BEING GRATEFUL … I AM THANKFUL!

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I am filled with awe for the life we as humans are experiencing. It’s a very exciting/emotional time. With the holidays approaching, I look forward to the decorations, music, brisk fresh air and snow. My heart skips a beat when I see the first snowfall each year. There is such a joy in the memories from my childhood and my children growing up. Now I am blessed to have grandchildren to play in the snow with.

What are the main reasons one is thankful for anything at this time of year? I always wonder at the happiness but yet sadness that travels this path during the season. Like many, I too have lost people who have transitioned home. Today, I recall the memories I shared with them and I feel grateful that we shared years and for those times we laughed together. All of our minds are filled with pictures of what was and how happy or sad we have been with certain people.

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A disease is the hardest to bear. A sudden death, so unexpected knocks one to the floor. A suicide makes us question and ask why of the universe? We cry, scream and suffer from the moment of death because of what will not be. I like to imagine and celebrate the life that was! Knowing that there is a reason that everything happens in the world, I am grateful for all those who I have travelled this path and journey with whether for years or for a short time. It is the memories which I am thankful for this Thanksgiving!

The holidays are for the children, family, gift giving and generosity. It is a joyous time for all as we fill our hearts with love for mankind and those we share our lives with. Forgiveness is key to what was but is not now possible for many. Go into your photo book in your mind and fill with glee at those happy times of yesterday. The silly times where you were excited, joyful and laughing. We all have them…

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This year I would like to bless all that have lost a loved one through the act of a hurricane, earthquake, terrorists attack, suicide, natural causes, cancer or any other disease or mass killing of any kind. Let us join together in prayer for them and for us. Set a candle in celebration for their life this year during the holidays and forgive those who are now free by their own hands. May they all rest in peace as we pray for them.

We are one in life and in death. We are one through the years. We are one in every country on this planet. We are capable of love towards each other if we just look at all that we have to be grateful for and thankful for at this moment in time. Peace of mind, love in our hearts, kindness on our lips, and forgiveness of ourselves and others will bring joy to each one of us.

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There was a time years ago, when the crack in my heart opened wider and wider. Death, depression, fear, and abuse dragged me to the ground. Now as I look back, I see that we as a society are here to be the best we can be. To take the lessons learned and thrive.To be of service, to become our truth. To live our dream and to let others live theirs.

Meditation is the tool that can rescue everyone from their cracked heart. Simple to just sit but difficult to incorporate into ones life daily. I tell many to meditate and they say they do not know how. I cannot imagine starting my day without this amazing comfort of silence in my mind connected to spirit. During this time of year, if there is sadness in your life, despair of any kind, even fear go to www.DeborahKing.com  and learn how to meditate with your own personal mantra. Trust me you will be thankful that you did.

I struggle no more! I fear no more! I despair no more! I am peace! I am love! I am joy! That is the beauty of meditation and I am thankful for being guided to have known, I needed to sit in silence yesterday, today and tomorrow. Being grateful. Being thankful. One needs to go through their mind at the end of the day and reflect on those they were with, those they spoke to, their actions and words. Then take a breath and rejoice in the life experience they have manifested. I am grateful! I am thankful! Three words that make a difference as you go to sleep.

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It matters not the news, radio, television or what others say that fill you with fear. There is nothing to fear, there is only love to be embraced, to be thankful for. We are connected by the earth we all walk, the water that flows for all to use, the fire in the sky that beams down on us when the sun warms us, and the air that we breathe. Be thankful for these elements that join us as a family of one no matter what is going on in our lives. Try desperately to remember and use as a mantra, Love is all there is!

Pray! Meditate! Journal!

www.LindaAmato.com

 

 

The Ultimate Guide to Processing Loss

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There is sadness, and an ache for all that will never be. The loss is part of life as change is the process. Nothing ever stays the same. We live, and we die. We discover, and we make choices. Sometimes they are excellent choices and sometimes they are not. My thought is about processing the loss we experience. The only thing that is constant in all our lives is change.

“Mostly it is the loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

The loss of our loved ones, the loss of our relationships, our jobs and even the loss of our pets. Terrorism is a loss, as well as drastic changes in our weather, fire, and hurricanes. There is a loss where a person you love cannot find their place in life and ends up as a loss to themselves and others. They only are fighting a battle that they cannot win unless they incorporate change into their existence.

Life can be dark. Life can be scary and feel unsafe for some. The loss is that which we cannot release as the pain seeps deep into our mind and body. We get that lump in our throats when triggered by another’s loss. We know our loss, and we feel their loss. How do we deal with these nightmares in our lives? The loss we feel is simply the horror that we experience or one we anticipate.

Tears need to fall. Tears are required to stream down our face and wet our lips as we process the pain of loss. Does it matter what type of damage there is? No! What is important is that we handle the loss and deal with the pain through meditation, prayer, journaling, and by embracing Mother Nature.

“Grief is NOT a disorder, a disease or sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” – Earl Grollman

To embrace Mother Nature, we stroll through the streets of our neighborhood, walk through a park, sit in the sand at the beach. We need to breathe in the essence of her beauty to heal the heart that is wounded. Her vision will allow us to taste the salt air on our lips as the sun warms our face! To be grounded in the presence of Mother Nature will heal us. As we heal others will heal as well.

