A house has the character of the man who lives in it.
We sometimes function as a symbol of hope for another. This is an honored status. It means we are walking a true Path, one that provides nourishing inspiration and encouragement at a time when another may be the most vulnerable and in need of an assisting hand.
Our assistance can appear so minor we are not even aware of how much light we may be for someone else, unless the person indicates directly that the helping hand, in whatever form, was the one thing keeping them afloat in that moment. Carolyn Myss remarked in one of her superb audio tapes (paraphrased): What if your only task and life purpose is to hold the light and be a light in your neighborhood? While nothing outwardly large or grand, what if this is your singular offering to life? And, if you do it gladly, as a humble service, you have accomplished your life’s purpose.
For how many of us would this simply be enough? How many of us would ask if this was even a valuable service, one with sufficient meaning to make us feel worthy of recognition? How many accolades would be enough? The same question extends to remuneration. What would it take to satisfy your ego? How would you respond when someone asks, “what are you going to do with your life? These are significant queries. Think about them.
As a relevant example, my husband, Chris, wrote about an interesting lesson in the value of the smallest, simplest, most inconspicuous element in the design of a helicopter, which, in this instance, turned out to be the singular item that made all the difference:
A helicopter crashed in Nepal some years ago and killed two people. A helicopter has a great variety of pieces with a wide range of sizes. The particular problem here was with the engine, which is held together by many nuts and bolts. Each has a small sideways hole through it so that a tiny “safety wire” can be inserted and the ends twisted together to prevent the tremendous vibration created by a running engine from loosening and working the nut off the bolt. The helicopter crashed because a mechanic forgot to replace one tiny safety wire that kept the lateral control assembly together. A nut vibrated off its bolt, the helicopter lost its stability, and the pilot lost control [and those aboard were killed]. All this was caused by one missing piece that altered the entire functional dynamics of the aircraft. The engine had been “simplified” by one piece—a small length of wire.
Which piece was the most important part in the helicopter? The point is that each part (structural diversity) has a corresponding relationship (functional diversity) with every other part, and they provide stability only by working together within the limits of their designed purpose.1
Earlier this spring, I met a woman who was suffering through an incredibly dark night of the soul in an episode of deep depression that was also frighteningly punctuated by periodic, but significant moments of anxiety and panic. She underwent a difficult divorce a few years earlier and was about to retire from a highly successful career. She was betwixt and between “worlds” in the sense of “identity” and purpose. Without the emotional history or capacity to consciously deal with her fear and grief, she “stuffed it” until repression became depression.
Earlier in her life, she had an aunt who suffered episodes of emotional instability, having to be hospitalized from time to time. This was a family “secret” and a memory that haunted this lady now, her deepest fear being that she too would “fall apart” and end up hospitalized somewhere in a wretched, helpless state—a shameful mental case.
For one brief but critical moment in time, I was the little flame who touched her flickering light, helping hers to once again burn more brightly and steadily to traverse this dark and obstacle-strewn path in her life’s journey. From out of such incapacitating darkness often comes the greatest light.
I told her about my own desperate, frightening struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. I also said that I had been hospitalized in a psychiatric unit for tests, during which time, my deepest fear and shame was that I was crazy, weak, and defective. My story gave her the lifeline of hope. She later told me that my candid sharing had made a big difference for her. She could now take more confident, bolder strides, knowing she too would be triumphant.
The astrological birth chart often functions in a similar capacity of offering hope. It is a mirror that shows a person who they really are at the deepest, most fundamentally important levels. It further reveals the specific learning a person is undergoing this lifetime, much like the soul’s goal of achieving a passing grade in Earth School and moving on to higher lessons and spiritual responsibility. If the reading of the chart “rings true,” the individual responds, “Oh my gosh, I really am who I feel myself to be inside. I’m not nuts or deluded for wanting to be and do this, am I?” Huge sighs of relief are the result, because it validates their very being, inclinations, and purpose. Moreover, it shines the light of hope and guidance that they are, in fact, on the correct Path—or not, if they’ve been erroneously listening to and following the voices of those not their own.
Just now, I went out into the front garden to help Chris relocate a variegated iris. A neighbor came by with her dog and in the course of the conversation she mentioned she encounters quite a number of Middle Eastern students as a checker at a store. A few nights back, one fellow had come into the store with a bandage on his hand, the result of a recent incident with his heart going out of whack. Intuitively, she asked him if he missed his mother. The response was instantaneous, as his eyes filled with tears. She went around the counter and gave him a hug. He was so in need of that simple but hugely valuable hug from someone who cared enough in that instant that he told her it was a lifesaver. It meant so much to him that his spirits and courage were restored. She was his symbol of hope in that precious instant.
1. Chris Maser. Sustainable Forestry: Philosophy, Science, and Economics. 1994. St. Lucie Press, Delray Beach, FL. 373 pp.
Text © by Zane Maser, 2011. Photos © by Chris and Zane Maser, 2011. All rights reserved worldwide.
My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.
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