My journey into the metaphysical started when I was a child. I was raised Catholic by a traditionally religious Italian Catholic mother and a father who was not raised going to the Methodist church in which he was baptized. So, mom and I, and then my younger brother, always attended mass. When I was a young adult, my father converted to Catholicism. Shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, had to retire early from the career he loved as a surgeon, and passed away 3 years ago at age 75. I miss him. I was intensely close to my father, but I don’t grieve him anymore, really. He implored me not to do so, not to take one “feeling good” day of my life for granted, especially not being sad about him (his words). I try to honor that and talk to and celebrate him every day. I see him, not as gone, just as different. He communicates with me often, probably more than while he was still “here.”
A couple days after he passed away, while I was staying with my mom, she handed me a manilla folder with some of my dad’s doodlings. Dad was very interested in finances and investing and was quite good at it. He had left filing cabinets full of paperwork and his own calculations, including this folder, addressed to my brother, my husband, and me. Still in the initial storm of sadness and loss, I wondered why my mom would dive into the financials so soon. But she urged me to look through it. In it, among many impossible to understand (for me, anyway) but well-meant financial tips, was a small envelope containing a note scribbled onto scratch paper. He had actually written it 17 years before and never given it to us. It was titled, Reflections on Important Rules by Which to Live your Life:
- Be always true to yourself. In other words, don’t lie to yourself!
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Success is when you’ve done your best for yourself, your family, and your God. Money, big houses, and big cars are nice to have, but they don’t make you successful.
- Facing life’s problems requires self-discipline and the ability to look at the problem in a straightforward manner using frank self-criticism before blaming others for your woes. Ask first: Is this my doing?
- Go to sleep with a clean conscience.
“He who conquers others is strong
He who conquers himself is mighty.”
Ancient Chinese philosopher and founder of Taoism
With all sincerity and love,
Mom had not known the note existed and had just found it herself, that day, while looking for some other paperwork. I believe the timing was no coincidence (o.k., there are no coincidences). The rules were amazing, but the final quote from Lao Tzu took my breath away. Not a quote from the Bible, or even a Christian theologian, but from an ancient Chinese master. It solidified so many things for me. O.K., Dad, I thought, I’m on it. Conquering oneself is the real story, and purpose, of one’s life. My search for truth had limped along until that moment. Since then, it’s been full speed ahead. My parents had always instilled in me a belief in God, a solid base, for which I’m grateful. They also showed me how to enjoy the gift of life, but to remember the divine and eternal nature of the soul in each of us. In the moment my dad’s surprise message appeared, I began to question which of these, physical “life,” or eternal essence, I was concentrating on, and how they affect each other. After all, physical life is fleeting, but our souls are immortal. In the subsequent study and research inspired by my dad’s passing and his incredible note, I’m discovering so much more that gives me endless happiness and peace. Essentially, the truths of existence. I hope you will join me on this, the journey of all journeys. That of discovering who we really are, or what is beyond our physical presence. A journey from head to heart. Welcome to MetaPhysEd, where we can identify and strengthen our True Selves, which in turn makes our life experience extraordinary to say the least. Stay tuned for some mind-blowing stuff…