Many years ago when I was struggling with a loss of self actually, it was a daily walk outside and at the beach that comforted me. I felt connected to something that was bigger than me. I felt loved by the beauty of nature. It took me some time to heal and find that I could love me as I am. There was no loss anymore sitting within. I grew from the experience of this as we all can grow from any loss that we allow to shut us down.

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Death is a significant loss of life for everyone. I have decided to stop counting the deaths in my life experience. I cannot imagine how much more will come. As I cannot choose who lives or dies, it is my freedom to accept that change, loss and death are part of the game. I believe that we are eternal beings, so there is no death just a transition from this life to the other side of the veil.

“No one ever really dies as long as they took the time to leave us with fond memories.” – Chris Sorensen

The process of life and death which equals loss is to grieve as long as is necessary. To cry, go to bed but for no longer than 48 hours with the covers over our head. Disconnect from life for a few days and feel the pain. Journal. Meditate. Pray. It will help us and those we are grieving if we pray for them. There is no set time to grieve. We must grieve those we lose to their transition. I always imagine that life and death is a tremendous plan we incorporate in the spirit world before we arrive as part of the game of life.

I recall, years ago when my brother died my mom wore black for two years. In looking back, my grandmother wore black all of her life because of the deaths of her many children. Was it a way of showing the world, ‘I am in pain.’ ‘I am grieving a loss.’ ‘I am sad.’ Today we seem to jump right back into our lives and forget to stop and mourn. To breathe in the death and loss of someone we loved is extremely necessary. Eventually, illness will surface if we do not take the time to grieve our loss.

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Life has a blanket around each of us that is comforting at times, but at other moments it seems not to be able to keep us warm. It can be itchy or too thin! The drama in our lives that surround a loss is the sadness of the heart for that which will never be. Can we scream and beat ourselves up for something that we have no control over. No! Can we blame ourselves for something we have no control over when something or someone comes to its end? No!

The loss we all experience is part of life as we change and grow into our awareness. It matters not the type of loss but that we take the time to feel the pain. We need to reflect on our lives and our loves. We will heal from that which has changed because our lives are all eternal.

Loss of self is the hardest for the person and those around them. To not understand because of confusion, to change ever so slowly on a daily basis because the mind is confused. The onset of dementia creeps into an entire families world not only the victim of said illness. Dementia changes the mind as well as the way the person acts because the memory begins to fade. It is almost as if they do not even know if they spoke or not. The sadness that surfaces are coupled with anger because they do not know if they spoke out loud, inside their heads or did not speak at all. It must feel as if they are going insane to them.

“It all goes away. Eventually, everything goes away.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Years can pass by and still there is something different, but no one can grasp the significance of dementia that is creeping into their lives. We as a society expect those we love, as they age to have loss of memory. However, loss of memory and dementia are different because of the confusion that sets in as well. It is not a matter of where I put the keys but more about what are the keys for with dementia.

All loss fills us with pain. All loss is sad. All loss at one time or another will touch all of our lives. The loss of our lives is part of the game of life. We simply need to become aware and prepare ourselves that loss is possible. The loss we get to experience is part of life!

Pray! Meditate! Juornal!

www.LindaAmato.com

 

 

THE MEMORY OF HER HANDS

 

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“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage…” – Lao Tzu

I am amazed at the thoughts and images that pop into my mind since the passing of my mom. It is shattering to realize the truth of death, the final vision of the person I loved. It is three months the day after Mother’s Day as her ashes sit on my mantel. Her wish to be placed in the water on the way out East that we travel in our boat. Still, I am not ready to let her go again. It comforts me her being here even if it is just her ashes. This process is a sharp cut to my heart; death, ashes, placing them in the water! Emotionally even if in my heart I know she stands right by me on the other side of the veil.

“Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life.” – Sophocles

For some reason, it is her hands that I remember most. I can picture in my mind her slender fingers, manicured nails. Later in life, she would hold her index fingers up crippled from arthritis. So crooked she would tell me they hurt as she tried to straighten them but couldn’t. I can remember we held hands whenever we were walking side by side somewhere. Our fingers laced together – her fingers so cool to the touch I now recall.

As her daughter, I am witness to seeing her in me at times. A flash of insight or quick look or glance in a mirror as I walk pass. I smile at these times to myself, that yes I am her child. Sometimes the simple way I sit when watching television or drink from a cup recalls to mind a picture of her. She was twenty years older than me. I can remember her as an amazingly young woman at heart.

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Since her transition, I have been delving into my life growing up with her as my mom. I’ve asked a few questions of myself and have come to know some interesting aspects of her and who I was to her before the onset of dementia. As a metaphysical practitioner, I know of the power we possess to manifest our lives by our thoughts, words, and actions. We are powerful in manifesting everything we want and do not want in our daily lives. We do not realize the strength of our personal beliefs.

Metaphysically dementia’s probable cause and belief is a refusal to deal with the world as it is. Hopelessness and anger. If only my mom had chosen to believe she was in her perfect place and that she was safe, I wonder how free she would have been of her nightmares all of these years. Her anger was part of her fear that she imagined due to the losses in her life.

