“Nothing Will Be Unacceptable to You”

I’ve been thinking about why I miss Evelyn so much. I usually don’t grieve for folks who have passed – in my mind I celebrate their transition.

Early this morning I realized that Evelyn had been a tremendous role model for me, and for many others, I’m sure. She had achieved what I wrestle with daily – becoming the Mind of Christ. Jeshua reminds us that when we do achieve that state of mind – “nothing will be unacceptable to you.” (The Way of Mastery, page 90). And that was how it was with her.

As a psychotherapist, she was well aware of the deep fissures in our world over culture, society, race; so many opportunities to pit “us against them.” But she had come to a place in her spiritual growth where nothing was unacceptable to her. She was never in disagreement, never in opposition, never at war within or without. She believed that everything was under the watchful eye of a loving and benevolent Creator, and trusted that the bigger picture was one full of Love.

When she was first diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, she chose to have surgery, but declined any follow-up treatments. She felt she understood the lesson of the illness, and that was really the only important thing. She had shared with me that her family did not understand that at the time. They encouraged her to “fight” the cancer. But she told them that she did not want to be at war with her own body. No opposition, no discord, only Love. And so, I can see now, that she allowed the cancer to love her to death.

She was very close with her family, and they were kind enough to contact many of us to let us know of her passing. This is how they described their “little sister, Evie.”

If Evelyn knew you even a little, she had love in her heart for you. That’s who she was. She always looked for the best in people. She usually found it. Over the last few weeks, messages from friends and clients came pouring in, stories of love and changed lives and transformation and redemption. As a counselor and psychotherapist, she helped people through some of the most difficult days in their lives. As a sister and a friend, she was everything you could ever hope for – present; funny; wise and loving.

So I can see now why this is so hard. I’ve lost my guide and mentor, someone who walked pretty solidly in Jeshua’s footsteps. I’m grateful for the inspiration she has given me. But for now and a little while longer, I’m gonna miss the shit out of her. And that’s OK.

Remembering to Practice Love

I last saw my good friend, Evelyn, on the second Sunday in October. On the second Friday in November, she made her transition from this world to the next. I’ve felt both relief and sadness for all of us, her friends, her family, the larger community where she served so willingly and joyfully. She considered herself one of the most fortunate people to be alive with work that was rewarding, a peaceful home in a very pretty place, and her own good buddy, Scout, her therapy Pomeranian.

Her death came on the heels of a chaotic week in politics. I like to think of myself as well-informed, but I’ve been obsessing over the news like an addict. Today I was finally able to practice some reason again as I re-read Pam Grout’s most excellent new book, Thank and Grow Rich. Pam is a student of A Course in Miracles as well as The Way of Mastery. Reading her book has helped to restore some sanity. And Evelyn’s mantra continues to run across my mind’s eye – “Choose Only Love.”

I read somewhere fairly recently that all circumstances are pushing us ever more toward Love. It’s the one thing we really haven’t tried on a large scale. And if I look at the world today, I find lots of inspiration to send love – to the war-torn areas of the world, to the stranded cows in New Zealand after the earthquake, to our national and world leaders who carry such grave responsibilities on their shoulders, to the grief-stricken people around the world, in my community, in my own home.

There is a wonderful book of short stories, compiled by Mark Andreas titled Sweet Fruit from the Bitter Tree. In each story, love triumphs over any situation, large or small – a prison riot in China; a despotic warlord overtaking a group of missionaries in Africa; two Chicago cops who break up domestic disputes by acting silly, and at least 10 others.

We must each do our part. As Peruvian shaman don Americo Yabar liked to remind his students, “All you can do is the best you can do today.” Love can and does heal everything. We just need to remember to practice it. So feel free to practice with joy and abandon.