It amazed me how dementia can even effect one’s memory about the buoyant nature of salt water. I’d remind Mom that if she got in the water up to her waist, put the noodle between her legs (like riding a bike, I’d remind her) and lift her feet, she’d float. She trusted that it was so, allowed me to help her with her noodle and ‘viola!’, we were floating. We laughed and sang as we enjoyed floating in the water together.
After having such a wonderful time together at the beach, we packed up and headed for the car. Out of the blue, Mom’s mood changed completely. ‘They’re waiting for us at home. We’ve got to be very careful,’ she said, her paranoia quite evident. ‘Who’s waiting for us, Mom?’ ‘Oh, you know who. They’re not nice and we need to be careful.’ Hearing this I felt my happy mood being pulled out from under me. Now I began to feel her worry and concern. Mom sounded so convincing that I began to question my sense of reality. Who would be at our house? Could they really break in? Jessi, our dog, was home. She would surely protect the house from intruders.
Jessi. Yes, she would never allow anyone to break in. This helped me come back to reality. I brought this to Mom’s attention to try to reassure her, my own mind returning to sanity. Of course, this was part of the dementia, and though I had witnessed various symptoms of Mom’s disease, I still found my own denial cropping up. ‘I forget that she forgets’, I often heard myself say.
Of course, once we got home there was no intruder. All was well. And Mom, of course, forgot about the whole thing! But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I was emotionally drained from that experience. But it got me thinking about reality: What IS reality, anyway? In that moment, her delusion was real to her. She almost had me convinced!
Then I remembered the premise of A Course in Miracles (ACIM). From the Introduction:
‘Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.’
From page 14 of ACIM, chapter 1 – 5th paragraph:
‘All aspects of fear are untrue because they do not exist at the creative level (all creation comes from God, who is Love – and when we create from Love, we create like God ~ my comment), and therefore do not exist at all. To whatever extent you are willing to submit your beliefs to this test, to that extent are your perceptions corrected. In sorting out the false from the true, the miracle proceeds along these lines:
Perfect love casts out fear.
If fear exists,
Then there is not perfect love.
Only perfect love exists.
If there is fear,
It produces a state that does not exist.
Believe this and you will be free. Only God can establish this solution, and this faith is His gift.
And from the Workbook of ACIM: Lesson 200
There is no peace except the peace of God.
‘Seek you no further…save yourself the agony of yet more bitter disappointments, bleak despair and sense of icy hopelessness and doubt…There is nothing else for you to find except the peace of God, unless you seek for misery and pain.’
And further down in paragraph 4: ‘Come home. You have not found your happiness in foreign places and in alien forms…’
Home is our Oneness with God. Home is our Divine Connection with each other, for we are all children of God. This world, like a passing dream, is brought to Reality when we express Love, which is our true nature.
So, yes, when we experience loss and disappointment, it is important to acknowledge those feelings, just as a loving parent would acknowledge a child’s nightmare and then sooth them with the Reality that they are safe and all is well. Our loving God sent the Holy Spirit to Comfort us, to gently wake us to the Reality of our True Being: Love.
My favorite saying: ‘God is Love. I am Loved and All is Well.’
May you find comfort in this knowledge, as you navigate the many challenges life may present to you.
I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment and share your thoughts, your experiences, or whatever you’d like to share!
Until next time, my wish for you is to bask in the Love and Peace of God, Source, All that Is…or whatever you choose to call that Loving Power.