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  • Marilyn Young

Lives Interrupted - Part 2

Last week I wrote about the journey my family and I are having with health challenges and the

lessons we are learning. As I reflect on that time, and as our journey continues, Spirit has prompted me to share more messages about the ripple effect of lives interrupted. As I mentioned last week, not only was my life and that of my husband, mom and other immediate family members impacted, our experience touched many other lives including extended family, friends, coworkers, health care providers, and even those people we briefly met while in an ambulance, an emergency department, or a hospital room. It helped us see that we are not alone, that everyone, especially in our world today, has, or is, experiencing “a life interrupted.” It also showed us how we are all connected and through the love and support in our shared experiences, we learn from each other to come through to positive outcomes. So, grab a coffee and make it a large cup because this is another long one. Here are some of the messages from Spirit…


Message #1 - “Go With The Flow”


Over the past several days, Spirit has had me repeatedly recall our brief encounter with the paramedics responding to my mom’s fall until I deciphered the message that encounter brought forward. When I arrived at my mom’s apartment the day of her fall, I found the paramedics had already gotten her from the floor to sitting in a chair and had done their initial assessment. They recommended that they take her to an urgent care facility as she did not appear to have any injury other than perhaps a dislocated shoulder. I wasn’t entirely convinced that her injuries were so slight , but felt I needed to trust them. However, when she could not stand to get onto a stretcher, they immediately reassessed her and proceeded to the nearest emergency department. This change in direction created an amazing “domino effect” that facilitated my mom’s care to move forward in the most positive way. Once at the emergency department, the paramedics advocated for her to have pain medication and x-rays while she was still waiting with them in the que for a bed. This speeded up the process for her in that department, allowing her to be admitted to hospital that night and have surgery early the following morning. It was serendipitous that the surgeon accepting patients that day, was the same one who had repaired her other hip three years ago. My mom has confidence in this surgeon. That confidence has helped her cope well with the surgery.


Reflecting on those brief series of events, I realized that the paramedics showed me that it was OK to reassess their initial decision and change their plan to put the best process in place for my mom. They were open to change and did not narrow mindedly stick with their initial decision to take her to urgent care. The final outcome for her would have been the same – she would have had an x-ray but then would have needed to be transported to the hospital to eventually have the surgery she required. That route of care would have likely taken longer and she potentially would have experienced more pain. The surgery may or may not have happened as early as it did and she may have gotten a different surgeon.


Last week we talked about obstacles presenting an opportunity for us to slow down and examine what changes we need to make in our lives. This experience with the paramedics illustrated, for me, the message that when we come up against an obstacle in life, it is OK to change direction so that we can move forward in a better/easier way to get to our desired outcome. Life is not meant to be hard. We are meant to experience joy. But sometimes we are our own worst enemies when we do not allow ourselves to see a way around obstacles we come up against. Often, we stubbornly persist in plowing ahead pushing hard to get the obstacle out of our way or struggling to climb over it. We often don’t pause or change our perspective to see that we could simply choose to change direction to easily go around it. Are you struggling with any obstacles along your journey? Can you take a moment to step back, reassess, and see a way around the barrier?

This experience also gave me another repeated message about trust. I briefly thought about challenging the paramedics regarding their initial assessment as I was concerned that my mom’s injuries were more serious. This would have delayed their departure and could have negatively impacted the subsequent flow of events in her care. However, instead of trying to control the process (which we talked about last newsletter), my intuition guided me to trust them to do their job. When I let go of control, they reassessed and she ended up where I wanted her to go but in the most timely manner. On reflection, this is a reminder to me about the bigger picture of life. When we know what outcome we want, what our goals are in life are, all we need to do is trust and the Universe will take care of the ‘how’. Opportunities will come our way. We will find a path around obstacles. Again, as my husband would say, we just need to “go with the flow.”


