My oldest child – a married daughter of twenty-three – recently said of my new-found spiritual acceptance, “People start looking for God when they get older because they’re afraid of death.”
I smiled. I told her, as I’ve said many times, “I’ve been where you are, but you have yet to be where I am.”
She returned my smile – and it is my smile, from the slight down-turn at the corners of her mouth to the one front tooth that is not entirely straight – and she waited for me to go on. This patience for me to explain things, even when she doesn’t agree with me, is one of the things I most love about her.
I told her that it wasn’t fear of death, and informed her that I intended to be around for a good long time, yet. I thought for a moment, and she let me. Then I said:
When we are children, we’re learning how to be in the body we’re given, and how to live in this world. As adolescents, we focus very much on our relationships with our peers. This leads to the years when we have to get everything in order for our adult lives – finishing education, choosing a career, marriage, children, etc.
At a certain point, we have established our place in the world. For better or worse, we are pretty well set on the path we’ve created. It isn’t fear that brought me to this opening; it’s a sense of peace with where my life is, now.
I believe it was necessary to move completely into ego - into the personification of my spirit – in order to have and raise children, maintain strong relationships, and push forward in educating this physical mind in the things that seem important here, on Earth. If I had always been aware of the Great Connection, the Oneness of the Universe, I might never have fully invested in this life. I feel very strongly that there is a reason for us to be here, learning what we learn and evolving as we do. I believe it’s important and necessary. I don’t need to know why.
I’m glad I had a chance to have this discussion with my daughter, and I hope that one day, when she’s had all the children she’s going to have and has fashioned the life she is putting together, she will remember this and smile. For now, it’s her turn to be firmly established in this world. I hugged her, embracing the connection I still have to the here-and-now of existence, and at the same time I intentionally kept one foot firmly in the place I sense, just beyond this physical room.