BACK TO INSPIRATION

A Little Help From My Friends
Helen Plant

Sitting in a psychiatrist's office waiting for my friend to finish her session made me reflect on the fact that less than 12 months ago I had, for the first time in my life, requested antidepressants to get me through an emotional relationship crisis. Unlike my friend, the antidepressant experience for me was quite positive. I was able to get through a difficult relationship and work period without constantly dissolving into tears, and the drugs seem to create a quiet "buffer" for the emotional roller coaster than can occur in some women from mid to late forties. After 8 months or so I tried to wean myself from the antidepressant, unsuccessfully, and found a lot of inside work needed to be done before I could claim drug independence.

Around this time I became interested once again in the subject of angels and guides, and began reading quite a lot. However, it wasn't till I came across Doreen Virtue's book on Angel Therapy, that I really started to incorporate dealing with our guardian angels on a much more practical and "realistic" basis.

History
I was quite a "religious" child in my own way and actually converted to Catholicism in my early university years when many others were experimenting with psychedelic drugs and free "love"! Though a very fun-loving person, I amazed my family and myself by entering a very strict lay order, living celibate for six years, before deciding to leave. So the idea of angels wasn't at all foreign to me; I just hadn't lived with awareness of them for quite some years.

When I finally felt "strong enough" to live without the daily "happy pills", it was a fairly triumphant feeling, that I could finally face the vicissitudes of life on my own, as it were. How shortsighted was I! The emotional relationship was still there and another whole series of challenges was to follow. I had to accept a job redundancy, which has left me unable to gain work for the past three months in spite of exhaustive efforts and winning one or two job interviews a week. Finally, unable to meet my obligations financially just for daily living, I have to return to live with my parents for a while in another state where the cost of living is a little lower and the likelihood of getting another job, higher. This has meant leaving my daughter with friends for 5 weeks while she finishes the term, and the worst thing…having to put my beloved companion dogs to sleep, as it is nearly impossible to get accommodation with pets.

Grace
Throughout this nightmare, I have been tempted on a few occasions to re-start the antidepressants, just to get me through, which meant being on these drugs for another 8-12 months or more. Then, I began to realise that even in the most negative moments, I seemed to be receiving what I term "grace". A special ability that doesn't seem to originate within one's personal store of "psychological stability". It is a special "gift" of cheerfulness or courage in the face of fairly negative prospects. It is usually so surprising that its presence prompts me to ask where is this coming from, as normally, I would be overcome with sadness, pain or melancholy in the face of these ongoing challenges. The decision, for example, to put the dogs to sleep, is one I have vehemently rejected whenever family or friends recommended that course of action in the past.

Grace is also the ability to sense the divine around you, either in the form of angelic help or guidance, a willingness to meditate and or to take better care of oneself, to be more gentle with oneself and those around you. I find that often one has to sense as though one has no more resources to turn to, that one has no choice but to be still and see what God, one's higher self or the angelic realm have to say to you! I usually have to get to that point before I take notice.
The traditional churches, of course, have their own definitions of grace which I don't dispute and in the Catholic Church, at least, each of the seven sacraments confer this special attribute of divine power.

Ritual
I have a friend who works on a psychic telephone line. To get to speak with her is quite a ritual. Dial the number, listen to the message, press another number, listen to the code and finally choose her line. Quite often she is not available. While going through this process recently, it occurred that the Kryon once joked to an audience that when all else fails, try a ritual! As humans, we actually don't need to go through a ritual to reach our higher selves or God; just simply turn inwards and be quiet! So simple yet so monumentally difficult for us at times! I like simple ritual, so I light a candle, light some incense and put a lovely shawl around my shoulders, similar to the prayer shawl of some Jewish practices and probably American Indian ways as well. I sometimes use Doreen's Angel cards and I always have pen and paper ready in case I feel moved to note something
of significance.

Thus, I am getting through difficult times without the need for antidepressants, with a stronger sense of support around me, detecting that most intangible of gifts called grace. My belief is that it is delivered by angelic hands, and if we learn to attune ourselves to the angels who are ever-available to us, by request, we could gain more peace and joy than we ever suspected was available to us. A friend suggested that a good affirmation is to ask the angels that we just get through this day with joy in our hearts. Joy being such an underrated concept! To tease out "joy" we encounter peace, cheerfulness, acceptance with what is, going with the flow, appreciation for all the good around us and the ability to smile, even though pain is not far away.

To the existence of "grace", to the angels, Michael, Enoch and all the gang! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Good luck in your efforts to notice the grace when it flows through your day.

Helen Plant
Canberra ACT
hplant@tpg.com.au