Message #2 - “Do Unto Others As You would Have Them Do Unto You”


Since learning about the “Golden Rule” as a young child, I have always tried to treat others as I would like to have them treat me. There have been, however, times in my life when I have unintentionally deviated from that. During my husband’s hospitalization, I was reminded of the “Golden Rule” and provided another opportunity to continue working through my life lesson in judgement. Here is how the reminder came about…


While enroute to the emergency department for my husband, we notified our children about our change in plans for the weekend. (You might recall from my last newsletter, that we had intended to spend the weekend in the mountains until we discovered, upon our arrival, that my husband was not well.) As events unfolded, we kept them informed. Despite the surprise turn of events, their love and support was immediate and unwavering. Our son and his girlfriend spent several hours in the emergency department with us, our youngest daughter cancelled her weekend away and returned home the next day along with her boyfriend, and throughout his hospital stay, all of our four children, their partners, and three grandchildren came to visit or called my husband daily. We didn’t reach out to many more people except for my husband’s brother and a few close friends. I initially decided not to let my siblings know what was happening, as I did not want them to purposely or inadvertently tell my mother. As she was dealing with her own health challenges and hospitalization, I did not want her to have any added stress by being concerned about my husband. I was trying to protect her.

The day before my husband’s surgery, I had an epiphany. I realized that in not communicating with my siblings, I was judging them and I had broken one of the rules I try to live by – never make assumptions. I assumed that somehow, one of them would tell my mom about my

husband. I was also acting on judgements I had made about our lapses in communication in the past. I asked myself whether I wanted to be treated as I was treating them if the roles were reversed. The immediate answer was “no.” I needed to be non-judgemental, respectful, loving, and transparent because I would appreciate that in return. I discussed this with my husband, who agreed with my initial decision and who now saw the epiphany. So, I decided to let my siblings know about my husband’s illness in the timing that made the most sense for my relationship with each of them. The response we got was caring and supportive. For some of us, past barriers fell, and relationships are healing. It has been helpful as we move forward in this journey. It was a reminder, not to make assumptions and not to judge, to always treat others as I would want to be treated – with love and respect.


As I continue to work through this tough life lesson of judgement, I again find it is entwined with my lesson in control. I still have one sibling and my mom to inform about my husband’s journey. I struggle with my philosophy of “do unto others as I would have them do unto me” if the news might cause harm for them or create undue stress and worry in their lives. Would I want someone to create stress and worry for me or would I rather not know? Would I be grateful that they protected me? Or would I want to make the decision myself as to how I would respond to family news I receive? Am I being controlling but rationalizing that I am protecting them? Am I robbing them of an opportunity to provide us with support? As I seesaw back and forth with this internal debate, I trust Spirit will help me find the answer that is in the best interest for my spiritual growth. I just need to stop long enough to ask and listen… What about you? Do you experience times when you feel you have judged others? Have your “good intentions” shown you lessons in control? Has your “help” actually hindered others in their growth? Do you make assumptions about how others will act or feel? Do you treat others as you would want them to treat you?


Message #3 - Hold Onto Your Dreams and Believe


One day as my husband and I were on one of his many routine walks around the hospital, we became engaged in a conversation with a patient from another unit. Sitting on a chair in a sunny hallway next to his motorized scooter, he told us about his dreams. Throughout his eighty one years, he had held many jobs, but currently he was a writer. He told us about his first book which he was hoping to soon publish. It was about the 9-11 tragedy of 2001 in the United States. His dream was to publish through a New York publisher and then sponsor a monument to the Canadians who died in the tragedy. Once he finished describing the details of how he would negotiate with the publisher, he held up the manifesto for his second book. He was documenting his experiences of his current hospitalization (362 days to date) on the back of dozens of hospital menus held together by a large paper clip. He wasn’t sure when that book would be finished, as he did not have a hospital discharge date yet. Once home, he planned to start his third book recounting his life story. At that point, my husband needed to return to his unit so we did not hear the details of our new acquaintance’s next project but we were sure it would happen. His passion about his writing projects was undeniable. He had a dream and he believed in himself. We wished him all the success and made a mental note of his name to look for in future publications. As we turned to leave, he reminded us with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, “Hold onto your dreams!”