I only recall the stories she chose to share of her childhood, her belief in God and for years her nightly reciting of the rosary. Not having a wealthy upbringing and being one of nine children during a very different time in life than how she raised me, I praise her today for doing the best she knew how under the circumstances.

“Many of our fears are tissue paper thin and a single courageous step would carry us through them.” – KMH

She survived it all; fear, alcoholism, abuse and death until she could no longer close her eyes and be witness to the pain anymore. Dementia crept in slowly at first until she was no longer the woman I knew her to be. It is a slower death to the person and the family then choosing to die. I write choosing because I believe we choose our life experiences and all that we want to learn in life from our parents, our children, the place of birth, family and friends as well.

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We are born to love, heal and grow our souls. To love unconditionally all, to forgive, awaken to our truth and our freedom. However, many of us like my mom become frozen in the depths of their fear – their past. They cherish what never was possible because of death, and then cling to their pain daily and stay in the mindset of fear. For many the greatest of fears is death!

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Henry David Thoreau

My mom never knew of her greatness. Her entire being became engulfed with too much fear of life and what it could do to her. I saw as a young girl how terrified she was of my dad and how she finally had to walk away from the fear after twenty-five years. When my brother was killed suddenly by a drunk driver on his way home from work, she began her descent into escaping from this world as she knew it. The pain was unbearable, and her grief took her away from my family and me when she chose to leave New York and move back to her hometown in Puerto Rico.

At first, I felt abandoned, actually for years I felt that she left me. Today, I know it was her grief that she tried to get away from and it had nothing to do with me. Recently, my son told me that he felt that she abandoned him and his siblings as well as, me twenty-six years ago, I was surprised! It is during these types of a moment that forgiveness comes into play. I believe she did what she needed to do at the time to survive the pain. It never helps to take anything someone else does personally. Many have trouble speaking their truth and fear is part of the anxiety of their day. It is all they know and cannot express their feelings. I believe this was true of my mom.

“Motherhood is … difficult and … rewarding …” – Gloria Estefan

 

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Recently, I have been thinking about my life with my mom and my thoughts about her as a mom. Today, I know she did the best that she could, and my favorite memory of her was her childish behavior at times and holding hands with her whenever we walked somewhere. I would like to say to her that I understand and I know she loved me in her way but could not handle the pain and fear. I no longer feel abandoned by her actions to move away from my family and me. The greatest sadness I felt at her passing was that she had never met my six grandchildren. Then I think to myself can this be part of the plan that we agreed to at one time in spirit form. It matters not anymore because it is in the past and can never be any other way. I must stay in the present! To do so, I must live out my dreams. These were her choices and as her daughter I respect them. Fear was her choice for her entire life. Had she chosen Love things would have been different. There are not many choices but only two that we all get to choose from. Ask yourself how do you choose to live your life? Is it with fear or love? Fear is the roar of your ego from within. Love is the whisper of God from within. Choose wisely!

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

At this time in my life as a wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother I thank my mom for all that I learned from her. I am who I am today because of her choices. I discovered my truth, my passion and who I want to show to the world as a spiritual being bursting with unconditional love to share. There was a time twelve years ago when I asked her to come back to New York and live with me. She refused! She believed she would ruin my marriage and her fears would destroy her and me. That was when dementia climbed into her mind and settled in for the journey. I thank God for this life experience with my mom, and I am forever grateful that I chose her.

Today, as a woman, I am blessed to know I have always been able to live by my strength and beliefs. I feel sad that my mom never knew how strong she was and that she loved me unconditionally and I had never realized it before. I always believed that I was a teacher to my children as all moms are. I was setting an example which I hope today they can realize themselves. Mothering a child is about unconditional love because loving them as they are is key to their fulfillment.

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” – Robert Browning

My mom never tried to change me, nor did she try to influence me in any way to be different than I was. I can hear her voice if I close my eyes and listen to how proud she was of me as a mom and wife. I am happy to write that was a great lesson for me to learn from her. Today, during this month of May when we celebrate our mothers, I wish to say to mine, “thank you, mom!” Take a moment and say this simple prayer as well … “thank you, mom!”

 

Pray! Meditate! Journal!

www.LindaAmato.com

 

THE ESSENTIALS OF GRIEF, LOSS & FEAR

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live…” – Norman Cousins

I’m wondering if there are tools to help one process the death of a loved one. I believe it does not matter as much as who died, when or where but that they are no longer here. We cannot see them, talk to them or touch them. What do we grieve most then; the touch of them, not ever seeing them again, or the absence of their voice.

  • What are we grieving?
  • Why are we grieving?
  • Who are we grieving?

My mom lived in Puerto Rico for the last 26 years while I lived in New York. She had dementia and did not know me or anyone else for the last few years. Then she was gone. I was motherless! I became fatherless in 1998! I cried for that which will never be and for that which had not been. Yes, I cried tears that filled up my heart to bursting. For me, because she was simply no longer here on the planet with me. Sharing the air, I breathe daily. Looking up at the moon and stars that I loved. All these years I just knew that she was here, only far away which comforted me in some way.

