A few years ago my brother passed. After the service and the luncheon, I went up into the church to retrieve his ashes. With his earthly remains in my arms, I got to pay my personal respects to him. I thanked him for his life and for his contribution to my path, to the family and to the whole of humanity. I honoured him, and in turn felt very blessed.
Recently a client came that was deeply grieving the loss of her pet—the one tie she had left to her father who had passed years ago. She was struggling with her emotions, filled with anger and guilt… in her own mind feeling like she deserved to suffer as she rehashed the story over and over. Each time, the story became more painful and more attached, and that was all she could think about.
At the end of our session, messages came through that it would beneficial for her to change her perspective and instead celebrate the lives of those she loved. Rather than spend every waking moment engrossed in her pain, which could easily turn into years of resentment and mourning her loss, she could honour them. It would strengthen her, and also benefit them.
She was being asked to pay tribute to the lives of those she loved instead of being self absorbed in her pain, to release the thinking that she caused their suffering or in some way was responsible. To simply light a candle and from the heart, give thanks to them for their contribution to her life and her growth (or a similar offering of respect).
We don’t have to wait until our loved ones die! In fact, we can do this with all our interactions.
As we walk through our lives, we can follow the sacrament of honouring one another. When we can step into the energy of respect, appreciation and acknowledging another, it strengthens our own respect, appreciation for ourselves. If our perception of the world is our reflection, this practice will have a profound affect us.
Let’s try an experiment.
Think of someone who has a significant role in your life, but someone who isn’t perfect. Spend a few minutes thinking about their shortcomings and where they could improve, characteristics you might consider weak or uncomplimentary. How does it make you feel when you think this way?
Now take that same person and find positive attributes for them or ways that they have touched your life. What gifts do they bring? Can you see the beauty of their soul? This is not so much about what they do, but inherently who they are as a child of the Divine. If you can spend a moment honouring their life, you will notice a considerable shift in your state. As the Buddhist noble truth states, “the Buddha in me sees the Buddha in you.”
We become more fully grounded in our bodies and our earthly experience when we can see the light in others. This is NOT done in a light of comparison but of simply honouring that person’s existence and their path through life. If in some way you are feeling less than, you have missed the point. There is no need to put anyone down or exalt another above the rest.
This is simply about respect. Respect for each other, for humanity, for Creation and for Creator. And ultimately this will help you have more for yourself as a valued part of the whole.