Meeting this resident author made me reflect on my dreams. This journey with my husband has

made us both reflect on our purpose and why we want to be here, on Earth at this time. Since we met, one of our shared dreams was to have a family. Our common bond in our love for our family and the desire to support them is unshakable and one of our reasons for being here. We both love helping others and this journey is showing us the gifts we can use to do that. We are reaffirming where we want our lives to go, what our dreams are, and the bright future we believe in. What are your dreams? What is your passion? What gets you out of bed in the morning (besides your alarm clock)? Is there something that you do that you lose all track of time when you are doing it because you love it so much? Do you believe you will accomplish your dreams? Do you believe in yourself? Spirit believes in you and as one famous author tells us “the universe has your back.” So, believe, step into your passion, and make those dreams come true!


Message #4 - Pay It Forward

An unexpected expression of generosity towards my husband one day during his hospital stay reminded us to look for more opportunities to “pay it forward.” One morning before I arrived at the hospital, on one of his many walks, my husband started chatting with a fellow patient, the other occupant of the elevator he was on. As they exited into the hospital lobby, my husband commented on the alluring aroma of coffee that wafted towards them. The other fellow asked if my husband was going to buy a coffee to which my husband lamented that he couldn’t because I had not arrived yet with any money! In response, the fellow invited my husband to follow him as he rolled his wheelchair towards the coffee kiosk where he gifted my husband with a coffee. My husband gratefully accepted the warm beverage, and on their way back to their respective units, he asked the fellow’s name in hope of returning the favour on another day. Cheerfully declining the offer, the fellow disembarked from the elevator one floor earlier than my husband.

As my husband returned to his room, his elderly roommate commented on the great smell of coffee coming from his cup. As she was confined to bed, she hoped her daughter visiting later would bring her a cup. Shortly after that, I arrived. My husband quickly asked if we could go for a walk, so we headed towards the elevator in the hall outside of the unit. He told me how much he appreciated his earlier coffee encounter and explained that he wanted to purchase a coffee for his roommate. A few minutes later he presented her with the hot brewed beverage. Her expression of gratitude made his day. It was a great reminder of the ripple effect that comes from paying it forward and how it can add positivity to our lives.


Now let’s zoom out to a worldwide perspective. Imagine, if everyone around the world paid forward an act of kindness every day, or even once a week, or once a month. What a positive impact that would have on the energy of our world! It can be as simple as passing on a smile, a hug or compliment, buying a meal or a coffee, or any other act of kindness. As I write this, Spirit is challenging me to pay attention to paying it forward every day. I accept the challenge, what about you?


Message #6 – Change Your Perspective To See the Positive


As we continued along this detour in our family’s life, we encountered so many people who were reminders of all the positives to be grateful for. I mentioned the synchronicities and timing that led us to have a positive sequence of events for my husband’s hospitalization. Today, I need to pay tribute to people we encountered whose positive energy created an environment that supported his healing. The dedication, caring and positive attitude of the surgeon has definitely contributed to our positive outlook on this journey. His reassurance of “don’t worry, we’ve got this” has helped us remain positive about this “life interrupted.” Despite the pain and suffering and the heart wrenching diagnosis for some patients that the nursing staff witness on a daily basis, they were always, kind, understanding, attentive, cheerful, and encouraging. All of them appeared to be happy in their work. When we commented on that to one of the nurses, he agreed that all the staff got along well, respected and supported each other, and that it was a happy place to work. He said that their supportive manager set the tone and there was a trickle down to all the staff. We observed that there was a further positive trickle into my husband’s recovery! Even the quiet cheerful approach by the housekeeping staff and the helpful response to my questions from the unit clerk, contributed to the positive environment.

