Only Tested Love Is Blessed

Jan 18, 2021

About six years ago Dharmadevi and I had the very good fortune to meet our dear friend and gurubai, Tracey. Tracey blends heartfelt commitment to life and bright intelligence together into a united stream of faith and love for God. She is an inspiring person because she has walked through some very difficult experiences and yet her joy and love for God have only grown deeper. 

As Swami Kriyananda says in a song, “Only tested love is blessed.” That sums up Tracey’s heart.

Tracey married a deeply spiritual soul named Chris. While Tracey was not interested in spirituality during the time she was married to Chris, she was supportive of his meditation practice. Meditation was “Chris’ thing” that he did alone every day in his home office. Tracey had no idea he practiced kriya yoga nor was she aware of his deep connection to his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda. He was truly a Great Yogi.

Chris was a Vietnam veteran and during the war he was exposed to Agent Orange, a herbicide and defoliant chemical. Like many other soldiers, later in life he suffered major health problems from being exposed to it. Many years after the war he developed cancer from his exposure.  Eventually, his condition deteriorated, and he had to be hospitalized.

As Chris prepared to leave the body, Tracey along with dozens of friends were present with him. A few friends began to pray the “Our Father” out loud. Chris held his index finger up to his mouth silently asking them to hold silence. They understood that for him the deeper prayer and support he needed at that time of transition was the wordless yearning of the soul. As they held silence for him, he inhaled while doing some type of movement with his hands and head (Tracey knows now that Chris was practicing a technique of kriya yoga). He exhaled and a deep stillness pervaded the room.

Tracey witnessed Chris consciously leave the body in an exalted state.

She was so deeply moved by the experience, the grief propelled her to find out more about Yogananda and kriya yoga. What was Chris doing all those years? Since he left his body, Chris has continued to communicate with and guide Tracey through messages, especially musical, signs, and superconscious dream visions.

Thanks to Chris we met Tracey. She just so happened by “coincidence” to live within walking distance of our Ananda West LA center. We think Chris was planning this all along for her!

The grieving from Chris’ passing turned into a “Divine Love Sorrow” and devotional fuel that fanned the flame of Tracey’s awakening. A few years later Tracey received kriya yoga initiation through Ananda. 

Because of the pandemic, we closed our West LA center that was within walking distance for Tracey. Since last year we have not been able to see her in person. Like everyone, we’ve stayed connected through Zoom, phone calls, and text. 

Tracey lost not only the Ananda center close to her home, but endured a much greater loss. Last year both her mother and father passed away from Covid-19 within a few months of each other. Because of the pandemic and physical distancing, she was not able to be present with them during their passing. 

Tracey’s story illustrates the pain and suffering many people have gone through as they have not been able to grieve in person or have closure with their loved ones.

But that’s not where her story ends. “Only tested love is blessed.” 

Shortly after the new year we received this email from Tracey:

“Happy New Year, Dear Ones! I wanted to share with you an experience I had last night, New Year’s Eve, as it really shook me to my core.

A friend and I were watching the last 10 minutes of the NBC Times Square coverage to watch “the ball” drop, pushing out the horrible past year. I had already planned that at midnight, I was going to open my front door and kick the Energy of 2020 to the dumpster. It is an Irish tradition that I had recently heard about.  Then I was going to sage my apartment!  

Anyway, the emotions surrounding my losses in 2020 took hold of me and I started to cry, telling my parents how much I missed them on this eve of the New Year…not being able to call them to wish them a Happy New Year and how much I loved them…how sorry I was that I couldn’t have done more for them. Midnight arrived, and with teary eyes, I opened the front door and kicked the Old Year to the curb. I returned to my chair near the TV and at 12:03 a.m., the NBC coverage cut to the first musical performance of 2021. It was a live performance by a band from the late 1990’s that I really loved, and still love. So, they are not a new group, but I haven’t heard anything about them for a looooong time. So imagine my complete shock when out of the blue, the band, The Goo Goo Dolls, was introduced, and they played their HUGE hit, “Iris!”

For those who don’t know or don’t remember, that is my mom’s name. 

(The song was originally written for the soundtrack of a movie called, appropriately, City of Angels, based on a German film by Wim Wenders, called Wings of Desire.)

Anyway, here are the lyrics to the song. I don’t think I need to tell you that I knew immediately it was a “Hello” and message of comfort from my mom. My friend also had the same feeling instantly. (I don’t doubt that Chris had a hand in finding the song for her!) I am learning so much more about her Life, going through her things and such—that she had Desires I was never aware of and how much she suffered being trapped in her dysfunctional Body and Mind. And I have discovered that she had a spiritual side I never knew. But quite clearly she, like Chris, is still nurturing and guiding me. Yes, I cried again, and am still, but definitely tears of Joy.  Thanks for letting me share this Blessing with you all.    Love, Tracey “


IRIS by The Goo Goo Dolls

And I’d give up forever to touch you

‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow

You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be

And I don’t want to go home right now


And all I can taste is this moment

And all I can breathe is your life

And sooner or later, it’s over

I just don’t wanna miss you tonight


And I don’t want the world to see me

‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand

When everything’s made to be broken

I just want you to know who I am


And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming

Or the moment of truth in your lies

When everything feels like the movies

Yeah, you bleed just to know, you’re alive


And I don’t want the world to see me

‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand

When everything’s made to be broken

I just want you to know who I am