Then one day I was filled with a deep calmness when I realized she was finally at peace, resting and smiling down at me. It was her life, not mine that she lived. It was her life to live as she chose because God gives us all ‘free will. Slowly it dawned on me one day, how we accomplished a perfect teaching as mother and daughter together this lifetime.

Finally, I looked back at our relationship and all that I had learned from her. I felt blessed that she was an amazing teacher. I felt happy that I had chosen her to learn from all that I could. To be the wife and mother, I am today because of her. I remembered her and how she laughed, how I felt laughing with her. The little gifts she always needed to purchase for me when I was visiting her. She had a talent of nourishing me with food and love when it was just the two of us, many yesterdays ago.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on…” -Robert Frost

I honored and respected her always even when I felt abandoned by her. Today, I understand it was her grief that she became stuck in when my brother died in a head-on collision by a drunk driver in 1988. It wasn’t me! It was her loss, fear, and sorrow. Fear was the foundation always of her existence, in that she chose dementia to escape into, to survive as long as she did. I recently went and bought her favorite perfume from when I was young, and every morning I spray my space with her and say, “Mom, let’s start the day together!” And off I go knowing she is by my side.

I imagine you are like me struggling with a loss of some kind. It doesn’t always have to be a death. It can be a divorce, a job, a friendship that ended or just that we cannot find where we belong in life. Maybe what we are grieving is not about another but our grief at this time. The simple end to something or someone!

Can it be that we are grieving our loss, our fears, and our sorrow? It has nothing to do with the deceased. Our heart aches and tears run down our face as we try to understand how we will exist without them. The deceased are at peace. But, I can’t imagine even if that is possible the way we carry on about them leaving us. They must feel guilty and sad!

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time …” – Mark Twain

Whenever I pass a funeral procession, I say a prayer for the living family and friends of the deceased. As well as, a prayer that the living let the dead rest in peace. I have read that everyone handles grief differently. Some have regrets. Others have a fear of death. Some of us get stuck deep in our minds and cannot comprehend the loss, as my mom did. We cannot handle our grief! Maybe it is time to look at the reasons why we struggle with grief in such a heartbreaking manner.

For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. – Khalil Gibran

  • What can we do, when our hearts break apart violently because of the death of a loved one?
  • How can we survive the loss of friendship, job, or even a divorce?
  • Are there any tools that we can grasp onto which will help us to heal?

Fear of our death is the first tool that needs to be accepted. Life will always end in death for every living person, animal, insect, plant and fish. Death is the only process there is to life. We have all chosen a life experience that must begin and end. We will never have the answers for why a baby dies, or why another life lives to old age crippled with disease.

What we all must comprehend is that we chose a plan and that there is a purpose to each life. The reality is that there is a reason for everything that happens in life. Especially, today when there are so many killings across our world by terrorists, suicides, and death to drug-related deaths. I have read that we choose our life experience to either heal our karma or heal another’s karma! We agree to die at a given moment to help heal ourselves or another member of our family group because life is eternal. There is no death. There is a transition period. We need to express love.

No regrets are the second tool that many will find hard to process. Usually what we regret is an action we did not accomplish. We didn’t visit our parents, offer support to our friend, we were always abusive, negative, confrontational or we just could not be bothered with their drama. Our actions will always speak louder than our words. We all deserve a second chance, a third chance, maybe even a fourth chance!

Even when a baby or child dies suddenly or due to an illness, there can be no regrets. We must remember there is a plan. All we can do is take their death and make something good out of it. Remember you chose this life and everyone in it that travels the path along your side.

There is no loss, brings us to our third tool. Our souls are eternal. Our bodies are our vehicle. How we take care of our vehicle is a clue to how long it will last. Everyone knows how to eat and what to eat to remain healthy – yet we choose consciously to eat what will harm us. Like putting soda instead of gas in a car. We are witness to many celebrities dying of drug overdoses or obesity in some cases. Why are we shocked suddenly, as we say; “What a sin, he/she died so young?” It is not a sin. They did not take care of themselves! Their vehicle was misused and mistreated.

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive…” – John Green

We must believe that our loved ones visit us in dreams, with signs, symbols, music, smell and coins. Know that the best process to help a loved one who has transitioned is to pray for them. Thank them for the time you shared, the happy and joyful memories you now possess. To continue to send them love. To forgive them if they had any additive behavior. As well as forgiving yourself! Know it was all part of the plan.

I have read that when one door closes another door will open. Divorce, jobs, relationships run a course. One knows when the reason for divorce or leaving a job or relationship is necessary if there is any form of abuse. No one has permission to verbally, mentally or physically abuse us through their addictive behaviors. It is not allowed! Many of us survive abuse to be part of our existence because we feel we are worthy of said abuse. Or, maybe we do not know how to make a change to better ourselves. The addiction in life that dulls our souls is the drama we become addicted to daily.