When we are aware of looking at negativity from a different perspective, we can find the positive. We can lift ourselves up versus being pulled down into a lower vibrational abyss of fear and hopelessness. When we see and feel the positive, we manifest that for our future. The more positive we are, the more we can positively influence the lives of others. The more we shine our light, the brighter it becomes. Do you have examples of when you changed your perspective of a “negative” situation to see the positive? Would you consider your outlook on life a positive one? How do you help others to look at the positive?


Message #7 - More About Trust


I am sure by now, you have noted the many messages and lessons regarding trust in my past newsletters as well as the thread in this one. It is definitely something Spirit wants us to pay attention to as the messages continue. When I reflect on our journey over the last several weeks, I am amazed at how often the word “trust” has come to us either in casual conversation or directly from Spirit. Early on, we told the surgeon that we trusted his expertise and skill when he presented my husband options for his surgery. Repeatedly throughout his stay, my husband told staff that he trusted them in the care they were providing as he complied with their treatments and recommendations. When my mom and my husband were in surgery, I trusted the reassurance I received from Spirit that all would go well. If I began to worry or question aspects of my mother’s care, Spirit would remind me to trust and let go, which I am learning to do more completely and with more ease. On my husband’s last night in hospital, he serendipitously was assigned to a caregiver we had never met before. She told him about her journey with illness and how trust in God helped her heal. She shared her story to encourage him to trust that all will turn out well for him too. As we met her on her one of her infrequent casual shifts, it felt as if Spirit sent her to us deliberately to deliver that message. As we continue the journey into recovery for both my mom and my husband, there are some uncertainties but all the repeated messages from Spirit are helping us trust that the outcome will be as Divine intended and for their highest good.

On a broader basis, I am even seeing trust as a common theme running through random emails, Facebook posts, and TV shows. Spirit is really trying to get the message of TRUST out there to all of us. The more challenges we have, the more opportunities we have to trust in Spirit. The more we trust, the more at ease we are, and the easier life flows. The more we trust, the more we can let go of worry, fear, and our need to control events in a reaction to that worry and fear. As we learn to trust that everything happens for a reason, and trust Spirit to guide us to make choices for our highest good, we are able to grow and fulfill our purpose. I know it is difficult to trust that everything happens for a reason and for our highest good when we are going through tough times or look at events in the world around us. You might ask what is the reason for people suffering or being harmed by illness, war, poverty, crime, climate catastrophes, political injustice, etc.?


From my perspective, I don’t know the spiritual path and soul contracts that each individual has. I believe Spirit does know, that we are all loved as children of the Divine, and that love directs everything towards our highest good even though events appear or feel horribly wrong to us. Perhaps the person suffering from a disease before leaving the planet had a contract to help those around them learn to love, or forgive, or discover a new treatment that would help subsequent sufferers. Perhaps those dying in a war did so because their purpose this lifetime was to wake more people up to taking their power back and love each other versus fearing and destroying one another. Can you image a world where everyone would refuse to harm another? Perhaps those suffering as a result of a climate catastrophe chose that path to help others realize that we need to value Mother Earth and treat her differently.


If we believe that we chose our path before we came into this life on this planet, then we can trust that we do have control over our destiny, our plan. We have freedom of choice along that path and listening to and trusting our higher self, our intuition, will help us make the best choices. We need to trust that we will find the inner guidance to help us on our journey. We can trust that what we are looking for outside of ourselves actually resides within. What challenges or choices are you facing where trust in Spirit can help you? Have you asked for guidance? Can your trust help you release fear and feel free? How can you help others trust as we move towards a more positive world?


Message - #8 - Other Lives Interrupted

Throughout my husband’s fourteen day hospital stay, we met so many amazing people whose

lives were also interrupted. Although the details of their stories were different, they were all on a detour from their daily lives. Observing those around us on the same unit as my husband, I realized they were a “representative sample” of the rest of the patient population in the hospital, and in fact, in all hospitals in our city, in our country, and in the world. Most were in hospital unexpectedly. A few had a planned break in their daily routine as they arrived for booked surgery or other treatments. All were coping with new surroundings, new body sensations, various pieces of equipment attached to their bodies and\or new substances being put into their bodies – all to assist with their healing. Most had their sleep disrupted by gentle caregivers monitoring their recovery. Most experienced some sort of disruption to their usual diet or pattern of eating. Many experienced a temporary change in mobility. For some, a part of their body was not functioning “normally,” for others, it was their mind, and for some it was both.


