I’m not done protecting her. … I love her so, and it was a great, great life.”     —Terri O’Hara, animal communicator, communicating with Cherry

Afterwards, I thought of how truly wonderful it would have been to be accepted for who I was and what I came to accomplish by everyone along the way in my journey. Whenever I’ve had that experience, it really has been wonderful and validating.

It also occurred to me how karmic debt is incurred–by doing something that throws someone else off their intended path. The most definitive way to do this, of course, is to end the person’s life prematurely–war must have huge karmic implications, especially for those making significant decisions–but it can also happen in much subtler ways. No doubt failure to accept and honor the other person and their intended mission is always part of the problem.

So conversely, I saw that accepting another being, their place on their path, and what they came to do and be is really a profound expression of support for their soul’s intention–and, by extension, for the purpose of the whole Universe, our collective growth and expansion. I’m remembering this as I go about my business and observe others being and doing differently than I would.

That’s what I learned from my dog Cherry.

This post is illustrated with my SoulCollage card The Nurturer, made at last weekend’s SoulCollage Archetypes retreat to represent the Mother archetype.

SoulCollage® cards are for personal use, and are not for sale, barter, or trade.

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Whatever happened to Hitler?

I grew up hearing an awful lot about hell. To hear the minister I grew up listening to tell it, the vast majority of people were headed there, and it was a slippery slope for those of us sitting there listening to the hellfire-and-brimstone sermon. We were the elect, and yet … there still seemed to be the possibility of something going terribly, terribly wrong for us if we didn’t do things just exactly as the minister said they should be done.

It’s been some time since hell seemed credible to me, if indeed it ever did. Thinking back, even as a child those tales of Satan and the fiery pit sounded wild and over the top. Unbelievable, you might say.

These days, always with the principle of uncertainty in mind, I’m much more inclined to believe that we come here many times to learn all of life’s lessons. I’m inclined to believe that we’re mostly all doing our best, and that usually (OK, always) it’s people’s egos rather than a fork-tailed Devil leading them astray.

However, it’s pretty undeniable that there are some people who are downright evil, and Hitler is of course everyone’s favorite example. And if there’s no hell for Hitler, what exactly happens to someone like that (or like Dick Cheney)? I’ve actually wondered for some time exactly what Hitler might be up to now, and how the reincarnation of someone like that might be handled (if at all).

Yesterday I had some time to kill between an errand and dinner in another city, so I went to Barnes & Noble, gathered a few books that looked interesting, and sat down with a salted caramel mocha to peruse them.

And found an interesting theory, not to say a fairly credible answer to my longstanding question.

Two of the books I picked up were Michael Newton’s Journey of Souls and Destiny of Souls (the one I ended up buying).

Michael Newton’s story is somewhat similar to Brian Weiss‘s. He was a highly skeptical hypnotherapist who was into science, not new age stuff, when he accidentally regressed a subject to a time frame he didn’t even believe in–one prior to the subject’s current life.

His work is different than Weiss’s in that he focuses fairly exclusively on the period between lives, from death to reincarnation. He’s also been interested in developing a model of how things work on the other side, by integrating the various reports of his clients, who are at various levels of soul maturity and have differing specialties and expertise.

In his books he presents his models, illustrating each point with a case study interview. The two I found quite interesting in relation to my question were with two people whose work on the other side is with the healing and management of souls who’ve committed serious wrongdoing, or outright evil and atrocities, while incarnated.

One thing that’s consistent in Newton’s interviews of his subjects is frequent references to having limited knowledge, and to being very junior in comparison to others with much more expertise. (These souls are typically advanced from the perspective of Earth, junior from the perspective of the other side.) Newton points out that his work is necessarily limited by only interviewing those who are still incarnating, who are clearly not the ones with the most knowledge of the subjects being discussed. Nonetheless, the books are utterly fascinating and unlike anything else I’ve ever read in their level of detail.

In the case of serious wrongdoing, Newton’s case study source indicates that healers work with the damaged soul’s energy, repairing, reweaving, and reshaping it in preparation for the soul’s reparations work. The goal is to increase the likelihood of the soul’s future success, while leaving necessary soul memory intact.

In the case of those who have committed evil, persistent cruelty and harm to perhaps many others, the case study source reports that those who work in this area evaluate whether or not the soul is “salvageable.” If so, the soul is offered three options (otherwise, only the final two).

  1. Be rehabilitated, and then make karmic reparations in a series of lives in which the soul will experience “an equal measure of the same kind of pain they have caused to many people.” Newton’s case study 21 reports that most souls don’t have the courage to take this option.
  2. Be remodeled, which involves significantly diluting the soul’s energy (and thus identity) with fresh energy, such that the negative effect of the original energy is no longer present. This process is intended to set the soul up for future success.
  3. Go into limbo, a place of solitude. This option is chosen in preference to option 2 by souls who “will not stand for any loss of identity.”

I’d read before of a healing process for souls who’ve had difficult lives and require extra help recovering that one author refers to as “cocooning.” I’d wondered if perhaps someone like Hitler would be cocooned indefinitely. I suppose this thought bears some resemblance to option 3.

If you’re interested in the afterlife, the soul’s progression, and our work and purpose both here and on the other side, I recommend Destiny of Souls. I think you’ll find it as fascinating as I do.

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