I have heard the same message 3 times, from 3 different sources, this week. I think I am supposed to be paying attention.
Samhain (pronounced sau’-in) was this week. In more mainstream circles, it is known as Halloween, but it began as Samhain many years ago – a yearly marking of the turning of the seasons, often celebrated by those who identify as Pagan.
The Sunday service at my church was about this annual festival, at which the Celtic people celebrated the harvest and honored the souls of their departed, loved ones.
We were reminded in the service that we are a product of all those who have touched our lives, living or dead, friend or foe, intimate or acquaintance. We are even a product of those ancestors we haven’t met – the many people who knew and loved the ones who knew and loved us.
Sunday evening, a friend posted a quote on Facebook:
Every person with whom you interact is a part of the person you are becoming. Not a single interaction with a single person is left out of the process of your becoming.
Many assume that only pleasing relationships have value, but that is not the case. Your awareness of an unwanted situation evokes from you a clear Vibrational request for something different. And so, even those uncomfortable interactions with others form the Vibrational basis of your expansion.
People often believe that the value of interacting with others is mostly about combining talents and actions in order to accomplish the things that need to be done in a society, but your interaction is much more important than that. You are helping one another define the attributes of your individual and collective expansion. In other words, even the briefest of encounters with another person is actually contributing to your expansion as an Eternal Being.
I really like the first line of this quote. “Every person with whom you interact is a part of the person you are becoming.” The idea that we are shaped by those who are in our past is not unfamiliar, but the idea that we are continuing to become the people we are going to be helps me realize that we are all a work in progress. We are still being shaped – not only by the people in our lives now, but by the interactions we have experienced throughout our lives.
November 1st is All Saints Day in the Christian church. I teach at an Episcopal school and we had a Eucharist service yesterday. We sang a hymn I have always loved – “I sing a song of the saints of God”. It is about finding “saints” not only in ages past, but in everyday life. The homily from our chaplain was also about people in our lives, what the Old Testament refers to as our “cloud of witnesses”. She reminded us that we all have people who are in our cloud – those whose lives had some influence over who we have become, both living and gone. The image of a white fluffy cloud in a blue sky is a metaphor for those who have had a positive influence, those who have lifted us up and helped us grow. She also used the image of the storm cloud, heavy and dark, to represent those people and situations that bring us down. She asked us to remember, when faced with the dark clouds of life, the challenges and obstacles that get in our way, that we always have that other cloud with us and to hold the light of those who love us in our hearts.
I have been touched and shaped by so many people – family members, close friends, acquaintances, even strangers. Some of these interactions have been positive, others negative, but they are all a part of who I am and who I am becoming. For those in my “cloud”, I am grateful. They help lift me up when I am down, bringing light to the darkness.
Hearing this message 3 times over in the course of 3 days can’t be coincidence. I think I need to pay attention to it. I need to remember those who have played a part in my life, being grateful for what they have taught me – what to do and what not to do. I need to remember that I am playing a part in others’ lives, and can only hope they are paying attention too. My wish for all of us is that we all be surrounded by our own personal “cloud of witnesses”, finding peace in the turmoil of life.