I am always fascinated about how our questions get answered - and sometimes how we are steered in a direction without even asking the question.

Someone very dear and close to me is at a point where he has no dignity or quality of life left. He had told me in so many words that he is not afraid of dying. Yet he is still holding on to life while his mind and body are shutting down at an alarming rate. It breaks my heart to see a man stripped of everything, and to see the effect on other loved people and feel the pain in my heart every time I see him.

I have for a while been preparing myself for his transition, and I have wondered what it is that is holding him back. And no, this is not wishing him dead, this is wishing him a peaceful and pain-free transition into the next part of his life.

I recently browsed in a second-hand bookstore and found one of those gems written about the spiritual experiences of a religious family. I find that those books have much credibility because they do not try to prove a point. They simply record the experiences of people trying to make sense out of things that they have encountered for the first time – a sort of “I am telling you I saw it – even if I still don’t believe it myself – and I was sober” story.

I read the book because I was on holiday and it was an easy read. Nothing in the book was new to me. The story was about a young man who died in a car accident and then made contact with his family via a medium. The family did not believe in anything spiritual and the medium, who had one chance encounter with the man’s father about ten years before, contacted them on the insistence of the young man.

Then I encountered one sentence that made me sit up. The context was where a family friend, a medical doctor, explained his soul searching around being obliged to try and save the life of a patient who seems to be beyond saving. He often experienced the dilemma of having to practise his professional oath of saving a life when his heart said that it was inhuman to prolong the suffering of a person.

The young man in the spirit world explained that no matter what the doctor or other people do, a person will only pass over when they give themselves permission at soul level. And that will only happen when that person’s soul is ready to pass over.

Until that point, nothing that anyone says or does will make any difference to the timescale or destiny of the sick person. If the doctor tries to lengthen the person’s life, they will pass over at a certain time. If the doctor does not provide any treatment, the person will pass over at the same pre-destined time, when they agree at soul level that this is the time.

I realised that no matter what I want, my loved one will pass over when his work here is done. His current physical and emotional conditions are part of a much bigger Plan that is there, regardless of what I want. The circumstances are there because every one of us that are involved still needs to learn some truths. I feel much gratitude for this insight.

This also made me think about other things not related to death, but related to transitions.

We are all here because we have planned specific experiences for ourselves. We learn from those experiences and become lighter and wiser. Sometimes we get stuck in the experiences and we do not learn and move on.

We all know of those people who are caught up in a destructive relationship or a totally unsuitable job. Some people insist on defining themselves by means of a dis-ease that is curable, and others keep failing in the same situations, for example serial marriages or continuous financial mishaps.

We have all at some stage wondered why those people do not realise what they do to themselves and others. We have become impatient with them, and had harsh words with them. We have seen them going for therapy and having no results, or refusing therapy because “there is nothing wrong with me!” We have deserted and tolerated them. We have given up on them, been entertained by their mishaps, and accepted them as failures.

We never realised that they will change when they have given themselves permission at soul level. If a person remains stuck in a situation, then it is because at soul level they are not ready to move on. Nothing any relative, therapist, government or anyone else says or does will change that.

And we also seldom realise that we are aware of these “failures” because it is part of our Plan to learn from them. It is far easier to judge them than to use their experiences to learn our own lessons.

But what have we done closer to home?

I know I have been working very hard on my own transition. I am aware of what my destiny is, and I am finally willing to accept it – I am no longer kicking and screaming. I have been quite impatient over the past year or two, waiting for the inevitable to happen so that I can start with the biggest and most significant task of my entire life – my life purpose and passion. I have begged and pushed and capitulated and prayed, but things were still much too slow for my liking.

I have now realised that everything happens at the destined pace. I have learnt so much about myself in the past few years. If everything was already in place and happening, I would have missed out on incredible experiences. My life would have lost a richness of texture and fragrance and colour that I noticed because everything had slowed down.

My soul knows far better than my mind what the perfect timing is. That does not mean I am no longer impatient – I still have a lot to learn.

I now understand more about the relationship between our existence here and our eternal existence. Trying to force things in this existence because we are impatient is like trying to give birth to a foetus the moment it resembles a person on the scan. If the time is not right yet, our actions will destroy a miracle.

Acceptance is probably one of the hardest things we need to learn.

In the film “A Passage to India” a young doctor is accused of raping a young English woman. He is obviously innocent, but there is much hypocrisy and various political agendas result in a nasty trial.

In all this turmoil, the Brahim professor Godbole approaches school superintendent Richard Fielding to discuss the naming of a government school. The professor acts as if there is no trial and no turmoil. When Fielding asks him how he can focus on something as trivial as naming a school in the circumstances, the professor replies that the outcome of the trial is predestined. The professor knows that nothing he can do will change the doctor’s destiny, whether he is found innocent or guilty.

In our daily lives there are things that are less relevant, for example which flavour of ice cream I choose while on holiday. I would not agonize over such a choice, and my ice cream will not change my destiny.

Then there are things that are more relevant, for example the lessons we need to learn from complex relationships. We could choose to agonize over this, but it would still not change our destiny. Accepting this could take a lifetime, or as long as it takes for our souls to evolve to the level where we can let go and accept. Only at this point will we give ourselves permission at soul level to move on.

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