Some took the interruption in their lives calmly in their stride while others were extremely stressed by the sudden detour. Many were somewhere between these two extremes on the continuum of emotional response to their health challenge. As I continued to observe this, I also realized that many people experience interrupted lives outside of a medical institution, at home, at work, while travelling, in a shelter or even while living on the street. Some of the interruptions are very short while others are very long with no specific end date in sight. Do any of these circumstances sound familiar to you? How has your life or those of your loved ones been interrupted?


I also had the opportunity to observe the ripple effect of some of these interrupted lives on family and friends. As I mentioned last newsletter, our family and friends, like those of other patients’, interrupted their daily schedules to connect with and support us. Friends who are amazing healers took the time to send energetic healing from other parts of Canada, the US, and as far away as Mexico. Not as easy to observe, but as an Empath, I could feel the emotional response that also impacted their lives – worry, fear, anxiety as well as hope, relief, and gratitude. How have you experienced the ripple effect of a life interrupted?


I also have had calls, messages, texts, and emails from many of you who read last week’s newsletter. You not only reached out to support us, for which I am very grateful, but you also let me know how much the messages resonated with you and your own experiences. You showed me the love so readily available to help us. You are an inspiration to me in the strength you have shown while navigating the detours in your lives. Last week’s newsletter was the one I have received the most feedback on since I began writing seven months ago. It illustrated to me that “lives interrupted” is part of the human condition. I also realize that interruptions are not only due to health issues but can be from other sources such as financial concerns, environmental, or unexpected lifestyle changes. In fact, worldwide, humanity has gone through “lives interrupted” since the inception of our species due to pandemics, war, and political, economic, and environment upheaval.


Wrapping Up


As I realize that our intimate family crisis has reflected the conditions humanity has been living with for millennia, I need to also acknowledge that humanity has had the opportunity to learn the lessons Spirit has presented for us, to develop a closer relationship with Spirit, and to ultimately trust in Spirit. With our shared experiences we can love and support each other, teach and mentor each other in those life lessons, and help others find the positives in our experiences. We can remind ourselves and each other of the great resilience of the human spirit and that we are all on a sacred journey to fulfill our soul’s purpose. We are all connected. The interruption in one life has a ripple effect to many. Likewise, the lessons learned, the positivity, and the love can also spread through that connection.

As my focus returns to our current family situation, I am reminded of the resilience of the

human soul and the trust we have in Spirit. In the stillness of the night or the early morning, when the surrealness of our interrupted life threatens to creep in, I reach over to find my husband’s hand. Without waking, he instinctively responds by giving my hand a reassuring squeeze. In the darkness I thank Spirit that he is still by my side. Even though I believe that death is just a transition to a more beautiful state, I am grateful he has chosen to stay on the planet. He still has work he wants to do and most importantly he wants to remain present with the family he loves. As I feel the warmth of my hand in his, the few lingering remnants of my earlier brief bouts of fear and sadness are replaced with gratitude and hope for our beautiful future together. The journey continues…thanks for “listening” and stay tuned for part three.


Lots of love and hugs,


Marilyn


Resources


If you would like to learn more about life lessons, building trust in Spirit, dealing with life’s challenges, here are a few resources I have found helpful:


Books:


I Can See Clearly Now by Dr. Wayne Dyer

The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein


Intuitive Counselling and Angel Card Readings


If you have the need a helping hand to identify and work through your life lessons, to learn to connect with Spirit, I am offering intuitive counselling and angel card readings online or in person (in Calgary).


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