Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God
When our common sense and intuition work together, we experience life in a much more complete and satisfying way. There’s a flow to our lives and, in that flow, we understand what choices to make, even in the midst of very trying circumstances. But this happens only when we’re willing to offer ourselves more and more completely into the divine light.
Recently I was faced with the need to care for an aging parent at a time when my husband and I were serving as leaders of the Ananda Portland colony. From the standpoint of the logical, rational mind, it seemed inevitable that the situation would be difficult and stressful. But I surrendered it completely to Divine Mother, and asked Her to guide me through it.
An only child
I was my parents’ only child. When I moved to Ananda Village in 1972, they were very supportive, even though they didn’t understand my new way of life. As they grew older, however, I became increasingly aware that I had no way to support them financially, should they need it.
At one point I prayed, “Divine Mother, I know I’ve chosen the right life for myself. But if my parents ever need my help, you’re going to have to help me out.”
For the time being, this was not a problem in that my parents were able to live fairly comfortably on the income from their stock market investments.
At the beginning of 1998, my husband and I moved from Ananda Village in California to Portland, Oregon to serve as the Ananda colony leaders. I now lived much farther away from my parents. This was troubling to me, but each day, in meditation, I offered my concerns into Divine Mother’s loving hands.
About a year after we arrived in Portland, my father died suddenly. He was at home at the time, experienced virtually no suffering, and was in the loving care of his wife of 53 years. Although the manner of his death was a great blessing, his passing meant tremendous changes for my mother.
My mother now needed much more support, and I helped her in whatever ways I could. Then, after a year, she moved to Ohio to be near her brother. The two of them were very close, and this was a deeply satisfying time for her.
“Don’t forget the financial part.”
It was during this period that the stock market started going through the ups and downs that eventually culminated in the downturn or “crash” in 2002. My mother’s means of support was in jeopardy, and I prayed: “Divine Mother, please don’t forget the financial part.”
After the stock market stabilized, my mother told me, “You know, my stockbroker said to me, ‘You are one of the few people I know who didn’t lose any money in the stock market crash.’” And I was thinking, “Thank you Divine Mother!”
In the fall of 2002 my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. My uncle wanted to care for her, but he wasn’t well himself. So I went to Ohio, packed my mother’s belongings, brought her to Portland, and found her an apartment nearby.
No time to think about myself
For the next year and a half my own needs simply didn’t exist. I only had time for my mother’s needs (including radiation treatments and her post-treatment recovery), and the needs of the Ananda Portland colony.
If I had allowed myself to think—“I can’t do this! I have too many other responsibilities to be able to take care of my mother,” it would have pulled my energy down. Instead, I simply kept moving, while constantly offering every aspect of the situation into Divine Mother’s light. As I did this, I felt a tremendous flow of God’s grace working through everything that happened.
Flying into the heart of the fires
During the last six months of her life, my mother often mentioned that she wanted to visit relatives in southern California—to hold my cousin’s new baby, to sit in the sun in the desert by the pool, and to see the ocean.
When my mother had recovered enough to walk with the help of a cane, we made plans to fly to Palm Springs for the week of her birthday. She was happy to be going on a trip after the long radiation treatments.
The week before we were to leave horrendous forest fires were burning throughout much of southern California. The smoke was so thick that people were staying indoors as much as possible. It seemed foolhardy to go but my aunt said, “You’ve already made your plans. You may as well come.” And so we took off, and flew right into the heart of the raging fires.
After landing, as we drove through the area that had been thick with smoke the previous day, the air began to clear. By the time we reached my aunt’s house, the air was so clear that you could see the whole of Los Angeles from her hillside home. That vacation turned out to be one of the highlights of my mother’s life.
More than I could handle
A few months later, my husband and I decided to return to Ananda Village. I thought, “I know this is the right move for us personally, but I don’t know how it’s going to work out for my mother.” But again, I surrendered the situation into Divine Mother’s hands and moved forward.
My mother had been looking forward to living in California again, but shortly after the move, she became much more ill, and went into the hospital. Now, not only was I trying to learn a new and challenging job, I was regularly driving back and forth to the hospital, a 40-minute commute each way. For the first time, I began to feel that I no longer cope with the situation.
About four days later, my mother died. Instead of the prolonged suffering so common with cancer, she died almost instantly from a ruptured aneurism. I was immensely grateful to Divine Mother that her passing entailed so little suffering.
Divine Mother is always there
The flow of God’s light can transform the most challenging situations into experiences of grace. It takes an act of will power to offer these situations repeatedly into the divine light.
But, in making that effort, we find that Divine Mother is always there, supporting us in ways the logical mind could never have foreseen. This changes how we view our lives, and more importantly, it changes us forever.
Parvati Hansen, an Ananda Lightbearer, serves as executive director of the Janaka Foundation. She and her husband, Bent, live at Ananda Village.
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