What it means to be human…and divine

 We are eternal souls, born into this world with an identity and a purpose.  Unfortunately it’s not long after birth that we begin forgetting who we are, where we came from and begin to assimilate to our surroundings.  We learn that what we can touch, see, hear, smell and taste are real.  This false reality is only a temporary assignment, yet it feels as if our entire world resides right here on Earth.  It’s time to reclaim the invisible.

The native american people believe that everything has a spirit.  This includes trees as well as animals.  They didn’t visit a hut once a week in order to practice their spirituality.  It was infused into everyday life.  They recognized the spirit of an animal and offered it thanks for sacrificing its life so that the people may have nourishment and live on. They talked to birds, plants and to trees.  They had knowledge of how to live in harmony with the land to ensure that future generations would be sustained, and able to enjoy all of the wonderful life on this planet that they had enjoyed.   In order to feel any sort of sorrow for the state of our planet, you have to be able to understand what the native people saw in it, and how they saw it all taken away.   Whatever they needed, the land provided.  Now they have to watch as the resources that were lovingly cared for by their people are ravaged.  That old ad campaign for litter that showed the native american man with a tear rolling down his face at all of the litter strewn about was a powerful statement.  They loved the land and treated it with respect.  This type of compassion for all living things is something we have lost with the industrialization of the world.  Yes, we have amazing technology, but at what price?  My generation has seen a lot of advancements, but it’s also seen a major breakdown in communication.  We’re connected by technology, but we aren’t connecting.  Not to each other or to our environment.

Technology has placed something between us that has caused us to forget our humanity. When was the last time you looked into someone’s eyes while you were having a conversation and really connected with him or her?    As humans, we need one another.  The loving touch of another human being is one of the most powerful forms of healing there is.  Especially when it comes to the very young, or the very old.  When we are babies we are in a very fragile, helpless state and are dependent on others for our survival.  This includes the loving caress of a parent or guardian. If we are lucky, we are touched a lot, and that contact helps us to establish bonds and self-esteem, knowing we are loved and cared for.   As time goes on, we seem to lose that aspect of being touched, but not the need for it.  Beyond a certain age, we simply don’t experience touch on a regular basis as we did before.  It’s been shown in many studies that gently massaging the hands of nursing home patients greatly improves their health and alertness.  While attending a workshop on massage and the elderly, I watched a video of a real nursing home patient with dementia who initially had very little response to human contact, however, over a period of weeks where a visiting nurse came to gently massage her hands, she began to make more eye contact, and engage in speech sounds.  But the major moment that touched me so deeply it made me cry, was seeing this woman actually stop the nurse from massaging her, so she could massage the nurse’s hands in return!  How can we deny this is missing from our lives?  Why are we so afraid of something we so desperately need to survive? 

 If we were just a bunch of mulit-cellular organisms with only the ability to do what keeps our bodies alive, I could see how being human alone would be an acceptable explanation for who we are and what we are all doing here.  But being a fellow human with my own experiences, I also know that the part of me that shudders at the thought of injustice, abuse or anything that causes pain in another, is more than just being a functional organism.  It’s the soul that sees these things.  We are both human and divine.  We cannot separate one from the other.   A body with no soul, has no life.  Each is dependent on the other in this world.  While it is true that our bodies will one day be shed, our souls are the part of us that will live forever and this is why it is so crucial to live your life from this perspective.  You are a soul having a human experience and we all need each other to fully have this experience.   We are eternal.

If it has been a while since you have felt a loving (nonsexual) touch, I encourage you to find small ways to incorporate that back into your life.  Massage is an excellent way to do this.  In fact, I’ve had more than one person open up to me on the massage table and tell me that they came for a massage, simply to feel the compassionate touch of another human being, and I am honored to be a part of their experience.

If you would like more information on how massage can greatly improve the health and well-being of our seniors, please visit http://www.compassionate-touch.org/

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~ by healingstarspirit on April 1, 2010.

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