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75 …” – Benjamin Franklin

When we cry, scream, ache deep within with pain it is not for them. It is for us! We hurt! The question is why? Look at it this way, you traveled a life journey with a loved one together laughing, dancing, raising children, maybe working together, or you were a child, friend, sibling, spouse or even a parent. The memories are bountiful. There are pictures, gifts received and given. Likes and dislikes shared. You cried together or wept over a sad movie or event. This life experience may have ended in a fight or not. Either one of you could have become too busy for the other. One of you may have been critical of the others choices. Life moved forward on its own, and you lost touch. It is all normal human behavior.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself…” – George Bernard Shaw

When we forgive ourselves, we can then forgive others. There is a process to loving the self so that we can then love another. There is no reason to not pray for those we can no longer see, touch or hear. We can ask them to visit us in our dreams. To send us a sign; whether a symbol, coin, smell or memory. Trust me they are still by your side. Believe it, and they will be there for you. Fill the ache within your heart with love for them.

Our journey here is to grow our soul for our soul is the part of us that is eternal. Love, kindness, acceptance, and forgiveness are essential to offer every single one of us a chance to live a life of our dreams.

  • What do you dream for you?
  • How can you manifest this dream!
  • What do you need to change in your life to live your dream?

PRAY! MEDITATE! JOURNAL!

www.LindaAmato.com

THE SHADOWS OF LIFE

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As we travel close to the holiday season I have been reflecting on the changes in my personal life this past year. In the past I tended to fear change but today I welcome it as part of my growth process. Fear is the main function of belief that is claimed by most of us daily. We fear lots of things that either were handed down to us from our parents or society, as well as, many adults in our lives.

When I take time to journal, meditate and pray daily I am blessed with a tender connection to spirit. Intuition flows and insight is received. Sometimes with clarity, guidance and support. These actions of mine taken daily free me from my past. Yet, life seems so fearful for many because they do not take the time to search within themself for answers. That we all have a shadow side means we either nourish the dark side through fear or hold on tight to the light side of our essence by embracing ourselves with love. The greatest nourishment to our shadow side is of course fear!

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt…” – William Shakespeare

What do we fear most … death, drugs, divorce, abuse, abandonment, lack, feeling unworthy, low self-esteem but mostly that we are not lovable and therefore do not deserve to be loved. My belief  about life has changed drastically these past years especially when it comes to what we believe about death. The wonder of life is that no one truly knows what happens once we are pronounced dead. My thought is that we are eternal beings and our body is just a vehicle for our soul that crosses over the veil from this life. We cannot see, touch or be with a loved one that transitions over but we can hold them tightly within our hearts and still communicate with them.

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Can it be that drugs, divorce, abuse, abandonment, lack, feeling unworthy, low self-esteem and that we are not lovable are the lessons we chose to experience this lifetime. We are beings of light and love so we come to planet earth to grow our souls and balance our karma from past lives. There is nothing to fear when you believe that there is a reason for everything. How many can say that they believe and know that there are no accidents. Of course, it is so hard to grasp that we chose our parents, our life experience  and everyone we know to learn who we are.

What is our truth? How can we balance our karma? Forgiveness is the key to balance. Acceptance is the door that opens when we no longer are judgmental or critical of another. Maybe it is time now to ‘flip’ our own thought process when it comes to how we believe, speak and act. I imagine the ability to ‘flip’ comes from the depths of compassion we show another because we see their fear so clearly. Can we not as a society make the decision to offer love in place of fear to one who is full of fear? The terrors of life are what separates each us from our unity as spiritual beings having a human experience.

“Be grateful for yourself… be thankful…” – William Saroyan

For those who feel they were abandoned by a parent, spouse, child or friend and have low self-esteem, feel unworthy and unlovable what are the opposites of these but to love who we are as we are, to know we are worthy, lovable and that we asked to experience abandonment to grow, balance and live our truth. Let it all go. Leave it up to God. Release what no longer serves you. Think out of the box. Find that which creates freedom of thought today! Ask yourself why do you take everything so personal? There is a human need to punish each other only because the punisher feels that something is being done to him or her because of fear.

In reflection of my own life I was raised by two extremely different parents: a fearful judgmental mom and an alcoholic, manic-depressant dad! To me I thought my dad was the wisest man I ever met and I was capable of loving him unconditionally for 30 years while  he lived in and out of mental institutions. Still, I saw no fault in him. I imagine today that was because he was the greatest teacher for this life-experience and I chose him. That my dad sacrificed his life as an alcoholic and manic-depressant for me fills me with a deep understanding of the plans we choose in life to know who we are.

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There was a time I felt abandoned by  my mom over and over again but today I know I was able to grow to the person I am today because of her. My heart and soul thanks her daily for all that I have learned because I chose her as my mom. My mom is 85 years old and in the full stages of dementia for years now. She does not know me or any of her family members. I thank her for commitment to herself and to what she needed to do for me so that I was able to grow to the woman I am today! I imagine how easy life could be for many if they opened their hearts to those they love daily and embrace them unconditionally with gratitude for triggering them, and being the best teacher for them. I find it eye-opening that life is definitely not like we have all been taught or led to believe.

“When I first open my eyes upon the morning meadows and look out upon the beautiful world, I thank God I am alive…” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lets imagine that the shadows, darkness, fears and anger are what we chose to learn from. Instead of trying to figure out what is wrong with us, let’s be grateful for the roles we have played in our movie of life as well as those we chose to support us in our movie.

