Finding Bliss And Peace Through Meaningful Rituals – Part 2

March 25, 2009 · Filed Under Creating Peace & Happiness · 1 Comment 

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. Albert Pike

You are so wise. You know what you need to survive with grace. The truth is that you are the creator of the rituals which enable you to live your life in a way that feels best to you. While some rituals are inherent in various practices, such as weddings or funerals, you tend to create, quite naturally, the activities which contribute to you surviving and surviving with a feel good feeling, be it a walk each morning or saying your prayers and meditating each day in a favorite spot in or out of your home.

Rituals help you mark the milestones of your life. The first bus ride for each of your children when they begin their official life as a student is a ritual that touches the heart, as does the first school holiday pageant in which they participate, or the first school Halloween parade for which you help them with their costume.

When your loved one dies, rituals again help you mark additional milestones. This may be with a specific service, markings on the gravestone, the lighting of candles and saying of specific prayers are typical rituals. Personally, each year on my mother’s birthday, I go to the florist and purchase for her the most beautiful floral bouquet and take it to the cemetery where I place it in the ground by her gravestone and then sit, cry and talk to her. This helps me to connect with my mom and I do something similar for my dad, as well. I need this ritual to handle my parents’ deaths and I am always more at peace following these activities.

If you think (and feel) about it, the family rituals in which you participated as a child or have created in your adult life have added to the rich awareness of being a part of a family ( a real community) and of sharing in the experience of love, even when love could not be verbally expressed.

Perhaps you and your family always made a big deal of every family member’s birthday, father’s day, mother’s day and every other major holiday. (And, if you did not, you could begin now!) Though you may have complained about having to be present and dress for the occasion, just knowing your Presence mattered contributed to your sense of self-esteem. You mattered!

The precious memories you store in your heart hold the vibration of the joy you experienced in past ceremonies and rituals. For example, if you grew up in an area where you had several snowfalls each winter, then you most likely had opportunities for special snow related activities such as the building of the first snowman – or woman of the season, the sleigh rides you took with your folks, friends and/or siblings, and the hot chocolate and cookies you would have each time you came in from the cold.

Let’s talk mealtimes. Those of you who had to be home for nightly family dinner may have complained about this growing up. However, most adults feel a sense of gratitude for those meals. They provided a sense of groundedness, connection and stability. Research has substantiated the value of rituals such as families gathering for dinner each night.

In fact, Jean Achterberg, a mentor of mine, in Intentional Healing, notes that research confirms that despite the problem of alcohol addiction, when families eat together and participate in family holiday rituals, the children of alcoholics tend not to develop alcohol addition as adults.Vibrationally, despite the alcoholism, the children feel energy of safety, rootedness, stability and goodness because they get to sit down with their families for their evening and holiday meals. This is a powerful argument for the healing power of rituals in families with alcohol addiction problems

Take a moment or two and think about the rituals you might engage in which could best contribute to you and your family being able to feel more connected, more stable and more harmonious; be it walking or watching a movie together, or regularly visiting an ill or dying family member – or going to church, your mosque or synagogue together on a regular basis. (To be continued.).

Susan Barbara Apollon
Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”

©2009SusanBarbara Apollon