For two nights my father refused to go to bed. Instead he sat in his favorite high back chair and faced the future.
Immediately after breakfast on the third day he phoned his doctor and announced he was ready.
He’d assumed that an ambulance would be dispatched to take him to the hospice, but instead his doctor said he’d send a nurse to assist at home.
The doctor had come to know my father well. He’d seen him defy all odds to recover from radical surgery for stomach cancer. And over the following seven years check off goals on his bucket list like; getting married for the second time, re-connecting with estranged family members, completing a long haul trip to New Zealand. And, just as importantly, lay concrete slabs, one or two a day, because that’s all he had strength for, to create a patio in the sunniest spot of his back yard.
Within the hour, the hospice nurse arrived and quietly settled into a seat beside the single bed that had been carried from the guest room three weeks earlier.
Ordinarily, when cancer spreads from stomach into bones and lungs, it would be standard practice to administer good amounts of pain medication. But my father didn’t like to draw attention to himself, and besides, he’d discovered the best pain medication there is.
You see, during those two solitary nights. He emptied himself out. He leveled the high points and troughs of his past. Sifted and let go disappointments, regrets and achievements. And beyond all of this, after everything had flowed out, he saw that his body was no longer the carrier of his life. It was now the turn of his spirit.
The ancient Greeks had a name for this kind of emptying out; gnosis – a profound experience of divine love.
During his night time vigil my father came face to face with his true self. Not a personality. Not a social or professional role. Not a value measured by what he’d accumulated or achieved. But a holy sacred love.
Content and at peace. With no resistance, only an open mind and heart to what lay ahead. My father rode out on his last exhale and just a half a teaspoon of morphine to soften his release.
So what is Love – really?
An ancient Greek woman or man would be likely be dumbfounded at our catch-all use of the word Love. They would say that there are least four different kinds of Love.
Kinship Love: Love between family members.
Friendship Love: Love between equals, and the love of shared interests.
Eros Love: Love in intimate relationship.
Agape Love: Unconditional love flowing from the Source of Life to all beings.
No matter how you rate yourself in having, receiving or giving love. It’s agape love, the love that Life flows through you, and is you, that you can always count on.
This love, divine love, is like nectar. It’s delicious and irresistible. The more you taste it, the more you can’t help but fall in love with yourself.
Out of this love you find comfort in your own skin. Your relationships blossom. Contentment overflows and clarity about your purpose crystalizes.
So as you move through life don’t be afraid to let go of who and what you hold dear. In the space that opens unconditional love rushes in to lift you up again and again, and again.
I’m offering one immersion retreat in March or April.
What’s an immersion retreat? It’s a deep dive one-one conversation about how life really works.
We’ll explore where wellbeing, health, aliveness, love and success come from – and what gets in the way.
We’ll also explore key areas of your life that you’d like to improve, enjoy and find freedom in.
You’ll come away with an understanding that eliminates trying, struggling or relying on self improvement techniques to create a better life.
Request a life changing conversation and find out more click here.