PRAY. MEDITATE. JOURNAL.

www.LindaAmato.com

Our Fathers Brothers and Sons …

The memories of being his daughter can only be shared from the eyes of the child I was. I recall that I held on so tight to his hand when we walked the streets of our neighborhood. Even today, I could see the birds in the trees as they chirped while children played stick ball in the street. The smell of summertime was in the air as we walked to the avenue to get french fries and fried shrimp in a brown paper bag which we ate as we walked back home. I was always amazed at the fun I had with my dad just walking around our neighborhood.

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“Old as she was she still missed her daddy.” -Gloria Naylor

My favorite memory of his was when he walked home from work and I could hear him whistling. These memories are stored in my heart safely from a time that filled me with wonder at the life I lived yesterday. Dad loved Mother Nature and all her beauty. Walking, swimming and being outside fueled his soul. He was nourished by all that She shared with him daily. I learned to respect Her at a young age and to never dirty Her world with paper or gum. Today these thoughts comfort me when I recall the  moments shared with the man I called dad!

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I miss him today mostly on Wednesdays. Why? Well that was the day I visited him weekly for years or at one time he visited me and it was his favorite day of the week. He lived in and out of mental institutions and adult homes for the last thirty years of his life. The day came when he could not put on a front of being normal for my children so he told me, “I can no longer come to your house its too difficult for me to leave my world and enter yours.” Now I know what he meant. Labelled manic-depressant because he attempted suicide he struggled for years to continue being the dad that I adored. My belief is that people who struggle with depression of any kind have had their hearts broken by someone they loved and trusted. I’m positive today that I was loved by him as deeply as I loved him.

“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” -George Herbert

He nicknamed me “author!” He believed I was a writer. He encouraged me to write a book about his life. I wrote a spiritual/fictional story about his life that I self-published but today when I reflect on my words I believe it just might have been my life as well. Making Believers: “Connect to the light within…” was in honor of my dad’s life and I showed how once one connects to the light within change is possible. Growth is essential and unconditional love is the key to opening our hearts.

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I am at an age of insight and clarity. My wisdom years one might say. I have discovered the truth in the words that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. My belief is that we are here to learn how to be human beings. What if, we are here to learn the simple lesson of love? When we love we accept and forgive those that we fear. When we love we open our hearts to release love towards others. It is time in life right now to love, forgive and accept that we are all doing the best we can.

“We are here to connect with our soul!” -Linda Amato

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My suggestion to you is to look at the life your father shared with you as if you were still that child and he was the greatest gift on earth to you. Be that small child in awe of a dad that can do anything and do it well. Open your heart to the memories of laughter and fun. What have you learned from your dad that puts a smile on your face?

Be in delight of the times he held your hand maybe crossing the street. Was he the dad that taught you to hunt, fish, ride a  bike or drive a car? Was he the man who showed you how to hold a baseball bat, toss a ball or play hockey? Remember the times when you struggled and he was there to help you stand up again! He may have just come  home on Sunday with an apple turnover just for you! Does seeing an apple turnover today remind you of him? What reminds you today of the dad he once was that puts a smile on your face?

Was he the dad who walked you down the aisle on your wedding or gave a toast in your honor? Was he simply the man you looked up to as your hero and is not capable of being a hero in your eyes today because of illness or death? Are you carrying his fears as your own today? Know its time to release the past and hug tight to your heart the memories of love and joy that you cherished as a child.

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“The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.” -Reed Markham

My belief is that our fathers have a very difficult time being human because they have been taught to be strong, fearless and not to show their emotions. Dads have fears too! So please be gentle with your dad today and if he no longer shares this world forgive him his fears. As a daughter, wife, sister, and mother there are many men in my life that are fathers today that I cherish. I see the struggle within to express truth because of financial concerns, illness, and having to support their family. As women we expect their strength to support us in all situations but they have to be taught to know its safe to express love and show emotion from a young age. Maybe one day our father, brothers, husbands and sons will shed the tears that bind them.

“It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons!” -Johann Friedrich Von Schiller

At one time in my life I wrote many poems when I was struggling with understanding life myself. Poetry helped me heal my fears. Here is one I would like to share that I wrote the year after my dad went home to the spirit world at the age of seventy.

I AM AT PEACE

A lifetime we shared

I as your child

You were so mild

I treasure the memory

Like pictures in a book

And the wisdom you gave me.

My heart full of pain

My body hurt so

When you had to go.

The days filled with tears

The nights without sleep

For I wanted you near.

I approach the anniversary

A year since your death

With a calmness inside

I no longer need to cry.

A cleansing of my mind

My eyes are dry

As I now say, “goodbye!”

