I find myself in this odd position of having my focus on how to live life more fully, with more joy, love, and peace as I learn and teach how to live Heaven on Earth, and then being touched deeply by the deaths of family and acquaintances.
In parts 1 and 2 on this theme, I wrote about my aunt and uncle who died within a couple years of each other, each at the age of 89. I was touched by the passing of each and learned more about their gifts after they died than when alive. Certainly with each I was inspired to live my life more fully.
More recently a second cousin passed away. Again, I learned more about her after her death than I knew while she was living. I felt called to her memorial service in Georgia despite not having had contact with her directly during our adult lives. I knew her as a child when our families would gather in North Carolina for summer vacations. I received occasional updates over the years through other family members. The call to go to her memorial service was more for those who are still living than because of any relationship I had with her. Getting to reconnect with her mother, sister, and brother felt important. Through that reconnection, I felt each of us got a better sense of the importance of family even when physically distant for most of our lives. We touched into the love that is at the core of this family. We felt it as kids on our summer vacations, and we tapped into it as adults grieving the loss of a loved one.
This week I learned of the death of an acquaintance. I wish I could have called him a friend, but I never got to know him that well. Even so, I can remember in first meeting him that he radiated love that could be felt across the room. He was a shaman, and I did not know that when I first saw him in the conference classroom. I had no idea who he was, but felt his energy and made sure that I introduced myself to him. I wanted to let him know how his loving energy could be felt all the way over to where I was sitting. Our eyes connected in soulful knowingness when as I told him of his impact. He smiled such a beautiful smile of appreciation and I felt transported to another space and time through his eyes. His name is Rafael Bejarano. He was one of the twelve Mexican tourists killed by Egyptian security forces, mistaking them for terrorists.
Again, I am learning more about him after his death than while he was living. His death has really impacted me. I found myself needing to cry because the emotions were just welling up inside and needed to be expressed. I could feel his loving energy. I could remember the loving look in his eyes. Here was a man who lived peace and was gunned down in senseless violence.
His death also caused me to think more deeply of all the others who are dying on this planet in senseless acts of violence. There is so much fear, hatred, rage, and insanity lashing out to kill or maim whoever gets in the way. This is where I want to bring my love and light. Enough already! Have we not learned our lessons yet as a human race? Must we keep killing in the mistaken belief that if we kill our enemies our problems will be solved?
Life is precious. All life is precious. The time we have in this lifetime, in this human body chosen for us, perhaps chosen by us, is precious and holy. Why is it so hard for us as humanity to understand this?
I don’t know the answer. I am not trying to blame anyone for the way it is. I believe that each of us is doing the best we know. The Egyptian soldiers who killed Rafael and the other innocent people did not mean to do what they did. They are probably feeling horrible guilt and shame. They were trying to prevent others bent on horrid violence from hurting innocents. They got caught up in the current of fear and this is the result.
I only know to appreciate the life I have been given and to bring as much love and light into it so I can radiate it out into the world in the way that Rafael did. In his remembrance I pledge to remember and to embody as much light and love as I can. That is what I mean by living heaven on earth. Each of us can do our part by connecting to the love that is the basis of all creation and letting go of the mistaken ideas that lead to violence and other forms of separation from our Source.
Life is precious. Let us live it as the holy gift it is.