 Meditate. Pray. Journal.

www.LindaAmato.com

LA BELIEVES …

 

 

IAM Led By Spirit …

At times I wonder if it was my choice to love myself which made it possible for me to change and be myself. Interesting concept that one day I awoke to this revelation … love myself.  Then suddenly IAM driven to learn and be true to me? To discover IAM strong! IAM unique! IAM a child of God! IAM a spiritual being! IAM free to choose how I desire to live my life! Amazingly this power of love for me, that fed my soul, allowing strength for me to focus on a life, my life that needed to change. I believe it is the miracle of life that creates the power of thought to fling open the windows of the soul to allow in nourishment that has nothing whatever to do with food. Food for the soul can only be described as love. Love, I have discovered is the strength to live ones life by. No pain, fear, or hate can survive when one finds their strength from within to be because they love. IAM witness to the strength I possess today because I chose to love myself and all in my life unconditionally.

Still, I wonder about the beginning of the journey and all that it entailed to get me to this page. In prior writings, I have discussed about being led, and pushed almost forward without any clue as to why, when or what was to be. Today, I believe I was led by Spirit!  At this moment, IAM led by Spirit! Once I accepted the me I was born to be, the rest flowed willingly.

As a society we look at death as the end of life but I have learned there are different kinds of death and there is one which leads to the continuing of life, which allows one to begin living their truth.The other kind of death is the moving on of ones soul as they cross over the veil from this world to the world of becoming an eternal being. Either way we must mourn that which is no more.

I imagine those we love suffer the most because of either change in life. Change of any kind creates fear. Simply, fear of the unknown. One cannot help either change because there is a purpose and a path to all of our journeys. It is the experiences of life, the sorrows and joys that connect and make us a family in unity and part of the universe as one. Yes, there is confusion, depression, sorrow and fears we all must deal with either way. Unfortunately, it seems to me that it is the unexpected end of not seeing someone we love as we thought they were. Change, choice and free will are our gifts from God and when it is time Spirit will come to help in either scenario. It is the hardest part of acceptance of death to no longer share another’s experiences in life because they are physically no more or that they have chosen to be connected now to the powers that be.

I believe when one feels despair and sadness which leads them to bring to an end that which cannot be anymore, they are led by Spirit to do so. Those who love them and think they know them are greatly wounded by this choice. Please know that this is the power of the universe, the process of life is written and created for all to expand their souls. Love, joy, kindness, happiness, inner peace and healing await everyone. It matters not when you become aware of Spirit just that you know change is possible.

Pray,  Mediate, Journal

www.LindaAmato.com

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LA BELIEVES …

Death ...

A destiny or is it fate that we all create in some way by our thoughts, words and actions when our soul will exit our body?

Does DNA play a role?

Do we come into this world programmed with an illness that will manifest and end our time here?

Is exiting this life experience part of a  bigger plan to teach those we love and those who love us a lesson?

Do we in somehow make a sacred contract to die in a mass murder, terrorist attack, suicide or act of weather; tsunami, earthquake, hurricane  or tornado?

Is not life eternal and the truth is that we are reincarnated anyway to begin again?

Kabbalah teaches us that we come back to make a correction because somehow we did mess up in our last life and exited before we made the correction?

Is life such a mystery or an enormous plan to teach us all to be loving, kind and respectful to one another no matter what?

Will we have no regrets if we are loving, kind and respectful to all?

Are we born gifted and preprogrammed to share our inner wisdom and passion when we discover it with all?

Why is it so difficult to discover who we are and why we are here?

Are we not here to be of service?

Can this fear of death which creates within us a fear to live as loving spiritual beings be because we create a belief that we are in control of our lives?

Can it be that in doing so, we live life by taking everything that happens to others that we love personal?

Although we are all one, are we not here on a unique individual journey walking our path to discover our truth, to expand and hear the voice of our soul?

Can this path be as simple as to love ourselves so that we can love another unconditionally? 

Is it true that we pick our parents to either learn from them or to teach them something, yet some of us become disappointed in them, abandoned by them, hateful of them, abused by them and spend our lives trying to make some kind of sense out of our relationship with them?

Why is life completely difficult for many because a loved one has died in whatever manner was their destiny/fate while another knows there is no death but that life, the soul is eternal?

Why? Why? Why? These questions fill my mind about an aspect of life called death, when the truth is it affects every living species on our planet. We cry, we become depressed, we grieve for days, months, years or even our entire lifetime because a grandparent, husband, wife, mother, father, brother, sister, child or friend has died! 

Could there not be a better word to describe when the body is no longer but the soul continues to exist?

Is it the word death itself that creates this belief in someone simply ending and being no more that terrifies us?

Personally, my grandparents, brother, nephew, father and some friends have exited life. I grieved the hardest when my brother suddenly died by a drunk driver twenty-five years ago. It was sudden and painful but the doors of my soul flew open and within me my inner wisdom manifested a way of thinking in my mind that IAM not responsible for who dies or lives. I questioned even back then God;  “why did he not make the choice to stay, why did he die leaving a wife and three young children while breaking my mom’s heart wide open?”

There had to be a plan, a time allotted, either through that which we co-create with God, whether it be illness, murder or even when another takes their life willingly. There had to be an inner knowing which I imagine today is the essence of who we are that we ignore and end up following a path towards our own end. Babies get ill and die suddenly, children are abused and children are murdered by others and sometimes by their own parents, did they have that sacred contract and volunteer for these lives to teach the living a lesson?

Through the years I have learned that we manifest and co-create our lives with God by the given act of free will that we all possess. Being loving, kind and joyful is all we need to be and yet we create lives that we fear, and we hate because of our belief in guilt, shame, grief, lies, illusion and attachment. Life gets filled up with fear, nonsense, suffering and pain because someone we loved has exited their body by their choice, could this be, I wonder, the plan for us to learn to not take things personally? I believe we are more powerful then we can imagine and that power is our own word and emotional belief that we project outward. There must be a reason for everything and I believe this is the mystery of life and our existence here on planet Earth. We have made life the vehicle for our suffering only because things are not happening as we feel they must but if we let go and let God our lives will be empty of pain and suffering.

I honestly don’t believe there is anyone living who has not experienced the death of a loved one. But think about that grief you hold on to in your heart daily as your personal life preserver. Somehow we have attached ourselves to death by this process we call grieving. We must grieve we are all told and we all know how to deeply grieve our losses. What if we decided to celebrate the time we shared with our loved  ones, remember their smile, laugh, how they hugged us and delighted in life no matter how old they were when they died? I would like you to imagine that maybe just maybe you can be hurting the one you love because you do not let them rest in peace when all along it was their plan to exit when they did because of their own thoughts, words and actions. Is not the teachings in life to love and let go those we love to discover their reason for being no matter what we may desire to control. Do we not all have the ability and gift to fly on our own no matter how old we are, living or dead?

Can it simply be karma?

Please feel free to answer these questions and share your own beliefs on this subject that touches us all.

Pray, Meditate, Journal.

 

www.LindaAmato.com 

LA BELIEVES

America’s Heart is broken as we are witness to those we love dying through the act of violence. Unexpectedly, we are taken down to our knees and while there we must pray. We must connect to the light within and forgive. Love is the only essence in life that can heal. God loves us all and when we are connected to His love we too can love like Him. It is a sadness that will terrorize the moment and fill all with fear, anger, hate, and disbelief for years to come. Momentous is this time, never to be forgotten, especially when a child is taken from his family.

I believe that the ultimate mystery in life is not knowing why there is suffering, sorrow and death! We are clueless to the reason such things as; terrorist bombings, killings of any kind, murder, rape and even why war is in our lives. Death is this ultimate mystery in life because we can never make sense of it, especially when death is through violence of any kind. 

I believe somehow there are many in life today who have forgotten that they MUST connect to God daily. Death creates this emotion of love that is taken beyond the boundaries of those we know, to those we do not know that suddenly creates change in our world because of violence. Where there is fear there can be no love. Where there is no love there is no belief in God. May God who loves us all forgive those who have fallen off their path to a dark world of fear and for their unkind choices.

Pray, Meditate and Journal your fears away…

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Continue reading LA BELIEVES

LA. Believes

Today is my mom’s 82nd birthday! She has dementia! I have been wondering how is it possible to erase ones mind?

I believe that the fear, guilt, shame, grief and lies experienced on the journey of life begins slowly to erase that which is too painful to endure. Death which many fear simply because of the loss of a loved one’s touch, the grief of never seeing them or just the emptiness that comes with their physical body disappearing from our sight creates an ache that is inconsolable.

In my mom’s life experience as one of nine children growing up, at a very young age she was witness to death and grief as her siblings died one by one. Her mother wore her grief for everyone to see by wearing black clothes for her entire life, empty now and filled with pain because she was in mourning for her children. Laughter was not allowed because there was sorrow to endure. The ache that grew in my grandmothers heart would detach her from the living. Truly we are taught many lessons from one another as I have been able to learn.

My mom was taught well by her mom and never deviated from the lessons. Fear was her greatest class and she feared life to an extreme that devoured her own existence. First the incomprehension of a husband that was alcoholic and manic-depressant which terrified her and whom she finally ran away from, then her son and first born dying unexpectedly at 38 years of age by a drunk driver, her first grandson being murdered at the age of 23 and then her healthy husband dying of colon cancer 8 years ago. Today, I thank God that she has found a path of her own to continue to live without her fears. She is childlike now as she is cared for and plays dominoes daily! Clueless to who she is, where she is or what she has lived through.

Yesterday, though I was emotionally angry and feeling abandoned by her. I felt deep disappointment that she does not know me, my four children or my four grandchildren. She has missed so much and we have missed so much of her wisdom. I have dug deep within to make sense of this world she now lives in and delighted in the memories of moments from the past. I had laughed, cried, shopped, and walking holding hands with her. I had listened to her childhood stories over and over again, as well as the nightmares she carried from those years married to my father. I had journeyed with a woman I called mom and whom I loved unconditionally and still do. I am grateful to her and all I have learned from her.

Yes, I would love to share with her my becoming a grandmother but when I think back on my own childhood I never knew my grandparents but yet I know of them through her own stories. Mom, I promise you that I shall share your stories, your fears, your innocence with your grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

We are all here to love one another no matter what we assume another has done to us in any way or that which has created any form of pain. However, we all have free will to choose how we want to live and who we want to be. I choose to forgive, forget that which cannot be changed and love my mom as she was and how she is today.

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